We bought our cute farmhouse in June 2014 and have been putting our stamp on it ever since. It was custom built in 2011, and we fell in love with it because of the gorgeous yard! We were looking for a bit of space for gardening, relaxing, entertaining, and raising some chickens.
We were somewhat less enthralled with the brown-on-brown-on-brown scheme inside; however, we recognized that the house had great “bones” and needed little more than simple finishes to make it really sparkle. With a bit of ingenuity, a love for bargain-hunting (my husband is Dutch, after all!), and a lot of sweat-equity, we’re personalizing our “forever house” one room at a time.
Before I take you on a tour, I should probably tell you a couple of things:
1. All the “Before” pictures are photos we took when we toured our house when it was for sale. In no way am I intending to insult the previous owners. They built a beautiful house! Their attention to detail is evident everywhere. Some of the decorating just isn’t “me.”
2. I’m only going to show you the rooms we’ve worked on so far. More pictures will follow when we work on the other rooms.
3. Although the label on the photos is going to say “After,” all these rooms are in a constant state of flux. I’m always moving things around! Always! That’s part of what is fun about decorating!
The first stop on our home tour is (where else?) the kitchen. We love the concrete counter tops and the window. Notice it has unfinished pine trim. The lodge look is just not for me.
Here’s the kitchen now:
In addition to painting the brown a very light blue/green, we painted the trim white around the windows and added a faux board-and-batten finish that extends throughout the dining nook. I literally found those bar stools for free on the side of the road. As I like to say: free is my favorite price! They were hideous (I’ll post about them later), but now, they’re the most coveted spot in the kitchen, especially when we have kid guests. I toyed with the idea of painting the cabinets white, but I think I like the light pine for now.
While we’re in the kitchen, why don’t you turn around, and I’ll show you the dining nook?
This room has a sliding door and a window, but it looked so dark with the brown paint! I knew we had to lighten it up.
Just like in the kitchen, we painted out the trim, carried the faux board-and-batten through the room, and replaced the curtains with something a little lighter. We found the table on Craigslist. You can check out how we gave it that gorgeous graywash here.
The great room and I have a love/hate relationship. Despite having three windows, it tends to be a bit dark — kind of like a hobbit hole. No offense to hobbits, but I am not a fan of dark rooms.
The “After” picture is a constant work in progress. When I started decorating this room in particular, my goal was that everything would be timeless. Aside from changing out a few accessories now and then, I don’t want it to look like 2015 or any other year. This room is kind of an awkward shape — the entrance is on a diagonal and a pony wall flanks the couch — so I’m perpetually playing with the furniture layout. Most of our furniture is a hand-me-down or a Craigslist find that we hauled with us from AZ, so it definitely wasn’t purchased with the unique quirks of this room in mind. I’m not sure I’ve quite found the “sweet spot” yet.
This gallery wall is perpetually a work in progress. You can check out my tips for curating a perfectly eclectic gallery wall here.
We’re going to travel down the hallway now. I don’t have a before picture of this hallway, but I have to share the “After” because I think it’s just that cute.
Don’t worry: you’re not seeing double. I’ve just showed you the hallway from both directions. As you can see, we continued the board-and-batten down the hall and painted the inside of the door red. I’ve been told that it’s weird to paint the inside of the door, but I like it! The travel posters in the second picture are from places we’ve lived or like to visit. The previous owners were the ones who installed the hooks in the hallway. At first, I thought that was a little odd, but actually, because there is no coat closet near the door, they are a major clutter fighting machine!
Now that we’ve traversed the hallway (Yep — I’m pulling out a 5 point vocab word for you. I am an English teacher, after all!), I’ll let you take a peek in the master bedroom. This room is awesome. You’ll see why in the “Before” picture.
It has vaulted ceilings and a chandelier! And vaulted ceilings! And a chandelier! You get the picture. It rocks. Like pretty much every other room, it was a bit on the dark side (in a non-Darth Vader kind of way) when we moved in. There was also more of the knotty pine trim. Oh, knotty pine!
I love the beach, but since our house isn’t on the water, it felt a little weird to make any of the main living spaces beachy; however, my wise mom used to say that a person’s bedroom should be his or her little haven and should look however he/she wants it. Sooooo… beachy bedroom it is!
One of my favorite things in this room is the little side table between the two chairs. It was one of my first salvage projects. My dad helped me with it, as it required a lot of varnish stripping, wood glue, and clamping to get the table back into shape. Since then, I’ve learned that if the structure of a piece of furniture is not sound, it is more work than it is worth to refurbish it!
You can check out how we made the curtained feature wall here.
I completed the master bathroom update late this summer. I lighted up the color, painted the trim (surprise, surprise!) and added a bit more storage. You can read more about the master bathroom make-over here.
It seems to be the “norm” these days to have a little separate toilet “stall.”
Would you like to venture upstairs? Right now, the only room “finished” up there is the guest bedroom. It used to be a very teenage boy kind of a place. I’m not going to show you a “Before” picture because all the pictures I have contain a wall decal that could identify the room’s previous owner.
Navy blue is really having a moment, so I decided to leave the paint color (even though it’s really dark) and just paint the trim. By now, you’re probably noticing a pattern with the trim and me!
The painting you see on the left hand side of the room is a Gustav Klimt print that I found at Goodwill. It just whispers peace and serenity. Before I found this print, I only knew Klimt’s The Kiss; this is a much softer side of him. I love it!
Well, that’s all, folks! I’m sure there will be more to come as the summer progresses!