House Renovation: Before and After Photos

This was a fun post to put together and recap!  I loved looking back.

I mentioned recently that it’s been 2 years since I moved into my new/old house.  It’s been quite the 2 year journey, after getting settled in and past all the renovating we did in 6 months.  I moved in as soon as I could, but there were still plenty of projects left to do and still a few more I’m going to complete next year.

But, overall it is really amazing to see where the house started and where it is now, so I thought I’d do a recap post showing all my house renovation Before and After photos.  I haven’t done that yet and that’s always fun to see, right?  I love a good Before and After story and it’s quite impressive seeing it all in one post.

my house before

Exterior before.  I wrote a whole post about the house hunting process and when I go back to read it, it makes me excited all over again.  Boy, did we have a long journey ahead of us.  Here’s the post after we closed on the house.  I love going back and reading these posts and reliving it all over again.  God surely had this house picked out for me, no doubt about it!

house after

And new recent AFTER.  I am still so thrilled with my house and how far it’s come.


The new retaining wall that just went in this Fall.

Front Porch Before

The sad and pitiful front porch and entry way.  It was in dire need of help!


The new portico is my favorite exterior change by far.  This was built almost a year ago and with the addition of the paint and lighting, it is definitely a WOW factor now for my curb appeal.


Entry foyer Before.


AFTER:  Front door painted Annie Sloan Florence.



First day of taking Before pics right after we got the house.  Notice the door in that corner, which was the first thing taken out.  It went into the kitchen, but I didn’t need 2 entries into the kitchen.  I needed room for more cabinets in there, so we blocked that door off.  Best decision ever!

living room

The living room and the same corner as it looks now.  I’ve come a LONG way baby!


We can’t forget the Before shot of the fireplace, it’s a wall of rustic rock, screaming Hi, I’m from the 70’s!


Now after getting a new rustic mantel and adding white planks above, it’s a fireplace I can be proud of.


BEFORE:  Living room


In progress shot.

lr stairs

After:  Stairs

lr view from upstairs

AFTER: living room


Stairs Before and After.  That post shows how we did this step.


The stairs turned out just the way I hoped they would with the runner installed!


The dining room Before was just a boring little space, but I knew that it could look so much better.  The addition of the board and batten was one of the best things I did for this room.  My dad and I had so many projects like this to work on and I’m so glad we took the time to do it and didn’t just paint the room.


This dining room is another space that I’m so, so happy and proud of.




The kitchen was a gut job, there was no way around it.  I was happy to get the old roach infested cabinets out of there and deciding on Ikea cabinets was a no-brainer for me.  They were affordable and stylish and I have no regrets about my Ikea cabinet choice to this day.

kitchen sink wall

I had an installer install the cabinets, but my dad and I did the backsplash and it turned out amazing.

sink and faucet

I still adore my kitchen every single day and am so grateful to have it. I did a whole post about the cost breakdown of my Ikea kitchen if you want more info.


This view shows the old door from the living room and how much I gained by closing it off.

Kitchen full shot

Those lower drawers are so nice to have and I would choose them all over again.


My rustic open shelves are a highlight in the kitchen.  Adore them!


Another Before shot shows how dated this 1979 kitchen really was.  It was a pleasure to rip out the old pine cabinets.  Some of them I gave away, but the insides were particle board and they were falling apart.

pantry side

Adding a pantry was such a huge thing too and this tall one from Ikea holds everything.


A peek into the dining room.


And a current shot from my Thanksgiving table.


The guest room in its Before state.  The upstairs had all stained berber carpet in all the bedrooms, which we promptly tore out. I had a few walls of wallpaper to remove too, but luckily it wasn’t too bad.


The After guest room is where my roommate, Rhonda, lives with cute Cody.


Office Before

My office space (which was a bedroom).  I took the smallest bedroom for my office and turned it into a fun space.

green office

Much better now!  This green office got a revamp too and this post shows it all.

aqua file cabinet

office chair

office white bookshelf paint

Office in its current state.

Office Before2

The Before closet space.  Nice and big.

office expedit unit

I decided to leave the closet doors off and keep it open, adding the Ikea Expedit in there for storage.


My master bedroom, Before.  Love the windows, but that’s about all.


