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Any long time homeowners here?

nan-nan
2 months ago

I just realized that it is coming up on twenty years that we have been in our current home. Before that we moved every 5-7 years and always did renos to put our own stamp on the house. Here, we did a whole house remodel before moving in, and over the years have done different projects as needed/desired. It doesn’t look like we will be moving any time soon, and I’m looking around with fresh eyes. What would I change? I am still pretty happy with the decisions made years ago. Maybe some new furniture and paint? I’m wondering what other longtime home owners have done. I will post some areas that could be tweaked for feedback.

Comments (38)

  • theresen
    2 months ago

    31 years here. We’re not the types to leave everything untouched for that entire time. Our living room was repainted and got new furniture since moving, but due for new furniture again. We updated both upstairs bathrooms in 2017, 2018. Half bath was done in 2007. We were on multiple versions of paint and carpet in a few rooms, and two years ago we ripped everything out upstairs and put down hardwood. Now, last summer we pulled the trigger on our biggest update since we built in 1990 - gutted and replaced the kitchen, modified a few walls, eliminated the step down to our great room, new floor, fireplace kitchen table, floors and cabinetry in the back laundry/entry/half bath. There’s very little left that is original now. This last big reno was long overdue, but it’s so nice now.

    So, I’ve already been in your shoes and can share some perspective as I can. Go ahead and post some photos and questions.

    nan-nan thanked theresen
  • suezbell
    2 months ago


    What room actually needs an upgrade? Pictures of it?

    nan-nan thanked suezbell
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  • G
    2 months ago

    I am the original owner of my 20+ year old house. I have painted twice, changed flooring from carpet to eng. hardwood, remodeled 1 bathroom to change out a tub/shower combo to shower only. We just switched out our counters in the kitchen and added a cabinet and backsplash. We just changed out the 1 in. alum blinds for 2.5 in faux wood. I also had the fluorescent light box replaced with canned lights in the kitchen. Finally at the end of the major to do list for now.

    nan-nan thanked G
  • Missi (4b IA)
    2 months ago

    20 years this November. We’ve been working on it this. entire. time. I’m SO over it. i kist wamt to be able to *enjoy* it

    nan-nan thanked Missi (4b IA)
  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Yes, we have also repainted different rooms over the years, changed window treatments, updated the main bath, rebuilt the deck twice, and done different little projects.


    I will start with the foyer. When we bought the house, previous owners had just put in a new front door and slate flooring, including the stairs. We redid the railing, added trim to the door, painted, added then later removed a wallpaper border, and have redone the light fixture twice. I have never been a big fan of the slate floors and stairs, but have used a long runner to cover up most of the floor area. It just feels like such a big, messy job to change it out, and it works well for our snowy winters since the in-

    floor heating helps to deal with the snow that's tracked in. This picture above is our moving day. You can't really see where the PO's cats had clawed the spindles to shreds.



    Above is the natural wood tone bannister we had installed.



    This is the little area to the left as you come in the door. There is no hall closet on this level. It is down the half flight of stairs, so we use this open shelving/hooks. It's not very pretty but it works. Over the years, I have tried various methods to corral the clothing and footwear. You can see the border that has been gone now for a number of years.


    Here's a light fixture that we put in originally:



    A few years ago, I updated it to this black one:




    More recent changes have been to repurpose this little cupboard for footwear. I have recently removed the plates, and am thinking about painting the coat rack unit. It fits with my decor style which is traditional/country-ish with lots of antiques and pine furniture from our previous home which was a big century home we restored in a rural village.


    The grout on the upper stairs needs to be re-done, and I seal the tiles once a year. It's impossible to get a good overall shot of the area because it's narrow and has the steps going up and down from the landing. I would never have chosen this tile myself, but because it was new, we didn't change it. Maybe it is time to rethink that decision?


  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Missi (4b IA) It does get tiring, doesnt it?

    @G you have made some of the changes I’m considering, too. Does it feel good to have that list done?

    @theresen that’s a big reno. I will look to see if you have posted about it. I have lived through big ones in the past.

  • theresen
    2 months ago

    I think you'd be much happier with a more neutral and more durable porcelain. Demo is messy and it is stressful until it is put back together, but it is also really satisfying to break things up. I personally haven't attempted laying tile, and with all the cuts around the steps and millwork, I would hire that out. Risking that heating element is unfortunate, but, you could be more aggressive around the edges, then try to carefully lift the ones over the heat.


