HOUSE: Newburgh

Five years ago, part one.


Five years ago this month, Evan and I were living in agony as we waited…and waited…and worried…and waited some more to hear about whether we were indeed going to be able to buy our house. The entire home-buying process was an huge, complicated mess that dragged on for months and came directly on the heels of having had two other near-buys (in Newburgh and across the river in Beacon) thwarted for various reasons. We felt sick and sad all the time. Buying a house in an economically depressed area can often be a challenge, but we stuck it out, and after much emotional upheaval, we finally closed on our house (in the middle of a snowstorm, the day after our car died).

I can’t imagine going through the process of buying a house again, but I’m still glad we did it.

These before and after photos aren’t all shot from the same angles, but I think they’re still fun (and dramatic!) to look at. Some were taken in January before the people who were renting the house at the time moved out, and some are from after we’d started ripping holes in the walls and generally making a giant mess out of everything, including ourselves.

Stay tuned for part two!

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  • Reply Jason Hudson Dot Com January 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm


  • Reply victoria January 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    truth in beauty. just shows you what great style and a lot of love can do. yay!

  • Reply Vanessa January 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Wow… you’ve certainly come a long way. Looks incredible!

  • Reply verhext January 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I hope you’re just EXPLODING with pride looking at these. So much work, and so much beauty!

    Part 2 better include the epic bathroom remodel!

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Hah, which one? Those bathrooms went on FOREVER. The upstairs one was particularly insane, though, so maybe it needs its own post!!

      (You know, it was the home-buying process that made me lose my mind completely for a while. I was just reading some LJ posts from back during that time, and reading your comments and stuff. I was so sad! And you were so nice! And you still are.)

  • Reply Fiona January 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Way to go. Happy birthday D16.

  • Reply cajeta January 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Fantastic! LOVE that yellow trim (j/k!!!)! Your house must be so happy to be loved and treasured!

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      I finally painted over the last of that horrible “goldenrod” color over the summer, and I felt SO victorious!!

  • Reply Courtney January 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I love seeing these photos! Your house is beautiful, and all of the hard work you post is so inspiring as I embark on renovating some areas of the house my husband and I bought almost 2 years ago.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply cottageofstone January 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    5 years!! Suddenly I feel better about our renovation. Nothing is overnight for anyone. And perfection takes time, right?

    Beautiful work, Anna!

  • Reply Hypatia January 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    In some places it’s a tradition to congratulate the parents on their kids’ birthdays. In this case, it makes so much sense. Congratulations to both of you on making such a great home.

  • Reply nicole January 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    happy birthday, house! you’re so lucky to have your before photos. what a difference!

  • Reply Angel Bridget Polacheck January 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Congratulations! What you guys have done is truly inspiring – especially since my sweetheart and I also bought a house nearly five years ago. Unfortunately, it will still be a while until we have any “after” photos to share… We decided it would be wise to renovate (by ourselves, no contractors) while living in the house, and both of working over full-time. Uh, yeah. That didn’t work out so well! The demolition and gutting part was pretty fun, but it kind of stopped there… Until now! We actually have a plan, and have hired people to do the work that we’ve finally admitted is beyond us! One day, I might actually have walls! Walls that can be painted! I have like, an altar to my future paint swatches, man! SOON. Anyway, watching your process over the years has been super motivating, so thank you for sharing it! Your home is so, so beautiful.
    best wishes,

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      “We decided it would be wise to renovate (by ourselves, no contractors) while living in the house, and both of working over full-time.”

      Oh, I hear you. We did hire people to do the plumbing and electric, but most of the work that was done was done by us. Believe me, we had plenty of moments when we just had to STOP and take a break for a month or more, because it was killing us — especially with a 2-hour commute every day. We had no real plan, we just kept going…and going…

      There is no shame in hiring contractors for the stuff that’s beyond you, and in the long run, it can actually save you money. (And sanity!!)

  • Reply Maria January 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Happy Birthday Anna & Evan’s house! lovely work, Anna.

  • Reply jennifer in sf January 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Happy House Anniversary!

    Why in the world did they have a screen on that fireplace? Some people.

  • Reply Alexis January 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Anna you completely inspire me! Yes, yes you do.

  • Reply jennifer in sf January 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Happy House Anniversary!

  • Reply lizzie January 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    wow, your home is beautiful! you’ve done beautiful things with it…

  • Reply Dan @ Manhattan Nest January 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Well, gosh. Amazing to see all of these collected in one place, and the incredible amount of work and vision it took to get from the befores to the stunning afters is so clear in these shots. Your home is incredible, and it’s so lucky to have you guys. Happy house-i-versary!

