Foreclosure Before and Afters- Part Two

Oh the health saga continues in so many ways and although I don’t feel beaten its been discouraging the last few weeks. More setbacks, more mysteries. I’ve decided to lighten up the blog a bit and post some superficial fun because who wants to talk about my GI appointment this week or my upcoming colonoscopy (gulp)? BOOOOOORING!! I mean really…if there’s one thing I like to do it’s keep my life lively and I can’t think of a better way to spice up my routine then a little rooting around in the place you want no one to see. So we will journey forward into the unknown and keep praying the Lord will surface my “team”. The ones that will help me figure out this mystery and link arms with me forward to healing and better quality of life. In the mean time I’ve been killing it in the kitchen making tasty, TASTY din dins and feeling so encouraged that I can truly cook in a new way and get “most” of my family to partake in my creations. Most of my family…

Anywhoo…. let’s take a looky loo at a few more rooms we’ve been working on. The process never really ends but it’s fun to see where we are at in the meantime!

For those of you just joining us the punchline is that Ryan and I bought up a disgusting foreclosure out in the country a hair over two years ago (Read smoke smell you could chew and pet urine soaked into the hardwoods and floors and just your basic filth) We could never have afforded the house or the land if it wasn’t in this shape and we fell hard for this “fixer upper”. We had 10 days to make it liveable and then moved in EXACTLY two years ago TODAY!!!! We continue to plug away at projects and decorating as money and time allow. It’s mostly fun.

Let’s start out with our master bedroom. This was one of the few rooms that wasn’t in horrible condition. Sure it smelled like the inside of an ashtray but the floors didn’t have urine on them so we were already doing better than the rest of the house! The parquet floors were not sealed and were dull and dirty. We decided we would just pull them up and carpet the room….BUT….our amazing floor guys took it upon themselves to refinish them while they were refinishing the hardwoods. When we came back to see the house we were in love with how they came out and cancelled the carpet!

My awesome dad and husband put up the paneling behind the bed last year as I was so frustrated with having to decorate all the big walls. Large expanses of wall are tough!!! We moved the bed from between the windows and put it on the far side of the room and I LOVED it. Exactly what the room needed. I know not everyone would paint a room in apricot but I find the room so soothing and it compliments the parquet floors really well. Also this room is tough to photograph!!






My crazy talented friend, Candace, crocheted that HUGE ripple blanket for me for a house warming gift. I mean that’s a king size bed…that blanket took more hours than I can imagine. Gosh I’m loved!!!



And some details….
I sold my original bedroom suite a few months after we moved in because I was ready for a change after 10 years and my heart was being lulled into the “grays”. The headboard was a goodwill redo by my girl Nikki at Funky Junk Shop for $100, the long buffet was a redo by one of my dearest friends and mega talents Sarah and Nathan Torrence at 508 Restoration and Design and the chevron dresser is another Funky Junk Shop Goodwill salvage. I sold my bedroom set for $800 and I collected these pieces over a few years for $700. That’s my greatest secret. I don’t cough up money if I don’t have to. I sell off what I am sick of and I use the money to buy what I want. Some people buy a bed and 30 years later they still have it. Good on them. I love change but I don’t have the money to buy new stuff so I sell and reinvest. Heck…I made money off this one!!








Ryan works at this incredible leather company as their photographer and web designer. Over the years we have gotten some SWEET deals like this massive hide for our rug and that gold leather poof in the corner ($25…no lie!). BUT…you are literally looking at the most expensive piece of furniture in our house. Ryan WON that buttery blue ottoman at the Christmas party raffle this year. WON it!!! I won’t even tell you what it’s worth. I honestly don’t know what to do with it. It’s too nice for our house and three sticky handed children so it’s in our room for now.

I wish you could smell it and rub your face on it. I may do this more than I should.


Want to hear the most obnoxious part? I make my bed first thing in the morning…ERRRRRRRRY day. I know, I know…so annoying but I can’t help myself. Takes less than 60 seconds and the room instantly looks picked up. I blame my mom.

We have a bathroom off our bedroom. It has an odd shape to it. They must have gotten some sort of deal black granite squares because they slapped those babies down on the kitchen counter and both bathroom counters. I hate them. This bathroom has no windows and to put brown floors and black counters is just DUMB. The light over the toilet is like a horror movie light (still haven’t changed it) It slowly flickers to life and has the most unflattering shade of yellow it casts. Baby steps to renovating.



