New windows, a fresh
coat of paint, and a
restored stair railing were
the first updates Kevin
and Heidi Noonan made
to their 143-year-old
Heidi instantly fell in love
with the columns and
i4-foot ceilings in the
living and dining rooms,
here to begin? That was the question when
Heidi and Kevin Noonan and their three
kids—ages 5, 9, and 12—moved into an 1867
house on a tree-lined street in California,
Heidi had fallen hard for the Victorian-style
architectural charms and lofty ceilings. But when the Noonans hauled in
all their belongings, the realities of an old house began to sink in: small
rooms, minimal storage, an outdated kitchen, and tons of updates to be
carried out. “The hardest part was figuring out how to tackle the infinite
list of to-dos,” Heidi says.
The Noonans made a pact to be patient and prudent, handling
updates in phases and spending wisely so they'didn’t burn through their
budget. For Heidi, that meant taking a go-slow approach to decorating.
“You learn to work with what you have and make the best of it,” says the
former clothing merchandiser who has a passion for decorating. “I’m
not a trained designer, and I don’t follow any rules.” Her mantra: I just
use and do things I love.”
The wheels were spinning even before the boxes were unpacked.
“When we were moving in, I kept looking at the horrible kitchen
cabinets and thinking ‘How can I make them look better?”’ Her freebie
fix—removing upper cabinet doors—has become a favourite “aha”
solution, making dishes accessible and the room seem more open.
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