Carol’s Restored Vintage Charmer
Psst — Carol’s house is currently on the market! Read below to see the fabulous work she has done and then click through to see the listing.
It’s a rare treat when we get to track the progress of a home renovation from beginning to end. We were thrilled when Carol welcomed us into her home two years ago to see the work she was just beginning. Now we’re excited to show you what she has accomplished over the past two years.
You can read the entire before story, but in a nutshell, here was the house when Carol purchased it. The yard was so overgrown, the neighbors had complained the uninhabited house was leading to criminal activity on the street.
After a massive yard clean-up, we could finally see the house.
Today, it has a new roof and trees are starting to fill in some color.
Two years ago, the side yard was also cleared and graded.
And today it’s home to trees, shrubs and a healthy green blanket of grass in the backyard.
Inside, the walls were in bad shape, the electrical needed upgrading and layers of paint were hiding beautiful wood finishes.
Carol refinished the floors, stripped the paint off the radiators and refreshed the space into a gorgeous and comfortable retreat filled with a mix of modern, antique and refurbished pieces.
Carol has a wealth of knowledge about design and knows quality pieces when she sees them.
On the main floor, she also turned a closet into a half bath. Note the chalkboard paint on the walls and the teeny-tiny sink which enabled her to fit in a standard toilet.
Here are the stairs two years ago with worn floors and damaged walls.
After paint and window treatments, this corner is a welcome spot for the afternoon sun. Carol’s tip for getting blinds to fit any size window — purchase inexpensive blinds from any hardware store like Lowe’s or the Home Depot, cover the ends with painter’s tape and cut for a clean edge and a custom look.
The three upstairs bedrooms were also in sad shape with large chunks of ceiling about to collapse at any moment.
Carol repaired the ceilings and damaged walls, stripped paint off the windows and refinished the floors. (Here’s Leslie’s daughter Nadja two years ago helping with the clean-up.)
And the top floor today with gleaming hardwood floors, calm cream-colored walls, and Carol’s signature decorating style mixing old and new.
This before shot of the bathroom may have scared off potential buyers two years ago, but not Carol.
She gutted the space, but kept the original medicine cabinets.
The transformation is nothing short of amazing, and budget-friendly too. Carol purchased many of the materials for this renovation not at designer home stores, but at salvage stores including Community Forklift and Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and off Craig’s List. You’d be surprised by the amount and quality of building supplies you can find for very little money if you spend the time to scope them out.
Carol also wanted refurbished pieces to look authentic. After a contractor broke one of the original mirrors, Carol made sure to find a replacement of the same age and patina.
If you look at the before pictures, you’ll see that the radiators had previously been all white.
Today, they are a dark (paint-free) grey. Carol didn’t replace the radiators, she went through the time-consuming process of stripping them. The benefit? If you ever cover them with a grate, the light color will never show. Plus, look how great they look in that original hue. Just like new.
She also took the time to strip the old paint off the exterior wall that now houses the laundry room. The wood may look rough in these photos but it’s buttery smooth. The washer and dryer are new to the house. She did the install herself with some advice from a plumber.
Throughout the house, Carol’s talent shines. I wouldn’t have known by looking at this fabulous needlepoint upholstered footstool that she did this herself. It’s absolutely stunning.
A slightly easier project, but no less impressive, she covered plain metal trashcans with fabric and decorative trim using Mod Podge for a sophisticated look.
The front porch is also covered with projects such as the white wicker table in the foreground which she plans to paint.
And I’m sure after she strips, sands and refinishes this neglected table, like everything else in this home, it will be a gem as well.
Thank you Carol for letting us follow the transformation of this house!