the big home tour revealed

Aug 25, 2010 | Home + Studio Tours

front porch – couldn’t resist buying the child’s wicker chair at a recent vintage sale. i know it’s a bit early, but still, baby boy will have a place to sit in a year or so!
screen door!

found the original screen door and spruced it up a bit. also, sneak peek into entry and entry lighting!

bear with me on this post. it’s going to be long. my organizational genes have kicked in big time with this pregnancy (did i tell you that i’m all about containers right now and space savers?) that i’m inclined to do a long post showing every room in our home from beginning, to demo, to finished. i’d like to have it all in one place, one blog post. why? because i’m feeling neurotic. and 35 weeks pregnant 🙂

i hope you enjoy this tour. for me, it was so encouraging to see the progression of all the work that we (and our team) did in just 13 weeks from start to finish on this charming 1911 bungalow. wow! we are still unpacking and i imagine i’ll wait to share finished room photos for a bit as we’re taking our time setting in and making our spaces lived in and cozy, but i do have lots of crafty home projects to share soon with you guys! for now…one very long home tour!

let’s start with the entry. we’ve always wanted a home with an entry. nothing too grand but just something cozy where we could hang our coats and keys. in seattle, we had to make a little entry as our house didn’t have a single closet downstairs or entry space. when we looked at this house, my first thought was yes, it has an entry space! no closet, but we’ll make one. and that’s what we did!
here’s what it looked like when we bought the joint:
that’s the front door on the right. and that door on the left led to a bedroom which was sort of odd (that bedroom also had another door through the hallway). hmmm. this entry had no closet, but we made one…here is the entry now:
the door is original to the house and it’s HUGE. love it. for this entryway, we added casing to the doorway that goes from this space into the living room. makes a big difference…
we then closed up that wall on the left so that it no longer has a door to a bedroom. and then we created a large walk-in closet (the doorway you see here on tha back wall). that closet was formally the closet for the front bedroom but we got creative and made it the entryway closet for coats and shoes and baby equipment and stuff like that. i can already tell that was a wise decision as we are using that closet space several times a day already.
okay, imagine walking into the living room from the entryway. this is what it looked like when we bought the place and through a bit of demo:
and here it is finished:

we used bricks from an old furnace chimney that we demolished for the fireplace and painted them white. then our guys built a fireplace that we love, love. ceilings are high (9 feet) so the fireplace was designed to match the scale of the room. we took out the old yucky textured and frosted windows and replaced them with clear glass which made a huge difference. and then the interior of the fireplace got a nice cleaning job and a coat of black paint. we considered built-in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace but decided against it after reconsidering the space and size of the room (it’s sort of a narrow room and we’d lose a good amt of space from built-ins).

this is a view looking into the living room (from dining room). we love the old big windows that look out onto our front porch! floors were redone without any stain – just natural varnish over old oak floors – love the golden color! all room casings and mouldings were made to match the period of the home (1911) and were designed directly from the original casings that were in other parts of the home. it was super important to us to keep the feel and look of the old, original style.
the color on the walls is “weston flax” by benjamin moore. and the light fixtures and beautiful blue shades are from schoolhouse electric. we splurged a bit on the lighting. this room is mostly unpacked now and we are absolutely devouring the light that comes in…
here’s are the photos of what it looked like when we bought the house and a photo or two of demo:






and here it is after reno:
this room is in the center of our home and lots a lots of traffic go thru this space to the kitchen, to the living room, to the hallway (which gets you to all three bedrooms) and more. i love that it’s bright and cheery.


all new casings and moldings to match the period of the house. and boy do we love that giant window! none of the windows actually opened when we bought the house as they were all painted shut. it was the first thing we did – get the windows OPEN. the color is “yarmouth blue” from benji moore and floors are sanded and clear varnished oak (original). our neighbor gave us a gorgeous vintage chandelier for this room (that was in his dining room for years) that we just put up. can’t wait to show you that photo in a later post.
i did a blog post a week or so ago showing the entire kitchen from start to finish. besides the basement and attic, it was the largest transformation of the whole house. and it’s awesome. we are still loving it (and our oven finally arrived!).
downstairs bathroom before and after photos are right here. by the way, the color of the bathroom wall is “covington blue” by benji moore. i highly recommend that color 🙂
and because i’m a total dork, i’m showing you the hallway. here it was before:
and here it is after:
some new hardware on the built-in and a fresh coat of paint (“carrington beige”-benji moore) on the walls and it’s all good. notice how the hallway leads to the vintage wallpaper room…which is next in the tour….
this is going to be baby’s room. it’s the room where we unearthed some awesome walls during the demo process that we decided to save – the ones with all those layers of old wallpaper found beneath layers and layers of paint. i love this room so much, i can barely take it!
here was the room before and during renovation:
and here it is today:




