It’s fun to reflect on all we’ve accomplished. Life certainly isn’t always an image of a perfect before and after, but they sure do feel good… even if they just show progress.
As our home has evolved this before and after post has, too! I like to update it each year with new projects and home decor ideas.
Recently, I was featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, highlighting our home. It seemed like a good time to update our full before and after tour with our most recent changes.
We are in the midst of updating our basement and bathroom, and also planning an exterior remodel. Stay tuned! Until then, I hope you enjoy this little tour of our humble home.
You’ll find some new, never-before-seen photos and angles of our home, and an updated family photo so you can see how the girls have grown!
Can you believe the difference in the photo above, compared to the original one below? It’s such a thrill to watch them grow and change.
It’s been seven years since we moved to our Tudor style home in St. Louis… even as I type those words I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by! While the style wasn’t our dream house, it has become home and I love it more and more everyday.
Over the past couple of years we’ve done a lot of projects, big and small to adapt our home to fit our lifestyle and aesthetic. There are still a lot of projects to do, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to do a quick before and after to remind myself that it was worth it!
Curb Appeal for the Exterior
Where to start? The exterior! I couldn’t bring myself to paint the brick yet (always considering it though, especially after watching this White Brick House makeover), so I embraced it with a muted color palette.
The spring blooms just might be my favorite, though the fall colors are difficult to beat through the diamond paned windows.
The front porch has unexpected charm with a pebble porch. Soon we’ll replace the front door – I can hardly wait.
The entry was so dark with light blocked in every direction. We removed the closet to make the living room appear larger and to allow the light to shine through.
We replaced the slate with hardwood floors and removed the carpet on the stairs replacing it. At some point, we’ll likely add a stair runner but it hasn’t happened yet.
The entry along with most of the main level, was painted in Sherwin Williams Zurich White. The popcorn ceilings were removed and we also replaced the light fixture with a brass flush mount.
As you can see, our entryway is now a wide open space, with views into several rooms of our home. It feels bright and light, giving glimpses of a variety of spaces.
I hope it’s also warm and welcoming to guests… that’s always the goal!
The half bath initially felt cramped and the toilet position felt more like a throne.
We relocated the toilet, added botanical art (replaced by a wreath for holidays), painted, added hardwood floors and made the space feel more open with a Parisian sink.
You can get all the details about our half bath here.
The office is the first space you see off our entryway. This may surprise you, but an orange room with a chalkboard mounted taxidermy isn’t really my thing.
We discovered parquet wood floors underneath (find out if you have wood floors) but they were damaged when carpet was installed so we opted to continue our hardwoods into the office as well.
The office is now a calm, functional space filled with traditional decor.
PS, this navy blue piece of furniture was painted without sanding! It’s the ultimate trick that I have used again and again!
The girls call it the library, because it’s where the majority of their books reside and they snuggle up on the sofa to read.
We replaced the blinds with bamboo shades, the grates in the doors were removed, painted and replaced carpet with hardwood. You can see the result below!
I incorporated my Grandmother’s Linen Cabinet that had been passed down multiple generations.
My Great Grandmother’s piano is a family room fixture as well. The fiddle leaf fig brings the room to life.
The Pet Friendly Rug now sets the foundation for this space. It’s incredibly soft and wipes or hoses clean, while offering the appearance of a natural sisal or jute rug.
Screened in Porch
Our Dining Room had an awkward 60’s window – I wasn’t sure how to make it work. Ultimately I repurposed existing linen panels using a custom brass curtain rod to define the window.
Fresh paint, a beautiful brass light fixture, wood floors and my Grandma’s dining room furniture completed the space.
The Breakfast Nook has really evolved since we purchased the home seven years ago. We redefined it, added light, painted, replaced the floors and added shadow bow molding for character.
The above photo is one of my favorites of the breakfast room that was taken for a Halloween party but the photo below shows the subtle details we added when we redefined the space.
And my favorite, you can see it decorated with Christmas Arrangements!
Here’s how the space looks today… bright and refreshed and ready for guests. I’m looking for new chairs for this room, any great ideas?
I’d also like to update the artwork in this space, but I’m playing around with different ideas to see how they will work. Here, I’ve moved this pretty piece into the space (find it in my shop) and I love the soft touch of color it brings over the dramatic black and white cow print.
The kitchen has certainly evolved. Originally we updated the kitchen to work with the oak cabinets. The first image below is the before…
Just to the left is the bar area.
Even the cabinet interiors received makeovers. You can learn how to organize a Kitchen Pantry here!
and our Refrigerator Organization has made packing school lunches a breeze!
The small Powder Room felt so tight with a deep garage sink and counters that extended over the sink and the toilet.
I utilized several tricks to make the space look and appear larger. Since it’s in the mudroom and primarily used by kids I also implemented a few features to make it easy to maintain.