  • Reply kellie January 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Wow, the difference is incredible! You have done an amazing job! I look forward to the next 5 years 🙂

  • Reply chika January 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Happy birthday the house!
    Looks so different from the before! I like your simple, most-black-n-white taste. It’s really inspiring 🙂 Thanks for posting.

  • Reply Jessica January 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Um… kind of amazing.
    You sure turned that place around!

  • Reply Amanda- Hip House Girl January 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Stunning! I love your style. Love the black walls + trim and your fireplaces. Gorgeous.

  • Reply Krissy January 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    INCREDIBLE transformation. You must be so proud of what you’ve created.

  • Reply Heather Jo January 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    The home-buying process can be so depressing. (I know from experience, too.) But now your house is AWESOMENESS!

  • Reply Sarah B January 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Wow, has it really been just five years? You guys have achieved so much! We have had our place for two years in April and have only reno’d 2 rooms! My poor reno blog is more about my dog and art. Oh well. Congrats to you guys!! Love seeing the befores and afters 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer January 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    First of all, great job! So inspiring. I can’t believe I’ve been reading this for five years already.
    It’s perplexing, the fire screen with tools. I wonder what the intention was.
    Happy Anniversary!

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm

      Well, I did start this blog right after we bought the house, but about a month later, I deleted it and went into “blog hibernation” for a while (it was just too stressful for me to blog about the work that was going on at that time, but now I wish I had!) — so you’ve probably only been reading this for 3 1/2 years. 🙂

    • Jennifer January 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      Yeah that sounds about right. Glad to be a little less crazy than I thought, hehe.

  • Reply Adam January 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you for posting these Anna! So remarkable all that you have accomplished!

  • Reply Tania January 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Much prefer the decor in the “befores”… especially the pre laid out dining setting 🙂

  • Reply Tania January 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    PS: I hope my sarcasm is self-evident.

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      Hee hee 😉

      Y’know, compared to a lot of the houses we looked at, this one wasn’t so bad in terms of decor (which obviously I didn’t care about anyway!). The people who were living there had obviously put a lot of care and effort into making their house look as nice as they could, even though they were renting and the house was pretty run-down. They were very nice and friendly, considering we were basically causing them to lose their home. I felt terribly about that, but fortunately for them, they wound up having about four months to prepare and find a new place.

  • Reply Melli January 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    The transformation… Just amazing. Amazing!

  • Reply lau January 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    so awesome to see the before + after shots. you guys have totally transformed that place into your own, and its beautiful. happy birthday, door16!

  • Reply mopar January 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    What fantastic before and afters.

    Do you know approx what year your house was built?

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      We’re about 99% positive the house was built in 1891. We originally thought it was built in 1885, but then we saw a photo of the block in early 1891 and it was still an empty lot with our neighbors’ houses on either side! The accompanying article describes row houses being built, though, so I think we’re probably right. I’d say 1892 at the absolute latest.

  • Reply Siobhan January 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Did you negotiate the pineapple bowls in the sale? I can see how that would have been stressful for both parties. But seriously, amazing to see all your blood, sweat and tears in before and afters – it is so dramatic.

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      EVERYTHING in that dining room was pineapple-themed!! I don’t know if you can tell in the photo, but even those lanterns on the mantel had pineapples on the sides.

  • Reply Cher@NR January 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    love love loved it. Those holes are scary, and I like the black faced fireplaces much better than the original ones.

  • Reply white collar | green soul January 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    love it! i am in love with that deep navy in the bedroom. and the ferm living wallpaper. we just bought our house 7 months ago and your photos make me feel like it might not be end of me….. i said might.

    – agata.

  • Reply rick January 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    ab-so-lute-ly adore all the transformations. love it!

  • Reply Megan January 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Oh, wow! It is so much fun to see all the amazing progress in your lovely house. Cannot wait for part 2!

  • Reply Jane January 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Great job!!

    I love the piece above your fireplace – are the color blocks made out of fabric? Have you written somewhere else about where you got it?

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks, Jane!

      The collage above the mantel in the bedroom is a mixed-media piece by my father.

  • Reply Jane January 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    PS This really inspires me to make *my* living space better…it’s like, holy crap, look at all those people did, the least we could do is put in 1/10th of that effort into our place.

