What happens when one woman combines her love for old homes, renovations and Craigslist?
You get your new favorite blog. Victoria Elizabeth Barnes, of the fabulous site by the same name, has been chronicling the trials and tribulations of renovating her 1890 Pennsylvania house with her husband. It's kind of a cross between Versailles and Downton Abbey, which you'll see in the house tour below.
When the couple purchased the home, they knew it was in bad shape, but like many who come across rundown abodes, they saw potential -- thanks to its hinges. "I fell in love with this house before we even got in the front door. Literally, the fancy hinges sold me," she said. "The house was neglected, but there was something appealing about it -- it felt fun and adventurous -- like Edie Beale might show up."
Once they made it inside, they discovered walls painted every color under the sun, rotting floors and a bathroom that had an entire other bathroom underneath it that was covered in tons of concrete. But those weren't the worst parts according to Barnes. She explained that it was spending months living in dirt and out of boxes.
Naturally, we had to ask what kind of toll remodeling every room in your house takes on a marriage. After all, a lot of couples can't survive living together in a house when the power goes out, let alone a complete overhaul. "Living in a construction site and sharing the role of general contractor and work crew is going to give you a lot of extremes," she said. "The extremes of irritation, but also the extremes of appreciation for a part of your partner that you might not ever experience otherwise."
Looking at the home now, you'd never guess it was a hazard zone. It now has a regal look to it that's very Victorian thanks to Barnes amazing Craigslist finds (like this kingdom mirror for $280), and the constant reminder that she's on a budget, which she recommends to all home renovators. "Try not to get sucked into 'inspiration' on the internet. You will actually forget that you have a budget, that you do not have a 5,000 square-foot house and that you would like this project to be done sometime in your lifetime."
Of course, with any house, the work is never done. They couple still need to finish the kitchen and back patio area, which will both need a lot of TLC. "Trying to design an appealing end result without ripping off the entire thing and starting from scratch is a challenge we haven’t figured out yet," she said.
Click through our slideshow to see photos of Barnes' home and be sure to head over to her blog for more information.
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