That one time we bought a house… the before

Matt and I were pretty sure the moment we moved to Florida that we wanted to purchase a home here. The houses are affordable (wayyyy more so than where we just left, San Diego), we needed a yard, and we love a project. We weren’t new to the whole buying a foreclosure thing – we had done it once before and it turned out great for us. This house though, was a totally different ball game. When we first saw it, I knew it had potential but you really had to see pass the disgusting, stained carpet, and wild wall color. We put in an offer the day we saw it and have been dreaming of what it could be every day since.

I thought it would be fun to put up some before pictures here that way as we change it and make it our own we can see how far we’ve come. I wish I would have been more diligent about taking good pictures of the before but really I was too anxious to get to work. We spent nearly three weeks just getting it to a livable state and now that we are in here it’s already hard to remember how bad it once was, and we aren’t even close to being done!

Brace yourselves, guys!

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The purple was purple. PURPLE. Now, I’m not afraid of color but after buying this house – I wanted everything to be neutral, a blank slate!
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Another view of the purple walls. Here you can see the entry way.

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One of the things I loved about this house is that it has a fireplace, albeit a dated one. The house was built in 1996 and there are quirks that totally reveal it’s age. This fireplace, the niche above it (and the one in the entryway), plus brass and gold fixtures to name a few.

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Here’s a view of the kitchen. This is about it. On the wall that you can’t see which would be to the right of this photo is the pantry, fridge, and another set of cabinets and a small countertop. It’s not a big space and it felt very closed off from the rest of the house.
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Here you can see what I called the drive thru window. This cut out over the sink that opens to the living room is a wannabe breakfast bar but really it’s just way awkward.

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And hello, the laundry room (can you call it that? Or should we go with laundry closet?) is basically in the kitchen. This was probably the biggest con for me. I’ve always had a dedicated laundry room. I’m looking for some ideas and tips to make this small space functional. Florida House-20

The crazy color selections don’t just stop at the purple living room – this bedroom was an orangey pink.

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And the master – oh the master was crimson red and gold.

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And then there’s this gem, the flower power wallpaper in the bathroom. I can’t even.

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Literally the day we closed on the house I brought over eight samples of neutral paint so we could get started.

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I ended up choosing the color Crisp Linen, a Behr color on their Marquee line. It’s a warm neutral that would be considered a “griege.” I absolutely love it – it completely brightens the space.
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Other than painting, my other priority was to open the kitchen up a bit more. Having two small kids – I need to be able to see what’s going on in the living room while I’m preparing meals in the kitchen. Besides that, the drive thru window drove me batty. Florida House-17

Opening the kitchen completely was out of our budget, but we are still opening it up. I can’t wait to share more about that later!

That gives you a pretty glimpse at the before project. I have an incredibly long wishlist for this house but we are taking it one day at a time. I can’t wait to share!

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  1. Congratulations on the new home. Love your paint color and looks like you have great bones to work with. So exciting and can’t wait to follow along.

  2. I can’t wait to see what you folks do with your home Chelsea! It’s a huge undertaking, but I know you will handle it with grace and good taste!

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Also, Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow that wallpaper! Can’t wait to see what you do with the place! 🙂

  4. Loved your “I can’t even.” regarding the flowery wallpapered bathroom! If only I had before pictures of *my* bathroom when we first got our house — you would be apologizing for complaining about yours! 😀 I mean, it was BAD! Avocado green everything. I can’t say anything else — the memory is still too jarring! 😀

    1. haha!! So funny! We went on a walk last night around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights – one of our neighbors had their blinds open and I could see the offensive wallpaper in their house too – so apparently it wasn’t just one person’s bad idea – it was probably an “upgrade” from the builder! YIKES!

  5. So excited to see how you transform this space! My husband and I just had our offer accepted on a house here in Jax too!! It’s our first home & I’m so happy to have a space to decorate to my liking finally.

    But oh boy looking at these pictures I can just feel the outdated Florida-ness of the home. I feel like most of the houses here (minus the big, beautiful, millon $ ones) are soooo 90’s builder grade models. Thank goodness for bloggers who see the potential in ’em 😉

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