The “Before” Pictures

We moved into this suburban split level just over six years ago. In that time, we pulled down the wallpaper in most, but not all, of the rooms. We did some “unfun” renovations — a new roof, a retaining wall, a boiler. But we haven’t had the time or the money to do much beyond those “unfun” but necessary renovations. We are still using furniture that was hauled off the street when we were grad students. Other pieces are hand-me downs. The kitchen table was once in my grandparents’ Bronx apartment.

Next month, we’re doing fun renovations – an entirely new kitchen and a revamped family room. Here are the “before” pictures. I have a video that I’m posting on Instagram. Click on the image in the sidebar.


11 thoughts on “The “Before” Pictures

  1. Woo-hoo! Before pictures! Renovation in sight! The timing is quite uncanny because I was just looking (a few minutes ago) at the before and after photos of the renovations of our split level house in Philly (here if you’re curious). Wow, you’re definitely long overdue for a new kitchen! I can’t wait to see the “after” photos and I hope that it won’t be too horrible to be without a kitchen for a while. I’m very excited for you!!


  2. Looking forward to seeing your new kitchen. Our kitchen is in need of a refresh, but I lack imagination. We have multiple constraints on design, but seeing what happens in other spaces helps expand thinking about the possibilities.

    What countertops did you go with?


  3. Love those pictures, Lillian.

    We’re going with the “modern farmhouse” look, which is very generic and nice. All I care about is light, because this kitchen is so dark. Everything in the new kitchen will be very, very white. On the fence between the faux-marble granite and the black granite. We’ll decide at the last minute.


    1. What about flooring?

      We’ve had tile kitchen flooring since we moved in and have gotten heartily sick of almost everything (including Corelle and plastic baby dishes) shattering on contact with the floor.

      We’re going to go with something a bit more forgiving when we finally renovate, although the tile was nice when we got flooded a few years ago.


      1. We have hard wood floors in the kitchen. They look a bit beat-up after thirty years, but not bad enough that I wish we had tile. It’s the older kind of wood that isn’t so glossy, not the new kind where they put on the finish at the factory before the floor is installed.


      2. Tile gets better as the kids get older, fewer things drop to the floor. My mother says it was a golden moment when she realized that it had been over a week since one of us dropped something on the floor…


      3. O, the incorrigibly middle-class (which is my wife and I) stick with linoleum for kitchen floors. Easy on the feet and back, easy on the dishes that you drop. With the money you save, buy a Tiffany centerpiece or something.


    2. We also have wooden floors, and they look pretty beat up. Our kitchen is completely connected to the main living areas so our options have to work with the living room and other areas, and thus, choices like linoleum don’t work.

      We have dark granite countertops and they have been delightfully durable. We are not good at upkeep, and the granite has stood up to us.


  4. bj said,

    “We also have wooden floors, and they look pretty beat up. Our kitchen is completely connected to the main living areas so our options have to work with the living room and other areas, and thus, choices like linoleum don’t work.”


    Yeah, we also have the problem of an open floor plan and needing different functionality in connected spaces.

    We also discovered, much to our dismay, that the flooring I had always assumed was solid hardwood was actually a thin ply of hardwood over random wood product. We found this out when it got wet and curled up. Looking on the bright side, now I will feel less bad about replacing it.


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