Our Home: Before

As promised, here are the “before” pictures of our new home! Yesterday we bought supplies and slowly started work, scraping back the chipped and blistering paint on some of the skirting boards and door frames. We’ve got lots of stripping, sanding, smoothing and filling to do on these old walls before we begin painting. We’re going to be painting the same colour all the way throughout and have chosen Taubmans’ “Ocean Pearl”. It’s a lovely, warm, soft white. But for now, here’s a little tour of our new home, before the transformation…

Entry Hall

This picture was taken from the front door. You enter the house into a nice wide hallway. The previous owner has already ripped up the carpet here, revealing the lovely old floorboards underneath, but the wood has not been sanded back or treated, so is in desperate need of some TLC. We can’t wait to make them shine again! I’m also thinking about creating either a gallery wall or a display of pretty vintage plates here.

Living Room 2

This is our living room. It is absolutely flooded with natural light which makes my heart really happy. It looks like the last owner might have already started work on painting in here but has only done one thin coat. I’m not yet sure exactly what kind of furnishings to put on those wonderful big windows, but anything has to be better than the current blue vertical blinds! We also really need to replace those hospital-likeΒ fluorescent lights.

Living Room 3

Living Room 1

This is the living room from the other end. We’ll put our dining table and chairs just in front of that window to the kitchen. I’m so exited about pulling up the awful stained carpet and wrinkled brown lino! I think the room will look bigger once we’ve got the same flooring all the way through too.

Ceiling Moulding

Isn’t this moulded ceiling lovely?! Unfortunately some silly person in years gone by thought it was a good idea to paint around it with terrible textured paint, and now we have no idea how we’ll ever get rid of it. We might just have to live with a lumpy ceiling for a while…

Kitchen 1

This is our apricot kitchen. (Whoever previously decorated this house was obviously a big fan of apricot!) The kitchen cabinets are in pretty good condition and we can’t afford to replace them right now, so we are just planning to paint them and change the handles. That should freshen things up a bit.

Kitchen 2

Kitchen and Living Room

This shot was taken looking out to the living room from the kitchen.

Main Hall

This is the main hall, leading to the bathroom and bedrooms. The skirting boards and door frames along here are very chipped and the paint is bubbly. I forsee many, many hours spent scraping and sanding paint here…


And this is our bathroom. It is small and very, very, very beige. And a little bit apricot! The bathroom shares a wall with the laundry which is about the same size and home to a second shower. One day we’d like to pull down that wall and create a bigger bathroom but we don’t have the budget for a bathroom redo so, for the moment, the small and beige is here to stay.

Guest Bedroom

Next up is the guest bedroom. It’s the darkest room in the house but still quite light! It will be even brighter once we’ve ripped out the old brownish coloured carpet, painted over the apricot walls and pulled down those hideous blue vertical blinds.

Main Bedroom

This is the main bedroom. (More apricot!) It has not one but two lovely windows. Light, light, light!

Studio 1

And finally, this is the third bedroom, which we will use as a studio/craft room/study. This room is small, but beautifully sun drenched and bright, all day long. The previous owner had obviously started work in here, patching up cracks and prepping to paint, but unfortunately hasn’t done a very good job. There is putty everywhere. No really, everywhere.

Studio 2

This picture was taken from the studio/craft room/study, looking back up the hall.

And that’s it! Our house. Tired and grubby, but so full of potential. As I’m sure you can see, we have lots of work to do…

Katie x

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About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.


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68 Responses to “Our Home: Before”

  1. Christie January 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    It looks pretty good to me….pretty good nick just needs a paint job and floor boards….how about Calico or white roman blinds made from sheeting or damask…..you could make them yourself Katie

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

      I think it actually looks less scruffy in the pictures than it does in real life. And yes, I have considered making something out of calico! πŸ™‚

  2. Petit Pixel January 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    ohhh I can already see miles of potential…and the light is so lovely…you’re so lucky to be starting with great light without having to get it through construction πŸ™‚ same with the nice wide hallway. how funny that apricot was the colour of the moment…i’d love to see old vogue living magazines with articles about it etc

    it might be a bit of work but imagine how awesome it’s going to feel looking around knowing the time and love you put into it…and with Daisy Dog as your sidekick, you’re gonna rock its socks πŸ™‚

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

      You are lovely Tania. Thank you! x

  3. sian January 21, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    it looks like such a great space, and as you say, with lots of lovely light!
    i know you guys are going to make it so beautiful and i can’t wait to see it progress!!
    lots of love and luck in your new home!

