Over the past several years, both our home and style have evolved. Home isn’t always before and after, the process is just as important.
Last year our home was recently featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and through the years spaces have been included in Real Simple, Oprah, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, Traditional Home and so many more.
Table of Contents
- Before and After
- Exterior Curb Appeal
- The Ultimate Guide to Paint Colors
- Entryway Bath
- Family Room
- Screened in Porch
- Dining Room
- Breakfast Nook
- Powder Room
- Side Entry
- Fire Pit
- Garage Exterior
- Living Room
- Upstairs Hallway
- Shared Bathroom
- Girls’ Bedrooms
- Modern Laundry
- Primary Bedroom
- Primary Bathroom
- Guest Bedroom
- More Home Details
This year, I was ready for a refresh. While there’s still work to do, I can’t help but feel cheerful with the fresh feel.
Before and After
Today, you’ll find some new, never-before-seen photos and angles of our home, and an updated family photo so you can see how the girls have grown!
Can you believe the difference in the photo above, compared to the original one below? It’s such a thrill to watch them grow and change.
9 years ago, we moved into our Tudor style home in St. Louis… I cannot believe how quickly time has passed! While I never loved the style of our home, I’ve embraced it, making it feel a little more like us along the way.
Exterior Curb Appeal
When we purchased our home, the exterior left a lot to be desired. It felt drab.
The spring blooms just might be my favorite, though the fall colors are difficult to beat through the diamond paned windows.
We framed the home with trees, bushes and plants that would bloom each season. The lilacs are always a highlight!
Driving past a friend and neighbor’s White Brick House nudged me to take the leap and paint the brick Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee. The Tudor trim is painted in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak to add a slight contrast.
As you know, one of my favorite things about a neutral home (indoors and out) is that it transitions with ease from one season to the next. Spring, Summer, or Fall, I love it all (except winter!)
Step inside and you’ll see one of my favorite transformations! The entryway / foyer! The entry was so dark with light blocked in every direction.
The door wasn’t very welcoming and let in very little light. Adding a white oak Dutch door made it feel more inviting, adding light and charm! Of course I had to add a little unlacquered brass for good measure. I still have a bit of decorating to do, but couldn’t resist sharing a sneak peek!
While it was of substantial size, it didn’t add a lot of function and blocked traffic going to the living room and connecting kitchen. We removed the closet that was blocking light and the walkway. It makes both the entry and living room appear larger and allows the light to shine through.
We replaced the slate floors with sand and stain hardwood floors which made the rooms feel like one. Picture frame moulding, or wainscoting, added some much needed detail.
We removed the carpet, sanded and stained the stairs, painted the risers and some day, will have the runner that has been sitting in my office for a year installed (whoops…I keep forgetting!)
Originally we painted it in Sherwin Williams Zurich White, but recently painted the entry Sherwin Williams Extra White. For this particular space that receives minimal light, it felt a bit dingy. I just love how cheerful it feels now!
As you can see, our entryway is now a wide open space, with views into several rooms of our home. It feels bright and light, giving glimpses of a variety of spaces, including our powder room!
The half bath initially felt cramped and the toilet position felt more like a throne.
The office is the first space you see off our entryway. This may surprise you, but an orange room with a chalkboard mounted taxidermy isn’t really my thing.
We discovered parquet wood floors underneath (find out if you have wood floors) but they were damaged when carpet was installed so we opted to continue our hardwoods into the office as well.
The office is now a calm, functional space filled with traditional decor…and anxiously waiting for an overhaul this fall! I have some exciting plans for it that will make it more functional and can’t wait to get started.
The family room is the most infrequently used room of our home. We replaced the blinds with bamboo shades, the grates in the doors were removed, painted and replaced carpet with hardwood.
The popcorn ceiling was scraped and we kept it pretty minimal. You’ll often find Chris strumming his guitar. I also incorporated my Grandmother’s Linen Cabinet that had been passed down multiple generations.
I’m looking forward to continuing a little refresh here as well…
Screened in Porch
The Screened in Porch once felt fit for a Girl Scout camp…
We painted the interior, added curtains by making Custom Copper Curtain Rods for the Bay Windows and redefined it as an outdoor dining room.
Over time, our needs have changed and it’s now a relaxing patio where we play games and watch movies – especially in spring and fall! We used a screen porch kit to make the screen panels more durable and easier to replace as storms took them out over and over again. So far, so good! This system is much more reliable.
The deck was so tired and worn.
This past year, we decided to utilize it for outdoor dining that seats 10. It makes entertaining so easy with the adjacent breakfast room that seats 14.
Our Dining Room had an awkward 60’s window – I wasn’t sure how to make it work. Ultimately I repurposed existing linen panels using a custom brass curtain rod to define the window.
Fresh paint, a beautiful brass light fixture, wood floors and my Grandma’s dining room furniture still felt underwhelming.
It has always been under-utilized and neglected. While it’s still in the midst of an update, a sneak peek…
This room is directly off of the kitchen, and while there is an air vent, otherwise was a classic sunroom that became hot in the afternoon and cold in the winter.
We redefined the space as a breakfast room by adding light, a brass pendant, painting it Benjamin Moore Navajo White, moulding (using the Painting Walls and Trim the Same Color method) and replaced the linoleum floors with hardwood.
We had insulation blown into the walls and floor to make it useable.
The table extends to seat up to 14! You can see it decorated with Christmas Arrangements and how it connects to our kitchen here…
The kitchen has certainly evolved. Originally we updated the kitchen to work with the oak cabinets. The first image below is the before…
Same View After
You can see how expanding the window and painting the walls and cabinetry the same color brightened the space. The larger island adds function and doesn’t feel “lost”. Adding a panel ready dishwasher helps it seamlessly blend in.
