Casa de Voss-a

Hi! In April 2008, Ryan and I were fortunate enough to be able to purchase our first home. If you’ve been asking for pictures of my house, here they are. A year later, we’re nearly done working on it!

Ryan and I wouldn’t have bought this home if my dad were not my dad. My dad, Rich, has given us so much help, work, advice, and love that we want to make art in his honor. I thought I’d start with these “before, during, and after” photos.

My family did most of the work on the house–with help from my dad’s crew. Many of my friends gave helped with painting, decorating, and listening to me talk about my house. We also had help from Uncle Bobby, BJ McNeil, Tommy “magic man” Frederick, and Tyrone the bricklayer.

Let’s begin!
This is our house when we first bought it. It kind of looks like a dentist office with the porch enclosed. As you scroll down, you’ll see that dad’s truck is a downgrade from his Corvette….and the dumpster is even more of a downgrade. The last photo shows our new porch–just like it used to be!

Another view of the front of the house before…and after.

Here is the back of our home. Our lot is 40’x100′ so there is a lot of stuff packed in there. Check out those tomato plants!

Come on in! Here is the old front porch addition. This is what you saw when you came into the house and turned left. The big sliding glass door was put in when the 3 windows were removed. Now the windows are back in we have a wonderful front porch!
(The porch was just opened last week –more photos of the crew at the bottom of this post). All week we used the metal chairs on the porch as ladders. And I swear that those chairs can travel on their own.

This is our front entry and living room. The main event. In the before and after, it looks the same except you don’t see the two weeks that Ryan and I spent removing wallpaper and scrubbing glue off of the walls…every wall on the first and second floor…except for the walls dad tore down.

Here is a view of the living room, facing towards the front of the house. On the left, a pane of stained glass window is the door for the dry bar. Sliding glass door on the right. The “after” photo shows our new-old-fashioned entry door on the left, windows on the right. Yay!

Ryan is on the move!

The stained glass windows are in good shape, but the fire place was covered in drywall. Not cool. Under the drywall was the same pattern of wallpaper! And brown tiles everywhere. The exposed brick aren’t the prettiest, but I think it looks great with our custom mantle and African art from Nicki!

Progress photos of that fireplace….definitely worth it. Also notice that the radiators are gone. 4000 lb of metal went to the scrap yard and we got a new HE furnace and central air.

Dad is making a list of stuff for us to do. I loved how our porch swing was inside.

Ryan and I resealed the wood floors on the first and second floor. Thankfully, mom and dad were nice enough to let us stay with them during the renovation so we didn’t have to inhale fumes all night. We actually didn’t move into our house until 4th of July weekend, or just over 2 months.

Now welcome to our dining room…this wallpaper was the most difficult to remove. We had to rent a wallpaper steamer and it took forever. Also, that wall is GONE!

This is what it looked like when we moved in last year on 4th of July weekend. And below is what it looks like this 4th of July weekend. So much better for us, but may look the same to you.

Here is the lovely kitchen. Under that wallpaper was….MORE WALLPAPER. It doesn’t really matter since all the walls were gone soon. We closed on our house at 10am and the cabinets were in the garage and there was a huge “investignation” hole about the stove at 1:30pm. And by 4pm, our new kitchen was ordered from a W.T. Leggett. Ryan makes an encore appearance in the second photo, looking much more comfortable at home.

These really are the same photos taken just over a year later. Also there is new lighting and a crazy amount of cabinets. I collect Fiestaware and dad and I (and Rose from Leggett) thought the glass-faced cabinets were the best way to show it off.

I am going to frame this photo and hang it in our kitchen to remember that anything is possible.

Some work in progress. Dad’s design (Ryan and Justin’s build) for this room dividing beam is awesome! I wasn’t a believer at first but I think its great. It matches the style of the cured wood in our entry way. All I have to do now is paint it white.

This photo is also going in a frame. I love that there WAS a toilet where our refridgerator is now.

And another one for the frame. Dad took down so many walls so we can have heat and AC on our second floor. “So Randi doesn’t get a cold dupa.” I like this photo with Nicki using the shop vac. She came back from Semester at Sea just so she could vacuum my house. Mom is here too. She was taking a break from the wood staining and varnishing operation that was going on in the basement. Mom also helped a ton with taking down wallpaper (and making us lunch/dinner all of the time)!

