We’ve moved into our own home! Actually, we’ll have been here almost three months by the time you read this. As you can see from the photos below, we’re still living around quite a lot of boxes, but the house is looking a lot better than it used to! Read on for some photos of what it used to look like and what it looked like when we moved in + the work we’ve done so far and what is still to come!
A few “before” photos
We officially bought the house in the very first days of 2020, but we first saw it in September 2019. It’s a terraced house in a quiet location, with many things accessible on foot (lots of paths and “snickets” merge near our house). It’s at the end of the street and has a primary school behind it. The location is great, but to be honest the other thing that was great about it was the price.
At the time we were looking into mortgages, we weren’t the “ideal applicants”. The Man is self-employed and I receive a PhD scholarship, but through a mortgage broker “even we” managed to get a mortgage! Anyhoo, we looked at a few houses, but this one stood out because we could get it for less, given all the “modernisation” work it needed. See for yourself in the photos below!
The renovation work so far
Even though the house was in need of a bit of love, it had “good bones”. The area downstairs is reasonably large (for a terraced house), there’s a sunny garden and three bedrooms upstairs. We* did quite a bit of work to get it from house to home though, and it’s still ongoing.
* I’m using the word “we”, but, to be fair, most of the work was done by The Man and his dad, while I looked after Baby J. I would have liked to be more involved, but strangely enough, babies don’t look after themselves while their parents work on projects!
Downstairs is where the biggest transformations happened. We (again, not really me haha):
- Took the wall down that was between the kitchen and the lounge, making the entire area open-plan. That way, it’s much easier to look after Baby J while doing something in the kitchen. Also, in the flat we lived in before, when we had people over, there was often one of us “trapped” in the kitchen preparing things while everyone else was in another room, so we wanted to avoid that.
- Added a downstairs toilet. Well, it’s not so much a toilet right now as a room that will eventually have a toilet. The little room also creates two “nooks” in the open-plan space, so that where the sofas / the dining table are feel cosier.
- Took the “old” ceiling down and put a new ceiling up with downlights: it makes the space feel lovely and bright.
- Ripped up the existing carpet and vinyl, and installed pale laminate flooring throughout. I ordered so many flooring samples… And I’m very happy with the one we chose! You can get a sneak peek below.
- Got rid of the old kitchen and put a temporary one in its place.
The main changes upstairs were cosmetic, in the sense that we didn’t take any walls out, ha! Three things made a big difference though:
- Ripping out the old bathroom. It was dated and I get freaked out about certain hygiene things, so I wanted it gone from the beginning. But what pushed The Man into going along with this was discovering that the toilet was leaking and that it wasn’t an easy fix. We were super lucky to score an ex-display bath and basin + toilet unit for much cheaper than market price. The Man and his dad also tiled the walls in two-tone green (it looks better than it sounds!).
- Painting the walls. They are all white, with the exception of a green feature wall in Baby J’s room. It made the rooms feel fresher and cleaner.
- Getting new carpet and bathroom flooring. The upstairs used to have different carpets in the rooms and now we have the same grey carpet throughout. It’s a nice thick pile and feels lovely underfoot! We went for vinyl “stone effect” flooring in the bathroom, to have a classic look, but without the coldness of tile. (I get cold feet very easily!)
A sneak-peek at what it looked like when we moved in
I haven’t taken many photos of the house in the past couple months, so here’s an idea of what it looked like at the beginning, boxes and all. Check out my Instagram for up-to-date photos soon!
Our future home improvement plans
- The biggest (and most expensive) outstanding project is to fit the “final” kitchen. The Man and his dad put in a temporary, pre-loved kitchen that works and is cleaner than the original one. But it’s not quite my aesthetic and it leaves the downstairs space feeling a bit “unfinished”. We’re hoping to have a breakfast bar too, which be great when the kiddos are older. We’re currently thinking of having slate grey shaker cabinets below, with (fake haha) butcher block counters and white cupboards above. Check out some of my two-tone kitchen inspiration here (you might need to scroll a bit as I do enjoy pinning beautiful interiors).
- As mentioned above, we currently have the room that will house the downstairs toilet, but no toilet itself. I’m thinking of going for a blue-tone backdrop behind the toilet and some more rustic / coastal details in there. If you haven’t read my decor inspiration post, check it out here!
- The rest of the changes are more decor than renovation. I’d like to hang a big world map that I’ve been carrying around with me for years in the lounge. I’m still toying with the idea of a feature wall (dark blue? emerald green?) where the television will one day be. We don’t currently have a television so there’s no rush! It would also be nice to get a pendant light for the dining room, as our downlights are lovely and bright in the daytime, but sometimes a bit much in the evening. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect rattan statement pendant though!
There’s actually not much to be done upstairs now.
- There’s still some grouting to be done in the bathroom: so that we can put a mirror above the basin and so that the side of the bath can be tiled.
- I’d like to have a full-length mirror on the landing, so I can actually see if what I’m wearing makes sense, ha!
- The office could do with a good tidy, as it’s become a bit of a dumping ground for bits and bobs. We need to replace one of the chairs as it takes up a lot of the space in this small room! I’d also like to have some curtains, which will soften the room and help with sound quality when I eventually start my podcast. Join my newsletter here to be the first to know when that is!
- One big thing that is going to happen soonish is having matching doors in all rooms and handles on all doors! Currently, the office and Baby J’s room don’t have a door and our bedroom and the porch don’t have handles. The doors are already here, but we need the deluge to stop so that The Man can cut them to the right size outside. If you can recommend any simple brass handles, please share in the comments!
- The walls along the staircase still need painting (as they look a bit shabby right now) and then that will be the last area to be carpeted. We could have them all white or have the bit of wall under the handrail a blue colour – what do you think?
- A longer-term project (that I don’t feel motivated to tackle now that the weather has turned very hum autumnal) is improving the front of the house and the back garden. Our little home could currently do with a bit more curb appeal: think cracked concrete with various plants poking through. The garden at the back has a lot of potential, but is equally “shaggy” right now. The Man would like a shed and I would like a Santorini-inspired patio area and some wilderness beyond. Check out my garden Pinterest board and then use your imagination!
So there you have it: the journey our little house has been on and what is still to come! Do you have your own place? What are your decoration / renovation plans? Tell me in the comments below!
I’ve probably forgotten certain things because there’s so much! But you can catch up with how the renovation is progressing and our home life over on Instagram – I’m @jlgoodenough! If you liked this blog post, you might like the one about my overall inspiration for our home’s decoration – check it out here!