Around this time, four years ago we signed on the dotted line (well, about 354958694 lines…but who’s counting) and moved into our first home. We had been living in a small, 540sq ft apartment just 30 minutes south and were due to renew for another year. With the impending commitment and rising monthly cost, we started house hunting per a friend’s advice. We ended up stumbling upon this perfect, little starter home and realized that in our situation, it was better to own than rent. After crunching the numbers, we found that renting would cost us more per month than a mortgage and ultimately, with each month the house became more of an asset to us whereas a rental would never be truly ours.
This house had belonged to the seller’s Mother in Law and after she had passed away a couple years prior, they tried renting it for a year. That venture was unsuccessful, so now they were looking to sell.
So let’s talk square footage + other important facts. This home came in at roughly 1,100 square feet + was yearning for the 60’s. I was eyeballing the closets to see if I could catch a glimpse of hardwood floor underneath all that old carpet. Simultaneously I was thinking about swapping out the light fixtures and how nice a fresh coat of white paint would brighten this place up. It was a three bedroom, one bath home. A finished attic for the second floor. A detached unfinished garage. And a little strip of yard behind us. Thankfully the siding + roof was fairly new—I’m told that’s important. 😉
Now, I do appreciate the quirks + character of an old home. But after having lived in said old home for four years, I can’t say I’d hate a newer home with less issues + more outlets. Still, beggars can’t be choosers. And I was excited to put on my design hat to make something fresh + cozy of this small, dated space.
Fast forward a crazy 28 days of gathering documents + waiting for underwriters to e-mail with good news. I took an early lunch break, we closed + later that night, we went home to our first house.
When it comes to the renovation process, you have to understand that we’ve been on a tight, DIY type budget. That doesn’t mean we didn’t splurge on certain updates but WE made all the changes + shopped all the deals. If money wasn’t an issue, there is SO MUCH that I would do. But I will also say, that I have enjoyed the challenge of making this space pretty + efficient by using what we have. It’s like putting a puzzle together—frustrating at times, but oh so satisfying when it finally clicks together.
Ok, before I show the after shots, you have to see the before shots to truly appreciate the difference. So, I’m dedicating this post to a tour of the home upon moving in, day 1. Next week, we’ll start in on the renovations room by room.
“BEFORE” HOME TOUR
First up, the living + dining rooms. Located just inside the front door. Only an arched doorway separates them so it’s more like one, open living area.
If you keep moving straight ahead, you’ll come to the hallway of SO MANY DOORS which connects the living, dining, kitchen, bathroom, and first floor bedroom.😅
This short hallway has SIX doors. Not including the built-in. Am I, Alice? Where’s the Mad Hatter?
Let’s go into the first floor bedroom next.
One thing that I love about this bedroom is the windows + all the natural light that it lets in. It was a bit difficult figuring out the odd shape of this room, but more on that later.
Right beside the bedroom is the bathroom.
Nothing to write home about. But it has the essentials.
Beyond the built-in is the kitchen.
Another rectangular space–galley kitchen style.
Ok, let’s head upstairs. The stairs lead up to a renovated attic space with a landing and two rooms.
The first bedroom/bonus space on the left. It’s a bit smaller but we’ve used it in a variety of ways. It was a fun challenge creatively.
Last but not least, the bedroom on the far side.
And that wraps up the “before” pics. I am SO excited to start sharing the “afters” soon. I’ve poured a lot of heart & creativity into this little house and it will be bittersweet to leave it. Though I’m looking forward to the next challenge. 😉
I hope you enjoy sharing in my home and that it makes you feel inspired to fill your home with what YOU love rather than copy a design book. If you can figure out my style, please, pass along the info–because I’m honestly not sure what to label it!
Talk more soon, friend! xoxo