This house is two years younger than us. But unlike the rest of us, who stopped having mullets and wearing slap bracelets, our house never really emerged from the 80s. From the dark wood trim to the yellow-white paint to the multi-color brick fireplace, the house — though pristine — needs some updating. We’re slowly working our way through, though I think it’ll take years before the transformation is complete. But that’s the fun of it!

We’re starting with the downstairs, since that’s what people actually see. I concentrated first on painting all the trim in the living room white. The lighting is pretty bad in this picture, but you can sort of make out the difference in the trim around the windows. I also painted that wall behind the couch a gray-blue.

Then, I started working on the stairway spindles. Good lord, if anyone had told me how painful that would be I never would have started. Had I known about this handy little “tight spots” brush recommended by the lovely folks over at Young House Love, it probably would have been easier. But I didn’t. Brandon’s brother, Tom, called me Huck Finn. (Remember how he had to whitewash that fence?)

My next big project was the “fireplace.” It’s really not a fireplace. If it had a stove in it, it would be a stoveplace (there’s a connection for that). But as it is, it’s just a place people like to stand inside of when they come over, so they can pretend to be casting that Harry Potter spell that transports people magically.  The brick sucked up a lot of the light in the room, but aside from that I just sort of hated it. So while Brandon was in Vancouver, I took the opportunity to paint the thing over the weekend. (The left side isn’t painted yet. That’s where our modem plugs in, and I didn’t want to move it while Brandon was gone for fear of losing the internet.)

Our most recent project was a mini one. Brandon took down the old wood-and-brass coat rack, I painted it white, and he replaced the original hooks with ones we got from Anthropologie. It’s love! We’re pretty smitten with our up-cycle job.