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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  • WOW! Those before/after pics are stunning! They have given me some inspiration! We are moving in a couple weeks and the BEFORE is going to be pretty ugly! Hopefully I am able to add my personal touch and make something beautiful!

  • WOW My husband and I just bought a fixer-upper and are going through much of the same “weekend warrior” makeover work – this is SO inspiring!!! Absolutely beautiful “afters”!

  • Jennifer, now that your home’s completed, perhaps you’d like to do my apartment? Come over ANY TIME!!!!!

  • Gorgeous, guys. And thank goodness. There isn’t anything I like less than faux finishing. I moved out of an apartment last year because they wouldn’t let me paint over it. So 90s.

    Thinking about it still gives me the willies.

  • Looks great! Nice job. I think I’d like it even more if the accessories were scaled down just a tiny bit.

    I feel like my husband and I aren’t going to get anywhere on our new house since we never have days off together. It would be so much more fun if we did! And things would be much more doable with another person to bounce ideas back and forth with.

  • Oh my, most beautiful before and after ever!

    And also, wtf with the before walls? I have no idea how you could see past those, so double my compliments.

  • The birdcages turned picture frames are great. I always think about buying a vintage birdcage whenever I see one at the flea market but end up passing it up because I can’t imagine what I’d do with it…until now. Would be great to see a tutorial for them!

  • OMG – it’s beautiful! I want to move right in :) btw, what was up with the goopy-wavy lines and whitewashing in the before pictures? yikes!

  • That’s an incredible transformation!

    Our house began with faux/sponge painted walls (ALL of them except for 1 room that was stenciled) and it’s incredible what just a fresh coat of solid paint can do.

    The work you did in the kitchen was huge! I love every bit of your house. and hope ours turns out half this gorgeous in the end. Great work!

  • I’m confused by the kitchen cabinets in the before picture. What was that? Primer over dark cabinets? I hope so, otherwise all I can say is, “Huh?”

  • Amazing job! I’m astounded you were able to see the potential in the hideous “before”! I’m sad someone spent so much time doing those faux effects with the paint….ick. Love the birdcages too.

  • WOW! One of the most beautiful homes I’ve seen in a while. Not that I don’t like more contemporary or eclectic homes myself (I own one of them), but this one has soo much soul, warmth and heart in a neutral palette of color throughout the house. Remarkable. I’m sure they’re so proud of it. I would be; its breath-taking.

  • Wow what an absolutely STUNNING transformation!! The house is just GORGEOUS!!!! I love everything about it. Beautiful and stunning choices were made throughout. It makes me want to live there.

  • Wow, beautiful transformation! I can’t believe how AWFUL it was before! Someone actually lived there with those crazy walls?? Great work!

  • Okay, I love that chest w/ the blankets in it beneath the mirror. Where did you find that ? I’ve been looking for something for my foyer, & that would be perfect!

  • the before is…well incredible… Especially laughing my head off about the light fixtures in the “before” kitchen. What on earth are they for??
    You did an amazing job – must have been tons of white paint you used there! ;)

  • The before is as ugly as the after is great !

    This gives me some hope… we just got the keys to our first home and let’s just say there’s almost as much work to do…

  • wow, by far the best home transformation i’ve ever seen on this site! Jennifer is definitely talented and a visionary

  • oh my gosh! amazing job!!! and incredible photos. did they just paint the tile on the fireplace? is it really that easy to fix that problem? absolutely stunning transformation.

  • Very nice taste…!
    But, may be… a little of excess, too much furniture and decor elements (it must to exist also free space to live!).

  • I love how the white pulls everything together and gives a sense of space, despite all of the many many treasures. I also love how they used mirrors and glass in the space to bring sparkle and light. Definitely an inspiration home!

  • The first before and after pictures are mind blowing.. I literally gasped. Oh and the kitchen – love the counters and the construction and that beautiful window. The best thing about this redesign, I think, is that it looks like any old tract home and then it is transformed into something amazing.

  • This is really, really beautiful. It must have been so much hard work, but very rewarding. I admire all the careful thinking and consideration that went into it–even if it’s a little more girly than my own style (I can’t quite picture me living with my boyfriend in a place that style.)