Got that sink and faucet for $30 at Habitat for Humanity store, painted the walls a pale gray, painted the cabinets are charcoal gray, new knobs, painted the mirror, new lights on that half of the bathroom and decor. Would love to rip up the floor next and put down white tiles. That will greatly improve the closed in feel and look so much cleaner.




I was so excited to have a main level laundry room after going down in a 100 year old basement in our last house. Do you know what a camel cricket is? Just picture a demon reincarnated and then you have a good mental image of my arch nemesis. I can switch out a load of laundry in 10 seconds flat and book it back up the stairs to safety before the demon bugs drag me into their lair.

In this house you have to cut through the laundry room to get to our basement where guests stay and the play room. We don’t have any fancy pants washer/dryers yet and the cheap stock cabinets are not our style so paint, paint and more paint to the rescue. It’s amazing what a few hours and a little bit of paint can do.








Pending projects are take the second curtain and sew a ironing board cover (probably never gonna happen but one can dream) and pull up the linoleum and tile the floor and replace that cheap laminate counter with something nicer.

The last room I am showing this post is Chloe’s room upstairs. We have been piecing together the “story” of this home from neighbors. We know that eight people lived here, five dogs and numerous cats. Most everyone must have smoked. Clearly, no one lifted a finger to clean. In two years they lived here they ran this house down. The bank “neutralized” the walls with one shotty coat of white paint but that was putting lipstick on a pig.

The carpets upstairs had GIGANTIC pet urine stains that went down into the subfloor. You only got half way up the staircase before you had to pull your shirt up over your nose so you didn’t gag on the intoxicating aroma of smoke and urine tantalizing your nostrils. I was so nervous about us truly getting the smell out. I am hyper sensitive to smell and I didn’t want to be known as the “stinky house”. Cross your fingers.

Our friend Brad volunteered to work with Ryan doing the ungodly task of ripping out those foul beast carpets and dragging them outside. They were cast into the Lake of Fire to burn for all eternity OR we just brought them to the dump. Either way….I felt horrible watching them wrangle and fold and carry down those carpets just inches from their faces. It ain’t right.






See that slightly black film across the carpet? That’s spray paint! We found out they spray painted the walls BLACK. BLACK!!! Who are these people? We died laughing when this old country plumber showed up at the house while we were working on it to fix the sink. He had been in the house when the previous owners lived there and told us in his amazingly slow country drawl that, “Them gothics were living all up in here. A black room and no lightbulbs.” We haven’t unearthed any pentagrams yet so I think we are cool.

Well we swung this room in the other direction to extra girly with some sugar on top. This was destined to be Chloe’s princess room. That window and the best view in the house called out to her! She wanted a pink room but all I could picture was obnoxious Barbie pink. Then my friend Sarah showed me Martha Stewart “Ballet Slipper” pink which is a muted pinky/peach color that was more cottage than little girl. I love it!

Our friends Adam and Sabrena were on pink duty.

bibidy bobidy boo….







After multiple layers of KILLZ the subfloors were sealed, new carpet laid and we officially slayed the urine beast. No one would EVER guess that this house had been violated by pets. Praise Jesus. It worked.

So there you have it. Four more rooms about completed!!!

SO I have to end this post by asking a question and hoping you will leave an answer in the comments.

I’ve been asked to speak at our church next month for a little mini workshop on “Creating beauty in your home”. I am not a professional decorator by any means and I was clear that I didn’t want it to be a “how to” or just a bunch of tips. Decorating is so extremely subjective and my style isn’t your style. I wanted to focus on the heart of the home and the attitude of using our home for God’s glory to bless others. So I ask you this question. “What do believe it means to create beauty in your home?” Your answers may be used in my workshop and also help me understand how people view their homes. Whether hospitality or decorating is your gift….we all have a roof over our heads. How do you view it and how do you use it? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer!

Happy July!

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9 Comments on Foreclosure Before and Afters- Part Two

  1. Rachel
    July 1, 2014 at 10:00 am (5 years ago)

    Your home looks great! It’s amazing what you guys have done with it. I need you to take me thrifting sometime and teach me your ways, O Wise One!

    I think creating beauty in your home is about putting together a relaxing, love-filled space that makes you happy when you walk into it. It’s not beautiful because it looks like a show home, but because a real family lives and loves there.

