Our First House

Chris and I purchased our first home in January 2012 and updated it over four wonderful years. It was in this house that we realized how much we love DIY home updating and we had so much fun transforming it from builder grade to beautiful. 🙂

Links for sources are provided below each “AFTER” section – if you don’t see one for what you want, feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to provide it!

ENTRY / LIVING / DINING

BEFORE:

We requested that the sellers leave the curtain rods, but they ended up leaving us with all of the large cream drapes too…

Not really our style, so they were the first thing to go when we got the keys! 😉

DURING:

We began updating this section of the house by realigning the entryway walls – we removed the cased opening towards the living room and instead inserted one towards the kitchen.

Here’s a before/after picture of the entryway re-alignment:

See how the partial wall to the left is gone and now there’s a doorway into the kitchen?? (If you look closely you’ll also see where we took down the wall in the kitchen…)

This made the entryway feel much larger and helped traffic to flow into the living room (rather than the awkward nook space in the center of the house) when people entered the home.

We then painted all the walls and trim, switched out the light fixtures and installed new hickory engineered hardwood.

AFTER:

Ahhh… this hickory hardwood flooring. The wide planks and dark grain are just dreamy!

SHOP THIS SPACE:

KITCHEN / NOOK / FAMILY

BEFORE:

Like I mentioned above, the center of this main living space had a very dysfunctional “nook” that was separated from the kitchen by a short wall.

The prior owner used it as a dining space.

DURING:

This area of the house was definitely where we spent most of our time. It was also the most work! We knew when we bought the house that the layout of this kitchen would need to change, so we were excited to get going on the project!

Our first step was removing the large wall that separated the nook and pantry from the rest of the kitchen. Just this step made the kitchen twice as big and so much more functional!

Here’s a before/after of the wall removal:

Next up was the pantry!

Prior to taking down the wall we’d been storing most of our food in a few upper cabinets (walking all the way around to the closet was too far) so having a nice, large pantry felt like a luxury!

The best part about this pantry was the middle shelf at counter top height where I was able to store and use my toaster oven. I love toaster ovens – but hate seeing them out taking up all my counter space… (You’ll learn this about me – anything I don’t like to look at, I hide! This DEFINITELY includes cords…)

Here’s a before/after of the pantry closet:

Next we reused the old peninsula base cabinets to build our own custom island with an “L” shaped bar top.

We knew we wanted white cabinets, so we decided to paint the island a contrasting dark grey for some dimension. The paint we ended up with was a color I matched to the curtains I had hanging in the space.

After all of the “construction” was done, we painted the cabinets, installed new light fixtures, custom built wood counter tops, added a door to the laundry room, built open shelving around the window, and installed board-and-batten wainscoting and a bench seat in the nook.

AFTER:

Source List

Paints: (All by Behr) Walls-Aged Beige, Trim-Moon Rise, Cabinets-Swiss Coffee, Island-Dark Granite
Pendant Lights: Home Depot
Nook Light Shade: IKEA
Ceiling Fan: Lowes
Large Clock: Real Deals
Stools: Overstock
Kitchen Rug: Tuesday Morning
Family Room Rug: Home Depot (Similar one here)
Console Table: IKEA (Similar one here)
Couches and White Table: Gibbs Furniture
Striped Pillows: IKEA
Green/Blue Pillows: JoAnn Fabrics
Paint Chip Calendar: DIY
Sink Light: Thrifted

LAUNDRY ROOM

This was the first room we updated in the house – seems like an odd choice, but I just couldn’t stand staring at the water heater while I did laundry… 😉 Chris actually surprised me by building the closet around the water heater while I was away for a retreat and together we painted the cabinets and the walls.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

If we had stayed in this house longer I would have done two more things in this room – install a counter top above the washer and dryer and extend the top of the cabinets to the ceiling and trimmed them out with crown molding…

Source List

Paints: (All by Behr) Walls-Silver Sateen, Cabinets/Trim- Moon Rise
Blue Pictures and Laundry Sign: Ross
Washer/Dryer: Lowes (We wouldn’t recommend these models because they’ve ruined a lot of our clothes…)

GUEST BATH

BEFORE:

AFTER:

We didn’t focus a lot of our attention on this bathroom, although I did want it to feel nice, so we opted for leaving the “guts” of it the same and just making it pretty. This involved wall and trim paint, a nice shower curtain and some simple, lovely decor. Had we stayed in the home longer, we probably would have changed out the flooring, vanity, and light fixtures.

Source List

Paints: (All by Behr) Walls-Custom color match to curtain, Trim- Moon Rise
Shower Curtain: Bed, Bath & Beyond (Similar style here)
Wall Art: DIY/Thrifted

MASTER BEDROOM

BEFORE:

 

DURING:

The grey and yellow trend was very popular when we first moved into this house and were choosing color schemes and decor styles. Because of that, this room started out VERY yellow… why I chose that color for wall paint, I have no idea. Painting lesson learned – never paint a whole room mustard yellow! We eventually realized our mistake and painted over it with the same grey as the master bathroom and the cozy factor increased a ton just by changing up the paint.

AFTER:

Source List

Paints: (All by Behr) Walls – Ashes, Trim – Moon Rise
Light Fixture: IKEA
Lamps: IKEA
Duvet Cover: IKEA
Bed & Nightstands: IKEA
Small Mirrors: IKEA
Cream Throw: IKEA
Grey Throw: Pottery Barn (similar one here)
Black Pillow: Disneyland
White Curtains: Kmart
Dog Bed & Pillow: TJ Maxx
“You & Me” Sign:
Hobby Lobby
Laundry Basket:
 Gift
Antique Wall Art and Yellow Chair: Thrifted

MASTER BATH

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Like I mentioned, our master bedroom decor had a yellow/grey scheme, so this bathroom naturally followed suit. I fell in love with this shower curtain from West Elm (a place I LOVE to visit, but rarely buy from because it tends to be a little high-end for my budget) and decided it was worth splurging on. 🙂 The paint color was a match to the lightest grey in the curtain and the two DIY projects we did in this room were painting the base cabinet/vanity and framing out mirror. We also changed the light fixture and towel rods. Simple updates with big impact!

Future planned updates included a new vanity top and flooring.

Source List

Paints: (All by Behr) Walls – Ashes, Trim – Moon Rise
Light Fixture: Home Depot
Towel Ring: Home Depot
Towel Rod: Home Depot
Shower Curtain: West Elm (No longer available – similar one here)
Wall Art: Local Artists
Yellow Trash Can: Thrifted

BEDROOM:

BEFORE:

First Home Before

AFTER:

BEDROOM:

BEFORE:

First Home Before

AFTER:

Source List

Paints: Walls – Natural Linen by Glidden, Trim – Moon Rise by Behr
Light Fixture: Lowes
Crib: Kmart (similar one here)
Tent: Amazon (affiliate link used)
Gutter Shelves:
 Home Depot
White Cube Shelving Unit & Green Bins: Kmart
Chairs: Costco
Wall Art: DIY/Gifts
White Side Tables: Thrifted

EXTERIOR

BEFORE:

AFTER:

One of our first projects was fencing off the large side-yard and building a vegetable garden with 10 raised beds and two good sized in-ground beds. We also, towards the end of our ownership, graveled the other side of the house (could definitely be used for RV/Boat parking), leveled off the backyard, prepped for a concrete patio, built a raised corner flower bed, installed a gravel path to the side and reseeded the grass. After all of that work we definitely realized we love DIY, but landscaping isn’t our thing… I would have loved to see this backyard in all its glory, but we ended up selling it before that happened and now its up to the new owners.