Old houses

the house!

Finally. After more than four months of moving, painting, refinishing (twice), Bryan and I have sort of gotten to a point where it feels great to walk in the door. I’m breaking a lot of my color rules here (warm sofa next to cool walls, for example), but we really tried to do all this on a budget. The only new piece of furniture we bought is the small red loveseat at the Long Beach flea market for $100, and the living room rug was a $60 craigslist find. All the paint I bought from the mistint pile or mixed myself from what I already had.

When we first looked at the house, it was covered in the same butter-colored paint and off-white carpet… everywhere. The first thing we did was rip up the carpet, a difficult and stressful process that involved sanding, putting down coats of polyurethane, and being really irritated with each other. It looked great until about a month’s worth of foot traffic, canine (x4) and human (x2), scratched the finish so badly that we were peeling it off in strips. Eventually, we re-sanded the entire floor and put down two coats of oil and two coats of wax, and the result is more beautiful and (so far) durable than the shiny poly finish.

Okay okay, enough chatter. Before:

house-before-living (1)


and the same room after:

house_living2 house_living3 house_livingRoom house_sailor house

We had a slight battle of the dining tables here. Bryan and I both found dining tables years ago on craigslist, and we both refinished them ourselves, and we both liked ours better than the other. In the end, Bryan’s table won, because it fit in the room and mine didn’t.

Here’s the bedroom before:


And while it’s really difficult to get a good shot of this room because it’s so small, here are two:

house_bedroom2 house-bedroom

The kitchen doesn’t look a whole lot different yet, but we did score this awesome 1930’s stove off craigslist:


Eventually, we’ll want to upgrade the flooring situation here, as well as the cabinets. The tile is either original or it’s from the 40’s, but either way we want to keep it. The bathrooms aren’t really worth showing yet, and neither is the back den/office or the outside of the house (the previous owner had gardeners and it looked lush and wonderful, but we’re too broke and have too many dogs so the flora has gone downhill quickly). Bryan is out back right now raking the leaves, which helps, but the poor grass just can’t withstand sixteen paws giving it a beating every day.

Now that we’re pretty far removed from the house hunting and negotiating part, it feels good. It’s great to have no regrets about how everything went down, and to genuinely feel like we got a wonderful house at a good price. The views from this neighborhood are really stunning, and rival those of mega-pricey Echo Park because yes, you can see downtown, but you can also see the ocean. And that feels good on any day.

in January 5, 2014

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  • mica January 11, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Yay! Glad to see all the work finally up on your site! Looks so charming and even better in person!! Love that house 🙂

    • Jessica Lundby February 2, 2014 at 4:09 am

      Thanks Mica! We literally could not have done it without you!

  • Mairin February 10, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Love your blog. I am in Australia and have just bought a little place with some of the very features you are showing! Nothing like as pretty as your place, but I am hoping to retain the 40’s flavour. Blog if you ever find out what that strange wall treatment is (kind of like painted over mosaic tiles). I have it too!! (also in the cream). What you have done looks so lovely. Congratulations.

    • Jessica Lundby April 10, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks so much Mairin! What a lovely name. I’m hoping we can get the paint off the tiles because it’s just weird, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for it. Good luck with your place as well 🙂


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