Hey all! So as you know, I recently bought my first house, and before we moved in we spent some time repainting and really making it our own. I’ve had a couple of people suggest I blog about how I approached designing my first home, and according to my poll you guys would be interested in hearing about it as well. I am by no means a design/rennovation/DIY blogger, but I figure hey, I didn’t know how to be a health blogger either until I started, so what better way to learn than by doing, right?
I’d link to some of the interior design blogs I love here, but I don’t want to set your expectations too high. 😉 I’ll include some links at the end, though.
P.S. – the title of this mini-series will be “DoILookSick Does Interior Design.” It’s a boring title unless you sing it.
Anywho, on with my home makeover!
So our amazing agent found us an amazing house. We had a very constrained budget because getting a loan when you’re a young buck is impossible, and our agent convinced us to take a look at a townhouse. I was picturing this:
And I was very against it. I hated living in apartments and I needed SPACE. NO people sharing walls or doors or buildings. I vowed never to live in apartments (or similar) again. To my surprise, however, not all townhomes are like this. The home we bought is in a small neighborhood (about a block) of mini houses with mini yards. The houses were built so efficiently that they don’t feel “mini” at all – and this is coming from a very privileged little girl who grew up in a four bedroom three bath dream home. Nothing is attached and I never hear a peep out of my neighbors. It was absolutely perfect for us.
My husband and I are very artistic types who love a good DIY project, and we couldn’t wait to dive in and make our house all our own. Incidentally this is a good time to mention how highly I recommend buying a new home with a Home Depot a block away.
When we bought our house, we loved it. But there were a few problems. The first was the living room.
It’s not that I didn’t like the color…
There was just so much of it!
But the orange seemed like part of the house’s personality. Plus, as my girlfriends said, at least it was a “nice pumpkin color” instead of…I dunno, traffic cone. When we get to the kitchen post, you’ll see that the previous home owners didn’t choose very subtle color schemes.
So we decided to paint some of the walls white, and leave some orange. Now that I read so many blogs on chemical illnesses, I made sure to research and find the least toxic brand – turned out the Home Depot Behr brand is actually pretty safe as far as paints go. The room is still very orange, so I can’t quite say that orange is our accent color. It’s still very dominant. Here’s a before and after:
We also loved the chair rail, and it was my mom who suggested that that was a great opportunity to add another color to the room, so we chose a nice neutral tan color called “desert” I think.
The last problem was the stairwell. The dark brown the previous owners chose ties in to the loft room upstairs, but I felt that it was making our already tiny stairway seem very cave-like. A nice thick coat of white opened it right up.
It was also great fun finding homes for our extensive collection of wall art. Our aparement walls were basically plastered. It was nice to have space to let everything be seen. These Broadway posters were actually donated to us by the Dallas Summer Musicals to use for our wedding, which we had in a theater. We had to get rid of most of the posters but kept our favorites.
Hanging art was another great way to tone down the orangeness.
These belong to my actor husband – all signed by the entire cast of each show. I wish we could do this for every show he’s in, but it’s actually pretty difficult to orchestrate. I think we had to end up stealing that Snoopy poster…
Not sure how well you can see, but in the top corner of the celling over the wood panel there we had to patch up a huge hole. I was really worried about the whole thing, but a little Spackle and you can hardly tell there was ever an issue.
Of course, all our toys and books really made it feel like home. We love our “portrait,” which was done at The Magic Time Machine. The tiger pictures also have a funny story – we each had a framed picture of tiger art in our bedrooms growing up – totally random. But I love displaying them together. And the “love” vase on the mantle is actually or memory jar for our first year in our first home – we write down memories and we’ll read them all on New Years Eve.
My parents actually gave us most of our furniture. Everything except the coffee table was from my childhood – things that have since been updated and replaced, but that they couldn’t just part with.
I love that heart banner – they’re all chalkboard, so we can change out the message. Dudley is, of course, our new doggie. He’s doing better, though we’re still trying to find the right mix of pain meds for him. Poor guy. I can relate to him so much. We’re looking for a physical therapy place for him to do the underwater treadmill thing to help him build some strength in that leg – and this is totally possible thanks to your guys’ donations, which we can’t thank you enough for.
Of course, the perfect finishing touch for any home is a good ‘ol dog.
So yeah, it was all pretty simple really as far as the living room goes. Mostly painting and decorating. But it really made a huge difference! In my next posts, you’ll see it wasn’t always such simple solutions…
So there we go! My first homeowner blog post! What did you guys think? Was it inspiring? Fun to read? Interesting? Any changes you’d like to see for my future posts? Let me know in the comments!
Oh, and as promised: my favorite home design blog is Slim Paley. She’s a guru of style.