Tuesday, July 27, 2010


(Left Click The Pictures To Enlarge)

July 27th is always a day of remembrance and celebration for my Mr. AGPMan and I for it was 18 years ago today we purchased our home, the one I lovingly call my La Chaumière de Briarwood.  Some of the photos I'm going to show you will be a repeat as it's been a while since I've snapped new ones.  Hope you don't mind!  I'm going to try and give you a few before and after shots of just what our home looked like in 1992 and what it looks like today.  It's easy to forget about ALL the work that has been done to make what was once just a shell of a house a real home.  
In July of 1992 I was 33 year old.  My children were still very young, my beautiful son Brandon was ten and my sweet Adrienne was only seven.  The years flew by...  During those years we found ourselves planting and painting, cooking, cleaning, repairing, decorating, teaching, loving and learning...and while we were all busy living life my two babies were growing up.  Today they are both happily married and making wonderful lives for themselves.  Life on Briarwood was always bustling with activity and quite honestly~since the day they both said goodbye it's never been the same.  I miss the two of them more than I can say.
~Hideous Wallpaper~
(It Stopped Half Way Up)

The day we moved into the house we still call home it was a total and complete mess (no wonder we got it for a song)!  There wasn't one thing updated in it since it was built in 1970. The wallpaper, flooring, cabinets and baseboard all looked as if they'd been beaten to a pulp.

And I hated most everything inside the house but I LOVED her bones!!!
~Our Stairway Today~

Noooo Nooooo Noooooo wallpaper for me...not anytime soon anyway!  After working so hard to get what was once on our walls OFF I have no desire to EVER hang anymore back up!

Now...if my guy sees that I've posted this picture of him in his bright red shorts he'll kill me (sniff...he's sooooo young!)!  Still...it wouldn't be right to show you pics without showing you WHO has done MOST of the major work in this house...
~Removing The Hideous Wallpaper~

When we moved in the original wooden double doors were really torn up and the leaded glass diamonds were about to fall out.  After pricing new doors (they had to be custom-made) we ended up repairing the old ones and used them for eight more years.  Also...to the right of my guy you'll see the opening to another room (it use to be our formal living room).  This room was flanked with very dated turned poles and the space was a catch-all. We really disliked them so we took them out about 12 years ago and sealed up the gap... 
 ~Installing French Doors~

Last Christmas the opening was widened AGAIN and new (vintage) French Doors were installed.  We turned the room from a formal living room into a formal dining room.  As our brood has grown we've needed more room for big family dinners...  I love it when everyone comes over!  It's wild and crazy!
 ~My Favorite Room~

My guy does truly beautiful work!

The picture below is really terrible but it is the only one I have taken of our family room when it was still dark.  The entire den was paneled when we bought the house.  It was that thick expensive stuff and it took me about 6 months of begging before my Mr. He-Can-Do-Anything-Man would let me paint it.  I mean I BEGGED!!!!  Then...once I started painting I never stopped.  I wonder if he thinks he helped create the monster that now lives inside me! :):)
 ~Dark and Drab~

It's hard to tell in this photo but the ceiling had large beams across the top and there was this horrible gold and avocado wallpaper on it as well.  notice we had no mantle either.  Where would we hang our Christmas Stockings...?  The beams eventually came down and after unsuccessfully trying to steam off the wallpaper we opted to lightly texture over it!  It's stayed in place all these years!

I'm sorry I don't have a recent picture of our den to show you!  My chairs are now at the upholstery shop (gee...wonder what that fabric from yesterday is going to be used for!) and things are fairly torn up right now.  Still...you can see the lovely mantle my guy made for me...another one of my most favorite things he's ever transformed!  The fireplace is fairly wide but not very deep so he really had to get creative to get the look I wanted.  I'm happy to say he nailed it!  He also re-trimmed the bookshelves with new moldings...the original wood trim was that scallopy kind and again was very dated.
~Brandon and His Momma~
August 1992

Now...before you start cracking up over this picture and me with my BIGGOLA hair and Bran's pink shirt...let me tell you we had a shadow behind us and my hair (and his hair!) just wasn't that poofy.  It WAS poofy...just not THAT POOFY!  And...bright pink shirts for little boys were popular in 1992!!! :)   Anyway...in this shot you can see WHY I painted my fireplace brick.  We also removed all the bricks that were below the bookshelves.  This not only created more of a hearth but it also gave us about eighteen more inches of usable floor space.
~Adrienne and Her Momma~
Easter 1993

Now...see that red and hunter green peeking out?  EEEK!  The biggest mistake I've ever made in decorating was putting dark, dark, DARK blackish green carpet in this house.  I had to live with it for a LONG LONG LOOOOOOOOONG time, too!

