the home is a darling vintage 1950's ranch that laura, rather than gutting and remodeling, has embraced and enhanced with a few buckets of paint and a creative eye. i'm so inspired by what a small amount of money can do to completely remake a space, and i knew if you could see these before-and-after photos, you would be too.
so i bribed laura (with baked goods) and my favorite photographer ellen swalley (with starbucks) into putting together this feature with me. dream fulfilled!
join us on a tour, won't you?
welcome and come on in! laura painted the side door (a charming, informal passage that has replaced the front door as their main entry) a welcoming buttery yellow. it opens into a sunny front room.
this room has a wall of windows and a large table to gather around. over the family's years in the house, it has served many purposes-- from office to dining to music room-- and the bright and cheery space suits them all.
here's a look at the before in this room:
spraying everything with white paint completely transformed the space. all the original details remained; they're just light and fresh now, and as you'll see, that approach works its magic throughout the house.
this cozy fireplace, also original, warms the entry in chicago winters.
the front room leads directly into the kitchen. i'll start by showing you a before picture:
i know, right?! it's so amazing! the kitchen is my favorite room in the house (though it's hard to choose) and the difference is unbelieveable.
naturally a table this pretty needs some pretty flowers. this garden bouquet of peonies, lamb's ear and mint fits the bill.
here is a before of the stove and ovens on the other side:
some barkeeper's friend and some elbow grease revealed this gorgeous copper range hood (score)! the range and wall ovens are about 50 years old and still work perfectly.
there's the baked good bribery...bethany's scones.
they were soooo yummy. (what? i had to try one to make sure they were a suitable bribe, right?!)
finally, this perfect little built-in pantry transitions us from the kitchen into the main floor living spaces:
we caught laura looking adorable in the family room around the corner:
a before of her family room fireplace:
i love how she mixed it up in this room and went with a dark smoky navy on the fireplace mantle. the same blue is picked up in an accent wall on the other side, and in the printed drapery.
this girl makes my heart so happy.
around another corner is a bonus room, which is not original to the house. it was added before laura moved in though, and is certainly in keeping with the character.
i'm swooning over those wonderful plank and beam ceilings. laura is debating painting the beams white at some point. anyone want to vote on it?
she grabbed a can of spray paint and gave the existing ceiling fan a new lease on life. the ornate style would have been too formal in brass and wood, but with this fun mint green it is just right.
i love this serene corner and the views of the wooded yard. and this chair! i assumed it was vintage; turns out it is almost-vintage pottery barn.
leaving the common areas, we'll head to the adorable bathrooms and kids bedrooms. we were banned from the master bedroom for now, as it's a "work in progress" (ok, direct quote was "because i hate it") but i have a feeling it's pretty great too. and join me in jealousy- there's another fireplace in there!
ready for the master bathroom?
and here are the kids' rooms:
they're so bright and fun. and what kid wouldn't want a cozy hanging chair like that?
the kids' bathroom is perfectly 50's. it has pink tile, a pink tub, even a pink toilet! i love love love it!
i have a great shot of ellen in the tub (preggo no less!) working for this picture, which i will save for blackmail purposes. now that is dedication to your craft. you can see why she's my favorite.
last, but certainly not least, let's head down to the basement for a peek at the cutest little laundry room ever:
laura had the basement's open ceiling sprayed white. even though the beams and duct work are exposed, it looks amazing! why bother to drywall when paint can make it look this great? she added some vintage industrial pendants and was good to go. can someone please help me convince ryan we need to do the same?
well, that concludes our tour. i'm so glad you stopped by! this house is so beautiful, it really feels too soon to leave. let's just grab a coffee and a scone and linger at that kitchen table a bit, shall we?
laura, thank you so very much for inviting us into your lovely home!
oh, and p.s., for a few more shots and to meet my darling friend & photographer, visit ellen's blog. read her story while you're there...i know you'll love her as much as i do.