A year in

It is almost exactly one year since we moved into our new house.  In some ways, it feels like longer.  In other ways, I can’t believe a whole year has gone by!  Since I have a tendency to focus only on what is not done, I thought that it would be nice to do a room-by-room review showing just how much progress we have made–and share what is still to come.  I don’t have tons of 100% up-to-date pictures, but this should at least help you get the picture!  Let’s start with the most exciting transformation to date…the kitchen!

Kitchen (98% complete)


original kitchen



kitchen painted 1

total gut of kitchen including removing wall between LR and DR, new cabinets, counters, appliances, and lighting, new stairs, and refinishing floors 

paint walls

paint trim (about 80% done painting trim)

install curtain

paint a magnetic chalkboard in space between pocket doors and stairs


Dining Room (95% complete)


dining room windows before


dining room curtains

total gut including and installing sliding doors (to replace old windows), removing pink carpet and refinishing existing hardwood floors, and installing custom built-ins

new light fixture

hang curtains

hang some art

add some visual interest to the backs of the built-ins (grasscloth wallpaper perhaps?)


Sydney’s Room (90% complete, but soon to change a bit)


sydney room pink carpet


nursery shelves with brackets

install drywall over existing paneling 

remove tiled ceiling and install drywall ceiling

install overhead light fixture/fan

install crown molding

remove pink carpet and refinish existing hardwood floors

paint trim

paint walls

add trim to bi-fold closet doors

install shelves over radiator for display

hang lots of fun art on the walls (only about 25% complete)

add functional storage to closet

DIY some bedding

hang curtain

install a nice shade to replace the current roller shade


Master Bedroom (75% complete)


master bedroom original blue carpet


master bedroom 5

replace light fixture with ceiling fan fixture

buy new large-scale nightstands to fill the space and work as dressers

replace tiled ceiling with drywall ceiling

remove blue carpet and refinish existing hardwood floors

install crown molding

paint trim white (about 75% done)

paint walls gray

install Elfa in new closet

install Elfa in existing closet

hang curtains

hang wall art

replace roller shades with natural fiber shades or roman shades

upgrade to larger and nicer bedside lamps

install custom built-in radiator cover


Master Bathroom (85% complete)


tiny master bathroom


new master bathroom painted

total gut and re-location of existing bathroom including installation of new tub/shower combo, toilet, lighting, vanity, and mirror

paint walls

paint trim

install hooks and towel rod

install waiscotting

find and hang art for above the toilet

find perfect shower curtain


Upstairs (60% complete)





replace existing carpeting

install base boards

paint walls 

paint trim & doors white

add more lighting

spray paint existing light fixture

replace windows (2 down, at least 4 more to go)

purchase sofa bed

add shelving around the windows

hang curtains

make roman shades for other windows

add lots of toy storage under eaves

DIY a fun way to display Sydney masterpieces

insulate ceiling and install new wood ceiling

install ceiling fan


Back stairs (95% complete)


Back Hallway Before 1



install drywall over paneling (unplanned, but happened as part of the kitchen reno)

paint walls greige

replace linoleum with update vinyl tiles

paint trim white

install hook rail

paint door gray

hang some art (might want to add some more eventually)

install hook rail

stain or paint the railings

install sconces


Mudroom (40% complete)

The mudroom didn’t exist when we bought the house–it was added as part of the kitchen reno.  So our “original” photo looks like this (from right after we moved in):

mudroom corner beforeCurrent:

CIMG4564paint walls

find corner cabinet to fit the space as a spot for keys, phones, etc.

add some art or a mirror

install Flor carpet tiles (good for an L-shaped space)

The other half of the mudroom is far from finished though–the current pic isn’t much different from the original pic!


