Saturday, February 23, 2019


Today is the one year anniversary of moving into our house! I spend so much time dwelling on my to-do list, that I thought it would be fun to look back on my did-it list. So here's a look at everything that's changed since we moved in!

While it was nice to start with a "blank slate," the cream-colored walls (and ceilings) quickly started to wear on me. We bought this house for so many practical reasons (location, price, space, layout), but I have struggled to build an emotional connection to it. Each time I finish painting a room, the house feels a little more like home.

First up, our entryway. We changed out the light fixture (does a bare light bulb qualify as a "light fixture?") for a lantern-style pendant. I painted the door in SW Dignity Blue. And I spent an embarrassing amount of money, effort, and time replacing the corroded brass door handle and trim set. (Worth it.) New shutters and landscaping are still in the future.

Next, one of the most impactful painting projects I've done: the built-in bookshelves in our living room. They just needed a little love when we moved in. We replaced a section of shelving, and I painted the back SW Web Gray. I love the dark backing, which really helps to show off all our pretty books and knick-knacks. We've been seriously hurting for bookshelf space since we "hacked" the IKEA shelves in our old house, and these give us plenty of room to grow our library. Plus, I get to display my vintage puzzles and my charm box.

The rest of the living room is painted SW Liveable Green with patterned curtains from IKEA. The room could use some decor (lamps, console table), but I'm very proud of my thrifty fern pictures. I downloaded the pictures for free, printed them at Staples, and put them in cheap frames from Michael's.

The dining room is probably our crowning achievement to date. We replaced the light fixture with this fantastic one from West Elm and added a ceiling medallion. I painted the ceiling a crisp white. Over the course of a weekend, Dan and Dad installed the wainscoting/moulding below the existing chair rail. I caulked and painted the bottom white and the top SW Green Bay. The color took me a while to choose, but I love how it works with the curtains (IKEA again).

I'm currently searching for the perfect wall decorations. I have one item that's made the cut, Dan's watercolor print of Cafe 210 West from Penn State. The original frame, a dark wood, blended into the walls too much so I refinished it using Rub 'n Buff (ridiculous name, excellent product). I blended gold and silver to make this champagne silver color. I also replaced the gray matte with a white one.

I decorated Mae's playroom shortly after we moved in. This room is an addition off our kitchen and has been great for keeping the toys contained and not exploding all over our living space. I bought the flower painting from Target and the colorful rug online (Wayfair, they had just what I need). I made the Valentine's garland from felt hearts and baker's twine. It looks so cute in here, I might just leave it up year-round!

I'm also growing a mini-jungle in the bay window. This room gets so much light! Plus, it's the perfect spot for my Flying Pig poster.

Next up, our bedroom. I used the same color card as our old bedroom (SW Dovetail), but several shades lighter (SW Repose Gray). The rug is from HomeGoods, and I finally bought new bedding from Macy's after pining for this comforter set for a few months. My favorite thing in the room (besides our wedding pictures of course) is the gold wire-framed mirror from Pier 1 that hangs over our dresser.

Are you wondering what happened to Mae's art gallery that used to adorn the wall over my desk? Don't worry, it has found a new home leading up the stairs! I need to swap out some of these pictures soon, but I just love her tiny handprint art!

Okay, I'm bending the rules a little here... I actually finished Mae's room before we moved in. I kept everything the same as her old nursery, to ease the transition to our new house. (Actually, it was because I just wasn't ready to give up her confetti curtains after working so hard on them.) A new blackout roll shade keeps the room dark for nap time. I installed trim pieces to separate the walls from the dormer ceilings, so I could paint the ceilings white and the walls Sherwin Williams Rainwashed. We had a custom-sized piece of carpet bound by a local flooring store, which is an affordable way to get a large, decent-quality area rug. (Yep, Mae's still in a crib. She hasn't realized that she could easily climb out. I'm hoping we don't have to give up her cage... erh, crib... any time soon. Giant Knit Bunny agrees with me.)

I haven't yet done anything with our office, kitchen, guest bedroom, or upstairs bath, so you'll have to wait on photos of those rooms. However, there is one last space that deserves a mention: this pink paradise.

Sure, it looks good here, but our main floor guest + master bathroom is in need of some serious love. It has cracked tiles, dated (not original) fixtures, and a general air of... sadness. Fingers crossed, we will have a contractor gutting this beauty in about a month. I can't wait!

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