Our first home… 🙂 We bought this house in 2015 when I was pregnant with our second and while part of me did not love home ownership (hellooooo responsibilities and expenses!) I did love making it our own and putting time and money into projects I wanted to do. If we hadn’t decided to move across the country (from Indiana to Nevada!) we would have stayed in this home a lot longer!
We had completed some projects inside and outside over the 3 years that we lived there but when we decided to sell and move there were some things we did real quick, mainly the kitchen which we had put off as we’d planned to do a total renovation. Instead of gutting it we just did a basic update – new appliances, flooring and fresh paint. We so WISH we would have done it earlier so we could have enjoyed it!!! Anyways, enough with that, here’s a whole tour and I’ll link to items I can.
Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I’m using the realtor photos from the previous owners for the “before” pictures just to give some context on updates we made and how we added some mid century modern flair.
Right inside the front door I painted the coat closet door with chalkboard paint and then did a little welcome message (tip: spray it with hairspray to set it, you can still wash it off later if you want to change the message but it won’t smudge and smear). Organizing tip: I used Dollar Tree bins and labeled them, I swear labeling makes the difference to bins being used correctly. I kept winter gear, batteries, lightbulbs and stuff for the vacuum cleaner in there. I also installed some document holders to the inside of the door for the kids to keep their winter stuff in, and a couple hooks for their jackets.
The living room evolved over time, we actually had red couches very similar to the previous owners at first and eventually switched to the leather sofa and MCM chairs. I also made the mistake of getting a too small rug at IKEA first, when I got the rug you see here it made such a big difference in the room! The wall color throughout the main living areas and two of the bedrooms is Revere Pewter at 50% strength.
Leather Sofa • Vintage End Tables • Target Lamps (no longer available)
Amish-made Coffee Table • “Choose Joy” sign from Joyfully Said Signs (use code TINA10 for 10% off your first order!)
You’ll see later in the post that the kitchen has room for a table and when we first moved in we had it set up as an eat-in kitchen (like the previous owners did) but after a year we decided to convert half of the living room into a dining room. There was already a pre-wired spot for a light fixture so it may have been how the space was originally used. This space worked so well for us and so many of my “favorites” are in this space. The light fixture, the macrame plant hangers, and the picture ledge where I would change the prints in the frames for different holidays/seasons. I also loved the little bar nook and it got a major face lift thanks to some chalkboard paint!
Amish-made Dining Table • White Dining Chairs (they’re stackable!)
Picture Ledge • Homemade Macrame Plant Hangers with faux succulents and air plants
Vintage pitcher and glassware • Plants from IKEA
The kitchen was the most neglected till the very end and we totally kicked ourselves for not doing this sooner! In our defense we did plan on taking the walls between the kitchen and living room down to counter-height (with a pillar in the corner) and making it more open while adding more cabinets and counter space, plus the cabinets and countertop were not great at all so we had hoped to replace those. As it was, we put in new flooring, fresh paint on the walls and cupboards and did some redecorating. When we moved the dining room out to the living room we had a hutch in the kitchen for extra storage, but our realtor recommended a little table/chairs area for staging the home and I actually loved it for the few weeks I got to enjoy it! It was nice having a little spot to sit and hang out in the kitchen.
The other artwork is framed vintage tea towels • Marble paper towel holder
Light fixture (we used the larger version here and the smaller version in the rest of the house wherever there were “boob lights”
Right behind the kitchen was the main bathroom as far as neglect. We changed the light fixtures and nothing else until the very end and the results of our last-minute hard work were incredible!!! The biggest (and most time consuming change) was that I used a special paint to turn the grout from dingy tan/hard water stained yellow to a crisp dark grey. It took me probably 8-10 hours to complete this project, but the supplies cost under $15!!!!! I learned about this stuff from a blog post by Young House Love where they used it on floor grout in an entryway and it held up perfectly even at the two-year update! I got mine at Menards but you can get it at any Home Improvement store or on Amazon (there are multiple brands and I haven’t heard anything bad about any of them). Fresh paint, shower curtain and towels, plus the super funny sign from Joyfully Said Signs and this room was done!
Bathroom sign from Joyfully Said Signs (use code TINA10 for 10% off your first order!)
