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Our First Home

Our first home was a new construction Craftsman cottage style home in a suburb just North of Denver and just East of Boulder. The 1868 square foot, two story, three bedroom home served us well for 6 years. Over the course of 6 years we worked hard to make hand-me-downs our own and add lived-in, well loved charm to our builder-basic home. We also brought home a puppy and two babies to that house. We renovated our builder grade kitchen, painted just about everything, added board and batten to the nursery and loved every square inch of that house. In June of 2013, we sold our first home and moved to a new house house just a few minutes from our old one. Our new house has a little more room for our family to roam and a bigger backyard, but is in need of some cottage charm. We hope you’ll follow along as we make our new house our family’s home. For a “before” house tour of our new house, click here.


Our First Home

Mr. B and I fell in love with this Craftsman Cottage the second we pulled up to the curb – the gray, shingled and board and batten exterior reminded me of houses on Cape Cod and the front porch just felt like home. We moved in in July of 2007 and quickly made it our own little urban cottage.


As you walk through the front door of our house you see our great room – half dining room, half living room to the left and our home office/playroom through an archway on the right.

The office was always a transition zone – half office, half play room. It was never the best looking office, but it served its multi-functions well.

Dining Room:

Living Room:

Just off the great room is our kitchen and the staircase to the second floor – the stairs come down into the back of the house rather than meeting you at the front of the house. I call it our “back staircase”, when in reality, it’s our only staircase. Such a romantic.

At the bottom of the stairs, just off the living room and between the living room and the kitchen is our breakfast nook. We recently installed the banquette seating to add softness and color to the room.

The Kitchen was my labor of love in the summer of 2011 – when we moved in we had dark “walnut” cabinets and beige (that read pink) laminate counter tops. It was fine for awhile, but it wasn’t my dream kitchen. So lots of DIY white cabinet paint, a Silestone counter top install, a DIY subway tile backsplash installand some curtain sewing later, I had my favorite kind of kitchen – bright and white.

This is what our kitchen looked like when we moved into the house in 2007:

Upstairs we have a laundry room, three bedrooms and two full baths.

The master bedroom is on your right as you get to the top of the stairs.  Learn more about the DIY Upholstered Headboard.

If you exit our bedroom and look to your right, there’s a small laundry room:

Across the landing from the master bedroom, next to the laundry room, is the Board and Batten Nursery.

When we were expecting Thomas, I was craving a simple brown and white nursery. We wanted this room to be gender neutral and themeless while working with the overall craftsman cottage feel of the house, so we chose to install board and batten two-thirds of the way up the walls, and painted the top third Behr’s Chocolate Swirl. A dark wood crib, an antique dresser for a changing table, and the rocking chair my mom rocked me to sleep in rounded out the furniture – very simple, but very me circa 2010.

When Nell was born in June 2012, we decided to keep this room as the nursery and move Thomas to the room down the hall. But I wanted more color for our second baby. I chose a somewhat gender neutral turquoise, orange and brown color scheme and added more touches to feminize the room after Nell was born and we learned we had a daughter. Read more about the Board and Batten Nursery: Take 2.
Down the hall from the nursery is the kid’s bath.
At the back of the house, next to the kid’s bathroom and down the hall from the nursery, is Thomas’s “Vintage Boy’s room” – previously our guest room.

Our Christmas Loot

I refuse Christmas/Birthday combined gifts with the exception of my those from my friend Emily – she’s in the same birthday boat as I am, and she also is an incredible gift giver, so she gets to bend the rules. I also don’t accept birthday gifts wrapped in Christmas paper. Well, I might accept them, but I’ll wrap your June birthday gift in Ho Ho Ho wrapping paper just to retaliate. I might sing Christmas carols instead of “Happy Birthday”, too. I’m brutal. But I digress…

Anyway, at one point I mentioned to B that a DSLR camera might be the only exception he will ever be given to the no combined gifts rule. But then the economy went down the tubes, and we decided we wouldn’t do gifts. Then I got laid off and quickly found a job, and we had a very small severance check that we wouldn’t be relying on after all for living expenses – so we bought each other a new mattress. And then B went shopping. What?! We already bought our gift for each other. Listening is not his thing. I’m so glad, because I got this little beauty!

I thought about not mentioning the camera on the blog, because you’d expect my photos to be, at the very least, not crooked anymore. But, we’ve established numerous times that I’m not perfect, so crooked but crisper photos are coming your way in 2009 – once I figure out which switch turns the camera on.

My parents gave me this coat from LL Bean (my favorite place to buy outdoor gear after spending summers in Maine) so that I would walk Casco (named after my favorite place in Maine – there’s a theme in our house) in the winter. Therefore, it was mostly a gift for B, but I’m very excited about the goose down warmth.

And when I realized B went shopping for me, I went shopping for him and got him exactly what he wanted– no surprises, I like practical gifts. I also like healthy teeth. This thing is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. B brushes his teeth 5 times a day now. Seriously, you need this tooth brush.
Here’s to bright white teeth for all those crooked pictures in 2009! Oh, and if you see Mr. B at the mall between now and my birthday, remind him that he’s already given me a birthday gift and send him home – he might be just a little, tiny bit nervous about my true reaction to a combined gift on my actual birthday based on past birthday run-ins.