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:

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

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

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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.

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

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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...

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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One Room Challenge: Week 6 The Big Reveal!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but you guys, I MADE IT! Happy ORC reveal day, one and all! The past six weeks have been a blur as the hundreds of guest participants and myself all worked like crazy to finish one room of their choosing, from start to finish. The featured designers revealed their rooms yesterday and, WOW. Clicking through all the before and afters made me even more excited to share my own. So, I will let the photos take it away and chat more down below!

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Before

After

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Oh dining room. I think I love you now! We had my late grandmother's table and the curtain rod when we started, but so much has happened since then! We added all the trim and window casings, replaced the chandelier, hemmed the curtains, painted the chairs, and then added a little bling. I'm a simple, sentimental girl, and no where is that more true than in my decorating. The antique gold mirror is something I bought for our wedding reception and I love it just as much today as I did almost three years ago! The wilting tulips are from sweet Anna from church, who had a trunk full of flowers and told me to help myself. Will do, Anna, will do. <3 The fern in the corner is something I bought a few weeks ago for some much-needed life and greenery. My mother has the MOST amazing green thumb, and she still has a fern that someone gave her for a wedding present...OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO. Goals, mom. Please stay with me even an 1/16th of that time, little fern. 

Now, onto the living room! This combined space is not large, so the living and dining room really run together. Just for reference - the front door opens up right into the living room. The wall with the long couch is on your right and the wall the divides the kitchen is right in front of you. If you walk in and make your self at home, you go between the new TV stand and the love seat to get to the dining room, which in turn is open to the kitchen. Make sense? Here, take a look.

Before

After

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In here, phew, what didn't we do? First up is trim - duh. I really cannot believe how much of a difference it makes. We hung a curtain rod and curatins, got rid of the old wrap around curtains, made and hung art, and calmed down with all the all the throw pillows on the couch! Trust me, it was excessive. One of the biggest accomplishments was getting a real piece of furniture to hold our TV instead of two dining room chairs. College frat house, no more!

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So far our little set up has been working great! The round basket on the top shelf holds allll the remotes. Seriously, why does one TV require 4 remotes? The bottom shelf holds the books we read and use everyday like my bible, and my current novel from the library. The bottom baskets are actually mostly empty right now! That doesn't bother me a bit, though. I'm sure we'll fill them up soon enough, with either DVDs or toys for the nieces and nephews or more blankets or maybe snacks or... you see. :)

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Woof. I am tired but also so, so happy with our space! It was not without it's hiccups, and to be honest I am still grappling with the thought is it worth it when thinking of the canceled plans and late night bickering. But it truly feels AMAZING to be able to cross a huge thing off our list with one big, 6-week stroke! So, that's my one room challenge. It's not the most dramatic transformation - not the worst before, not the best after. But it's ours and I feel so happy and peaceful here at home. And THAT is definitely worth it.

OH! And here's the deets if you are interested:

Wall color - Bruton White by Benjamin Moore
Curtains - IKEA VIVAN
TV Stand - IKEA BESTÅ
Rug - Rugs USA
C
handelier - Lowe's
Print in floating frame - Etsy

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One Room Challenge: Week 5 & feelin' alive

Unsolicited pro tip: if you want time to go even faster than it already does, sign yourself up for a 6-week challenge. If this is the shortest update post ever, know it is because I gots things to do!

The One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge hosted twice a year in which the participants make over one room entirely in 6 weeks. Next week is the big reveal, which I’m so excited about! But also, send all the prayers.

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We got so much done this week which feels amazing! But for some reason my to-do list is growing instead of shrinking. Let’s recap the progress so I feel better about myself, ‘kay?

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Curtains:

Hemmed and (mostly) hung! Check. A big thank you to my mom for measuring and hemming and ironing the curtains. She came over to deliver the dining room curtains and they look beautiful. She just texted me yesterday to say the living room curtains are finished, so now we can do what I've been dying to do since we moved in - take down that yucky green curtain on a track. 