My Adrie-Girl was about eight here...just a little older than my Miss K is right now!  She was such a little doll at this age and I miss her so much...I also miss my very YOUNG and THIN FACE!  BAH!

In the photo we are standing in the corner of what is still our breakfast room (where the three vertical plates are hanging on the wall below).  My guy pushed the wall back about a foot to give us more space in that room as well!
~Cottage White & Lovin' It~

Once we begin our total kitchen makeover (after the master bath makeover that we are currently in the middle of!) I'll show more of the original kitchen, downstairs baths, etc.  Right now we still have the tile we put in in 1992 but won't be changing it out until several other things are scratched off the list.

Lots and lots of work has gone into making our La Chaumière de Briarwood all we dreamed she would be on the day we first walked through her doors.  How thankful I am for answered prayer... 

(Thank you, God, for 18 years of beauty and bliss...)

I hope you enjoyed the mini-tour of the home we love.

Love to you this summer day~


Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing the transformations that our homes & lives make?? Seems like the excitement of the new house rapidly becomes looking back & wondering where the years have gone!
Whatever would we do without our talented Hub's??
Wonderful post!!
Have a Great Day!!

Jacoba said...

Hi Rebecca,

Your 'chateau' looks very pretty and you are only to be so house proud and so proud of your Mr AGPman (I love that expression!).
My mother embroidered a lovely picture with a saying 'Give me a house to call my own, friends and family to make it a home'.
Thanks for sharing your home with us on here!
Have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca, Oh your home is so beautiful! I love your picture with the christmas tree.It is so gorgeous.The mirrors going up the stairway, your dining room.Everything is beautiful.The outside is so pretty....Kathy

Laura's Rose Garden said...

Wow! Rebecca! You've come a long way, Baby!!! What a transformation! I can see all the blood, sweat and tears (not to mention elbow grease!) that has gone into your home over the last 18 years. It is a beautiful, not so shabby, work of love and art!
Hugs, Laura

Candy said...

Enjoyed the transformation to light and lovely. I've removed wallpaper and know the job that involves. Sounds like your Mr. can create anything swimming around in your pretty little head.
Looking forward to the kitchen redo.

Theresa said...

WOW, Rebecca... gorgeous and I love the transformation! I scrolled up and back and up and back, just couldn't get enough of the before and afters. Honey, you and Mr. Wonderful have done an AWESOME job creating your most beautiful home. I love the brightness in each room.

Thanks for taking the time to share this with us!

Have a blessed day! HUGS!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Rebecca ~
Your home is absolutely gorgeous !!! The before and afters are a wonderful transformation ~


VM Creation Atelier said...

Hello,dear,dear Rebecca!-)*

OMG!!!I have not enough nicest words here about you HOME...
Absolutely dream place,my dear Friend!!!
And oh,my...HOW enchanted feelings are here by,when do you see you old photos with childs!

SOooooo much Light,Love and high Spirit lives here by you amazing HOME,what an great,great,wonderful work!!!
You impressed me realy,realy much,dearest Rebecca:-)))*

I am so proud that I meet you here in these wonderland-Blogland world,you are very special talented Lady,dear Rebecca!!!

Much Love,blessings,

Stacey said...

Rebecca your home is just beautiful inside and out!! I love all your little touches that make it so pretty and homey. I think it should be in a magazine!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rebecca, funny that you should mention the big hair in that shot with your son. I was looking at your good looking outfit. That is gorgeous. I miss so many of the stylish clothes that were popular then. You looked like a million bucks.

You and your DH have done a wonderful job making your home a perfect haven. It is lovely, and so are YOU!

