Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Our House: The Eleven Year Tour

OK, not gonna lie. This is seriously about my favorite post ever. I’m obsessed with seeing spaces transform – before and after pictures are my jam. So I was positively giddy finding photos to share with you today.

Today marks exactly 11 years that we’ve owned and lived in this home. There is still a lot of emotion that comes up when I think about that. I do not take the fact that we get to live here lightly, it is a dream come true. It’s not a perfect house (nor do I want it to be) but it is home and we love it.

I was just a baby in my (ahem, cough) late 20’s when we moved in and ever since I’ve been making it more our style. My style has changed quite a bit through the years though, like it does for many of us. Now that I’m (ahem, cough) older, I’ve got a pretty good grasp on what I love, so our home is really starting to transform into what we both really like and feel comfortable in.

And my goodness, there is still so much I want to do. I think about what will happen when I’m done with this house and then I laugh because I doubt I’ll ever be done. It is my canvas!

So here you go – some of the legit worst before photos you’ve ever seen. I get so frustrated when the befores are so dark and horribly taken and the afters are perfect, but it cannot be avoided this time. I wasn’t thinking about blogs or perfect pics when I took any of these so many years ago. :)

Our living room was filled with handed down furniture from my Dad, some drapes I hemmed myself and two fat cats:

I shared this photo of that same room on Instagram yesterday:

trim around windows

Remember when we had our walls painted and I was telling you how pink our old wall color looked? That before photo is a great example of that. I lived with those pink walls for eight years! (And yes, I picked out that color for about half of our house. Cry.)

Here’s another shot showing the difference trim makes. And non-pink walls:

DIY trim around windows

A cookie if you find the cat.

Our stairs have undergone big transformations too. The basement stairs looked like this up till a few years ago:

And now they look like this with a $50 planked wall and some carpet:

inexpensive wood planked wall

Carpet helps. :)

But sometimes carpet doesn’t help – our main stairs were getting nasty and I dreamed of pulling all of that up:

Because I knew what was underneath:

taking carpet off stairs

Again, one of my thriftiest projects ever at $50 for wood for the landing and stain (I had the paint).

Our basement sure looks a lot different too. We used it for years even in it’s unfinished state:

We had it finished over about six months and saved a ton that way (and I did a lot of the work too):

ikea table turned farmhouse table

Here’s our old basement family room (we had a ton of our son’s big play stuff down here too):

And here’s that same view now:

built in wall of cubbies

This new space has been so wonderful!

I know I share the dining room turned library a lot but I can’t do a before and after without it. I mean, come on.

Here’s the dining room we never used about five years after moving in:

 

And here it is in all of it’s “library” glory now. It took a couple (three?) years to get it to this point but we use it soooo much more now:

DIY built ins  

One of my favorite transformations was the one that happened last year. We knocked down a wall that separated our family room and my old office. This is what my office looked like about nine years ago:

bamboo shades

I was going for a brick red color and twice got orange instead. OK.

Here’s that same spot more recently: 

board and batten

One thing I thought would be AWESOME(!!) was the corner fireplace. And I hated it about three days after moving in:corner fireplace

We did various things over the years to change it up but when the wall came down I was a happy girl: fireplace with built ins

The wall coming down made a much bigger difference in the kitchen than we anticipated too. This was our bay window in the kitchen a few years after moving in:

bay window kitchen

And here’s that same view now:

bay window seat

My dream has always been to have a window seat and I absolutely adore it.

Upstairs the horribly-taken before photos continue with our loft. Before the Bub we used it as a hang out space:

Then it turned into a playroom for years (sniff!) and now it’s more of a craft space:

DIY craft table

I didn’t have an exact same view of that one but it gives you an idea. It’s a pit right now or I would take a new one for you. ;)

My stepdaughter’s room was so special because she picked out all of the colors and we decided on the design together. I taped off the wall and then her and her girlfriends painted it. I still remember the paint fight that night:

:)

Now it’s a little more sophisticated:

ombre wall

I’ve been working on this room lately and it looks SO GOOD. I’ll be sharing the updates soon!

And finally, the master bedroom. See – my love for symmetry is deep. Told you!:

This is another special one because my late father-in-law helped to retile the surround:

corner fireplace

I finished painting the room too, that helped. ;) This corner fireplace has never bothered me – I’m sure because it’s larger and not tucked into the actual corner like our old family room one was.

I always say I’m not one to knock my style through the years – it was right at the time and our home has always felt warm and cozy to us, no matter what the paint color. I look back with fondness at our home through the years but at the same time am really proud of what it’s become.

