Walnut Avenue Update

Things are progressing on Mama’s house renovation.  Mike and William (husband of a cousin and cousin) have been working on the porches.  Originally the stairs on the outside went from the basement, to the main floor, and then to the top floor.  Mama had one set of stairs removed a few years ago because they were unsafe.  She decided to remove the second set so that she wouldn’t worry about an intruder and so that she would have more porch space.  It’s amazing the room she has without those stairs taking up so much space.

Back of the house in April:


Back of the house now:


If you look carefully at the two pictures of the steps leading to the yard, you can see a difference.  Russell, a neighbor who has helped Mama my entire life, “fixed” these steps a few years ago and his design wasn’t quite right.  Mike and William are in the process of making the steps even.

Mama, my Aunt Judy, and I scraped wallpaper while the guys worked outside. 



I would love to know what this house looked like when the wallpaper was new.  Even the ceilings are covered in wallpaper.  Many of the areas that we’ve uncovered look a bit metallic.  Perhaps they did that to make the rooms lighter?  I pulled this piece from behind the mantel in the family room.  I also found a little prayer book back there.  It had no name or date in it.


Mama made lunch and we enjoyed it on the porch.  Mike and William are so funny.  The entire neighborhood probably heard us laughing!


Two essentials:  coffee  and the George Foreman grill.


By the end of the day the parlor had no wallpaper other than on the ceiling.  This room had multiple layers of wallpaper covered by multiple layers of paint.  The paste that you see on the walls washes off easily.  We will need a boatload of old towels when we tackle that project.



The family room was much easier to strip because there was only one layer of wallpaper on the walls.  We still need to strip above the picture molding and the ceiling.


Mama’s truck has been in the shop since early June.  I can’t wait for her to get it back so that we can get rid of this horrible couch!


The only rooms left to strip on the main floor are the powder room, the hall, and behind the cabinets in the kitchen.  Mama is working hard!  I’m planning to help her next week and I hope to have more progress to report. 


  1. Your Mom is so fortunate to have so many helpers.

    I don’t blame her for taking those stairs down. My back porch doesn’t have stairs on the outside and I’m so thankful. I think your Mom’s house looks better without them too.

  2. Wow, such a huge project. Thankfully you and your Mom have lots of friends and family to help. I love the way it looks without those stairs. In the areas where the wallpaper has been scraped off, do you have to do something to the walls to smooth them out? Lots of sanding?

  3. Wow, Paula! You guys have done a great amount of work… I have stripped wallpaper in my house three layers deep. NO FUN at all!! We did a little bit each day,

    But the house seens like it is coming along and you are a sweetie to be helping and capturing it all on camera!


  4. First of all congrats on uploading all the photos!! I am struggling with that. My hands are hurting just looking at all the work your Mother has done. What a great project. I love the porch with the steps gone-I imagine she has a great veiw from therre.

  5. oh my gosh everything looks so overwhelming! all that work! but i’m sure it will be gorgeous when its done…

  6. Goodness gracious, this is a lot of work. But I love that you’re giving us “before” and “after” photos. Can’t wait for the finished product!

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