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It wasn't pretty...  


We bought our first home in April of 2007. We had the luxury of being able to make some updates over a period of two months before moving in. And oh boy did that house need some updates! The previous owner was an older woman who painted nearly every room (including the trim) a peachy-pink.  I bought 18 gallons of paint the day before closing. 


The biggest lesson I learned during the updating process: TLC/HGTV makes the renovation process seem much more glamorous than it really is!!


Living Room and Entryway




Paint color is Natural Gray by Ralph Lauren. Floors are Ikea Tundra laminate in maple.  






Please ignore the big roll of carpet sitting there. It was too heavy for me to move for the pic. lol




My capiz lamp! One of my favorite purchases. I saw it on clearance, located on an endcap at Target. $11! From $60. Good deal, eh?




Someday I'll replace the 1990's tv and fill in the open shelves. 












Dining Room


Before, with the ugliest light fixture. I had a bedroom lamp that looked exactly like this. In 1986.






 Paint color is Chocolate Soufflé by Ralph Lauren. It's a bit more warm in person.
















After.  Paint color is Roasted Tomato by Dutchboy. New cabinets come tax time!

 I love how the floor makes the space seem continuous. (This isn't a good representation of the color on the walls.)


Master Bedroom

Before. More pink and disgusting pea green carpet. I would never have walked barefoot on that carpet even if it was professionally cleaned. With bleach.





Paint color is Ralph Lauren's Natural Gray. (Same as LR.) The color goes from a perfect warm taupe to a gorgeous brown depending on the light. New above-bed decor and nightstand lamps coming in the near future.


Update: New lamps! Please ignore our cat toys. lol






















Those hooks next to the mirror are my favorite! No more clothes on the floor or piled on a chair.






















 Did I mention that I love hooks?? I hide my bracelets and necklaces behind the bedroom door










Most ridiculous closet ever. 9 feet wide but only 4 feet easily accessible. I try to make the best use of the space.  







2nd Bedroom

Before. Right now, it's just the junk room. Not much to it.  












Paint color is Silver Leaf by Valspar. I can finally start decorating this room.











 3rd Bedroom (a.k.a. "The Man Room")














After.  When we repainted the master bedroom, I used the old color in here.

Clydesdale by Kilz (mixed in WalMart's ColorPlace in satin)  





The color appears lighter here than IRL.











Eventually we will decorate in here, most likely with vintage motorcycle art. I have a great photo of my grandma on her motorcycle in the 1940's. I can't wait to frame it!






Ugh. Smallest bathroom ever! It needs to be totally gutted.  

Our To-Do List:

1. Replace wall tile w/ subway tile.

2. Replace the tile floor w/ hexagon tile. 

3. Remove the stupid countertop that extends over the toilet.

4. Install a pedestal sink so that it gives more visual space.

5. Replace the ugly ugly medicine cabinet. (Done!)


I know you all are jealous of my medicine cabinet! Replacing it (and the light fixture) is the one and only thing that we have done to the bathroom. Well, I also spot tested a couple new paint colors as you can see. There is a linen closet behind the bathroom door. (And one just outside of the bathroom.) It was super STINKY in there. I bleached it, sealed it, painted it, and added some linen baskets for organizing.




It's a start!












My inspiration!















Linen Closet and Hallway 


Yeah, I'm an organization freak. I saw G&D's canvas baskets and was inspired. 


I picked up these baskets at Lowes on clearance when they were phasing out the color. They were between $2-3 a piece. Awesome deal. My linen closet in the bathroom is chock full of them as well!




Metal decor. 50 percent off at Hobby Lobby. Good deal!  





Empty picture frames are a common occurrence in my house. I'm a major procrastinator. 








We've done a little painting and landscaping since this picture... 










Check out more of our Before & After's here.




I look at this list on my "bad house days."  They aren't often but I have them every once in a while. When I  think how much I hate my house and how much work it needs, I look at how far we've come.


  • Painted all rooms and closets (except bathroom and mudroom)
  • Painted inside of built-in bookcase 
  • Laminate flooring in living room, dining room, kitchen, and hallway
  • Replaced laminate flooring in hallway due to water damage from leaking (gushing) outside water spicket. 
  • Carpet in master bedroom and 3rd bedroom  
  • Replaced all light switches and plates
  • Replaced all light fixtures  
  • Replaced bathroom medicine cabinet
  • Bought HE front loader washer and dryer 
  • Removed non-working kitchen exhaust fan 
  • Painted wrought iron fence on patio
  • Replanted front garden area
  • Painted exterior (still in process)
  • Removed standing mailbox and replaced with house-mounted box
  • Hanging baskets and planters on front porch
  • Black mulch to replace the faded old cyprus mulch
  • Top soil and grass seed in front yard


To Do

  • Replace small sections of flooring in living room and dining room due to water damage from leaking water heater  DONE!
  • Attach quarter-round to baseboards ALMOST DONE!
  • Install transition flooring piece from hallway to Man Room 
  • Tile mudroom  ALMOST DONE!
  • Replace kitchen cabinets and countertops.
  • Hang white wood blinds in all windows (except living room)
  • Gut bathroom.  Subway tile in shower and on walls. New hex tile on floor. Pedestal sink.