To celebrate the two year anniversary of buying my house, I’m kicking off a house tour! I cannot believe it’s been TWO YEARS already. Would you be surprised to learn I’ve had these posts drafted for about a year and 8 months and have just been waiting to take and add pictures? I have added a few details over time, but it took me a little while to get everything organized enough to be photo-worthy!
Owning a house has been an incredible learning experience for me. Before this, I rented apartments or lived in my parents’ house. I never had much space to worry about. It would take me a few weeks to set up and decorate most of the space (which is good because my lease would end a year later so time was an issue). With the house it’s taking me much longer to decide where everything really belongs and how I want it to look.
So I’m starting with the two most low key rooms of the house: the living and dining rooms. Here are the (terrible) low-res pictures of this space from the listing:
And here’s the living room today. I do own a TV, but I kept my back to it for the pictures because there’s nothing special about it.
The couches are from Value City Furniture but have been discontinued. I made the wall art myself using leftover paint from the dining room/kitchen and silver acrylic paint in about 10 minutes (plus drying time between layers). I think I’d like to replace them but for now they’re pretty great.
My project when it cools off outside will be to properly finish the partially painted black and white end table. This is one of three pieces I’ve had since elementary school. It’s been three different colors already. In high school, I covered the entire top in a magazine clipping collage but you’d never know that today. A good round with my new sander and a fresh coat of paint will make a big difference.
My favorite part of this room is the fireplace. I love the stone so much! I painted the mantel black (brown photographed nicely but it was streaky in person) and did the same for the brass enclosure. A little spray paint designed specifically for high-heat use (affiliate link) updated it in just few minutes:
I’m not happy with my “every day” mantel decor yet (I like it better when it has more decor on it for the holidays) but I do love my sign. These are lyrics from the song Fullness by Elevation Worship. I designed the print in photoshop, saved it as a PDF and sent it to Staples to print as an engineering print. You can only print in black and white, but it is cheap! I glued that to a plain canvas using regular school glue. I worked fast and left some wrinkles but you can only see them up close.
The living room flows right into the dining room. It’s open to the kitchen, thankfully, so the central part of the house flows really well. Here are those ugly listing pictures again:
Settling into the dining area was pretty straightforward. The right paint color goes a long way! This color is “Old Amethyst” by Behr.
I originally had a different table here, one I rescued from a dumpster in my apartment complex several years ago, but it was too small to seat more than two people comfortably. You can also see the “before” of my bookshelf here.
Those quilted placemats are homemade – my mother has been on a roll and I have several sets. As you can see in the pictures, the sliding glass door lets in a lot of light so I chose blackout curtains (affiliate link) to help keep some heat out. They’re “light grey” but definitely read as purple-ish in this room so be aware your paint color may impact how they look in your space too. The skull rug is from Home Goods.
As far as dramatic changes, I think the light fixture is my real show stopper.
Canarm Piera 4-light Chandelier (affiliate link)
The bookcase in the corner is my least favorite part of this room. It’s a bad shelf to use for books – so bad Ikea doesn’t seem to make it anymore – only deep enough to hold small books and DVDs. Reorganizing helped A LOT and now I feel relaxed when I look at that corner instead of overwhelmed by how much I hate the shelf. Free updates are the best, right?
Sometimes I daydream about adding paneling below the chair rail. For now it’s covered enough that it doesn’t feel worth the energy. We’ll see!
The last thing I have to bring up is my fiddle fig. Normally this plant sits right at the sliding glass door so it has light on all of its body but it wouldn’t have been in the pictures if I’d left it there and I wanted to brag a little because this plant is from Amazon.com. Yes, it’s a real, living fiddle fig plant and I am just about shocked it has done so well.
Costa Farms Live Fiddle Fig plant (affiliate link) | Clock and Candlestick from Pier 1
As I’m sure you know, every living space is an ongoing project but I’m really happy that after two years it feels like most of the house (not just one or two rooms!) is in good enough shape to start posting pictures. I’m learning so much and I’m very excited to share my updates and projects with you along the way.
A reminder: If you’d like to know where I got anything in this post or mentioned anywhere else on my blog, you can always visit my Resources page!