House Tour 2014: Downstairs

5 August 2014

The last home tour I offered up was about one year and two months ago – just a few days after we moved in. Things certainly look different now, and I like the idea of marking our house’s progression for posterity (roughly) once a year. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to share so openly before our space is completely “done,” but hopefully it will be an encouraging reminder that not every home is transformed in a week, and not every homeowner has an unlimited budget. We’ve tried to make changes with thoughtful consideration, and purchases with our budget priorities in mind (and with hearts of contentment). There are definitely things we’d still like to do (and I’ve noted several of them throughout this post), but for now, please enjoy a peek at our home!

P.S. “Before” photos are included where I have them!

The Front Porch:

porch-with-rockers

This summer, our front porch has really grown to be one of our favorite parts of our home. We’ve sat out there for hours in the evening, chatting, eating peaches or cherries, and living life slowly. Yes, rocking chairs really do make your life that idyllic. Since moving in, we’ve hung our American flag, added solar lights around the stairs, and added the rockers. Future plans include painting our front door, and growing something up a trellis on the side for a little more privacy.

The Foyer:

nautical-chart

One of the first things we hung after moving in was that little plaque by the front door. I love it! Before moving in, we painted the entire downstairs main room Benjamin Moore “Simply White” colormatched to Behr No VOC paint in eggshell. If I was doing it again, I might have gone with a truer white – Simply White can look a touch too creamy with the amount of sunlight we get. We’d like to replace the light fixture and add a console table and a rug.

The Kitchen:

kitchen

open-kitchen

wire-shelves

bay-leaf-wreath

latte-bowls

I love the bar in our kitchen – it’s where I sit when John is cooking! Since moving in, we’ve purchased a refrigerator, added the wire shelf, hung art and our rotating instagram bulletin board, painted a chalkboard wall, added new bar seating, and replaced the pendant lights. One more major improvement we are considering making is adding a vent hood with an exterior exhaust – we cook almost every night, and I don’t love how the smell lingers. Vent hood owners, do you think it makes a difference?

While we are considering other cosmetic changes, like painting our cabinets, switching out the tile for white subway tile, or replacing the cabinet doors with a simpler style, I think we will ultimately hold off and save that money.

The Dining Room:

living-and-dining-room

open-floor-plan

rainbow-book-shelf

“Dining room” is a bit of a generous term, since our table is really just situated in the open space between our kitchen and seating area! The only real update we’ve done in this space is to replace the chandelier with a lantern. Down the road, we’d like to get new chairs (our current ones were free hand-me-downs!), replace the blinds with plantation shutters, and maybe add curtains.

The Powder Room:

aqua-powder-room

This teensy room received a fresh coat of paint (Sherwin Williams “Tidewater” colormatched to Behr No VOC in eggshell), a new and improved towel ring and new hand towel, and some art in honor of our home state. We’d like to replace the mirror with something more interesting, and maybe replace the light, as well – or just switch the finish to oil-rubbed bronze, like the towel ring. By the way, hardest room to photograph!!

The Living Room:

living-room

beachy-living-room

trunk-coffee-table

driftwood-wreath

colorful-gallery-wall

coral-pillows

Y’all know our rug was one of the first big purchases we made after moving in, and we’re still pleased with it! We also hung our gallery wall, added a few new couch pillows into the mix, and hung a landscape canvas from our wedding day (our Christmas present to each other last year!). Down the road we’d like to move the trunk elsewhere and replace it with a larger, square coffee table.

The Hallway and Laundry Room:

hallway

This unassuming area might end up being the site of our biggest improvement down the line! I enter our home through the laundry room every day, since it leads to our garage, and the door swinging in from the garage and the door swinging into the laundry room from the hallway do not play nicely together, especially with full hands. I’d love to convert the hallway door into a pocket door, then knock out the two walls of the closet to create a mudroom area with seating and lots of hooks. I would definitely paint the pocket door a fun color!

