Tags: before and after

Before and After Photos of Our Yard

Before, in 2009.


After.  Look how the tree grew!


We purchased our house as a short sale, so the yard wasn’t in the best condition.  When the previous owners realized they’d be losing their home, I’m sure they weren’t that motivated to continue yard work.  That is understandable.  I want to share how the yard looked just prior to us moving in and how it looked later on.

You can click any photo for a closer look.

Overview from 2nd Story Window – Before

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Overview from 2nd Story Window – After

You’ll see a glimpse of some dirt in the grassy are on the left. That was always there as they had used that space for a fire pit. We have uncovered sprinkler system lines and planned to add soil and sod for a few hundred dollars. Just didn’t get a chance.

You may also be wondering what that long wall of dirt is.  It’s the canal that feeds all of AZ water.  It runs from Lake Havasu across our state.  It’s not pretty, but it means no houses will ever be built behind ours.

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Pool Area  – Before

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Pool Area – After

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Left Side Yard – Before

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Left Side Yard – After

Those are fruit trees – lemon, lime and tangelo.

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Back Corner – Before

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Back Corner – After

However, we wanted to take the grass out eventually and put a garden back there.  We didn’t get a chance.

Please ignore the ugly blanket over the freshly planted peach tree.  It’s no longer there.  That’s a pomegranate tree to the left of the blanket.

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Right Yard – Before

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Right Side – After

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Right Side Yard, Pool Equipment – Before

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Right Side Yard, Pool Equipment – After

We have not completed the pool equipment surround, but the estimate is pretty inexpensive at around $200.

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Other After Shots:




We did the following:
- We had a crew haul out a trailer full of weeds.  We’ve since tried to keep up and have pulled weeds weekly.
- We removed landscape lighting that wasn’t attached to a power source and had cords all over.
- We redid a lot of the sprinkler lines.
- We seeded grass.
- We removed 35 plants and 2 trees.
- We planted 36 new plants.
- We moved a ceiling fan.
- We added patio furniture.
- We cleaned up a lot of debris.
- We sprayed lots of weeds.
- We fertilized all plants.
- We buried sprinkler lines that had not been buried.
- We put together two containers for pool equipment and toys.
- We trimmed plants and trees.
- We took down a dead tree.
- We replaced the pool pump and salt water system.
- We replaced the sprinkler valves.
- And we brought in 36 tons of rocks for ground covering between grassy areas.

Whew!  Lots of hard work inside and out in the last two years.  Hope you enjoyed the before and after tour of our yard.

We’re gonna miss this place.  I don’t know if you are familiar with Phoenix real estate, but most yards are extreme small at maybe 6,000-9,000 sq ft.  Our yard is 16,708 (.38 acres) and it has privacy.  That is very very difficult to find here.  I think it’s a big reason it sold quickly.  We are so thrilled to be under contract after just a few days.


Before and After Photos of Our Home

As you may have seen in the two previous posts, our home in Phoenix is for sale right now.  My husband has a job offer in Austin, TX.


Our heads are spinning with sorting through various offers on our home right now.  We hope to be under contract later today and in Austin just before Christmas.

A few agents that came through commented on how different the house looked from when it was on the MLS two years ago (when we purchased it).   So, I thought it may be fun to show you some before and after photos of various rooms and soon, of the yard.  We bought this home as a short sale, so keep that in mind.

So here we go with a long post – more of my house seen here than ever before.  Not all photos are of good quality.  Most before photos were taken pre-blog as we were looking at the house so we could remember what we saw.

I have many photos of some rooms and only one of other rooms.  Bear with me.

Kitchen – Before

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Kitchen – After



Family Room – Before

These photos may also help you see how the rooms connect.

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Family Room – After



Media Room – Before

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Media Room – After



Laundry Room – Before

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Laundry Room – After

I kind of stopped in the middle of the design plan due to the sudden listing of our home.  So, I decided not to add the benches, chandelier, carpet runner, or mirrors.



Bedroom – Before


We don’t have an after of this room.  It’s just a workout room with a treadmill and such.  It has not been decorated.

Craft Room/ Studio – Before

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Craft Room/ Studio – After



Master Bedroom – Before


Master Bedroom – After

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Office – Before

That’s our agent…


Office – After




I don’t have photos of the guest room handy, but it was an office and is now a guest room downstairs.  Otherwise, that is most everything but the other two bathrooms.

