A Small Home: Before Pictures of Our New House

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Living Room

Living room from the front door

Ok ya’ll, so this is it. The interior before pictures. In all their glory. Since the pictures are pretty low-quality phone pictures, I must admit, the house doesn’t look that bad. But let me assure you, this was and still is one fixer-upper. Let’s point out some of the fun issues going on, shall we?!

In the photo above, you can see why I fell in love with the place. The wood floors and that cute archway to the kitchen. Plus, the housing market in Asheville is insanely competitive and this is the only house we saw in our price range that wasn’t falling off a mountain. Not even kidding. Well, low and behold, we’ve had to demolish the archway and refinish the floors. It’s a long story for another time, but let me just say that character isn’t always charming.

Anyways, in the first photo you can also see the textured ceiling and if you look carefully, you can also see that the ceiling bows a bit. Both problems. What you also can’t see in these photos is what poor shape the drywall was in. This house was a rental for many years and poor drywall patch jobs, coupled with a teething dog, didn’t do it any favors.

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Living Room Facing Street

Living room looking towards the street

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Kitchen

The kitchen setup

If you walk straight through the living room, you’ll end up in the kitchen. The kitchen and the bathroom were the worst rooms in the house. The kitchen had linoleum that was so worn you could see the subfloor and the cabinets had holes where mice had eaten through. I wish I was kidding.

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Kitchen Left Side

The left side of the kitchen (and a little Bambi butt!)

Also I’m pretty sure the landlord just went to Habitat for Humanity, said “Ok, this cabinet looks good” and threw a bunch of rando cabinets together to form some semblance of a kitchen.

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink and the washer hookups

This house was built in 1953, so I didn’t expect a separate space or closet for the washer/dryer, but it’s bizarre to me that the washer is on one side of the kitchen and the dryer is on the other.

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Kitchen View through Office

The view of the kitchen from the office

Next up through the kitchen is what most people would use for a dining room, but what we are turning into an office. We didn’t know this at the time, but that room was closed in years after the house was built and was once (most likely) a sun room.

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Office

The side door in the office

You can see from the picture above that at one time the door in the office leaked and water ruined the door and the linoleum. (Not too sad about that.)

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Office Right Side

The other side of the office

The drywall was better in the office, but like the rest of the house, had an orange peel texture. (I actually don’t think the texture was intentional either. I think it was just multiple bad paint jobs.)

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Bathroom

Looking into the bathroom

If you walk back through the living room, to the right of the 1st photo, you’ll see the bathroom and a very small hallway. The bathroom had been redone over the years with again, probably random leftover tile and plasticy walls.

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Bathtub

The bathtub

The plastic surrounding the tub was unsightly to say the least and the wood around the window was completely rotten.

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Bathroom Sink

The bathroom sink

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Bathroom Storage

The storage in the bathroom

The sink and the bathroom storage were in ok shape, but pretty cheap in quality and lacking in style. (I’m all about restoring and keeping things to cut down cost, but there is no fixing ugly there.)

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Back Bedroom

The back bedroom

To the left of the bathroom is the back bedroom. Both bedrooms are the same size, but since we like a dark bedroom, I think we’ll make the back bedroom the “master.”

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Back Bedroom Closet

The back bedroom closet

The closets in both bedrooms had truly awful drywall patch jobs. I’m no drywall expert, but I’m 100% positive that I could have done a better job.

A Small Home: Before Pictures: Front Bedroom

The front bedroom

You can see from the photo above that there is a different type of ceiling in the bedrooms than in the rest of the house. Why? I have no idea.

There are so many things in this house that were just bad patch jobs over the years. There’s been a lot of unsexy and unforeseen problems as well. The house had almost no insulation and we needed a new roof. We knew both of those problems before we purchased the house, but in some ways this house has been the Neverending Problem. (Insert Neverending Story theme music here.)

I’ll talk more about our progress soon! So, what do you think? Are you scared for us? Are you pumped to see the after pictures? (I am!) Let me know what you think in the comments!

14 thoughts on “A Small Home: Before Pictures of Our New House

  1. Courtney L

    I love a fixer upper! My husband and I just moved into ours 5 months ago. Even though it feels like the projects never end, I love being able to look around and see all the progress we’ve made. I literally spent two weeks scraping wallpaper and painting our bedrooms and hallway. My arm went numb, no joke. Completely worth it because we saved money doing what we could ourselves and hired out the really important jobs. I think your new home is awesome and I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

    1. melanie Post author

      Wow Courtney! That is amazing! Yeah, we’ve had to hire out certain things– electrical, drywall etc. But we did all the demo ourselves and I must say that my body can feel it! Oh well. It’s a workout, right?

  2. Lindsay

    I’m excited for you guys! I imagine that fixing up the house will be a ton of work, but I am sure that you will love it. After seeing your Airstream and van renovations, I know your home will look great!

  3. amstincan

    I think it’s so exciting! I’ve seen your skills with your previous living and traveling space so I’m sure you will be up to the task of this new place. I cannot wait to see more of this journey.

  4. Kristen

    Haha I laughed out loud while you described the strange placement of the washer and dryer, and the random ceiling differences. The house may not be a flawless clone-home, but I think overall it looks very beautiful from the photos and I don’t think it will take an insane amount of work to fix the things you’d like to change. Very excited for you and can’t wait to see the after pictures!

    1. melanie Post author

      Aww thanks Kristen. Unfortunately it’s been much more work than we’ve anticipated! Almost a complete gut-job, but we’re putting it back together and we know now that it will be more structurally sound.

  5. Stacey

    I’m so excited for you! Following your dreams. You are such an inspiration you don’t even know. My husband and I have started looking at 900 square foot fixer uppers recently and hope to purchase one in about a month.


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