You can read (in the link above) to learn more and see a video tour. This is the current view of this space, it’s always fairly calm and super functional for our family as it leads to the garage and backyard of our home.
The mudroom also felt dark and tight. We opened it up, added character and made it easier to clean – and keep our home clean. You can see the before photos below.
Hard to believe this is the same view of our mudroom! Visit the post to get all the details!
The garage reeked of smoke and when we moved in. After weeks of airing it out, we still struggled to get rid of the smell. You can learn How to Get Smoke Smell Out of a House here if you’ve struggled with the same.
We also moved in fast and furious with construction soon to follow. This left us with a disastrous garage until we implemented storage systems like this Outdoor Running Closet.
But this is still my favorite Garage Organization project!
Side Entry and Rear Exterior
Even the side entrance received a little makeover. I failed to take a before shot, but this “before” back view of the home gives a little perspective.
In addition to painting the exterior, we retained the light fixture (for now) and door and updated the hardware. It’s amazing what a difference simple tweaks can make.
The garage exterior is the first thing you see as you come around the bend down our street. It stood out – but not in a positive way.
Painting it in a monotone color with a muted roof really elevated it. For true tudor style, we incorporated copper lanterns.
The living room is small, which presented a number of challenges. The fireplace felt dated and the wet bar was an unnecessary use of space. Even Ani was unsure.
We opened up the wall where the bar once stood, used paint, hardwood floors and molding to create a timeless space. You can see more of this Neutral Living Room here.
Oh, and don’t forget the Samsung Frame TV. It might just be the best thing that ever happened to our living room!
The Basement and Basement Stairs updates were both functional and inexpensive. We are currently overhauling the basement with a drywall ceiling, can lights, new windows and floors (we ripped out cabinets and bars) and a new bath.
This stair runner project cost just $300!
After our basement flooded last year, we did another update with a little paint and easy to clean LVP floors it felt like a new space! We painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee and it’s feeling like a fresh and fun clean slate.
I can’t wait to show you the next update after we finish the basement bath and bar area.
The Linen Closet was a quick and easy update that maximized function. You can get all the details of how I pare down, what I store in there and the inexpensive labels used by visiting the post.
The hall bath (which the girls share) needed a lot of help! It wasn’t even close to code, soffits made it feel small and had two showers!
We turned it into a Spa Bath – the girls use it daily and it doubles as a guest bath!
The girls have now switched rooms and each have been redecorated to suit their age. I’m long overdue in sharing them! This is Ani’s previous room before and after.
Here’s a sneak peek of her new room:
Below, you can see the space before we bought the house and a glimpse of her six years ago when we first redid this space.
When we changed it into a sweet pale pink little girl’s room, I cut down a console table to make a desk that doubles as a side table. Just above it I added a little custom word art.
My favorite feature of Adalyn’s room is the brass and crystal light fixture we purchased at an estate sale in our neighborhood. And guess what? It’s such a classic that it works in her new space too!
Now she has a beautiful gold canopy bed, glitzy gold touches and a splash of big pink peonies on one wall. It’s a fun, grown up space for her!
The now replaced fabric pinboard was perfect for displaying artwork and precious photographs.
Isla’s Room is small, but functional. It’s undergoing a transformation currently as well, I can’t wait to show you more!
We are fortunate to have a Second Level Laundry Room adjacent to our master bedroom. It is incredibly convenient. As you can see, we initially gave this room a light refresh with a sink skirt, new faucet, hardware, light fixture, paint and accessories.
Want to see all the photos of this pretty laundry room? Check out our Modern Laundry Room update!
The Primary Bedroom has two large windows but still somehow felt dark.
It, too, received a little refresh with a larger project to come!
I’d like to update our primary bedroom bedding this year! Any ideas or thoughts on what would look good in this space? We just added new bedside tables and painted them for a soft, pretty look.
The guest bedroom is simple, yet fitted with everything a guest needs for a relaxing stay. It’s decorated with inexpensive block print sheets, Craigslist furniture like this Rattan Bed and a sailboat painting.
We had custom peel and stick wallpaper made to create an accent wall, but it ended up bubbling and sadly had to be removed. Fortunately, I love the space just as much with our simple cream walls.
Thanks for taking time to reflect with me on a before and after look of our home. Truly, it’s a before and during, but it’s always nice to take a moment and appreciate what you have done when you feel overwhelmed about your to do list.
I often remind myself that it’s more important to enjoy our home than to decorate it. Think about all the things you love about your home rather than the things you don’t. It will not only bring you peace, but will also help better define your next project.
Right now my favorite room is our breakfast room. What’s your favorite room in your home and why?
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This is the board I created seven years ago shortly after moving in. I can’t wait to share all of our new projects with you this spring!
This post was originally written June 2016 and was republished June 2021.
As always, if you see something you love, you can follow the link to the post or shop our home here to be directed to the specific product.