  • Hi! I’m the owner of this home, and I wanted to thank you guys for all of your comments. I can see so many of you have so many questions about how I did everything. Over time I’ll be posting on tutorials as well as the make-over process on my blog. (my blog link was provided in the article above). I’m an antique dealer and an avid collector, hence the enjoyment of being surrounded with the things I love. Thank you for looking at my home!

    Jennifer Grey
    The Old Painted Cottage

  • ‘Before’ was an eyesore, so congratulations for seeing its potential and picking such a pretty and refined color palette. However the after feels very twee and overly cluttered to me because the scale and period of the furnishings does not in any way match the scale and period of the house. Sorry.

  • before + after is definitely my favorite section of this site… and this is total overload on it. I LOVE IT

  • That new kitchen makes my heart sing!

    I am not a granite countertops, cherry cabinets, stainless steel appliances kind of gal. White everything and butcher block counters are the way.

    love. Love. LOVE the kitchen. Le sigh.

  • that is my dream home right there! love that old french country interior look…what an improvement from sponge painted walls!!

  • So light, airy and uplifting! You have a great talent for pulling all of these elements together.

    Would you be willing to share some of the off white paint color info?

    :::blush::: I used to faux paint my walls back in the 90’s. I’m ashamed how gross it can really look. bleck!

  • This home is INCREDIBLE!

    It reminds me of what my dear Mama wants her house to look like! All shades of white and cream … just beautiful.

  • I’m in the middle of a remod. and love the ideas that have been used here,I can see so many of the things I have that are in the think I’ll try that stage that would look wonderful painted..

  • This home is beautiful! The funny thing is, the floor plan is almost identical to our previous home. Love the color scheme…simply gorgeous!

  • I’m so glad that someone with insanely detailed and tailored taste came in to take care of the misguided sponge painting that had happened to that house.

    It’s unbelievable, looks like a posh boutique or a magazine spread, positively dreamy.

  • The redecorating is lovely but the excess of decorative pieces makes it look like a boutique shop rather than a home.

  • i feel like there is too much accessorizing going on here. dont get me wrong its a hige transformation but i think you could pair it down. ie: kitchen counter (too much stuff), dining corner left table, dining corner. theres a fine line between too decorated and livabke/functional. I feel like a lot of the accessories make you feel like you have no where to just put your purse or newspaper down at the end of the day. be careful with that.

  • Just bought my first home. I am having fun thinking of fun diy design/remodel plans now… your home is such an inspiration at the perfect time for me to see this! Thank you. Do you have any advise? How long did this take you? Just trying to get an idea of what all this beauty takes!

  • To me, this looks like a shop where you’d buy nice soaps while worrying about knocking over knicknacks. What is interesting to me is that so many people LOVE it. Clearly, the old “de gustibus” cliche is true true true.

  • absolutely amazing how much character and charm you brought to a space that looked beyond hope. doesn’t even matter that the after is not MY style, i can the totally appreciate your vision and this amazing transformation. makes me think ANYTHING is possible!

  • J’ador-able….i love all the different colors of whites and creamas well as the subway tiles in the kitchen. I also love all the birdcages and light fixtures galore. beautiful!

  • “Visionary” was dead on, Amy! This place truly took that! I love love love it!

    especially the couch-combo. It really works, modern / vintage. Bravo! My place is even smaller, but I’m going to study this for ideas!

  • Must agree with what several others have said, that while it’s a remarkable transformation, it’s just WAY too busy. Edit, edit, edit! Less is more!

  • wow…! so many people would have looked right past what it was and you saw what it could be…what the world needs now is vision!

  • Absolutely gorgeous. I wish I had Jennifer’s vision — I want to steal her decorating style. This is my favorite “before & after”!

  • They should be so proud. Their house looks beautiful and so comfortable. This is my favorite “before & after” too!

  • I am so excited and inspired… I am about to move into a home that needs as much tender loving care as this one did…thanks for showing me it CAN be done!

  • Since cabinetry is my business I want to say what a fantastic job you did with your kitchen. You’ve really created a warm and inviting home.

  • 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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