Welcome Home

After two months of home improvement projects, here's what we've done. None of the bedrooms have been touched yet and there's a long To-Do list for the backyard. But we feel pretty good about the progress we've made. I really love walking in the front door and coming Home.
The only change to the outside: We painted the front door and the "shutters" a charcoal gray. They were both unfinished brown wood and pretty ugly before:
A few pumpkins and some flower pots make it feel slightly more homey. Down the road: I hope we put some wooden rails between the pillars and I can hang the flower pots on those instead:
Freshly painted door. Come on in!
The front room.
The original flooring in the house was carpet. The week before we arrived, we had a company pull it all out (except for the bedrooms) and they laid nice Oak wooden floors. We absolutely love them. Probably our favorite part of the house (next to the kitchen that is).

I hate that ceiling fan. Such an eye-sore. If we had more money I'd love recessed lighting in the front room and the kitchen. But....something for the future.

As you can tell, not much decor in the house yet. That will come in the future. After living in a small space with red walls and too many things (for the small apartment), it feels so nice to have the big open emptiness. Not cluttered. I used to go to our friends Nate and Erica's house in Pasadena and say "it feels so clean in here!" (they have minimal decor also). Now I feel the same way about our place! It's kind of fun.

These are our new couches. We bought them from this company, based out of California. The company can do ANY style or customization you want. They even have Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn catalogues you can order from. The prices are great and our couches turned out beautiful. But I have to admit, this time around (I also used this company 7 years ago and my sister and brother have used them too) was a bit of a nightmare. They made the back cushions 2 inches too short (we had added extra height to the couch arms and they didn't account for this) and we had it shipped from LA to Austin for only $185 but it took MUCH longer than we were quoted and it was all ,well, annoying. I'm sure if you live in OC/LA they are great to work with.
The back cushions are being remade and we're just waiting for them to arrive.

moving on....
The Office and Sewing Room.
Gotta do something about those cords (someone in the comments just recommended this. PERFECT!) Our "desk" is a dining table from Ikea and I love it. We went to Houston to pick it up because our Ikea was out of stock for 2 months.
My own sewing space!!! Dreamy. Oh, it is so wonderful to be in my own nook and not be taking over the kitchen. Of course I could still use an entire room to myself. But I'm perfectly happy with what I have. The pendant lights are those cheapy ones from Ikea and they are perfect. They really light-up the area and make it feel like a "work space".
This little dresser I found at a garage sale and gave it a face lift. It was dingy off-white.
I sprayed a layer of Behr Ultra Pure White paint on top (and turquoise spray paint for the accent), found at Home Depot. Ultra Pure White is my favorite white paint. It is so clean and bright. My sister introduced it to me and I've used for everything white in our house.
Casey made me these little shelves and they house my sewing trinkets perfectly:
The Kitchen and Dining Room.
Sometimes I'm off with the paint color of a room first time around. But this yellow (Behr's "Desert Lily") I absolutely love. It's light, airy, and just beautiful. There have been other things in the house that I've second guessed. But not this paint. Hooray! The table still needs to be painted with the Ultra Pure White. The pendant light is from Ikea and the medallion wasn't really intended (we were trying to move the light over and hide the cords) but I like the look of it afterall. Down the road: French doors for the back porch. Sliding doors like these are always atrocious.
* We removed the dreadful florescent light boxes and (until we can afford recessed lighting) Casey installed track lighting. Much better.

* I repainted the pantry door and windowsills/frames in Ultra Pure White.

* The countertops are Sile Stone/Quartz. We are very happy with the updated and nicer look. We greatly regret however, getting the rounded edge. I think it looks kinda silly and cheapens the over-all look. But I'm getting past that. Such a small detail. Next house we'll do it right.

* A new single-basin sink is awesome! I can fit an entire cookie sheet in there to soak. What a dream.

* We still need to add a backsplash. I really like this or this.

* The small bar above the sink still needs to be painted. It used to be cheap formica up there. But we bought wood and made our own "countertop".
The kitchen was very brown and boring before. So, I also repainted the cabinets. It sounded easy at first but ended up being an 8-step process (sand, prime, flip and prime, paint, flip and paint, 2nd coat, paint edges, touch up edges). Phew. Worth the effort!
We added new handles to all the drawers (Ikea) and wow, what a difference.
more BEFORE:
We extended the island countertop by a foot, so that it works as bar for the kids to sit and eat. Still need to get bar stools.
And since Casey knew I wanted to take After photos of the house....he showed up with these pretty white flowers. The perfect touch! And white seems to be my favorite house color these days....
Our bodies (and budget) are worn out from all the projects. But it's been really nice to make the home our own. We feel very blessed. Of course I miss the charm and character of older homes. And two things I find SUPER annoying in newly built homes:
* rounded corners on all the walls. Dumb. Ugly (in my opinion). Makes it hard to do molding, painting, and edging stuff.
* Off-white walls and off-white everything. Why do home builders do this?? They all chose this slightly dingy off-white color. Thus, I've been painting any doors and window frames, baseboards, etc. in WHITE as we go along.