    PPS I have been meaning to tell you (not that you know me and we are old friends) that your weekend to do wish lists are also inspirational to me

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      They inspire me, too! I should make them more often.

  • Reply Erica January 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Oh wow, that’s stunning! Thanks for the much-needed inspiration!

  • Reply Rachel January 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    you and your husband give me much hope! we’re on year 4 of a similar renovation: we might not have any furniture, but at least we have a beautiful old house to enjoy in the end. 😉

  • Reply Lexi January 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I really love your home, the white and pops of color. The newly painted black walls, pretty much all of it.

  • Reply Lauren @ chezerbey January 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    WOW! I’d never seen the “befores” before…incredible!

    And I totally hear you on the house-buying process. We tried to take a break at one point, but once you start it’s hard to stop until you find something, no matter how painful the process. I actually remember getting all emotional at work when they didn’t accept our offer on on a 400 SF tear-down in a depressed neighborhood. But they say it always works out for the best, and maybe that’s true.

    Anyhow, happy 5-year!

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      It was DEFINITELY for the best that the other two deals fell through. I am grateful every day, believe me! At the time, though, it was absolutely crushing.

  • Reply erin@designcrisis January 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I loved everything about this post: the rush of anxiety followed by the dirty and ending with the pretty. Scratch that — with the beautiful. Such an amazing transformation, and a wonderful reminder that a house is a living, breathing thing.

  • Reply Erin January 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Gorgeous! You have done an amazing job!!! I really love your style.

  • Reply .amanda. January 20, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    oh these are SO fun and fantastically inspiring! Keep em coming!

  • Reply kay* January 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    wow. wow wow wow.
    just beautiful. you guys have done a wonderful job.

    & i love that you know the history of your home – so fascinating! do you know anything about the earlier homeowners/who lived there? so cool.

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      We know a little bit about the family that lived there in the 60s/70s (a neighbor of ours now lives in the house she grew up in), but nothing before that. After the 70s, the house changed hands many times and was a boarded-up HUD house for a while. I’d love to know more about the original owners, but I’ve never taken the time to do the research.

  • Reply alis January 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I would have ran away or died from depression at the sight of those yellow windows. Even the tint of the photos are depressing in the before photos, maybe because of the lighting they were using? Those pineapple bowls and place mats really complemented the dirty yellow trim. I cannot believe you did all this yourselves. My favorite house on the internet by far, and it’s actually a house and not some small corner a stylist created. Hats off to you!

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      That goldenrod color (paired with mayonnaise-toned walls) was truly awful. It took me 4 1/2 years to get rid of every last bit!

  • Reply bloobrey January 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Wow, the transformation is amazing! I love the pics! =)

  • Reply Rosa, Copenhagen January 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Congratulations to you both, Anna & Evan – its been such an inspiration for me to follow your hard and successful work over the years.

    Your house is just beautiful!

    I’ve just startet house-hunting and IF I find one I’ll definately try blogging about the transformations. Its good to know that there is hope 😉

  • Reply Emma January 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Happy 5 years!

    That nightmarish movie-hospital yellow is truly one of the most awful colors I’ve ever seen. I am a firm believer in the power of paint but sometimes it is difficult to see the face for all the makeup which makes housebuying such a terrifying enterprise.

  • Reply Lindsay January 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I like your decor style much much much better.

  • Reply Heidi Jo January 21, 2011 at 12:03 am

    So amazing! I had to hop out of Google reader to see these nice and big. 🙂 Oh, and I love the addition of the black wall. It’s perfect.

  • Reply Jennifer January 21, 2011 at 12:06 am

    That house is lucky to have you!

  • Reply Benita January 21, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Congratulation on a (ton of) job(s) well done!

  • Reply Jess [littlewildmoose] January 21, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Wow, just – wow! You should be so proud of yourself because you have done a fabulous job! My husband Mark and I just bought our second home 6 months ago with the plan on it being a renovation project (our first home was already completed so we didn’t touch it the two years we were there), so this gives me so much inspiration! We are slow renovators, but it’s nice to see that white paint, a few patch-ups, and nice furniture will really make a place look amazingly different. Well done!

    • Anna @ D16 January 21, 2011 at 8:24 am

      I know it doesn’t really show in the photos, but the house actually needed a LOT more than patch-ups and paint. All of the walls were falling apart and had to be replastered (fortunately we have a family member who is a genius in that area…and very generous with his time!!), for starters, which is a large part of the reason why we’re already five years in (and counting!).