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Doors:

Painted and (mostly) hung! The door to the garage was finished on Saturday and looks so nice with the new trim. *heart eyes* The closet doors are finished and one is still drying in the basement. Last night Brandon hung the finished and dried door, so our view doesn't look exactly like this anymore!

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Trim:

Almost completely installed! Saturday was a glorious day of work here, and most of Brandon’s family came over to help! Along with his dad and brother in law, Brandon was able to install almost all of the baseboard and most of the door casings. Brandon’s sister, mom and I spent some of the day painting the trim. Like I mentioned last week, we bought primed trim and are painting before we install. As of last night, we just need to install trim along the wall that divides the kitchen and living room. And of course, patch and caulk and paint. I am praying this doesn’t take too long!

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Chairs:

I finally got up the courage to paint our dining room chairs! So far I have one completely finished. Only 4 to go! Yes, we only have a set of 5 chairs. I guess that's what happens when you buy them at a yard sale. But oh well, without the extender leaves in our table, it only seats 4 comfortably anyway. We'll probably keep the 5th chair in the office for now, and pull it out for extra seating as needed.

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This week, I also started getting together our accessories and finishing touches. I practiced styling the shelf, make a Home Goods run, and finally brought our pretty antique mirror up from the basement. I can’t wait to see it all together! A quick side note, though: I am no longer in love with this shelf idea. I am proud of Brandon and I for whipping this up, but I don’t think the stained wood fit in with my slightly traditional, slightly modern, slightly clean and minimal vision. Would a plain white shelf be better? Should I go back to a big picture frame? Ugh.

Besides stewing about that little conundrum, here’s what we need to finish for next Thursday, deep breaths, deep breaths everyone:

- get and assemble TV stand (Brandon and I have a date to IKEA tomorrow night!)
- install final peice of trim
- patch, caulk, paint trim
- hang 2nd closet door
- get prints for frames
- decide on shelf vs. picture??
- get rug for entry
- style and photograph
- finish library book (you absolutely CANNOT renew that one more time!)

So, there’s the scoop. See you next week and wish me luck!

One Room Challenge: Week 4. Wait, already?!

I don’t want to jinx myself here, but I feel like we might, maybe, just be hitting our stride with the One Room Challenge! And good thing too. At week 4, we only have one more week of progress and then it’s reveal week!
Yay!
And that’s not a sarcastic yay, by the way. I really think we’re gonna make it and that feels good!

Just for a refresher - the One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge where 20 featured designers make over a room in 6 weeks. Guest participants are invited, too! That’s me!

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I can’t believe it’s time again for another update. What with being out of town this weekend, and plans in the evenings, this week has flown by. Let’s get into to the progress we’ve made this week, and what I hope to accomplish in the next couple of days. Oh - and here's my formal apology for the quality of pictures in this post! Sometimes you don't have your camera and your iPhone just doesn't cut it. #liveandlearn

Curtains

As I mentioned last week, my angel of a mother hemmed our dining room curtains for me! Thanks, Ma. <3
Brandon hung our living room curtain rod last night, so tonight I am hoping to pin up these curtains and then drop them off for the same treatment. You guys, if you can learn anything from me, learn this: we need our moms.

 Painting

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The Door - This door that leads to the garage had been sanded and painted months ago, before we moved in. I always knew it would need at least one more coat of paint, and that finally happened Tuesday night! I painted one coat then, but unfortunately it got too late and too dark to do a additional coat. I’m planning to finish this on Saturday.

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The Trim - Since the trim we purchased was primed, we opted to paint all our trim before making any cuts or installing. This way there will be minimal patching and touch up work after it's installed. Or that is the plan, anyway. I don’t know if this is the “normal” or suggested way to do things, but it makes sense on paper.  Fingers crossed doing it this way actually saves us time down the road! Brandon’s sister (another angel, btw) came over yesterday when we were at work and painted it all for us. WE HAVE THE BEST FAM, FAM!

