Our First House – the Before Pictures

I have a makeover motto that keeps me from backing down from a challenge:

“The worse the Before picture, the better the makeover.”

Now, dear readers, I present to you my newest makeover challenge…my first house!

It’s a classy fixer-upper, previously owned for forty years by Jack and Minnie who valued strong quality and regular maintenance.

This 70′s classic ranch house was tastefully decorated in all the finishing touches of the decade:

Dark wood paneling

Harvest gold kitchen sink, counters, and stove

A wet bar, no, make that a sunken wet bar, with black cushioned vinyl counter top

Brick! Arches! right down the center of the living room

Carpet in the bathroom

Drapes, drapes, and more drapes

And it hasn’t been updated since 1970.

What we love about this house is the simple floor plan that makes it a blank slate, the kitchen’s great potential, solid construction such as copper wiring and no crumbling walls or foundation issues, and the neighborhood. It’s a ten-minute walk to the elementary.

We’re also thrilled that it hasn’t endured any DIY tricks or techniques that would make us run for the hills.

This new-to-us house has kept us pretty busy the last couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to start showing you Before & After pictures, how we’re adding more functionality and storage to the house, and quick tips for home maintenance, improvement, and better energy efficiency.

Just don’t try to convince me to abandon my avocado green double oven for a more socially-correct choice like stainless steel, because like a boyfriend who’s no good for me, that will only make me love it more.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. The best part about buying a fixer-upper is making it your own. Having been there myself, it’s amazing how some of those things you think at first you’ll fix eventually grow on you. In any case, a house becomes a home by the memories made there! Enjoy!!!
    Natalie @ Maple Leaf Circle´s last post…Planning Margin in Your Day

  2. Oh, Rachel… I cannot WAIT to see this unfold. The arches… my god… the ARCHES! And I honestly can’t tell whether your love for the avocado green ovens is sincere or sarcastic. Either way, this post only makes me love YOU more. Being the a realtor’s wife, I’ve got to say, you’ve got the fine home descriptions down pat.
    jill´s last post…Alarm Clock

    • I gave up sarcasm about two years after high school. I wasn’t kidding one bit when I said how much I love that oven! When you open it up it’s pristine.

      • Keep the double ovens! I saw a show where you can get them refinished should the kitchens style make the oven stand out too much.

        I would also keep it after reading consumerist.com and seeing so many readers have $2k units go out in less than one year and not being able to fix them. I bet this unit will last as long as you!

        • And the old stuff is ALWAYS better quality. Slap some new covers and knobs on them if you want to. But personally, I think the 70′s retro look is coming back. Something about reliving our childhood maybe ;-)!

          • A super cool modern style would go really well with that oven. Stuff like glass tiles, recycled glass countertops (which are GORGEOUS), stainless steel accents, deep wood floor. Just picturing now how you could keep that door. OOOOhhhhh the possibilities to be different!

      • Oh, yes – love the ovens. Our last reno included the kitchen, but I kept the ginormous double wall oven circa 1972 – got the schmancy fridge and the commercial cooktop, but they would have had to pry those ovens from my cold dead oven mits. Two cookies sheets abreast, anyone?

        Good house!!! Can’t wait to see more. To the extent that creativity – no matter how time warped or aesthetically questionable – begets creativity, I’d say you’re going to have a terrific place. Congratulations!!
        rachael´s last post…Are you really gonna eat that?

        • Yes, I wish I had pictures of my avocado green double oven from my previous house. The stovetop actually slid under the oven when not in use. It was FABULOUS! I miss that thing!

          I am dying to know what is going to happen with those arches!
          Michelle´s last post…A perfect mirror?

  3. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should check out Young House Love, a great blog about a young couple fixing up their first home, and now their second.

  4. I love makeovers! I think some gallons of white paint might do a great job (thinking of arches and dark brown kitchen cabinets).
    I am really excited about what you are going to make from it!

    Greetings from Germany,
    Reini

    PS we are also having a makeover. Love our apartment, but we somehow need to get a nursery into our bedroom, and when Baby is older (not born yet), we would like to get (cram?) our bedroom, living room and office into the actual living room…yes, we do love that apartment reeeeeaaally much.

