As of Monday, we have owned our house for one whole month (and lived here for three weeks)! As I was making a list of all the projects we’ve done since closing, I felt a little proud of all the hard work we’ve done. So, I thought it would be fun to share little snippets of the progress we’ve made in just one short month! (These are just quick iPhone snapshots, so I apologize for the quality.)
Let’s get started.
1. Painted all the rooms (except the bathrooms)
I’ll start with the highest-impact item. Like I mentioned in the “before” empty house tour, the colors in this house were BOLD (and also not our style). We knew we didn’t want to live with red, yellow, chocolate brown, and dark green walls for any length of time, so we decided to delay moving for one week to give us time to paint. This was honestly such a smart decision for us. With the help of our family and friends, we were able to paint all three bedrooms; the living room, dining room, and kitchen; and the hallways. It was A LOT of work, but it felt so good to move in and unpack immediately instead of leaving everything in boxes until we painted. Painting first helped us settle in quickly.
I feel lame not sharing any photos yet, but things are still a little crazy over here. Soon! 🙂
2. CLEANED EVERYTHING
While some were painting, others were helping us clean. As for the state of the house before we moved in… Let’s just say cleaning was not a priority for the the previous occupants. I recognize that I am a clean freak and that not everyone cleans as much as me, but I think most people would have been surprised by how dirty our house was. If we had waited to clean until after we moved in, cleaning would have become so much harder. Just like painting, cleaning prior to moving allowed us to unpack and settle in quickly.
3. Unpacked everything
On Day 1, we were 80% unpacked. Can you believe it? It only took us a few hours to move, so we had most of the afternoon to unpack. Plus, our family was really helpful. Because everything was already painted and clean, they were able to help us get the furniture in place, our clothes in the closet, and all of our kitchen items unboxed and put away. As for the remaining 20%, we took care of it over about two weeks. So, we were totally unpacked in less than three weeks. That’s a huge accomplishment in my book!
4. Replaced the entryway light fixture
Now I get to talk about the fun stuff! One of the first things we did aesthetically (besides painting) was replace the entryway light fixture. The existing one was essentially just a “fancy” dust catcher, plus it felt too large for the space. We replaced it with a really simple (and affordable) pendant light that is much less flashy. It fits the scale of the space much better.
5. Replaced hallway light fixtures
In our house, the master bedroom is separated from the other bedrooms by the living room, dining room, and kitchen. This means we have two short hallways–one on each end of the house. Both had dated mushroom lights that really made the space feel drab. After a lot of research and investigation, we finally found an adorable light that fit our budget. My goal was to find something updated but not too modern, and I think this light fits that description perfectly. We are using these amazing LED Edison-style bulbs, and they provide so much light! Plus, they are also super affordable and last for 13 years. Not too shabby.
6. Replaced all the outlets and light switches
During our home inspection, we discovered that not all our outlets were up to code. We were missing a few GFCI receptacles. However, we knew this would be a simple fix for us since Kendall’s dad is handy with wiring. After we closed on the house, we realized that the previous owners had mismatched outlet and light switch covers all over the house. They weren’t even consistent in the same room! Plus, they had accidentally painted over a lot of the plus and light switches, making them look pretty awful. We decided that since we were wanting to replace all the outlet and switch covers to make them uniform, we might as well replace the actual outlets and switches too. The old switches and outlets were yellowed, and we wanted white so they wouldn’t clash with our freshly painted white walls. So, we have been replacing all the outlets and switches a few at a time since we moved in. They look so much better. Having mismatched switch and outlet plates was really jarring to the space.
7. Replaced hall bathroom mirror and towel rod
We haven’t painted this bathroom yet, so I was hesitant to show anything. But, I decided any small progress was worthy of sharing. As you may remember, the mirror in this bathroom was a hot glue DIY gone wrong. Someone had hot glued tiny tiles around the mirror (except they left holes where the mirror screws and some of the corners were). We tried prying them off, but it left glue on the glass. Luckily, we had planned to replace the mirror eventually anyway, and I happened to already have one that would work! We hung this round, gold framed mirror in its place, and I think it looks so much better.
(Please ignore the half-painted wall, haha.)
We also hung a hand towel rod, since the owners had apparently taken it with them when they moved, for some reason. I chose this modern black one, and I love how it looks with the gold. I’ve decided to mix brass and black finishes in this bathroom so I can get it out of my system, haha. I think I will keep our master bathroom just brass. Speaking of…
8. Replaced master bathroom toilet, towel rod, and toilet paper holder
I wish I had taken a photo of the old toilet before we replaced it, because the comparison between the old and the new is striking. (Okay, maybe I’m the only one who thinks that, haha.) The old toilet in our master bathroom was a dated almond color and also so dirty. No matter how hard we scrubbed, we couldn’t get the stains out. Plus, the handle was wonky and had to be held down for longer than normal for the toilet to flush. After a week of living with an annoying toilet, we decided it was worth the money for a new toilet. We’d known we would have to replace it soon regardless, since our home inspection had revealed that it was leaking. So, Kendall watched some YouTube videos, and we went to Lowe’s to get a new toilet! We had planned to get one of the cheapest ones, but then I saw this one… It has smooth sides for easy cleaning! It didn’t take long for me to realize it was worth the extra $60. So far, I have not regretted our decision at all. I am so much more comfortable in a space that I know is clean, and cleaning the awkward shape of the toilet has always been annoying to me since I’m never entirely convinced I got every nook and cranny. Plus, let’s be honest… Isn’t this new one just aesthetically pleasing? Lol. It’s about four inches thinner than the old one, so you can see where the owners painted around the toilet like, four times, haha.
9. Replaced all the smoke/CO detectors
I know this one isn’t fun, but it is really important. When we moved in, there were around 7 smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house. Every single one of them was original to the house and was therefore expired. Every. Single. One. None of the battery-powered ones had working batteries. Some were hardwired, but even a hardwired smoke detector needs replaced every 10 years. I don’t know how the previous owners slept soundly at night! The water heater, stove/oven, and heat are all powered by gas, so it was even more important to have a CO detector. We replaced all of ours with detectors that integrate with each other, which means if one goes off in the office, they will all go off. It’s a nice safety feature!
10. Hung the TV over the fireplace
Let me preface this one by saying I did not want a TV over the fireplace. I had imagined hanging a beautiful piece of art over the mantel and styling it with candlesticks and vases. I would rather not have a TV than give up my lovely mantel. I am perfectly contented to watch TV on my laptop for the rest of my life, haha. However, I wasn’t able to convince Kendall we could live without a TV, especially since the previous owners left us one for free (they had at least three, and I guess decided they didn’t need them all). Due to the layout of the room, the only place we could put the TV was right over the mantel. Sad day. But, Kendall loves me very much, because he worked very hard to make sure there wouldn’t be a mess of wires. With some help from my brother, Kendall crawled around the in attic and behind the fireplace to add an outlet above the mantel. It looks pretty good, for a TV above a fireplace 😛
That wraps up what we’ve accomplished in the one month we’ve owned our house! We’re going to start Phase I renovations soon, starting with our hall bathroom. We are so excited to get started! More details coming soon 🙂
Oh, one more thing! I just created a guide for how to create a cohesive and curated thrifted wardrobe. I’m so thrilled to finally share it! Just click here to download! 🙂 Enjoy!
What are some projects you knocked out the last time you moved? Which ones do you feel like always have the biggest impact? Let me know in the comments!