I share these not only because it’s fun to look back and compare the spaces, but to remind you that it takes time to get things the way you want them. And then you’ll get it right and your style may change and you’ll want to paint a wall for the third time. It’s all good. :) I remember when we moved in that I wanted to fill every room so quickly to have it “done” – now I’ve learned the value in patience and waiting it out to see how the spaces work before putting money into them. 

Hope you enjoyed this eleven year before and after. I wonder what it will look like by next year! You never know what I’ll do! :) Thanks for joining in with me along the way!

54 comments:

  1. I usually read everything on my phone, but when I saw on Facebook what this post was, I knew I would want to read it on my laptop so I could see the pictures better. Your blog is the first one I started reading regularly and is the only one I'm still reading regularly 7(?) 8(?) years later. It has been so fun to watch the transformation over the years! Great post!

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  2. It's so fun to see how your home has evolved over the years, Sarah! I love looking back at old pics of mine, too, and always wish I'd taken more of them when we first moved in. And I agree that we shouldn't knock our style from years gone by -- we loved it at the time and it served its purpose of making us feel at home, right? Happy House Birthday!! :)

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  3. Love the style that you have developed over the years. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I have to agree with Molly's comment above - this is the only blog i read faithfully. I've tried many others but they do not compare. I look forward to your new posts, and I get excited to see what you have to discuss with each one! Your home is gorgeous and it was great to see your home transform. We can see the absolute pride and love that you have for your home. Beautiful!

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  5. Gosh I've been reading your blog for YEARS and I remember all those original photos back in the day and now that I'm a new home owner I'm back to reading house decorating blogs more and I have to say WOW that's so great about how the before and afters look. I love a good before and after!!

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  6. I look forward to your blog every day with my cup of tea, it really is amazing what you do! I'm happy to see you finished painting the bedroom, could you share that color that you used with the peppercorn? My fiance has been bugging me to finish the bedroom I told him "i can't just yet, Sarah hasn't told me what color to use!" Im unclear if he things you are "a real friend" haha. But really, congratulations!!

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  7. Wow, so much work has obviously gone into your home. It looks fabulous, I especially love your basement.

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  8. I love this post, Sarah! It's fun for me to see the evolution all documented in one space. I've followed you for so long, so I remember the way things have been at your house for a long time! Such fun. Now you need to do a follow-up post showing the evolution of the OUTSIDE of your house! :)

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  9. Your space has evolved into something so beautiful!!! great job. Its so fun to see where you came from to where you are now.

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  10. I love posts like this! It is so awesome to see where you start and where you are! I'm thinking about doing a post like that for our two year houseiversary

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  11. Goodness gracious, your house is beautiful :)

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  12. Great and beautiful changes....I liked the first pic, not only changed the room, changed from cats to a dog! lol

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  13. Thanks for this! I simply LURVE your house! The window seat in the kitchen, actually the kitchen family room combo looks like that is how the house was built. Sarah, you are such a visionary!

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  14. Everything looks amazing. Have a look around my blog to read about Missouri farm life.

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  15. I love it both in its current state and because it was like a walk down memory lane for me as well--I think we had similar tastes 11 years ago. Its always great to evolve but I think you were lovely all along!

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  16. congratulations on your "home-a - versary!!! '' beautiful home! and thank u for making me feel sooooo much better about myself and the ever changing décor of my own home!!!

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  17. I love all of your changes! You've done an amazing job!

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  18. That was fun!! Loved this tour!

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  19. This is awesome! So much fun to see all of the changes you've done over the years - very inspiring!

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  20. Wow! You have done a ton of work!!! Love seeing the transformation! Absolutely amazing!!!

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  21. The years have been good to your home. It looks timeless, welcoming, and well-loved. Hope you enjoy many more years in it.

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  22. Oh my gosh, you are a hero ... I'm in my late twenties and just purchased my first house and the overwhelming feelings of "this is never going to be beautiful" have been a struggle. It is so reassuring to see not all home bloggers started with magazine-ready homes.

    This has been some of the most inspiring before and afters I've ever seen. Thank you.

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  23. It is so fun to see your house from when you first moved in. Your home is beautiful. And holy moly!! You have accomplished so much. I have to chuckle because your dining bayed out area looks like mine, green with beige. LOL I have been wanting to change the color scheme in here, but hubby not so much. I am stuck with the earth tones.

    Happy Home-a-versary!! You moved into yours 6 mo. before we moved into ours-- 10/29/2004. :)

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  24. We moved into our home 11 years ago next month. I can't believe it. Your house has undergone much more changes than our has though! I love your library and new family room. Your house is amazing!

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  25. Love the changes! Any chance you could post or reply with the paint colors you used? In particular the walls going up the stairs, in the basement, sbdvin the master bedroom. I've been obsessed with Peppercorn ever since I saw it on your kitchen island! Knowing the colors you've chosen could really lead me in the right direction when I'm staring at the wall of choices, the decision making is what makes my changes take so long!

