This was one of my first projects and very personal for me, because it was also my first home. Not just any first home, this was the home that I came home to after my honeymoon. This was the first home to both of my children. Without further adieu, meet my first home:
West Seattle Ranch: Before
When we moved in, everything in the front of the house was painted a mottled grey. The floors were old asbestos tiles, and windows were single glazed. The fireplace sat on the ground with an inset tile hearth and a dated faux stone surround. The kitchen had a decal border and the cabinets blended with the walls in the same mottled grey. The living room in the back was something of a surprise in a deep "Barney" purple.
West Seattle Ranch: After
I'd say we made an improvement. While I'm sure there was much more we could have done, we were young, on a budget, and with two babies! I hear the new owners have done much more beyond this and I would love to see it.
When on a tight budget and looking for instant improvement, a fresh coat of paint will go a long way. We started by painting everything. It took some convincing, but I managed to get my husband to do a few accent walls in my favorite green. We pulled out the asbestos tiles (please, call a specialist!) and replaced them with bamboo flooring throughout the front of the house. The bedrooms in the front of the house were personalized to suit our young children's taste. We cleaned up the front yard (when dealing with overgrowth, I've learned that it's better to have nothing than so much of everything!), and eventually updated the fireplace by pouring our own hearth, tiling, and building a mantel out of a piece of wood and some oil!