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Our first home: new stain & paint!

Heather Erickson
March 17, 2014
We just bought our first home (a 1950s ranch with finished basement in Denver) and took a week before moving in to refinish the hardwood throughout the main level, as well as to do a lot of painting in the living and dining rooms! So I thought I'd share my before & after photos. You can see more at my blog (larkandlola.com).

It was SO MUCH WORK and we were crazy to take it on with only a week to get it done, but I'm so happy with how it turned out. It's exactly how I imagined it. Thanks for looking!

Comments (72)

  • Luke Buckle
    The sight of your baby discovering their shadow in a shaft of light is enough to give me happy dreams for a week.
    Heather Erickson thanked Luke Buckle
  • Elena
    It looks AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing! I'm going to go ahead and paint my woodwork too (1940 house) -- it feels so fresh, rather than "old lady" ... and since I'm getting to be (age-wise) an "old lady", I want fresh, light, lively around me, not dowdy, feels-like-my-folks' house. Hard to be brave enough to break the taboo on painting natural wood woodwork. I honor you. I will emulate you!
    Heather Erickson thanked Elena
  • dajuki98
    great job!!
    Heather Erickson thanked dajuki98
  • Tony Bettencourt
    What bothers me is the fact that people don't appreciate wood anymore. This room was a beautiful example of Mid Century style and could have been restored to Magnificence. It is Heather's house and she is allowed to do what ever she wants to it. It is very well done and the color is a great grey. It just kills me to see what appears to be really good quality wood veneer paneling painted over. If you don't want a vintage Mid Century House, don't buy one and destroy it's character. I have nothing against you Heather, you did a nice job with your design, It's just not what I would have thought for that room.
    Heather Erickson thanked Tony Bettencourt
  • Tony Bettencourt
    Turn off HGTV Folks and tune int www.retrorenovation.com
    Heather Erickson thanked Tony Bettencourt
  • Laurel Ennis
    It was beautiful until they added that hideous furniture.
    Heather Erickson thanked Laurel Ennis
  • Karen White
    I love everything about this renovation! Everything came together so beautifully! You have every reason to be proud of all your hard work!
    Heather Erickson thanked Karen White
  • tishb
    It's your home and you can do what you please! This makeover gives me some better eyes to see potential in houses. I *hate* paneling. I love the contrast color also. I've yet to see a wood veneer panel home that I liked.
    Heather Erickson thanked tishb
  • Karen White
    P.S. Disregard all of those mean people who are criticizing your taste. They're just mean spirited.
    Heather Erickson thanked Karen White
  • Kasi Grose
    What is the paint color you used?!?! I love it and would really like to do a room that shade!
    Heather Erickson thanked Kasi Grose
  • Heather Erickson
    Tony, thanks for the explanation! I definitely get what you're saying--and truth be told, I got grief from more than one person (including my own father, haha!) when I decided to paint the maple beams and the wood paneling. It's who I am: I've never been a fan of wood grain. I even painted my grandmother's 1960s Ethan Allen hutch (again, my dad cringed). Lots of people appreciate wood grain, but it doesn't go with my style. I REALLY appreciate it in other's homes, however. I tell myself: if I ever decide to go back to wood someday, I can always strip and refinish the beams! There is still beautiful maple under there.

    It's a 1950s home with a LOT of unique mid-mod homes in the area. But the exterior of our home is actually very cottage-like. Yellow siding and white trim with diamond cross-hatch windows, so I feel like the white and gray interior matches it really well. It almost has a New England feel to it. Our home is not mid-mod, and I totally agree with decorating/renovating to match the era and style of your home.

