The Boxy Colonial: Then and Now

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this about 43 times over the past year or so, but I’m kind of frustrated with the pace of house projects lately. Like mostly since Dave started working on his masters and then, lately, since Abe stopped napping. I know it’s fine. I know that we have the rest of our lives to work on this house, and that Dave will finish his masters and Abe will stop being three before too long…but I still get frustrated sometimes.

So it was nice timing when I was going through some old photos and came across a bunch that I thought I’d accidentally deleted of the house right after we moved in (several months before I started blogging). So late spring of 2012. In this time of slow progress and frustration, it’s good to look back and see how far the house has come since our first days here. And how much less yellow it is. And, what with the lack of actual new projects to talk about, I thought I’d share some before and…nows today.

The library was one of the first rooms we really worked on. We bought the Billy shelves that are in there now and that we still love shortly after we moved in. But even before that, we shoved every bookshelf we owned in there (along with that big overstuffed chair that is STILL in our basement for the cats to hang out on. The kids call it Blue Chairy; they’re very attached for some reason) so we’d have somewhere to unpack books:


This is also the first of many places we tried to put our big glass doored cabinet. It didn’t work in here because I didn’t like the way it got in the way of the arch and was so visually heavy. It’s in the dining room now, and I don’t imagine it will leave there anytime soon. That lamp (shaped like a horse head) you see on the shelf against the back wall was one of our first purchases specifically for this house. It’s in the office upstairs now.

And the library now:


The dining room is a trouble spot, as I’ve mentioned, but it’s better than it used to be at least!


There might be a post about the future of the dining room coming up later this week. But for now I’m glad that the yellow is gone, and I’m happy with the navy-fication of the table (this photo is from back when the sad pilgrims were still over the buffet, because I haven’t taken a picture of the whole room since they came down):


And the den, even though the fact that we still have some things to finish up in there is one of the things I’m frustrated about, might win the award for most improved. Those couches made me so sad for so long:


We had no idea where to put them for one thing. Maybe they should just sort of float in the middle of the room with bookshelf behind them for no apparent reason?


Here’s an early version of the mantel, which my mother famously (famously in our house anyway) described as “junky:”


Most of the junky stuff actually ended up in our master bedroom, where I like to think it maybe looks less junky. Anyway, progress!

galleryden02s navyden02s

And finally, we have Milo and Gus’s room: another tricky one that went through many changes before we finally got it right (for now). On paper, it seemed like loft beds were the way to go for a relatively small room shared by two kids. But in reality it just never worked well, either visually or practically:

oldhouse04s oldhouse05s

We eventually went to single set of bunkbeds, but it still wasn’t right. Counter-intuitively, the space hogging twin bed arrangement is what’s worked the best in there:

pillowfort from Target Explorers Escape bedding

You can see that the wall mural has been up since the beginning, though….it was one of the very first things we did in the house (along with the green walls that they picked the color for).

So there you have it: a quick glimpse into the Boxy Colonial’s dark and yellow past, as we approach our four year anniversary here (later this month!)


The Boxy Colonial: Then and Now — 22 Comments

  1. Wow, you have done a lot more than I have in only a few months more. I moved into this house in August 2012, and I haven’t even unpacked all the books yet (because I have nowhere to put any more shelves to put them on. I will move again someday.) My list is long, and except for painting the bedroom, mostly not done.
    And yet again, I see the dark walls in the den and think “I actually like that!”

    • Having a blog is a good motivator (I suspected it would be, which is one of the big reasons I started it)….but I’m pretty sure there are a couple of boxes of unpacked books still lurking in the basement somewhere. I really need to thin out books; if we don’t have enough shelves for them even with the library, I might have a problem πŸ˜‰

  2. Do the doors on the bookcases make it so there is less dust on the books? Does it work that way?
    Your house looks great. It makes me want to move because there is no hope for my current house.

  3. I love your library. So much. And I love this post, because it helps me realize how far our own house has come. It’s a bit like kids growing up. You don’t see it happening in the day-to-day, but if you look at a photo of them from 4 years ago, you can’t believe the transformation.

    • Thank you! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the bookcases (which is good, because it would be an expensive PITA to figure out something different to do with all those books ;))

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