      Don’t worry about taking it slow. You’ll get there! The best advice I can give you, though, is to focus on completing one room at a time. Make a plan of your projects and priorities, and try to stick to it. That’s something I REALLY wish we’d done, because lack of focus and 4985934 unfinished projects can be really be bad for moral.

    • Matt January 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      bad for moral. amen sister. but rejoice when a project is complete!

  • Reply Kim @ HousetoHomestead January 21, 2011 at 1:35 am

    We bought our house just about five years ago, too, and it’s been a long road to get it to a condition we’re happy with. I love what you’ve done with your place. It’s really neat to see how a more stripped-down, modern look really highlights the period architectural features (fireplaces) of the house.

  • Reply Sanna January 21, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Thank you for sharing these photos. You have restored the house beautifully.

  • Reply miss moss January 21, 2011 at 2:16 am

    i’ve been a silent reader for far too long, so just wanted to say happy house birthday & thanks for all the inspiration.

  • Reply Monica January 21, 2011 at 4:27 am

    I have said it many of times here and will say it many more I am sure. LOVE!
    The home buying, building, and/or renovating process is one of those exhausting, all consuming, suck all the happiness right out of you things in life. Your home is definitely proof that it is worth it. Congratulations.

  • Reply tessa January 21, 2011 at 4:37 am

    your home is absolutely stunning. and always, always inspiring.

  • Reply dawn January 21, 2011 at 7:31 am

    i am know you guys are so proud of your hardwork.
    it looks superfreakingwonderful.

    it looks like home.

  • Reply dew i January 21, 2011 at 7:45 am

    You are a visionary to see this house as it was when you bought it and believe you can turn it into what you have today. Stunning!

  • Reply neb January 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

    WOW – that pineapple dinnerware is quite something! 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 January 21, 2011 at 8:19 am

      Yeah, it’s definitely “something”, that’s for sure!! 😉

  • Reply Becky January 21, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Incredible transformation! If this was an episode of Pimp Your House, you’d win! It’s really amazing what a coat of paint does to make the room feel so fresh, but your taste in furniture and decorations is also impeccable. Fantastic!

    • Anna @ D16 January 21, 2011 at 9:38 am

      It was a LOT more than just a coat of paint, believe me! The photos make the house look like it was in much better condition than it actually was.

  • Reply Fernanda January 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Good taste changes everything and you’ve proved that!!!

  • Reply Ashley January 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Anna, if your walls could talk, they would scream a resounding “Thank you!” for saving them from the depressed state they were in before you and Evan moved in. I’ve really enjoyed the story of your house’s transformation.

  • Reply Emily @ Merrypad January 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Stunning transformation.

  • Reply Dave Bobrowicz January 21, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Congratulations Anna!

    I mentioned not too long ago via twitter that I work in a library, and the first day I found Door Sixteen I was working, and moments later, one of your Jennifer Weiner books came across the desk. It was just one of those special, “things are moving in the right direction” moments. I don’t know. Needless to say I have been hooked ever since. I feel like this is a fantastic use of a blog and it is refreshing to see your passion and respect for the heritage of your older home.

    Reading Door Sixteen is a welcome break in my day, as well as a huge inspiration for my design sense.

    Best Wishes,
    Dave Bobrowicz

    • Anna @ D16 January 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks, Dave! I love that coincidence. 🙂

  • Reply Lauren January 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Great improvement! It’s neat how all of the fireplaces look completely different. It adds a lot of interest.

  • Reply dean January 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    oooh, that IS something to celebrate. happy house-day and congrats!

    and thank you for all the time you spend documenting this whole process. not only is it really lovely to look at, but it’s also very encouraging to those of us who have house-buying and fixing-up on our horizon…

  • Reply Cori January 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Pineapple Bowls? I mean… really???

    You made a really fabolous home out of this house! 🙂

  • Reply audrey January 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    It looks as if the hardest things turn out to be the best though. You’re a model for the rest of us!

  • Reply Fat Cat January 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing your home with us ! It’s been incredibly inspiring. I hope you guys take at least a night off from renovating/diy-ing to have a decent celebration ?!

    PS. I had forgotten all about your awesome green anglepoise lamp. Thanks for reminding me. One more brilliant idea to steal 😉

    • Anna @ D16 January 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      Almost every night is a night off, actually. We really only work on a couple of projects a month, so it’s really only a day here and there…usually on a weekend. There’s no time at night!

