Before and After // 1 Year in Our Home

What a difference one year has made in our home. There are days when I feel overwhelmed with how much we still have left to do but today I am focusing on how far we have come. People warned us that when we bought our first home, there would always be projects and your home is never done. I am starting to see what they mean. 

In the end it has all come down to time and money (like everything else.) We have budgeted out projects for the foreseeable future but I've worked hard to make our dollars stretch in the mean time. Lots of late nights tiling bathroom floors, painting walls (Thank goodness that's pretty much done), and searching Pinterest for DIYs. These pictures represent a year of a lot of hard work and love put into this home. Special shoutouts to my husband and father for helping me with my wild ideas as they come. 

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Okay, these side-by-side comparisons of before and after are actually making me feel like we have done a lot. The bottom side is the day we moved in and the top is, of course, now.

We have done so much of this room on a budget. We painted the walls and windows ourselves. The sofas were found on Craigslist for $50 and then I had them reupholstered (for a lot more than $50 but still under what two sofas would cost new.) The table was from a garage sale and I put a marble contact paper over the top. The side tables were free hand-me downs. We made the frame above the sofa from some bolts on Etsy and a couple of sheets of acrylic. The rug has seen us through three different living rooms. We tiled the fireplace ourselves and my dad made us the new mantle. I painted the paintings above the fireplace and used readymade frames. Phew! That's a lot work to list out. 

This is one of my favorite transformations. The mantle my dad built is so beautiful and feels much more grand than the board that served as the mantle before. The tile before didn't actually fit into the space so we jackhammered it out of the floor and bought cement tiles from It feels very weathered and aged, and I think it fits with the home so much better.

I'll do a much larger post about the updates to the dining room soon but here's a sneak peek.  I painted the walls, and then the dated brass chandelier with Annie Sloan chalk paint. (I loved working with it and again, more to come.) We bought chairs off of Craigslist for about $5 or $10 each, cleaned them up, stained them, and reupholstered the seats to all match. I love the mismatched look of the chairs with our handmade table. I also recently stained the floor in a pattern to give the look of a rug but it still shows off the wood floors. 

So there you have it: a year of work in our home. What, of course, these images don't show are all of the other things that have happened in the span of a year. The parties. The dinners. The drinks with friends. The quiet nights in. We love this house and it truly has become a home.

After photos taken by the super-talented, Rick Lozier.