We hit the ground running to find a house after our wedding in June & found “the one” just a few weeks later. As most of you know, the housing market has been insane these days so we had to act fast. We found the house on Zillow in the morning of July 9th, arranged to see it later that afternoon, and made an offer the next morning which was accepted later that afternoon. We closed on August 12th and were officially moved in by August 19th. We still had our apartment through the end of the month so we were able to make some improvements without all of our furniture in the way.
A little background: The house was built in 1952 but has been taken care of & is in good shape. It also has a lot of character which makes it interesting. It has two bedrooms & one bathroom on the main floor. There is a half bathroom in the basement which is super nice to have. The upstairs is a dormer so it is all one room.
The weekend that we closed on the house, we painted FIVE rooms (including ceilings), TWO hallways, and the trim/doors. I also painted our front door turquoise before we put the new locks on.
Our living room was an awful cream/taupe color with a burnt orange accent wall. We went with a light gray that almost looks lavender or light blue in certain lighting. For the trim, we went with a super bright white as it was more of a cream color before.
The hallway was a light peach color so we also painted it light gray with the bright white trim to match the living room. We have a double hallway— the hallway with the cabinet connects the living room to the kitchen. There is also a door which goes upstairs into the dormer. The second hallway connects the two bedrooms & bathrooms. The built in cabinet is probably one of my favorite parts of the entire house!
The bathroom was baby blue which wasn’t an awful color but we decided to go with navy after seeing some ‘nautical’ themes on Pinterest. The vanity was also a complete makeover– we painted it bright white, found a sink for $13 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, replaced the faucet, and added new knobs to the cabinets.
The kitchen was light gray, similar to the color we chose for the living room but whoever painted it did an awful job. I’m not sure if they painted it quickly before putting it on the market or what because you could see the previous color underneath + there were so many missed spots. Before we found this house, we toured one that had mint green cabinets & I was obsessed. I wanted our future kitchen to look like that! While we decided to keep our cabinets white, we went with mint green for the walls!
The main bedroom on the first floor was the ugliest shade of brown I’ve ever seen & needed to be painted right away. We decided to go with a medium blue with bright white trim. I’m not sure how to describe the blue as it’s not like a royal blue but it’s also not turquoise. (Sorry for the awful lighting– the picture makes it look dark green but it’s actually a bright blue!)
Finally, the basement! The previous color was brown, similar to the bedroom. We wanted a lighter color as there are only a few small windows but it didn’t quite turn out as light as I thought it was going to be. Since this was the last room we painted, I was pretty tired by then & didn’t even want to bother with figuring out another color.
We have a spare bedroom that we haven’t made any updates yet. The walls are light gray which I actually like but there are a lot of holes that need to be filled & scuffs from where they had furniture. The upstairs is kind of a caramel brown color which also needs to be painted someday. The previous owners used it as their master bedroom but we are using it as an office/storage so we don’t spend much time up there.
Some other updates we’ve made:
- Added a ceiling fan for our bedroom — still need to paint the ceiling where the previous light fixture was.
- Installed a new dishwasher — the previous one was a piece of junk & we had to hand wash all of our dishes.
- Replaced the kitchen faucet — the previous one was plastic & super flimsy.
- Installed a garage door opener — this was probably one of the best updates we made! Even though we have to park our cars tandem (and they have to be touching so they both fit), it has been worth it so that we don’t have scrape ice or brush snow off our cars in the morning.
Those are some of the smaller things that we wanted to do right away. We have a few more updates that we would like to make at some point. These are just a few things I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure there are plenty of other things we could change!
- Landscaping. I do not have a green thumb nor do I have the patience to do this. The front & side of our house needs some work!
- Level & re-finish the back part of our kitchen. We believe that the breakfast nook area used to be a porch that they enclosed at some point. There is a small drop off from the kitchen & it slopes downward towards the back door. There is also a huge gap in between the screen door & the rest of the frame. Personally, I hate the breakfast nook table and I can probably count on one hand the number of times that we’ve sat down at it for a meal. I would love to replace it with a real table somehow. In order to make more room, one of the kitchen walls would probably need to go.
- New floor & counter tops for the kitchen. Simply put, both are ugly. They have seen their day & need to be replaced. We also need to get rid of that ceiling fan! We still have the original exhaust fan above the stove which is SO loud & not very efficient. So, I can see why the previous owners added a ceiling fan.
- New light fixtures for the bathroom, hallway, and kitchen. The light bar in the bathroom needs to go! And I’m thinking about putting a small chandelier in the hallway if we can find a small one that can be anchored closer to the ceiling.
- Water Softener. This would make a huge difference with our hair, skin, basically everything! I have definitely felt the effects of hard water this past winter so I think this is something that we definitely need to look into getting before next winter.
- Update basement. Only half of the basement is finished which is fine but we would like to maybe add a bar to one area. And also re-finish the bathroom.
Buying a house was a scary & stressful process but I feel like it has been worth it. It’s so nice to have our OWN space where we can do whatever we want. And have a dog! 🙂 Now that the weather is getting nice again, maybe we will get to work on some of the projects I listed above which I plan to document on here. Tell me about your home buying experience. Or any updates that you’ve made in your house!