Monday, August 7, 2017

Home Tour - Part 1 of 3

On the one-year anniversary of our move, 
I decided to kick off a series of posts on our house, 
and divided it into 3 sections: 
First Floor, 
Second Floor, 

But FIRST, I'm going to give you a little background on our home purchase. 
We had a very specific suburb of Philadelphia where we were house-hunting, 
and the vast majority of these homes were built in the 1960s. 
That meant we had two options for home-buying: 
"High price, but newly renovated" (aka: a HGTV-inspired flip) 
"Old, outdated home but at a lower cost

We originally intended to purchase a flip 
and then bailed on it. 
(See that story here.) 
At a neighborhood block party, 
we met the new owners of that house 
and heard their HORROR stories of that house. 
We dodged a BIG BIG BIG bullet. 

Months later, we fell in love with this house 
and purchased immediately 
(see that story here). 
This house was old and outdated, but the shell was perfection. 
We've been slowly bringing it up to our standards. 
And let me tell you, 
I am so so so so so glad we didn't buy a house that was updated by someone else. 

Time for the tour... 

First floor!


This turned into an awesome transformation when we replaced the decrepit 1960s slate that was crumbling under our feet. 
Pictured here (see the tile out?): 

We basically never ever ever use the front door. 
It is for guests and package dropoffs. 
We exclusively come in through the garage. 

Living Room / Front Room

This also had a huge transformation, 
including boarding over a window between the rooms 
(which you can see the outline of in the last picture - between the two framed pictures) 
and removing part of the built-ins and painting them white. 

(Before pic: a yellow built-in computer with CD case on the right!  
You can see the right side of the shelves which we did decide to leave). 

This is probably my favorite room in the house, decor wise. 
A decorator would tell me my shelves are too cluttered, 
but every single one of these pictures and trinkets bring me so much joy 
(and I'm a Marie-Kondo fan so joy is key!)
When Oliver and I are having a tough morning, 
we'll come in here and talk about all the things on the shelves. 

Dining Room

This also doubles at Aaron's art station. 
Tucked away in the corner you can't see, 
we have his art table and all his supplies. 
It's a perfect place for him to have "space" without Oliver getting into it. 
It's also super easy to move to the basement when we have parties. 

1/2 Bath

Sorry it's hard to see, it's a really tiny room. 

This was by-far the largest transformation. 
Gutted down to the studs, 
we replaced every single part of this bathroom. 
Because of it's teeny tiny size, 
we scoured the internet for the shallow-est pedestal sink we could find. 
This one is 14.5" deep and sometimes water gets splashed over the side, 
but it opens up the room soooooo much more. 

What it used to look like (and our sample paint color on the wall):

Family Room / Back Room

Besides the basement, this is the only room where we left the original carpet 
(we had it professional cleaned before moving in). 
It is the only room in the main floors of the house without original hardwood underneath. 
We contemplated putting in neutral light-colored carpet, 
but since this is the main thoroughway from outside, 
we decided that this hideous green is best for hiding dirt (and it is!). 

This is our main TV-viewing room and also our main hangout. 
It's the only room that is fully baby-proofed and gated in, 
which allows me to let Oliver and Aaron play in here while I cook. 
I keep a very small bin of toys in the room, which makes it easy to pickup. 


This kitchen is the bane of my existence
It is the original 1960s kitchen, 
with only three things upgraded: 
and counters. 

The cabinets are falling apart after 50+ years
and the oven doesn't have a digital display nor does fit a cookie sheet. 
Believe it or not, the oven is not too bad. 
The cabinet doors falling off and drawers unable to open? 

(Happens every time I open the cabinet)

This is slated for a gut-to-the-studs renovation, 
but we are still saving up for it. 


Tied with the garage, this is my favorite room in the house. 

When we first moved in and were still giving tours to family/friends, 
every single mom who walked in went: 
"WOW I wish I had a mudroom like this for my kids!!!!!
When we come back home from wherever, 
the mass haul of car crap can be dumped in here, 
along with socks, shoes, coats, sunglasses, purses, etc. 
I can either clean it up immediately (which I try) 
or.... shut the door and tackle it later! 

That winter snow gear that makes a puddle as it melts? 
No worries! 
Adam's lawn-mowing clothes and shoes? 
No worries! 
It is, truly, the best room. 

2-Car Attached Garage

Warning: Rant coming

In a neighborhood of over 100 houses, 
we are 1 of 5 people who park both cars in their garage. 
Over half the neighborhood parks BOTH  cars in their driveway or on the street! 
This totally blows my mind. 

All of our houses are identical thanks to the 1960s housing boom, 
which means they ALL have full-size basements
Are you telling me you have SO MUCH SHIT that you have to use your basement 
AND garage for storage? 
Sometimes America's materialism disgusts me. 

Yes we park both cars in here. 
We do this primarily for the snow in the winter, 
but also for the temperature regulation. 
Although the garage is not connected to the HVAC, 
it still mimicks the house's temperature regulation
There is no morning frost on our windows in the winter, 
nor any hot seats in the summer. 

Side Patio

Now, since we keep our garage so clean, 
our side patio gets a little overflow. 
Year-round, this is the home for the grill (Adam loves grilling in the rain!) 
and the fire pit wood pile.
In the summer, it holds our collection of outdoor toys. 
In the winter, it's shields our firepit and patio chairs from the elements. 

Back Yard: 

Our yard slopes ever-so-slightly downhill, 
and we have a lot of exposed roots at the bottom, 
 which isn't my favorite, 
but it's quiet and private. 
I realize this isn't private to people who live on lots of land, 
but in a bustling suburb that borders Philadelphia? 
This is about as private as you'll get. 

Next up: Second floor!


  1. Looks so great! I can't wait to see the kitchen once it's done and I agree about the mud room - I love ours! Confession: we don't park both our cars in the garage, but it's more because Brent's truck is big (not oversized just an F-150 but for some reason it is big for a garage) and to have both cars in there makes it really hard for me to load the kids in and out. Although there is clutter too - not because we have so much stuff but it's more like Amazon boxes I haven't broken down, our Christmas tree (no basements in Texas), etc...

  2. Y'all have been busy!! It looks great and I love that we're getting to see it as a work in progress. I feel like I had lots of thoughts to share but then I saw the last picture of your backyard and I died of jealousy because of your pretty trees. Why don't I live up north??

  3. Love seeing all the updates from a year ago! Isn't it coincidental that the cabinet door that keeps breaking is right under the two drawers that you can't open at the same time? I only tried about 3,000 times when I was there!