GAME PLAN

This Saturday will be the first Saturday since starting the ORC that I will be home and free to work till my heart’s content!
(OK to be honest, I was home the first weekend in April. But I was sick and lying on the couch for almost three days straight. Needless to say no work was done that day - not even dishes!)
I have fun breakfast plans with my mom and sisters to celebrate my sister’s and my birthdays, but after that I’m all yours, house. Here’s what I hope to accomplish:

  • Final sanding/coat of paint on door to garage

  • Assemble/install shelf

  • Start installing trim!

  • Assemble TV stand (if we pick it up by then)

  • Start on painting closet doors

Closet doors, you may ask? Closet doors, I say. I haven't mentioned them, because they are not actually on the closet but rather sitting in our basement, waiting to be painted.
The main coat closet in our house is right inside the front door. When sitting on the couch, you get a pretty great view into the inside of the closet. Which, for the past 4 months, has looked something like this:

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NOT. GREAT. I didn’t officially include the closet doors as part of our ORC to do list because, quite honestly, I wasn’t sure if it feasible to get that done in addition to all our other work. But now that we’re finally checking some things off I think it’s time to make it happen. Here is the master list of everything left to do in this One Room Challenge:

  • Install/patch/touch up trim

  • Hang dining room curtains

  • Hem and hang living room curtains

  • Buy/assemble TV stand

  • Paint chairs

  • Buy small entry rug

  • Paint closet doors

  • Hang shelf

  • Style, decorate and photograph

I enjoy making lists and it’s much easier to stay motivated when I have my goals staring back at me. I’m not gonna lie though, this list makes me nervous! But I have high hopes for a good day of work on Saturday and I’m itching to get started. Plus! My marathon is over and I am taking rest week very seriously. Let’s put this old treadmill time to good use!

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One Room Challenge: Week 3. Decision time is coming.

Believe it it or not, it’s week three of the One Room Challenge, which means we are halfway to the reveal. Are you stress-sweating? No, just me? OK then. 

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The magical and stress-sweat-inducing One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge hosted twice a year. I'm joining for the first time as a guest participant. Check out the other guest bloggers and the featured designers here!

What progress we’ve make in the living/dining room has been stolen in bits and pieces of time. Everyone’s busy - I get that! I can’t complain. So, while we’re not as far as I’d like to be, I want to share the milestones from this week!

PROGRESS

Trim

The main project for this space is installing new baseboard and window & door casings. When we first bought the house, I immediately wanted to replace the trim. It was short, dinky trim that smelled, I don't know, a bit cheap to me. No offense, little trim.

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Then we decided to rip up the existing carpet and install hardwood flooring (BEST decision ever, by the way!). To do so, we had to remove part of the baseboards. I think this is called the shoe? Feel free to check our garage, it's all just hanging out in there since it's been torn up. :) Since we were already faced with the task of installing, caulking, sanding, and painting, we decided just to do it right and replace it all for something better. If we are in fact "doing it right" remains to be seen. But I have high hopes. I mean, after living with naked and flaking walls like these, anything is an improvement!

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On Monday night, Brandon and I headed to Lowe's to buy the trim. We decided on a simple, taller baseboard and shorter but more detailed casings. Whaddya think?

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Now to be honest, the trim is just sitting in our garage. We are hoping to start installing next week, but it is a relief to at least check "gather materials" off the to-do list. That's the hardest part, right? I've never installed trim before, so the plan is to learn on the trim in this room, and then pack up that new found knowledge & expertise and zoom through the rest of the house, replacing trim like it's nobody's business. What can I say, I match my favorite shade of Essie nail polish -- ETERNAL OPTIMIST. 

