Our Boston Home of 6 Years: Reno Before & Afters

While we were packing up to move last week, I came across some old photos of our condo which made me quite nostalgic! Our brownstone was built in the 1800s, converted into condos around 1980, and the unit that we purchased had not been renovated since then. Nick and I put a lot of love into updating this 4th floor walkup (with the help of a contractor), and although we would change some of the design elements in hindsight, we made the most of this small light-filled space and will truly miss it.

Since a lot of you shared interest in seeing before & afters, here’s what I could dig up!


Before: Semi closed off from the living area by a wall.

Boston condo living space before

kitchen renovation before

After: Wall between kitchen and living area removed, and cabinets & countertops updated. Not sure why we chose an olive colored island…in hindsight we’d go simple with all white, or maybe a pale grey island instead!

boston south end kitchen condo renovation before after

boston condo white kitchen renovation after

Added pendant lighting:

toddler kids white gold play kitchen

  Teamson Kids play kitchen // photo originally from this post

Kitchen Nook

Before: Underutilized little space in the corner.

boston condo kitchen renovation before

After: Microwave and pantry nook, which we packed pretty full!

white christmas holiday kitchen decor

Photo originally from this post

Living Area & Entryway

Before: Asymmetrically shaped fireplace with stone tile surface. Exposed AC unit.

updated living space before renovation

condo interior before and after comparisons

After: Reshaped the fireplace, added brick, a mantle, and painted the brick white. We had our couch here (as you guys saw in most mirror selfies) and our dining table set off in a corner towards the kitchen.

updated fireplace before comparison

Our condo association wouldn’t let us install central air or a slimmer AC system, so we made do and added long curtains to cover up the unsightly wall AC unit when it wasn’t in use.

DIY holiday decorations velvet bow tutorial

Photo originally from this post // The Frame TV (white frame sold separately)

Added shoe shelves to entryway and floor to ceiling curtains:


After: Replaced solid doors with glass french doors for better light flow, added vintage doorknobs and a privacy curtain behind the doors.

French door installation stylish replacement door knobs

There was a nook in the office wall, where we added glass bookcases (more info on these in this post) and two desks for Nick and I against the opposite wall.

white jeans and leopard loafer outfit

Photo originally from this post on Rothy’s.


Before: Straight outta the 80s!

condo bathroom before renovation

After: We didn’t love our renovation choices here and were planning on making some changes, but never got around to it! Definitely learned our lesson to test multiple swatches of paint on the wall and review it in different lighting before committing to a color.

boston condo brownstone bathroom renovation after


Before: Good sized closet but limited hanging space, most of which was too high for me to reach.

apartment closet before

And since people always ask where Nick’s clothes go…he got this generously sized laundry closet in the office to work with! I didn’t grab an “after” pic of this, but he replaced the wire shelves with a modular system with hanging bars and shoe shelves.

small apartment closet

After: Painted the walls a dusty grey-blue and reconfigured the closet. Nick installed this modular system, added an extra hanging bar and drawers (sold separately), hooks behind both closet doors, and cleared out the above-the-closet space for additional storage.

small space closet winter storage tips

And this is how our bedroom was set up for room sharing with Nori for over 1.5 years! We started with a bassinet and transitioned to a foldable mini crib around 4-6 months, using a Slumberpod blackout tent over the mini crib every day (except during warm summer days).

sharing bedroom with baby toddler small space living boston city

Hope you guys enjoyed this tour! This first home has truly served us well, and is where a piece of my heart will always live.

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When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

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