Aside from the fact that our neighborhood is so peaceful and it feels like I come home to “vacation” every night, my other favorite part of coming home is walking into our house and seeing the great changes that we’ve already made on the interior. We’re not the most patient people and we tend to want things done right away, so it’s no surprise that we’ve done as much as we have. Even in the midst of the chaos of moving and unpacking, there were certain things that just HAD to get done (I’m talking to you, kitchen drawer pulls).
For the most part, the thing that has changed the most is the decor. It’s mostly our same furniture from our prior house, but we’ve done a few things differently in terms of where things are getting placed, so that makes it feel like it’s a whole new look for us. And we’ve added in one, new signature piece that makes our dining area pop. But there’s no paint yet and we can’t wait to get to that phase (that’s what the late fall months are for, after all). Because the paint is really when the magic happens.
But we can’t wait that long to share what we’ve done so far, and frankly, any of those other updates down the road just give us another reason for some awesome before and after photos. The other thing to note is that we’ll take this in phases and it would be a REALLY long post if we covered the before and current after of every room in the house. So we’ll start in the living spaces on the first floor for now.
So before and after Phase I commences now. Remember, not everything has a before photo, so you’ll just have to use your imagination. (And PS – I rocked the panoramic feature on Patrick’s iPhone to get these awesome after photos! Just click on the image to make it bigger so you can see the detail.)
When you walk in the house from the side door off the driveway, you enter the sunroom. It’s a three-season room that didn’t have ANY personality when we looked at it and frankly, it needed a MAJOR scrubbing, but it’s got potential and we’re really enjoying the space.
Now that it’s gotten a proper scrubbing, and we’ve put our furniture in the space, it’s got a little more going for it. There were no major changes in the space, and there’s still a few tweaks we might make, but we’re pretty happy with how far it’s come. We still have long-term plans (and they’re different, depending on which of us you ask), but for now, it serves it’s purpose.
After you walk through the sunroom, you enter the house in the dining area. There’s no traditional dining “room” in this house, something that we may choose to remedy years from now (hint, hint). When we saw it, we were thinking “it’ll do.”
Other than decor, the biggest change was taking down the swinging door. I’m not a big fan of doors, doors, doors – and there are two others in the house that I’m got in my crosshairs, but this one couldn’t wait. Taking off the door was a huge improvement. And now, with the new and MUCH improved curtains, some proper seating and our AWESOME dining table, this space is looking much more presentable. And now we LOVE to eat at the table and look out at the backyard and watch nature do its thing. (Special shout out to Salvaged in Frederick, MD – the owner, Amy, is a good friend and we bought the table sight unseen from a photo she posted on her Facebook page! We LOVE it!!)
The dining area is an open concept to the living room. I took the before photo of the living room and sent it to my sister, Heather. Her reply? “Only a man would put the back of his couch facing the fireplace!” So true, so true.
The thing that we loved about this living room was the great natural light and the awesome built ins. We repurposed our furniture that used to be on the 3rd floor of our old house and put it in this space because it was a better fit for the space size and aesthetic. The only real change to this space was the removal of that hideous metal screen that used to cover the fireplace (oh and cleaning out a garbage bag full of leaves & old wood from the fire box – thanks again, Dad!). We’ll be doing a lot with paint in this room, but just updating the curtains (hard to see because of the light) and putting our things on the walls has made a huge difference.
If you walk straight through the dining area, you enter the kitchen. This is the room that sold this house! As we all know, it’s kitchens and bathrooms that make or break a house. This kitchen MADE the house! My favorite part of the kitchen before photos is the homage to the bachelor pad that this house was as a rental property. The laundry and mail piled everywhere. Nothing really matching or feeling like it belonged.
Love, love, love our kitchen! I’ve never had a 6-burner cooktop, a double oven or water and ice on the fridge door. It feels like I’m spoiled when I cook in this kitchen! And can we talk about those IKEA pulls on the cabinets – DO NOT buy these pulls anywhere else. They are easy to install and super reasonably priced. LOVE THEM!! (Have to give a big shout out to my Dad for perfecting the installation of the pulls! He’s a perfectionist and his patience paid off in the end!)
The other big change in the kitchen was the swapping out of the white washer/dryer that came with the house and us bringing our stainless washer/dryer with us from our old house. SO glad we did that – seems like a small change, but it makes the washer/dryer disappear. We’ll talk plans for the kitchen in a later post – not much to do in here, but there are a few things.
So that’s the first part of the tour – hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how we’ve managed to put our stamp on things. We’re really excited to share the rest of it with you. There won’t be the drama of the before and after photos because this is where I fell off the photo wagon. But you’ll still get to see where things stand so far. And that will create the benchmark for any after photos down the road.