One fun update in Simon’s room was the overhead light that isn’t actually hardwired, it’s a plug-in. None of the bedrooms have overhead light fixtures and I really like to have one in the kids room – it’s just easier than having a floor or table lamp, and since we use really dark blackout shades it’s nice to have a good light to turn on with the flip of a switch when we need it. I bought a $15 swag pendant kit at Menards, a filament LED bulb from Amazon, and I stripped an old lampshade and spray painted it black. Put it together in a few easy steps, put a few screw hooks in the ceiling and done! I also love the chalboard closet door and the low hanging rod in the closet.
Vintage twin bed & dresser • IKEA picture ledges and floating shelf • Rug
You might be wondering, where is Betsy’s room? Well… this was her room, but was also always the guest room as well and I never fully did it as “her” room. She actually spent most of the time we lived in this house sleeping in a little room in the basement, what can I say, homegirl likes dark and quiet sleeping conditions. We have had this IKEA bed since our first home and it is super solid AND affordable, plus cute. My mom found the vintage chenille bedspread for me and I dyed it with RIT dye (mixed two colors) and it turned out so perfect to match the curtains.
Vintage chenille bedspread dyed with RIT dye • IKEA bed • IKEA end tables
Vintage hutch • Coat tree
I loved our master bedroom, it was small, but our furniture fit perfectly and I just loved how it turned out. Our bed and dresser were custom Amish-made pieces. When we ordered them we had them do the side pieces tall enough to cover the box spring and didn’t have to mess around with a bedskirt. We did end up switching to a Sleep Number bed a couple years ago and we love it SO much. I wrote a blog post about how we saved $600 on our king size sleep number bed you can check out! The walls are painted Sherwin Williams Sea Salt.
Amish-made bed and dresser • Target nightstands (we added glass tops)
Vintage crystal lamps • Full-length mirror from Home Goods • Duvet cover
We had just a teensy little half bath off the master bedroom and it was the very first room we completed. I mean, the vanity had a wheat motif on it…. it had to go! I love the way it turned out. I painted the walls Benjamin Moore Colony Green and my father-in-law and hubby installed crown molding, vanity (from Lowe’s), toilet (from Costco), hanging rail (from IKEA), floating shelves (from Lowe’s), and mirror from Hobby Lobby. It came together SO well and gave me enough storage for all my makeup and hair/skin products!
Hanging rail and accessories (mine was the GRUNDTAL system but they replaced it with KUNGSFORS)
Alright, we’ve basically made it through the upstairs and are headed to the basement. On the way is our back entry (from the garage) where I used a wall document holder (we sorted mail into this) and some hooks from IKEA to make it super functional. I never got around to painting the back door but really wanted it a dark slate grey.
Wall document holder • Hooks were from the ENUDDEN line at IKEA but the two kinds we used are no longer available
This unfinished laundry room/storage area was such a workhorse for me. I used tons of these plastic shelves to hold all of our linens (I used the linen closet upstairs to organize medicine, extra toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc…), and almost all of the kids toys. I tried having all the toys neatly organized in the basement play room and the kids would inevitably get them all out and make a huge mess so I just started keeping them all in the laundry room and the kids quickly learned the ropes and that it was one toy at a time and to clean up and ask if they wanted something different.
We didn’t really “decorate” the basement but we did do some stuff to make it super functional for us. The biggest being putting in a laminate wood floor and some nice beefy baseboard on the one side of the basement for my photography studio. I was so tired of using paper backdrops and just wanted a little bit of wood floor and white wall so I could make pretty pictures like you see above! We also installed the IKEA curtain wire and hung some cheap white IKEA curtains so I could block off the playroom when I had clients in the studio.
This porch is off the back of the garage and we LOVED it. We ate lots of meals out there in the summer!
The outside of the house was nothing special and I took the photos for the real estate listing in March when the landscaping looked less than lovely so I’m going to skip sharing those. I did put some money and hard labor into the outdoors last summer when I replaced the mulch that went around the entire perimeter of the house with stone AND put in stone under the pine trees out along the back fence line. I also split and transplanted hostas every single year and reworked some of the flower beds. I filled in under the pine trees with tons of hostas and it looked so awesome in the summer. My brother-in-law and hubby built that awesome mud kitchen that the kids had a BLAST with and my hubby also built me the raised garden beds along the back porch where I had some tomatoes and herbs that went absolutely crazy!
Phew! I think that’s it!!!! Hope you enjoyed the house tour and before/afters of our first home, and I’m excited to share photos of our new home soon!