House & Garden

House & Garden: Minimal Remodel That Works

423 North Jacob

before after frontlivingrm before and afterbefore after front bedrmbefore after back bedroombefore aftr kitchenBefore and After Photos


In one month this little place is up for rent. Solidly built in the 1950’s, the house was more in need of a thorough cleaning inside and out … Cleaning that required additional help and special equipment.  I had purchased a home warranty luckily … Even with the home inspection we missed a few needed, pricey, repairs.

My first expense which improved the overall appearance 50% was hiring a cleaning/clearing crew to remove all the carpets, padding & tacking strips (kitchen indoor/outdoor carpet included), outdated dirty window treatments with cornices, old wooden shelves with metal strips, 3 foot weeds surrounding the house, and items left behind in the yard and garage. It took three men 4 hours. You might be asking, “how could all that be done in four hours?”  It was a big dirty job. Technique! I wasn’t happy with the unnecessary damage to the inside walls where window treatments were removed without tools. Or that a leaf blower was used to rid the house of the disintegrated carpet pad. What happened to a shop vac! Removing the fine dust throughout took many hours of repeated clean up. Yep, that was me!

After the major debris was removed we could see what was needed next. A tree service with a stump grinder gave the final major yard clean up. We added finely ground granite to the dusty (previously weedy) area along the house giving more parking area. The wood shingles over the garage were unattractive but it was the insurance company’s recommendation that provided the final push for a new roof. Safety was definitely a priority. The obsolete floor furnace was removed, the wood floor closed over and new baseboards were placed throughout. We continued to clean, add new hardware where needed, changed out doorknobs, removed endless useless nails, removed wallpaper, added cabinet doors in the bathroom, repaired and constructed fences, replaced rotted wood in the patio cover, added concrete steps, planted trees, removed rocks, painted the entire inside and needed areas outside. And cleaned again and again.

The one item that has been added since the after photos … window treatments.

House & Garden: Affordable Decorating

Affordable Decorating

This upstairs bedroom has been functioning as a walk in closet. I wish I had taken a before picture of the multiple clothes racks, a very tidy maze. This room became an excuse to keep outdated clothing. And of course, became a storage place for just about everything. This house has neither an attic nor garage. So you can imagine!

The room was painted ten years ago and has been used as a closet for all this time. No wear and tear on the painted surfaces require a new paint job. The angular walls are crying out for wallpaper but not now. First project, shade for the window. The windows had drapes that I removed as well as the hardware.


Affordable Decorating

This picture shows the new shade. More pictures will be taken later to better show off this cut to fit shade I installed in 30 minutes with my drill. This is the third I have installed in my home. The price for this 48 inch width window, less than seventy-five dollars. This photo was taken late in the day and better shows the color of the room. The floor is wood and has been painted over with a heavy coat of oil base paint, I’ll bet. Next step, sconces for either side of shade. These openings for the sconces were covered with outlet covers that I removed.


Affordable Decorating

This photo shows the little window alcove in a room that is otherwise 9 feet by 15 feet. No plan for a shade on this window. This window receives light during the early morning and is otherwise shaded. I love seeing the outside lights over the patio shine through this window at night. The wreath has been removed.


Affordable Decorating

A closed shade provides incredible dark in this room. The new sconces have been installed. Total cost for sconces, less than ninety dollars. Electrician for installation, sixty-five dollars. The plan is to have a sconce above each twin bed. The room is so narrow, however, one twin may be the only option. Part of the issue is the slant in the wall which makes it difficult to place any type bed flush.


Affordable Decorating

This area rug is 6 feet by 9 feet and cost $130. The small desk to the right was my daughter’s when she was a child, and was part of this room, former closet. For now this little desk is here to stay.


Affordable Decorating

With this addition of the chair it becomes very clear how narrow this room really is. The chair is an outdoor wicker … A perfect addition to a grandchild’s room. Chair $100 and cushion $30. So far, expenses less than $500. The biggest expense will be the bed.


Affordable Decorating

Antiquing the old curtain rod for use over the uncovered window. I always have touch up paint for my painted walls. The rod was painted with an off white paint. The excess paint was removed with a rag moments later. This rod will be used to hold a lighted wreath in the uncovered window. Lily will enjoy this night light during the holidays. The biggest expense is yet to come, the bed and linens.

Affordable Decorating







Here is the twin bed all set up and looking quite nice. Well, cat footprints noticed. Because of the new additions to the family the next piece of furniture for this room is a holiday crib. Within the next two weeks this will be added and the room will be slightly rearranged. Then the finishing touches to make the room cozy.

Affordable Decorating







The crib has been added. A few small details and the room will be finished. Those details coming soon.







The last items to complete this room. It is difficult to capture the true feeling of this new room. Cozy, warm and amazing natural light make it so inviting. From a child’s room it can quickly convert to a creative haven.

Isn’t this red bench a great accent! It was a twin bed frame recreated into a sturdy bench. What a creative idea! Want to know more? Locals can check out Main Street Visalia, Ziaya’s Uniq’ Imports, a family business.