New House Tour: Before

Update: I’m posting pictures of projects in progress on Instagram, follow me there if you’re interested!

We’re getting settled slowly but surely in the new house. We’ll be arranging and rearranging furniture for a long time, painting room by room to make the house ours, and making other changes, but I thought I’d check in with a quick photo tour of the house as it stood on moving day. The house is in great shape, other than needing to be painted outside and have new paint inside – which I would do anyway because I like a fresh start – there will just be cosmetic changes throughout the next few years. I’ll talk you through those in the tour.

The things that sold the house for us: the layout (more on that throughout the tour), the kitchen layout and potential, the 4th bedroom, the awesome backyard and the oversized garage. Those were the things B and I said we had to have to leave our beloved first home, and this house delivered.

When you walk into the house, the living room is to your right and the dining room is to your left. That’s how our awesome real estate agent found this house for us – one of my requests (not a deal breaker, but a preferred) was that the living room and dining room not be stacked one in front of the other. I grew up in a house where the living and dining rooms were across from each other, and I’ve always loved that layout, so when I walked into this house and the living room wasn’t stacked right in front of the dining room, I knew that this house had potential for us.

Here’s the tour, fair warning – these pictures were taken in the midst of moving in, so everything is in chaos.

Living Room:

Immediate Plans: New Curtains

Plans for Soon: Our furniture from the old house will be in here once we get new furniture for the family room.

Eventually: Paint this room along with the rest of the house. There are a lot of neutrals, and I would like them to eventually be the same neutral, but this room will probably be a last priority paint wise.

Dining Room:

Immediate Plans: Paint (already in progress)

Plans for Soon: New Light Fixture

As you walk back from the living room, there’s a set of stairs to your left (you can see the beginning of them in the picture above). Behind the stairs is the two- story family room.

Family Room:

Immediate Plans: Paint, paint, paint.

Plans for Soon: Furniture purchase.

Eventually: I’d like to eventually redo the fireplace/TV wall. Add built-ins, drywall over the late 90s niche, build a more substantial mantle. I have a picture of it in my head, but I’m sure this is low on the totem pole in terms of spending of money and time.




Right behind the family room is the kitchen. I love the kitchen – and I know I’ll love it even more when I get a paint brush in my hand.

Immediate Plans: Paint the green and brown.

Plans for soon: Buy counter height barstools.

Eventually: Paint the cabinets white and install molding on the island.

Breakfast Nook (everyone say “Hi” to Caroline in the photo below):

Immediate Plans: Paint the green.

Plans for Soon: New light fixture and window treatments. Maybe a piece of furniture for the bay window to help balance the room a bit. We’ll figure it out.

Eventual Plans: Replace the slider with french doors or at least a more functional slider.


Turn around from the kitchen and you’ll see the big brown (soon to be neutral) fireplace wall. Behind that wall is the office which we’ll use as a combo office/playroom:

Immediate Plans: None

Plans for Soon: Paint and furniture layout.

Half Bath

At the end of the hallway that leads to the office is a small half bath:

Immediate Plans: Paint

Eventually: Woodwork or Molding

Up the stairs, there are three bedrooms and a hall bath, a long hallway, and the master bedroom and bathroom.

Bedroom 1 (will be a guest room for now):

Immediate Plans: Paint!


Bedroom 2 (T picked this room):

Immediate Plans: Paint

Plans for soon: Window Trim/Molding, Curtains


Hall Bath

Between those two bedrooms (to the left when you get up the stairs) and Nell’s room is a hall bath:

Immediate Plans: Switch out towel bar for hooks

Plans for soon: Paint and new vanity light.

Eventually: Maybe some woodwork? We’ll see.

Bedroom 3 (Nell’s Room):

Immediate Plans: Paint

Plans for soon: New curtains and fabric for window seat.

Plans for eventually: Continue the beadboard from the buillt-ins under the chair rail or install board and batten at 3/4 height.


