Let me say at the outset that ugly is a relative term. Ugly to me may be stunningly beautiful to you, and vice versa, so no offense is intended here.
I moved into my current house a little over five years ago. According to my neighbors, it had been on the market a while and hadn’t sold, so the previous owners took it off the market and asked for advice. They painted the exterior, put in air conditioning, and put it back on the market. From the outside, it looked great.
I don’t know if the person who advised them mentioned the dark/strong/bright wall colors and wallpaper inside the house and suggested that they tone things down, but the house I saw that October was…well, let’s just say the previous owners had rather eclectic taste in colors.
Luckily, I’ve always had the ability to “see past the ugly”…whether it be an old wicker sofa painted an awful Astroturf green, a chest with rusty drawer pulls and a bad paint finish, or a charming house that happens to have a schizophrenic color scheme. The house had good bones and a great layout, lots of windows and great natural light (and a working fireplace—my deal-breaker). I knew that, with a little TLC, I could make it mine, so I bought it.
Here’s what it looked like before…
Mostly I felt the colors overwhelmed the small house, and made the light-filled spaces dark and dingy. Five years later, I’ve re-painted every room in the house. The rooms have become light and airy, thanks to paler, more muted colors. The dark turquoise bedroom is now painted a light, bright yellow-green that changes with the light, the contrasting blue-green ceiling giving it a perpetual feeling of springtime. The formerly cobalt blue bedroom is now a very pale robin’s egg blue. The dining room is a soft green that celebrates the sunlight that bathes it every morning. The new color for the formerly muddy gold living room has been dubbed “French Vanilla” by the friend who helped me paint it–the room is still warm, but now bright and open.
And so on. I’m sure there are people out there who would love the colors that the previous homeowners chose and would find my color choices bland and boring, and that’s okay. I’m happy with them, and that’s what matters in the end. To me, the house is transformed, the lighter colors allowing its character and charm to shine through.
Here’s what it looks like now…