Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Every Tuesday for the next couple months I'll be sharing a different room in my home with this blog as a way to force myself to create a comprehensive home tour page.

I have to preface by saying am FAR from a professional decorator and our home still has a long way to go before I'd consider it finished (if a home ever is finished), but we are gradually working to update these spaces one at a time. There are so many incredible spaces around the web, I almost don't feel like I deserve to post these photos for folks to look at, but when I put the pictures side by side from our move in day in March of 2012 I am amazed with the progress we've made.

I'll explain in detail here what we have done so far, and you can check the home tour link to see what projects I still have in mind for each space.

Our front door opens directly in to the staircase to the second floor in our Cape Cod style home, so we really have no "entry way" to speak of. You can see in the image above that the stairs look dramatically different, which was high on our list of things to complete before even moving in, but we've made a lot more changes in this area as well.

You can see in the picture above that we removed the original handrail and fashioned something a little more sturdy and aesthetically pleasing, along with baseboard up the stairs and new paint. Below are a couple projects that were labor heavy that I actually got pictures of.

After we closed on the house we primed and painted every. single. room. along with the ceilings. When we were frustrated with the painting project we would take it out on the tile that someone laid directly over the hardwood in this entry. It was a cathartic process, and one that took some time.

We also had all of the floors in the entire house refinished (by a professional, thank goodness), but we did all of the prep and finish work ourselves. Below is the staircase transformation. We painted the risers with deck and porch paint in Swiss Coffee by Kelly Moore to match the trim in the rest of the house. It took many, many hours to fill decades of staple holes and imperfections on the risers with wood putty and sand it all down flush, and to this day it's not perfect, but it's come a long way.

Another big change from move in day was the addition of a gallery wall going up the staircase. I absolutely love it and check out the pictures almost every time I go up the stairs (yup, I'm narcissistic that way).

The frames are a combination of 5x7 and 8x10 matted RIBBAs from Ikea, some 8x10 thrift store frames that I spray painted gloss black, and some 11x14 black and white prints on wood that I snagged from KodakGallery when they were going out of business (Shutterfly now offers something similar). I like that there is some variety, but it's not too hodge podge.

Along with pictures with family and friends, I've been working on collecting a few other types of mementos from our travels, which I've highlighted below.

I hope to keep collecting unique pieces as we visit new places and have new experiences.

Below is a close up on a part of the wall. The close up pic of McKinney is inspired by one I am constantly drawn to in the Pottery Barn catalogs. I couldn't find it today on their site, but it was always in their decor displays a year or so ago... does anyone know which one I'm talking about?

Upstairs the master bedroom sits to the left, and there is a second small bedroom to the right. Ryan loves it when I call it the nursery, but it's currently holding some workout equipment. A small upstairs bat sits in between, and that blank wall directly at the top calls to me every time I climb the stairs. I hear it whispering "paint me, add some art, change the fixture... pleeease."

The refinished floors are more dramatic in the picture below, and you can get a glimpse of the baseboard we added everywhere in the house to replace the narrow wood toned base that was original to the 1955 build. We decided at the time to keep the wood toned wall treatment that is also original, but gave it a fresh coat of Kelly Moore's Snip of Tannin. I like that the wall has some fun texture, but I'd love to do something different to it someday... I love this and this in particular!

Since we don't have an actual entry, the credenza in the pic below often serves as a drop zone for mail, coats, bags etc. It's also the place that I pile things that need to go upstairs on my next trip up. It came from my grandmother's home when she passed away a couple years ago (a lot of our furniture was actually handed down to us at that point) and it fits the nine foot wall like a glove! The top was originally a black laminate, but I had glass panels custom cut to go on top, and I put wallpaper under the glass for a custom look that is easily changeable with the seasons!

At the far wall you can see a thrifted bamboo table that I plan to someday update with some paint. It holds a wedding photo and an organic shaped glass vase from the World Market. The painting that hangs above it is of the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach (the place where we took our engagement photos). It was a wedding gift from Ryan's Uncle, who is an incredibly talented painter.

Here's one more progress shot for you, and a last before. It's fun to see how far we've come

Check out the rest of my home tour here, along with a laundry list of the things we've completed, and projects we'd like to tackle in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

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