We have officially been moved into our first house for 9 months now. I remember touring our house for the first time thinking to myself, "I love it! But.... I also kind of hate parts of it at the same time". Before we even bought the house we knew that we would need to put in a lot of work, but what else are you suppose to expect when your house was built before Abraham Lincoln was president. I'm a big planner so I immediately made a huge list of renovations that I wanted to complete (some reasonable and some not so reasonable) and designed the house on my online program. While we still have a major list of renovations to complete, we have gotten a lot done in the past nine months. We could only do so much to the house since we have to stick to a budget, being we just bought our first house in one of the most expensive counties in the US (ugh sorry to our bank accounts..) and we don't have a whole lot in savings since we are only 22 and 24 years old. One of the main ways we saved money was completing all of the renovations ourselves, perks of having husband as a contractor! When we first bought the house we planned on adding an addition with two bedrooms, laundry room, and guest suite. But after living here for almost a year, we've decided not add an addition with the hope of moving and building/designing a new house ourselves in a few years.
Keep on reading to see what we've been working on and to see our before and after album!
// Flooring //
One of the main aspects that we wanted to improve were the floors. The house had mostly original hardwoods but they were in terrible shape and looked different in each room. We always wore our shoes in the house because we were afraid of stepping on old nails and getting huge splinters. We ended up using Luxury Vinyl flooring ($2.48 a sq) throughout the house that we bought from Lowes. We decided to use vinyl because it's waterproof and scratch proof which is essential since we have two large dogs. We still have to buy and install flooring in our master bedroom but other than that the rest of the house is done. It's crazy how much different the house feels with the new flooring. I actually enjoy vacuuming now because it's so easy and the floors clean up so nice. Side note: I love love love our dining room table! I ended up getting the table and bench off of Facebook Market Place for a really great price.
// Guest Room //
Our most recent update was the guest room. We have been putting off this room because we were hoping it would be our nursery soon, but those plans got put on hold so we went ahead and gave the room a quick update to match the rest of the house.
- We painted the room a calm white
- Changed the light fixture and hardware
- Painted and added a runner to the stairs
- Added faux wood blinds
- Bought a few pieces of decor
// Entry Way Stairs //
Once we updated the floors, the stairs stuck out terribly since they were still an orangish wood color. Ideally we would have bought new stair treads that matched the new flooring but since those are $45.00 per stair we knew we that we needed a cheaper option. We ended up painting the stairs and railing and then using a carpet runner we bought from overstock.com. The entire project ended up costing under $100.00.
// Office, Dog Room //
It was really important to us that we had a space for our dogs. Daniel built double dutch doors to keep on our office entry so that the dogs can be locked in when we aren't home but still have the option to keep the space open and airy. We still have to hang up the top section of the doors and touch up the paint but the dogs love the room, especially their new memory foam dog beds and huge basket of dog toys.
// The Kitchen //
Having a white kitchen has always been on my home wishlist. When we moved in the kitchen already had white cabinets, but the countertop was this awful orange wood and the sink was an old beat up stainless steel tub. The kitchen renovation was one of the first we did and definitely the most difficult.
- Replaced countertops with Ikea Faux Marble Countertops (super affordable!)
- Installed new Ikea apron farmhouse sink and new faucet (also a great deal)
- Changed hardware
- Added decor from Hobby Lobby
We also got a new mini dishwasher (only because a normal size won't fit next to the sink)! The one that came with the house was extremely old and didn't work very well but I was having a difficult time getting a new one knowing that it was going to cost $800.00 (yeah.. mini dishwashers are expensive). We ended up finding a new one that had a small dent in it so we got it 50% off.
In the next few weeks we will be adding an extension to our kitchen which will include a shiplap wall with extra cabinet storage and small eat in bar. Below is my rough draft design that we will be following.
// Bathrooms //
We did a few simple updates to our downstairs bathroom. We painted the bottom part of the sink, got ride of the black and white tile, and added new floors. We're hoping to get a new vanity and mirror soon but it's not at the top of our list at the moment.
Our master bathroom was already updated with heated marble flooring and a glass shower when we moved in, so all we had to do was paint ( we added wallpaper to accent one wall), update the hardware, update the faucet, get a new mirror, and add some storage.
*Funny story: When Daniel and his brother were painting the bathroom our dog Bentley stepped in the white paint and spilled it everywhere which resulted in the dog running through the house with white paint all over his paws. We even have paw prints on the wall in the living room.*
// Outdoor Patio //
Daniel and I love having family over so having a nice place to entertain was on the top of our list. We got super lucky that our house already had a nice brick patio that was perfect for parties, all we had to do was buy some outdoor furniture. We currently have a few outdoor lights but we plan to add a few more that will go across the entire patio from the house to the privacy fence. I also love how we have so many mature trees around our house. We get so much shade but I am now having to sweep leaves constantly. We got really lucky over the summer because a tornado came through our backyard and knocked one of our huge trees right beside our house, but the only thing it ended up damaging was our fence.
// Living Room, Bed Room, Play Room //
We haven't changed much in the rest of the house other than paint, floors, hardware, and of course decor.
It's so crazy to look back and see how much our house has changed since we moved in. I never would have thought that I would learn to hook up sink plumbing, fix a garbage disposal, install light fixtures, put together flooring, get loads of paint out of my hair, and so many more random things. Renovating our house has definitely been a learning experience and has definitely caused some silly arguments (like when Daniel went to shake a paint can I had already opened, yeah paint everywhere) but there is nothing like looking around at all of the progress we had made and being able to say "look, we did this". We're slowing finishing up our renovations and are excited to see the finish product, and maybe take a much needed vacation.
// Before and During Album //