In June of 2011, Noel and I bought our first house in Plymouth, MN. At the time, I was living in Denver for grad school, so for the first year, Noel lived there by himself (well, if you count having a slew of roommates by himself). I moved back in the summer of 2012, and shortly after our wedding on 8-10-12, we got busy upgrading our home. (Click here to view all posts about our first home)
Aside from giving it a good cleaning when we moved in, there wasn’t much we had to do to our front porch besides add a little furniture.
For being as large as it was, our kitchen felt rather small when we first moved in. This is largely in part to the big empty hole of nothingness that overwhelmed the space on the right side of the kitchen. To overcome this (and to give us a little extra storage), we decided to build a pantry (which you can read about here, here, here, and here). We also replaced that awkward light fixture with three pendants, installed new cabinet hardware, painted, and installed new flooring.
It’s hard to tell in this picture, but the carpet in our dining room was NASTY when we moved in. We think the previous owners had a dog that was always covered in mud or something, because there was dirt everywhere in the dining area. For majority of the time we lived there, we simply covered that spot with a rug, but we eventually replaced the carpet with laminate flooring. We also changed out the chandelier (twice) and added some high hung drapes to help the room feel taller.
One of the things that made us fall in love with this townhouse was its open floor plan. However, because the kitchen, living, and dining areas were all one giant room, we had to figure out a way to help define the spaces. We did so by buying a big sectional to close off the living room a little bit, and we also centered all of our furniture around rugs (and a ginormous tv) that helped anchor the space.
This closet was such a disaster. As you can see below, it was so small you couldn’t even hang a coat without the door being pushed open. Eventually I got so sick of it that I pulled the door off, took down the wire shelf, and replaced everything with built-in shelving. This was one of the smallest projects that made such a huge difference in the usability and look of our space.
The powder room is the room that underwent the highest number of changes. We painted it several times, before finally settling on the same color as the rest of the main floor. We also switched out the mirror a handful of times until we eventually found the perfect fit.
This bathroom, along with all the others started out with a boring linoleum floor. We undertook our first tile project ever in this bathroom, and we were ecstatic at how it turned out. We also painted and replaced the mirror.
The guest bedroom was the last room we completed, and we contemplated not even painting it. However, right before we listed the house for sale, we decided to pull the plug and paint the room, and the moment we did, I immediately regretted not painting it sooner. It made the room feel so much warmer and inviting – don’t you agree?
When I first told Noel I wanted to redo our laundry closet, he thought I was crazy. He didn’t see the point seeing as it would always be behind closed doors, but giving it just a $100 upgrade made doing laundry a much more enjoyable task. By adding built-in shelves, we gained more storage space, and by adding beadboard wallpaper, we were able to disguise the ugly water connections. This was one of my favorite projects we did.
Oh the office. This room will always hold a special little place in our hearts, because when we sold this house, we found out from the buyer that the office is what sold her on the house…which is crazy seeing as just about everything in this room was something we made, refinished, or repurposed. We refinished the bookshelves, built the picture ledges, painted, and created an assortment of quotes to make an inspiration wall.
I feel like I’ve said this about every room, but the master bedroom was definitely my favorite room of the house. Despite switching paths completely from its original design, we couldn’t have been more in love with the results.
After photos by Katie Mueller Photography