We have now been in our house for just over a year! As you may remember, our decision to move was fast and furious, but knowing what we know now about 2020, we are overwhelmingly grateful that it happened when it did. Having the space to spread out while quarantining with a month-old newborn and a preschooler was undoubtedly a saving grace to our mental and emotional health last year. Beyond the increase in square footage, we have loved so much about this house in the first year: our neighborhood, our neighbors, our proximity to downtown Raleigh, our proximity to church, access to a pool and playground (when they are both open), and much more.
That said, it also hasn’t been perfect. We realized pretty quickly once we moved in that although all the updates we wanted to make were cosmetic (which, in our minds, meant “easily doable”), there were very few cosmetic features of the house that we actually wanted to keep. Even though we hope to be in this house for a very long time, there are some things we don’t love that we are simply never going to prioritize, like changing the doorknobs and hinges, painting the trim, etc. It has been an interesting thing to come to terms with that we didn’t anticipate in the initial whirlwind process. The more that we DO update, though, the less those little things matter–we have realized that even if it isn’t “perfect,” we can still work plenty of magic to make this home reflect us, our family, our lifestyle, and our tastes.
I’m very encouraged by this: looking back at the photos I snapped when we moved in, it already looks like a different house! Over the last year, we’ve prioritized painting the walls (and brightening the space a ton in the process), updating light fixtures, and slooowly starting to add furniture to fill the highest-traffic spaces. Unsurprisingly, there is still plenty on the list (including our first real renovation!), but I’d love to share and celebrate the progress we’ve made so far. Come on in!
Entryway: Painting the front and back of our front door in a cheerful peachy pink (Sherwin Williams Quaint Peche) and swapping out the hardware was an easy and fun one-day project. It makes me smile every time I see it!
Playroom: The playroom is the first room you see when you walk in. Someday, we’ll transform it into our dream dining room, but right now, having a dedicated play space for the kids downstairs feels like a huge luxury! Rest assured, it does not usually look this tidy…Charlie told me he was “so proud of me” when he walked in and saw I had cleaned it for these photos ;)
Kitchen/dining nook: Via the front hallway or through the playroom, you come to the open concept living room/dining nook/kitchen. Needless to say, a lot of our lives happens in this area! I love the layout of our kitchen, but am SO excited to update it to reflect our style in the year ahead. This is the only house goal on our 2021 list, but I think it’s going to have a huge impact on this space as a whole. Over the past year, one big improvement to this area was buying a bunch of chairs! We finally traded the four metal chairs that never worked with this space for six beautiful wooden ones we’ll have for years, and invested in my dream counter stools. Our island has since been referred to as “the cafe” and I love it.
Bar stools: Serena and Lily / Copper pendant lights: Pottery Barn (side note, we are going to be selling these soon, so if you’re local and interested, let me know!) / Stand mixer: KitchenAid in Matte Dried Rose / Runner rug: Rifle Paper Co. / Table: Crate and Barrel / White dining chairs: Serena and Lily / Artwork: Morgan Rollinson / Gold light fixture: Wayfair / High chair: Ikea / High chair mat: Gathre
Living room: Another place where we added chairs last year! After years of only have a couch to sit on in our living room (which was comically inconvenient when entertaining), we ordered two amazing lounge chairs from Article. We were wary about ordering chairs online, since comfort was obviously a huge priority here, but we couldn’t be more thrilled with these. Like I shared in this post, we also switched the fan early on.
Guest room/my office: As you can see, this room has remained mostly untouched. Hopefully this year or the next, I’ll paint it white, have some statement curtains made, find a pretty headboard, and hang some art–I’m picturing a botanical print gallery wall featuring blooms that are meaningful to me. Stay tuned!
Downstairs bathroom: This was the first room we “finished” in the whole house! I shared more about it–particularly the wall decals–here. Eventually, we’ll probably paint the cabinet, but for now, I’m more than happy to leave this cheerful bathroom as it is.
Master bedroom: This might be the most dramatic before and after in our house so far…definitely take a peek at our bedroom when we first moved in in this post! This room gets incredible natural light, so we were eager to play that up as much as we could. We had the brown walls and blue ceiling all painted white, swapped out the ceiling fan, and have slowly been jumping on furniture when we find a great deal–namely, our bed (finally!), the rug, and a comfy chair. Next on the to-do list in here is to find a floor mirror, rearrange some of the frames on the wall, and probably buy new bedside table lamps.
Bed: Joss & Main / Floral sheets: Target / Duvet cover: Resoration Hardware / Nightstands: West Elm / Rug: Home Depot / Dresser + mirror: Craigslist / Pink velvet armchair: West Elm / Black frames: West Elm (similar)
Master bathroom: Another practically untouched room! Honestly, there is so much we want to change in this bathroom, we will likely leave it alone for a few years until we can save up for a full renovation. I might paint the walls, but that’s about it for now!
Since this post ended up being super long, I split it in two. Stay tuned to see the upstairs and outdoor spaces tomorrow!