3 Years of Home Renovations in 1 Post

Sometimes, progress takes a lot longer than desired.

My husband, Chris, and I moved into our home just over 3 years ago, and so far we have only made minor aesthetic adjustments.

Our home was built in 1920 and was originally a school house and sits on 1.5 acres of land. I’m not sure how many owners our home had before us, but there was DEFINITELY lots of updates that needed to happen in order to bring it up to my personal standards.

Chris and I had been looking for houses for a while, but nothing was exactly what we wanted. After months of seeing houses, I saw one that caught my eye. It was near his home town, out in the country, on 1.5 acres. He doesn’t always see the potential a house has, so I was surprised that he was interested in this ugly little house.

Unfortunately, our realtor passed away during the process, but we went with another guy in her company. It was definitely an easy job for him! We told him the house we wanted, went and saw it, and then put in an offer immediately.

Here are the listing photos so you can see what we were dealing with. While there were a few updates done, they weren’t done very well, and they certainly weren’t our style.


entry way

“Living Room”

dining 1 dining 2

As you can see, since our home was a school house, it has some character, such as the Great Room. Here you can see how the living room and kitchen are one big room.kitchen 1 kitchen 2

In this photo above, you can see the nice new cabinets, but the counters are black, which makes it really dark. The cabinets also don’t have any pulls! (Still don’t…working on it!)

Here is the ugly bathroom with builder grade sink, mirror, and big huge cabinet that doesn’t fit in the space.

bathroom 2bathroom 1

Master Bedroom (term taken lightly, it’s only slightly larger than the other!)


Bedroom 2


The “finished” part of the Basement:


Things you can’t see in the photos:

  1. The doors were absolutely disgusting!! They were gross, broken, and had vents in the bottom like in a school….oh yeah, because it was a school!
  2. Outdated ceiling fans and light fixtures
  3. I’m not sure if you noticed, but there is beautiful original hardwood floors throughout the main level, but the previous owners chose to cover it in the Great Room with bamboo (aka, GROSS YELLOW) laminate flooring. We plan to pull this up and refinish all the floors.
  4. The other side of the basement, which is the laundry room, and 2 back rooms in the basement which we previously called “dungeon rooms.”

So now that you’ve seen what we inherited, I will give you a demonstration of the work we’ve put into the house, including changing colors multiple times.

Paint colors and resources available at the end of the post! 🙂 

These aren’t completely up to date photos, I’ll do a house tour later 🙂

Front entry way door update (aka gel stain) + square lattice added to deck + friendly plants 🙂

doors before and after

Entry Way:

 entry from deck resized

Two incarnations of the bathroom:

before and after shelves

photo 2 (2)

One of the dungeon rooms was renovated, and is currently undergoing another renovation:dungeon room makeover

Interior doors were switched out, all interior trim was painted white, and all doors, interior and exterior, got new door knobs: hallway collage

The railing wasn’t completed and we got a new puppy when we moved in, so we finished the railing and built a gate:IMG_0028

All interior lighting was updated to walnut ceiling fans with oil rubbed bronze details and school house fixtures:lights Collage

schoolhouse lighting

All non-ceiling fan items have been switched to these cute school house lights. Because our house used to be a school house….Get it? 😉

The living room went from brown to dark gray, to light gray (not shown in this photo, I don’t have any photos of the brown):new living color

And here is a more updated view of what the decor looks like.

lr decor

And here are all the incarnations of our bedroom: First, it was “beachy” with tan walls and a blue accent wall….Then we painted and added blue and yellow accents (wtf?), then we added lots of bright white and black accents, then we moved the bed (better feng shui) and created a “French Countryside” theme.

incarnations of our room

Second bedroom, which is my closet room as well as office:

So I was really crazy with these colors at first…orange to purple to my favorite neutral greige.

room before and after nursery update


And here you can see the amazing shelves my hubby built me for this awkward space in my office.

Again, this room has been updated since this photo, but you get the gist.

The whole point of this post is to really highlight that for those of us who make an average income and have other things to do with our lives and money, sometimes progress in our homes is slow. Sometimes, we change our mind. And it’s all ok. Take your time! You are going to change, which means your home will change. Our homes are a reflection of ourselves!

Anywhoooo…lots of things are in the works right now, and I even shared a photo of the possible paint colors we were going with for our new bathroom remodel!


The color that we have chosen is……


Storm by Benjamin Moore! It’s the smaller shade under the towel rack. It’s a darker gray with a warm undertone, and under warm light, it’s PERFECT for our “sophisticated” and “cozy” bathroom updates 🙂

Plans for the bathroom update:

We have purchased a 6-foot whirlpool tub so that Chris can partake in bubble bath goodness (at the same time as me or separate, you’ll never know 😉 ) since it’s good for his back. This will require us to knock out part of the bathroom wall and build into his closet in our bedroom, but will be worth it!

We will be tiling the tub surround in 3×6 white subway tiles, the flooring will be ceramic tile that looks like wood planks, we’re getting a new toilet, and updating the mirror and lighting above the mirror. I will share more in-depth plans soon 🙂

Paint colors used throughout house:

All trim and ceilings are painted in White on White by Glidden.

Entryway and 2nd bedroom are painted Horizon by Benjamin Moore.

Living Room is Driftwood Gray by Dutch Boy

Master Bedroom is Dover Gray by Pittsburgh Paints

Bathroom WAS Clear Blue Sky by Glidden but will soon be painted Storm by Benjamin Moore.

I normally get my paints color matched at Home Depot to Glidden paint.

Sorry for such a long post! Thanks for truckin’ through, leave me a comment!

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