Our 1963 Split-Level Fixer Upper: Before Tour

So before I get into the nitty gritty of all the home projects we’ve been working on since moving into our house a few years ago, I thought it would be fun to share the “before” tour of our home so you can see just how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go!

A little background on our house… my hubby and I bought our very first home – a 1963 split-level fixer upper – in January 2015, about six months before our wedding. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already been in our home for two years now! Where has the time gone?

I think about how young we were when we signed the papers (just turned 24!), how much we’ve learned along the way… and it makes my heart happy. There have been a lot of blood, sweat and tears as we’ve worked tirelessly to make this house our home, but it has been so, so worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing! I have so much pride in knowing that everything we have in our home, we have created ourselves.

It took us about five or six months to find our home. We did a lot of searching. I personally wanted an old house with lots of character and charm (surprise, surprise!), but Matt was worried about it being a money pit. I really can’t say I blame him! I was, too. We realized it just wasn’t practical at this point in our lives.

So, we eventually settled on finding a kinda-sorta-old house that had great bones and character, but needed a little cosmetic TLC. One that we could grow into and make our own over time, as we saved up little by little (no renovation loans for us!). In our budget, that pretty much ruled out any house built before the 1950s. We also didn’t want a newer home either, because that just isn’t us.

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Exterior | Character & Charm

When we finally found our home, I just knew it had so much hidden potential. I think most of my family probably thought I was nuts, but I could see it! I honestly never, ever pictured myself ending up in a split-level home (totally not my style), but there was just something about it that captured my curiosity.

From the moment I walked through the front door, I was already scheming about what projects I could do to give it a complete makeover. It’s funny how life works out sometimes, isn’t it? You end up choosing the exact opposite of what you would have thought you’d pick. But this house totally works for us, at least as a starter home. It certainly needs some sprucing up, but that keeps my creativity flowing for sure!

I think we lived in our house for eight or nine months before we did anything to it. The only projects we really tackled right off the bat were tearing down the faux wood paneling in the main living area and entryway, and painting a few walls. Oh, and dealing with a plumbing issue that caused our garage ceiling to nearly cave in (…that was fun!). That was it, though. We didn’t even buy any furniture or decorate. Honestly, we were way too busy with wedding planning and moving and working to worry about all that.

Sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into feeling like you have to get it all done, now. Or sometimes I’m just feeling really inspired to tackle a bunch of projects around the house! But, looking back, I am SO grateful that we waited before making any major remodeling decisions. It really allowed us time to see what we could live with, what needed to go and what we want to do – and it saved us from rushing into short-sighted decisions!

Living Room:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Living Room | Character & Charm

Dining Room:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Dining Room | Character & Charm

Kitchen:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Kitchen | Character & Charm Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Kitchen | Character & Charm

Stairway:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Staircase | Character & Charm

Fireplace Room:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Living Room | Character & Charm Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Living Room | Character & Charm

(See my blog post series on our fireplace room renovation.)

Master Bedroom:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Bedroom | Character & Charm Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Bedroom | Character & Charm

Guest Bedroom #1:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Office | Character & Charm

Guest Bedroom #2:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Bedroom | Character & Charm

Full Bathroom:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Bathroom | Character & Charm

Backyard:

Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Exterior | Character & Charm Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Landscaping | Character & Charm Split Level, Fixer Upper, Home Tour, Remodel, Renovation, Old House Inspiration, Before, Landscaping | Character & Charm

For some reason, the real estate listing didn’t have photos of the third guest bedroom, half bath (off the fireplace room) and front entryway. I think I’ll just share those “before” photos with you as we makeover each room of our house. We haven’t done anything to them yet, so you’re not missing out!

Anyway… that’s our humble little abode! We have made some progress since moving in – so far, we’ve renovated the fireplace room and remodeled the half bath. We also gave the living room and dining room a mini makeover (that’s all they really needed, anyway!). We’ve done a little bit of sprucing up in our kitchen, too, but not all that much… that’s going to be a much bigger project for another day! I’ll be sharing more about all of these house projects on the blog soon!

We have so many exciting plans in store for our home, and I can’t wait to share them all with you as we continue on this fun little journey of ours. It really has been so rewarding seeing our vision come together, little by little, over the years. And I can’t wait to see where we go from here!

katie

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