Master bedroom After. The one good thing it had going was it’s a pretty large size.  Plenty of space for all my furniture.


Stained carpet and that 70’s extra sink they were doing back then.  I said buh-bye to the sink.


I tore out the old tile in the alcove space and ran the hardwoods all the way into the closet.  Best decision on that too!  Love that my antique vanity fits in this little alcove so well.  Perfect for makeup!


Plenty of room too for my chair and ottoman.  I wish I could say it stays this clean all the time, but sadly it does not.  It’s always been a magnet for stuff.

master bath before

More ugly wallpaper in the masterbath to take down.


I opted not to gut my bathrooms (yet, anyway, but it still may happen!) and painted the vanities.  This little master bath is a one butt bathroom, but it’s cozy and works for me.


My shabby cabinet adds some rustic charm to the space.

Guest Bath Before

The guestbath had decent floor tile, so I’ve left it alone for now too.  It just needed some pizazz to help it out.

guest bath after

The guest bath got a painted vanity, countertop transformation, and beadboard wallpaper and molding to add some charm in the space.  Mission accomplished!


I’ve recently shared the After pics of this space finally and you’ll remember how dismal it was at first.

Den new drapes

This downstairs den is nice and roomy and holds all my furniture without feeling cramped.


Looking back towards the stairs to the living room, in process of the paneling being painted.  We also installed new ceiling tiles to freshen up this room.

den seating

With the addition of the Billy bookshelves (see Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3)  earlier this year and a newly covered recliner, this space is cozy and warm now.

ballard designs chair

Another look at the Billy bookcases all built in with the sitting area.   I’m so pleased with how this came out.


My real nemesis in this house was the laundry room, which is right off the den space.  I really almost cried when I saw this space. It was so ugly and dreary and I just couldn’t imagine doing laundry in here.  But, I had a vision to make it pretty and one step at a time, we created that vision and made it come to life.


I’m so thrilled with this finished laundry room space now and it just might be the most dramatic Before and After in the house.  I always show people the Before pics when they come to my house.  I want them to know what I started with and how far it has come.

I started by having a painter spray the ceiling black.  Huge difference right off the bat!  I then striped the floor, trimmed out and painted the walls, and added the sink and countertop.


The other end of the laundry room.  This is one long space and very roomy, so I was grateful to have it for extra storage too.  It was already stubbed for a toilet and sink, so that was on the list too to add and I’m so glad I did.


A wall was added on that end and I have Christmas storage and a toilet behind the green door.  The addition of the sink cabinet in here has been wonderful too.  I wish I could say it’s this clean and uncluttered right now, but it’s not!  I have a lot of decluttering to do this Winter in my garage and then I’ll shift things around.  It takes time, doesn’t it?!


One of the rooms I was jumping up and down in joy over was the screened porch. Even though it was an ugly shell of a porch and there was nothing pretty about it, I knew my dad and I could fix it up and we did!

screened porch 009_20150515

screen porch 004_20150504

This screened porch space was finished after I moved in and was one of the first projects we tackled in the spring of 2013.  I have enjoyed it for 2 seasons now and will continue to do so. It’s like having an extra room in the house.  Love it!  Painting the squares on the floor really took it up a notch.


Another Before shot of the outside of the house when we first got it, dad checking it all out.  Again, you can see how bad this porch was with rotting trim boards, torn out screens, and sitting on legs with nothing underneath. Structurally, it was sound, so that was a good thing.  Those new steps were built by the bank’s handyman and they were pathetic.  You had to take baby steps going up and down them, very uncomfortable.

back porch exterior

But, my dad came through once again on this project and after we finished the porch, we got on this outdoor stair area, having it turn and go down instead of the original way.  We added a little platform for my grill, which was a brilliant idea too.

exterior back of house

That little porch roof was another one of the first projects my dad did.  It really enhances the back door so much and after the paint job in April, it all looks great back here now.  I do have some fun ideas floating around in my head about a flagstone or brick patio from the back door over to the back steps, adding a pergola and firepit and seating.  Can you see that too?   Maybe one day!

backyard view of house

And here’s a final shot of the back of the house, with lattice added.  The paint job and adding the lattice really finished off the back of my house and I’m so proud to call it home.

If you want to see all my House Renovation posts you can go there and look at the entire process.  My entire house tour is posted too.

