This week, we’ve lived in this home for 3 years. Three! I have been saying two and then Chris reminded me that I was just barely pregnant with Faye when we moved here and she is over 2 years old now–forget the fact that the year was 2013 (haha!), I do better with gauging my life by pregnancies, I guess. Today, I thought it would be fun to do a 3 year progress report. A lot has changed in three years. A lot. But, it’s also fun to go back to these kinds of post in the future and see how much more has changed. The truth is there are still rooms, major rooms like the master bathroom (!), that we haven’t even touched yet. For that reason, you don’t see them often or ever, but I’ll share bits about them in this post too.
While a lot can happen in three years, it’s amazing what can happen in just one year. From year 2 to 3, it feels like a switch flipped around here and things started to really take shape and we’ve fallen more in love with our home. It was just last summer at this time, when we were getting ready to renovate our kitchen. We had painted our cabinets to tide us over, and at the time it felt like such an improvement, but looking back, it probably would have been a bigger improvement to take down that fluorescent light and boob light! Ah, live and learn.
Having the kitchen done, even if it did take us 2 years to get to it, has changed the whole feeling in our home. It makes living here feel like a forever thing, if that makes sense. There’s no kitchen I’d rather be in or cook in, Chris always says. It has become a big gathering place for parties and family and conversation and good food. It’s not only the heart of our home but it holds a big place in our actual hearts, too. The fact that we had to wait a couple years until we could tackle it, maybe even made it a little sweeter.
Above is how it looks today (minus the credenza on that wall that’s now a part of our built-ins downstairs). The laundry room you see peeking through the sliding door was my favorite part of our year 2 progress we finished last July, but the kitchen, dining room and living room all saw improvements this year.
Our living room has probably gone through the most tweaks since moving in and I think that’s natural since it’s the room we spend the most time in. In my gut I know we’re not completely there yet. We started by, simply, not having enough furniture for this home which is 1000 more square feet than our last. We kept moving things around, painted the walls a shade darker than we originally did, added a window (!) and it’s feeling better every day.
The fact that I was barely pregnant with Faye when we moved in also means I was really, really sick all the time, too. And for some reason, before photos of our entry trigger the nausea. Maybe it’s that lime green bathroom that I spent so much time in? Haha. Either way, the entry progress is one that I’m really proud of.
I wouldn’t mind getting a new bench (one of the legs is severely bent now), or layer a rug on top of the FLOR tiles, but the space feels so much larger, brighter and cooler from where we started.
The front door is to the left of the entry and if you flip around 180 degrees from the photos above, you’ll see our study which was actually a big selling point for us. When we bought the house, it was a sunny yellow, with 1 1/2″ baseboards and a fullllllllll wall of windows. I remember Greta used to look out those windows with Charly and wait for Chris to get home for at least an hour a day.
Little sitting rooms in front of the house can very easily turn into those rooms that no one actually uses, but I’m happy to say we still all gather in here multiple times a day. It’s now Faye looks out the window and waits for Chris to get home. I work from a little desk in the corner not pictured. In the evenings, Chris will sit in that black leather chair or lay on the couch and talk to me while I catch up on comments or emails. It’s still one of our favorite rooms in the house.
Our bedroom went through a lot of changes this year (thankfully!), and it’s such a great escape for us from the reno. It has aesthetic changes only at this point, but we’d love to turn our windows into french doors that lead out to the deck and eventually caulk the baseboards (haha), and I think the gallery wall could use a few more pieces. There are some walls that still need help, but the adjacent master bath we haven’t touched since moving in and I can barely wait for it to match the vibe we created in our bedroom. The bath surround is still the same blue that used to be behind our bed.
But on to more progress! This post is about what we did do in year 3, not what we still have to do. I haven’t shared the official afters of the family room/playroom downstairs yet because the pillows for the couch just came in so I’ll photograph the space this week and share that probably next week. However, this has been a huge project and step in the right direction for us this year.
It feels like we gained so much more living space. The girls play down here all day long swinging, coloring, playing dolls, watching a show. While before it was a big room to run around in, it’s amazing how much more use it’s getting as a put together room with the toys organized.
The last space that saw a transformation in year 3 was the backyard.
We’re still working on the outdoor fireplace, but making this space into a big deck has changed our lives. We love to come sit outside for meals at night and I can’t even count the number of parties we’ve had this summer. It’s truly an extension of our home and it’s difficult to remember spending time in our back yard before this. And since we get asked pretty frequently, yes, we do have other yard space. Our home is kind of set on a triangle lot and our backyard is the smallest portion, then we have 2 side yards.
I said this in last week’s Casual Friday post, but we are only about 65% done with this home. We still have 2 full bathrooms to tackle, those side yards I mentioned, a big storage closet, swapping the girls’ room with the guest room, another nursery?, the home office, an outdoor kitchen area and lots more tweaks to rooms that aren’t fully done yet. While we are definitely taking the long, scenic route to renovating our home, these kinds of posts always remind us of how far we’ve come–even if it has taken 3 years so far! We’re so grateful for this opportunity we have to renovate our home and live in it at the same time. It can be tricky at times with kids, but we all have the same goals–to live happily here.
If you’re wondering where we got something, we have listed the sources to almost everything in our home right here.
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
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.
Over the weekend Brooke (our social media manager) and I went to the Parade of Homes in the Raleigh area and it was so fun to get a feel of how other people in our new area are living and living large! The purpose of the parade is so that home builders and designers can […]
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