We’ve been living in this little (not so little) house of ours for 6 months now and homeownership has been so much more fun than expected. On the first day, we locked ourselves out of the house and discovered a small gas leak (don’t worry, we shut off the valve and called someone asap), but boy has it been fun to have our own space. We built a brand new house and having a fresh foundation meant we were able to pour all of our energy into designing and improving our home. I’m a huge planner and created a list of everything we would complete in the first week, month, and 3 months of living in our first house.
I’m happy to say that list is….no where near complete!
Sure, we didn’t accomplish everything we planned, but we added some new projects (and a puppy) to the mix and accomplished a lot. Andrew and I are always looking to the future (which is both good and bad), but before we start talking about what’s next, let’s take a minute to appreciate everything we’ve done so far. We’ll link to all of the tutorials that we have (and if you see any decor you like, let me know and I’ll be happy to tell you where I got it) and if you don’t see a link, don’t stress–it’s coming ? Unless it’s a light fixture…we hate hanging light fixtures and have no advice for you there.
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Our first floor is very open and is basically one big room. We have 6 big windows lining the back that look out into our (tiny) backyard and lots of beautiful trees. We spend 80% of our time down here and put in the most effort into this floor right off the bat.
Here we focused on small changes that would really change the space. First, we removed our wood stair balusters and replaced them with some modern iron stair balusters. Then we painted doors (blue for the front door and black for the other two) and hung a pendant light.
Like I said before, we really focused first on making our downstairs feel most like home. Since we love to host (are we the only crazy ones??) we wanted the area that we entertain in to feel complete. We wanted to create a space that made people feel welcome and at home. Even though a well-designed space isn’t a requirement for that, it can help. Imagine walking into a beautiful hotel or bed and breakfast and instantly feeling a weight lift off your shoulders. The space is beautiful and cozy and you feel like you can breathe and soak in the beauty and company around you. That’s what we hope our home feels like!
We started immediately (day 1) with the faux shiplap feature wall and then made and hung some shelves that added warmth to the room. Andrew’s dad hung a modern farmhouse chandelier for us to really make space feel like home.
A couple of months later, I made some no-sew pillowcases to add some red in time for the holidays. Then our sweet pup came along spontaneously (and if you know us at all, you know we are the opposite of spontaneous when it comes to big decisions) so we built her a knock-off Pottery Barn dog bed.
Next up is the mudroom, but you can’t really call it a room. It’s pretty much a drop zone that is partially closed off from the kitchen. After constantly scuffing and staining our white drop zone, we added beadboard and painted to transform our drop zone.
Our kitchen was pretty beautiful when we moved in, so we haven’t put much work in here. We painted our pantry door blue and hung up two black pendant lights.
We built our dining room table before we moved in and stored it in Andrew’s parent’s garage for a few weeks, so we can’t really count this as one of our projects for the past 6 months. We can count a few things though. First Andrew’s dad hung our 5 light pendant light (that I love). Then we painted the door black and hung a patterned privacy film. We actually hung a plain window film when we first moved in but did a terrible job with it. Always purchase the application kit!
This is a great example of a room that I have big plans for, but haven’t touched yet. We hung a hand towel rack and that’s it so far.
When we moved in, Andrew and I got each other house warming gifts. Both of his gifts involved the screened porch. We were so excited to get a screened porch and listen to the birds’ chirp, look at the beautiful trees, and enjoy the weather. First, he hung a hammock and then he built us an awesome fire pit table to enjoy.
That wraps up the 1st floor, so it’s time to move upstairs!
Our second floor doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s half complete and half empty.
We’re starting with the loft because it’s what we see when you walk up the stairs, not because it’s the most exciting (don’t worry). We bought chairs for our desks (that don’t exist yet) and hung photos for a gallery wall. Exciting, huh? It’s literally an empty room with pictures and two chairs, but don’t fret. This will end up being one of those fun before and afters!
If you follow me on Instagram, you can probably name a few of the projects we’ve done here. First off is our DIY canopy bed that I’m pretty much obsessed with. Then we have our DIY painted floors that I am actually obsessed with. We also have the bath tray that Andrew made me for our 1 year anniversary and our floating shelves/towel rack. What you might not know is that I recently painted the doors in the bathroom black, and we have a charcoal wall in the water closet with charcoal floating shelves. We also installed a ceiling fan in the bedroom and it took about a week to install. I never realized how much I used the bedroom light until it was temporarily turned off!
Workout Room (aka bedroom #2)
We haven’t done much here. Since it’s acting as a workout/craft room, we want it as empty as possible so that there is more space to work. It currently holds our little blue hutch and the very first piece of furniture we ever built (which we broke carrying up the stairs and have yet to fix).
The guest bathroom was a HUGE project. Just kidding. We hung a shower curtain rod. Did your house come with shower curtain rods because ours did not because they were “decorative.”
This is where it gets exciting again! This room has been so fun to design and create because it’s completely different than the rest of our house. It all started with a color swatch I saw on Pinterest (ironically I didn’t even end up buying that color). We bought Behr Tsunami paint and tackled our first bold wall. Next up we built two floating nightstands, one with a built-in USB port and outlet. Then we tackled the coolest feature wall ever (I might be biased) and a built-in window seat (with drawers!). Finally, we added some brass wall sconces, hung some planters, and created a wooden poster hanger for some watercolors I painted.
And we’re going to end the 2nd floor on a high note. Drumroll please…..in the laundry room we did absolutely nothing! Again, this is one of those projects for later that will be a really fun before and after.
Don’t worry, we’re almost done with the house tour!
We’re so excited for this room and partially bought this house because of the perfect space for a game room. Andrew and I are both Carolina grads and love Tar Heel basketball, so we’re modeling the game room loosely off of the UNC men’s basketball locker room. It’s going to be cool. So far we’ve almost finished the walls. We painted the room a light blue and then painted a large argyle pattern on one of the walls.
This is also where we have the faux brick wall that we German schmeared. Surprised by the location? We’re going to put the dart board up against one of the faux brick walls. We’re hoping the faux brick wall will hide any stray dart marks (let’s just say my darts skill is something I need to work on).
Phew, that was a long list! In case you weren’t counting, it was over 25 different projects and we didn’t include projects that we made for gifts. We hit the ground running when we moved in and had so much fun watching our house transform and truly become our own. In the next 6 months, the big goal is to knock out this game room; complete with a custom bar, table, photo ledge, and a few other fun surprises. We missed the mark on March Madness this year, but come next year, we’ll be cheering on the Heels upstairs for every game!
It’s always nice to take time to reflect on how far you’ve come and appreciate all the work you’ve put into creating your dream home. What projects you’ve tackled in the past few months? What do you want to accomplish within the next year? Tell us in the comments! Let’s cheer each other on!