Our House

Welcome! Here you can find before and afters for [most of] our boring builder's grade home. Let it be known that I am far from a professional photographer, and most of these photos (the "before"s especially) are low-quality iPhone photos, but hey! Better than nothing right? 
Please check back on the regular as I add more rooms to the tour and try to learn to use a camera. 


As I've mentioned before, our house is nowhere near perfect, and it is often a disaster zone. We have little kids, and you don't want to know how many surfaces I've cleaned poop off of. We recently let our cat, Luther, go live outside where he can hunt as many rodents as his kitty heart desires, and that has helped keep things more clean and fur-free. I just want to be real with you - I cleaned up before taking these photos, but I'm sure I could've done more!  


We moved into our house in November of 2010. At the time, we had different jobs from our current ones and no children. I was in my early twenties, and still in my Primary Color Period. Everything I owned had to be bright and wacky colors (Our first house had a room in every color of the rainbow. Red, purple, orange, school bus-yellow, you name it. What was I thinking?). Right away (like, the night we moved in), I painted our eat-in kitchen jalapeƱo green. I was a high school Spanish teacher at the time, and really had a thing for Mexican inspired decor. 



These photos were taken at night, so they're extra dark. We don't have a dining room, so this is the only space for our table. The basic florescent light fixture is the only source of light in this room, so the little alcove of cabinets right off the laundry room is usually very dark. 


These windows and an adjacent door to our deck provide pretty decent natural light, especially in the afternoons when that magic hour sunlight shines in. I just didn't realize back then how much all the black and espresso furniture plus a dark green wall affected the light in here. It looks so much smaller, even with all the colorful, whimsical decor. 


 A lot of this decor I haven't been able to part with, even though it's not really my style any more. One of the challenges I try to overcome when decorating my home is working with what I already have, so you may see a lot of these things repurposed in other rooms. 

Here is our kitchen as it is now. For the most part, I feel like this room is done, but there's no telling what I might decide to do.  

Last year, we painted over the green with Valspar Grand Hotel Mackinac Blue, and we recently replaced our countertops with quartz. This is so much more our style!  


We also added a new undermount sink and fancy faucet and my oldest daughter loves playing with it. The sink is so much deeper than our basic one, and that is a good and bad thing because I can fit so many more dirty dishes in there! We painted our basic cabinets white (Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace) and added a simple white subway tile backsplash. I also chunked that old florescent fixture and replaced it with a farmhouse style chandelier. 

I replaced all the old almond light switches and plugs with bright white ones, and hung open shelving near the sink and dishwasher. Doing it myself really saved some money! 






Last  year, I painted our table and chairs to brighten them up too. The chairs were done with spray paint! Then I lightly sanded the edges to give them a slight distressed look. It was an easy update for a cheap Target dining set.

Like I mentioned before, this is the only space we have for a table, so this small one works for us. We usually keep it bare because in real life, it often becomes a dumping ground for diaper bags and juice cups and random every day detritus. 


This buffet is one of my favorite things ever. I got it at a local flea market/antique mall when I was pregnant with my youngest. My craft room was going to become her nursery, and I needed a place to house my sewing machine and other crafty things I use often. I almost painted it, and I'm so glad I didn't! I think natural wood is beautiful, as long as the whole room isn't covered in it! I replaced the original knobs with this kitty from Anthropologie and  others from Hobby Lobby. For now, I have our Keurig up there, but I plan to do some shifting and have a  real coffee bar soon. 


Oh man, I love a good plate wall! I've collected these plates over the years. Some were gifts from our wedding, and others came from Anthropologie, antique stores, and thrift stores. When I found the commemorative state of Alabama plate,  I snatched that bad boy up lightning fast! I like that this arrangement looks curated (because it was) and I think it's done, but we'll see. I'm always on the lookout for a cool plate! 




Our living room is probably the most "done" room. I use quotations because we all know decorating is a journey, not a destination. But as of now, this room really only needs minor cosmetic tweaks. 

I didn't paint this room until FOUR YEARS after we moved in! It is a large room that connects to the kitchen, leads up the stairs and into the upstairs hallway.





 I knew whatever paint color I chose would likely have to extend throughout (so much work!), and I didn't want to choose the wrong one. So we lived with the fleshy beige for years until we decided on Valspar Silver Leaf. Then I had a momentary case of madness and decided I needed a pop of color a la an accent wall. I was going for punchy, bright citron, and I ended up with weird lime green. Remember when I talked about choosing the wrong paint color? 




Well I have some experience with that! But you live and you learn and you live with it awhile. We finally painted the whole room one color (Silver Leaf) this year, and it is so much better! 




