I met Maureen 15 years ago when, expecting my first baby, I went to interview a pediatrician. The pediatrician I planned to interview was unavailable (bad sign) and I ended up with Dr. Snelling (divine intervention).
We became fast friends. She forgave me numerous times for not doing what she recommended, like start giving James a bottle of formula so he is not literally starving (it worked) and stop giving CC a bottle of formula in the middle of the night so she is not literally playing me like a fool (it also worked.)
I, in turn, forgave her for having her own baby right when I had Henry (#2) and – the worst – moving to an entirely different state right after Georgia (#4) was born. This was big of me, in my opinion. Because I was devastated - and drowning in four children, postpartum chaos and a closet of clothes that didn’t fit.
The good news is Maureen is back in Denver and we are still friends. She bought an amazing house for herself and her equally amazing daughter and asked The Neighbor’s House to update the space.
We did just a little bit more than update. We upended. Thankfully, Maureen was game; I guess dealing with sick or cranky or pukey babies for a living makes you brave. Or just busy? Either way, it worked out for all of us.
Maureen and Claire had a living room that nobody lived in, a dining room that nobody dined in and a TV room off the kitchen that was way too small for Maureen and her daughter, the two crazy dogs, a significant other, extended family and a consistent and rotating posse of 10 year-old girls.
The prescription? Paint everything. Light everything. Flip flop rooms. Add some new furniture and repurpose some current items. Buy the contractors dinner so they don’t leave even though it’s 10PM on a Saturday. And then do that same thing again on Sunday.
The living room became the main TV room. The dining room became a study. The old TV room became a dining space. And the whole house became happy and functional and pretty and smart – just like the people who live there.
Take a peek!
Family Room Before
This room, adjacent to the kitchen, was cozy for two but tight for anyone else.
Family Room After
We pulled the table from the dining room, restaged the bookshelves, repainted everything,
added seating and a comfy, colorful rug and and voila!
The Family Room is now the Dining Room.
Dining Room Before
This space was used twice a year for holidays and twice a week for laundry.
Dining Room After
Paint, custom designed built-ins, lighting and double desks allow for Claire to do homework and Maureen to do after-hours charting on patients. We repurposed the rug from the original TV room and created this space with future homeowners in mind; this can easily return to a dining room and the built-ins can house dishes and glassware instead of markers and glitter glue.
sources: lighting: to the trade | cabinetry: IKEA | rug: similar at Overstock.com
Living Room Before
The largest, sunniest room in the house was getting the least amount of love. Because it faced the street and offered zero privacy, Claire and Maureen (and the gaggle of girls, the dogs, the parents from out-of-state and the significant other) never used it.
Living Room After
We kept the chairs and window coverings that Maureen loved and installed privacy shades, loads of lighting, a gas fireplace insert, several coats of paint, a new TV, a comfy sectional and a cozy rug. This spot is now a favorite.
Laughter really is the best medicine and now this house looks as good as it feels.