  4. Miss Piggy January 21, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Looks wonderful – such a big place with good bones! I love the wide hallway (which could handle vintage plates AND a picture wall) and I LOVE the peekaboo window from the kitchen in to the dining room. Congrats…

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

      You know, I think you might be right about the vintage plates AND pictures! Yes! πŸ™‚

  5. Jennifer January 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Wow you really found treasure in your new home! All of that natural light flooding in will feel amazing πŸ™‚ We rent an apartment in a building that’s over 100 years old and the moulding around the lights are beautiful, like yours πŸ™‚

  6. Lynda January 21, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Oh yes! Look forward to the transformation x

  7. Jess January 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Congrats guys, can’t wait to see what you do with it! You may already be aware of it but the blog (and book..) Young House Love has heaps of renovating and DIY ideas on a budget!

  8. Becc January 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    I couldn’t imagine you any where else! This will truly be YOUR home. Every inch will be able to tell your story. Thanks for sharing xx

  9. Tania January 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    I love your big, bright house Katie and Reuben! I am sure you will have a ball making this house your home πŸ™‚

    I love, love a lot of light too, and your house definitely has plenty of that!

    I am looking forward to following your progress πŸ™‚


    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      I have to admit, the light it what really sold me! I just love it πŸ™‚

  10. Emily January 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    Ooh this place is gorgeous! So much old charm to work with, what a canvas πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to see what you do with this place!! Sure the apricot won’t stay for long πŸ˜‰


  11. Becky Bedbug January 21, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    What a fantastic space! The potential is so apparent. I bet you’ll make it look beautiful!


  12. Megan January 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    A blank canvas is so much fun! Good luck in your decorating adventures and may you find everything your heart desires!

  13. Marcelle January 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    This house may give you two a lot of work, but is has great potential to become a home!
    The texturepaint on the ceiling will be hard to get rid of, but with a lot of sanding it can be done. I did it with a wall, but it wasn’t easy so think about it before you start…
    Congratulations with this great house and lots of succes with the work.

  14. milynn January 22, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Your house definitely has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see it’s transformation! All of that natural light is beautiful! Good luck on this new and exciting project!

  15. Bekuh January 22, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    Your house looks so lovely! I too would swoon over so much natural light, love it. Looks like a lot of work, but man will it be amazing when you’re done. Excited to see where you start.

  16. Allie H January 22, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    Congrats to you both on your humble new home! I think it has loads of potential and the two of you are going to turn it into something just amazing. Think of all the new things you will learn in the process, and the house will be just you. Congrats again and the best of luck with the remodeling!

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

      You are so right about this being a learning experience. It’s only been a couple of days and already I feel like we’ve come a long way. We’re going to be DIY pros once we’re done! πŸ˜‰

  17. Savanah January 22, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    How beautiful! I can’t wait to see how amazingly you transform it to meet your owl style πŸ™‚

  18. amy t schubert January 22, 2013 at 4:10 am #

    I’m so excited to see the changes you make!

  19. Molly Severtson January 22, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    Looking forward to watching the transformation! Congratulations.

  20. Shannon January 22, 2013 at 5:16 am #

    So EXCITING!!! We are going through a remodel right now! (You can see it on our blog if you wish.) Oh the joys and pains. But that ceiling you can have scraped. I would hop over and help you but we are in California :0) We call them “popcorn” ceilings out here. So happy for you both! Can’t wait to see more!

