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5 Year Before and After Home Tour

A before and after home tour of our brick colonial house 5 years after moving in with recaps of countless DIY home improvement projects and decorating tutorials.

It’s so hard to believe that 5 years have already passed since we moved into this house! And yet it feels like so much longer than that at the same time.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the progress of how far we’ve come day-by-day, but those small tasks of painting a door, changing a light fixture, or finding a secondhand table have added up to a MASSIVE change over time.

We definitely make a lot of messes in our home, and life is far from picture perfect.

limewashed brick front porch stoop on a colonial house with boxwood topiaries
brick colonial house before

Our Before and After Home Tour

Maybe I should have dubbed this as a “before and progress” home tour rather than a before and after because we definitely aren’t finished with this place. When we moved into this brick colonial house in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Olivia was just 4 years-old, and Robert was commuting to Charlotte every day for work.

Now, Olivia is 9, Regan is 3, and Robert and I share about our DIY journeys on this blog together full time.

Not a day goes by that I’m not so absolutely grateful for this house we’ve slowly made into our home and for all of you who have cheered us on along the way.

I hope all of the projects we share encourage you right back. Considering we hardly knew anything about home improvement when I started this blog back in 2013, if we can figure out the DIY journey along the way, I have total confidence that you can too.

House Exterior

Before and After

red brick colonial house before
white limewashed brick colonial house with black shutters and black doors and white vinyl fence

Paint Colors | Romabio Bianco White Limewash (brick) | Behr Cracked Pepper (doors, shutters, and gutters) | Behr Ultra Pure White (trim)

House Exterior Tutorials

House Exterior Sources

We gave our house exterior quite the dramatic transformation right in the very first year by doing a Romabio brick limewash all over our orange brick and painting the shutters, doors, and gutters in satin Behr Cracked Pepper.

We replaced the old rotting wood fence with this white vinyl Plygem fence. And we added some curb appeal with this stone edging around our flower beds.

I shot these before and after photos of our house in November and totally spaced on shooting some current ones when sharing our latest front porch spruce up. But nothing other than the green foliage has changed.

white limewashed brick colonial house with black shutters and black doors and white vinyl fence

Foyer

Before and After

before and after foyer entryway with yellow walls and hardwood floors
before and after foyer front entryway with white walls, hardwood floors, and carved wood cabinet

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (walls) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (door) | Romabio Blue Ridge Parkway (dining room)

Foyer Tutorials

Foyer Sources

The foyer / front entryway has always been a challenging space since it has very limited natural light, but by painting the yellow walls Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, it feels so much brighter and more open now.

We put up this vintage style glass light fixture, hung this gallery wall featuring all of our favorite family photos, and hauled in this carved wood cabinet I found on Facebook Marketplace.

My favorite part is this view peeking into our dining room.

before and after foyer entryway and staircase with yellow walls and hardwood floors
before and after foyer front entryway and stairs with white walls and carved wood cabinet with ornate gold mirror

Eventually, I’d love to paint the stair banister, replace the balusters with ones that are more streamlined, and maybe add a stair runner.

This mirror helps bounce light from the opposite transom above our front door to trick the eye into thinking this entryway is a little bigger. I love how the mirror’s carved details mimic the details in the cabinet.

Our original hardwood floors from 1960 were refinished before we moved in, but their closest match is Minwax Provincial, a great medium, neutral brown that doesn’t lean too gray, too yellow, or too red.

I still just can’t get over the dramatic before and after of this space.

black and white family gallery wall on stairs

Home Office

Before and After

beige home office before and after
home office for two with work table and rolling arm chairs, white walls, navy blue storage cabinets, and black French doors

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Hale Navy (cabinets) | Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (walls and trim) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (doors)

Home Office Tutorials

Home Office Sources

Right beside the foyer is our home office where we’re able to close the French doors with frosted window film to keep our creative messes out of sight. Just adding the closets and doors alone made this such a huge before and after transformations.

These IKEA cabinets I painted Benjamin Moore Hale Navy provide much needed decor storage for seasonal items or accents we use in friends’ room makeovers.

