Hey guys! We’ve moved into our 5 years ago this month! That’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one place since moving out of my folks’ place – head’s up – that was 15 years ago! We love this house so much, like the most! We’ll be staying here for the long haul. We’ve/I’ve been busy the last few years really trying to make this house our own. I believe that making a home is one of those things that really happens over time, in layers. I couldn’t imagine making it all happen overnight like it does on TV. I don’t have the money, or natural instinct to do that.
I’ve spent the good part of a week working on a full house tour to share with you guys, which includes lots of pictures and some Before & Afters. More than anything it’s an excuse to pat myself on the back and remind myself how very awesome I am (I kid), but honestly, I do feel really proud of what this place has become. I know it will continue to change throughout our time here, and I think that’s what makes it ours.
So let me show you around.
We’ve never had a real grown up bedroom with a real bed frame and nightstands. This is big time for us! We’re really, really happy with how the space turned out, especially now that both the sunroom
and the bedroom feel like the same space. It cliché for me to say, but the space is really peaceful now, and I love spending lazy times in bed. The only thing that could possibly make it any better would involve my kids learning how to sleep in on the weekends.
The master bedroom makeover all started with the sunroom revamp
last spring. The sunroom (aka sun porch, aka four-season-porch, aka coolest spot in the house) had been very neglected and overlooked. Five years ago it was the main reason we bought the house, but then life happened. We got busy, couldn’t find our decorating groove in the bedroom and the porch was forgotten for a little while. It became the place where random furniture came to rest. We tried to give it a cool vibe with lots of vintage decor, but it just wasn’t coming together.
Last spring I made a plan and we were determined to make this sunroom the awesome space we always knew it could be. It started with learning how to reupholster the mid-century sofa
and followed up with adding floating shelving
to solve the problem of the porches sloped floors. With a color palette of navy and coral I was able to pull the entire space together with a few key pieces and lots of plants. Now we spend lots of time hanging in the space, and I get to work in here almost daily.
Our guest bedroom has had many identities
since we’ve moved in. Originally it was a spare room that we used for storage, the door was shut for nearly two years because it was such a crazy mess in there. Then old G-Man came along (aka Gus, aka the 2nd kid) and the game was changed. It turns out that Gus needed his own room, so we made him a nursery
and that’s where we put him at nights and stuff.
I decorated the nursery in yellow and grays and it’s remained that way since becoming a guest room last year. In the fall of 2013 the kids started bunking together, and the nursery was no longer needed. I collected all the yellow, grey and white things I could find in the house and threw them all into the “yellow room”. Somehow it all worked out and didn’t cost a dime
. Now we have a guest room that is most often used as a quarantine when someone in the house is sick. Didn’t you know, in-house infirmaries are the new hot trend in home design this year?
I know I just introduced the new boys’ room makeover early this week, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to include it again here. This space makes me jealous of my kids. They have no idea how good they’ve got it. Their bunkbed, first and foremost is amazing. We’ve had it for about 18 months now and totally love it, it’s the Oeuf Perch bunk bed
, it’s the coolest. Also, I would have died to have little reading shelves and lights in my bunkbed when I was a kid.
Both boys really like the new geometric paint pattern that their awesome mom spent a weekend making cool for them. It adds a lot of kid vibes to the space without screaming “oh my god, kids, color, baaah!” It’s kind of mature and modern in a cool-boy-sort-of-a-way, ya know? Finn loves that it goes right over the top of his bunk, and it blew his mind that I painted on the ceiling!
The front porch
is definitely our top spot in the summertime. There isn’t a night or weekend that goes by that we don’t hang out here. Because it’s our warm-weather-goal to hang out here as much as possible we’ve added a small dining space as well as a mini living room. We decorated it in a style that we like to call “urban cabin
” in homage of all the “up north” cabins we’ve vacationed at and loved over the years. It’s our dream to have a cabin of our own someday, but this porch does a pretty good job of replicating the cabin lyfe.
Okay, you guys know I love my gardens
. I feel bad for you if you don’t like gardens because I’m about to post an obscene amount of garden pics. Why? Because it’s the start of spring, and a lot has happened to this garden and backyard over the last 5 years.