    You could choose a light grey or slightly beige travertine look or wood-look tile to coordinate with your trim - or use a darker grey stone-look for contrast. I like some of these for you...

    http://www.delconcausa.com/prodotti/

    nan-nan thanked theresen
  • houssaon
    2 months ago

    I've been in my house for almost 37 years. I love the house. I love the neighborhood and the town.

    I've painted so many times, mostly because I love color. I've refinished the floors. The only big project I've done is gut the original 1935 kitchen, but I tried to make the new space feel fit the house. I've changed wallpaper and light fixtures. Recently upgraded to all LED lights.

    nan-nan thanked houssaon
  • Rho Dodendron
    2 months ago

    "It doesn’t look like we will be moving any time soon................. I am still pretty happy with the decisions made years ago"

    After 36 years in my house I realize some choices especially carpet for the entire 2nd floor was needlessly made thinking of resale.

    Changes? House was 11 years old when we moved in. Bedrooms had overhead lights installed ASAP. Bathrooms have been gutted. Most walls repainted or wallpapered at least twice.

    Kitchen cabinets refaced twice. Kitchen desk replaced with drawers just before lockdown. Front coat closet has original 1973 floor. Cement Garage floor was coated a few years ago--it rocks. A landscaper laid out garden areas and planted perennials. Trees have been replaced as they died .

    I started looking into replacing interior doors and wood trim but wood shortages and skyrocketing prices last year halted that project.

    Your slate floor is awesome but it clashes with the rest of the house.

    nan-nan thanked Rho Dodendron
  • theresen
    2 months ago

    As for less intense updates, I can help with two small ones that will net big changes. It's time to let the wallpaper border go. I think that plate rack in the entry way is heavy and dated. Try some kind of hall tree like this


    nan-nan thanked theresen
  • wsea
    2 months ago

    Yes we have been in the house 20 years this past spring. house was 870 sq ft when we bought in 2001. 12 years ago we added a suite for us making the house 3 bed/2 bath and 1100 sq ft. 6 years ago we opened up and redid the kitchen. of course we have done other projects like flooring, paint etc.. outside has changed a ton too. the house has adapted well for us and i expect it will transistion well to retirement for us.

    nan-nan thanked wsea
  • theresen
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Regarding my reno - yes, I've shared many photos with others (hopefully) relating to some challenges others are facing. But, I'll save you some effort and share a few here.


    You’re certainly welcome to browse my other posts too 😜








    nan-nan thanked theresen
  • theresen
    2 months ago

    Hubs was being cute and posted this on FB, LOL


    We widened the passageway on the right side back to where the ABS is, and the one in the back entry was widened and shifted to the left to give better traffic past the fridge. It was really tight before. We also took out the non-bearing header. We also opened up the chase the flue is in and recaptured a little bit of that space in our new pantry. A little bit of rewiring, new recessed lights, scraped and retextured ceilings (talk to me before you have that done, ugh) new cabs, counters, pendants (See pics) added a window facing SW for more light, new floors, new bath fixtures in the half bath... Yeah, it was pretty thorough. All in all, the worst was coming down with Covid while the house was in the midst of having the ceiling scraped. Everything came to a grinding and miserable halt until we recovered. We have four cats and trying to mitigate that dust and mess to keep them safe and clean - ugh, well it was awful. Any other hiccups have been relatively minor, thank God.




    nan-nan thanked theresen
  • lizzierobin
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Almost 20 years here in our 1950’s ranch. It was love at first sight for me, not for my DH. We had to remove all the dated wall paper, added wall and attic insulation, and replaced the windows and roof. Then we cosmetically updated the kitchen, and created a rec room & office in the basement. Next, we installed wood floors where there weren’t any (they were just in the bedrooms and den) added on a master suite, enclosed our three season room, replaced the exterior siding with hardyplank (no more painting) and professionally landscaped. We’re just now finishing up our kitchen remodel, added canned ceiling lights in all of our main living areas and will be replacing our bathroom flooring. In addition, we have completely repainted the interior of our home SW Snowbound. There are a lot more smaller projects we’ve done, but you forget how many until you sit down and think about it. Furniture has come and gone, but what we have now is what we’ll keep until whenever. We love our home.

