A family room update

Hey guys! I realized I haven’t updated you on the family room – where we spend the majority of our time – since we moved in.

Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

I have spent 4 months moving chairs around and decrapifying all the piles of decor and frames that got dumped in there. Coming up with a chair configuration was making me a little insane. You can see from all the before pictures that I kept moving chairs in, then out, then swapping them, then changing their angle, etc.

In this photo from the house tour everything has been moved around again. It’s always so hard to get your furniture to fit properly in a new house. Sometimes it takes me several tries. (I have moved my office and craft stuff 5x times already.)

About a month ago I pulled down all the blinds in the family room. We left them up for a few months just to see if I would ever want to close them, but we realized we love the huge windows and all the light pouring in, so I took them down. Here’s a picture before removal.

My little DIYer-in-training helped take them down. He is almost 12 now and is quickly becoming a great little side-kick when I tackle projects. If it involves a screwdriver, or climbing a ladder, or using a power-tool, or better yet, doing anything that he thinks is out of the ordinary, he is all over it. His favorite? Any reason to get on the roof. Eek.

Removing the blinds made a huge difference. The windows now have cleaner lines, and even though it was only about 6-inches-tall worth of blinds, the light just seems to pour in so much more now.


Here is how the room currently looks:

I added a few new pieces of furniture, and then raided my accessories stash. I think just adding a coffee table, some decor, and a few pillows really takes a room from boring and unfinished looking to polished. And ps, yes, I realize the rug is ridiculously too small for the space. I’m workin’ on it!

Granted, I have loads of work to still do in here. As you have probably noticed by now, I am trying to pick a paint color for in here. Because of all the natural light, the colors look very different throughout the day. A color I thought I would love looks great at 10am but I hate it at 3pm. This is a tricky room! I am pretty sure I have chosen a color though, so now I need to start painting.

In addition to needing to paint the walls, I painted the back door black and the trim around the door a new coat of white. The black still needs a second coat so don’t look too closely. This picture was taken while standing in our piano room (it’s suppose to be a dining room but we are using it as a piano room).

Like I said, I purchased a few new pieces of furniture to give the room a more finished look (it still has a long way to go, but you know what I mean). I bought the bookshelf next to the tv, and the coffee table and side table from ikea. I quickly stuffed a bunch of chachkies and decor on the shelf, but it is in no way finished being “styled”.

And here’s one more of the family room, but from the opposite angle looking towards the front door and piano room. Do you spy my orange curtains? I temporarily tacked them up yesterday to see if I will like them in there (I do!) so once that room gets a fresh paint job I will permanently hang those curtains again. Did you think I would leave them at the old house? Heck no!

And just for fun, here are the official MLS photos of the family room. Isn’t it so crazy how two people can make a room look so different? I obviously have very different (and less formal) taste than the previous owners.

I love seeing the befores and afters next to each other so I don’t have to keep scrolling up and down, so here you go!

previous owner & currently:

before & after:

before & after:


The final before & afters of the old house

Well folks, it’s the end of an era. The old house will officially belong to someone else by Thursday. We had a good run, this house and me. I have the final photos of the old house that were taken last month for the MLS listing. I thought it would be fun to compare them to the “before” photos from three years ago when we bought the house. It’s come a long way baby. I am so pleased to see how much nicer the home is now. But honestly, I just can’t wait to start rolling some paint on the walls of the new house. :)

I’ve got a few more tutorials of the old house to share with you guys as soon as I can get them together, but in the mean time, enjoy this one last walk down memory lane (que some sappy Enya-esqe music now).

It’s an MLS photo face-off. In one corner we have the Old MLS photos, and in the other corner we have the New MLS photos. Who will win? Team crappy or Team Now (aka Team Awesome)? My money’s on Team Awesome.

The House Now:

Three years ago:


Three years ago:

The Backyard Now:

Three years ago:

Another “Now” from the backyard:

The Foyer Now:

Three years ago:

Dining Room (aka the Barney Massacre) Now:


Piano Room Now:


Family Room Now:


A few more Family Room Nows:

Kitchen Now:


Kitchen Now:


Downstairs Guest Bathroom Now:


Ben’s Office Now:

Mustard Yellow Before:

Master Bedroom Now:

Way back when:

Master Closet:


Master Bathroom Now:


Laundry Room Now:

A long time ago:

Guest Bedroom Now:

It’s Smurf blue past:

Gameroom Now:


Upstairs Guest Bathroom Now:


The Boy’s Bedroom Now:


Kid’s Bathroom Now:

The Boring Before:

The Girl Bedroom Now:

The Football Field Before:

It has been a LOT of hard work to get the house to where it’s at now. I really hope the new owners enjoy the home as much as we have and that they create just as many memories there as we did. When we moved in our babies were 5 and 7. Now they are almost 9 and 11. We have a lot of sweet memories with our little family in this home, but I am excited to look forward and create even more sweet memories in our new home.

If there is anything that you noticed in these photos that you have a question about, please ask in the comments! We scrambled to get the house ready to put on the MLS, so we did a lot of last minute tweaks to it that I may not have blogged about yet. Your questions will help jog my memory so I don’t forget and leave out any details in the small handful of posts I have left to write about wrapping things up here.

Thanks for following along the last three years as I turned an ugly foreclosure into this beautiful house I’ve been proud to call my home. I hope you stick around and follow along as I turn our new Ranch house into our {hopefully} forever home. New rooms, new paint, new moulding, and new DIYs! I can hardly wait to get the sledge hammer out and turn this place into “Ours”.


Habitat for Humanity Before & After series {One Project Closer}

Every year One Project Closer hosts the coolest Before & After contest benefiting Habitat for Humanity. They are on their 5th year now!

One Project Closer and their sister site The Better Half want this year to be the best one yet so they reached out to several bloggers and asked us to get in on the fun.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit who helps and supports local communities as well as communities all over all over the world. OPC’s annual Before & After series helps raise awareness for Habitat, and support their mission to provide decent, safe and affordable places to live.

Fred from OPC volunteering with Habitat Sandtown

How it Works
If you’re not familiar with the series, here’s the basics: you submit pictures and a story from a home improvement project you worked (no contracted jobs) sometime over the past year.

Every week of the summer (June 20 – September 21) a winner is selected and their story is published online. Each winner gets a

$50 gift card to either Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon

and OPC makes a

very generous donation of $100 to Habitat for Humanity

in their honor!

At the end of the Summer YOU {the readers} will vote for the best submission overall. The winner receives a bonus $150 gift card to either Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon.

This year is different and even more AWESOME because OPC has invited 13 other bloggers to get involved, each hosting a week, picking that week’s winner, and featuring the Before and After project on their site.

Here are the bloggers involved as well as the the schedule so far:

Week of: Host:
June 17 OPC’s The Better Half
June 24 Pretty Handy Girl
July 1 Beneath My Heart
July 8 ten june
July 15 Southern Hospitality
July 22 Charles and Hudson
July 29 House of Hepworths
August 5 the space between
August 12 Remodelaholic
August 19 DIY Showoff
August 26 My Blessed Life
September 2 Home Stories A-2-Z
September 9 Bear Rabbit Bear
September 16 Burlap & Denim


Ethan from OPC volunteering with Habitat Sandtown

How to Enter
Click through and submit your project to One Project Closer’s Link Party here. You may also submit your project via email. Details can be found here.

House of Hepworths be hosting the Before & After series the week of July 29th where I’ll be posting that weeks winner! This series will be a lot of fun and is also benefiting Habitat for Humanity, so I encourage you to link up your projects and follow along with each blogger!

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