  5. Those are some pretty great Before photos. But still can’t wait to see the After. Lots of space for your kids to play and grow. Have fun making it your own!!
    don_mae´s last post…New Theme, New Look

  6. Okay, I love the stove, and was totally going to tell you to leave it be! And actually, you might surprised at how good that sink looks with the right counters….

    Please post more frequently, I only just recently found your site and love it to pieces! And now that you’re a new homeowner, like me, I’ll get even more posts that are just perfect.

    Also, any updates on your husband and his new job? I know he meant to take a year off, is he okay with what he did take off?
    MightyMighty´s last post…I just need to share this

    • His time off from work is going well, he’s using the last of it to work on our house. I’ll give more recap later.

      I will be posting more frequently like I used to when school starts I think.

      • I’m glad your husband’s time is going well, I’m sure he enjoys being able to get a lot done around your place. Handywork is very satisfying.

        Enjoy the rest of your summer time with the kids, and the transition back to school structure. This will be my first year with a child in school, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m half-nervous, half-excited.
        MightyMighty´s last post…What Sort of Friendship Is This?

      • I too am looking forward to more posts from you when school starts. I’ve been enjoying your archives this summer, mostly in chunks at a time because my husband has been off work too. He and I and our four young children have been enjoying traveling around the western states together. With four young ones we didn’t want a fixer upper when we bought our home, we didn’t want the extra work at this time on our lives. I look forward to watching how your home progresses. From reading your blog I know you and Doug are very creative and resourceful. It will be fun to see how you transform your home…and what you do with those arches!!!

  7. Those brick archways made me swoon! I can only imagine how useful a cushioned vinyl bar top would be…;)
    Michelle´s last post…Peanut Butter Pie

  8. Hi Rachel, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and enjoy your tips and writing so much! I am so happy for you and your family that you are moving into your first house! This is so exciting and I can’t wait for more pictures :)

    Take care,
    Miriam (from Germany)

  9. The first thing I saw in the first photo wasn’t the harvest gold counter tops or the 70s cabinets it was the double oven. I have to say it came with a tinge of jealously. I’d take any color double oven any day!
    Allyson @ A Heart for Home´s last post…Tri-Moms: Clothing a Bunch

  10. Congratulations on your new home! Can’t wait to see your avo green oven :)
    Marcia Francois, Organising Queen´s last post…What is your definition of balance?

  11. Denise C. says:

    Congratulations on your new home! Cannot wait for the before and after photos!

  12. Tired from all that renovating? Just take a quick nap on your cushioned wet bar! So multifunctional!

    Congrats on the new place. Guard that green oven with your life.
    Katherine´s last post…Kids’ music that will not make you want to pull your own ears off

  13. Rachel, I am so excited for you! I got chills reading this – and all the memories of our house remodel came flooding back. Seriously – I had the exact same kitchen right down to the yellow countertop. I cannot wait to see what you do with it. I have no doubt you’ll knock all of our socks off with your projects.

    xo
    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…What I Read This Summer

  14. Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard when I got to the brick arches down the middle of the livingroom! Hahaha! I’m SO GLAD you did this post because it’s going to make the AFTER that much better. What an amazing house – amazing in that it’s never been touched at.all. Can’t wait to see what you make of it! And Congratulations on your first home! :-D
    Carrie´s last post…Mama Said…

  15. Congratulations on your blank slate. The before pictures are invaluable.

  16. Call me quirky, but I love the before pictures. I am sure that the after will rock, but I am loving what you’re showing us. Post more often…I miss you !
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…Florentine Recipe

  17. Hi Rachel,

    I am looking forward to the “after” pictures. I think the house has great potential.
    Is this something American, the carpet in the bathroom? I have 4 children and I really couldn’t imagine having carpet in my bathroom (I’ll spare you the details).
    Have a nice day!

    Natacha (blogging from Luxembourg)
    Natacha´s last post…Cornwall 2006

    • The carpet in the bathroom is a trend from the seventies. Most Americans don’t like it, for obvious reasons.

    • Yes! I was born in ’67 and both of the bathrooms in our house had carpet. Lovely for me on my cold little feet in the morning, but I have no clue how my mother kept it clean. (It was GONE though shortly after my little brothers started potty training:(
      Tracy´s last post…Happy Birthday!