Immediate Plans: Paint (less immediate than the rest of the house, but fairly soon)

Eventual Plans: Replace the sconce.

Here’s the other side of the hallway – the view of the family room below (it’s not as death defying as this makes it look, I promise).

And at the end of that hallway is the master bedroom and bathroom:

Immediate Plans: Not much

Plans for soon: Paint

Eventually: Window Treatments/Woodwork.

Plans: I’ll definitely paint the cabinetry and mechanical doors to the tub and change out the vanity light. We’re going to save to replace the carpet with heated tile – hopefully in the next year, depending on how well we save. This is one we’ll hire out, I’ve tiled before, and don’t want to tile again 🙂 We’ll also look into replacing the shower door at that time, and maybe redoing everything – the counter tops, tile, etc. But definitely the carpet will go – and the rest will depend on our budget.


Plans: None right now


Pretty much the number one reason we bought the house (this is a good size yard for a newer build in Colorado, so while it’s not big by East Coast standards, we’re pretty psyched about it!

Plans: B is in the process of installing rubber edging topper to protect Casco’s paws and kid feet, and we planted tomatoes and basil on the side of the yard (not pictured), otherwise no plans except eventually sanding and re-staining the playground.


So, that’s the new house as it stands today. We plan to be here for a long time: B accepted a promotion that will keep him working in Boulder for awhile, and regardless of where his office is, our location halfway between Boulder and Denver is perfect for the electrical industry in Colorado for B’s career and the tech industry in Colorado for my career. The new neighborhood is strong and has great amenities – a pool and golf course – and we hand picked this section of the neighborhood because of the top rated elementary school, so we’ll take our time and do things right. I’m tempted to replace molding like baseboards and install craftsman trim around doors and windows as we go room to room. The outside needs to be painted, so that will be a priority in the next year. There will be lots of little changes to make this the home our children will grow up in. I’ll be back – probably this week – with a painted dining room update. And after the dining room’s painted, I’m in full kid birthday party mode.


  1. Love! Can’t wait to see what you do.

  2. It looks fabulous! I can’t wait to see it as you get more moved in! And really, why does anyone put carpet in their bathrooms????

  3. Gorgeous, Emily!! I love all of the plans that you have. You have a true gift for unifying a house and making it your own styles. I can’t wait to see it as it progresses!

  4. It looks great!!! I’m so excited for you guys!!! And suuuuper jealous of that backyard. So beautifully finished!

  5. i love it so much!! you can totally see what great potential it has. one of my biggest desires for our next house is a living room/kitchen setup like you have – where you can keep an eye on the kids while in the kitchen and feel like everyone is all together. and that backyard is fantastic!! i love that it’s so nicely done already – not a whole lot you have to put into it (and awesome playset!). anyway, so happy for you guys – can’t wait to see how it goes – totally giving me moving envy! i love the idea of a fresh start 🙂

  6. that is one awesome backyard. Can you invite me over for a BBQ?


    I am OBSESSED with this house. It has so much space and potential and I just love it! I also love the dining/living room separation in the front and the kitchen is so cool. I also like all the built-ins throughout, how nice to already have some interest and storage.

    Finally, the backyard? I’m digging it so much. Do the kiddos love it?

    Congrats on your new home. It is so cool!

  8. Oh, Em, this house is AMAZING! And the YARD! Great work! I can’t wait to see how all your plans come together.

  9. What a great house! I love seeing the befores and what you guys are thinking. My parent’s house has a similar 2 story family room and they love the set up!

  10. Danielle says:

    1. That yard is HUGE and amazing.
    2. Love the builtins in Nell’s room.
    3. A fireplace in the playroom/office? That is awesome.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys do with it. Good luck with all the painting! We have one room left in our house and I’m sort of dreading it. I must admit that we hired someone to paint a few rooms in our house prior to moving in and it totally saved my sanity.