Built in 1880, addition (kitchen and smaller porch) 1910 Victorian farmhouse Owned since 2007 4 bed / 1 bath, unfinished stone foundation basement, stone foundation crawlspace under the addition. Detached garage Around 1600 sq ft Lot size just shy of 1/2 acre, in 2 separate lots. The house was the original farmhouse in the area, and the neighborhood built up around it. They had guessed at where streets would be put in, but they guessed poorly. Our mailing address is on a street that was never put in (so we live on what's called a "paper street"). Our driveway is technically an easement along the 2nd lot to get to the nearest paved street. It's all very confusing and leads to every delivery man and contractor getting lost. It does, however, provide an excellent screening process to prove which ones listen when you tell them something. The property on the other side of the house is very long and narrow, with the house below us on the hill. If you see a pile of weeds behind our garage, that's the neighbors lot that they don't care for, plus about a 10' pile of weeds that is owned by the city and is our "street."
Inside of the house was partially renovated when we bought - some improvements to the kitchen, laminate flooring on the first floor (although I would have preferred beat up hardwoods like the upstairs which we could have refinished), updated bathroom. Our work has mainly been cosmetic and plaster repair in all 4 bedrooms, further improvements to the kichen, and painting the bathroom. We do a mix of DIY and hired out, mostly because we used to have time and not money, and now it is the opposite.
This bedroom saw the most dramatic changes. There was fabric stapled to cork board adhered to the plaster with 2 or 3 different adhesives on one wall, wallpaper boarder on another, and a closet made from tongue and groove boards that was about the size of the room itself.
There was pretty serious plaster repair that needed to be done in the closet area. The plaster was pulling away from the lathe, so we reattached and patched what couldn't be saved.
(still need a real "after" since we've refinished the floors, and we still need to rebuild a much smaller closet in the corner.)
This room has the best story, I think. When we bought, they had an eat-in kitchen, a small countertop between the door and garage, stove right next to the fridge (and no counter), and countertop in the pantry by the sink. It made no sense and was a PITA to cook in. Not to mention I find it ridiculous that you don't need an eat in kitchen 5 steps from a formal dining room. There was also the issue of absolutely no upper cabinets, only open shelving, in a kitchen with a wood stove. Wood stoves create lots of dust, even when you burn them well, and it's in general a PITA to have stuff out. We wanted to get rid of one set of open shelves in favor of cabinets to store dishes and glasses, more countertop (especially next to the stove), an island instead of eat-in kitchen, and a proper vent hood.
Before: (mix of seller's stuff and our stuff right before demo began)
We were on a budget, though, so we couldn't really afford to gut everything and start over. We wanted to work with what we had. One day we were walking into Lowes to buy something small (I don't remember what, but it sure wasn't a kitchen) and I saw a sign that said something like "we're selling all our display kitchens! 30% of original prices!" and i convinced DH (FI then) to go look at them with me. There was one display that had a bunch of cabinets in the same color and a similar style to what we had in the house already. Here's what we saw in store:
$1300 for everything, but you had to disassemble, remove it from the store by a certain date, and re-assemble it yourself. It was so close to everything we needed - we would use the middle base cabinet as an island, the two base and upper cabinets to flank the stove, and the 4 middle uppers in place of the open shelving in the pantry. We would need to buy 1 corner upper cabinet to add to the pantry, build a cover to go over the planned range hood above the stove, and figure out countertops. And, somehow ditch the existing granite counter that was included in our $1300 display.
Some guy bought the granite for $300 to cut down for a bar area in his house after his wife spotted our "like this granite? let's make a deal" sign that we left on it. We paid $400 I think for the corner cabinet, but when all was said and done we spent less than $1500 for all of them. The glass front cabinets alone were worth more than that.
So the week after our wedding, we redid our kitchen. Swapped the lights, repainted the ceiling, painted the yellow to a lighter shade, added cabinetry, added an electrical outlet and moved the fridge, took the top off of the former dining table (that matched the rest of the counters in the kitchen) and put it on top of the new island base, used leftover tile for the top of the other 2 base cabinets (not finished in these pics, but has been except backsplash now), installed vent hood and duct work, made removable cover to hide duct work.
(pre ductwork cover and new SS fridge, but shows the new layout best)
Updated the photos in the OP. It's been a year, and while it feels like we haven't made any progress, a lot had happened! The yard (sandbox, swingset, shed) are new, first floor dining/living/playroom have been painted and rearranged, and more minor updates to the rooms upstairs. I hope to get pics of the new porch furniture this weekend to add.