You Asked For it, Before and After

by Katy on August 29, 2010 · 8 comments

I wrote the other day about the never ending remodeling on my 1914 house, and you, the readers asked for some before and after pictures. So here goes . . .

Before -- My house in 1918. Notice how the stairs come from the front of the porch.

Before -- My house in 1933. Notice how the stairs now come from the side of the porch, which will eventually not support the front of the house very well.

Before -- The house in 2002. The asbestos siding has been removed, but the front porch is a danger zone. The cheap lathe railing sways to the touch.

After -- My house in 2006. Notice how the porch steps now come from the front of the porch again, thus supporting the front of the house.

After -- My porch in 2008. (?) It's been painted, but there's still a few spots which need to be touched up.

And don’t worry, there’s more to come.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

P.S. Here’s a gratuitous before and after photo essay of my lovely, lovely living room chair:

Before -- Goodwill as-is chair sitting on my mother's front porch. I had declined the gift, as it was moist and stanky.

That is, until I saw a reproduction of the same style of chair at Rejuvenation, which looked awesome and cost $1800. It was not as detailed and lower quality.

After -- Hello, reupholstered chair!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

DJ August 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

That is beautiful. Did you recover it yourself? I was given an older chair to fix up and I am debating if this is a do it yourself project or not.


Louise August 29, 2010 at 9:38 am

I had a chair just like this! Picked it up for $15 at an estate sale in 1986. It had that exact same horribly stained pink upholstery, too. I recovered it in a green fabric and loved it for many years before passing it along to a friend when we moved full-time into our RV.

I LOVED that chair. Everyone told me I was nuts to buy a used, stained piece of furniture, but I could see the good bones underneath. It was so well made that I could stand on one of the arms and it wouldn’t tip over. Heavy, substantial, quality frame.

Chair before (so nasty we let the dog hang out on it):

Chair after:


Kellene August 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Wow! Amazing transformation! So wonderful when you can take well-built furniture (hard to find today) and give it a new look. I’m always jealous of people who can refinish and reupholster. I don’t have the patience. Beautiful work!

(BTW, thanks to you, I’m reading The Millionaire Next Door. Wonderful book for those who believe building wealth instead of spending it.)


Katy August 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm

The reupholstery of this chair was my support of the local economy. My sewing skills are confined to much simpler endeavors.



Karen August 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Katy, these are wonderful pictures! It’s amazing that you have a pic of your house as a new house. I live in a 1912 bungalow and would kill for a pic of the house when it was new, or even in any earlier era! Anyway, your pictures are something to be treasured as a visual history of your house.

And, I adore your classic reupholstered chair, which obviously had good bones all along. It’s an inspiration to those of us who prowl Goodwill in search of “pre sat-in” chairs, looking for solid but neglected furniture to restore. Thanks for posting!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl August 30, 2010 at 3:13 am

Oh, how fun that you have a photo of your house from way back wen!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl August 30, 2010 at 3:14 am

Or rather, when. lol


Deb August 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I agree, I love the pics you posted of your house’s transformation through the years – I’m a fellow Portlander and I’m gaga for all of that old info & photos about our beloved town & the cool old homes here. I know that Westmoreland park used to be a dirt landing strip for small planes, and that Johnson Creek Blvd is so crooked because it was originally an old Indian Trail.

I live in 1930 cottage that was built by a carpenter for his daughter as a wedding gift. It’s been remodeled through the years and I so wish I could see photos of the exterior/interior when it was first built.

Katy, would you mind if I asked who did the upholstery on your chair here? I have an old art deco sofa & chair similar to yours, but they need reupholstering as well. I really like how they did yours, and the color is just what I’m looking for as well. Kudos for the great find!


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