Hope you enjoyed the walk down memory lane.

Love Chairs, But A Little Freaked Out

I love a good bargain but after seeing this recent episode of The Big Bang Theory (not my show, but my husband likes it), I think I may be staying away from any side of the road finds.


See that red chair?

Penny (the blonde) found this used chair on the side of the street and loved it and brought it up to her apartment.  Come to find out, later in the episode, there was something alive in the chair.  They imply a mouse.  You can see it moving around!  They ran screaming.  I would too.

It left me a little disturbed.

Perhaps you have a junk chair that you are ready to throw out, though (not pick up)?   Before you do, take a look at these chair redos.

Adding new paint and fabric to a chair is one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to spruce up décor.  Even if you aren’t ready to reupholster a wingback, recovering the seat of a dining chair is no big deal!

(Images link to sources.)

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I love seeing these before and afters.  Makes me want to raid my house for a chair to redo.  Have you redone a chair?   Before you throw one out, consider what paint and fabric can do to revive it!

If you do bring something old into your house, please be sure to inspect it well and maybe even fumigate it.  :)


All in One Spot – Painted Upholstery

*NOTE:  Since this post, I’ve compiled a bunch of painted chairs on this page and it’s a much better reference.

I thought I’d put most of my examples of painted upholstery in one post to make it a little easier on you all.

A few months ago, I painted the upholstery on a chair.  It was a move I made after realizing how much it would cost to recover my Craigslist find (plus I wasn’t finding the perfect fabric).  So, instead, to get the exact color I wanted, I just painted the fabric.  I know, crazy.

Here it is before and after. You can find a full tutorial on my blog. I also painted the legs and added a little nail head trim for some bling.


It went well, so I painted a second chair in my home.  The one above lives in my master bedroom, but the second one, below, lives in my studio/ craft room.  This time, I used acrylic only instead of latex and acrylic like in the first one.


They are indeed harder (like painted canvas) than they were prior to painting them, but since we use them lightly, it was no big deal to us.  Plus they were both Craigslist finds.

After posting the tutorial, readers began to try the technique.  In this economy, it sure does help save some money!  Here are some of their ventures.  The good and the bad!

The famous Young House Love tried it on some chairs, but didn’t have a great experience.  They found it to be too thick.  However, I kind of like them.  Perhaps she didn’twater down the paint enough (meaning maybe even a little more than I say in the tutorial).  That is key.  In the end, she slip covered the chairs and they look fabulous!

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Then, another oops, we had the hilarious Jane from Jane’s Junk and Treasures try it.  She didn’t read the directions and just started painting a stool she found at Goodwill with latex paint.  Didn’t go so well.


Now that we’ve seen the bad and ugly, let’s talk about the successes.

It worked well for Lindsay at Sadie and Stella.  I love her color choice.


How about the awesome pink chair that Anneke from Rustic Chic painted?


Or, the chair that Emily at Crisp Interiors painted?


Then there is this dreamy chaise that the girls at Me and Jilly painted.


What did it look like before?


I know, can you even believe it?

And, the most recent is this one from Penny for Penny.

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There are a few others on my blog if you visit the tutorial link (they are linked at the bottom).

What about others who have tried different painting techniques?  Remember how I said Jane just slathered on the paint?  Well, so did these girls at Fine and Handy.  They were just painting this sofa to have as a prop at a birthday party, so it wasn’t a huge deal to them.


What color was it before?  Green!


And, most recently, I found a vinyl sofa, on Johnny in a Dress, that a girl spray painted.


Before painting it, it was black!


Many ask about dying fabric.  I’ve only ever dyed a shirt and it didn’t go well for me, but in the end, Young House Love dyed slip covers for their chairs and it worked for them.

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And, this lady sprayed Rit Dye on her chair.  Here it is before and after.

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I personally chose the paint route due to the color selection.  I could pick any color I wanted whereas spray paint and dye are very limited with colors.

That ends our journey through examples of painted and dyed upholstery.  You can follow each link to find out more about the techniques used.  I hope you enjoyed it!  It’s the first time that I’ve put them all on one post on my blog!

Let me know if you try any of the techniques!