Curtains

The curtains in the dining room are gone! I bought extra long curtains from IKEA when we first moved in, knowing they would have to be hemmed one day. I didn't think that one day would be 4 months later, but whatever. The problem with curtains is that I can't seem to find the perfect length in a nice white that's cheap, so I thought this would be the best option. I had every intention of hemming them all by myself, but with a deadline, it was time to call in reinforcements. AKA my dear mama. My mom is an incredibly talented seamstress (I mean, she made my wedding dress!) so hemming curtains is a breeze for her. She stopped in last evening actually and picked them up. This week, I am hoping to hang the curtain rod for the living room windows that way I can measure those curtains as well. 

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Decisions

The hardest part of the One Room Challenge for me so far has been the decision making! I've had ideas swirling in my heads for months now, but this is when the rubber hits the road and I've just gotta go with something. I actually think a deadline like this is good for me. I have always been a dreamer and ideas come easy. It's the starting and the doing that's difficult. That being said, I am proud to say I nailed down most of the final decisions for this space!

Shelf vs. big picture

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One of my goals for this space is to deal with the blank wall above the couch. My original plan was to find a frame roughly the same size as the framed cut-out, to balance the other side of that wall. But then I saw this post from the DIY Playbook and it clicked for me! An art ledge! I have been a long-time fan and reader of Chris Loves Julia and always admired the beautiful art ledge they have above their sofa. This inspired me to build my own. My plan is to make the shelf about 3' long (the same width as the cut-out) and fill it with a few framed prints and maybe one of my plant babies. I made the mood board below from Olioboard and got excited. 

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Currently, my shelf if still in pieces in the basement. I started staining today and hope to have it assembled and installed by the weekend! 

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TV Table

This decision I swear gave me grey hairs this week! We got a coupon from Wayfair in the mail, so I was combing through their site looking for the perfect console table/TV stand/piece of furniture to put our TV on. All my favorites were either sold out, not long enough, or not wide enough. WHOMP WHOMP. I was feeling pretty down about it all until I put two and two together and got IKEA. Just last night I hopped on the website and we decided on this little guy. We can't wait for you to join our family, Brimnes! It's not a fancy piece and definately not a show-stopper, but it's the right dimensions and it has some storage. What more could a girl ask for? I am planning to buy some new pull handles to (hopefully) make it look a little less IKEA and a little more special. 

Again, I feel like there is not a lot to show for our progress this week! But I can honestly say we are moving forward and decisions are being made. That's cause for celebration! I'm hoping to get a lot of work done this next week, but we have quite the busy weekend ahead, so wish me luck! Next time you hear from me I'll be a MARATHONER!

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One Room Challenge: Week 2, here we go

Here we are at week 2 of the One Room Challenge! Quick recap - the One Room Challenge is a 6-week design challenge put on by Linda at Calling it Home. Every Wednesday, 20 featured designers share updates on the one room they are transforming in the 6-week time frame. Every Thursday the guest participants (including ya girl!) update until the reveal week! I am pretty tickled to be joining as a guest participant on this rodeo.

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I shared last week that I will be make over-ing our joined living and dining room. Click here to read all about that.

But on to the update!

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Replace dining room light - DONE! I picked out this light from Lowe's a month or so ago, when we had a coupon for a discount on all lighting. I scoured their website for several days to make a decision. This was one of the first chandeliers that caught my eye, and I must say I'm glad I went with my gut. It might not look like much now, but I really think it will look so good one day! You know, like in 5 weeks. Imagine with me. We also added a ceiling medallion, just because I think it looks fancy. Our house was built in 1960, and there is not a lot of charming character. I don't want to be adding details that look out of place, but I have been chomping at the bit to add something special to this space, AND to get that old light outta here. 

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Brandon took care of replacing the light one night after dinner last week. I didn't do too much to help, aside from holding it in the air as he did something with wires, for long enough to leave me with sore shoulders the next day. I went to the basement to run on the treadmill (marathon in 9 days!!!!! It's OK I'm just freaking out.) and came upstairs to an almost-completed project.

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THANKS BBY LUV YA. See ya, candles with fake drips.