You all have been such wonderful encouragers to me as I’ve gone on this house journey.  Even though most of my big projects are completed, I’ll still have lots to share, so thank you for hanging out with me all these years, especially the last 2 and 1/2 as we renovated the house and I got moved in.

I still am amazed at how far I’ve come in just 3 short years.  When I wrote this post 3 years ago, Life is Not a Magazine Cover (the comments on that post still make me teary-eyed), I was just trying to survive at that point and had no idea that a house was in my immediate future just 4 months later.  Little did I know all the blessings that were in store for me the last couple of years.  God has been so gracious to me and grown my blog business, helping me to get this house mostly finished.  I’m so so grateful to have my modest house that is so ME and so comfortable for living.  Each step of this journey has been so rewarding, watching my ugly duckling house turn into a beautiful swan.

Thank you all again for all your support and encouragement to me over the years.  It truly means the world to me.  You all don’t comment as much anymore (I know, we are all too busy!), but I know you are out there and I thank you for that.  Thank you for being interested in me, my family and my house!

I’m looking forward to what the new year brings. Every year has just gotten better and better.  I’m still out there dating, haven’t found my Prince Charming yet.   It’s not easy dating in your 50’s (maybe I should blog about that, but don’t count on it??) 🙂 , but with what I went through the last few years, I sure won’t rush the process.  Life is good and I have no complaints.  God has truly given me SO much to be grateful for and I am!


- Rhoda


  1. Following in your footsteps…
    Love everything you’ve done to your house. Isn’t fun to look back? I’m actually quite happy that cold weather is finally going to force me indoors so I can tackle some new projects myself! ~Julie

  2. I don’t leave a comment very often but I certainly have eagerly followed your posts. I’ve especially enjoyed reading about the changes you made to your house. It’s beautiful!
    I also love reading about your parents. They are precious! You are so blessed to still have them.
    Blessings to you today, Rhoda!

  3. Rhoda, I have been a faithful reader since before you moved from Birmingham. I rarely comment, but much say, you are an awesome woman! Your home is a visual example of what God can do with our lives, the ugly is turned to beauty, broken hearts are healed and the humble are lifted up. Thank you for sharing your incredible journey. Your mom and dad are wonderful and your dad is amazing. There is no stopping them. I’m sure they are where you get your work ethic.

    I’m constantly telling my husband about your projects, now I have a journal to present to him so he can see how you have turned a pig’s ear in to a silk purse. You are an inspiration.

    P.S. I’m a native of Atlanta and love the posts of places around town. My mom grew up in East Cobb County, in fact, I remember when Piedmont Road (the one in Marietta) was a two-lane, dirt road. I guess that makes me old as dirt.

  4. Marie Claire says

    I started to read your blog every day back when you were in your old house, and Layla from TheLetteredCottage linked to your blog. I think it was either a post about how you re-did your steps, or how you wallpapered the end of a kitchen cabinet with the wallpaper that looks like bead board. I’m amazed at how much you’ve done to your current home in such a short time. Good job!

    I don’t comment much because I don’t know what to say in response to an infomercial-like post, but I do enjoy the projects you post now and then. The back porch and steps were especially inspiring.

  5. Rhoda I have been following your blog for YEARS since we were all painting oil rubbed bronze on everything! Your home is amazing and I love to see your dad in there helping! You are an inspiration!

  6. Dearest Rhoda,

    Following along on this journey of yours has been so very sweet. I’ve known you for a long time now, and I’ve always thought highly of you…but I can honestly say that I appreciate you more now than ever before. I am sorry that you’ve had to suffer, but I am so glad and grateful for all the ways that God has provided for you through that suffering, and I am grateful for the even stronger witness you have now than before. You were always faithful and always gave God glory, but what a song you have to sing now! Reading this post and re-reading your post about life’s not being a magazine cover made me burst into “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”! Thank you, sweet friend, for being a beautiful light in the blogging world. I thank God for you!!