Meet My Family Room

My family room has been done for about a year.  I’m always tweaking it and I change the furniture layout for Christmas, but here is how it is currently.  Since it is a room I have not yet blogged about, I thought I’d introduce you!  I’ve been a little nervous about posting it as it’s sort of a love it or hate it room.  A bit controversial or so it seems.  Hope you like it!

These photos are taken with my new camera!  I hope you can see an improvement in image quality. I’ve been adding new images to the tour page.  I still have my master bedroom to go.






We took a chance with the bold zebra rug, but it does add a certain whimsical touch and additional pattern.  The hubs doesn’t like it, but we can easily change it out in a year or two when we tire of this design.  Good thing is, it was just from Wal-Mart, so not too pricey.

The sofa is custom from Bassett Furniture.
The chairs are outdoor chairs from Lowe’s.
The old chest in the corner is a Craigslist find.
The mirror hanging on the wall is from IKEA.
The painting is from Pier 1, but I altered it by painting over the original colors.

What did it look like just before we moved in?


And now.


Hope you enjoyed the tour!   These images are now added to my Home Tour page.

This is your last chance to enter the stencil giveaway, so if you haven’t entered, please take a few minutes to do it now.  Drawing is tonight at 6pm PST.

Next week will be a RamSign giveaway for house numbers!


Studio/ Craft Room Reveal!


And in case it’s hard to remember what it looked like when I started, here it is before.

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More after photos are below.  The transformation included a few diy projects.  For instance, I made drop cloth curtains, divided a pillow in half, made art (on top of the book shelf), printable art, made coasters, made flowers for magnets, made magnet boards, painted a letter “K” to look metal, painted a peg board and painted upholstery on a second chair.




I painted the art on the bookshelf to mimic the chevron pattern in the rug.


Below are flowers that act as magnets for the two metal magnet boards that flank the subway art.  I made the two rolled ones and the two fluffy ones.


And, paint chips hung on the peg board serve as a backdrop for vintage keys. These were gifted to me from Emily at Ashbury Lane.  She is having a 25% off sale right now.  Be sure to visit her Etsy shop.

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Printable art that I made meets you at the entrance and sets the tone of the room.

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Hope you enjoyed the reveal!  I’ve enjoyed working in the room already.


Update 8/27/11:  For a tour of other rooms, see the Home Tour page.

Office Reveal (Glimpse) and Where You Can Find More!

I have not ever posted photos of our office on here other than a tiny little sneak peek on this giveaway post.   Well, I’ve decided that I’m ready to share our office with my readers.

This is the first room that I’ve revealed without talking about progress along the way or the plan. That is because it was “completed” just before I started blogging three months ago.

Here it is!   I’m giving you a taste here, but for more info, you’ll have to check out my guest post on Primitive and Proper.  You will find a complete tour there.



How was it before?  Don’t we all love a good before and after.

Well, it was really just an empty white room.  Here is the very start of the room, after we painted the walls and hung curtains.

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To find out a lot more about what we did and see many more photos of the room, check out my guest post today on Primitive and Proper!  (You can also see a photo of my hubby there.)

I am so excited that Cassie asked me to share there with you all and her readers!


The Big Master Bedroom Reveal!


The previous owners had the master bedroom like this.  (Keep scrolling down for the actual reveal.  Look for “The Big Reveal” graphic.)

master before

Then, we painted and threw our stuff in.

Warning: I know, the carpet in my master is terrible.  But, it came with the house.  And, we hope to replace it.  For this reason, I am not decorating around this carpet color.  So, do your best to ignore it for now. 

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Even without the lamps and with curtains, it still wasn’t right.


Very little attention was given to the room.  It was blah.  Just a thrown together mess.  Very incomplete.  It needed some attention and thoughtful design.

So, I started by making a story board that would set the tone and serve as a visual guide for the process.

We based the room off of this story board.


We painted a wing back chair from Craigslist, made some art, bought pillows, bedding, chandeliers, a sofa, cow skin rug, a bench, painted a table from Craigslist, tweaked the plan a couple of times….

And now…

Here it is finished!  (I apologize if lighting and color is off.)


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Hope you enjoyed it!   We are happy to have a finished room to rest in.

Note:  More on this room via a guest post at Sadie and Stella, about the process and the floor plan – why I chose what I chose and how it all came about.

Update 7/21/11:  For more updated photos see our home Tour.