    For giggles, this is the kitchen of our home when we first purchased it, and the main reason my husband wanted to run. The oven took 40 minutes to heat up. Oh, the memories!



    nan-nan thanked lizzierobin
  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @theresen wow! That is a unique choice for kitchen cabinetry! The kitchen is not a cookie cutter instagram white one and shows you are confident in your choices. Your husband’s spider comment is hilarious. I know from experience that sometimes things have to get really messy before they can improve. A sense of humour can help sith survival!


    I actually do have a ceiling to be scraped. I dont know why we didnt do it before we moved in because it has bothered me ever since and now it is a huge and disruptive job. We must have run out of time since we were living in a rental while the original renos were done. It is a stucco-like ceiling in the master and the flies actually get stuck on the points! So gross! I think we will

    have to stop putting it off.


    I am so sorry to hear that you have had COVID. Are you fully recovered now?


    The wallpaper border has been gone for several years! I just included it to show how those original decor choices have evolved. It was a cute one with bird houses and echoed the row of bird houses on our cedar fence line. I guess I should also donate the leftover rolls hidden away in storage lol!


    Thank you for your suggestions on the floor and coat rack. It is really helpful and thought-provoking to have new perspectives on things you get used to seeing. I quite like the popular farmhouse style mudrooms with the white beadboard cubbies but don’t know about having it in the foyer. There is no room for a separate mudroom. This doesn’t have enough hooks but is an example of that style.



  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @wsea You have the little house that grew! That is cool that you can transition into retirement. We could as well, although the property is a bit big, but it’s great for family gatherings!

  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @houssaon That is a long time! It’s great that you have found such a special place to live. Have you never gone house hunting or been tempted to move? I grew up in a family that moved every couple of years. For fun, my mom would go to open houses.


    I love it when a reno is sympathetic to a house. Is the light green kitchen in your photos your reno? It is so pretty.

  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Rho Dodendron Another long time dweller! It sounds likeyou are sensitive to keeping the house updated. Yes, prices right now are a little wild but hopefully will correct themselves so folks can do their delayed projects. We were fortunate to get our new deck done in 2020 when wood was only 10% higher.

  • KATHY
    2 months ago

    I am pretty much happy with my house, so painting and general upkeep and changing decor is about the only thing we do. New metal roof this year and installed a pool 20 years ago. We have lived here 24 years and it is not in our best interest to change out things that are still in good condition. We have no desire to move ever and it is a 1 story so should still be very livable as we age

    nan-nan thanked KATHY
  • kculbers
    2 months ago

    I have been in our home over 25 years & we renovated the inside and outside over the past few years. New: paved walkway, paved patio and rock walls. New: windows, slider door, kitchen, bathrooms, flooring. New: lighting, smoke detectors and doorbell. New: front door, oak staircase. We fixed all nail pops and cracks in walls and ceilings, primed repaired areas, sanded, washed and rinsed all walls, ceilings, moldings and doors and painted the entire inside. I can guarantee that no professional painter would have done all the meticulous prep work we did. I even got a 10% military discount from Home Depot on all our paint and painting supplies ( as I am a retired US Air Force Captain & may God Bless America). We are now in our “ forever “ home. I have a few projects left: pick out fabric and sew new curtains, pick out new door knobs and paint my new entry door. Our home now reflects our personality❣️

  • kculbers
    2 months ago

    A few more pictures❣️

    nan-nan thanked kculbers
  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Lizzierobin, I received a notification that you commented, but strangely, I'm not seeing it here, so if you see this, and can repost it, then we will see your contribution to the discussion.


    @KATHY You said, "it is not in our best interest to change out things that are still in good condition." I agree with this, too, hence another reason the slate floors have stayed. When so many others are in need, I try to not be unthankful for what we have. Living on one income with a large family has also kept me in check for many years, too! General upkeep can be expensive, too, as I'm sure you found with your roof. It's fun to change out decor from time to time, and I often find I can "shop" from my own house first.