  18. Jealous of the pristine double oven. (no matter the color)

    Love all the cupboard and countertop space in your kitchen.

    Love the big, spacious rooms. Nice bathroom size.

    You’re so lucky that everything is so CLEAN. You can live with the “retro” look as long as it’s clean.

    Actually, many people love the “retro” look, so don’t rip out too much too fast.

  19. You are definitely braver than I: we had an oven like that when I was growing up (but brown, so not even a fun color) and I was always burning my arm on the door. Plus ours wasn’t in such good condition and didn’t cook evenly…but this was also in a farmhouse that hadn’t been taken care of and that my then-two-year-old brother’s first impression of was “dirty” as two professional cleaning teams worked on it. So I get the feeling you’ll have better luck with yours. Must be the color. ;)
    MK @ This Mom Reads´s last post…Helen Keller & a Library Visit

  20. Uh…doesn’t every house have copper wiring? That’s kind of what makes the electricity work. ;-)

  21. I would keep the oven too! it looks great!
    katieh´s last post…Yarn and how I haven’t forgotten about it…

  22. How much fun! I can’t wait to see what you guys do with it!
    Eliz. K´s last post…[bag lunch]

  23. I love love love it! So much you can do there. Can’t wait to see the after pictures. My brother has those same archways in his home.. :)

    CONGRAT!

  24. Ack, ack!! Carpet in the bathroom! Oh noes!
    On the other hand, that wet bar looks AWESOME.

  25. Phew! So glad that you weren’t including the double oven in your makeover plans. I’m a sucker for retro kitchen appliances (we came very close to buying a ranch house from the 50′s because it had all of its butter yellow appliances intact–but was otherwise a disaster). That oven is gorgeous!

  26. Oh, congratulations! I hoped that your radio silence was an indicator of only wonderful things happening, and it sounds like that has been very much the case. I can’t wait to see how this project unfolds!

    (And I absolutely love the brick arches!)
    Lissa´s last post…Sustainable Happiness

  27. We just purchased a home with carpet in the bathroom as well! Another blog that I read renovated a home with very similar styling to yours: http://www.flythroughourwindow.com/renovations/
    I love before and afters especially when I know they are done sensibly and on a budget.
    Can’t wait to see the updates!

    • YES! I was totally going to post this link! Rachel, if you haven’t seen this you have to look. It is eerily similar. Even if what they did isn’t your style, it should give you some ideas.
      Michelle´s last post…A perfect mirror?

  28. Sweet! We had avocado and goldenrod here too!! We painted cabinets and panelling alike. You can even paint formica. Who knew? Have fun!
    Valerie´s last post…Plans for the 2011-2012 school year

  29. Oh Rachel! I love your new home! And I am so glad you are not giving up your oven. (I hope you weren’t kidding.). That oven is the best. How I wish I had a vintage, made-in-America oven from the ’70s. Those things are workhorses. They are loved by collectors and decorators doing remodels to restore homes back to their 70′s glory.

    Is it by chance an Amana? Did you know that Amana Appliances were originally owned and operated by a small group of German Pietists, a group of Christians sharing a common origin with the Amish. Their appliances were made by hand, one at a time. (As of 2010, the company was acquired by Maytag). That was real quality. Famous Chef and Cookbook Author, Sheila Lukins, author of the “Silver Palate Cookbook” (among others…her most recent being “Ten”) has a vintage double wall oven also. She said in an interview that it is the best oven she’s ever had and heats/cooks beautifully!

    Also…I love your kitchen sink. The pale yellow was my favorite color for sinks/appliances of that era. I know that you are planning on changing a lot of things, but I highly recommend that you look at a lot of vintage decorating sites on the web before you do anything. So much of what you have in your home is classic. What you replace it with probably not be of as good a quality. And I do hope that you keep the bar! You can change the top…but the bar is a classic. And a real gem since it is sunken. You will love entertaining with it.

    If you have a chance, see if you can browse through some decorating books about ranch homes from the 70′s. You can probably find them at vintage bookstores…definitely in the clearance section at Half Price Books. They will provide tons of ideas for preserving the charm of your home. Also great for ideas, especially kitchen ideas, are vintage entertaining/cookbooks from that era like the 70′s version of Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook.

