before and after

before & after: jennifer’s home

by Grace Bonney

our final before & after of the day (stay tuned for a new “we like it wild” post next!) is a large scale home makeover project. and the best part? the home owners, jennifer grey of the old painted cottage and her husband, did almost everything with their own two hands. the final results are really spectacular and prove that with a little willpower and free time on the weekends, a lot can be accomplished. great work, jennifer!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just send me an email here with your pictures!]


CLICK HERE for the rest of the before & after (6 more pictures) after the jump!


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  • It’s beautiful and perfect! I can’t imagine why someone would presume to tell you to edit – or get rid of your precious things after you were gracious enough to share your lovely space with us. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • LOVE! Usually, I prefer less rather than more, but here, it really works for me. Each object is lovely and adds to the ambiance of the room. There is soul present rather than a tragically sterile skeleton.

  • Stunning and very inspirational for my new home as I have been leaning towards a similar style! Thanks for posting and keep up the great work!

  • Ms. Grey obviously has a great eye, but I agree with Buda. All the loveliness can stand to be pared down.

  • This is by far one of the best renovations I have ever seen. It’s a completely brand new space. How wonderful to look beyond the surface of a house, recognize its potential, create something beautiful and turn into your home. Bravo!

  • i love the renovation. you gave it a much needed face lift. those wall finishes were UGLY. i love the hardwood. and the kitchen is beautiful. big and airy, but still so cozy.
    however, as a few others have said, way too much stuff. if it was me, i’d cut down on the shabby-chic accessories. there just seems to be too much and a lighter hand would do wonders. and maybe a less neutral shade of beige/cream. but, i think that’s just because i’ve been living with that color myself for a while and i’m starting to get tired of it! again, this is my opinion. overall, amazing transformation.

  • Waaaay too many accessories. It looks more like a retail store than a home. You’ve gotten too carried away with all the tchotchkes all over the place. All that stuff detracts from the good work you did. Aside from that, you have certainly improved the house greatly.

  • Double-u Oh double-u. I am in awe. And inspired to at least vacuum my dirty house. Please excuse me while I try to make my house look exactly like yours.

  • Oh, wow. That’s like my perfect house. I would personally put a more more colours here and there but I absolutely love it. And what a change from the original! Must have taken so long, what determination. Really inspiring, when I get my own house (one day… ) I hope it’s just like this!

  • I am awe inspired. I have just purchased a 1951 “ranch & 1/2” as my husband calls it, and it is the most design challenged thing – if you want to call avocado green carpet and eggplant purple walls – designed challeged – oh, wait, the yellow walls and tile….

    Yours and Layla’s visions have helped me believe that is HOPE.

    Please keep up the AMAZING work and can’t wait to see what is next.

  • This is really beautiful and stunning! I totally do not agree at all that this place is cluttered or looks like a store! It’s gorgeous! It looks airy and I could totally enjoy being surrounded by it all!

  • I think this is a gorgeous makeover! The original faux paint is really bad, but just want to say that not all faux finishes look like that! There are some absolutely beautiful ones that could look fabulous in this space!

  • Awesome job! As a professional faux painter , I cringe at some of the before pictures – because I have seen it before! No wonder people hate sponge painting. Your use of light colors, multiple layers and textures give the space a very welcome and open feel. I love the door replacements, the simple lines are somehow warmer too. In defense of faux techniques a soft ragging with glaze can help soften the multiple texture ares like around the fireplace ( with the already painted tile)
    Like the others I do love the birdhouses! Great job!

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