Category Archives: Renovation Chronicles

Backyard update

As I talked about in my backyard dream post, we’ve embarked on a backyard renovation, as one of our many projects at our Portland Bungalow. While it’s still not quite up to snuff, it’s waaaayyy better than it used to be. We’re no longer ashamed when we have friends over. In fact, we can actually enjoy spending time out there, instead of looking out our back windows in terror about what might be growing on its own. 

Let’s do a little before and a not quite finished after. 


Backyard photo from realtors website. Luckily, when we moved in that crazy awning thing was moved out.

Side view of the garage


In progress, after: 




So how did we get to our progress so far? We added in a stamped concrete patio and retaining wall. A pathway back to our garage apartment made from the pavers used in our old patio. Two planting beds in the back that we’re growing some delicious veggies in. Grass on the bottom and top (not included in these pictures) and some plants here and there. We’ve got posts in the ground for a pergola to shade our patio, but haven’t finished that up quite yet. I’ll update you all with pictures of the final pictures once we get it all finished this summer. 

Finally — see that teak patio set? We got it for the smoking deal of the century up the street at the Stars Antique mall, I blogged about recently. This puppy came home with us for $95 for the four piece set! That’s less than even a chair would have cost us at most places. Granted, it has a little wear and tear on it, but we had planned on not buying a long term investment set of patio furniture for out here for the time being. I say, if we can even use it for 2 years, it was one of the best buys we have ever found! We’ll be sprucing it up with a little sanding an oiling shortly. Can’t wait to enjoy some summer dinners on it! 

Look out for some final pictures in the coming weeks! Let us know if you need any tips, tricks, or resources for your own backyard updates. 

– Lyn



Filed under Landscaping, Outdoor, Renovation Chronicles

The Old Ranch House Backyard and Patio

Here is a before and after of the back yard space at our previous home, the “Old Ranch House”. The only redeeming quality of the entire area was the newly poured concrete patio. The rotten pergola was in need of a massive demolishing, and the entire house needed new siding.

Check out the before shot…

Pergola with dry rot and a giant heap of old siding, not so pretty

First, we tore out that awkward wall that was blocking the yard to give us more light and the illusion of extra space. Next, we ripped off the damaged boards and beams and replaced with new wood. Finally we (well, the painter we hired) gave the entire structure a much-needed paint job. Oh yes, and the entire exterior was re-sided and painted as well. The result was pretty fabulous if I do say so myself. Check it out…

The finished product

Happy almost Friday!


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Before and After – Bungalow Dining Room

Happy Friday everyone! We’re back with another before and after of my Sellwood Bungalow! Today, we’re featuring the dining room, while not as drastic a transformation as the kitchen, its one of the key areas of our home and includes several of my favorite things in our home. 

So, let’s start with what we were working with when we moved in. Beautiful yellow/dirt covered walls, dirty brown floor, old window AC unit and busted old windows. What a joy to be a home owner! 

Dining Room on move in day.

 Now let’s see what we have today. 

Dining Room today + cute doggie Cash

Dining table + console

Windows and art wall + more Cash

Not a ton of structural changes in this room, mainly paint changes, and refinishing of the floor. The major structural addition was of pillars to separate the dining room and the living room,  but I’ll discuss those when we feature the changes to my living room next week. The paint is Devine Truffle, from Miller Paint. We repainted the ceiling and trim white, as it was previously a cream color/dirty. The light fixture is from Restoration Hardware, but has since been discontinued. Table is from Sus (THANK YOU!) and was purchased at World Market. I believe its the Lugano Table and benches. Sideboard was a Craigslist purchase. It’s a vintage Henredon dresser. Drapery panels from Ikea, they are the Aina. Curtain rods are West Elm.  Almost all of the accessories on the sideboard are from HomeGoods (our favorite), including white bowl, chinoiserie vases, and the horse head (Hi Wilbur!).  Mirror over the sideboard is from a yard sale. Artwork on the window wall, is a vintage print I bought at a neighborhood consignment store, and the Sharon Montrose pheasant prints featured here

Finally, the dining room wall holds two pictures that are very special to me (on the left in the top picture). When we moved into the house, my parents gave me two prints that had previously hung in their home and prior to that, hung in my Grandmother’s home in South Carolina. My Grandmother and I have a special bond because I was born on her birthday and was named for her. She was Gwendolyn and I am just Lyn. Since she passed away several years ago, it makes me feel good to have a part of her in my home, knowing that she is looking down on me and (hopefully) proud of where her pictures are and who I am. They even have stickers on the back from the framing shop where they were originally framed in Columbia, South Carolina. Finally, unintentionally all the colors in these pictures are those that decorate our house. When we finally hung these, they brought the whole house together. Just perfect! 

