Our House: Where we Started and Now.

July 29, 2013

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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We moved into our very first home April 2, 2011, and we’re moving out officially on Wednesday (although we’re loading everything up tonight–different post for a different day). Although we didn’t “finish” the house, we thought it would be fun to go back through and look at before and afters of the spaces we did tackle.
Here’s the front of our home.
Since moving in, we replaced the front door and painted it a bold red, bought new house numbers and a new doormat (hey, its the little things.)  Here’s how she’s lookin’ today:
Here is our back yard.  We have a third of an acre and it’s pretty much all lawn right now.
Before we sold the house, we were able to stain the patio and DIYed raised garden boxes, but are excited to see what the new owners do to the outdoor space.
When you walk in the front door, you are standing in the living room.  This is what it looked like when we first moved in:
There isn’t an actual entryway in this home, but when we moved in, there was a shelf with hooks on the  wall by the door:

We made this wall/space our official entry by adding a super slim cabinet that holds our shoes, a large mirror, and we even bought a new front door that lets even more light into our home:

To the right of the living room is the staircase that leads upstairs to three bedrooms and two bathrooms.  When we first moved in the stairs were color-clash central.  White, green, yellow and beige were all visible there and the wall above the staircase was big and bare.
This is what it looks like today after we painted the wall, added photo ledges, got a new sconce and also painted the railing and spindles a shiny oil-rubbed bronze.
Straight through the living room, you see the dining room.  When we moved in, it was painted yellow paint and had an off-centered plastic chandelier.
Since moving in, we have painted the walls and the banister dividing the dining room from the family room and DIYed a new light fixture for the space, but later bought a new chandelier.  We added an area rug and subtracted two chairs for an airer feel.  Hung curtains and bamboo blinds and painted a large painting for the wall.
Our kitchen (to the left of the dining room table) had the same yellow on the walls, basic builder cabinets, almond-colored appliances and pink countertops:

Here’s how it looks today:

For full details, posts and sources about the kitchen, visit this post.
The family room was a dumping ground of sorts when we first moved in.  We didn’t have furniture for the room, so lots of stuff gathered there until we figured out what we wanted to do.
After we finished renovating our family room, it became the most comfortable and cozy room in the house.  Here’s how it looks today:
For details and sources for the family room, visit this post.
Off of the family room, there is a small hallway that leads to the basement, garage and laundry room.  There is also a small nook there that serves as a type of mudroom.  For months, it was completely dysfunctional.  We loaded up all of the low-hanging hooks and threw so much stuff in the corner that we began to refer to the space as a black hole:
Over 2 days, we painted the walls, trim and doors and added functional storage and accessories to make a sleeker working mudroom nook:
Our laundry room/half bath is through the door in the hallway off of the family room. This photo was snapped after we added a new light fixture and removed the dingy blue bath mats. Gag. But we’ll still count it as a before.
Our after is an art-infused laundry room/half bath on a tight budget and timeline–we did it in a week!
For more details and sources on the laundry room/half bath, visit this post.
There are two bedrooms in the basement. The first one was especially horrific:
Now, after sanding, retexturing and painting the walls, ripping up the old carpet and staining the concrete floors, installing new recessed lighting, adding tall and modern baseboards and furnishing and decorating the space–we call it our guest room/office:
Back up 2 1/4 flights of stairs, there is a small hallway that leads to 3 bedrooms and a full (but tiny) bathroom.  The hallway was pretty plain jane when we moved in:
We have since painted it and added a few frames to pump up the sophistication:
And the small bathroom befores:
With company on their way, we had little time and money to make this bathroom presentable, but in 2 days and with $130, we made a few updates, and then later added some vinyl flooring:
Greta’s room was the first we tackled. When we first moved in, it looked like this:
And then two years passed and we were ready to give her a “big girl” room.  Here’s how the same room looks today:
An almost identical “before” picture, there is a bedroom right next to Greta’s, that we transformed from this:
Into my art studio:

Check out where it all started, readers voting on color scheme,readers voting on ceiling color, floor planning, readers voting on an area rug,  light fixture options, voting on curtains,tearing up the maroon carpet, painting the subfloor, hanging the curtains and laying the FLOR tiles, voting of desk lamp color, installing the new fixture, the misadventures of lamp painting, stool buying and messes, and DIY 3D wall quote. 