  7. Hi Rhoda,
    Can you share the brand and color name of the green paint you used in your office?

  8. It’s amazing and wonderful what faith, and prayers, and hard work can accomplish! I started reading your blog a few months before you bought this house and I followed every post and change; it was inspirational to watch each room evolve and become beautiful and cosy. I especially enjoyed this post and seeing all the before and after photos together. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

  9. Rhonda,

    I have followed your blog for a number of years now. Gosh, how I’ve enjoyed your journey in finding your house and then the wonderful job you’ve done in making it your own home! I especially enjoyed your teammate “Dad”! Your home is really a wonderful example of what a determined, creative woman can do.
    Thank you so much for sharing your adventure. I will be reading your blog to see what is next!

  10. Rhoda
    I have followed your blog for several years. What a journey. I am so happy for you.
    Thank you for sharing all this with your readers. I especially loved the blog posts that featured your parents. Your dad!!! BLESS HIS HEART!!! And your mom, BLESS HER TOO. SUCH SWEETHEARTS! So thankful for you that you still have them around.

    I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family

  11. Rosie from Raymore says

    I know how proud you must be of your home, it’s gorgeous. I’ve followed you through the whole process and enjoyed it thoroughly, but boy, it sure made me tired to see how hard Dad was working! As I’m also a senior, I wondered many times if he actually is Superman!
    Tell him and Mom, and the whole family, how we enjoy them too.

  12. Rosie from Raymore says

    I just went back and read the other comments, such fun seeing how impressed so many of us are of your Dad. I’m an only child and also had a wonderful Daddy and Momma.
    You enjoy yours with every minute, it gets sort of lonely after they go before us.

  13. Rhonda,
    What a pleasure ! I have not been following you, but feel as if I had, now that I have seen all of your hard work ! I stumbled on to your blog, quite by accident during my morning, pinning/coffee time. Wonderful to see some one make such a transformation from the “Average home rather than starting with the unreachable… for the average person !” Thank you for that….. we have downsized, and are making a move soon, and will be thrilled to do the same following some of your ideas! again …. thanks for the inspiration…. I am hooked !

  14. Hello!
    I found your blog through Pinterest today, it’s lovely. It’s a pleasure to read another sister in Christ’s tips and wisdom :).

    Your house turned out wonderful, you guys did such a good job!

    I was wondering if you could also bring more light into the basement by having a door with big windows installed for the back door. I’m not sure about the safety factor though. We also have a basement that needs more light, I’m dreaming of installing more windows and painting the 70’s fake wood paneling!

    Happy New Year, take care!

  15. My dad is just like yours….a wonderful man to have around and can and will do anything for me! Your house is really unique and beautiful! Give your dad a kiss for me.

  16. This was my first time to your blog. I am really enjoying it. I really love what you have done with your house!!! You are definitely an inspiration to me!

  17. I have just found your blog and absolutely love what you and your Dad have done with this house! It’s truly amazing and I love it! I’ll be sure and check in often so as not to miss anymore of your wonderful ideas!

  18. This was my first visit to your blog. I found you as I was researching wood shades…. You have done an absolutely amazing job on your house. In 2010 my husband and I purchased a 1971 townhouse in Long Beach, CA…and it was in a time warp, too, so I know first hand the time, passion, blood, sweat, and tears that goes into accomplishing what you have done. You have incredible vision. Keep it up and keep inspiring the rest of us!!

    • Hi, Katrina, thank you for stopping by! So glad you love my renovation. I’m still making changes and loving it!

  19. Dyan Croushore says

    Hi Rhoda,

    I have so enjoyed looking at your beautiful and creative spaces. Thanks for sharing them! I was wondering what kind/brand of flooring you used throughout your house. Is it solid wood? It is beautiful!

    • Hi, Dyan, thank you for stopping by! My flooring is from Shaw Floors and is Broadmoor plank engineered wood in Mocha. It has 3 sizes of planks in this line, 3, 5 & 7″ planks. I love it and it is wearing like iron. It’s engineered, so the top layer is wood, but not solid wood.

  20. Rhoda, what an inspiration your faith and your gifts are! I’ve found your FB posts only recently and didn’t know what you have been through. What a journey you’re on! Love the way your backyard is looking; have you thought about a potting table or shed, or even a she shed? ( Thanks, Daddy!) Sorry, I’m a gardener – can’t help myself! Great admiration and respect – Memri (from Sandy Springs!)

    • HI, Memri, thanks for stopping by! It’s been a 5 year journey & I’m so glad to be where I am now. I have added a backyard patio since that post was done.

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