First Home

January 6, 2014  —  Written by Chris 

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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First Home

First Home

First Home

We moved into our very first home April 2, 2011.  We took a video right away, because we knew we would be changing things immediately.  And we definitely have.  We lived in this home for a little over 2 years, and moved in July 2013. Here is what it looked like before we moved:
Here’s the front of our home.
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 looked after:
Here is the back yard.  The home is on a third of an acre and it’s pretty much all lawn.
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.
Living Room
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 and the same dingy decor as the rest of our “before”s:

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 looked like after we painted the wall, added photo ledges, got a new sconce and also painted the railing and spindles a shiny oil-rubbed bronze.
Dining Room
Straight through the living room, you see the dining room.  When we moved in, it was painted yellow and had an off-centered plastic chandelier.
We 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 looked just before we moved:

For full details, posts and sources about the kitchen, visit this post.
Family Room
In steps the poopy-beige paint we inherited with the house.  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 looked after:



For details and sources for the family room, visit this post.
Mudroom Nook
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:


Laundry Room
The 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.  We used to refer to it as the “tortured teen’s room”:
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 called it our guest room/office:




Back up 2 1/4 flights of stairs, there was 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 painted it and added a few frames to pump up the sophistication:
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
Our little girl’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 looked when we finished:


2nd Upstairs Bedroom/Playroom
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. 

Master Bedroom
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:
Master Bath
And here is our bathroom when we first moved in:


And when we moved out:
For information about the master bathroom, check out this post.

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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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