When we first moved in there weren’t any gardens or flower beds. Instead there was a rock garden full of dog poop, and a pee stained yard. Within days of moving in I started cleaning the yard with the help of my mom. It started by removing the rock garden and later on in the first summer, I added flower beds around the perimeter of the yard. My first perennials were almost all hand-me-downs that had been divided from my mom and grandma’s gardens. Since then I’ve purchased a few here and there and have continued to divide what I have every year. I’m finally to the point where all of the gardens have filled in. I can not wait to get in there and fine tune everything this season.
Last year we were able to replace the chain-link, green plastic fence with a cedar horizontal slatted fence
. We also fenced in a parking pad on the back of the lot and extended our useable outdoor space. We’re really happy with how the fence has turned our urban backyard into a private-garden-hang-space.
For us, our kitchen was that thing that makes young house buyers say “this house would’ve been perfect if it wasn’t for that one really gross crappy thing”. Back then I was clueless when it came to handy work and home renovations. I was blind when it came to seeing the potential of a space, and in our kitchen I couldn’t see past the bad backsplash and weird layout. It seemed unfixable at the time. We decided to pass on the house and continued on in our hunt. A few weeks after we had checked the house off our list, our realtor urged us to look at it again with the aid of a contractor to help us realize its potential. It was soon made apparent that the kitchen wasn’t so bad, and that maybe someday we could do something about it. Obviously we ended up buying the house.
After finishing this project I began to appreciate the history of this old house even more than I already had. It would have been a shame to remove original pieces from the home, especially when creative thinking was all it took to make a space function and fit the style of this century.
Our small living room is located right off the entry way of our house and opens up to the dining room. It’s always been a tricky space for me, with two large entry points and a radiator on a third wall, furniture arrangements are very limited. After trying all the furniture layouts
we settled on this winner a few years back. It really opened up the space, making it feel bigger and open to the other spaces it opens to.
Our dining room is practically the same way it’s been for the last 106 years, all I did was put a table in it, paint the walls and change the light fixture. The room is paneled in quarter sawn oak (aka tiger oak) and the centerpiece of the space is the built-in-buffet with leaded glass windows.
I’ve never been a big fan of natural woodwork, but the oak in our home is so rich and dark that I just couldn’t resist liking and appreciating it a little bit, especially in the dining room.
We’ve gotten really creative and dubbed this room “the music room”. It is kind of a lame and pretentious name, but that’s what it is, I guess. It’s the room that is home to all of our records, stereo, piano and other assorted instruments.
I’m not gonna hide it, you guys – this room has me itching. I just have this feeling that there has to be a better way of organizing and decorating this space. So there, I threw it out there, we will see.
If there’s one space in this house that I’ve barely touched, it’s the entry way. We added wallpaper to the vestibule, painted and added a desk, but I feel like this space could be so much more than it is. It’s just such a hard space to figure out.
When the kids were little I used to work from the desk while they played in the living room, but now that they are older and don’t need constant surveillance, the desk is used as a drop zone for mail and other assorted junk. It doesn’t work in the space anymore and a change needs to be made. I have no ideas, but I’m sure that once the summer is over I won’t be able to resist taking this head on – sorry, husband.
It’s so hard to look at ugly houses and try and imagine what they can be, especially when you’re faced with the decision of having to buy it or not. The exterior of this house was ugly when we got it
– there were so many bad things about it. First, there were the green awnings, and second there was the wide asbestos siding. The siding still kills me to this day, although I’m better friends with it then I was. It’s so sad that under all that bad stuff is the original clapboard. It seems like it would cost so much money to abate the siding and restore what is there, but who knows, maybe someday it will make sense. For now we’ve painted it dark blue
and added white corner board. We also had all of the storm windows painted dark brown – I think they make the whole paint job. After a big storm damaged our roof we replaced the mint green roof shingles with new charcoal architectural shingles and it makes so much difference to the overall look.
So that’s it, pals. Looking back is fun to do! I’m excited to see what house adventures lay ahead of us. Making the decision to hunker down in one house, and commit to living our lives here has been really satisfying. As we grow older there’s always that option available to move on to a different house, but I’ve found it really satisfying to make this home work for us so that we can make all of our family memories here.