  2. kristin partin
    July 1, 2014 at 11:43 am (5 years ago)

    OH. I’m bad at reading. reading is hard. I look at the pictures and then I move on…..I am so sorry for skipping that!!! I am dyslexic so i’ll blame it on that. 😉

    oh man. What a good question! I am so passionate about that because I’m such a ‘this reminds me of this’ person. Everything from music to smells reminds me of something sweet and some kind of memory. Creating beauty in your home is so easy when you are loving and giving everyday. The entire reason we were created was to give praise to our Heavenly Father and to honor Him with our life…and what better way to do that than to create a home that is a safe zone…a comfort and a place to rejuvenate you. One of my favorite home books is called “The Nesting Place” by Myquillyn Smith and something she says inside is “As women, we ache to believe that real beauty can be found in the midst of imperfection. We are crying out for permission to lower our standards. Let yourself know : permission granted”

    she hit the nail on the head. creating beauty is remembering that in that one spot, your dog ran around the island fully bubbled escaped from the bathtub. or…in that spot, you laughed around the table for hours playing apples to apples. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and beauty to me is warmth and memories. Your home giving back to you all that you put into it.

    That probably made no sense… was so much babbling. but I just really love my home and what it means to me! You are so amazing and I know you will do amazing speaking. If you haven’t read that book, go get yourself a copy!!! amazon 😉

  3. Kelly
    July 1, 2014 at 11:46 am (5 years ago)

    Kel!!!! I’m so excited to hear that you are speaking at church about creating beauty in your home! I can’t think of a better person to do so. You may think you’re meticulous or OCD about details, but I see it deeper than that. I see that you care about the environment you are in and that it’s in that space that you want others to experience the fullness of life – a glimpse into the heart of Jesus.. that is exactly what you and Ry have prayed for. The Lord has blessed that crazy beginning of home into this transformative (beautiful, I might add) restful haven. That’s what I think of creating beauty in a home. Something you pray for and invite others in to experience a place they can come and receive. That’s what I’ve been praying and trying to create for my new space. A place to inviting others in, to come and receive whatever it is they need – inspiration, love, a crying shoulder, a listening ear, prayer, encouragement…the list goes on!

    Praying for more blessings for you guys this year. XOXO

  4. Kaely
    July 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm (5 years ago)

    I love your blog and your style! I think aesthetics are important and being creative is important, because we are our creator God’s image bearers. When we create and design and restore, we get to be a glimpse of what God is like. Making old things new, making ugly things into beautiful things. Redemption and all that. Pretty cool.

    • Kelly
      July 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm (5 years ago)

      DING DING DING…nail on the head Kaely!!! “When we create and design and restore, we get to be a glimpse of what God is like. Making old things new, making ugly things into beautiful things. Redemption and all that.” Oh I love that so much and could not stop shaking my head YES!! I’m also so thrilled to see your name pop up. Boy did God weave our lives together in a unique way. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!!

  5. Julie
    July 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm (5 years ago)

    Wow! You guys really changed that place!

    (I know all too well about camel crickets! one time I had a dream one was 5 ft tall attacking me!!! Gross! )

    Since I used to be a professional organizer, my biggest thing is making sure your home makes you happy & not stressed. It should create peace & not anxiety. I used to speak on topics about clutter in our homes & how it clutter in our homes can cause “clutter in our thoughts”.

    I’m not saying our homes have to be perfect, but by only keeping what’s truly important in our home will in return make us less stressful & more happy.

    I struggle with not having my house exactly how I want it to be but time & money play an important role. My goal is to make sure my house is inviting & comfortable for others.

    • Kelly
      July 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm (5 years ago)

      Totally agree about keeping clutter to a minimum. Not perfect but having a reason for something to be out or visible. Thank you SO much for leaving a comment!

  6. Kristy
    July 3, 2014 at 9:59 am (5 years ago)

    I love what you’ve done and I love how you’ve put so much time and thought into your home. It is lovely and inviting.

    I think our home reflects our hearts for loving people. We could have the most beautiful, magazine perfect home but if it isn’t filled with love, it will feel cold. Do I love others enough to invite them into my everyday mess? And it’s the attitude you reflect as your guests are there, do you sit with them and listen or are you picking up after them? Are you willing to sit around the table with the dirty dishes and linger or do you immediately get up to clean off the table.

    Someone already mentioned “The Nesting Place”. Another book is “Bread and Wine” by Shauna Niequest. Those have both helped me to think how I view our home and how I view people coming into our home.

    • Kelly
      July 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm (5 years ago)

      YES! I love this Kristy and totally agree. I struggle greatly with not wanting to clean up immediately after dinner and have to fight my inner urges and monologue to sit and be present! Thank you for your input!


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