  21. Dulce January 22, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    this is great, i’m so happy for you, and excited to see the after pics πŸ™‚

  22. Gina January 22, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Hi Katie and Reuben:

    I wonder if that textured ceiling paint was used in the living room because the ceiling plaster (I assume it’s plaster under that paint.) had become cracked and/or uneven. Textured paint can hide that kind of thing. It would be good to find out the condition of that ceiling underneath that paint. I think you have a lovely space to work with and such nice, big walls to display your collections that can be hung up. Maybe some old quilts? It will be great fun to watch the transformation. You have all of us for a cheering section!

    Syracuse, New York, USA

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

      You might be onto something there Gina… But I do hope not! For now we’ve got so much other stuff to keep us busy, we’ve decided to put it on the backburner. It’ll be a project for down the track πŸ™‚

  23. Shirley January 22, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    I can just imagine how excited you must be to have your own home. I’ve been in Ireland now for over 4 years and either living with family or renting – can’t wait until I sell my home back in South Africa and buy something here in the next year or so. I love old houses, think they have so much potential. Your rooms are light, bright and really large too – once you’ve completed your makeover and put your unique ‘House of Humble’ stamp on this house, it will truly become your home. Enjoy and have fun!! xxxx

  24. Strawberries and Buttercups January 22, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    Lovely! Its great when you can see a potential in a house and can work your wonder. As you said you can do major reconstruction as the years go on (like the kitchen and bathroom). I hope I can follow in your footsteps soon.

    With the hallway you could do the hoop and pretty fabric layout as I’m sure you’ve got plenty. You can also change the fabric to match your mood. http://pinterest.com/burstsofbubbles/hoops/

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

      Yes, for now we are just making cosmetic changes we can do ourselves, nothing structural or terribly expensive. We have plenty of time to save up for bigger changes down the track. I love fabric hoops! What a good idea! πŸ™‚

  25. Heather January 22, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    great, I can see it’s potential too. All that light lovely! I think I would try and get an industrial sander on that ceiling quite quickly. I think it might be something that will make a big difference to how the room feels. Anyway, I’m sure you will work your magic well. Good luck, Heather x

  26. Heidi January 22, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    I can’t wait to follow your journey as you both pretty up your gorgeous new home. My bestie and I bought a house together 6 years ago and it was a renovation much similar to yours. We couldn’t afford to do the big things like the bathroom early on but as time went by we were able to afford them and it was so fulfilling seeing our little house be transformed back to its former glory (it was a little 2 bedroom cottage Queenslander timber home). It was a lot of hard work and Bunnings became our best friend! πŸ™‚ but so rewarding. You guys will make her absolutely beautiful. So excited for you x

  27. cheryle January 22, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Beautiful house just waiting to feel the love… Congrats! I’d put a chandelier where the moulding is in the lounge to replace the fan and then put fans where the fluros are….

  28. Teresa January 22, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    What a great tour of your new home! I can see it’s potential too and those ceilings are absolutely gorgeous. Best of luck with the renovating!

  29. Elle Mental January 22, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    You are right! You place has a lot of potential and seems to need sprucing more than renovating, so that it good. The old girl looks sound πŸ™‚
    The textured ceiling can be removed, by scraping and sanding, (there are Youtube videos, I’m sure that would show you how…isn’t there something on every subject on Youtube?),but a previous commenter is correct, there may have been a repair to the ceiling at sometime in the past, that was camouflaged with the textured ceiling. I would lay on the floor and look up at it at different times of the day, so that you can see the ceiling in different lights. If there is a flaw or a repair, there will be a time of day that you can see it better. Also watch from different places in the room to help you discover whats up.
    It looks like there is a lot of work to be done, but I am confident that you will do a great job of making the house your own! Thanks for the great tour. I am a sucker for light, (I’d really rather live outside…), and you have that in abundance! I look forward to seeing your progress! Enjoy the journey! Hugs! Elle

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

      I think we are just going to live with the lumpy ceiling for a little while. We are a bit overwhelmed at the thought of scraping and sanding it, so for now we’ve popped it into the too hard basket. Haha! xx

