then and now – the ugly house

I’ve been thinking about the amazing before and after photos on the blogs I follow. And the TV shows I like. They’re amazing. Even when I don’t particularly like the style, I see the amazing transformations and feel inspired and more than a little envious.

I mean the after rooms are always perfect, styled to within an inch of their lives, great colours, interesting mix of textures, fantastic furniture, creative vignettes… Magazine quality rooms.

I may occasionally be able to set up a perfect corner in my house to photograph, cropping out the mess of stuff I’ve had to move out of shot in order to create that corner of perfection. But I can never show you a complete finished and styled room.

Even if I finish a room (the only room here close to being finished is the kitchen!) I won’t have the right furniture. Or I’ll have a stack of things I have no real place for and that just don’t fit in. Or I’ll have clothes airers drying clothes in front of the wood heater (this place is like a chinese laundry all winter,)

So, in the spirit of sharing the progress of our home, from what it was when we first saw it, to how its looking right now, almost 3.5 years later, I decided to do a then and now series.

We’ve come a long way since we bought the farm… at least in some parts of the property. Its good to remember just how much has changed – for the better.

This is how the house looked when we bought it:

And this is what it looks like now:

When we bought it, there was a tiny little porch on the end near the driveway, with an outside toilet (the blue door):

We enclosed the tiny porch, making a mudroom, and bringing the toilet into the house:

Of course, the hot water cylinder (which used to be on a blank wall) was now on the porch:

So this year we moved it to the driveway side of the house:
We also enclosed the end of the porch to give us a dry zone and protect our boots from horizontal rain:
This is what the driveway side of the house looked like before:

Here it is after some painting and planting but before the hot water cylinder was moved and the retaining wall was put in.

What we’ve done:

Enclosed the tiny porch.
Added a big porch which we joined up to the small one on the back of the house.
Replaced the small kitchen window with a bigger one.
Planted flowers.
Painted the house.
Moved the hot water cylinder.
Levelled the driveway and put in a retaining wall along the side.
Replaced the trellis on the small back porch with slats to match the new porch railing.

Its been a long, meandering road.

Again, here is the house when we first bought it:

And here it is now:


And now:



Even with wheelbarrows on the porch and painting waiting to be done, its a lot prettier now, wouldn’t you agree?


7 thoughts on “then and now – the ugly house

  1. Looking great! The porch is a great addition and the plants look spectacular. You must get more rain than us in Texas to have such nice greenery. We only get about 30″ in a good year. Not looking good yet with not quite 4″ and the year is almost half over!


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