Our first house

Keeping with the home tour theme, we’re going to take it back a bit to our very first house, which was also the recipient of our first attempts at DIYing (oh, how far we’ve come!). I’ve learned a whole lot since taking on these first projects, and will hopefully continue to learn more tips and tricks to get things done a little bit, ahem, better… and more quickly/easily!  We’ll also see just how many messy house and puppy cameo pictures we can pack into one post (eek! note to self: re-stage and take better pics one day!!).

We love our adorable little 1920s bungalow, and it’s in an absolutely wonderful neighborhood, with great neighbors and a fantastic community association.  We really loved it there, so when the time came to move closer to our respective jobs, it was hard to let go, and the decision to keep the house and rent it out was an easy one.  2 years later, we’re SO glad we made that decision. 

I’ve always loved the layout of this craftsman style home.  The front door opens onto a large living room with a fireplace, and your line of sight carries all the way through the dining room and kitchen to the back room of the house.  For a house that looked small from the outside, we were immediately impressed with how large it feels the second you walk inside.

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What you can see from the front door is only half of the house, and there is a wide center hall accessed through the kitchen or dining room, leading to the bedrooms and hall bath.  Since this hallway was so wide, I added a desk/reading nook which ended up being a favorite spot for humans and puppies alike to curl up.

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Bruschi and Hubby cameos in this one!

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Miss Roo got caught somewhere she does NOT belong! At least we now know the desk is sturdy?
Originally a 3/1, at some point a back porch was enclosed to add a laundry area, a 2nd bath, and some bonus space.  The previous owners had used this space as an office, we used it more as a sitting area (since we took the smallest bedroom as our own to access the nicer bath as our “master bath”), but the space is pretty flexible which is nice for renters coming in.

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We re-did the back bathroom- it had a pre-fab tub/shower deal, and a smaller vanity.  We decided to make a large double shower, expand the vanity to include double vessel sinks, and update the flooring from vinyl to tile.  It was a HUGE project for beginner DIYers, and took a lot longer than we envisioned, but overall it turned out really well.  The gas had also been cut off at some point, so while we had the plumber in, we had him re-run the lines to the fireplace and stove.  Nothing beats cooking on a gas stovetop or sitting by the fire on a chilly day, so we were very glad we could make that easy switch.

I got a little paint-color happy with this house, and I’ve since toned down the colors from these bedroom pictures to more muted tones, but they generally look the same.  We used the front bedroom as an office, but we’ve realized we always just work in the kitchen anyway!

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DSCN1947 oh, heeeeey laundry. I’m glad I at least folded it!

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The hall bath just oozes charm, so all we did in here was paint.  Easy peasy.

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I’m so in love with the stained-glass window in here!
The kitchen was bright red with black and white vinyl checkerboard floors, and a cheap aluminum backsplash (actually ceiling tiles) that kept falling off the walls. I immediately painted (for some reason my brain can’t handle red walls… it freaks me out.  I’m weird, I know) and we picked out a tile backsplash.  The result is what backsplashes look like when their installers have yet to discover tile saws.  I’m sorry, kitchen.  You really can’t notice anything is amiss unless you look really closely, however… luckily we chose a small-ish mosaic so it worked out!  We also upgraded the floors to hardwood.  We used an engineered wood, and in hindsight- 75lb dogs (and moving a refrigerator) + engineered hardwood= bad news. You can’t really refinish them ever, so any scratches are there for the long haul. It was really obvious at first when the floors were new and pristine, and caused much undue stress, but after some time, they look much more normal being a little “roughed up”. In the end they worked out ok, but after this we’ve gone for solid wood, if only for the peace of mind that if we somehow manage to mess them up big-time, they can be refinished.

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In defense of my messy kitchen, this photo was taken around Thanksgiving!

Outside, the fenced-in backyard has plenty or greenspace for pups/kids to run around and play in, a nice little deck, and a good-sized shed- into which a tree is growing.  So the concept of tearing that down and maybe re-thinking the backyard to incorporate a business office/storage garage/new deck is on the to-do list (just, you know, not at the top of that list…). For now it’s still functional, and there are so many options for back there that it will definitely take some thinking/planning to figure out the best plans for the space.

Our favorite spot outside has always been the front porch, though.  We would sit on the rockers or the swing with our drinks, and neighbors would constantly be passing by, or stopping over for a chat.  Whenever we had visitors it would be the place we always ended up hanging out the most.

Anyway, that’s where it all began.  We spent some time in there recently between tenants while we worked on our newest project, and it was so nice being back for awhile. Now, it’s back on the rental market, so any Mobile kids looking for a fabulous place to stay- check her out.  She’s charming and we love her, and I hope y’all do too!

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