Spooky Hill

Happy Halloween!  Appropriately, let's wander to Spook Hill, Maryland, and a 1988 house on Pretty Boy Dam Road.  Actually, this house doesn't look very spooky, does it?  
Where are the dark storm clouds rolling in when you need them?

Well, come on in to the foyer, where it's so so ready for decorating, it's scary.

That's certainly moving beyond builder basic, isn't it?  Let's bring some of that warm drama to the living room:

{Better Homes and Gardens}

You can't get much more cozy drama than from a burnt orange couch...

{Victoria Hagan}
...unless it's from twilight blue dining chairs.  Love how this room could be dressed up or down so easily, too.

There's certainly no drama in this current kitchen:

{source unknown}

But that could be remedied with gray stain over the oak cabinets, and gorgeous soapstone counters.

As for the family room...

{Victoria Hagan}
...let's let Victoria Hagan pull in our colors with a lighter touch.

Upstairs, there's a builder-basic master bathroom: 

{Beazer Homes}

The dark vanities and window treatment would warm up the space and add a little dramatic personality.

Same goes for this playing-it-safe master bedroom:

{James Andrew}

Now it's warm, cozy, and definitely dramatic.

If you'll pardon the bad Halloween puns, with a few decorating tricks, we've whipped up some treats for this house, and it wasn't scary at all.

Or was it?  Happy Halloween, friends!

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Landon Lane

Hello readers!  If today's house looks vaguely familiar to you, it's because you saw it on the blog Hooked on Houses last week.  Julia posed the question, "How would you fix up this old house in Virginia?"  Lots of people responded, so armed with their ideas plus the inspiration intact in this 1912 charmer,  I decided to give it a whirl.

On the front porch, the vote to add rockers and a porch swing was popular, and I figured a little fall color (and a cute doggie) would seal the deal.

{Better Homes and Gardens}

The kitchen has period charm, and most commenters wanted it to stay intact.

{Sharon Lovejoy}

I want to bring in Craftsman gray-green paint to work with the existing cabinets. 
Here's another before view for reference:

The dining room looks like it needs new flooring and some inspiration:

Since the inspiration photo is a little dressier than our space, I created a quick mash-up of the two dining rooms to see the possibilities:

The wallpaper border above the fireplace is called Birchwood Frieze by Bradbury and Bradbury.

The living room brings to the forefront a common debate-- paint the woodwork or restore it?

I'm advocating both approaches, as beautifully demonstrated below:

I also like this furniture arrangement, and how it continues the new color palette from the rest of the house.  The window trim can be left white, and the existing original wood finishes restored, such as in the entry, below:

In terms of decorating this entry, I'd just flip-flop the rug and wall colors, like so:

{Better Homes and Gardens}

Going up our now beautifully restored stairs, we'll take a peek at one of the 3 bathrooms:

Some of Julia's commenters mentioned how Nicole Curtis from the HGTV show Rehab Addict could work wonders with this house, and I think this bathroom proves their point:

{Nicole Curtis}

There we go, all fresh and clean.

Now let's check out 2 of the 4 bedrooms.

More period charm, coming right up:

I like the shape of this room.  It just needs a little pretty inspiration:

{Cathy Kincaid}

{source unknown}

Hopefully this cozy house in Orange, Virginia will be as well-loved for its next 100 years, too.
Thanks so much Julia, for the inspiration!


Agoura Hills

Hi friends!  Today we're going to Agoura Hills, California and this 1974 home on Malibou Lake.  For those fans of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Malibou Lake is the film location of Donna's lake house.  There's a great post about that here.

Beautiful setting, but we're more interested in this beautiful house.  Let's check out the living room:

Nice stone fireplace.  This room just needs to be opened up more to the lake view.

This design a good fit.  I know it's a perfect fit, actually, because this is what they did when they remodeled this house.  Welcome to another episode of If It Were Mine  I Would Do Exactly What They Did.  

You guys have to see how they remodeled this kitchen.  It's gone from this:

To this:

Somebody was clearly looking at the kitchens we've all been pinning on our Pinterest boards, and they executed it perfectly.

Here's some more before and after shots:

And, just in case you never paid attention to how much a barstool can impact a design, check out this archived photo with director's chair-style stools.

They're still a good choice,  but I like this streamlined look better.

I would totally act like I was in a Nancy Meyers movie if I owned this kitchen.

There's no before photo for the dining room, but it would be forgettable anyway, compared to this:

A live-edge dining table AND a window seat.  Yes.

Here is the master bedroom's before and after:

This photo was probably taken with a wide-angle lens to make the room appear larger, but even so, they've definitely improved the space.

Here is the master bathroom:

Here is another bedroom before and after:

I'm not positive that's the same room, but no matter, because it's still pretty enough to share.

All in all, this house would be a spectacular retreat for someone who has saved their pennies. 

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