    And I know a lot of folks don’t like the wood paneling today but that is sooooo vintage. Our family room was lined with it (in the house I grew up in). The room had a red brick see-through fireplace (so hip! LOL!), sliding glass doors…to the patio of course, and was decorated with a round “captain’s” table and chairs, and a floral colonial style wing back couch and chair. I just loved it. The only thing I don’t miss was our love of orange but I still love the harvest gold! Oh!…and that fabulous shag carpeting! That seems to actually be making a comeback.

    So glad you found such a great house! And one that you know has been loved and cared for throughout the years!

    Congratulations!

    Love,

    Mary
    Mary´s last post…Ouick Tip – Little Bags of Bacon

    • The oven and stove are both O’Keefe & Merritt. I am going to see what we can do to save the stove. The cabinets are better quality than we could afford to buy, that’s for sure.

      • Oh my! That is fantastic about the stove and oven…yes, try to save both! And I agree with you about the cabinets. Keeping them is so wise because any wood you would replace them with would not be up to par.

        Continued success on the remodel. I’m so thrilled for you!

        Love,

        Mary
        Mary´s last post…Ouick Tip – Little Bags of Bacon

  30. We recently bought a new-to-us house (our 2nd home) and we looked at one with arches just like that. I like them and it is the thing that kept me going back to look at pictures of that house. We didn’t buy it though, mainly because of ducks. =) Can’t wait to see what you do with it! There is nothing like the love you feel for a house when you invest your time and creativity into making it your own. So happy for you!
    waysidewanderer´s last post…A Favorite Thing

  31. I love it! Can’t wait to see your improvements!

  32. Stacie O. says:

    I can’t wait to see your updates! Your home is a mirror image of the rental home we’re living in. I am DYING to do some updating, but have been stuck on the wood paneling and the kitchen cabinets. The homeowner doesn’t want us to paint anything. Maybe with your pictures, he’ll see the light! Looking forward to your posts.

  33. Love it Rachel! And oh, it does have so much potential! I absolutely love the brink arches! Hmm, the bar? And yea, the carpet in the bathroom would have to go!
    I had the kitchen cabinets in my house when I moved in over 20 years ago. The good thing is they are solid wood and about 10 years ago, we took them all outside, gave them a good beating and then a wipe on washed finish and ended up with some great looking cabinets. I just could not see spending 10k+ to replace perfectly good, albeit ugly, cabinets!
    Can’t wait to see what you do with the place!
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…New ebook for busy women launches TOMORROW

  34. You are going to have so much fun with your new house! I am looking forward to being in your shoes in the future. :)
    Jenni´s last post…Wanted: Guest Posts

  35. How fun is that going to be??

    Jenna
    Jenna´s last post…Check It.

  36. Oh how I love good before and afters! Can’y wait to see what you do. The house seems to have great bones. Like the ceiling height in the living room!!!
    Fig&Sparrow´s last post…Mint Chocolate Chip with Honey and Cinnamon

  37. I am, quite frankly, over excited by the prospect of watching you transform this house. Being able to watch this process may well be what keeps me from jumping off a tall building until election season is over.
    Juliet´s last post…Deather

  38. Oh I love your house, we bought exactly the same sort of house ten years ago… A house that had been lived in by the same family for about seventy five years… and every decade or so they re-carpeted!!! All the walls were a different shade of off-white… bleh!!! It took us a while but eventually we unearthed the beautiful wooden floors and ripped the carpet paneling off the walls… and repainted… it took us a while but now we are in a house we love!!!
    se7en´s last post…Sunday Snippet: A Trip to Lesotho and a Back-to-School Reverse GiveAway…

  39. Willowgirl13 says:

    As old as it is, the house looks beautifully maintained. It’s hard to see the wear in the pictures after so many years of living.
    Best wishes to you!

  40. I know you have your hands full with all of the updates but it seems like the house has great bones and a lot of potential! Just tell me one thing…why did people think carpet in the bathroom was a good idea?? Ugggg! Best wishes to you! :)
    Paula@Simply Sandwich´s last post…Middle School Madness

  41. LOVE the oven and LOVE the edging on cabinets in the kitchen! And (since love is the theme here), I love the quote. I’m also working on a “re-model”, or as much as you can remodel an apartment anyway. Very encouraging!