I love having this work table so that we can sprawl out large craft projects or Robert and I can both have enough room to work together.

home office for two with work table and rolling arm chairs, white walls, navy blue storage cabinets, oversized art, and black French doors

We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace; the doors are Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron. I gifted the old chandelier to a friend so it wouldn’t go to waste and replaced it with this more modern pendant light.

To add some oversized art on this large blank wall, Robert and I made art using a shower curtain.

Robert and my brother Kevin built these closets so that we could utilize larger storage as well.

These rolling arm chairs are so much more comfortable than a regular office chair but still have great function with their mobility.

home office for two with work table and rolling arm chairs, white walls,  and black French doors

Dining Room

Before and After

beige dining room before and after
navy blue dining room with mural walls in picture frame molding, linen curtains, shaded chandelier, wood oval dining table, linen head chairs, and black dining chairs

Paint Colors | Romabio Blue Ridge Parkway (walls) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (ceiling)

Dining Room Tutorials:

Dining Room Sources

This dining room started out on the very neutral side, but it has become one of my favorite wow-factor spaces in the entire house!

We painted the walls a deep, rich navy in our color Romabio Blue Ridge Parkway. These peel and stick murals add so much drama!

I found the perfect faux linen curtains on Amazon, and we hung up this leather and brass shaded chandelier I found on Facebook Marketplace for a steal.

The heirloom quality dining table and dining chairs are so well made and sturdy, and this indoor/outdoor rug makes food cleanup a breeze.

On the other side of the room, we cut down and painted this secondhand buffet cabinet for some much needed servingware storage.

navy blue dining room with mural walls in picture frame molding, linen curtains, shaded chandelier, wood oval dining table, linen head chairs, and black dining chairs

Kitchen

Before and After

white and green kitchen cabinets with herringbone wood floors, brass faucet, brass pendant light, and brass hardware for cottagecore style

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (walls) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (upper cabinets) | Sherwin Williams Billiard Green (lower cabinets)

Kitchen Tutorials

Kitchen Sources

Our kitchen used to be one of my least favorite rooms in the house, but we have really figured out how to make it work by painting the lower cabinets Sherwin Williams Billiard Green to work with the existing green and gray leathered granite countertops.

We covered the backsplash tile with pressed tin paneling to be more simplistic and suit our style better.

white and green kitchen cabinets with herringbone wood floors, brass faucet, brass pendant light, and brass hardware for cottagecore style

To work around the existing floor tile, we laid down a floating LVP herringbone floor since we can’t demolish the old tile underneath until a real renovation. I’m so in love!

We assembled these IKEA Hemnes cabinets and painted them to match our lower cabinets to serve as a pantry since we don’t have a dedicated pantry space. This command center wall lets us drop our mail and keep our family organized.

One day we will take on a larger remodel in this kitchen but all of the small changes over the years have added up to this space we really enjoy and feels like a reflection of us.

white and green kitchen cabinets with herringbone wood floors, brass faucet, brass pendant light, and brass hardware for cottagecore style
family command center with calendar, memo board, and mail drop zone beside IKEA pantry cabinets

Breakfast Nook

Before and After

gray and white breakfast nook before and after
cottagecore breakfast nook with banquette, shaded chandelier, bifold French door, herringbone floor, and marble bistro table

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (walls) | Romabio Celtic Stone (doors) | Benjamin Moore Southern Vines (banquette)

Breakfast Nook Tutorials

Breakfast Nook Sources

This is our latest room makeover project that caused quite an undertaking by requiring us to move a door. But it made the most sense to create a better traffic flow in this small breakfast nook.

I found the banquette on Facebook Marketplace that fit the corner of the room perfectly, which I painted Benjamin Moore Southern Vines. This frosted glass bifold French door still allows a little much needed natural light from the laundry room into this space.

cottagecore breakfast nook with banquette, shaded chandelier, bifold French door, herringbone floor, and marble bistro table

We continued the LVP herringbone floor in here, painted the walls Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, and painted the doors Romabio Celtic Stone.

