We’ve officially been in this new/old Tudor for one whole year and to celebrate, I’m sharing a complete before + after tour of our renovation progress so far.
I can’t even believe I’m writing this, but today marks one whole year in this new/old house of ours. It seems like just yesterday that we were hauling loads of garbage out of this old Tudor and spending 14 hours a day (for a whole darn week straight) scrubbing it clean just so we could move ourselves into it. It was a rough start and we had many moments of wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into (you can read more about that emotional roller coaster here). Luckily, we’ve come a long way since then.
For so many reasons, this old Tudor has always held such a special place in our hearts (it’s a long story, but you can read more about our background with this house here) – I think it’s that sentimental connection and the incredible way the universe seemed to bring it back into our lives that kept us going when things felt so hard in our first few months here. The longer we spend here, the more sure we are that we’re exactly where we’re meant to be though – breathing new life back into this beautiful old house.
Honestly, in the day-to-day, progress has felt rather slow around here compared to our old Cedar House, but looking back at where we started just one short year ago, it’s so much easier to see just how far we’ve come. So today, to celebrate our first year in this new/old Tudor (and the fact that we’re no longer questioning whether we’d made a huge mistake in taking this thing on), I thought it would be fun to share a little before + after tour. We may not have completed a single “renovation project” yet (you can read about our reno goals for this place here), but with a bit of paint and whole lot of hard work, it definitely feels so much more like home around here. So, grab yourself a cup of joe my friends and join me as we look back at just how far we’ve come with this old Tudor in our first year of living here.
One Year Before + After Tour
Let’s start with the exterior, shall we? When we first took possession of this house one year ago, the exterior looked almost as neglected as the interior had been. The gardens were dying off aside from the lush layer of weeds that had taken over, the back yard had multiple structures that were barely standing (greenhouse, play set, old hot tub – which all ended up going to new homes to be fixed up) and worst of all, the beautiful oak front door was painted out in a very bold purple that definitely wasn’t our style.
The very first project I took on after moving in last Summer was stripping and re-staining that oak door and, while it was a ton of work, it was absolutely worth every minute! You can find the tutorial for how how I stripped and stained that old door here if you’re curious. That oak door was such a big part of my memories of this old house (we even had our prom pictures taken in front of it!), I was SO happy to be able to restore it to its former glory.
This Spring, we took on the landscaping. We cleaned out all of the flower beds, keeping only a few of the well established trees and shrubs, loaded them all with fresh soil and filled them back up with beautiful plants. In all, I think we planted 6 new trees and 34 shrubs. And now, all that’s left is to finish them off with a layer of cedar mulch, which will hopefully help to cut down on our weeding.
While I’ve been busy in the gardens, Brady’s been working away on getting our old in-ground sprinkler system back up and running. He had to re-run all of the lines around the garden beds as they were pretty twisted up through the tree roots, replace all of the sprinkler heads throughout the entire property and build out whole new valve boxes to control all of the different zones. As of today, the sprinkler system is officially up and running – it just needs to be hooked up to our new control panel and then we’ll be able to set up a whole schedule to water the entire property automatically. It’s been a ton of work, but there’s no doubt in our minds that it will be worth it in the end.
Finally, the last big change was a relatively quick one compared to the rest – I painted out all of our exterior doors (aside from our front door that is) to match the Tudor trim. I think it makes them all look like a more intentional part of the house now.
While there’s been quite a bit of change outside this past year, there’s been even more inside (not surprising I guess when you can only work on outside projects for 4-5 months of the year thanks to our long, cold Winters here).
Hands down the one thing that has had the biggest visual impact throughout the house has been paint. I’ve painted nearly every space in this house (aside from the basement, which I haven’t even touched yet). It took me months to get rid of all of the yellow, green and 90’s beige, but oh my goodness was it worth it! On top of painting all the things, we also changed out most of the light fixtures & door hardware throughout our main floor (hopefully we can get everything upstairs switched out soon too!). We added smart switches throughout the whole house and smart window shades in our kitchen and living room. We swapped out the old oven (from 1988) for something a little newer, added some wardrobes to tide us over in our temporary bedroom (long story, but you can catch up with it here) and did a whole lot of repair work around the house along the way (the kind that’s not at all rewarding, but totally necessary to make the house function). We tore out walls of built-in cabinets to make space for our office and ripped out the grossest carpet in the history of the world from the old primary bathroom. We drafted plans for a new primary suite, including taking over Brady’s childhood bedroom to create the most amazing walk-in closet (I cannot wait to see this all come to life!). We’ve worked so hard this past year to make this place feel like home and it feels like we’re well on our way.
Are you ready for a whole lot of before + afters? In the left hand column below, you’ll see photos of our home just three days after moving in last Summer and on the right, photos from today. It’s pretty amazing what a bit of paint and some lighting and hardware can do!
While there is still SO much we plan to do around here and there are a ton of spaces we haven’t even touched yet (like that awful red bathroom), when you look back like this, it’s easy to see that we’ve come a long way since moving in just one year ago. I guess, when it comes down to it, what we really managed to do with all of our hard work through this past year was turn this old, neglected house back into a place that feels like home for our family again. We’re only just getting started my friends. Home takes time and I’m so honoured and excited to be able to share what is sure to be one heck of a journey with you.
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day my friends!