Thursday, November 19, 2015

Year One of Homeownership

Tuesday marked one year since we closed on our house! It's crazy to think that a year ago, we were still living in our little 2-bedroom apartment in Newport News, daydreaming about all the things we'd do when we had a house. It feels like eons ago. In our first year we've done quite a bit, but believe me, the to-do list is longer than the "completed tasks" list. Let's go down memory lane, shall we?

THEN: Curb Appeal
In a lot of ways, our cute house was actually in better shape this time last year! Houses fall apart for a living, so of course paint is now chipping on some of the shutters and the gutters could definitely use a good cleaning. But, as of two weeks ago, we have officially re-landscaped the front to boost our curb appeal from a collection of seasonal hostas to a range of year-round beauties.

NOW: Curb Appeal
Give our new shrubs and plants a year and we'll have a whole new view, hopefully! These look great already, but I can't wait until they're a smidge taller.

 THEN: Living Room

It was hard to see past the crowded living room — fully carpeted, oddly divided by a random bannister, wallpapered in two different patterns — and imagine the modern and classic space we wanted. 

NOW: Living Room

Holy different space! Our biggest investment in the house was pulling up the carpet in three rooms and paying to have hardwood put down. In this room, we also added the look of built-in bookcases using IKEA's Billy line, and painted the room a soft greige. Cost of the yellow chairs and vintage blue velvet couch? $140 combined. I love a good deal.

 THEN: Dining Area

The dining area is on the other side of the same long room. The spaces used to be very defined, with a railing down the middle and wallpaper on only one half of the room. It made the room feel much smaller than it is, and we've put about half the amount of furniture in the same space.

NOW: Dining Area

Sean's sweet parents gave us the vintage leather Siesta chair. The room definitely still needs rugs and a new light fixture like whoa, but I do really love it. I walk by sometimes and go, "Ooooh pretty" just to myself.

 THEN: Den

The first time I walked into the den, I had to squint to see because it was so dark. Between the wood paneling and the dark brown curtains, it was feeling like a cave. I'm a big believer in a coat of white paint, and that's the first project we tackled a year ago.

NOW: Den

This shot is from only about a month after we painted the walls. We also bought a beautiful couch from West Elm.

And only last month, we finally hung our art gallery wall! Geez, that took us forever.

 THEN: Guest Room

The guest room had a cheery...lighthouse theme. It still has most of the theme, including the wallpaper, which I have earmarked as a winter project. 

NOW: Guest Room

I actually don't mind the wall color, but I don't see this particular paint job surviving the strenuous task of wallpaper removal. Also, I can't stand the fact half the paint in the house was glossy on textured walls. Torture!

 THEN: Bathroom
You'll be amazed by this next transformation...

NOW: Bathroom

LOL. All I've done is hang a new curtain and put down my favorite rug. It's good enough for now.

 THEN: Terrific Lady Room

This room served as a kind of home office/Baltimore Ravens room, but I took one look at it and decided it would be my Terrific Lady Room, where I could make art or read or just relax. I do that...sometimes. I definitely need to make more art!

NOW: Terrific Lady Room

We built a daybed for the space, added art and sconces, put up shelves and added a bright and cheerful rug!

 THEN: Master Bedroom

The master was hunter green (not my fave for master bedrooms), and was stuffed with much bigger furniture. 

NOW: Master Bedroom
Only recently did we finally paint the room a different color, and we still need to put up our headboard, some art and window treatments.

 THEN: Back Deck

One of the first things we did was ask the owners to remove the hot tub from the deck. Many people thought that was crazy, but I know I would have used it about twice and then complained a ton about having to balance the chemicals. 

NOW: Back Deck
I couldn't find a good picture showing off our once-orange chairs, but it might be for the best because they sure did fade in the summer sun. A good cleaning might do the job, but I might need to spray paint them at some point, too. The deck definitely needs a good cleaning, re-staining and re-sealing. Otherwise, not much has happened back here.

  • Kitchen: Not a dang thing has happened in there, and unfortunately kitchen renos are not cheap. 
  • Master Bath: No changes in there, and not really many needed just yet.
  • Man Cave: Such a mess! It's basically a dumping ground.
  • Garage: Same thing; a messy dumping ground!
  • Laundry Room: No renovation needed!

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