And that wraps it up for now! Friends and family are always welcome to come visit and stay with us. We just got a trundle bed so there's a guest bed ready for you!

Thanks for stopping by.


The Hunt House said...

HOOORAY!!!!!!! I've been waiting for this post for FOREVER! IT looks AMAZING! You should be super proud of the awesome colors and choices. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your cabinets. I think that is my favorite part. We are so excited for you guys and seriously will be visiting....someday :)

lyndsey said...

dana i LOVE it!!! looks so great. there's so much space -- just what you needed. i love all the little touches and redone things -- very chic and modern but still not too sterile. great job! if i ever remodel a house, i'm coming to you for tips :)

Sassy Polka Dot said...

Your house is so cute! The Before and After pictures have so many differences in them! You did amazing! I especially love that light blue color you used on some of the walls! Totally cute! Good Job Dana!

Nicole said...

BEAUTIFUL!! Dana, it is so pretty! You guys have done SOOOO much & it looks FAB! I LOVE the blue paint, love, love, LOVE the kitchen. Great things you have accomplished. I love the front walkway too. It is nice coming "home" to your own place, style and stuff isn't it. I am so glad you have a beautiful home & lots of space for those adorable kids to run around. I cannot wait to come and visit you guys! We will be making a trip for sure next year.

Suman Family said...

so much fun! love the house. it looks so open in there. i like your choice with gray and white and blue and the soft yellow. pretty palette. it's fun to see a few similar thing happening in our two houses. it's exciting to be home owners! great work.

Connie said...

Love the changes, of course! You and Casey have flawless taste, so I didn't expect less. It's so nice to have the liberty to change things in your own home. Looks like the hard work has paid off! And I'm with you on the rounded corners in newer homes. It's making painting such a chore!

dietcokegrrl said...

YAY!!! I LOVE IT! So fun to see the amazing transformation! You can see all the hard work that you guys did--and it looks fabulous!

Love all the color choices and the minimal look. Can't wait until we have a house and I can have a non-cluttered living space.

And Hooray for your own little sewing area! Whoo hoo!

Joe and Marci said...

Very, very nice!! You guys did a great job, I'm so impressed :) I love (covet) your sewing space, too...someday, right? We have kids in every corner these days, so I'll just have to wait. Love what you've done with the place!

Tiphaine said...

I am speechless in front of the kitchen's cupboards...I really thought they were new....what a work !!!! Here, in the house we are in guyana, everything is white just like my home in portugal...i love white too...and congratulations for your interview.

Kristen said...

Dana.. AMAZING... I am in love. You guys did a wonderful job. It feels SO light and clean and fresh..What a wonderful home for your family! Want to come back to LA and do the same thing to the old Barrington apt?

the bates motel said...

nice job! looks so comfy to kick it in! love the crown molding (makes the biggest diff) and love the hard wood floors! are they a pain to keep clean? i hope we can do that one day. looks like your settling in quite well :)!

the bates motel said...

and hello the cabinets look great! i thought you completely installed new ones! gives me hope that i could change mine up. hmmmm sounds like a lot of work! good job!

megan said...

i'm in love dana!!! and so glad you have your own space to put your touches too! you did a fabulous job! and I am sure you are in heaven with your sewing space! that ultra white is one of my favs as well! used it for my rocking chair!
major congrats to you and all your hard work!
you deserve it!

Linsey said...

every room is so inviting and lovely -- the flooring, the color palette, the updated hardware, just gorgeous and so impressive that you did it yourself!

Callipygian said...

Your kitchen is amazing. We're going to finally paint and do some work on our new house and I'm definitely bookmarking this page to show my boyfriend. Thank you!

Natalie said...

Everything is perfect. I LOVE the colors and the minimalistic style. I'm always impressed by you. You've been working hard and it totally paid off. Nice work.

Brad and Shanell Farr said...

so cute dana!

Sara Suman said...

I love it! It feels light and airy, simple and beautiful! I couldn't agree with you more about the rounded corners in new houses. I HATE ours. I want to paint, but since we have such an open floor plan, with rounded corners, I have no idea where to start/stop. Guess we'll have to stick out the boring beige. Anyway love the simplicity of everything and love the white that is tied into everything!

Elise said...

love it. the grey/white combo is amazing. i am going to make a note of that white paint. there is nothing better than the look of clean.

Amy said...

Dana, your house looks so cute! I love your sewing area! You guys have done a ton of work!
I love how you painted your kitchen cabinets, they look great!
Doesn't it feel so good to get projects like this done?

