Before & Durings

This is a chandelier that Mr. Marvelous bought for me at an estate sale this fall.  Since we can’t hang our own light fixtures in our rental house (pity) I have been keeping it out on a tabletop in the living room. It makes me happy.   It happens to be sitting on an antique side table that my dad picked out and gifted to me.  That makes me happy too.  If I was a better housekeeper the table would be dusted in this picture. 

I have been so eager to post about the decorating going on around here but now we have had a change in circumstances.  The family we have been housesitting for is coming home before the first of the year (6 months early).  They have agreed to let us stay on in the house as tenants and they are going to be moving into a new house . . . which means they are going to be moving out all of their furniture and belongings and we will finally have the whole house to make our own!!!!!!!  This is by far the best Christmas present I could have asked for this year!!!!  We will be moving in all of our furniture that is currently in storage and because we sold our sofa and bedroom furniture in the move we will be getting some new things to replace them!!!   I have also talked to the home owners about allowing me to do some painting-like the kitchen cabinets.  Even after seeing the pictures of the kitchen transformed as it is now, they are hesitant. Cross your fingers that they come around!

Here are some probably completely un-blog-worthy pictures of some projects and decorating going on around here.  I know how frustrating it can be as a blog reader when blog writers refuse to post pictures until a room is a “perfect complete after,” so here are my totally imperfect, incomplete before and durings.  

To start, here is what the living room looked like before we moved in.  We were stuck with the homeowner’s sofa because they didn’t have a place to move it.   Everything else I relocated to the finished basement to store-everything was really dark.

I bought a cream colored cotton duck slipcover from surefit to cover the sofa.  I also made a slipcover for their ottoman, which we use as a coffee table.  I took the picture below before the ottoman cover was finished, hence the rough edges in the picture.  Fresh Christmas greenery goes a long way to adding some cheer to this space.

Decorating with lots of family pictures helps make this house feel more like home.  In order to avoid putting a bunch of holes in the wall, I took the mattes out of a bunch of my frames and hung them with Command strips.

Some photos I just stuck right on the wall-no matte.  A lot of the house has white walls so I have hung pictures in unusual places to add some visual interest, like these above the curtain rods in our dining space.

Once the homeowner’s things are cleared out of the house, I am going to make a sewing room just for me and a playroom just for Wynn.  We can’t wait! 
Hope everyone is enjoying a lovely Tuesday and looking forward to a perfectly white Christmas.


  1. You sure do have a magic touch! Can’t wait to see what happens after all their stuff is gone.

  2. You still amaze me with what you gave up in your old new home. Makes me realize I don’t need so much to live……. more simple is the way.

  3. Have you thought of adding chain and swagging it in the corner of a room? Or, hanging it from a vintage bird cage stand? Just some thoughts for you. It is very pretty.
    Susan : D

  4. Hi Erin!
    I love what you have done so far, it already looks a million times better. Thank you for continuing to inspire me to work with what I have.
    I’m happy for you that they will be moving their stuff out, that is a great present for you! Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  5. So excited for you! Your taste is so much better, and if they could see your last house, they would know they were in for a treat and getting the better end of the deal if they would let you make some changes. I will be praying that they come around. I know you will be so glad to be able to use your own stuff. Have a blessed Christmas!Jackie

  6. I cannot believe that the homeowners are “hesitant” to let you paint, as you have done such an excellent job & you are improving the value of the home!! It doesn’t make sense to me! the kitchen is so much prettier after your touch, Erin!! i am happy that you are going to be able to move in your own furniture, what a relief!! hugs, Cathy

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