  42. Here’s another site for you to check out that I am really enjoying:

    http://retrorenovation.com/

  43. Oh, I cannot WAIT to see this unfold! I love any house with character, and friend, yours has LOTS of it.

    We have dark wood paneling. I can’t wait to see what you do with yours (if anything).

    CONGRATS, sweet friend!
    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s last post…Swag for YOU! A Haute Green Cloth Diaper Giveaway!

  44. Oh, I would never try to get you to lose the oven…it’s the best part!

    Really great place, can’t wait to see what you add.
    Amy Sullivan´s last post…Because You Inspire

  45. First of all, congratulations!

    Second, carpet in the bathroom? EEK! I cannot even imagine how often I would be cleaning pee out of the carpet if that were our house! (The 1 year old likes to run around diaperless and play in front of the full length mirror in our bathroom).

    I was so happy to see a post from you in my google reader, and I can’t wait to see what you do with the house!

  46. Squee! I am so excited. I love everything 70s right now, so I am with you on keeping the ovens if they work. Knowing the way things were made, they probably work better than my stainless steel ovens (that I have had repaired twice in the 6 years I’ve owned them).
    Jules´s last post…A Poet, a Playwrite, and a Man of Letters

  47. Having lived through the era when your house would have been considered the latest thing, I would have little desire to keep anything but the exterior walls! I realize many of these things are considered trendy again, and it really has been maintained well, hasn’t it, which is a big plus.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do with it. What an exciting time for you and your family! Congratulations and may all your plans come in under budget!

  48. Congratulations! What a wonderful space! I quite like that fireplace and the abundant natural light is fantastic. I have never understood carpet in bathroom. But somewhere along the line it must have felt like quite the luxury maybe? Oh boy oh boy…I love a house that has tons of character and holds good ol’ stories about the past. This one is just waiting for you all to weave your own tale.

    And yes, padded bar…safety first!

  49. This is the jackpot compared to the house we have that was built in 1973. It had an avocado kitchen with dark cabinets too. We just gutted and renovated it this year after 5 years. We still have a golden harvest bathroom and a powder puff blue bathroom that need to be replaced, in addition to more renovation – besides what we have done.

    Except for the wet bar area, I could live with what you have. I have no idea how long it would take to bring this place up to date. Unlike your house, the prior owners did not take care of it.

  50. Congratulations!! Looking forward to the reveal and the tons of useful tips you’ll be sharing! I’ve gotta say…I love the harvest gold sink. With bamboo (gold) being one of the official Fall colors you are so on trend. But what I like best is all that sunshine smiling back at me while I’m on sink duty…so much more cheerful than ubiquitous stainless steel! My fingers are crossed that she remains.
    Diane @ Longaberger Lifestyle´s last post…A beautiful giveaway with a terrific story. Go check it out.

  51. Wow, how exciting – It is kind of like looking at a brand new canvas ! Congratulations on the new home – Great anticipation to watch it unfold under your artistic brilliance. :0)

  52. Fun, fun, fun! Can’t wait to see it all happen
    Megan´s last post…PowerPoint Digi Scrapping 101: Saving as a JPEG (or other image file)

  53. Rachel, it seems that we are going through some similar life changes at the same time. We recently moved into a ranch-style home that has great bones and super-retro finishes. It will be interesting to see what you love and what you’re going to change. We’re renting our place from my husband’s parents, who bought it so that we’d have a decent place to stay while he’s in law school. Good news – they’ll let us paint. Not-so-good-news: there are some differing views as to what should be changed and not. My in-laws’ heyday was the 70′s, so they see a lot of finishes and wonder why we wouldn’t want a pepto-bismol pink sink, tub, and toilet with a wooden lid that has coordinating water-lily wallpaper on the mirror. But I’m grateful that they’ve done something so generous as to buy a house, and will make changes as we are allowed.