Just to the left is the bar area.
Even the cabinet interiors received makeovers. You can learn how to organize a Kitchen Pantry here!
and our Refrigerator Organization has made packing school lunches a breeze!
The small Powder Room felt so tight with a deep garage sink and counters that extended over the sink and the toilet.
I utilized several tricks to make the space look and appear larger. Since it’s in the mudroom and primarily used by kids I also implemented a few features to make it easy to maintain.
The mudroom felt very cramped. We opened it up by removing the tiny closet that blocked light and consumed valuable space.
Brick floors collect the dirt and don’t require mopping, just vacuuming. Painted cedar walls wipe clean with ease. It’s the best space for collecting snow gear, muddy boots and so much more, without the stress.
Almost the same view…where the closet once was, I added an antique chest to store sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, gloves and so much more. We also removed the door, leaving just the door frame, which really made it feel more open and inviting. Every inch counts in small spaces.
The view when entering from the garage…
The garage reeked of smoke and when we moved in. After weeks of airing it out, we still struggled to get rid of the smell. You can learn How to Get Smoke Smell Out of a House here if you’ve struggled with the same.
We painted the garage Farrow & Ball White Tie and added a brass and crystal door knob to make it feel like an extension of our home. Peg rail is an easy way to add function to the garage, but while maintaining an indoor feel.
Last Spring I talked Chris into building a Potting Bench for me! We added Beadboard, Unlacquered Brass Hardware and painted it in Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog. I love pulling my car in now! It gives me a great space to work and store all of my pots, tools and more.
We had a Garage Floor Coating painted on to give it a clean slate. It makes it easy to clean and prevents us from slipping when it’s wet.
I failed to capture a before photo, but you can see the back of the home below for an idea…
Fresh exterior door handles and paint go a long way!
Last fall, Chris created a pea gravel fire pit area. It’s a great place to entertain, watch the sunset, outdoor movie or enjoy a s’mores charcuterie board. I can’t wait to share the rest of the back of our home when the landscaping goes in later this month!
As you come around the bend on our street, the garage is the first thing you see.
The living room is small, which presented a number of challenges. The fireplace felt dated and the wet bar was an unnecessary use of space. Even Ani was unsure.
We opened up the wall where the bar once stood, used paint, hardwood floors and molding to create a timeless space. You can see more of this Neutral Living Room here.
Oh, and don’t forget the Samsung Frame TV. It might just be the best thing that ever happened to our living room!
After our basement flooded last year, we did another update with a little paint and easy to clean LVP floors it felt like a new space! We painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee and it’s feeling like a fresh and fun clean slate.
We overhauled the entire basement with a drywall ceiling, can lights, new windows and lvp floors (we ripped out cabinets and bars) and a new bath.
I can’t wait to show you the next update with pretty new furnishings down here – it’s coming together slowly but surely.
The Linen Closet was a quick and easy update that maximized function. You can get all the details of how I pare down, what I store in there and the inexpensive labels used by visiting the post.
The hall bath (which the girls share) needed a lot of help! It wasn’t even close to code, soffits made it feel small and had two showers!
We turned it into a Spa Bath – the girls use it daily and it doubles as a guest bath!
The girls have now switched rooms and each have been redecorated to suit their age. I’m long overdue in sharing them! This is Ani’s previous room before and after.
Here’s a sneak peek of her new room:
Below, you can see the space before we bought the house and a glimpse of her six years ago when we first redid this space.
When we changed it into a sweet pale pink little girl’s room, I cut down a console table to make a desk that doubles as a side table. Just above it I added a little custom word art.
Now she has a beautiful gold canopy bed, glitzy gold touches and a splash of big pink peonies on one wall. It’s a fun, grown up space for her!
The now replaced fabric pinboard was perfect for displaying artwork and precious photographs.
Isla’s Room was small, but functional. She has since moved to a larger room and her former room was converted into the guest bedroom.
We are fortunate to have a Second Level Laundry Room adjacent to our master bedroom. It is incredibly convenient. As you can see, we initially gave this room a light refresh with a sink skirt, new faucet, hardware, light fixture, paint and accessories.
The Primary Bedroom has two large windows but still somehow felt dark.
It, too, received a little refresh with a larger project to come!
I’d like to update our primary bedroom bedding this year! Any ideas or thoughts on what would look good in this space? We just added new bedside tables and painted them for a soft, pretty look.
While we haven’t found the time or budget to take on a full renovation of our primary bath, we did upgrade it this year! These simple cosmetic changes made a world of difference.
The guest bedroom is simple, yet fitted with everything a guest needs for a relaxing stay. It’s decorated with inexpensive block print sheets, Craigslist furniture like this Rattan Bed and a sailboat painting.
We had custom peel and stick wallpaper made to create an accent wall, but it ended up bubbling and sadly had to be removed. Fortunately, I love the space just as much with our simple cream walls.
Thanks for taking time to reflect with me on a before and after look of our home. Truly, it’s a before and during, but it’s always nice to take a moment and appreciate what you have done when you feel overwhelmed about your to do list.
I often remind myself that it’s more important to enjoy our home than to decorate it. Think about all the things you love about your home rather than the things you don’t. It will not only bring you peace, but will also help better define your next project.
Right now my favorite room is our breakfast room. What’s your favorite room in your home and why?
As always, if you see something you love, you can follow the link to the post or shop our home here to be directed to the specific product.