March After Party!

Hi friends!  Welcome to the third month of Before and After Parties, where you can link up an idea for a project on the first Friday of each month, and then post how you’ve progressed on the last Friday.

Even if you didn’t link up a “before” at the beginning of the month, you’re more than welcome to share any before and after – a home improvement project, health plan, attempt to learn a new skill – whatever goes here at Shine Your Light!  (Speaking of which, a shout out to one of my fave peeps on the planet, Suzanne, who is training for a half marathon – and per her training plan is running 6 miles this very morn!  You rock, Sue!)


I am so looking forward to seeing how projects you’ve been working on have progressed!!  Link on up at the end of this post, or if you don’t have a blog, send me photos or email me about your before & after and I’ll share on Before & After Fridays!

My project for the month of March was to help my mom get her house ready to put on the market.  As I have mentioned, most of the house has been renovated with the exception of the lower level, which consists of a family room, bedroom/office, laundry room, bathroom and unfinished space.  The whole kit and kaboodle was covered in sa-weeeeet carpet installed in 1973 and the obligatory 70s wood paneling.  Mom moved here 8 years ago, and while we had plans to renovate it, it’s just been used for storage.  Mementos from raising 4 kids – trophies and school papers and baby outfits – filled boxes down here.

But oh – the potential!

It’s a beauty, isn’t it??

One day when I couldn’t get over to the “worksite” until later in the day, my awesome niece Angela came to my mom’s on her day off from her job as a dental hygienist (hence the pink mask!) and singlehandedly tore out all the carpet.    The underlayment for the carpet was a kind of rubberized cement that Ang scraped by herself.  It was hideously dusty, messy and gross and she got the whole thing done – the best surprise ever when I arrived on the scene!

**Thanks Ang!  You’re the best!!**

Mom bought this house at the height of the market and has already poured a lot of money into renovating the upstairs, so we decided to NOT spend a lot of money down here.  That being said, I wanted this makeover to be something that I would live in with my family – a well-finished, bright space that would appeal to a young family or empty nesters.

With the budget in mind (and also the popularity of planked walls right now!) we primed and painted the existing wood paneling and trim.

What a difference with the gross carpet gone!  It doesn’t hurt that these rooms are street-level and get tons of light.  Some of the dropped ceiling tiles still need to be replaced, but here we are so far.

Keep in mind the carpet has yet to be installed – and after that – the fun part of staging the space will begin!!

This little stove is going to get pulled out.  We decided to keep the mantle’s wood tone for a little contrast and I’m so glad we did.  There is a similar fireplace upstairs with the mantle painted all white so I really wanted to do something different down here.

Wouldn’t this family room look great with a big white slipcovered sectional, a flatscreen tv and a gallery wall of photos??

This little alcove would make a great play space.  I can’t wait to stage it for resale – I already have my kids’ play table waiting in the garage!

On to the bedroom/office.  It’s technically not a bedroom because there is no closet in this room, but it’s the perfect guest room or home office.  
Before…..

…and after – bright and cheerful.

See – wood paneling doesn’t have to be the end of the world when you are looking to buy a house!  I really think it adds some architectural detail to a space.  Did you happen to see where Shaunna at Perfectly Imperfect actually bought wood paneling and painted it for one wall in her beautiful dining room???  You must check it out!! – paneling is BACK, baby!!

In the unfinished space – the laundry room before (this reminds me of so many older houses Mark & I looked at when we were house hunting.  GAAAH – gross – depressing – cobwebby!!!)

Those crutches??  They are – I kid you not – something like 25 years old.  My mom brought them from her last house “just in case”.  Buh-bye.

The cement floor in the garage, laundry room and unfinished space had been painted many moons ago by the previous owners.  I gave the interior floors all a fresh coat of springy green flooring paint.  WHAT a difference this made!!!

Laundry room after – so far!!  

This is the little bathroom in the unfinished space.  The wallpaper was actually kind of cute, but falling off the walls.  This space is in the midst of getting refreshed too.

So that’s where I’m at with Mom’s Extreme Makeover!  Can you believe what a difference a little paint and a whole lot of elbow grease can make???

After the carpet is installed, we’re going to stage the family room and bedroom, which will be so much fun – I’ll be sure to share with you!

Thank you for all your kind comments on the progression of this space, and the treasures I shared with you yesterday!  This has been one of the most gratifying makeovers I have worked on and I hope it can encourage others who have similar outdated homes to breathe new life into a space with a little paint and creativity.

Okay, you!  Time to link up!  Let’s see your before and afters, my friends!!
And while you’re at it, head on over to Evolutions of Style to link up how one of your spaces has evolved!

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