    PS – I LOVE the butter yellow sink and countertop. Seriously, the white ones are overrated to me. We have a brand-new white Kohler sink, and already I’ve had to put mats down to protect it from scratching from pots and pans. I think that shade of yellow is cheerful, and could hide nicks and scratches well.

  54. PSS – You really should play some ABBA or Earth, Wind & Fire while you do your reno projects. Maybe a Disco ball over the bar. :)

  55. Like you, our first house (which we are still currently living in) was built in the late 60′s and still has some of its retro charm, but sadly, no arches down the middle of our living room.

    I think the only drawback of owning an old house is finding replacement parts for things. Depending on the size, you can’t always just pop out to Home Depot (as we discovered on many occasions). I could also do with a bigger closet and am a little envious of those with walk-ins, but instead I’ve just comandeered one of the closets in a spare bedroom (and some dresser drawers in there too).

    Although many of the furnishings might be better quality than you find in homes today, our bedroom doors have seen better days and some are even splintered in places. Also, our kitchen counter top (white formica) is scratched with tiny holes in a lot of places, so.

    We have carpet in one of our bathrooms too, which will be ripped out whenever we finally get around to updating the room.

    Good luck with all your DIY projects and can’t wait to see the finished results.

  56. You found yourselves a real gem in that house! The condition of it and the possibilities are amazing. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  57. Looking forward to all updates

  58. Oh my goodness I had that kitchen!! And you’ll want to change that oven. If it’s anything like mine was, the insulation is so thick you wont be able to fit a turkey in it! Or a regular size cookie pan! Or a lasagna dish! Or…. :) can’t wait to see the after!!

  59. I am in love with the brick arches! Looking forward to creativity with updating. My mom has the ’70′s orange counter tops and I refuse to let her spend the money to change them. We just add color schemes that go with them.

  60. I think my house has finally found it’s long lost twin.

  61. Oh! Can I fly down there with a sledge hammer to help with the brick?! Arches!?

    My house is all fixed up now (my father and I took the entire house the the studs, room by room). I’m itching for a new project! (oh, wait… the exterior needed to be painted when I moved in – 16 years ago. Maybe it’s about time?)

  62. WOW, totally 70s!! You are right though, at least it hasn’t been “Remuddled” (like we call it). Those houses are nice & sturdy. It’ll be fun!

  63. Catherine says:

    Dont know if it’s been mentioned but also check out the blog housetweaking— love watching makeovers unfold. Goodluck and congrats!

  64. Looking forward to seeing what you do. The house looks great! Lots of space.
    jane´s last post…A Love/Hate Relationship

  65. CONGRATULATIONS!

    Big changes are really exciting, but sometimes a little scary. Good luck with both emotions (and the 250 other ones you’re bound to have). We just moved into a new apartment and are starting and finishing jobs left and right, so we’re on the same wavelength.

    P.S. That last line had me laughing for 10 minutes straight.
    Jennie´s last post…Leave the Clutter at the Store

  66. Ah, we have a 1960s house that we purchased from the original owners (complete with the 1960s kitchen). Don’t be too jealous, I have the original wall oven in stainless steel (sadly, I only have a single wall oven, not a double). Mine was made by General Electric and works AWESOME. We also have a range made by kenmore that has cast iron electric burners. It boils a stockpot of water in 5 minutes (so neat). Our cabinets are a weird orangey brown and the doors are completely flat but they are solid wood and we have a bunch of pull-outs. I have no doubt this was a deluxe kitchen back in the day. So far it has performed well for us (2 years in) and the only thing I’ve replaced are the cabinet knobs. I think I really should paint the paneled wall in the kitchen though. It’s funny how many things I thought were quirky or old are now my fav things in my house.

  67. See, I like the vintage look of the house the way it is! It is missing green shag carpet, though. I also would not have use of the wet bar, but the rest looks awesome!!

  68. Interesting cabinets in the bathroom. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that “treatment” before. I remember carpet in the bathrooms very well, actually loved it – but I wasn’t a home owner who had to maintain I was just a teenager who loved the warm softness under my feet.

