In December 2011, days away from Christmas, we purchased our first home. It was a hectic time to be purchasing a home, (we also had a baby merely 4 weeks earlier), but after living in apartments for 6 years, anytime was the right time. We toured numerous homes, but we kept coming back to this one. This house had actually been on the market for months before we made an offer. I like to think it was waiting for us. (Psst! Want to know what paint color that is? Check out our Paint Colors page.)
-THE FRONT YARD-
The bald spots in the yard and the muddled plantings in the front beds, did not have us at “Hello.” However, the large, curvy windows, charming shutters, and lanky rose bushes with giant, pink roses definitely pulled at our heart-strings.The very first thing we did upon moving in was gussy up the front door. We removed the brass kick plate, changed the knob, painted the door teal, and spray painted the knocker and metal threshold oil-rubbed bronze to match the new knob.
(This was taken after a week of rain, so a lot of dirt has splashed up onto the house.
This is something we plan to remedy in the near future. Read how we remedied this problem for less than $50, here.) We also changed the entry light (to a $30 Lowe’s find), spray painted the shutters and the light fixtures on the side of the garage glossy black, installed a new door bell, removed the haphazard shrubs and landscape edgers, and relocated the rose bushes to the back yard. We still have a long way to go when it comes to landscaping. We’re hoping to the define the beds, add plants that stay interesting year round, and even window boxes under the second-story windows.
-THE ENTRY/ DINING ROOM-
Here’s what the dining room looked like on move-in day. (You can also partially see the office through the open doors.)Since moving in, we’ve changed the light fixture, hung curtains, had that open window-like area (on the left in the before picture) covered, and painted the walls a creamy white. This room is still a work in progress. We’re
patiently waiting to find wooden dining chairs that woo us to go opposite of the bench. We still need to decorate the walls, and perhaps put a small sideboard or bar in the corner next to the window.
This room was listed as a 5th bedroom or office in the home’s description. We opted to turn it into an office / craft room.The office was the first room we updated. At the time, this seemed like such a large undertaking; not so much in retrospect. We painted the walls a light grey, made custom curtains with fabric from Ikea, added storage via shelves (also Ikea), and put the desk right in the middle of the room, because we’re mavericks like that. We also switched out the fan for this great light from CB2.
After living here for 3 years and hardly ever using this office/craft room we admitted to ourselves that this space could be put to better use. So in April of 2015 we joined the One Room Challenge and spent 6 weeks turning this space into a playroom for our kids.
We added a couch, DIYed some pipe shelves on the cheap, and implemented some smart storage. It’s been great for helping keep the kids’ toys corralled to one area downstairs. You read about the whole process, start to finish, here.
–The Living room-
These pictures give the false sense that our living room is huge, but it’s definitely more cozy than large.
This photo was taken while standing next to the fireplace, facing the opposite direction. You can see the stairs and the dining room from this angle.
We haven’t changed a lot about this room. We painted, added a rug, DIYed valances with curtains, changed the ceiling fan, and of course added furniture. We’re still searching for the perfect coffee table. Eventually, we would like to add sconces on the photo gallery wall, and stain or paint the mantel.
Oh, the kitchen… We knew when we toured the house, that updating the kitchen was definitely part of the plan. The sides of the cabinets didn’t match the fronts, and a few cabinets didn’t close properly, among other things.
We talked endlessly about what we wanted to do in this space. We considered painting the cabinets until we saved enough money to replace them. We also toyed with the idea of salvaging the granite counters and just replacing the cabinets. After 2 year of saving our pennies, we opted to do a full remodel…doing all of the demo and prep ourselves. It was the first, real, major construction project we had ever done. Did I mention that I was 5 months pregnant with our 3rd child when we started this?
We removed the counters, cabinets, and backsplash (resulting in a need to replace some of the drywall – which we also did ourselves). Under Budget Kitchens (a local company) installed the new cabinets, counters and sink.
We installed polished marble backsplash, the cabinet hardware, the range hood, texturized the new drywall, replaced the window ledge, and painted. We hired a plumber to connect the dishwasher and the new faucet. A year later we hired an electrician to add recessed lights and junction boxes for pendant lights over the island. A few months later, hired painters to paint the ceiling and patch the giant holes left by removing the recessed fluorescent lights.
Also in the kitchen, we have a little nook that I like to call the sunroom; typically said while making air-quotes with my fingers. Most likely intended to be a breakfast nook, we added slipper chairs, a side table, and DIYed curtains to give this space a new identity.
You can find out all the details on our faux sunroom here.
-The Master Bedroom-
The master bedroom is a great size. It, like all the bedrooms, was a blank slate. It has one closet in bedroom, and off of the bathroom.
Thus far, we have painted the walls, hung blinds, and painted the interior doors black. The room is lacking in the decor department. We’re hoping to find more art, accents, and curtains that we love. We also plan to replace the ceiling fan with something more attractive.
(Don’t mind our cat, Louie. He was too busy lounging to be inconvenienced to move.)
We haven’t finished this room, but that’s because we’ve spent most of our time in here converting our 2nd walk-in closet into a coffee bar / library. Often referred to as The Library, we carved out this little sanctuary by taking out the closet rods and adding Billy bookcases + trim to the main wall.
We also added a small console table from Target and a shelf from Hobby Lobby to make our own coffee bar.
You can read more about The Library starting here.
-The Master Bathroom-
This is how the master bathroom looked before:
Here it is after removing the wallpaper, painting, replacing the mirror and lights, changing the faucets, removing the shower door, and painting the cabinets.
We still need to replace the light in the shower, paint the trim and doors white, replace the medicine cabinet door, and hang some art and storage on the walls. This is just a “in the meantime update”. We would like to, eventually, completely renovate this bathroom.
-The Hall Bathroom-
Here is the hall bathroom in all its untouched glory.
This bathroom is very narrow. To open the space up a bit, we removed the shower door, and the door between the sink and tub area. We also removed the wallpaper (all 3 layers), painted, installed a new mirror, a new light, and painted the cabinets navy blue.
We still need to change the door hardware to match the rest of the oil rubbed bronze door knobs, add art, and paint all of the trim a crisp white. Eventually, we plan to completely replace the vanity, and possibly even take down the wall separating the two spaces.
We painted the walls, changed the fan, and hung curtains and blinds. We’re hoping to add more to the corner photo gallery, and add more storage.
This room is still waiting to be changed for the most part. We switched Akira and Eleanor’s rooms, but haven’t done much else.
We still need to paint the walls, the night stands/dressers, and add better storage in here.
This room, like Akira’s room, is still in need of paint and better storage.
We have a whole lot to do out here, but so far we’ve: carved out a flower bed near the back fence, built the shed, hung solar lights on the fence, and added a small, raised garden bed. We’ve also add plantings around the shed (we hope to add more) and got crafty with an old shutter to decorate the shed. We’d like to add a patio cover at some point and another raised bed.