Our Home

Our house is the reason I fell in love with paint. We updated literally every surface in our house, using paint for most of it. We were on a major budget to make this major ugly into more than just liveable. I wanted pretty. I wanted perfect. I needed cheap. And paint was how I did it (well, that and some new floors!)

When we bought our home in October, 2012, it was a total dump. The previous owners had 3 large DIRTY dogs that, to my best guess, never left the house to potty. The carpets and baseboards were completely saturated with urine and the lower 3 feet of all the walls were caked in dirt. The place smelled horrendous.

The place was so bad that our realtor had walked in, and walked right back out as we were pulling up to the house. The look of disgust on her face either wasn't strong enough to turn us away, or it peaked our interest enough to see what was wrong with this house.

There's our house! Can you see it? Can you see it? No? ... Me neither. (This was our first trash day: some baseboards, and all our popcorn ceiling scrapings.) We've since removed the bushes and hope to remove the awful pines soon.

We weren't smart enough to walk away after the initial blow of the stench. Instead, we toured the whole house, twice through, and we saw the potential. We saw that it had all the features we had been impatiently looking and waiting for. And most of all, we saw that we could actually afford this house, and it was in a fantastic neighborhood.

After deliberating and calculating what all would need done to the house, and after much prayer, we made an offer. The bank accepted it and the house was OURS!

Here we are at closing! We look so young and excited and innocent! We had no clue this house was about to own us. Wasn't it supposed to be the other way around?

In the first week, hubby pulled out all the baseboards and carpet and some awesome friends helped us scrub all the walls for paint prep, knock down some drywall, and remove a bunch of ugly stuff. We didn't know it yet, but that was the easy/fun part! I won't go into all the gory details, but suffice it to say we were first-time homeowners with no background in  "DIYing," and did I mention we were on a budget? Fortunately, my husband is a google EXPERT, bless him! And we are both willing learners, so we were able to do all the work ourselves. Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple.

Pulling carpet tacks/staples, scraping popcorn, odor sealing the floors with Kilz

After many MANY setbacks and unexpected problems that culminated into an ugly, painful, anxiety filled year that completely rocked our marriage and our social lives, we finally "finished" the house! Of course, there are still many (smaller) projects I want to do, but none that will require living in a total construction zone or wrecking the important, happy, things in my life! Phew!

Working on ceilings, tiling the entry, leveling the floors

Hubby did all of the "grunt work" and the research involved with it, and I followed behind him cleaning after each project (anyone ever removed 3000 carpet staples by hand?? FUN STUFF!!). I also did all the smaller cosmetic changes (like the fireplace and mudroom) and everything that included paint. 

Leveling the floors, installing the laminate, installing new railings

We replaced banisters/ railings and all the flooring (except 2 of the 3 bathrooms), scraped the popcorn ceilings, painted all the walls and trim, replaced every lighting fixture, resurfaced the wall around the fireplace, built a mudroom, and made inexpensive cosmetic changes in the kitchen and 2 upstairs bathrooms. Oh, and then we I decorated.

Here are some photos:

This is The "lower living room" of our tri-level home, the night we pulled up the carpet.

And here it is now:

I built the mantel from scrap wood and glue. Yes, it's true, I did! Isn't it beautiful? The end tables were a craigslist find that I actually stripped paint from in order to make prettier.

We had friends help remove the front closet (ahhh, the fun days) in the first week we had the house.

and MONTHS later my dreams for a mudroom came to fruition! Nate and friends tiled the floor, and I painted the walls and ceilings, and then build the bench and shelf! The seat is made from stained pallets!

It's so open now, and the perfect dumping zone for all our stuff.

Next are some photos of our stairs. After removing millions and millions of carpet tacks and staples, we sanded the stringers, added new painted risers, and finally installed the stair caps, baseboards, and new railings.



After: New bead board / railings / trim

Before: Look at all that yuck on the walls! And the carpet-- eww!! 

After: I still swoon over the remarkable difference in the details of all these photos!!

And now for my ALL TIME FAVORITE transformation .... THE KITCHEN!!

(Before: dark, cave-like, and pink)

and AFTER!

 We opened up the ceiling, installed recessed lighting, replaced the appliances, and painted the walls, cabinets and counters! It's so open and bright now! And isn't my fridge gorgeous? I feel fancy using it.

The dining room before:

and After: Now with our rustic table and elegant chairs found on craigslist, and our fabulous "crystal" chandelier

Powder bath: we leveled and tiled the floors, replaced the rotting vanity, painted the walls and ceiling, hung a new mirror, and installed new baseboards

Guest bath: we painted the walls and ceilings, stained the vanity, removed shower door, and hung new shelving

Master bedroom before: 

And after: We removed popcorn ceiling and corner shelf, textured and painted the ceiling, replaced ceiling fan, installed new floors and baseboards, added big curtains, placed the bed in front of the ugly drawers!

Master bath: we painted the shower tiles and shower door, painted the walls and ceiling, stained the vanity, and added new shelving

And finally: The "upper living room": we scraped popcorn ceiling, textured and painted ceilings, painted walls, leveled the floor, and installed new floors and baseboards.

Now let's go back to that first photo of the filthy walls

so that we can revel in the beautiful transformation of all the details! :) :) :) 

And that's our home! After all that, I shouldn't dare dream of moving, right??!? Or maybe I'm eager to do it again... *mischievous grin* :)


  1. Your a girl after my own heart! I LOVE to paint and see the transformation! You'll have done a tremendous amount of work and everything looks AWESOME!!

  2. Very inspiring! You both did an amazing job! I wished we had done our stairs like you did yours with the white along the bottom of each step and the trim going down the sides. Ours looks great but I think the white makes them easier to see! Keep writing please!

  3. Oh and the mantle and your furniture are so pretty! Wish you had a tutorial on making the mantle as well! Great job!

  4. What product did you use to paint your kitchen counter tops?