  69. congratulations! I can’t WAIT to see what you are doing with it, given those (frankly) scary photos and the previous awesome post. Good for you for keeping your eyes off the cosmetics. I love those avocado ovens, actually. Stainless steel, yawn.
    Margo´s last post…The Job Effect on my Family

  70. the ovens… we just bought a house (a fixer). kids and i joined the hubby at the house one night to bring dinner and eat with him while he did a few things. to my surprise the cookie sheet (which held veggies and chicken to be roasted) would not fit in it!!! ack. it had to go. but it wasn’t avacado green… just boring black. otherwise i might have had to find new cookie sheets. ;)

  71. Congrats on your first home! We recently bought our first home too, a 1960s ranch style house that we will update & make our own as time & money allow!
    Can’t wait to see what you do with your place. :) Happy settling in!

  72. Congratulations on your first home! I look forward to seeing the ‘after’ photos!
    I really enjoy reading your blog – I can’t remember how I found it but its been a very pleasurable read, and encouraging, and helpful along the way too.
    Sereena´s last post…Cultivating Humility

  73. Those arches remind me of some columns we had in a previous house — they were pretty fab at Christmas time with twinkle lights wrapped around them!

  74. Congrats on your first home!! My fiance and I just bought our first place in June and I am so excited about all of the demo/refurb/decorating to be done. It is certainly very exciting but also very daunting. Our home was built in 1985 and has many of the original features also. Your place looks great and I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!! Good luck with everything!

  75. Congratulations on your home!

  76. LOL! That looks a lot like my kitchen. My wonderful loving hubby just got done tearing out the hideous wallpaper, and painting. He removed the false beam too, which was lovely, let me tell you. We had already replaced our harvest gold stove and fridge for white ones, although we still have the matching harvest gold dishwasher. Great stuff! Good luck on your remodel. I’m sure it will look stunning when it’s all done.

  77. Oh how fun!!! So excited to see the progress and after pictures! And personally I run for the hills from stainless steel–I think its the biggest joke on moms! That stuff does NOT stay clean in a house of adults…adding kids with sticky hands just makes it a laughable surface!
    Kait Palmer´s last post…The Birth Story from Roy’s Point of View

  78. Yay! My parents just bought a house in that same vintage and condition. They loved the space and the floorplan and open-ness of it all. They’re replacing the kitchen and bathroom floors and kitchen countertops and painting lots of the paneling, but otherwise, leaving well enough alone.

    I can’t wait to see your after pics.

  79. You should check out retrorenovation.com. There’s people on that site who squeal over avocado appliances, pink bathroom, and bizarre bars. You might find some good ideas for working with the features that you can’t remove right away, and you might even develop some love for harvest gold.
    But the carpet in the bathroom has GOT to go. Ick!

  80. amyinohio says:

    /we are kindred spirits; our kitchen has harvest gold sink and stove. The stove works fine, so I can’t see replacing until it conks out on us. Plus our cabinets are so worn, but beautiful maple with bead board centers. Don’t know where to start either!!!

  81. Love it and adore your commentary. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  82. Seashoreknits says:

    Rachel – I’m so happy for you! I am most looking forward to you sharing your decision making process as you change things bit by bit in your new home to accommodate your simple pared-down lifestyle that I (we all?) love so much. Umm, sorry for that terrible run-on sentence – no time to make it shorter :)

  83. Looks like my mom’s cabinets. They kept their home immaculate. Lucky find. My sister found a cap cod that was original too and well kept, from the forties. Original wooden doors with glass knobs.

  84. oh great , It has more than we imagined .Please tell the amount to be paid also
    neha´s last post…Wireless Adaptor for Intel Wireless Display Technology

  85. Please write some specifications also

  86. Yay! Congrats, Rachel. Can’t wait to hear more.

    Jamie
    steadymom´s last post…Help for the Horn of Africa: Ask 5 for 5

  87. A fixer-up with lots of potential that’s for sure. Plus carpeting in the bathroom — what a hoot! I’m thinking you probably won’t be keeping that, but the wall oven, I agree, is definitely a keeper. The appliances weren’t made to break down back then like they do now.

    I’m curious to see how you’re going treat the archways and the wet bar. That’s a very nice fireplace by the way. Doesn’t look like you’ll be running out of stuff to blog about any time soon. Definitely fodder for lots of pictures & projects. You’re in for lots of work, but it will be a very rewarding time. Cheers!!!