The Master Bedroom:

master-bedroom

blue-bedroom

custom-watercolors

blue-bedding

oil-painting

gray-bedroom

wall-decal

Our bedroom was one of the only rooms the previous owners had painted, and we liked the soft gray, so it stayed! Otherwise, this room looks pretty similar to our bedroom in our apartment. A headboard/frame is on the top of our purchase list, so hopefully that change should happen soon (see my monthly goals!).

The Master Bathroom:

master-bath

master-bathroom

spotted-tray

Not much has changed about the master bathroom since we moved in, but it’s on my radar! We’d like to paint the walls (I’m thinking Ben Moore “Sea Salt”) and frame out the mirror with wood.

I’ll be back with the upstairs soon!

P.S. How many times can you spot our cat Jack in this tour? :) She is quite the busybody, and was following me around the whole time I was taking these photos.

17 Responses to “House Tour 2014: Downstairs”

  1. Lindsay

    Love your blog! I was just wondering where you purchased your Master bedroom curtains? They are fabulous!

  2. Between the abundant natural light and the thoughtful use of white throughout the downstairs, your home looks bright, warm, and cheerful. Your front porch is my favorite, especially with the flag and the rocking chairs. Thank you for sharing with us!

  3. Home tours are some of my favorite blog posts (maybe it’s because I’m nosy like Jack). I love all of the natural light. And your idea for a mudroom renovation sounds awesome (fun colored pocket doors? yes!).

  4. Em

    @Lindsay Thank you so much! I actually made them from fabric I bought locally (Mill Outlet Village in Raleigh). I can check the brand when I get home!

  5. I just love the curtains in your master! They really make the room. We painted our master SW Sea Salt — it’s so lovely and calming. It would be perfect in a bathroom!

  6. It looks like you are making lovely progress! The curtains in your master bedroom are fantastic – love the pop of color. Thanks for the glimpse into your home!

    xo Rachel

  7. Rachel

    I was going to ask about the curtains too! They’re great. We have a really similar ticking stripe duvet, so the curtains totally gave me a great idea on how to bring a bit more femininity to our room, since it’s reading a bit too masculine at the moment. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Ann

    Your home is beautiful! Where did you purchase your kitchen wreath? Looks so fresh and lovely! Thanks!

  9. Em

    @Ann Thank you!! It’s a bay leaf wreath and was actually a gift, but I think Williams Sonoma sells them around the holidays!

  10. I love your happy house! I remember reading a few months ago about how y’all didn’t use your porch as much as you wanted to, so I’m glad that has changed! What a perfect place to spend long summer evenings :)

    P.S. Hi Jack!

  11. Your home is so beautiful, and I love your heart for contentment… just reading that before looking at these photos filled me with such joy imagining y’all enjoying your home… for all the right reasons! It was also fun to see how many little similarities your home has with ours! (earrings in an egg dish, wreath on the pantry door!) So so sweet!

  12. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I especially love your front porch, all of the meaningful art, your bedroom curtains, and the gorgeous wreaths. Thanks so much for sharing – I love seeing a peek inside others’ homes!

  13. Love that you are posting your house tour now, even though you mentioned it is not completely “done”. You are so right – people don’t always have unlimited hours and funds to get their new home to perfect right away. It should be an enjoyable process that doesn’t stress you (or your wallet!) out. Thanks for sharing! Your home is lovely. :)

  14. I LOVE the red chairs in the living room! They make a confident, yet friendly statement and are the perfect pair! And, the kitty sightings are adorable!

  15. Sanika

    How do you like your white loveseat? I am in desperate need of a sofa and have been eyeing the ektorp line for weeks. I’d really love your input— thanks so much!

  16. Em

    @Sanika It is an Ektorp, and we like it! It’s not the most plush couch, but it’s fairly comfortable, and I think it looks pretty nice. Recommended on a budget!

  17. Haha I love that Jack made the tour! Brinkley made it in to ours too. You inspired me to post our home tour as well. Have a wonderful day :)

    http://mandyandconner.com/2014/09/16/home-tour-the-downstairs/