Before and After

LAST UPDATED: Jun 12, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Mar 16, 2019 | By:

It’s fun to reflect on all we’ve accomplished. Life isn’t always before and afters, but my do they feel good, even if they just show progress.

As our home has evolved this before and after post has, too! I like to update it each year new projects and decor.

Last weekend I was featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, highlighting our home. I thought it was a good time to add some new, never seen before photos and angles of our home!

We are in the midst of updating our basement, a bathroom and laundry room and planning an exterior remodel. Stay tuned! Until then, I hope you enjoy this little tour of our humble home.

take a tour of Julie Blanner's home that celebrates everyday life

It’s been 5 years since we moved to our Tudor style home in St. Louis. While it wasn’t our dream home, it has become home and I love it more and more everyday. Over the past couple of years we’ve done a lot of projects, big and small to adapt our home to fit our lifestyle and aesthetic. There are still a lot of projects to do, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to do a quick before and after to remind myself that it was worth it!

Where to start? The exterior! I couldn’t bring myself to paint the brick, so I embraced it with a muted color palette. A little paint, a much needed new roof and landscaping transformed the exterior of our home.

everyday white exterior

The spring blooms just might be my favorite, though the fall colors are difficult to beat through the diamond paned windows.

They gracefully frame our copper mailbox on an iron post painted to match our exterior paint colors in Sherwin Williams Everyday White.

If you’re researching exterior paint palettes, don’t skip this charming White Brick House!

copper mailbox accented by pink blooming tree

The front porch has unexpected charm with a pebble porch. Soon we’ll replace the front door.

fall front porch decorating ideas

The entry was so dark with light blocked in every direction. We removed the closet to make the living room appear larger and to allow the light to shine through. We replaced the slate with hardwood floors and removed the carpet on the stairs replacing it. Soon we’ll add a stair runner.

how to decorating for spring

The entry along with most of the main level, was painted in Sherwin Williams Zurich White. The popcorn ceilings were removed and we also replaced the light fixture with a brass flush mount.

foyer makeover - the before and after of an entryway
best storage containers

The half bath initially felt cramped and the toilet position felt more like a throne.


We relocated the toilet, added botanical art

painted, added hardwood floors and made the space feel more open with a Parisian sink. You can get all the details about our half bath here.

Pretty and simple bathroom decor

Each space is designed to effortlessly transition from one season to another with a simple change, like replacing DIY Wall Decor with a Christmas Wreath!

powder room with white parisian sink and wood mirror

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.

traditional office for home

PS, this piece of furniture was painted without sanding! It’s the ultimate trick that I have used again and again!

Pretty office credenza
Brilliant ideas to organize your home office, calendar and to do's!

The girls call the the library, because it’s where the majority of their books reside and they snuggle up on the sofa to read. We replaced the blinds with bamboo shades, the grates in the doors were removed, painted and replaced carpet with hardwood. You can see the result below!

blend old and new to create a neutral room with interest

I incorporated my Grandmother’s Linen Cabinet that had been passed down multiple generations.

Living room organization - linen closet

My Great Grandmother’s piano is a family room fixture as well. The fiddle leaf fig brings the room to life.

beautiful family room ideas | fiddle fig piano and sailboat painting
neutral family room decor
easy spring decorating ideas

The Pet Friendly Rug now sets the foundation for this space. It’s incredibly soft and wipes or hoses clean, while offering the appearance of a natural sisal or jute rug.

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.

Easy home project ideas - Fall Makeover
outdoor living at it's best - a covered screened in porch, perfect for dining and entertaining

The deck was so tired and worn. We stained it, added outdoor lighting and furnished the space. You can learn How to Stain a Deck here.

Outdoor Living | Beautiful decor ideas and how to define your deck or patio as an outdoor living room
Outdoor decorating ideas

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 completed the space.

Our dining room in progress - balancing dark wood furniture & minimizing dated features
interior design blogger Julie Blanner shares her home in progress
traditional dining room decorating ideas

The Breakfast Nook has really evolved since we purchased the home 4 1/2 years ago. We redefined it, added light, painted, replaced the floors and added shadow bow molding for characterl

Halloween entertaining - beautiful Halloween table setting BEFORE

The above photo is one of my favorites of the breakfast room that was taken for a Halloween party but the photo below shows the subtle details we added when we redefined the space.

wood nook table and chairs
breakfast room of home blogger Julie Blanner
breakfast nook table

And my favorite, decorated with Christmas Arrangements!

christmas garland around doorframe

The kitchen has evolved. Originally we updated the kitchen to work with the oak cabinets. The first image below is the before….



A kitchen makeover without paint - making the best of an 80's or 90's kitchen
Stunning mudroom design from luxury home blogger Julie Blanner

And in the after, you’ll see our new kitchen with cream kitchen cabinets filled to the brim with kitchen organization ideas.

A white kitchen with brass accents.

We selected a Lacanche Range as the centerpiece of the kitchen and paired it with Inset Cabinets, Beadboard Backsplash, and Unlacquered Brass Hardware.

cream kitchen with lacanche range and lilacs

You can learn how to make this simple Lilac Bouquet here.

A rare view peeking from our kitchen into the neutral living room, featuring our Brass Lantern pendants.

