I was feeling nostalgic this week thinking back over the last year and thought it might be fun to dig up the pictures we took of the house during our inspection right before closing and compare them to the house as it is today. Ready for a tour? Follow me…
FRONT ROOM a.k.a. PIANO ROOM
You could tell this room wasn’t really utilized much by the previous owner because of its lack of furniture, but for us this room was key because we needed an extra living space that could house our piano!
So far we have brightened the room with a lighter paint color, added some furniture (those chairs need to be re-done) and hung curtains. We still need to put more art on the walls and a few other things that will make the space even better, but it’s a good start.
This is a small space for a living room, but with the multiple couches and dark colors it definitely felt smaller than necessary.
We painted over the dark colors making the room feel instantly brighter and we have less furniture lining the walls. We have big plans for this room though as it’s not really meeting our needs, but that’s the great thing about living here for a year already – we are learning what we want.
LIVING ROOM – OTHER SIDE
The bump-out in this room adds a lot of light and makes for a cozy corner that was being underutilized before.
We have turned it into a little reading corner with that amazing plant we inherited from a friend. Again, big plans for this corner in terms of furniture upgrades as well as some window treatments, but for now, it’s a spot that we enjoy (cats included).
In terms of layout, we really didn’t change too much. Again, with the smaller rooms in these old houses, there’s not a ton of flexibility, but this room serves its purpose well and is right off the kitchen for easy serving.
Again, we painted over the darker colors and that strange red accent wall, making the room feel instantly brighter and cleaner. We invested in a new dining room set so we can seat up to 8 if needed for meals like Thanksgiving!
DINING ROOM – OTHER SIDE
This had recently been finished before we moved in so not much work was needed. All we’ve done so far is brighten it up with a lighter color of paint. Next up will be something on the walls. We love having a half bathroom on the first floor for guests!
I think we have done absolutely nothing to this room, other than accidentally rip out the blinds so now there is no window covering. Of course if we had all the money in the world we would upgrade to stainless steel appliances, paint the walls a brighter, less pea green color and re-do the back-splash which to me is much too masculine and dark, but we can’t complain. There are plenty of cabinets, plenty of counter space and everything is in good working order. But when we do get around to making some improvements, first on the list will be replacing that cook top with the real deal… a gas stove.
Now we’re on to the 2nd floor. This room gets the best light and because it’s at the front of the house, we knew it would be perfect for an office.
We’ve made gradual changes throughout the last year and we still have more to do, but for starters we painted the walls a light gray, took out the “built-in” shelves along the right side to open up the room and purchased 2 new desks.
That wall shelf is a work-in-progress that I am happy to report is back on the to-do list. The aquarium had stained a lot of the paint and the shelves were bowing considerably, so we ripped them out completely and are starting over. Someday, if we can figure out how to add a master closet, Phil will be able to move his clothes out of the office closet and into our bedroom.
This used to be a kids’ room, but the size and placement of the room, we thought, were better suited for our bedroom.
I hesitate to call it a master because there’s no real closet or bathroom attached to it, but it works for us. All we’ve really done in here is bring in our furniture. I hope to paint someday and add some other touches that will make it feel more like a retreat.
This has become a storage room for us at this point, but this space will probably eventually be reconfigured as we reconfigure the entire second floor to eliminate the shot-gun layout of having to walk through every room because there are no hallways.
This was recently re-done just like the half-bathroom. It’s nothing huge or fancy, but the shower is great and there’s a decent amount of light. All we’ve done is paint it a lighter color and install a ceiling fan.
This used to be the master bedroom, but once you put a queen size bed in the room, there’s not much room for anything else. It’s a quiet room though with easy access from the back staircase so for the last year we have been using it, pretty much as is, as our guest room. (excuse the tubs – we’re about to start the nursery prep.)
Hopefully next year when we look back at our progress as compared with today, this room will have seen the most change because there will be a baby in here! We already have the paint picked out and are just waiting on the mud to dry before we get started. Only a few months to go.
There you have it…a full house tour with before and afters. Part of me looks at our current pictures and only sees everything that I haven’t gotten to yet. But then I have to remind myself that we’ve made lots of improvements that you can’t see and the improvements that you can see have been good choices. I know the house will evolve over time as we have time, money and a vision. I only hope we can look back at these pictures each year and continue to see how far we’ve come.
It’s been a year for learning, but I’m so glad to be a homeowner. It was the right decision for us. I can’t wait to see our house grow and change just as our family will.
p.s. I’ll be continuing with the home-iversary theme for the next week providing other tips and stats from our first year as homeowners. Check back!