    @kculbers you have been busy, too! I agree that when you care about the end project, then the prep and final product is better. I suppose there might be craftsmen out there who do take pride and care in their work. Unfortunately, we have rarely found them, lol (or been able to afford them), and so, have been lifelong DIYers. We find it satisfying to achieve the final result, and it usually aligns with our vision.




  • roarah
    2 months ago

    I have been in my 1920s house 16 years. In the first two years we stripped and painted every wall, upgraded electric, existing plumbing, finished a basement and did a diy refresh of kitchen and added a gunite pool. 5 years ago we added a master bath and three years ago we added central air. During covid we repainted many areas, upgraded non original lighting( I do not change orginal lights) and am changing my front vestibule floor. These small changes really helped refresh my space. It especially has held my desire to redo the kitchen and powder room at bay for the moment.


  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @kculbers thank you for sharing those lovely photos. I am envious of all those drawers, which were not available when I designed my kitchen 20 years ago.


    @roarah Lots of people had the reno bug during lockdown! I once had a 20s home that l restored. It had been destroyed by former owner and their animals. I loved its crafstman style details but all original lighting was gone. A neighbour had updated their chandelier and tossed the original in the trash, smashing the glass in the process. It made me sad. I saw a similar one for about $2000!

  • decorpatti
    2 months ago

    We have lived in this, our 2nd home, for almost 30 years. We didn't do much for the first 15 years, as we had 2 kids to put through college and very little extra funds. I was disappointed when we first moved here because I wanted a 2 story house, but we specifically wanted this neighborhood, and the one-story we bought was the best of what was available and affordable for us. Now, since I love my home and neighborhood, I am glad, as this can be our 'forever' home.

    We have done quite a bit over the last 15 years: new floors, 'finished' garage/new door, total kitchen remodel, all new windows, total remodels of both bathrooms, new entry doors, resurfacing/retiling the pool, landscaping, painting, both inside and exterior, installed recessed lighting and other light fixtures, new pergola, and reroofing (re-using original tiles). Last year we re-painted the FR/kitchen and reworked the window treatments because we bought new furniture for the FR...it changed the look of our previously remodeled kitchen without redoing any of the cabs/counters/appliances, which are all still in excellent condition...it is still my 'new kitchen,' just refreshed. We have not touched the laundry room or the 4th bedroom/office; they need updating, but the thought of cleaning out that room is just too much to think about...I just close the door. It's just 2 of us, and we are retired, so my husband has his computer in the FR, where we spend most of our time. The house is 2400 sq.ft., plenty large enough. We have 2 guest rooms: one for our grandkids when they come. We have repainted the LR/DR several times over the 30 years, but I think I am finally happy with the color we chose last year (BM Wickham gray). It has been fun, getting the house to the point where we love it and never want to leave it!

    nan-nan thanked decorpatti
  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @decorpatti Your story reminds me of when we bought our house. I had really wanted another Victorian home like the one we left, but we could not find anything appropriate. What we did find was a raised ranch within walking distance of work.


    When we have been tempted to move, we just have not found anything better than what we already have. There is
    enough space for our large family. It was definitely not Victorian but rather built in the 70s and has been updated through the years.

  • jck910
    2 months ago

    Just celebrated 34 years in our home. Cape Cod style house. Have spent most of those years trying to get it comfortable for us. Am on second time renovating 2nd floor bath. Added a shower to 1st floor 1/2 bath about 5 years ago, so now can use the 1st bedroom as we age. Added a mahogany deck in the 90's that was supposed to last my lifetime but that didn't happen so new deck about 7 years ago. Painted rooms about every 10 years because I like what is current although I have Never and will Not buy into all the gray. Have fun and enjoy!

    nan-nan thanked jck910
  • clt3
    2 months ago

    Nineteen years here. We did a whole house remodel before we moved in. in the past 3-4 months we did a kitchen refresh, painted the whole downstairs, redid our laundry room and mud room, enlarged our sunroom and added a large enclosed screened porch. The last two will be finished in the next couple of weeks. .Flooring going in next week, motorized screens the week after and hopefully counters around the same time. Some pictures









    Lol, that’s our new porch furniture in our new sunroom as we await the real furniture we ordered in January!


    nan-nan thanked clt3
  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    2 months ago

    I've owned my 80 year old house for 30 years. It is a smaller house - 1200 sf. I've never had a huge income (but it was definitely adequate), and was a single parent since my child was two years old, so I have always been thrifty with work on the house since I placed more priority to saving for college and my retirement. However, I have been doing work on it all along - most of the work has been on things like a new roof, new windows, lots of added insulation in the walls and attic, siding, new AC and furnace, water heater, sump pump and basement drains. I did re-do the kitchen in 2013 and immediately wondered why I had waited so long! (of course, I did know why, but it is so much more functional now, even though it is in the same footprint!)

