What We Accomplished in our First Year (& What We Learned)

As we draw closer to the end of another year, it’s a time that many of us find ourselves thinking back over everything that happened. For us, it was a year of many “firsts”: our first year in our current beloved foursquare home, first time taking on a restoration of a home, as well as the pregnancy and subsequent birth of our first kiddo, a beautiful baby girl.

A lot has changed in a year, and I thought it’d be fun to look back at just how much!

Our hardwoods:

Refinishing the original wood floors of our entire 1st floor, save the kitchen and mudroom, was our first, biggest, and very dusty project. It was our largest learning curve too as we did all of the sanding ourselves. We originally planned to do the stain and finish as well, but I think we made a good call by turning that part over to some awesome professionals who got it done fast.

Later this past summer when I was 8 months preggers we also restored our upstairs hardwoods (only one more bedroom needs done at present), including our master bedroom that looked at the initial uncovering of the carpet to be beyond recovery.

However, with Karl’s due diligence, he got those floors to look amazing!

Living room:

Here’s some pix I took during a tour of what the room looked like with the previous owner. As you can immediately see, it was being used as the dining room. However, because of its size, we felt it was better suited as a living room and swapped the living and dining rooms when we moved in.

Our living room was a troubled mess when we started. The previous stain was worn and orange around the edges, and the middle had never been given a finish.

After sanding and staining the living room floor, we set to work painting the walls.

Originally a yellow color, we were wanting a light grey color. However, we got more than we bargained for trying to get a true grey, even after painting samples on the walls; our walls came out purple, then blue.

In retrospect I am rather glad the grey didn’t work, as I love the white we ended up with that truly compliments the trim work!

What we learned: use Benjamin Moore paint, always.

Master bedroom and closet:

What started out as what we thought would take 6 weeks turned into 3 months, but the former “office” and “spare oom” are now respectfully our master bedroom and closet (and finished just 3 weeks before baby girl arrived!).


By punching out a doorway, running some new electrical, painting the walls, taking up the knarly carpet, sanding and refinishing the floors, we had the respective red and orange office, and the yellow spare room turn into fabulous spaces for our master suite. There’s a few finishing touches to put in such as the master closet system that we’ll be undertaking later next year (fingers crossed), but we’re pretty darn pleased with how awesome the rooms turned out!

We’ve moved our furniture in and don’t have wires hanging out of the walls anymore, but I have yet to take pix – look for them in 2017! ;)

To read all about the full renovation story with all the different phases, start here!

What we learned:

1. projects are likely to take double, sometimes even triple the time you initially planned.

2. no hardwood floor is beyond saving

We got a head-start on our winter goals by replacing our two most-ugly lights left to us from the past owner – the bay window and vestibule.

I’ll be doing a more in-depth post about with before/after and where we found our lights in the new year, so keep an eye out!

What we have planned for 2017:

You can see my post about our goals for over the winter of what we’d like to achieve until warm weather comes back. We have quite a to-do list for our home, and once Spring hits we have some big ones to tackle:

Dining room – put hole in ceiling and walls for ceiling light fixture and switches, run wires, patch the plaster walls, paint walls and ceiling, hang chandelier.

Front porch – build porch skirt, replace a few floorboards, sand and repaint floorboards, strip/sand and repaint columns and railings, strip/sand front door and stain.

Baby girl’s room – paint walls

Master Closet – plan closet system, build and install closet system


If we manage to miraculously get those projects entirely done, we’d also set to work on these:

Office – strip wallpaper (ugh), build shelves, organize furniture, build/buy desk

Entryway stairs and vestibule – we need to strip the stain off ALL the trim work and stairs, then re-stain. Paint the walls.

We love having you all along on this journey with us, and are excited to see what 2017 has in store! Many blessings to you all in your projects as well! Have a Happy New Year, and see y’all in 2017!

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