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  26. Hard to believe it's the same house! You seem to have made it bigger... You have such style and vision and such graft! Wow! hats off to you for all your hard work.

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  27. I love to see the beforehand and aftershock of spaces. We've lived in our home 11 years too and I keep a photo file of all my before and afters on my computer. I love to go back and marvel at all the ways it has changed. Every time I bring home a paint chip, my husband gives me that look and says "now what?" Lol. I love how much brighter and cleaner your spaces look. You are amazing with all your carpentry and DYI skills. Such an inspiration!!

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  28. Silly auto correct! That's what I get for not proofing my comment. I meant the "befores and afters"

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  29. So beautiful. Would you please do a post (and soon) about the colors used in your home? Particularly, what color did you use on your staircase? I think I'm going to paint my entire main floor this color - love it!

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    1. Thank you! If you click on the projects tab at the top of my page there's a list of all my paint colors and each room. :) The staircase color is called analytical gray and we use it a lot in our house!

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  30. I spy the cat. And Rick Springfield. :)

    Love your home!

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  31. What a fun post! I wish I could say that I have loved all my changes throughout the years but there were some changes that were disastrous, but each helped me get where I am I guess! Your home is beautiful and I especially love the changes you've made to the kitchen and living areas. Knocking down that wall was genius! :)

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  32. Wow!!! What a difference!!! Amazing. Love your blog :)

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  33. Wow! Beautiful upgrades! Our house could sure use that (but no one's nearly as crafty ;) )

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  34. It's fun to see how your house have evolved into the beautiful space it is now. Well done, Sarah!

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  35. Such a fun post, I love seeing how homes change with styles over the years!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

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  36. You've done such an incredible job, Sarah! I love all of the changes! How fun it's to go through the before and afters, and to think that we once loved those before spaces thinking how great they looked! :D

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  37. Everything looks beautiful. I am so happy to hear you don't knock previous tastes. I don't like when I hear/read people say, "What was I thinking?!" because it at the time they liked/loved it and it worked and that's what should matter. They don't stop to realize that they will probably think the same about what they are doing right now when trends/tastes change yet again. I love before and afters as well so thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Thank you! My befores are always someone's current too -- just because it's not what I love anymore doesn't mean it's not great, you know?

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  38. Wow! It's a whole different house. I love your style and this post is probably one of my favorite ones too :)

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  39. I love your home and your decorating style! They are some amazing transformations. Love those after pics.

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  40. Your end thoughts are exactly what I needed to hear! We moved from our first home (lived there for 7 years), and now we're waiting for our next home to be built (we picked out a lot and a floor plan from a builder in a new subdivision), but I'm anxious to get it all done! And to buy everything new since the house will be new! BUT that's not realistic since i have 3 little ones and a limited budget and I really don't want to rush through things. One of my good friends told me about your blog, and I'm so happy she did. I am inspired by you. Thank you.

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    1. My pleasure, thank you! Take your time and figure out how your spaces work for you!

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  41. What an amazing transformation! To me it looks like you are completely done with your home, now you can come get started on mine ; )

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  42. Love this post. On an off topic today it looks like the changes are up ....you might want to consider changing the color of the topics from yellow/orange, they are very hard to read until you hover over.

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  43. loved this-- we're only on year 4 of our house and my living room is about to undergo it's 3rd update. I think I'll finally get it right this time (...for the sake of my husband's sanity). All those deep greens and red were SO POPULAR and now I think all of us need a breather with some light white and gray walls!

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  44. Ok. This is now my new favorite decorating blog. :)

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  45. Really enjoyed your home! We, too have been in our house 11 years - soon to be 12 and I have changed things over and over. YOUR transformations are amazing. I dream of big changes often but the extra money,time and energy to do so stops me cold in my tracks.

    Really enjoyed this post. Congrats - all looks GREAT!

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  46. Those are some awesome before and afters!!! Beautiful now, and I know it was beautiful then. Everyone's taste changes over the years...that is what keeps life interesting!!
    My hubster has lived in our house for 45 years....and I have been there close to 20. I think the old house looks pretty now, but I'm sure that he liked it better before me sinceI am a collector and when I got there it looked like a motel room....yikes!!
    Love your posts!
    Be blessed,
    J

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  47. Sarah, you are my DIY hero! "What a difference a day makes...24 little hours" sometimes, and I've seen those quick transformations too...BUT, WHAT A DIFFERENCE 11 YEARS MAKES and we're not even mentioning your outside transformations. There are a few blogs that I follow and really, really enjoy..."BUT YOU BE DA BOMB, GIRL.

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!