One of my favorite rooms, Ryan’s office. This wallpaper was unbelievable! No, that is not our backyard, but a wallpaper mural coming to you direct from the 1970’s!!! Also that wood-like laminate floor was covering up more hardwood!

The awesome wallpaper continues into the bathroom. There is still a mystery light switch above his computer monitor–1 of 2 in our house.

Dad decided to borrow some room from this bathroom for our refrigerator. Plumbing, tiling, and painting.

Another “during” and “after.” All of the floors in our house were covered in that pink paper. It was amazing how much abuse the papers took to save our beautiful floors.

This is Cynthia. She keeps out evil spirits.

Our stained glass window in the stairway.

This is the second floor while we were refinishing the floors. Fumes!

This is our bathroom. We really didn’t do too much in here other than take down the terrible shower curtain and remove the radiator. To the left of the toilet is our LAUNDRY CHUTE! That is the reason that I wanted to buy this house.

Bedroom 1 of 3, our guest room. Bye bye wallpaper, hello blue!

This is our master bedroom! The fireplace got the same treatment as the one on the first floor. Dad mixed concrete in our bedroom while we were living there. How many people can say that?

Bedroom #3 is my office/studio….where all of the magic happens!

We also have an unfinished, walk-up attic. It still looks like this.

Strike a pose!

Finally, here are the work photos from the porch demolition last week. Notice this technique–3 guys working, 2 guys standing around, and 1 taking photographs.


There were so many things going on at once!

You need finger strength to lay bricks. Salt and pepper.

After the porch was done, Justin and Rye worked on interior trim for our windows and doors. Everything looks awesome!!!

Clean up. Dad is taking it all in.

Dad’s idea to jump on the porch at the end of the workday on Friday.

After the jump, Ryan and I cleaned for 2 days straight.

So if you haven’t seen me for a while in that past year, I’ve been here working on our house….or building my new business.

I would never dream of doing something like this on my own, nor would I want to. I have the best family in the world! Thank you for making my first house my dream house!

Love, Randi

I'm Randi Voss, a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I specialize in photographing fun, happy weddings working throughout the wedding day as both a photojournalist and a portraiture artist. Have a look around my blog to see what I've been doing lately, both personally, and professionally, and get to know me better. View the Galleries to see some of my favorite photos. Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts. Sincerely, Randi


  • gasfairypb

    Randi…..This photo display is every bit as awesome as the work that you do on your weddings.I think you should send yourself a check and enclose a nice tip for your self.

  • Nicki

    hahaha i second that. i would throw in a buck or two as well. nice job on the house and nice job on the blog representation… beautiful.

  • gasfairypb

    To Ryan……Quite the project you two took on.If patience is a virtue,then you must be best friends with Jobe.I,myself have been in construction, from age 15 to 55.My family ,Nicie,Randi and Nicki,grew up in drywall dust and are used to project#39;s being half compleated due to the small fact of makeing a living.You, being new to the game, and just in your rookie season, and takeing on a massive remodeling project like this, and not landing in the loony bin are to be commended.I tip my hat to you and I must say that it was a pleasure to work side by side with you and Randi.You helped me fulfill another line on my bucket list and for that I thank you. Signed Rich

  • Martha

    Ryan and Randi – awesome job and terrific presentation on your blog. You guys did an amazing amount of work in a year…thanks for sharing this online. Can’t wait to see the finished product in person. Congratulations to you and your family. Great job, Rich, Denise, Nicki, Ryan and Randi – now is the time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors! Martha

  • Amanda Eden

    Holy freakin’ holy! I can’t believe the amount of work that went into that house! And how freakin’ beautiful it is now. Yes, I can definitely see how one in the market for a house would walk into that one and walk right back out – unless Rich Dembski was her dad. Okay, I’ve always said that my dad is the coolest and smartest guy in the whole wide world. I’m going to elect Rich as senior VP of Cool Dads, Inc. Great job, everybody!

  • David Burke

    WOW!!! STUNNING. Absolutely beautiful. Such great work. I agree your family is a huge asset 😉 So happy for you!!! You are blessed.


  • randivoss

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments! The best part is that now I get to enjoy it all. -Randi

  • Sara Winter

    I am exhausted just looking at the blog! You all are rock stars!! What a super stellar house for a super stellar couple! Hugs amp; Kisses, S&N

  • Denise

    with love and many caring hands, your house is a beautiful piece of the neighborhood. a perfect home to celebrate and enjoy. congratulations on a dream come true. love mom

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