  30. Jess from Vintage Pie January 22, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Oh, how exciting!! Looks like a cool challenge, I think it will be beautiful! Good luck with the renovations, they are fun(ish) to do. (Painting trim on your hands and knees while 8 and a half months pregnant…up the ‘not so’ end of fun) but how rewarding to make it into your little home. Look forward to updates! x

  31. Tammi January 22, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Oh my goodness, your house is ridiculously cute! I am smitten. What an amazing blank canvas you have to work with, it’s got oodles of potential. Can’t wait to see how you put your stamp on it.
    Good luck guys πŸ™‚

  32. Michelle January 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    How exciting! And so much potential. I look forward to seeing what magic you two create in your new home!


  33. Becky January 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I’m so happy for you two! (Is it weird that I got all mushy inside with happiness for people I don’t really know and have never met? Huh.) Anyway…your place looks really great – like you said, tons of light, which is fantastic. Love it.

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      No, not weird. Nice! We are super chuffed to have you along for the ride! x

  34. Jane @ Shady Baker January 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Thanks for the lovely tour Katie, your new home is full of potential with all of that natural light. I cant wait for further updates!

  35. Kathy January 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Absolutely FANTASTIC…great bones…Huge rooms and lots of potential….and I love the natural light….make sure you wear masks on your face when you are stripping back all the paint and also just check for “lead paint”…not sure if you are near Bunnings or a local hardware….you want to make sure before you start sanding as you can get poisoning from lead paint..take it seriously. You can get very sick so just do your testing and know what you are dealing with…check each room as their may be a few layers of different paint whilst the top layer may not be lead based….the very bottom one may be. So excited for you guys a great big house with lots of potential. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  36. Kathy January 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm #


    check out these before and after of the old painted cottage in the states…I love everything about it but if the furniture or style is not to your liking you will certainly get lots of inspiration for your place from their ugly before to the beautiful afters…..

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      Wow, that is absolutely beautiful Kathy. Much fancier than our lowkey style but still very inspiring! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  37. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur January 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    I’m so excited and happy for you. Your home is going to be absolutely gorgeous by the time you are finished with it! Best of luck with all of the stripping/painting!

  38. Jacqui January 22, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    We too have fluorescent lighting, in the kitchen and lounge. What was with people putting fluorescent lights in houses?? Hoping to at least get rid of the ones in the kitchen soon (new kitchen, yay!) and we might just have to switch to tubes that give a more natural light in the lounge for now. Unless our budget grows somehow, which would also be nice.
    Good luck with it, you have your work cut out for you but it’ll be amazing in the end.

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

      Oh I know, the fluoros are just awful!! I have no idea what kind of lights we’re going to put in but anything has to be better than what’s there now.

  39. cassie January 22, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    Oh the apricot! Ha ha! In our first house the 2 colours throughout were lime green (kitchen/bathroom) and mission brown, gack! Come to think of it we had apricot tiles throughout too… nice!! We did a bit of renovating too! Hmmm, I dont envy all the sanding, filling and prep work – though painting is fun πŸ™‚ Im looking forward to seeing your progress especially your choice in window treatments! Yay! Have fun. Cassie

    • Katie
      Katie January 22, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

      I can’t wait to get done with the prepping and start painting! Lime green and mission brown sound LOVELY! πŸ˜‰

  40. Lou January 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    It looks lovely to me, so much potential!
    Sanding and revarnishing the floorboards was the first job we did on our house before we moved in. It was expensive, but worth every cent! Our floors we so dark from years of wear when we bought the house, but once they had been revarnished they came up a lovely Jarrah.

    Also, when it comes to hanging curtains this is the best piece of advice I’ve ever come across…

    I can’t wait to see what you do to the house! Congrats!

  41. Felicia January 23, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    I’m so excited for you guys! Homeowners-how awesome! I can’t wait till we are homeowners some day πŸ™‚ The house is so lovely and has so much potential to become a charming, cozy sanctuary! I can’t wait to see the after pictures after you guys work your magic to make it yours! Congrats again!

    xo Felicia

  42. Samantha January 23, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Congratulations!! It looks like it will be super beautiful!! (and you wouldn’t want something that already came prefab, would you? that wouldn’t be any fun…)

  43. Gillian, @look_mama January 23, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Our house was a bit of a challenge when we got it. Old wallpaper and manky shag pile everywhere.

