Use what your Mama gave you…

Or in this case…grandmother, aunt or friend.

As big ol’ houses fall to the wayside of these brand new, energy efficient homes… and decor trends come and go faster than milk expiration dates, it’s hard to define the usual realtor terms of “updated” “custom” “original” “stylish” “eclectic” …so on…

I hope this post encourages you to step away from the trend and not only work with what you have…but make it your own!

In 2014 we embarked on home ownership.  Visions of my new home were like that of many folks I deal with on a regular basis, I wanted to totally renovate and update the home prior to moving in.  However, when my ideals were crushed by the lack of a home equity loan, we had to sit down and really decide what projects needed to be tackled first within our budget.

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Check out these original Youngstown kitchen cabinets with a fresh coat of bright white paint!  I’ll admit, visions brand new cabinets with self closing draws and silverware sorters are what I used to dream of… but I have become pretty partial after seeing the quality in these nearly 70 year old cabinets compared to the quoted $8,000 particle board “update”!  While we were at it, a mere $150 went into the sink with some self leveling epoxy and a new faucet set… making for lots of easy to clean prep room and small child sized bathtub!

In addition to the kitchen, we kept one of the original bathrooms (my favorite, mint green), and the cast tub from the master.  We also decided to wait to update the windows, which proved to be a wise decision!  The original “Silentite” wooden windows, although more work, have literally NO draft!

Moving on to the actual decor of the house.  Our previous living quarters were filled with knick knacks and primitive decor… anyone out there a mom?  “Ain’t nobody got time for that”!  My visions were simple, no clutter, no knick knacks, if it doesn’t have a purpose then it doesn’t belong.  Ok, ok…perhaps a little extreme.  Every home needs a little character in it’s contents, things that have a story, things that are loved.  Here are some of mine:

Welcome to my dining room, the dinnerware, although not my style belonged to my Great Great Grandmother, it serves 15…and they still make it so I can order more!  The buffet that belonged to my Great Grandmother serves as a wrapping station…yep, all of my wrapping paper, bags and bows are in there, crafty…I know.

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Other rooms in the house have no specific theme and I’ve come to love that…One end of the living room has adult space and the other end is kid friendly without clashing, all using old/refurbished furniture.


Quite possibly my favorite room.  “The Mama Space”  My home office features fantastic built in shelves that were always packed with books…I felt it made the room look small, so I went to town with my trusty white paint and filled it with random items I collected from the house and my family.  The old record table houses photo albums and this cute little lamp just needed a new shade to match it’s personality!

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Don’t be afraid to set down the cookie cutter and be different.  Even when you are selling your home, sometimes it is the eccentric character that seals the deal!

Author: Jessie Howard

Downeast Maine Realtor. Native of the Area. Outdoor Enthusiast. Community Volunteer. Mom of Two. Home Renovator. Amateur Photographer. Planner of Social Events. Dabbler of Many Hobbies.

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