  88. I am so excited for you! I can see creamy white paint on the dark paneling and cabinets…a blank canvas for your clean and fresh design! I can’t wait to see what you do. It’s sure to be a pleasant surprise! Have fun! I like the double stove too. I’d have a fully retro turquoise kitchen if I could. ;)

  89. just saw these in etsy and thought they’d go great with your double ovens!

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/79078884/1960s-pair-of-pyrex-glass-cups-in?ref=fp_treasury_9

  90. Congratulations on your home purchase. I live in a small and modest 25 year old home and love it! I see all these “McMansions” going up around us with there postage stamp lots and I’m very grateful for our very modest mortgage and our absolutely huge lot. Now that the kids are grown and gone it’s almost too big. When I was in my 20′s I was in a home with two ovens and you will become very spoiled by having them. Can’t wait to see all the wonderful changes you make as you begin this journey!

  91. Congrats! I see paint in your future.
    Anita´s last post…diet is a 4 letter word

  92. I can’t wait to see the after pictures! Looks like many homes where I live – except many here have loud wallpaper, too!

  93. Rachel,

    Congratulations on your first house! I can see lot of potential here, and I kind of like arches! We had bought 35 years old house a few years ago and also had yellow and green kitchen appliances and decor. We are slowly updating it, and still have yellow kitchen counters to show for it :-)

    Doug and Kid must be excited and I can imagine you and Doug making this house in to beautiful place to live in no time. Looking forward to makeover!

    Hearty Congratulations!!

    Preeti
    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last post…7 Ways To Motivate Learning In A Child (or An Adult)

  94. Check out the renovations at http://www.flythroughourwindow.com. They started with a similar, well built, very 1970s house and have made it wonderful for a family in the 2010s. Some of the before photos made me laugh out loud.

  95. Yahoo, Rachel! So happy for you guys, brick arches and all.
    Tsh @ Simple Mom´s last post…Hire Blog Help

  96. Marie Mal says:

    Hi Rachael,

    If you haven’t already seen this entry, look at “The Lettered Cottage” blog under Tudor house on June 25. Click on “Cool Kitchen.” The kitchen cabinets remind me of yours and they did a nice job fixing them up.

    Marie

  97. Eerily similar to our 65 model! Eager to see the changes.

  98. I cannot wait to see what you do with this house!!! Especially the arches in the living room. I feel like you will make it work so perfectly!
    jL´s last post…Duggar Quotes I Love

  99. I LOVE that double oven. That and the matching fridge would make my life complete. REALLY.
    I also love that your daughter gets to have her first picture on the steps you remember so fondly. :)
    gretchen´s last post…time for school

  100. Rachel- We have a 70′s quad home that looked just like that (and worse) and we have put a ton of sweat equity into it and now we absolutely love it! I think you are going to have tons of great ammunition for your blog with this cute fixer upper ;) xo
    Amy´s last post…Great Reads for Moms: The Summer ‘11 Edition

  101. congratulations on your first home ownership; there’s nothing to compare!
    the oven can be re-painted.

  102. Oh I’m jealous! Totally agree with keeping the oven and most definitely with removing those arches. I’ve never seen anything like it! I really look forward to seeing how your work progresses. Best wishes.

  103. Ew! Carpet in the bathroom!
    Keri Mae´s last post…A Walk Around a Pacific Northwest Garden

  104. I love it already. To me, from what I can from just this post and pictures, the house just needs a little sprucing up. Hope you keep some of the 70′s charm!
    Myss Dexter´s last post…Future Plans: TV Stand = Play Kitchen

  105. I have also seen this house before I think, or one very similar. I live in Texas and looked at houses a few months back because I thought we could buy, and I swear I saw this one.
    Myss Dexter´s last post…Future Plans: TV Stand = Play Kitchen

  106. Hi Rachel… I have been busy in the real world and just catching up on the cyberworld :) Looks great! Love those arches ;) I am looking forward to seeing how you print your style on the place… all the best with the reno!
    angelvalerie´s last post…starting over…

  107. I love the house. You can tell it has a lot of great potential. We just purchased our first house and it has a lot of similar qualities. Good luck with the improvements!
    Megan´s last post…Cuisinart PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle Review