    You don’t need to do it all at once. Shabby but cleaned is fine… don’t stress yourselves out. : )

    Watch out for asbestos. If it is painted and well maintained it’s not a problem. Disturbed it is.

    Have fun! : )

  44. Cookie January 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Lots of Love, Luck and Life in your new home. It is unique, and I know you will make it yours.

  45. Allana January 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Oh wow, how exciting for you both! I’m a sucker for the before part of a reno, what fun you have ahead of you. Slow and steady and a chance to live with the ins and outs of the house before you plunge into the bigger stuff is my humble advice. Oh and a dyson handheld vac if you can afford it, best reno clean up tool around, will take ENDLESS plaster dust etc and just keep on going. I look forward to seeing your new home evolve πŸ™‚

  46. Cassie January 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Apricot overload, but wow what a lot of potential there for you!! Love all the windows and the light, and everything else is just cosmetic and will come good in time. Can’t wait to see how you get on with it!

  47. Cindi January 24, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    This will be fun to watch and see how you fix up your new home!
    Lots of possiblities for sure.
    I agree with Kathy, be very careful with that paint, just in case it’s lead.
    and then Gillian mentioned asbestos..oh yeah..please be careful.
    I wish you luck, I’m still working on my house and I’ve been here forever!
    Love all the light!
    πŸ™‚ – Cindi

  48. Melinda January 24, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    It will be good to follow your progress. I was a bit confused on travelling times to jobs how far does Reuben have to travel to work now and another question does your home come with a big back yard for you to start a vegie garden, just wondering what size your block of land is. A lot of people would probably love to you live in your area but just wondering about employment in your area.
    I am very pleased for you but when I was younger everything seemed to revolve around employment and because of my husbands’ job always had to remain in the big smoke. Even now more than thirty five years on I still ‘crave’ to live in the country.
    I found your blog via Rhonda Jean and will enjoy following your progress.

    • Katie
      Katie January 24, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      Hi Melinda! Reuben is commuting about an hour to work (in Bendigo). He could look for work in another town closer by, but he really loves his current job and is happy to commute. At least for now. Our house is not on a big block and our garden is quite small, but there is room enough for a big veggie patch and a couple of chickens. There just won’t be much lawn! We’ve been reading up on gardening in small spaces and are confident we’ll be able to make our little plot quite productive. Thanks for reading! x

  49. Mike January 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    i LOVE the new house!

    So very happy for the two of you. Sure..it will be lots of work. But that’s what transforms and house into a home. You will both add all the love and special stuff to make it a perfect place to live.

    Congratulations once more! I am so very happy for you!


  50. eliza January 28, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    wow. i see a lot of great potential! watching the transformation is going to be so fun!

  51. Vickie February 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    The process of finding and purchasing a home can be quite stressful and rewarding. I can totally relate because Ive been there and still searching… Your home is beautiful! Congrats and your mom rules!

    Your newest follower!


  52. Michelle Clement February 8, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Oh, but it has beautiful bones!! It makes me want to move out of the city right. now. So excited to see how you guys make it your own – lovely!

  53. Alison December 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Wow! I’ve just found your blog and this post was like looking at my own house. We have the same apricot kitchen- even the same cupboard handles. Then I looked at your bathroom and the vanity is almost identical- our drawers are to the right of the cupboards instead of the leg.

    It was rather strange to see someone else in my house.

  54. Rebekah May 8, 2015 at 6:12 am #

    hi! Im crazy about this color. I was wondering what was the exact name of the paint you used to paint your kitchen???


  1. Hello Wood! | House of Humble - January 28, 2013

    […] back our blistering door frames and skirting boards, only to discover that hiding under all that bubbly paint there was beautiful wood! In a previous life this wood was exposed and varnished. Before we […]

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