Jean said...

Wow, Dana. WOW. I cannot even begin to describe how much I love this. It is STUNNING. I can't believe how much you've done in such a short time!! And I love all the shout-outs to Ikea. It's so cool to see all the changes that can be done in a home that make such a big difference. GREAT JOB!!!! (If I were you, I don't think I'd be able to stop staring at how fabulous it is. Haha!)

Jessica Law said...

I tried to picture what you were doing with your descriptions to me in the process. Absolutely love the result.

I agree with you there with the dingy white. Now my own home in driving crazy just looking around at all the rounded corners and dull "WHITE". yuck.

Love the new couches too. Ummm...why haven't called when you visit IKEA? Next time Ill join you.

Beautiful job my dear, so proud!

Stephanie N. said...

This is so lovely! Good for you. I actually like those rounded corners on the countertops. I'm prone to running into stuff, so maybe I'm biased because rounded corners will bruise less!

Lisa said...

Looks great, and how fun to have so much room to play with! I must disagree with you on the fan, though. Get a new one if you want, but this is TEXAS and, come June or July, you will be so HAPPY to be able to turn on that fan! It's a lot cheaper than running the air conditioner.

Saunja said...

You guys have been really busy, wow, what a lot of work. It looks great.

The blue walls, black furniture, and oak flooring are all very striking together.

Cool that you ordered couches from those people again. Sorry it was such a headache this time around. I'm impressed that they have a website now and they look so professional! They used to be such a small operation.

Your office and sewing room looks bright and inviting. I'm interested... what did you blur out in that picture that's hanging up on the cabinet?

PLEASE let me know what you end up doing to minimize the cord mess under the desk. We've got the same issue and I'm not sure what to do about it.

Your kitchen looks beautiful. Very open and refreshing. Good job on those cabinets!

As for the rounded edges in new homes... we have beveled edges and corners in our home. I really like it. The baseboards and crown molding are all beveled also. I like it alot.

Good job, you guys have worked hard!

Megan said...

What is the light blue paint? It's perfect.

yo nance said...

You two are an amazing duo!!!...in too many areas to even mention.

Diane said...

I LOVE it all! And you answered all my questions. I'm so happy for you. If I ever get a house I will have to have you come decorate it. I love the minimal look. Wish I could do that in our apartment!

Heather said...

I am without words. It is stunning.

Erica said...

Oh my goodness!!!! Where to start... I love it all!! I love the color on the walls, the amazing dresser, the white table and dark chairs, the kitchen, the floors, the rug (where did you get that?) You guys are doing an amazing job and fast too!! And of course, thanks for the shout out. I can't wait to come and visit to see it all in person :)

Kim said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! It has come together so perfectly! I love all your Texas posts...it really looks like you're enjoying your new area. So glad for you!

Fernando said...

Great job on the updates! The house looks beautiful.

Kate said...

WOW!!!! It all looks so beautiful and wonderful clean lines! I totally have the green rotary phone...it's a fave yard sale find that my mom gave to me. that was a crazy amount of work, but looks like it's worth it!

Deborah said...

Love, love, love everything about it! I adore the before-and-after photos, and how HUGE the difference is. And congrats on your new sewing space--can't wait to see what comes out of it (I especially liked seeing your award on the top shelf).


Kim said...

Hi! Just found your blog today!

For your desk -- you need one of these IKEA cord organizers: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50035115.

I work from home and it totally bugs me to have cords dangling around my desk :)

Fawn@Party of Five said...

Wow, it looks so great! I love the changes you've made to update the look. I'm completely in love with the kitchen. Love the color of the cabinets, love the beautiful yellow in the dining nook... I might have to buy me some of that, too. You've done a great job so far!!

bronya said...

wow ... the transformation is amazing ... the light blue colour works so well ... I think you did an amazing job!

jade said...

WOW! Your house looks great and picture perfect. Anytime you want to come out to the lake and help me declutter I'd love to have you over. :) xo

amy and the bad cats said...

i love the way you remodelled/redecorated, and especially sinc eyou had the before pictures, too. while i agree that ceiling fans are, well, unsightly, you'll find, come march or so, that you really appreciate how it helps keep the house cool in the hotter months here in texas. oh, and the kitchen is FANTASTIC!!!!

Missy said...

My kitchen is yellow and my living room blue too (I like your yellow better though)! Now I feel validated in my choices. People keep telling me my house looks like an Easter egg. But I love it and if Dana can get away with it it must be a good thing.

Marty Smith said...

Wow Dana. That is soo amazing! I totally love this stuff. It looks so great. Wow what a difference it makes to add some creativity. That is so cool. I am excited to share some of your post on home decorating, you did great.