We never quite finished our bedroom, but it feels a lot fresher now.  When we moved in, it looked like this:
We painted the walls Farrow & Ball’s SkylightPainted our bed frame.  Scored some seriously swanky nightstands from the online classifieds.  Added some lamps, and switched out the ceiling fan:
And lastly here is our bathroom when we first moved in.
For information about the master bathroom, check out this post.
We can’t wait to share with you all the photos of our new home and our ideas.  Our heads are spinning, we’re tired, but excited. So excited.

What do you think?

  1. Anonymous says:

    So beautiful!! I can’t believe you’re leaving it all…. Whoever decides to buy this house is really lucking out! Great job!

  2. sofieV says:

    Love what you’ve done with this place, Julia. I can’t believe you did all of that in 2 years. Inspired to tackle my own home when we get to move in in a couple of months!

  3. Nicole N says:

    Where is you living room couch from?? I love your blog! And you did a fantastic job on this house—can’t wait to see what you do with the next one!

  4. K-Krew says:

    So much work and love went into that house. Beautiful! Best of luck with your move!

  5. Steph says:

    It is amazing how much work you have done to this house! It seems bigger than what I thought too. Good luck with the load up and move~

  6. Tracy says:

    Looking forward to seeing how you transform the next house! What color are your hallways?

  7. You guys did a lot of great things with this house! It looks amazing! And I can’t wait to see what you do with the next one!

  8. Looking good, guys! I can’t believe the amount of work you’ve done in 2 years!

  9. Wow. I think you’re too hard on yourself by saying it wasn’t a finished home. You can easily see the love you poured into it! Anyone would be lucky to call it home :)

  10. Melinda says:

    Awe I fell in love all over again. I forgot how much I love Greta’s room. I’m so happy you are moving and I get to watch this kind of transformation all over again.

  11. Don’t the “befores” sometimes make you wonder why you bought the house? When I look back at my “befores” I always think I was a little crazy to buy our house. But then the improvements make it so worth it. Looking forward to seeing your new set of “befores”…

  12. Looks amazing!! You guys have accomplished so much in such a short time!

  13. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic that you will be leaving this house—I loved so many of the updates you made. BUT I am totally looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with in the next one : ]

  14. I’m amazed at each and every project!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great post. I too am looking forward to the new house and watching it evolve. You did a great job on this one. I really like the colors in your studio. Good luck with moving and the adjustments… Alison

  16. I’m very pro-color and patterns (much like what you’ve got going on in your studio), so your style is much more modern/neutral than what I’m usually in to. But I have to say, seeing all the rooms flow together makes me really appreciate your style even if it’s really different than the choices I usually make. Everything is so soothing and calming and really polished. Looking forward to the new house!

  17. Elaine says:

    Such great before and afters! Amazing work! Can’t wait to see what you do in the new house :). Thanks for sharing with us!

  18. Holy. Moly. This looks amazing all-around! I love every little detail in every single room. I’m beginning to think you haven’t slept since you moved in. =)

  19. Callie says:

    Eye candy!! So fun to see how gorgeous it has become! :) I think I started reading your blog when you were working on that downstairs basement…wow I remember what a transformation that was! It must be bittersweet to leave…but yes I echo the sentiment that I can hardly wait to see how your next place gets transformed!

  20. vicks27 says:

    This is astounding. I can’t believe how much WORK you’ve done. Every room, I thought “THIS is my favorite transformation,” and the NEXT one was. I’m so thrilled for the new house, and to see all of the work you’ll do.

  21. the befores!!!!!!!!! Oh my. That weird green paint color. Blech. You have such an eye for design. So excited to see the befores in your new place!!

  22. Jenn Leigh says:

    You’ve done such a great job at making the house feel cohesive with on style! I’m a little sad that you leaving such a beautiful home but SOOOOOO excited to see what’s next!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

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We recently painted our study a dark, moody green color. This is after we first painted it a muddy green, then repainted it a blue-gray. I guess what they say is true; third time’s a charm! The journey was worth it, though, because I’m so in love with this glossy green in contrast with the […]

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