Grandma's bird prints

The finishing touch on this room and the adjoining living room are going to be matching roman shades on the windows on the sideboard wall. I can’t wait to show them to you! 

Hope you guys all have a great weekend! 



Filed under Decor, Renovation Chronicles

Before and After – Bungalow Kitchen Renovation

Good morning everyone! Sus and I are starting a new series here of Before and After’s of our homes, so you can see what we’ve been working on these last few years. Both of our home renovations started our love for decor and the whole renovation process, so really, we wouldn’t be here with you had we not embarked on home ownership of the fix up kind.

So on to my kitchen renovation! This was the first project that the boyfriend and I (with the help of my parents) tackled. And boy, was it a doozy! As I’ve said before, our house was a total mess when we bought it. A possible hoarder was living there with all the cats in the neighborhood. Clearly, we needed to start with giving us a sanitary place to cook for ourselves.

Here’s a shot with what we were working with on move in day. I just want to note that the white cabinets actually look a lot better in this picture than they really were.

Shot from the back of the kitchen towards the dining room. Don't you love the old linoleum?

This picture is of a wall that covered a chimney from a decomissioned oil furnace. Our first step of the renovation was ripping the chimney out of the entire house.

Old breakfast nook. Featuring the lovely border which ran throughout the kitchen and a dusty old light fixture.

The grimy inside of the cabinets. You wouldn't want to store food in there would you?

We promptly began tearing this out the day we moved into the house, and spent the next couple months of our first summer in the house putting in our new and improved kitchen. We did most of the work ourselves. Only having the cabinets installed by a professional. And by “we” I mean the boyfriend led the charge in this renovation. I’m basically just a pack horse/garbage dump girl, tear outs are my specialty. He’s the brains and brawn behind the operation.

First of all, here is the inspiration image for the kitchen. You might remember seeing it in a old issue of Domino magazine (RIP, sniff, sniff). I loved how the horizontal stripes widened the galley kitchen, since changing the layout of this kitchen was not an option for us. I also loved how the black and white stripes gave a hint of the feel of the 50’s black and white tile look, but were also modern and fresh.

striped kitchen floor via  simply seleta

Domino inspiration image

So here’s our kitchen today. We still have a few items that we want to work on, but it’s fully functioning and pretty! New cabinets from Pacific Northwest Cabinetry, who I highly recommend. They were a fantastic company to work with. Gave us lots of options and were professional and quick on the install. Flooring is marmoleum from a company that Sus covered here on the blog before, Eco Floors. Besides being from the inspiration image, the flooring is also easy to install “click” flooring, so we were able to tackle this project ourselves. The countertops the boyfriend and my Dad found at our local Rebuilding Center, which helps recycle unwanted items from construction projects or older homes. It’s a fantastic resource and I highly encourage people to check there first, especially if they are fixing up a older home. Light fixtures are from Rejuvination Hardware, who sells both vintage and period style fixtures.  Finally, all the appliances are from the Sears Outlet, which is a great place to start/look when you’re appliance shopping. It’s hit and miss, but we were able to find some great higher end Jenn Air appliances for a fantastic price, about 50% off of retail. Who doesn’t like to save that amount of money?!

The new kitchen today. The fridge on the left is in the place where the old chimney used to live.

Picture of built in breakfast nook that the boyfriend designed and built. Table is a Craigslist purchase that I refinished. Shade was made by the boyfriends Mom.

Refinished countertops from the Rebuilding Center. Slate around the sink to keep the water off the wood.

