Before and After

Hallway and Office – Before and After

I have about 4 different blog posts written right now. The only problem is, they’re all in my head.

My kids have this radar: as soon as mom sits at the computer… no, as soon as mom looks at the computer… no, as soon as mom even THINKS about going to the computer, she’s needed right away. Either naps are cut short, someone gets hurt, snack runs out,  boredom kicks in– you name it, it happens.

Ahhhh… what I wish my life looked like as I start each blog post:


I’d take a picture of what my life ACTUALLY looks like when I want to sit down to write a post, but there’s not even a moment to grab a camera to capture it. 😉

I know I’m not the only mom to be busy, but we’re struggling a bit with cabin fever here, and even just picturing myself sitting down with a pen, paper and a latte makes me smile. Ahhh… maybe in 5 years… or perhaps more realistically, 18 years.

But you didn’t come here to hear how crazy life is, I’m sure yours has it’s own set of crazy and you don’t want to hear about someone else’s. What I can tell you, is that on the Before and After trail in my blogs, we’ve finally reached the office and hallway.

This is the “Office,” or in other words, the small 8′ x 8′ room that is big enough to call a bedroom in the real estate listing, but small enough not to be one.

The office before:


The closet is on the left, the window is in the middle, and an empty wall on the right. And by “empty wall” I mean floor to ceiling paneling over plaster again.


This was supposed to be the “easy” room. No one really used it for anything yet. Up until this point, it had been the room all the other furniture was shoved in while another room was being worked on. The one big annoyance about this room is that it didn’t have an overhead light. This isn’t the first place I’ve lived without an overhead light in the ceiling, but it is super annoying to have to search for the lamp in the dark. And since the previous owner put drywall ceilings 8-10 inches below the original plaster ceilings, we had a bit of “empty”space to work with, making stringing the electrical work through easy.

But that’s easy for me to say. I was pregnant at the time and didn’t do any work in this room.


Our method of operation remained the same. We kept as much plaster up as possible to keep construction dust and possible lead paint dust to a minimum.  Adding electrical meant just knocking out enough plaster to do the work necessary.


Unlike G’s room, this room only had one outside wall (her’s had three uninsulated outside walls). So while we still insulated the room, it didn’t take much. Most of the plaster happily fell off anyway, so to insulate, we just took the rest down for the outside wall only.

And of course, since the office was a “small” job, we might as well do the hallway too. (And I keep chuckling to myself saying “we” and “us” in this whole thing. Husband takes all the credit here, all I did was plan and decorate since Baby E was busy growing in my belly).

Below is a picture of the hallway. Straight ahead is G’s room. To the right is the bathroom. To the left (out of the picture) is the office. Another small job for us… ahem, I mean Husband (thanks babe!)


The floors were in decent shape. Nothing to show off, but not bad enough to get splinters on. Nothing a rug couldn’t cover up. We’re already saving to get a new floor with the next project, so why waste money now?


After much hard work, and a little bit of creativeness, the room was done! The wall color is “Pediment” by Sherwin Williams. Grey, but not too grey. Beige, but not too yellow. Not dark, but not so light it looks white… I love the color and will use it in the rest of the house!full-view

First, the hallway. Not much to look at as far as decorations go. But, the brown paneling is gone (sorry, no before picture, just the reno picture).

The office now has a new look. To the left, the closet door and our computer area:

Inside the closet we made more of a office/hall/linen closet. When we were looking at houses, I actually actively looked for a house with a hall/linen closet. But, other things beat that one out when finding this house, so the office closet will do.


The window has all new, custom, craftsman trim. I can’t get enough of it. Husband did an amazing job. The curtains are actually drop cloths hung with curtain clips.


To the right is an Ikea Kallax bench because Kids + Storage = Happiness. I bought a 1″ thick foam pad and made a cover for it for the top of the bench. This was a must because we don’t have a TV, and when G gets sick, she needs someplace to watch her movies. Although, last time she was sick, she just made a nest on the floor. But, it still gets used as a bench now and then.

And above the bench, my “masterpiece.” Three foam boards (leftover from a friend’s move), cut into the same size, with fabric stapled to it. My biggest struggle in all of these renovations is decorating the walls. It just feels so permeant.


And really, we don’t have a whole lot of wall decor anyway. And when I look online, the stuff I actually find and like I wouldn’t spend that much on just to cover the wall. So, fabric it is! And I find it brightens the room so warmly!


And, of course, we left space for G’s kitchen. She’s growing up so fast that it might not be there for much longer. But for now, it’s a fun space to be.

So, now a whole side of the house is done! (Granted, it’s only a 991 sq/ft house, but work is work). All that’s left is the living room, dining room, kitchen (coming soon!), front porch, and back porch. And the yard, which we’re always messing with. It feels so close to the finish line, but when I type it all out it sounds like so much work!


Keep reading, our kitchen is next and will hopefully be done by the end of April. In the meantime, I have more posts planned!



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