We are so lucky to live in our beautiful home, and it was quite the real estate roller coaster to get here. But in January 2013, we packed up our life in CBeach and headed south to a little slice of heaven on the Bay. It’s our home come true, and we count our blessings.
Since we moved in, we’ve been busy updating, remodeling, and transforming a house into a home. We still have projects on the list — we probably always will — but as we approach the arrival of Baby #2, we’re slowing down and focusing our energy on other things.
So it seems a fitting time to pause and post a tour of our home — the befores, the afters, and, in some cases, the in-betweens and for-nows.
Front of the house
Here’s what it looked like when we moved in (inspector car and all).
Here’s what it looks like now after a lot of paint and some landscaping, and of course the beautiful fence that G made for the doggy day pen that they have access to from the basement doggy door.
When we moved in, the entryway was bare and underused with outdated lighting.
Now it’s an updated one-stop center for everything beachy with racks and hooks that have made our life much more organized and accessible.
The Family Room
The great room was originally filled with brass accents and flowers from the 80s.
After painting over the dingy cream walls with a bright, crisp white (Benjamin Moore Super White), we painted the brick fireplace (Benjamin Moore Gray), replaced the cushion covers (handmade by Mom), replaced the overhead fan and lighting, wired to add a chandelier, and moved our furniture in. Now it’s a functional, comfortable, dual-purpose place that is definitely family-friendly, but still has the clean, modern aesthetic we were striving for.
The kitchen, like the rest of the house, was stuck in a different decade and suffocating from green accents. While the basic layout worked, the cook space was impractical, and I was frustrated by the direction of the kitchen.
The kitchen was a total gut job. Cabinets, countertops, and appliances were all replaced. Although we’ve done bits and pieces of IKEA kitchens in the past — both in UpperM and CBeach — this was the first all-IKEA kitchen we’ve done, and we’re in love with it. Glossy white kitchen cabinets, ice white appliances, and silver countertops make the space bigger and brighter. Glass and metallic tile backsplash ties everything together. We moved the cooktop to the island so that I could face forward when I cooked, added a second cooktop (I like a lot of burners, especially the large burners), and replaced the old defunct icemaker with a beverage fridge.
Nellie’s bathroom suffered the same fate as the kitchen — drowning in 80s green tile and accessories.
A new light wood console with double sinks is great for the two-kid bathroom it’s about to become. The green tub was replaced with a larger white tub (ditto for the green toilet), and the tub was surrounded with gorgeous tile, which also carried behind the sinks. New flooring, hardware, mirrors, and lighting, as well as a few handy toy holders (thanks Pinterest!) finished this up. We elected not to put up a curtain or shower doors since Nellie is only taking baths in this room. She takes plenty of showers upstairs, but for now, a curtain or door would just make it harder for us to watch her in the tub.
The kids bedrooms were empty and basic when we moved in — dingy walls and ugly, mismatched lighting were the worst offenses.
Both rooms were painted white. Nellie’s room received new lighting from IKEA, a play kitchen and vanity from Pottery Barn Kids, tree decals and 3D butterflies from Etsy, and a new rug also from PBK to tie everything together and hide the off-white carpet I’m not in love with. Still on the list is replacing or updating the bi-folds and the door to her room, and replacing the carpet one of these days. I also imagine she will start sleeping in her room at some point before college, but for now it’s strictly a playroom and dressing room.
The nursery was almost identical to Nellie’s room — slightly better light fixture, but still not a keeper.
The nursery is on its way to a modern, mostly white and gray room with pops of colorful circus accents for fun. The circus light and the wall decal are my favorite finds, but we also added some funky circus art, the rug, and the half-tent over the crib. The chair in the corner is an extra dining chair that is hanging out there as a placeholder. It will soon be replaced by a similar-style rocking chair, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on that purchase yet. I am missing a few other things here and there, but I am sure this will all come together before the baby is here!
The Stairs and Loft
The most untouched spaces at this point are the staircase and the loft. We have grand visions for updating the stairs and making them more airy by removing some of the wood and replacing it with acrylic and metal, but that is one of our longer-term projects.
The nook will eventually be a kid’s space — giant beanbag chair, toy bin of books and coloring books, art easel, and media center are all in place. Nellie isn’t quite old enough to really use this space, but she enjoys being on the beanbag and reading, and I am sure we’ll get more use out of it as she grows older. The pictures in the stairwell are pending new family photos. We hung those on our photo wall at the old house before Nellie even came along, so we decided just to wait for the new little one and refresh the entire collection.
The Master Bedroom
The master bedroom was a pretty standard room when we moved in.
We painted the room white, moved our furniture in, replaced the old thermostat with a Nest (which we use on the main level of the house, as well), and pretty much called it a day. Nellie’s bed is up here as well, and I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be adding a baby to our sleeping arrangements, so this is basically a one bedroom apartment for a family of four.
The Master Bathroom
The master bathroom didn’t escape the outdated green plague from downstairs, and we had more brass and green to rip out. It also had a double-sized vanity with only one sink which made little sense for us, since we get ready at the same time each morning.
The bathroom was a total gut job. In the main space, we replaced the vanity with a double gray console from IKEA, including a large storage tower which is awesome. The flooring was replaced throughout, and a heating system controlled by a pre-set thermostat system was installed underneath. The tile in the bathroom matches the tile in the downstairs bath and carries through to the main part of the bathroom, where we added a frameless glass shower stall, new hardware and accessories, and, of course, a white toilet.
Heading back downstairs, the basement includes a large main room and a mudroom that is infinitely helpful in keeping the space clean and the dog bowls full. Unfortunately, it also included hideous linoleum tile and a white drop ceiling, among other offenses.
The floor was replaced with a wood laminate floor that is scratch proof and largely dog-proof. We used it in the last house, and it held up beautifully. In addition to the dog room, the basement serves as G’s office and a theater/game room, so the room also includes a large desk to house all of G’s computer equipment, as well as a ceiling projector and large projection screen. In addition to the floor, the other major projects down here were painting the ceiling and installing a dog door.
The Guest House
The guest house was the place where all things 80s went to die. 80s flowers, 80s seashells. If it was rose pink and pale turquoise, it lived over here. It also was covered in wallpaper — something we were thrilled not to have to deal with in the main house (though we found evidence of wallpaper that once existed under some of the old thermostats and electric outlet covers).
We made the decision to paint over the wallpaper instead of removing it since it was so extensive and professionally done (meaning there were no tears or peels or even visible seams). Benjamin Moore Super White came to the rescue once again (though we used a different variation of the paint for better coverage over the wallpaper). We kept the couch that was originally in the guest house, but added a new dining area, media area, and office space for me. I don’t get to use the office nearly as much as I’d like to, but just sitting in the seat with the view of the boats makes me feel peaceful. We haven’t touched the kitchen or the bathroom yet, though they’re on our long-term list.
The garage is awesome, though much to my chagrin, it came with a giant Tennessee T painted on the center bay, and we still haven’t painted over it.
Luckily the truck is large and covers the space nicely. Right now, the garage is doing its job — housing a mini, a hemi, and a boat trailer. Plus there’s a bathroom in there, which is handy for hand-washing when you spill something or get grubby before heading to the car. We have dreams of adding keypad entry to the garage doors (especially the center bay which is tricky to get to) and a few other random things, but for now, this garage is working well. If I could get on my game and sell some of the furniture we moved from CBeach that doesn’t have a place in this home, we’d have even more space.
As it turns out, I don’t have any new pictures of the garage. I’ll work on this — you can’t miss the magnificent storage system that G and his dad constructed during their last visit in July.