    I did have the first floor LR/DR hardwood refinished some 20 years ago, and now it is time for a refresh there. The upstairs hardwood in the bedrooms are ready to be refinished as well (they were decent when we moved in).

    The lone bathroom really needs a new tub, and tile to go with it - I replaced the sink/vanity/lights/towel bars some years ago, still happy with them, but when I do the tub this next year (debating whether to change to a shower only) I will also replace the floor and toilet, and remove the wallpaper (which I loved, still do) to perhaps add tile to the other walls - definitely around the sink. And I want all the whites - tub, sink, toilet - to match!

    I've painted all the rooms a few times, removed old wallpaper & put new in the child's room, then removed that; new window treatments at least twice; had the floor rebuilt and insulated in the FR addition & added electrical and cable/internet outlets at that time; recently removed the old carpet in there and laid a luxury vinyl tile. Found that too cold in winter so bought a room sized carpet remnant and put that down with padding over the vinyl.

    I've done a lot of landscaping which meant improving the soil and drainage as well. Built a large paver patio too.

    Next on the agenda, after the bathroom, is the truly pitiful basement. It had a 1950s-60s remodel, with that cheap dark paneling, inadequate lighting in the ceiling, glued down carpet. The basement flooded so the carpet was ripped out, and the remnant glue and necessary destruction when the drains/sump went in are "as is" to this day - that is, not cosmetically fixed.

    The electric service really needs an upgrade also...The one car garage interior needs a powerwash, paint and organization... I may be done when they carry me out...


    nan-nan thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • theresen
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @nan nan, thank you. The color was a process. First, we live in MN. We see white and grey for half the year. It's depressing. I wanted deep jewel tones like navy or deep green, but our kitchen is mostly north facing with a wooded lot, and I wanted soapstone, so too dark already. The green is also a nod to the ancestral place where my father's family is from. All of the houses can only have green painted doors and windows, and their donkeys wear pants. I'm not joking. I haven't gotten a trouser-wearing donkey yet, though. HAHA (ile de Re, France)

  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @lizzierobin That's a precious kitchen! I had one like that in our very first home, which was built after WW2. Sometimes one partner has the vision for what things could be like, while the other needs a bit more help, and trust to get there! It's a cute little oven, but who has 40 minutes to wait for it heat up these days??? (Your comment just showed up for me now, but I know you made it hours ago.)

  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @theresen I just had to go and google donkeys wearing pants! LOL. They are apparently made out of old curtains to keep the mosquitos off the donkeys legs!

    How apropos for Houzz! Yes, the Donkeys Really Wear Pants – Ile De Re, France (wordpress.com)

  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @jck910 That's a long time in one spot, too! Too bad about the mahogany deck. Was there a reason why it failed other than that it is wood (and wood tends to decompose over time...) or was it a scam?

  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @clt3 Simply gorgeous!

  • nan-nan
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio I am full of admiration for what you have accomplished over the years as a single parent! That basement sounds like a bit of an icky challenge, though. In our first house, we had the same paneling, really dim lighting, and a dark brown carpet. When we pulled it up, we found dog poo! Gross, but it blended right into the carpet and the light was so bad that we didn't see it. That basement also flooded a few times. Heartbreaking experience.



  • theresen
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @nan-nan So what I've learned about Re is that their main industries are making salt and cultivating mussels. Can you even imagine the smell? Somehow, despite this, Re has become a very poular destination for the world's high society. Weird. Still, I'd love to make a pilgramige there someday. There is a street named after my ancestor and I think the original property is there too. We have traced back to 1600, but I bet I could learn more there.

  • kculbers
    2 months ago

    Clt3: your renovations are lovely❣️It is exciting to get new furniture.
    Nan-nan: yes all the drawers in my kitchen are great❣️Who knows what kitchens will look like 20 years from now.