Picture of the other side of the sink, on the shared wall with the dining room

So that’s it! What do you guys think? Any tips you have to share on your own kitchen renovations? Great vendors to work with?


Filed under Local Love, Renovation Chronicles

The Old Ranch House…

My sabbatical from the blog is for good reason, I assure you. In an amazing turn of events, last summer we decided to put our house on the market and purchase my husbands childhood home. We sacrificed our entire summer, all to end up with a sale on our first offer. I’ll admit due to the speedy timeline, there were a few panic attacks had and several tears shed (all from me of course), but we actually did it, we sold our house in the worst market in decades! That in itself was a major victory. Yay us!

Here are some before and afters on our old place to show you just how fast and furious this process actually was:

Exterior Before

And After

(New Siding, a bit of landscaping, and a paint job)

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

This is a short visual of what we were actually dealing with. The list of things we accomplished in a short amount of time is very lengthy and boring, but the short version includes:  new windows, doors, siding, all interior paint, exterior paint, new carpet, baseboards, lighting, building a patio covering, and a complete kitchen demolish and remodel.  With the sale of the ranch house we took on an entirely new venture, remodeling and decorating our new home and trying to make it look different than the house my husband grew up in. This process has been much more enjoyable and a bit less stressful, so I’ll have time to blog about our adventures along the way. Now that we have reclaimed our lives, and our sanity, we can slowly chip away on projects at a more sustainable pace. Now the fun begins of making our new home a LOVELY space. More to come on that.

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Back in Action!

After a LONG hiatus, we’re back in action here on the blog! There’s no excuse for the delay, but an explanation is needed. Sus and I have both been very busy, with a house move (and more decorating!), as well as a garage apartment renovation. We’ll be sharing more about both with you, so you can look forward to that, now that we’re back. To tempt your fancy, here are a couple before and after pictures of my garage apartment renovation to get you excited.

This is the upstairs part of the garage that was in the realtor’s photos prior to us buying the house. Yes, we saw this, and actually bought the house. Terrifying, isn’t it? Yes, those are deer antlers hanging from the ceiling, as well as a load of trash on the ground.

The outside of our lovely building. Also, terrifying and clearly not fit for someone to live in. Basically about to fall down.

Aaannnndddd…. drum roll please — the close to finished apartment now! Fit for a King!

Ok – maybe not quite a King, but a nice normal tenant. This is the same wall that the antlers used to be hanging from. Can you believe it? 

Here’s the outside of the garage. Not quite as nice yet, since we really need a paint job on the whole joint, but more to come on that later.

Anyhoo – we promise to be better bloggers. I’ll share more about garage renovation and the upcoming backyard spruce up, and Sus will share more about her move to a new house (yay!) and the ensuing decoration frenzy.

We’ll keep in touch!

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Renovation Chronicles – Portland Bungalow

Hi Everyone – I’m back to share details about one of the major ongoing projects happening at Two Lovely Spaces. The renovation of my Portland, OR, 1920’s bungalow. We’ve been working on the house for a little over a year now and it’s finally starting to come together. When we bought the house, it was the eye sore of the block and hadn’t been well taken care of for a number of years. Here’s a picture of the day we got the house. As you can see, NOT PRETTY. Believe me, it was even worse inside.

Original front of the house

Original front of the house

We’ve put a ton of our own blood, sweat, and even a few tears (mostly mine)  into both the inside and the outside of the house. I’ll share with all of you some of our favorite little projects, as well as one’s we still have under construction as we work to get this house in working order — with a little style along the way as well.

Here’s what the outside looks like today with some MAJOR weeding, new grass, new landscaping and some TLC. The outside still isn’t finished, but it’s much improved, don’t you agree?

Bungalow, Summer 2009

Bungalow, Summer 2009

So how did we get the house looking this way? I’ll say that my dear Luke (featured with our fabulous dog Cash in the picture above) did a ton of work. He got to rent a few “toys” aka; huge pieces of semi-heavy equipment. We consulted with a landscape architect, who provided us with a plan on the cheap and we did all the work ourselves.

Hope you guys enjoyed the “before and after’s”! We’ll be back to share much more!

Talk to you soon, Lyn

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