Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's been what???

A year.
A whole year.
365 days.

No, not since my last post.

A year ago on this past Saturday we set our signatures under tons of paperwork and closed on our Ugly Duckling. To our surprise it was a very anti-climatic event - no balloons fell from the ceiling, no confetti, no champagne corks popping - nothing - heck, we weren't even ceremoniously handed the keys to our house since they were still inside the lock box stuck to the doorknob at the house. Yet, despite all of that, this was the day the Ugly Duckling became ours.

Whatever it was that sold us on our little old house in Historic Springfield, it certainly wasn't the kitchen or the bathrooms. Nevermind the dirt, something spoke to us and both husband and I could see the potential in the old gal that we hopped in at the deep end and started swimming. We've been splashing in the pool of home ownership for a year now and it's been great. We've accomplished a LOT, first with the help of our contractors and their subs, then alone, and taken the house from drab and sad to a fresh new look with vintage touches.

While I've grown to abhor painting trim, I love loving on our house and can't wait to dedicate this year to bringing back a few more of its original characteristics.

But back to where we started. The photo two paragraphs up is from the original listing. That was the only picture in the listing so our first meeting was really a blind date. I managed to get a private sneak peek of the ground floor before our official visit when I managed to catch a painter at the house, painting the walls (the bank had decided to up their chances of selling the house by giving the walls a fresh coat of "swine." Fortunately we were able to see beyond the lovely shade of swine on the walls and other things.)

When we bought the Ugly Duckling, the interior did little to inspire awe and house envy. I mean, really, I look at these pictures now and can't help but think "Oh goody, what were we thinking?"

The downstair's kitchen

The upstair's kitchen

The livingroom

The guest bedroom

The bathroom upstairs

The Master bedroom

Our stair case

Hard to believe we fell in love with this place, eh? I mean, what for?? Whimsical Victorian? Nope. Lots of historic features? Grand style? No and no. All I can say is that the moment we set foot into our Little Old House we knew it was "The One."

Hook, line and sinker, y'know.

So we rolled up our sleeves, greased our elbows and went to work. And the Ol' Gal? She clearly enjoyed the attention and care we were lavishing on her, rolled beautifully with the punches and over the past year has become our Home. With a capital "H."

Our Guest bedroom in progress

Our stair case now

Our entry hall today

Living room at Christmastide

The dressing room and adjoining master bath, formerly known as the upstair's kitchen

Our dining room (actually the room in which we spend most of our days so maybe we should rename it to living room and call the living room "sitting room" instead)

Our lovely lovely kitchen

More kitchen (Hard to believe it's the same room, eh?)

Downstair's half bath

More downstair's half bath (and the world's smallest sink)

Our master bedroom in progress

Our Little Old House has come a looooong way, don't you think? We're nowhere near the finishing line but it's great to see what we've accomplished in a year. And maybe, just maybe this will encourage a reader that rescuing an old house and bringing it back to life is not just a green option but also very much worth it. And can be fun :o)

So raise your glasses and toast with us to another 12 months of living, loving, laughing, crying, cussing and diy-ing at the Little Old House! We love that you're along for the ride!


  1. I guess we should never judge a house by its exterior, LOL. The rooms are very wonderful. I was fooled too! Did you just name it Ugly Duckling, or is it the real name of the house?

  2. Armandina,
    thank you! It's been a lot of work but so worth it, and we love living in our house. The nickname "Ugly Duckling" was coined because of the drab blue-grey exterior. Compared to the bright apple green and yellow neighboring houses it does look like the Ugly Duckling. We used nicknames for all the houses we toured to be able to differentiate between them without having to completely remember the addresses :o)

  3. This property was very ideal. The masters bed room, the kitchen, stair case everything looks great. How I wish to have a property like this someday. Thank you.