This past weekend, while trying to edit down some of the 20,000 photos on my hard drive (which make my computer zip along at glacial speed), I stumbled across some photos of our house as it looked when we purchased it in 2008, and was slightly startled to see the extent of the transformation that's taken place.
In the predictable fashion of all home renovations, ours inched forward in fits, starts and the occasional halt and although it continued to slowly metamorphosize before our eyes, it wasn't until I compared the "before" and "after" shots that I really was able to see the change in character our house has undergone.
It's not so much about the design or the wallpaper or the furnishings we chose, but how the sum of our decisions seem to have brought the house to life.
(Dining room, mid-renovation)
It feels like a living, breathing organism now. It has a definite personality and I like who it's become.
(Dining room, after)
When we moved in, although in tip-top condition, it was suffering from a prolonged case of insecurity. It had wonderful bone structure, but it hadn't dressed up or worn a speck of makeup in years.
(Upstairs hall, before)
(Upstairs hall, after)
There's no reversing the aging process (and who wants to anyway?), but I knew that given a good makeover...
(Front hall, before)
(Front hall, after)
...this Monterey Colonial Revival could become a confident, sexy English Auntie Mame.
(Living room, before, with a startled Piero)
(Living room, after)
I swear it's made a difference to the soul of the house. It's a happy place now. Like an eccentric maiden aunt, it's staunch, dependable and prone to occasional flights of fancy. Best of all, after a year of reparations, we've established a reservoir of mutual trust with each other: in return for our pledge to treat it with love and respect, it has become the protectorate of our hopes and dreams.