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As far as progress, this light is the only thing I have to show for myself! I've done of a lot of internet work, ya know? Still on the hunt for a slim table for the TV and art for the wall above the sofa. I thought today I'd share some of the furniture and things that we won't be replacing.

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The sofa and love seat. I'm gonna say it - I think this space would look better with a sofa and two chairs. But that just doesn’t seem practical for us. Aside from the additional seating, we use these guys for lounging, napping, and watching movies. All things that, to us, are more comfortable on sofas. I mean, our Sunday-Night-Movie-Night tradition with my brother is so established that he always gets the love seat (feet hanging off the end of it. Over 6’ tall probs) while Brandon lets me drape over him to find the perfect comfy spot on the long sofa. How can you mess with that?

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Besides all that, we just purchased this furniture in December when we moved in. So our thrifty inner-Scrooge's wouldn't allow ourselves to buy new furniture to replace perfectly good sofas anyway. But for the sake of dreaming, wouldn’t this Article sofa look dreamy? I have been seeing Article pop up on social media more and more, and with good reason! Stunning stuff!

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Side and coffee table. This cute marble topped table is from Target. I visited it every time I was in the store (so, once a week at least) and my stalking paid off when it went on sale!

The coffee table was a lucky Craigslist find for about $150, if I remember correctly. This is not a bad price AT ALL for a sturdy coffee table, but it seemed like a lot at the time. This was right around the time we moved in, and so we had just spent the last several weeks tearing our new house apart and putting it back together. It felt like we were throwing money everywhere!

The lamps, or at least one of them, are staying as well. I really like both of them, and I think it’s cool how the styles contrast. However I’m not sure two standing lamps look great here. Since we don’t have any overhead lighting in the living room, simply getting rid of one isn’t an option. However I am open to getting a small table lamp for the marble table and moving one of the lamps elsewhere.

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The table. I mentioned this is last week’s post, but this table belonged to my grandma. After my oldest sister (and my grandma’s first grandchild) got married, she gave it to her. My sister Tonya has had it ever since, but recently has become disenchanted with it. It’s beautiful old wood top, while stunning and full of character, is not the most kid friendly. Food can be hard to clean due to the ridges and bumps in the top. It’s also a bit wobbly, but hopefully we can remedy that. When we moved and needed a table, Tonya graciously offered it to us. Brandon and I are kid-free and so we can deal with the imperfections with a lot less worry than she can. I was (and still am) thrilled! It’s so incredibly special to have this actual, physical thing of my grandma’s. Especially since she passed away in January. I am sure this table will always stay in the family.

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So that's where we are after one week! Here's to hoping I can conquer my indecision and buy some important pieces this next week. Including my sister's birthday gift, which might be the hardest decision of them all.

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One Room Challenge: Week 1! Welcome to the jungle.

Happy one room challenge day, everyone!
The One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge hosted twice a year by Linda of Calling it Home. I am excited to be a guest participant. Make sure to check on Wednesdays for updates from the 20 insanely talented featured designers and on Thursdays for the updates from the also insanely talented guest participants (and me).
As someone who has been reading blogs for years, this feels like quite the occasion! I am psyched to be here. But wait, let’s ask my husband how he feels about bringing a room to completion in six weeks time…*chirp chirp*

Spoiler alert, he’s not as excited as I am. But that’s nothing new. I, as usual, have enough emotions for both of us. But onto the reason we’re here-the room! Let me to introduce you to my small, connected living and dining room.

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Yes our TV is resting on two chairs. Cute, I know.

Yes our TV is resting on two chairs. Cute, I know.

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When we first bought our house in the fall of last year, I took to calling this space the “Big Room.” But after we moved in in December and put in furniture, I quickly stopped. Hah. Although small, this space is the main hub of our house

The main entrance opens up right into what is our living room. This is our entertaining space and our relaxing (read: movie-watching) space. As such, I want it to feel and look as cozy and beautiful as possible.

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The area between the door to the garage and the entrance to the kitchen is our dining room. We only recently got a table in here so even though we are currently only using two chairs and the table now houses my plant collection, I am feeling pretty fancy!