crazy, right? as john scraped the walls, he intentionally and randomly scraped down to the original layer of green paint (the house was built in 1911) while leaving layers of wallpaper showing through here and there. the effect is magical, looks like a map, and i’m so glad we took this risk! we decided to keep the chair rail molding and paint below it (“carrington beige” – benji moore paint) so that it looks like the entire “look” was done intentionally. he then lightly sanded the wallpaper down a bit and then sealed the entire thing so it’s safe. really love this room and it’s coming together nicely as a baby’s room!
here is the second bedroom before and during reno:

so this is that bedroom that had two doors of entry – one of those doors was from the entry way of the house that you see above. we closed up that wall all together. and now you can get into this bedroom from the hallway (seems just fine to me!). we also stole this room’s closet to create an entry way closet/mud room in our entry, so we had to get creative and create another closet for this room. while we were at it, we decided to build an entire built-in from ceiling to floor with bookshelves and make this room a guest room/office/library. this was totally john’s idea and it was a good one.

here are a couple of photos of that transformation in process:

no more doorway on the left! and closet is being built! you can see the other door on the right if you look closely. and here’s another shot of this room almost done:

and here it is totally done (!):
seriously loving how this came together. the closet is huge and the size of this built-in is just stunning and makes the entire room look grand. on the opposite wall is a large window which brings in some nice light. and floors are natural and original fir. because we decided to forgo the built-ins in the living room (due to space), this was the perfect comprimise for books and our globe collection. can’t wait to show you finished photos of this room decorated. the piece of furniture you see peeking through on the left is a daybed. color of this room is benji moore’s “hancock green” – really serene and lovely.
besides the kitchen and basement, this was another huge transformation. we absolutely love it up here. here’s how it looked when we bought the place:
and yep, those are orange painted wood floors! and thin plywood walls which made this space very hot or very cold.
here it is during renovations to make it a master suite (new walls, slightly raised ceiling, new insulation, wiring, adding a bathroom, skylights, etc):
and here it is finished (insert scream here!):
this is what you see when you come up the stairs. i’ve made this space into a little reading/breast feeding (soon!) nook.
then you turn around and the photo above is your view. it’s like a dream, this space. we can hardly believe it.
we pained the entire space (ceilings included) benji moore’s “palladium blue” which is now officially my favorite color in the entire world.
the floors were sanded down to their original fir beauty and varnished with clear varnish. they are stunning in their original golden beauty. and i love the random darker planks that show the floors age and history.
we scored stair balusters from the home rebuilding center in portland and the handrail and newel posts came from home depot, then painted white and handrail varnished with clear varnish.
we built an open space bathroom up in this space (more photos below) and we had lots and lots of built-ins created for storage, clothes, books, etc.
more closet spaces built in and we added a couple of skylights which turned out to be a great decision. that’s my reading/breast feeding nook you see in the distance 🙂


we love this bathroom so much and it’s hard to believe we have his and her sinks (never had that before!). oval mirrors are from home depot. sconce shades are from schoolhouse electric while the fixtures are from globe lighting. the shower is awesome with its own little square skylight and it’s simple white subway tile and white hex floor tile. it was tricky getting a bath up here but it worked out great thanks to our contractor/architect dude. this was totally his vision and i love it!
we made a little bathroom built-in and the toilet is behind that door on the left. here’s another image up close:
cute, no? the yellow knobs are from anthropologie and we love them so!
whew! there you have it! the basement is done and although i have before photos and renovation photos of it, i forgot to take photos of it in it’s done and finished state before moving boxes down there. right now it’s a total mess so i’ll share photos of it at a later time. we’re really glad we decided to finish the basement as it adds quite a bit of living/square footage to our cozy little home. one half is tv/lounge/family/kid living area and the other half is laundry/studio/inventory/packaging area for my biz. while i have a baby, i’m keeping all biz related spaces inside our home until i figure out when/if i want an office/studio outside of our home.
i hope you guys enjoyed this tour. it’s a dream. really. and i’m so thankful for all of it. we are amazed that we unexpectedly and sort of suddenly bought a fixer upper (which wasn’t in the plans at all!) and 13 weeks later, we made it through. as i’ve said before, the experience was exhilarating, tough, chaotic, exciting, stressful, and perfect all at once. we are now all moved in and nesting and decorating and getting ready for baby boy! i can’t wait to show you these rooms and spaces all crafted up and decorated which has been so fun, and a huge creative outpouring for me.
kelly rae