Love you...


Sheila :-)

Anonymous said...

Morning, Dearest Rebecca!! Happy Home Anniversary! Your home is so lovely and I just love seeing all you two have done to it! How marvelous to have such a handy dandy man! :)
Your home is beautiful - just like you!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Jil~Say It With Roses said...

Hi Rebecca....Writing this post and putting on the before and after pictures must have brought such memories!

With hubby's job we have lived everywhere....I feel like a gypsy and always thought we should have a home on wheels all fancied up with window boxes and checked curtains all to go from one promotion to the next. lol!

Now we are back here because of family matters and fixing up, in our golden years, another home...this one a small Craftsman bungalow. I don't think we will ever get finished...I, too, am lucky in the fact that not only is my husband a gem in all ways, but HE KNOWS HOW TO DO THINGS! I have never found anything he could not build nor mend!

Your home is beautiful and I know your family loves coming there!

I came looking for your lampshade tutorial as I have two shades and have not a clue....wish me luck!

The French Bear said...

Gorgeous and beautiful, both your family and your house!!!! Really, what a huge transformation!!!! I love the french doors your husband put in, he really is a good carpenter!!!
Love the photos, and I can't wait to see the chairs recovered.....I did run out to our fabric store to see if I could find your fabric for you, but no luck!!!!
Have a great week my dear!
Margaret B

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Rebecca,
Happy Aniversary of your beautiful home. My how the years fly by and all the transforming that takes place. You took a diamond in the rough and polished it to a gorgeous gem!! Everything and all your updates are incredible. Isn't it so much fun to do. We have been busy in the same way and I just love the process. Your sweet daughter and son are too cute in the pics with gorgeous you. And, looks like your Mr. AGP Man always had plenty to stay busy. My Guy can so relate to that. LOL!!
When I say, "you know, I've been thinking about a project" he says, "oh this could be dangerous" LOL!!

Love to you and many more happy and wonderfully blessed years in your gift from above.
XO Celestina Marie

Tanza said...

Good morning sweet ~r~,
WoW !! Could NeVer tire of seeing your beautiful home being transformed into GORGEOUS !! Sooo inspiring and FuN !! Your BiG beautiful cottage is stunning, and like stepping into a favorite magazine for real !! LoVe all the soft colors, and romantic, cottage touches .. You truly live in, the quintessential "romantic cottage" soo dreamy and relaxing .. LoVe all your sweet "only Rebecca" touches .. It reflects your loving sweet heart and soul ~
BiG HuGs ~TeA~ xo

Brenda ~ The Heminger Farmhouse said...

Hi Rebecca :) Isn't it so much fun to look at the pictures of one's home as it was in the beginning, and to see how far it has come to now! You have such a lovely home, and have it decorated so beautifully, so romantic and cottagey? Thanks for sharing your 18th anniversary with your home for us :)

Warmest hugs, Brenda

Deanna said...

Love what you have done!
So glad you have shared these pictures.

Lovely, lovely home.
Rebecca, you could stage other people's homes...have you thought about that?

God bless and may you have a sweet summer,


Wow what a transformation, your home is so beautiful, thanks for the tour (;

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Happy Anniversary to your home girl and a BIG WOW!! it reall is truly a home of love my friend...to see all the chages you and your hubs have made through the years is just asesome my friend...It doesn't look like the same place at all...Happy day to you girl...thanks ..Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Mari said...



Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Wow, beautiful transformation Rebecca. I went through the same thing. We bought our house in 1978,
and it is an older 2 story colonial. We had that ugly green carpet (avacado) throughout the downstairs, up the hall, and into one of the bedrooms. thank goodness our hubby's are so handy!
You and the kids look adorable!


jen said...

What a beautiful labor of love! your home is stunning!

luvs and glitter

Denise@alloverroses said...

Rebecca your house has been through an amazingly beautiful transformation. The previous owners would never recognize it. You're right your husband does beautiful work. Thanks for sharing this I enjoyed my tour.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

It's the home I see in my dreams. I must take it slow..but that monster of the paint can that lives in you, also lives in me. I must be patient.
IF he will ONLY let me paint those kitchen cabinets...IF he would only... Rebecca...do you want to pass on your tactic in convincing a man to let you paint who just thinks the wood grain is ..wonderful?
:) Love to you, my friend,

Dolores said...

