The Idaho House: 7 Months In


We bought this home in Idaho 7.5 months ago and I still have yet to get our “Idaho House” tour tab filled. So this weekend, I finally buckled down and snapped some in-progress photos of where we are to fill up that tab this week. Every once in awhile I like posting these photos here rather than just updating the house tour tab, so we can look back and see how far we’ve come. This is definitely one post I can’t wait to look back on because while we have definitely done a lot for 7 months (especially being pregnant all seven of those months), our home is still a little cringe-inducing for me–which is maybe the hardest part about renovating over time and writing about it in real time. There are no magical before and afters here. The great room is looking more like a furniture showroom–the setup is just not working for us, I know we’ll figure it out eventually–and a lot of spaces look extremely bare. Also, the whole main level is baseboard-less besides the nursery. As much as there is to do still–years worth!–today, let’s just focus on how far we’ve come.

I took this split photo of the reading room and great room area while we were touring the home.


And this is how the same angle looks today:


The “reading room” (as we like to call it) we finished up in December, but just recently replaced the floors–so it’s back on the uncompleted list until we tackle the baseboards and an area rug. When we moved in, the space looked like this:


And now, it’s looking like this:


This is still one of our favorite places to hang out. We spend a lot of time in here reading, waiting for Chris to get home, just looking out the windows. You can read about everything from the paint color to building a header for the lights to installing those shelves right here.

When we moved in, the entryway had the same dark paint as the rest of the first floor, as well as dingy carpet:


We haven’t really addressed this space, although we desperately need to for storage sake. But! It has received some paint and new floors like the rest of this level so it has definitely improved:


The entry powder room was our first space we renovated upon moving in, trying to get it done before our annual halloween party. It looked like this when we first met:


And these days, although in need of baseboards just like most everywhere else, it looks a lot more like us:


You can read about and see a lot more photos of the space (before we replaced the floors), including sources right here.

When we first purchased this home, I wasn’t aware I was pregnant and we had plans to turn this room into an office/studio:


But we couldn’t be more thrilled to have transformed it into a nursery for our little Faye-Faye. We’re still finishing this room up, but will hopefully have it done in the next day or so and I can share a lot more photos. But here’s a sneak peek.


Our room started out in a sad state:


And it still is. Womp womp. Besides the floors and hanging a print, nothing more has changed. It needs help!


Back in the great room, here’s another dark before:


And where we are currently in the living room. So far! And yet, so far to go.

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Here’s an angle looking into the kitchen area:


And the same angle, today:


As much as I love that arc floor lamp, I know in my heart (let’s make this as dramatic as possible) it doesn’t work here. It makes an already visually busy room look busier. As soon as we install some recessed lights, we’ll find a new place for it.

The last space that has seen some change is the kitchen, which used to look like this 7 months ago:


And now looks like this:


We’re putting some effort into this space in the coming weeks. Effort in the form of paint. (Can’t wait!) Although I really tried to hold back on pointing out all the things that need done and we can’t wait to do and are still figuring out what to do, know that these are photos of the beginning of progress. We’re excited to continue working on this house of ours and document it and watch it transform together. It would be really easy to wait until we were all done and have a million amazing after photos of magazine-worthy spaces, but I am not sure there is anything to learn from that. Renovating takes time, and for us? Trial and error sometimes. We’re so grateful you all are along for the roller coaster ride. It makes it so much more fun. Let’s look back at these photos in a year and share a few gasps and laughs together. *Fingers crossed.*


  • Reply May 6, 2014


    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months, and I love seeing how things come together! You mentioned in this post that things are looking bare, but I hope you aren’t discouraged by that feeling. The things we rushed into buying for our house are the ones I most wish I could replace now. Conversely, the items that I agonized over are the ones I love the most. I think it’s really important to wait, figure out how you use your space and select items that you really love.

    Besides all that, you’ve already done so much! Keep on keeping on!

  • Reply May 6, 2014


    Wow, I just started reading a few months ago and hadn’t looked through the archives..WOW to that lime green color in the bathroom-no wonder you tackled that room first!! :) Great job, ya’ll..Everything looks awesome!!

  • Reply May 5, 2014

    Susan M

    I don’t know. I think you’ve done an amazing amount of work, and the rooms look wonderful! AND you had a baby! Each room is a huge transformation, and the fact that you replaced all of the floors and won’t ever have to again…the best…

  • Reply May 5, 2014

    Sadie Jane

    Julia it looks amazing and I am sure will continue to transform into something even more amazing as the months pass!! You have such an amazing talent in transforming a space to look so unique and beautiful!

  • Reply May 5, 2014


    I really like the direction the house is taking! It’s really coming along! The new floors really help!

  • Reply May 5, 2014

    Jennifer @ Brave New Home

    I think you guys could totally put in some sort of console in the entry way under the mirror—you guys always come up with the best storage ideas! Great progress thus far. Love the way the nursery is turning out.

  • Reply May 5, 2014


    I love your house! And I don’t think the great room looks like a furniture showroom at all. Maybe it’s still in progress but dang girl it looks awesome! And as always, I die of jealousy every time I see your reading room. Just gorg.

  • Reply May 5, 2014

    Meagan Briggs

    I have such a hard time believing that the previous homeowners really LOVED that DAAAARK wall color in the family/living/kitchen rooms! SO dark. All that natural light coming now is a huge game changer. You have such an eye for design and piecing things together. Your Master better be next on the list!!

  • Reply May 5, 2014


    Morning! I found your blog through a posting about your reading room. I’m about to move into a new place, so it’s a nice reminder about the shelves – love them. On my list! Also, I think that arc lamp can work in that room. Have you tried it in the corner where the armchair currently lives? I actually don’t think that the room is too cluttered and in fact could use more seating. I think that it might have to do with the contrast in your kitchen cupboards. Have you tried two couches (or 1 couch and 2 armchairs)? Face to face and perpendicular to the credenza (sofa table behind one near the the reading room). And, here I am clearly thinking about someone else’s house way too much too early in the day… Your house looks great though. Jealous!

    • Reply May 5, 2014


      Haha, I love it Aimee! Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions. I think the lamp could definitely work against a wall where it isn’t blocking anything visually looking into the dining area or kitchen. And yes! We definitely need more seating. We are always having people over–12 for dinner yesterday! And we’re always pulling in the entry bench or something. Some rearranging and adding and subtracting and painting kitchen cupboards–all in need!

  • Reply May 5, 2014


    So lovely and fresh! The most inspiring to me are the brighter walls in the entry and the lovely wood floors. You’ve created such an inviting backdrop for great design.

  • Reply May 5, 2014

    Michelle at Making Sense of Cents

    WOW! Your home looks amazing. Come on over to my house :P

  • Reply May 5, 2014

    caroline [the diy nurse]

    Sometimes you have to look at how far you’ve come when you’re feeling discouraged! It’s so easy to get into that before and after trap but that’s not how it happens. Thanks for sharing :)

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