    Either way--I totally appreciate and accept that any other person could go in a completely different direction with this home. It's my home and I disliked the wood and knew it wouldn't go well with all my colorful furniture. And my 1950s & 1960s vintage Pyrex collection looks great in it, as well as my other quirky vintage items. I'm actually an antiques/vintage vendor. These photos don't show it, but there's a lot of mid-century in my home still ;-)
  • Heather Erickson
    P.S. Tony--I really do love vintage! I plan to get a Smeg refrigerator when we re-do the kitchen ;-) The bathroom vanity is going to be a mid-century furniture vanity with a sink added.
  • Heather Erickson
    @Kasi Rose the paint color was from The Home Depot. Seal Gray by Glidden in satin and Swan White by Glidden in semi-gloss.
  • Kasi Grose
    Thanks so much! It looks beautiful :)
    Heather Erickson thanked Kasi Grose
  • Heather Erickson
    And yes--curtains are coming--as well as a lot of other changes ;-) Keep in mind, we've only been moved in for a WEEK! I have SO many plans for this home.
  • Michelle Varley
    Heather I am also a antiques/vintage vendor. I absolutely love what you've accomplished and the way it flows!!! You have brought a dark home back to life. The colrs you chose really give it a cottage feel which adds a ton of character. Everyone has there opinion about whether or not to paint wood. I think you did a wonderful job! KUDDOs,,,
    Heather Erickson thanked Michelle Varley
  • Heather Erickson
    Thanks Michelle!!
  • Alex511
    Post pictures after you add the window treatments! I love the way it looks!
    Heather Erickson thanked Alex511
  • Jane Fowler
    Wow!! Great job, and it looks fantastic! What color is the blue/gray on the walls in the redo? Thanks!!
    Heather Erickson thanked Jane Fowler
  • Jane Fowler
    I found the color on your blog, thanks!
    Heather Erickson thanked Jane Fowler
  • Sue Hershelman
    What a difference!!!! Looks magnificent.
    Heather Erickson thanked Sue Hershelman
  • Jill Fallon
    What an amazing difference, love the freshness of the colours together.
    Heather Erickson thanked Jill Fallon
  • Cheryl Lunetta
    Love it. Really opens the room up! Very light & airy! Great job!
    Heather Erickson thanked Cheryl Lunetta
  • debbietarrant
    Did you re-finish the old floors too? If so, the job was even more massive!
    Heather Erickson thanked debbietarrant
  • PRO
    My Appliances
    Heather Erickson thanked My Appliances
  • Kathleen Franklin
    I think it is just great. You have the home I will have been dreaming of.
    Heather Erickson thanked Kathleen Franklin
  • walnuthalihome
    Wow amazing what paint can do! Looks great.
    Heather Erickson thanked walnuthalihome
  • Laury Post
    Just having gone through a Reno I appreciate this. So dark, so much wood. A little paint totally new room and mood lifter.
    Heather Erickson thanked Laury Post
  • lithorn
    Heather Erickson thanked lithorn
  • PRO
    Heather Erickson thanked Almi Construction Inc.
  • PRO
    Riptide Rascals REI Corp
    I do flips... You've done a wonderful job of keeping the charm, while updating the space with modern colors and truly making it a cozy home... Very nice!
    Heather Erickson thanked Riptide Rascals REI Corp
  • Angela Lancaster
    Cute renovation! Have you thought about a more substantial sized mantle?
    Heather Erickson thanked Angela Lancaster
  • Sheila Cody
    I hope to find a similar style home in Denver & so I love seeing what some sweat equity can do to update a tired space making it fresh and suitable for what is attractive to you. Thanks for sharing.
    Heather Erickson thanked Sheila Cody
  • Corinne Donat Zuege
    Heather, trust your eye. You're doing a great job of updating the home which was amazing at the time it was built....you're adding new life to it! Don't apologize for your choices.
    Heather Erickson thanked Corinne Donat Zuege
  • suede57
    Heather... great job! I think you've given this room the updated look that it really needed!
    I have a question about the hard wood floors. The original floors look to be red oak, did you refinish them or change them out? Stain color...?
    BTW.... I am a huge fan of the color gray and always will be :)
    Heather Erickson thanked suede57
  • ktgrandy
    This is so awesome. You should be really proud! Wood people can enjoy their wood, and those of us who need more light and color can enjoy our style too. I think the transformation is beautiful.
    Heather Erickson thanked ktgrandy
  • shecarves
    Awesome! Good eye and ideas. Renovating is so rewarding and fun!!!!
    Heather Erickson thanked shecarves
  • mkellman
    It is amazing what a coat or two of white paint can do!
    Heather Erickson thanked mkellman
  • Heather Erickson
    @suede57 we refinished the original hardwood, it was a lot of work but I love the original floors! We chose Royal Mahagony by Dura Seal (we got it wholesale through a friend who does hardwood floors for a living and that was the brand he recommended) and water based varnish in semi-gloss.
  • Susan Lajoie
    So fresh looking!! Like the house just took a deep breath and shook off the old, dated decor. Great job!!!
  • Sallie Cabrera
    I love the before more. What is done is done and yes, it is the owner's house and not mine. If I am on her shoes, I will improve on the windows and fireplace instead.
  • Obreja Ruxandra
    That looks really cute! So fresh looking!Great job!!!
  • PRO
    Sound Painting Solutions
    Nice job... looks great!
  • libratravel
    Bravo! Job well done! Great choices!
  • emgreenwood
    So fresh and bright! We painted our brick fireplace and woodwork, too. Love it!
  • gracey999
    What a sweet beautiful happy place! Great job!
  • Mary Burbary_Champion
    Nice job. Glad you painted the orangy 1950's paneling. That stuff was EVERYWHERE when I was growing up. It did not get better with age! Just more orange! Love the gray and white, looks very crisp!
  • Nadine Melind
    It looks great. Did you refinish the floors yourselves?
  • evrt2041
    New to this site and just wanted to say how much I love it!! So many times a comment will mention a door or a piece of artwork that I didn't even see.. Clearly I have so much to learn/ such attn to detail
  • Heather Erickson
    @nadinemelind yes we refinished them ourselves. So, they're very imperfect, but they're ours and we love them :-)

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