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (21 comments)
  1. Radka

    I LOVE the colors you chose for your house! We just painted one of our rooms “weston flax” by benjamin moore. What color did you use for the crown molding and base board? It looks so fresh. We need to re-paint ours as they are light beige and it doesn’t look good with the pale yellow at all. Thank you!

  2. Carmen

    Hola me encantó la nueva re delación .muy bella

  3. Pamela

    I rarely comment on home tours but yours is very special. You have done an amazing job of reconfiguring the layout and moving, or removing walls. This is the nicest cottage redo i have seen.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Wow, thanks Pamela!

  4. Kristin

    I keep coming back to your photos of your home and I just love it. So bright and cheery and makes you feel at home just viewing the photos😊 I have had my home painted agreeable gray for a few years now and have realized how much gloomy gray brings down my mood. Very excited to add some pretty yellow and blues thank you for the inspiration!!

  5. S Russell

    The house looks great! What color yellow is that?? It looks to be such a soft yellow without any brown hues to it. Thanks!

    • Beverly Bridwell

      Weston Flax by Benjamin Moore

  6. Mirta Morgan

    I love the paint hues in your house. Please, pretty please, I just had the interior of the house painted in repose gray and hate it :/ I would love your paint colors. What are they? Would really be happy if you let me know. Thanks in advance!

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Mirta, which paint colors are you wanting. I love stonington gray by Benjamin moore.It’s a nice neutral gray :). Feel free to send me an email at with screenshots of the paint colors you’d like to know and I can let you know 🙂

  7. Meredith Taylor

    I love your paint colors! Would you please tell me what your trim color is? I may have missed it in my read-through.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Meredith, The trim color is Fondant.

  8. sharyl

    what color yellow paint did you use?? cute house!!

  9. Amanda Redlinger

    I have a yellow/ white living room just like yours. I am wondering what it looks like finished with furniture. Currently, mine has navy blue couch and chair, but I have coffee tables that I am wanting to chalk paint. Wondering about colors and too much of a mismatch of colors. (Living room has red curtains and a country cottage theme). Suggestions?

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Amanda! I haven’t lived in this house for quite some time, so my color palette has definitely changed! But my decorating philosophy is if it brings you joy, go with it! It’s all about experimentation. You can check out my latest house tours here!

  10. Kim

    I love what you have done with your house. The layout is very similar to our house and it is inspiring to see what potential there is. I am wondering what are the overall dimensions of your home? What is the wall height of the master bedroom before the roofline starts?
    Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thanks so much for your lovely house comments! As for our master, I’m not sure how tall the ceilings are, but I would guess that they’re 9feet before the peak begins. I hope that helps!

  11. kellyrae

    Hi Iris! It's Mayonnaise from Miller

  12. Iris Luce

    What color paint did you use on your trim? It's the perfect shade of cream!


  13. home renovation

    The big home is giving an incredible look after renovation. The huge collection of photographs is making it more interesting to see.

  14. Jo Hilton

    Beautiful!! We just finished an attic renovation last May and it's so weird how our attics look so similar! Our house was built in 1926 and we also added a 2nd bathroom in the attic. I love what you've done… just beautiful!

  15. Jessie Tsui

    The house is very spacious! I’m pretty sure that it will look even more beautiful when you finally have furniture to populate it. I definitely love the transformation you did to the attic. From plain white, it turned into something more lively and bright. And I like how you’ve placed a bathroom with clear doors there, so sunlight can come in during the day and light up the room.



  1. 18 Amazing Ideas To Finish Attic Spaces - Ahna Fulmer - […] Kelly Rae Roberts Kelly Rae Roberts […]

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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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