Before House Tour

Last month I posted about finishing our living and dining room for the One Room Challenge. It would have made more sense to write this post before all that, but sometimes things happen and you want to start a blog a realize the ORC starts the next day and you stay up until midnight to launch this blog and so on and so far. But ANYWAY, here I am with the “before” house tour photos! I get really excited looking at these because it makes me feel like we’re actually making progress with this house. Not that she wasn’t great in these before pictures...but I knew she could be better. I hope everyone's OK with me talking about my house with the female pronoun. If not, sorry mates.

Below, I'll share both the listing photos and the photos I took before we moved in. We settled on the house in October and moved in on the last day of November. In those few weeks, we did a LOT of work. I call it the Preliminary Reno or Phase 1 or The Beginning of the End or something unnecessarily dramatic like that. Since moving in, the progress has been at a much slower pace than the frantic, all-hands-on-deck attitude we had after settlement. It’s much more manageable now, though. I feel like a person who owns a home, instead of a person who is consumed with a home.

So let's start first with the layout of our house. It's a basic builder-grade rancher and I'm sure there are thousands like it, but I always love seeing how rooms flow together. It makes more sense, at least in my mind, to see how rooms relate to each other when I see the finished product.

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Here is the first room you see when you walk into the house - the combined living and dining room. You can see how it looks now here, but here is how she looked when we first toured the house:


And here's how she looked after we officially got the keys. Can you believe all that furniture used to fit in here?


And finally, here's how she looked right before we moved in. SO FRESH SO CLEAN. 


The three main projects we tackled before moving in were redoing most of the flooring, painting almost EVERYTHING, and removing a half wall that divided the kitchen and dining room. In the picture below you can see the cabinets and half wall. It made the opening to the kitchen just a little bigger than a doorway! I am no Joanna Gaines (HA as if) and I don't always think no walls = better walls, but in this case I think it was for the best. I can only imagine how tight it would feel had we not taken this out.


This picture isn't from the same angle, but you get the general drift.


As you can see, there was carpet in this room, and this continued down the hallway and into one of the bedrooms. We pulled up the carpet in the bedroom and were pleased to see hardwood, but to our (unpleasant) surprise, there was none underneath the hallway and living room carpet. Since the carpet was in pretty rough shape, our two options were to either A) replace the carpet or B) rip out the carpet, lay new hardwood where it lacked, and sand and re-stain the two bedrooms to match the new floors. It felt like a big decision, but we decided to go with what we really wanted - hardwoods forever! Brandon hired his friend to do the job and even though it was a whopper of a process, we are so glad we did this. Zero regrets.

The room below is the first and smallest of the bedrooms off the hallway. We are using it as an office now, but here is how it was...


Everything changed in this room. Drop ceiling, flourescent light, wall paneling & vinyl baseboards, and those very Reese's-style cabinets. Don't worry, we saved the cabinets. This very grainy photo below shows how the room looked with freshly patched and painted walls refinished floors. Since then, we've swapped out the light for a cute circular flush mount and add some of our old furniture. It's due for a little attention but all in good time!


The middle and biggest room is what we call out master bedroom, but is it a master if there's no attached bathroom? Either way, it's somewhat cozy but not super cute. I want to start this room next! Can you imagine how nice it would be to have a bedroom you love and feel relaxed in?? I can and it's pretty amazing in my head.


Here's from a slightly different angle. Instead of standing in the doorway looking in, in this picture I'm standing in the room looking to the doorway.


And here she is before moving in. Like in the office (and every other room, actually) the trim still needs replaced. But the floors are finished and the walls are painted!


Bonus picture: here is what the bedroom looks like now, or very close to it. This picture was taken around Christmas time, and not much has changed since then. Except there might be more clothes piled on the floor. Face-palm.


The third and final bedroom will eventually be a guest room or maybe a nursery! Depending what comes first - overnight guests or a baby. Even chances if you ask me. 


YUP. It really was that green! Believe it or not, we painted it green again. But this time it's a nice light gray-green. This picture shows how it looks on move-in day and how it still looks today. Again, blinds and trim and maybe replacing the ceiling fan are still on the ol' to do list.


The end of the hallway brings us to the bathroom. Now, let me just say it feels really weird for me to put pictures of my bathroom on the internet. Let's move quickly, shall we?


We have a LOT going on here. Sea foam green sink, toilet, and tub, giant medicine cabinet, and tiled counter top. So far we have replaced the toilet and painted the baby blue walls. This is a room we would love to gut and re-do completely, but we're not sure when or how much reno we will do here. For now, it's decent.


This picture isn't up to date, as the toilet is still lil' greeny, but you can use your imagination for that one.

And finally, the last stop on our house tour train ride is the kitchen. This space is a little tricky for me. We really haven’t done that much to it, but simply removing the top cabinet and moving the bottom cabinet made quite a difference! I now use this bottom cabinet pushed into the corner as an island, which is much welcomed for the storage and counter space. When we first viewed the house, we immediately started talking about our dreams of re-doing the kitchen entirely. I would love to replace the oven and cook top with one range unit, replace the counter tops, and upgrade the fridge, just to name a few. Because of that, we didn’t do anything to the kitchen before moving it, not even paint! We thought it would make sense to hold off on eveyrhing until we had a plan for renovation. Now that we’ve lived here for 6 months or so though, it is clear to us just how big of a project this might be! Eventually we will have to do someting here, whether it’s a small update (paint, adding shelves, painting cabinets?) or a total renovation. Time (and cash monies) will tell.


The kitchen looks very similar today, if maybe a bit more organized. Go me. 

The final picture I will leave you with is one we took the night of settlement. Two slightly nervous (or in my case, terrified) 22 year old homeowners. We were so excited going to settlement, but after it was all over and we walked around an empty house - our empty house - we slowly felt more and more mellow and subdued. We were realizing just how much work we had to do, and what a ride we were in for. I remember feeling scared! What did we just do?

But now, not a day goes by that I don't thank God for the blessing that our home is. It is not perfect, it's not even 20% finished! But it is ours, and it is a place to relax, refresh, and a place to open to others. That's the bottom line, ya'll. We just wanna fix up our home, and have people over for dinner. What a good, good life.