Today marks two whole months since we moved into our new (old) home. If you missed the story about our move and why this old house is SO special to us, you’ll definitely want to catch up with it here.
Considering our history with it, settling into this house took a little longer than I think either of us expected it would. The truth is, it’s a big house and, while some of the bigger maintenance jobs had been taken care of for us already (new shingles, new boiler for the radiant heat system), many of the smaller jobs had not. It felt like we spent our first month here working through all sorts of little jobs, just to make this house function for us – fixing the garbage disposal so our kitchen sink would actually drain, repairing the shower door so we didn’t leave a puddle on the floor every time we showered, replacing the old wall ovens (which were original to the house and worked about as well as you’d expect a 34 year old oven to work). We had to fix far too many things to name here and we still have a lot more to go yet, but we’re getting there. Brady described it as having to catch up on the last 10 years worth of maintenance, which wasn’t something we were expecting to have to do right off the snap. Honestly, it was pretty discouraging at first – I mean, we had been planning out and looking forward to diving right into renovations, not fixing poorly installed washing machines and replacing exterior doorknobs we weren’t even given keys for (5 locking knobs and only 1 key in case you were wondering). Instead of moving forward, it felt a lot like we were stuck treading water, just getting this house to function the way it should. But, as we started to make our way through that long list of repairs, things slowly started to feel less and less daunting and, somewhere along the way, this old house started to feel like home for us again.
It wasn’t just getting the house to a functional state again that started to make it feel like home again for us – while Brady was working away to repair and/or replace all the things, I was hard at work cozying things up in my own way (remember this list I shared of things I wanted to tackle right away?). While we have finally gotten started on some proper renovations (more on that later), there are many spaces that I know we just won’t get around to renovating for a while yet. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that those rooms are not what I want them to be right now – to resign myself to not liking what they look like or how they feel – to not want to waste our time and money on temporary fixes for these spaces that I know we’ll just be changing someday, but I also know we’ve got a long road of renovating ahead of us and it will likely be quite a while before we get around to properly renovating some of these spaces. It’s important to me that we find a way to feel comfortable and at home in these spaces along the way. If you’ve been following along with my stories on Instagram or keeping up with my updates through my Weekend Reading posts each Friday, you’ll already know that I’ve been painting up a storm around here this past month and holy smokes friends, it’s hard to believe the difference a little paint, decor and new light bulbs can make! Not one of these spaces is “finished” and obviously, we’ve got a LONG way to go yet, but I’m excited to share with you today just how far we’ve come in the two short months we’ve been here.
Tackling that purple door was my first order of business in the new house and, while it was SO much more work than I’d anticipated (you can read all about how I refinished it here), it was SO worth it in the end. Of course, I also replaced the doorknob and deadbolt too – I debated for weeks about which one to go with, but in the end I settled on this budget friendly smart deadbolt lock and the matching handleset and we’ve been absolutely thrilled with it so far.
We made a few changes inside the entryway as well, finishing painting it all out white and replacing our ugly old doorbell chime with this beauty (we went with the unlacquered brass finish so that we can watch it patina over time). The doorbell chime is actually visible from much of our main floor, so I love that instead of an eyesore it’s become a gorgeous focal point in this little corner!
Paint and art were the name of the game in here. I couldn’t believe how bright & fresh everything felt just covering all that green with this warm white (I’ve used Cloud White from Benjamin Moore throughout our whole house so far if you’re wondering). I really love the way it plays with the brass accents and oak trim everywhere! Hanging some art on the walls and decorating the mantel and shelves really helped to finish it all off. I’d still like to install some drapes in here to cozy things up and I can’t wait for our new rug to arrive to help cover up those awful floors, but it’s already feeling SO much better in here!
Kitchen & Dining Space
That warm white paint probably made the biggest difference in this space as well I’d say. Not only did help to freshen things up, but it plays so perfectly with the other elements in this space that we won’t be changing for a while yet like the brass lighting and oak woodwork. It even somehow makes that stone backsplash and island feel a little less obtrusive I think.
I can’t forget to give those new wall ovens a big shout out here too. Knowing we will be renovating this kitchen at some point in the near(ish) future, and that when we do, we won’t be going with wall ovens, I didn’t want to invest too much money into replacing the original wall ovens. Luckily we came across this set on Facebook Marketplace for a steal – a very reputable brand and almost new, we felt so lucky to find these babies just when we needed them!
I’ve been on the hunt for an antique cabinet to fill up this wall space and provide us with some extra storage (I know that sounds insane with this ginormous kitchen, but we’re missing the extra storage the basement bar provided us in our old house), but styling the shelves has definitely helped to make them feel a little more functional for us in the mean time (even if I still don’t have anywhere to put my bar glasses). I’ve also been on the hunt for a new chandelier to replace the ceiling fan over our dining table and some curtains for the dining room windows – I really think those last little finishing touches will go such a long way to making these spaces feel even cozier.
Hallway, Powder Room, Laundry Room & Mudroom
More white paint, a rug and a few pictures up on the wall made all the difference in these spaces.
Another dramatic before & after with just a few coats of white paint. I can’t even believe how much cleaner and brighter it feels up here now! The new smoke detectors help a bit too (I really love how easy these ones are to install).
This bedroom might be temporary for Carson (you can read more about that here), but I really wanted him to feel truly at home in it. So, we chose a beautiful blue-green paint colour (Cedar Mountains from Benjamin Moore) to cover the walls and trim, filled his walls with all of his favourite art and photos, and rolled out the softest rug to finish it all off. I’d still like to change out the light in here for him (this one is quite dark, even after switching out the bulbs) and add in some cozy curtains, but he’s definitely feeling more at home in this new bedroom space.
Primary Bedroom & Bath
Our primary bedroom looks nothing like it used to – thank goodness! It was in SUCH rough shape that we could hardly bring ourselves to walk into it. I’m not sure it’s ever felt so good to demo a space and I can’t even begin to describe the weight I felt lifting off my shoulders with every load of garbage we hauled out of there afterwards. Of all the things, clearing this space out has probably made the biggest difference to our emotional load since moving in here. I’m not sure if it’s that we’re finally starting to move into the renovations we’ve been looking forward to for months now, or simply the act of carrying all that dirt, dust and mould out of the house, but whatever it is, we’ve definitely been feeling less daunted by and much more excited about the journey ahead of us since getting this room all cleared out.
We’ve been working hard with my sister-in-law Emily to create a whole new design for this space and I cannot wait to share what she’s come up with!!! We’re just finalizing the new layout and have a few more details to iron out yet. I’m hoping we’ll have some plans to share here on the blog with you soon, but in the mean time, you can check out our starting point with the layout plans in this month’s Currently post.
I hope today’s post leaves you feeling inspired to find some simple ways to love your home too. A little paint and some intentional decor pieces really can make a world of difference in a space!
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day my friends!