Living Room (75% complete)


living room before moving in


Flor Tiles - living roominstall drywall over paneling

remove tiled ceiling and install drywall ceiling

add larger crown molding

remove pink carpet; refinish existing hardwood floors

paint walls (Silver Marlin by Benjamin Moore – same as kitchen)

convert built-in bookshelf into media cabinet (about 50% done)

add trim around window that is missing trim

whitewash brick fireplace

add sconces and other lighting 

add overhead light to entryway

paint doors to front closet

add gas fireplace insert

hang art on the walls (barely started!)

add curtains

replace windows

install roman shades or some kind of woven shade (post-window replacement)


Hall Bathroom (50% complete with Phase 1)

We’re planning to do a total gut of this bathroom eventually, but since everything still works fine (unlike the master bathroom when we moved in!) we’re living with it as-is for now until we can save up to re-do it.


hall bath before

Current (actually this picture is super old and has reminded me that I definitely need to take some updated shots of the bathroom–so many of our updates aren’t in this pic!):

hall bathroom painted

remove wallpaper and paint walls

remove old shower doors

put up shower curtain to cover ugly shower area

install new (smaller) toilet

install new (working) faucet

put up some art on the walls

paint tile floor? (jury is out on if this would even work…)

paint or stain existing vanity and mirror

put new hardware on the vanity

replace light fixtures

replace gross tiled vanity top with a nice but inexpensive laminate top


Spare Room (10% complete)

This room was mostly a storage area for us until a few month ago, when I converted it into a second guest room and craft space (no pics of that just yet–stay tuned!).  If we have another kiddo some day, this would be the nursery.


red bedroom carpet

Current (okay, not really–this space is very much in progress and I definitely need to snap some updated pics!)


install drywall over paneling

remove tile ceiling and replace with drywall ceiling

install crown molding

paint trim

paint the walls

remove carpet and refinish existing hardwood floors

window treatment of some kind??

replace weird light with ceiling fan light

other stuff, once we decide how we’re going to use the room!


Media Den in Basement (60% complete)



elfa hack shelvesPaint over existing walls and paneling (light blue)

DIY a huge wall of CD shelving

add lots of functional storage for LPs and media components (record player, stereo, etc.)

create a spot to display irregularly-shaped special collection albums

add some seating (probably a sleek couch?)

add carpet tiles or a large rug (still on the fence about this!)

replace the existing drop ceiling

add lots of additional lighting

find ways to lighten the space (since it is in the basement), possibly with mirrors


Laundry room and remainder of basement (no real progress made)


basement before 1

I don’t really even have a list yet for this space.  It is still very much a dumping ground of things we use only occasionally as well as lots of stuff we need to get rid of.  But after a year or living with this very ugly basement I’m starting to have some idea of how I can improve the space without spending too much.  Since we have some water issues in the basement we definitely don’t want to invest much in making is super pretty (just in case), but I know I can’t take much more paneling and yellow walls!  Hopefully we’ll be able to tackle the basement at least a little bit in Year 2.

So there you have it–a year of blood, sweat, and tears (or, more accurately, primer, sweat, and paint!).  We’re really happy at the progress and hope we can keep the momentum going as we head into Year 2.  There’s plenty more coming for sure.  The spare room, basement, and laundry room, are all pretty much untouched, and many of our spaces are only half finished!  Here we go…







4 thoughts on “A year in

  1. I’m in awe!!! How do you do it? I try, but my husband and I have such different style ideas that it always ends up looking like a mishmash of colors/styles. Help!!! I have absolutely no vision when it comes to a cohesive house design and I’m so afraid I’m going to ruin our lovely midcentury unit we’re moving into in August.

    • My approach has always been to do as much planning as possible prior to trying to implement or buy anything. Usually I start a mood board with my ideas, do some browsing in Pinterest, update the mood board a bit more (or put together a few similar ones), and then I share my ideas with my husband. And we take it from there, tweaking as needed until we are both happy. I’m usually the one coming up with ideas, and if he has an opinion, he’ll share it and if not, he’ll just give me the go-ahead to get started. He’s also helpful once we start implementing our design ideas in the new space; if something just isn’t working, he’ll help brainstorm ideas of what might work better. But I’ve definitely found that having something visual to look at together of how you want the space to look and feel before you start trying to put it all together really helps. I’d encourage you both to find pics that capture your vision for the space you’re working on until you find some common ground. It will come together!

  2. Pingback: Something old, something new, and something blue (but nothing borrowed) | the2bedroomblues

  3. Pingback: June review | the2bedroomblues

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