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These pictures were mostly taken a few days ago, but it already has seen changes since we first bought the place. We already painted, ripped out the carpet, laid hardwood flooring, installed curtains, and set up some furniture. When I write it all out, it seems like we did so much. And all those late nights and Saturdays were so much! But even though it’s an improvement from where we were, we still have a long way to go.

We removed the upper and lower cabinets that divided the kitchen and dining room.

We removed the upper and lower cabinets that divided the kitchen and dining room.

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Woof. A reminder that you're making progress is always nice. I know that as a whole, our combined living space isn’t horrible. But it’s not great either. I long to bring some style and, dare I say, sophistication to this space. I’m ready for our central space, the place all our family and friends see and enjoy, to reflect my style.

So what’s on the agenda for the next 6 weeks? (You mean aside from running a marathon, celebrating family birthdays, having a yard sale, and remembering to feed myself and my husband?) Here’s the skinny:

TRIM - When we ripped up the carpet in this space and the hallway, we were hoping to find old hardwood floors. Unfortunately, no dice. We decided to lay new hardwood and refinish the bedrooms (which did have existing hardwood under carpet) to all match. We have yet to lay transitions to the kitchen vinyl flooring (a WHOLE NOTHA STORY) and install all the trim, door casings, and window trim. This is going to be the main task and a big one, too! We have never installed trim so we are depending a lot on both of our fathers, and maybe an uncle too. Thank God for family.

PAINT CHAIRS - The table we currently have is one that sat in my grandmother’s kitchen years ago. It is incredibly special for me to be able to have it in my house, especially since she passed away in January. That being said, I wasn’t crazy about the matching chairs. I found the current chairs at a yard sale this summer and bought them with the intention of painting them. Something to keep me busy until closing day when we can work in the house, I said. Oh past Bethany. What an optimist. Needless to say, the chairs have not been painted and they need it.

TV SITUATION
We would love to renovate the basement and turn a room down there into the media/lounging/TV room. But that is still a long way off (if it ever happens) so for now the TV stays here. I am open to a new furniture arrangement, but so far the current situation is what seems to work best. But even if it stays in roughly the same place, THE CHAIRS THAT ARE HOLDING IT HAVE GOTS TO GO. This set-up is looking extremely ghetto and so a new media center (ugh, doesn’t that just sound ugly?) is on the list. I am hoping to score a slim console table with closed storage on Craigslist for cheap. This is how the law of attraction works, right? All jokes aside, I am really interested in installing a Fauxdenza like Yellow Brick Home did (I’ve also seen DIY Playbook and Chris Loves Julia do similar things). However I am not sure if Brandon or I will feel up to this within the 6 week timeline, so we will keep our eyes peeled for the perfect piece.

CURTAINS, DECOR, AND STYLE
The curtains on the big bay windows on the front of our house are still the same short, granny-style curtains that were here when we moved in. Yucky. I have a curtain rod and curtains here, somewhere (#moving) I just have to hem to the correct length and hang.  Easy peasy, right? The other big decor decision is the blank wall above our couch. You might have noticed the framed inset box back here? Yeah I don’t know what that is about. My family guessed that at one point the owners had a window into the garage. My plan is to get a similar sized piece of art to hopefully balance the space above the couch.

Here's a very amatuer Olioboard of the direction we are headed...

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And just because I love a good list, here is the mother load:
TO - DO
Trim (install, sand, paint, caulk)
Paint door to garage
Paint chairs
Install new dining room light
Buy or make TV console table
Buy or make big art for back wall
Install curtains and curtain rod
Hem curtains
Style and make pretty :)

That doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Let’s do this thing!

* The One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge hosted twice a year by Linda of Calling it Home. I am excited to be a guest participant. Make sure to check on Wednesdays for updates from the 20 insanely talented featured designers and on Thursdays for the updates from the also insanely talented guest participants (and me).

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