  • Reply Matt January 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    my wife and i went through pretty much the same thing. it’s only been 1.5 years for us but we looked and looked and lost then were able to buy our own. there are some before/during pics of our reno. thanks for the great inspiration. my wife and i love coming to your blog.

    matt (& cate)

  • Reply PhillyLass January 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Such a stunning transformation! Anna, any advice or thoughts on what you’ve learned over the course of this project for those of us who aspire to one day take on something like this? Thanks for sharing!

    • Anna @ D16 January 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Make a plan! Don’t worry about resale! It’s okay to copy other people’s houses!

  • Reply janet January 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I love this. Everything. It would be incredible to come home to this every night & gives me hope yet for my humble little abode.
    Can’t wait for part two. Thanks!

  • Reply Lori E. January 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Looks beautiful! And it makes me want to paint our whole darn house white, floors and all! 🙂 What is the fireplace “screen” you painted black? I am assuming it is original to the house (and it is VERY cool) but is it merely decorative or does/did it serve a purpose?? And are you free to hop over to Indiana and give design advice to an aesthetically-challenged gal?? Just kidding. Sort of…

    • Anna @ D16 January 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      The “fireplaces” are actually forced-heat registers, and yes, they’re original to the house. They’re blocked off now, though, since steam heat (in the form of cast iron registers) was installed sometime around 1900.

  • Reply Lena January 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    It doesn’t have anything to do with the subject, but I just had to think of you when I saw this poster:
    Have a nice week-end!

    • Anna @ D16 January 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Cute! Thanks for the link 🙂

  • Reply sarah, flourish design + style January 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Happy 5th Birthday to one beautiful house! x

  • Reply Kate January 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Happy Homeownership Anniversary! This is a wonderful coincidence because we just put in an offer on a fixer yesterday. We’re waiting… and the emotions are running pretty high. This is just what I needed to see to inspire and restore my hope about the process. The pictures do hint that there has been so much more than a change of color. The results are spectacular, which cannot be overstated. Many happy returns!

  • Reply Melanie in MPLS January 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Hello Anna

    I have been an avid reader of your blog since stumbling across your home tour on Apartment Therapy almost three years ago. In December of 2008 my significant other and I finally purchased a home. I sympathized when you described the torture and agony of the home-buying experience. When we were house-hunting we, quite literally, looked at over 100 condominums, lofts, duplexes and single-family homes. At first it was exciting – every appointment we had with the real estate agent was filled with possibility. However, after seeing homes with crumbling foundations, asbestos flooring, exposed wiring and a myriad of other horrors it became depressing. We put in offers on five other houses (primarily short sales and pending foreclosures) before we finally closed on our Victorian. When we first saw the house it was love at first site. Virtually every room was wallpapered and there was even a hand-painted mural in the bathroom (a forest scene complete with a wolf howling at the moon)! Despite the questionable decor and deferred maintenance the house had wonderful bones and was structurally sound. Within the first day of moving in we were already furiously tearing down wallpaper.
    Now, two years later, we have accomplished so much however my boyfriend and I have vastly differently levels of enthusiam for these renovation projects. I think he would rather face a root canal than face another project. Many things I have tackled all by myself (painting rooms, kitchen cabinets and some wood floors; removing the awful 1970’s faux brick vinyl flooring from the bathroom, stripping wallpaper – the list could go on and on). While I feel a sense of pride in the transformation and all that I have learned along the way it can also feel frustrating, depressing and overwhelming sometimes. I have neglected other parts of my life because there is always another project looming on the horizon. My boyfriend is of the opinion that unless something is actually “broken” it doesn’t need to be changed. I look at the fully wallpapered dining room (ceiling included) and it grates on me.
    I read a number of blogs that focus on home decor and renovation and none of them really seem to discuss what an emotional and draining experience it can be. I’ve always been impressed by what you’ve managed to accomplish but I wonder if anyone ever feels the same. Maybe there should be a support group for home renovation junkies. 😉 How does everyone manage to find that balance? I love my home but feel alone in my hopes for what it could be.
    I apologize for the length of this post but I hope someone might have some encouraging words.

    • Anna @ D16 January 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Melanie, I understand and sympathize with everything you’ve written here, and I’ve often thought about writing a post that addresses this side of the renovation process. Usually I’m too upset in the moment to even WANT to write a blog post, but I have touched on it before (like when we were working on our downstairs bathroom).

  • Reply Lori Andrews January 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    looks awesome! love the transformation

  • Reply Michelle January 22, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Your house is so lucky to have someone like you to look after it so beautifully.


