Man – I’m sorry. I have very little excuse for being so absent from this here blog. It’s almost as if moving into the house took about 5 months to start to feel settled and back to a normal routine. But here I am, and I’m going to try my hardest to stay regular – and not in the prune juice kinda way, although, that is important too.
Many requests have come in for the before and after views of the house, so I figured what better way to do a “back on the band wagon” kick-off than a good ‘ol before and after post! So without further adieu – Welcome to our home.
Let’s start with the differences here. As you can see we ripped up the carpet and had the hardwoods that were hidden below, refinished. We went with the Minwax-Provential as our stain option. We wanted something that would be darker, but still match with the existing stain on the stairs. We also knew we wanted lighter paint colors, so the darker wood floor was really something we were shooting for. Oh, and the front door got a face lift too – I needed my “L” to stand out after all.
As you make your way in, you’ll notice a huge difference with the stairs.
We decided to be daring, and add a little spice to our life and took the banisters down. We actually really loved the wrought iron banisters. They were a bonus factor when we purchased the house. However, when we got in and started painting the ceiling and walls and such, we had to take them down. And we decided we really liked how it opened up the place. This “opening up” may be more of a “you have to be there and see it in person thing” but just trust me. It does.
Also, I painted that awful paneling in Benjamin Moore’s – Gray Cashmere. It’s the color we chose for all of the hallways in the house. Originally I thought it would be more grey and less green, but I actually like the sea glass look that it adds to the house. Oh, and that’s Sassy there on the stairs, making a cameo. She and her sister have adjusted well to the new digs. (**Update: We just added a dog to the mix, so they are readjusting, but doing well all things considered)
One other element you can really see here is the hallway on the main level. I added the horizontal stripes to add some length into the hallway. I. LOVE. IT. It was actually an idea I originally saw on Pinterest. Dave wasn’t so sold at first, but I’m pretty sure he loves it just as much as I do now. It really does give a little more interest to a smaller hallway.
If you look directly to your left in the house you will be welcomed into our living room.
I love the two after pictures above because they show how the color we chose (Benjamin Moore’s Sea Haze) looks completely different in different lights. I took these pictures at the same time – but the lamp causes the lighting in the pic to change a hair. Which really gives you a taste of the grey to green grey that the color portrays. We took down the window valances and have yet to agree on curtains for the room, so we’ve added only blinds for the time being. The TV is hanging on the wall where the closet used to live. My hubby and Father-in-Law removed the door, closet framing and innards. They then put up new drywall and I helped to do the putty and sand process, as well as remove the chair rail and plaster up the holes left from that. What that left us with was a beautiful wall with room enough for our 55″ TV and entertainment center. We purchased the sectional from Ikea, it’s the Karlstad. The entertainment center, coffee table and end table are all from Ikea as well.
I love how homey and cozy the living room feels. It’s not too crowded, just warm. The lighter color on the wall really helps to keep it feeling open as well. Now, take a seat on the couch, and take a look to your right. There you will see our dining room
Remember how I mentioned that a lot of people thought we were making the wrong decision in terms of room picks. They all (including Dave) wondered why in the world I wanted the smaller room for the living room and the larger room for the dining room. Well, take a look – What do you think?
Doesn’t that table just fill the space so nicely? And that’s not even with all of the leaves in the table! That beauty seats 10 comfortably. The area rug was a housewarming gift from my mom and really adds a warmth to the room. Here’s another view for you.
One of my favorite parts is that white under the chair-rail. I feel like it really opens up the room and makes the room feel that much bigger. Also, it helps to differentiate the two sides. For this room I chose Benjamin Moore’s Gray Timber Wolf. Something that really helps in my opinion make a house a home, is definitely hanging stuff on the walls. We chose to display our art work in the dining room. The sailing picture is from our honeymoon, and the other two were gifts from my mom.
As you move further into the house, you get to the two biggest changes that we made. Lets start in the Master Bedroom. Look at that closet!!
My handy husband and Father-in-Law put their skills to work when closing up the closet in the living room, and extended the closet in the bedroom. We decided to use a curtain instead of a door to allow the space to feel more open. Also, I just like curtains. I’m hoping to pull in the orange from the bedspread into a possible chevron pattern onto the curtains, to add a little more umph to the room. :) Oh, and just in case you like the color in here – we used Benjamin Moore’s Bonne Nuit. We LOVE it. It feels so warm and romantic. Just want you want in a master bedroom *wink, wink*.
And now, for the largest renovation project we did when moving in. After a month with no kitchen, several additional pounds put on due to frequent fast food runs, and lots and lots of lost sleep, our kitchen was complete! And boy was it worth it!
Whew, what a change. When I look at the before and after picture of this room especially it makes me giddy, as if you have just presented me with the worlds largest bag of Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish COMBINED! I mean, the white cabinets, the navy paint (Benjamin Moore’s Newburyport Blue), and those butcher block counter tops, I die!!! Oh, and definitely do NOT overlook that sink. That MARVELOUS double bowl farmer’s apron sink! I’m in love.
What a change. The fridge in the old layout was in such an odd position, I really believe where it lives now makes way more sense. It completes the kitchen triangle that you should really strive to have for the most efficient use of your kitchen space. This kitchen is the heart and soul of our home. We love to entertain, and I love that when we do I have PLENTY of room to spread out and make a mess to clean up after the party has dispersed.
Our house really feels like a home to us, and I believe it’s because we put so much into it to get it to be what we want. All of those cabinets were put together by me, Dave and my grandparents and installed by our friend and my husband. I helped to build all of the drawers and perks of the insides and Dave and I picked out those appliances and the entire kitchen together. We built it online and to see it in reality is still breathtaking. As I look around our house I’m able to see all the elements that we have been able to accomplish together. It was a family project. My in-laws helped more than words can express, my dad and brother helped to demo the walls in the kitchen and remove the cabinets, and my husband showed me he had more skills than I could have ever imagined.
I am so excited to see what else Dave and I can do together to make this home even more full of love, laughter, and DIY goodness!
So, what do you think? What’s your favorite part? I feel it should also be mentioned that I wish I could have you all over for coffee, or tea, or an adult beverage!