Your home was pretty when you bought it, but the transformation is absolutely amazing.
Your home now, looks nothing like the house you bought...... Your home is so gorgeous!!!!!!!

Tara said...

All your hard work paid off,your home is gorgeous..xx

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Rebecca,
Your home is so beautiful. You and your Mr.AGP have put your heart into making it a home!

Love the pictures of your family.
You are just as pretty today as you were then.


Julie Marie said...

Dear Rebecca... happy anniversary to you, Mr. AGP and your beautiful home... it is so breathtaking and I love every inch of it... your home says "welcome" and the love you and Mr. AGP have put into it shows in each and every photo...I know how very hard you both work to have it look the way it does.... it is like a fairy tale cottage and I want to live there, 'K??? Love to you! xoxo Julie Marie

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Hi Rebecca,
I sure did enjoy the tour of your beautiful home! I love your stairwell, it's gorgeous with all the mirrors. Your husband in his red shorts has the same kind of look my husband gets when I take his photo doing yard work! I'm living with lots of things in our home that aren't my choices any more so I know what living with your dark carpet for a loooooong time is like.
Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog too, I really must start following you as well instead of trying to remember to keep checking. Have a beautiful night!

Anonymous said...

Loved the tour Rebecca! Your home is so lovely! Gives me hope that some day I'll get to live somewhere for 18 years! (Please Lord?)
You poor girl with dark Green carpet! It must have showed every piece of lint!

I have a pic of my boys from the early 90s and they were all 3 wearing hot pink shirts! ☺

Sigh- I miss my thin face, too. I've always been cheeky but now days when I see a pic of myself, I'm like, "Whoa! Who stuffed the cheeks with nuts?" Ha!

Have a great day, sweet girl! ♥

Barb said...

It is lovely to see someone have a true sense of home. Just lovely....peaceful.

Your husband and mine are much a like in talent levels for building. Aren't we blessed?

Have a blessed day, Rebecca.

Barb ♥

English Cottage in Georgia said...

I adore the before and after pics of your home...your transformations are incredibly beautiful. I was stunned with I saw you and Adrienne. Your darling Miss K looks soooo much like her Mom. :-)

Cottage Rose said...

Hi Rebecca; Oh I love your sweet home,,and the photos of the before and after... your hubby is just a whiz at wood working,, I love your afters,, so beautiful,,, thanks for the tour,, and congrats on 18 wonderful yrs,,, not many can say they have lived in the same home for that long,,, such a Blessing...


A Rose Without A Thorn said...

Dear Beck, You honestly have one of the prettiest houses I have ever seen. I know that if I was to ever walk through that door that my eyes would be darting around trying to take every beautiful thing in.

I honestly think that your house is one of those houses that you could visit 50 times and still find something new to look at and enjoy.

Hugs and blessings, Maureen.

Victorian1885 said...

Oh Rebecca you really have transformed your home over the years! Thank you for sharing your little piece of Heaven with us!


Tara said...

It is truly a labor of love. It must mean so much when you can see all the changes over the years and have the stories to go with it. Congratulations on your 18th year, may the next 18 hold just as much joy each and every time you walk through the door to your home.

Sandy~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

This was a treat seeing your lovely home Rebecca, and the transformation is incredible. Lot of work went into your home..... and the ending results are beautiful. Thank God for your husband making it what you what it to be. Now this is more your style girl.... the other way... well just wasn't you that's for sure.


Dogmom Diva said...

Oh Rebecca, your home is beautiful. It makes me sad for me though..our biggest regret in our lives is selling our family home 7 years ago. DH was going to retire and silly us got scared and didn't think we could afford the payment and upkee. We did not think very far ahead, as a few years ago his mom passed away and we could have almost paid that house off with his inheritance. Long story will tll you soometime about MY HOUSE. But I wanted to let you know do not ever sell your home..its beautiful.

Rose said...

your house definitely has a different look , much more beautiful with your touch. love seeing the old pics. Boy! we all dressed"unique". have a good day

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