  • Reply House of Jammi January 22, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Happy 5th birthday! I love your before and after pictures.

  • Reply An January 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Congratulations!!! Love what you’ve done with your house. Looking forward to seeing more. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Lori E. January 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Melanie, I SO feel your pain! Our house has a lot of “charm and character” and I find it extremely overwhelming. Especially after watching any HGTV episode that has a makeover on it. I like Anna’s honesty in the actual time/labor/budget spent on her house projects. You are by no means alone in your frustrations and irritations! 🙂 In our first home we had a neighbor in her 70’s and she always told us “Rome wasn’t built in a day…” But, boy oh boy, wouldn’t it be nice? 🙂

  • Reply Jim January 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Never thought black walls could be so beautiful, nicely done!

  • Reply bloobrey January 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Thank God you finally bought it! =)

  • Reply Natalie January 23, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Well done! it looks great! and congrats for the closing (: you should have it..!

  • Reply Tina@FlyingHouse January 23, 2011 at 3:16 am

    It is extraordinary what you guys have accomplished! I know that stress of buying a house… We’ve lived overseas for most of our marriage but bought a house in the States in between our time in Spain and Morocco. It was completely stressful trying to buy one, but there are days when I still miss that feeling of coming home to something that is all mine!

  • Reply Moorea Seal January 23, 2011 at 5:36 am

    aaaaah god, your house is like every designer’s dream house. it has everything i love!

    i LOVE the bold black and white palette. I am totally taking inspiration from you in redesigning my bedroom 🙂
    i love the simplicity of your accent pieces, yet there is still something beautifully complex and somewhat feminine about the little piece that pop up in certain places. the masculine clean palette creates space to highlight the beauty of antique architectural pieces. Radiators become more like purposeful art objects, the black paint makes the fireplaces SO amazing, mixing modern drama of black and white with the ornate victorian detailing of the grating.

    Need I say anything more? I LOVE your aesthetic. Like woah!

  • Reply Amy January 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Your house is gorgeous!!!

  • Reply Liberty Street January 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Hi Anna! I totally needed this inspiring post after learning that we are only getting a very small grant from the City of Newburgh after all the crap we’ve been through since applying last April. It’s enough to maybe fix the roof, but it’s so disheartening, that I was really upset until reading your fifth year anniversary post and seeing what you’ve done. Your house is amazing and I need to remember that it took a lot of work and time. Anyway, Happy New Year! Sherry

  • Reply Sandra@Botany's January 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Wow, paint is like a can of magic!!!!!
    You have done an amazing job with this home. That is a whole lot of work, but I know it was worth it.

    • Anna @ D16 January 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      I wish it had just been paint! 😉

  • Reply jja January 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Wow! It is really miracle what you did to this place!

  • Reply Melanie's Randomness January 24, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    WOW what a transformation!! I love it! Congrats on 5 years, you have a beautiful home!! =)

    Melanie’s Randomness

  • Reply heather January 25, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Seeing this gives me hope for future transformations in my place! Everything looks amazing – of course.
    Happy Birthday Door Sixteen! 🙂

  • Reply minna January 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I just say, You´w done great job !

  • Reply Lindsey Stout January 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Your space is so inspiring! I absolutely love the white walls & little pops of color you have everywhere. & I’m extremely jealous of all those fireplaces…!

  • Reply Jenn from The Mustard Seed Blog January 31, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Wow, I just went through all three posts of before and afters. WOW. Even though it’s one of the smallest spaces (at least it looks like it from the photos) I truly love the vestibule. That wallpaper is to die for! Also, the black walls are so dramatic and beautiful.
    Thanks for taking the time to share these. It makes all of the trim painting I need to do around here look like child’s play! How inspiring. 🙂

  • Reply Allison April 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Hey Anna, another longtime (but silent) reader. I just had to stop by and say a big huge congratulations on all of your hard work over the years! What an amazing transformation. My fiance and I have been thinking about buying in the near future and we have slightly different opinions on the age of the house we want, and the amount of work we want to do. I would love to have a very old house, such as yours (though they are harder to come by in Minneapolis, we would more likely find a house built around 1900-1920) to fix up and remodel, and Alex would prefer a midcentury home (also adorable) with most of its original finishes and not much to fix up. You constantly affirm that it CAN BE DONE, and HOLY CRAP it can be done WELL! I will definitely use your home as an example in my favor when we begin looking and have to make some decisions. I cant wait to get my hands (and feet and knees and everything else) dirty, and its all because of you!


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