These sofas were our first grown-up furniture purchases. We rearranged a little when baby number two came along, traded out the turquoise curtains for white, and re-worked the gallery wall (another thing that is never quite "done!"). 



These colors make my heart so happy!


That's Otto the Owl. He stares at me as if to say, "You otto be cleaning the house." Okay, that was lame, I know, but I love that Owl! 


 



We moved our desk downstairs, and although I love having the computer in the main room, it usually looks a little messy over there. I need to brainstorm better, more attractive storage solutions. 




This table transformation is my favorite. Before, it was a perfect example of my changing tastes. It started out school bus yellow, then was spray painted (you guessed it!) BLACK. This is legit midcentury modern right here, friends! It belonged to my grandmother, and I painstakingly stripped and sanded and stained it back to its former glory!  These lampshades also got a facelift with some new fabric. 



One of the pulls is upside down!  I promise to fix it one day! 

This was another fun transformation. This small cabinet actually used to be my dad's gun cabinet where he kept hunting rifles. My grandmother (she's my crafty spirit animal) had shelves cut for it and painted it black for me (so much black). This summer, I brightened it up with new paint, and it looks lovely with my fancy wedding china (that has never been eaten on...). 



Is it obvious I love a gallery wall? My philosophy is that every wall can be a gallery wall if it tries hard enough! I admit, I am a "busy" decorator. I leave no wall un-galleried. And that is ok, because I love it so much. The trick is to give thought to the layout of your gallery, and not sling it up there all willy-nilly. 



Here is the before of our stairwell gallery wall. I did this in one afternoon just by eyeballing it, and it's not terrible, but not great either. Now that we've painted, updated the photos to high-quality professional prints, and added in more finishes besides plain black (why was everything so black??), it's more visually interesting and colorful. 





This gallery goes all the way to the top of the stairs, but there's poor lighting up there, and with my lack of photog skills, I haven't found a good way to photograph the rest yet. 

I don't have a ton of photos of the exterior of our house, but here is one soon after we moved in. We had done literally nothing to the outside of our house, and it was neglected.






Last summer, I painted our front door a bright aqua. Here is our little porch with our fall decor from this year. I promise to add some wide shots in the spring after we update some landscaping! 







The nursery might be my favorite room in our house. These photos were taken by my awesome and talented friend and photographer, Lauryn Brook of Olive Photos, so that's why they're so good! 




So much of this room was a handmade effort.  We painted of course, then I sewed her crib skirt and bumper (my first time trying ruffles, so they're not quite straight!). I cut the gold vinyl polka dots for the accent wall, and made the banner over the crib out of various scrap fabrics and twine.



I think a little girl's bedroom is the perfect place to play with bold color and patterns! The wall color is Valspar Coral Mist.



There were many many paint projects in this room!  I painted this laminate bookcase (Valspar Simply Coral) and lined the back panel with gold zigzag fabric. The globe was mine when I was a little girl! 




I also painted the little side table (Valspar Minty Fresh) and covered the lamp shade with new fabric. The books on the wall are held up with the Ikea Bekvam spice racks, stained with Minwax Early American. 




This was a thrift store frame I painted gold. Then I covered the painting inside with this cute arrow fabric and painted the "E" to match the wall color. 



I don't have many photos of our bedroom because, honestly, it's usually a hot mess. That room stays closed off a lot to company, and my three-year-old scatters her toys and sheds her socks and underwear in there like a preschool tornado. I can, however, show you our bed made up in front of our navy accent wall. 




This room is where I want to focus my efforts in 2016, so hopefully we will see some progress photos in the next few months!

I've been neglecting our master bedroom, but I did finally redo the master bathroom, and she is a beauty! 

Before, this room was dark and sad. We painted and decorated probably the very week we moved in, and most of our choices weren't really thought out well. 


This room is L-shaped and pretty dark, but we did our best to transform it! 


We painted, added hardware, framed the mirror, switched out the beige light switches for white, and added new towels, storage, accessories, etc. It is now one of my favorite rooms in the house. We left the original laminate flooring because it's in good shape, and absolutely out of our budget to change. We also know based the market where we live, our efforts would not be rewarded down the line to do a fabulous, marble-tiled renovation (as much as we dream of having that!).


Y'all, I love a good shelf. I can't have too many shelves, whether they are traditional or of the hexagon variety. I am an equal-opportunity shelf lover!






{More rooms coming soon!}


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Can't wait to follow your journey - you may inspire me to make some changes!!!

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  2. Geez, my blogging skills are rusty! This is the THIRD time I've tired to post a comment with my name attached! So, your "Befores" look better than most people's "Afters", and while I loved the bright colors and "all the black", I'm really digging the new light, airy, shabby style now! And I love the arrow fabric on the lampshades!

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