Just to the left is the bar area.

Even the cabinet interiors received makeovers. You can learn how to organize a Kitchen Pantry here!

kitchen organization pantry

and our Refrigerator Organization has made packing school lunches a breeze!

kitchen organization

The small Powder Room felt so tight with a deep garage sink and counters that extended over the sink and the toilet.

powder room before

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. You can read (in the link above) to learn more and see a video tour.

Home design blogger Julie Blanner shares her powder room transformation that blends utility and design
traditional powder room
Home design blogger Julie Blanner shares her powder room transformation that blends utility and design

The mudroom also felt dark and tight. We opened it up, added character and made it easier to clean – and keep our home clean. You can see the before photos below.


Hard to believe this is the same view of our mudroom! Visit the post to get all the details!

Christmas decorating ideas for the mudroom / entryway
Beautiful interior design ideas
beautiful spring decorating ideas for your home

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.

Organize your gym gear with an outdoor closet | garage storage and organization

We also moved in fast and furious with construction soon to follow. This left us with a disastrous garage until we implemented storage systems like this Outdoor Running Closet.

Organize your running gear with an outdoor closet | garage storage and organization

But this is still my favorite Garage Organization project!

garage organization tips

Even the side entrance received a little makeover. I failed to take a before shot, but this “before” back view of the home gives a little perspective.


In addition to painting the exterior, we retained the light fixture (for now) and door and updated the hardware. It’s amazing what a difference simple tweaks can make.

christmas door decorations garland, wreath and a mini tree

The garage exterior is the first thing you see as you come around the bend down our street. It stood out – but not in a positive way.

Painting it in a monotone color with a muted roof really elevated it. For true tudor style, we incorporated copper lanterns.

Natural Fall Decorating Ideas
Natural Fall Decorating Ideas

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 the Living Room After here.

traditional living room decor
best storage baskets

We transformed a cabinet next to the tv into a Bar Cabinet to maximize space and function.

Beautiful bar cabinet in a built in bookcase
Beautiful bar cabinet in a built in bookcase

The Basement and Basement Stairs updates were both functional and inexpensive. We are currently overhauling the basement with a drywall ceiling, can lights, new windows and floors (we ripped out cabinets and bars) and a new bath.


This stair runner project cost just $300!

how to update your basement stairs on a budget

with a little paint and easy to clean vinyl floors it felt like a new space!

A simple finished basement on a budget

The hallway was so dark! It boasts 8 doors which makes it feel really small. We replaced the carpet with hardwood floors, added new lights, new doors, brass door knobs and more.

hallway before and after
get tips and ideas to update a hall with dark, dated doors
hall decorating ideas
hallway with a lot of doors

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.

How to organize a hall linen closet

The hall bath needed a lot of help! It wasn’t even close to code, soffits made it feel small and had 2 showers!

We turned it into a Spa Bath – the girls use it daily and it doubles as a guest bath!

A white bathroom with gold accents.

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.

Little girls bedroom ideas - integrating old and new
how to make a teepee

Here’s a sneak peek of her new room:

cream bedroom with pink quilt chandelier lamp and star light
pink and cream bedroom with white dresser and crystal light

Adalyn’s Room is now simple and sweet.

girl bedroom decorating ideas

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.

children's bedroom play area

My favorite feature of Adalyn’s room is the brass and crystal light fixture we purchased at an estate sale in our neighborhood.

Brass & glass chandelier for little girl's bedroom

The now replaced fabric pinboard was perfect for displaying artwork and precious photographs.

Make a silhouette of your kids in just a few easy steps - beautiful bedroom decor

Isla’s Room is small, but functional

white nursery | girls bedroom design
easy and inexpensive ideas to add christmas magic into kids bedrooms

We are fortunate to have a laundry room on the second floor adjacent to our master bedroom. It is incredibly convenient. We gave this room a light refresh with a sink skirt, new faucet, hardware, light fixture, paint and accessories.

Soon it will receive new cabinets, a custom built closet to add function and feel more intentional and a new wall sink.

Want to see the newest update of this laundry room? Check out our Modern Laundry Room update!

Easy home project ideas - Fall Makeover
laundry gift basket | perfect idea for a high school grad going away to college or a beautiful housewarming gift idea
simple laundry room organization ideas with free printable labels
how to organize your laundry room and the best natural stain removers
Great tips for a functional laundry room
Simple storage solutions for the laundry room

The master bedroom has two large windows but still somehow felt dark.


It, too, received a little refresh with a larger project to come!

beautiful bedroom Christmas decorating ideas with lights
decorating indoors with Christmas lights
wreath in window
wreaths in christmas bedroom

The guest bedroom is simple, yet fitted with everything a guest needs for a relaxing stay. It’s decorated with block print sheets, Craigslist furniture and a sailboat painting. We had custom peel and stick wallpaper made to create an accent wall.

rattan headboard with traditional bedding and sailboat painting over the bed
door opened to traditional bedroom with bed, pillows and painting above

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?

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This is the board I created over 6 years ago shortly after moving in. I can’t wait to share all of our new projects with you this spring!

Interior design board - styling a traditional home

This post was originally written June 2016 and has been republished January 2021.

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.