Everyday Life, Home Renovation

Renovation Before and Between Photos (and What Should I Do With A Badly Placed Wetbar?)

Time for a Home Renovation # 5 update! We are finally at the stage of fixing up a house when the house begins to take shape and it doesn’t all look like doom, doom, insanity, and doom anymore. I can now share some before and between photos. They’re not before and afters, because, well, it isn’t after yet. We’re still in the middle of everything. Our Before and Between photos aren’t HGTV worthy or anything, but I thought I’d show you just the same.

Hallway before:


Hallway with floors ripped out and new paint:


We’re currently putting in hardwoods and refinishing them, sanding down and refinishing the staircase, and I’m hoping we’ll get around to replacing that light fixture soon…

Girls Bedroom before:


And between…


Cutest wallpaper remover ever, right down to the pink cowgirl boots…

And almost done (new carpet goes in next week!):


Family room before:


Family Room between with new paint and new but unfinished hardwood floors:


Which brings me to my biggest conundrum about this house – I love the stone fireplace and the cool floating cedar mantle, but what is with the odd bookcase on the right? And, worst of all, the horrendous wet bar as the focal point of the room? I’ve seen some great transformations of wet bars into cloffices or craft desks and storage, but when it’s right next to your fireplace in the room you’ll live in and entertain in the most, what do you do? I’m thinking either rip out the cabinetry and closet doors and put in shelves to make it a bookcase, or just rip out the upper cabinets and put the TV in there. It does contain an electrical outlet fixed by an electrical contractor, so maybe it’s meant to be. Any ideas? Send them on.

I probably should have never started watching Fixer Upper, because now I think “What would Chip and Joanna do?” and then I think, “Stop it. They have a whole crew. And hundreds of thousands of dollars.” The house we’re fixing up is going to take years to be beautiful top to bottom, and will never, ever be perfect. Happily, perfection isn’t my goal. I just want it to feel like a home for my family.  We have a ways to go, for sure, but now that I can see the end in sight, I’m quite pleased with our progress.

Thinking of doing your own home project? Check back tomorrow for The Six Emotional Stages of Home Renovation.

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13 thoughts on “Renovation Before and Between Photos (and What Should I Do With A Badly Placed Wetbar?)”

  1. Cheryl Porter says:

    Another option for TV would be to install where the hanging shelf is. There are adjustible mounts so tv could be angled into the corner more – so that seating either facing the fireplace or the wall (w the door) could have good viewing.

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      I think that hanging shelf is definitely coming down, so maybe the tv mount could work!

  2. Cheryl Porter says:

    I love your progress so far. The hard work is paying off!! My suggestion for your family room would be to remove the bookshelf on the right. I’d replace the sink in the wet bar and install a solid countertop. Shelves above for movies/dvds and books. Kids’ things could go in the cabinets below with or without the doors. Or rip it all out and make all shelves with kids toys and their movies easily accessible on bottome shelves. Paint all the wood, including louvered doors, the same color as the rest of the room so that when facing the fireplace, the stonework is centralized/ focal point and the colors are balanced on each side.
    Can a TV be mounted above the mantle or would that make it too high?

  3. Tricia says:

    Wow! You’ve made incredible progress! The thought of removing all that wallpaper makes me want to go lie down! One suggestion to consider — you might paint the odd bookshelf and the wet bar the same color as the paneling was painted. That’s what the former owners of our house did, and it looks great. It would refocus attention on the fireplace and your gorgeous wood floor. I’d use the wet bar to store things — maybe kids’ toys on the bottom and less frequently used decorative or entertaining items on top. But hiding the TV is also a priority of mine!

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      I hadn’t even thought of painting the book shelf and bar the greige that’s on the walls. Hmm…thanks for that idea!

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      Well that’s cool! I don’t think there’s room for that between the fireplace and the door to the kitchen, but I’m keeping that idea in mind for the laundry area!

  4. Brittany says:

    Oh my gosh. I have so much to say about this house, I don’t even know where to start. Suffice to say that it looks eerily familiar to a reno my husband and I did in Illinois, but we had TWO wet bars (one was actually wallpapered inside and had faux leather countertops), our fireplace wasn’t salvageable due to orange, black, and mauve brick, and our weirdly placed book shelves weren’t against a wall, but instead, actually created an extra wall. In the middle of the room. And don’t even get me STARTED on the bathrooms…. 🙂
    We will swap horror stories soon. Hang in there.

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      Oh, I’m totally turning a blind eye tinge bathrooms right now! We will deal with those later. I’d love to see pictures of this place you speak of! 🙂

  5. Destiny says:

    It all looks fantastic! I like your TV idea for the wetbar. Maybe it would give it an entertainment center look?

    1. MiaTheReader says:

      I am liking that option, but It will all depend on how well you can see inside the closet from various spots in the room!

    2. MiaTheReader says:

      I’m liking it, too, but it seems to be a hard sell to the man of the house, something about the space not being big enough for the size tv you’d need in that big of a room. Oh dear.

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