Category Archives: home tour

Week 21-ish in #ourforeverfloridahome

The holidays are coming (what what!?) and I figured it was time for an update.

Our first set of holidays in our new home, our forever home. Bringing old traditions into this new house, making new traditions and new memories. Ones that will last a lifetime.

We haven’t done any projects since everything we did to get ready for the girls’ birthday party but I have plenty more I want to do right now. The kitchen is what I’m really dying to get my hands on but I think we’ve finally decided, after going back and forth over keeping the original cabinets, to put new ones in. That means the renovation will be a much bigger project that I was thinking it would be.

Life is so busy, I feel like I’m always saying that though. Because of this, and how must more busy the holidays make life, I think we are going to wait on the kitchen until after the new year (I say that now and watch me get a crazy whim to start it next week or something!?)…

For now, here’s what our house looks like right now (well, this is actually what it looked like just a few days ago, right now it looks like all kinds of Halloween has come to visit…those pictures to come soon!).

So come on in, take a peek


Week two in #ourforeverfloridahome

Two weeks in and it’s like we’ve always been here. What’s even better about that? The memories we get to make in this house that we really haven’t yet.

Most every room in the house is done. & by done I mean that the boxes for each room are unpacked and things are set up and we are able to function like life as normal. But done does not mean DONE.

Trust me, there is a list a mile long of projects I have for this house, to really make it OURS.

Right now, the biggest thing on my list is finding a sectional for the living room, because that room is no where near done in any sort of the word. It is actually just a collect all for anything that is not unpacked or put away, hung up or decorated with yet.

But, I thought you might still love a peek into the rooms of our new house. So, here goes the first tour of #ourforeverfloridahome….enjoy!

My office My office The kitchen Lexie's room Lexie's room Lexie's room Girls' bathroom Girls' bathroom Lilah's room Lilah's room Our room Our room Our room Our bathroom Our room The playroom The playroom The playroom The dining room The dining room The unfinished living room The kitchen Tucker's room Tucker's room Tucker's room Tucker's bathroom

7 things you can do to take your home from builder-grade to custom-built.

We’ve owned our home for almost five years now, and in the time we’ve lived here, we’ve done a lot to make it not just a house, but a home. I tell people all the time that we’ve worked hard to take our builder-grade home and make it more like it had been custom-built just for us.

I have a dream that one day we can do one of two things, either build a home from the bottom up that is completely custom-built to our liking or buy an old fixer upper and completely tear it apart and start from scratch. A girl can dream. Until then, we’ll continue to work away, project-by-project on this little home of ours.

builder grade to custom built

So, 7 things you can do to take your home from builder-grade to custom-built (just like we have done):

  1. Take out the carpet and replace it with something else. As of right now, the only places we have carpet in our house is the kid’s bedrooms and the small hallway between their rooms. This will probably change this year, when we rip out their carpet and add wood laminate like the rest of the house. I’m just not a huge fan of carpet. It gets dirty and just doesn’t look as aesthetically pleasing as wood or tile. We didn’t spend a lot on our “wood” floors since this is not the home we plan to spend forever in, but we know what we’ve done definitely adds some value in the long run.

    put in wood floors

  2. Paint the cabinets. Kitchen, bathroom and everything in between. The only cabinets I have painted in our house are the kitchen cabinets (but the bathroom cabinets are on my to-do list). But can I just say, I LOVE MY KITCHEN and I was only able to say this AFTER I painted my kitchen cabinets. The entire kitchen was instantly upgraded when I did this. You will not regret it, I promise. It adds warmth and depth and just a whole new feel to the room, I know the same thing will happen when I paint our bathroom cabinets, too.

    paint kitchen cabinets

  3. Paint the doors, and by paint the doors, I mean add color. White doors have nothing on black doors. I finally finished painting all of our doors a few weekends ago, until then the kid’s side of the house was still boring white doors. The black I used is not really a true black, it’s more of a brownish-black and it’s also a satin finish. I will never have a house with white doors again, even though I used to think white was so much better than the ol’ wood doors I grew up with in my childhood home.

    paint doors

  4. Add trim, anywhere and everywhere you can think of. When I painted our kitchen cabinets, my husband added height to the top cabinets with an extra piece of wood and crown molding. Then, we added trim around the bathroom mirrors, too. In both places, that extra trim (that really costs next-to-nothing) made a big improvement in such an easy way. I have also seen on Pinterest where you can do the same thing above doors to give them a little more ooomph.

    add trim to bathroom mirrors

  5. Create built-ins, if possible. We had this little (well, not really little) nook in the kid’s playroom. Mike made it a built-in shelf for the t.v. and baskets, board games and whatever other toys we see fit and I can barely remember that space before we did this. It is so much more functional now (although it is desperate need of a new fresh coat of paint after years of little kids banging toys all over it). If you have a space in your home you just don’t know what to do with, see if you can add a built-in of some sort. No easier way to say custom-built than this.

    create built-ins

  6. Pay attention to the details. All around our home we’ve added little touches that make the difference in builder-grade and custom-built homes. We added hooks to our foyer area (but didn’t just through hooks on the wall), board and batten and fun tile countertops to our kitchen, a faux fireplace, heck, even just painting the walls (and in some places, like our bedroom, we did fun things with paint, like adding stripes!) makes a huge difference. When you take all of these small projects, they add up.

    pay attention to detail

  7. Most importantly, make it work for you. The biggest advice I can give anyone trying to upgrade their home on the DIY track, is make it work for you. Find a project that you truly love, and that you feel will not only add beauty but something functional to your home, and go for it. Not only do you have something great when you are done, but the feeling you have when putting that kind of blood, sweat and tears into your home will make you love it even more (even if it’s not exactly your dream home still).

I’ve said it time and time again, this home is not our forever home, but at the same time, I can’t imagine not living here because of all the hard work we have put into it. I just hope, that the day we do put this little gem up for sale, the next owners love it just as much as us.

Weekend projects.

This weekend was our first weekend projects around the house for 2015. When I woke up Saturday morning, it was raining. The rain was bringing in a very nice cool front, and had brought me a little headache with it. I decided, coffee was needed stat and the urge to make a project list for the weekend came uponContinue Reading

A peek into the making of our backyard oasis.

Last weekend we started a big project for the kids. This new clubhouse has been our favorite part of after school during fall since it’s been built. Yes, in just a week, we’ve decided we love it so. This weekend, after Tucker’s soccer game, we headed to Home Depot again and picked up paint, mulchContinue Reading

My saving grace.

The kids used to have one of those prefab wood playgrounds. It was something my inlaws had gotten them one Christmas at our suggestion. It worked out well for a while, a slide, a few swings and a little “clubhouse” feel to it. This summer though, we realized it was on it’s last leg. MikeContinue Reading

The girls’ new room, almost.

During spring break, I started making over the girls’ bedroom. Since they’d be starting kindergarten, I figured it would be the perfect time to give them a bigger girl bedroom, with more space for them and desks to do work on. It’s still not finished, but we’re getting there. I feel like any project weContinue Reading

In need of a little project time.

I started redoing the girls’ room during spring break. We painted, rearranged the furniture, and put out their new bedding. Since then I haven’t done much more. A few accessory pieces here or there and that is about it. There is a lot I still need to do, I just haven’t had the time toContinue Reading

Not your normal spring break.

One day, I’ll learn. Today was our first day of spring break and I chose to spend it painting the girls’ bedroom. Who does that?! Me, obviously. I saw people posting pictures of sun, sand, water. Relaxing. And I decided to wake up early, head to Home Depot for a cartload of paint & supplies,Continue Reading