Adding lattice strips for batten walls provided tons of character. We built the bistro table by repurposing an IKEA countertop, and I refinished the dining chairs using ones I found secondhand.

The charming chandelier and vintage style sconces are the icing on the cake to provide cozy lighting in this windowless corner.

cottagecore breakfast nook with banquette, shaded chandelier, bifold French door, herringbone floor, and marble bistro table

Laundry Room

Before and After

gray and white laundry room before and after
navy blue laundry room with black and white moroccan peel and stick tile floors

Paint Colors | Sherwin Williams Slate Tile (walls) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (ceiling and cabinets) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (door)

Laundry Room Tutorials

Laundry Room Sources

This laundry room was the most basic of basic when we moved in, so we painted the walls Sherwin Williams Slate Tile to give it a punch of color. The peel and stick floor tiles allowed us to do a quick cosmetic change without needing to rip out the existing vinyl flooring.

We swapped the fluorescent light with this more modern globe light. And I hid the electrical box using free printable laundry art mounted in picture frames with magnets on the backs. It’s amazing how just changing the wall color can create such a huge before and after.

Eventually, we would love to move the laundry room to a newly built addition and turn this existing laundry room into a butler’s pantry / scullery kitchen next to the main kitchen.

navy blue laundry room with black and white moroccan peel and stick tile floors and black bifold French door

Living Room

Before and After

yellow and white living room before and after home tour
white living room with limewashed brick fireplace, gold fandelier, white Pottery Barn sofas, leather recliners, art TV, and black French doors

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee (walls) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (trim and ceiling) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (doors and windows) | Romabio Avorio White Limewash (fireplace brick)

Living Room Tutorials

Living Room Sources

This living room has been through a TON of changes over the years, but this version of it is by far my favorite.

We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee, which has a slight bit of warmth to feel inviting against the dark charcoal Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron windows and doors.

I limewashed the brick fireplace in just an afternoon. And since it has to be a focal point, we opted to hang a Samsung Frame TV above.

yellow and white living room before and after home tour
white living room with limewashed brick fireplace, gold fandelier, white Pottery Barn sofas, leather recliners, art TV, and black French doors

These Pottery Barn York sofas are SO comfy as are the buttery leather recliners. The nesting end table and marble top coffee table were both Facebook Marketplace finds.

Since we wanted to compromise on a ceiling fan and chandelier, we found the perfect solution with this fandelier I painted gold.

For the back wall / back door entryway, I hung up these free printable Audubon prints.

I’ve toyed with the idea of adding some sort of ceiling treatment like planking or shallow beams, but we’ll see.

beige living room French doors before
white living room with limewashed brick fireplace, gold fandelier, white Pottery Barn sofas, leather recliners, art TV, marble coffee table, and black French doors

Playroom

Before and After

yellow and white playroom before with brick fireplace
white playroom with light blue mantel and toy storage cabinets, William Morris tapestry, and storage furniture

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee (walls) | Romabio Carolina Sky (cabinets and mantel) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (trim) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (doors and windows)

Playroom Tutorials

Playroom Sources

The playroom has come such a long way from the bright yellow it was painted before. We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee to carry in from the living room, and the doors are Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron, done using my favorite French door painting trick.

I limewashed the brick fireplace here as well. We built the toy cabinets using IKEA Billy bookcases, and we painted them with Romabio Carolina Sky.

For a statement making piece of whimsical vintage art, we hung up this tapestry. And we added whimsical lighting by making this sunburst light fixture from a mirror frame.

white playroom with light blue mantel and toy storage cabinets, William Morris tapestry, and storage furniture

We hauled in this washable rug and utilized these chairs and this rotating coffee table with tons of storage for toys and craft supplies.

In the corner, we have this secondhand armoire we used to create a Narnia-inspired reading nook that the girls love using as their play hideout.

I would love to add a little more storage with built-in shelves on some of the other walls to make an entertainment center later on.

Narnia wardrobe reading nook made from a thrifted armoire with forest wallpaper, lantern light, and lion throw pillow

Half Bath

Before and After

orange half bath before and after
mint green beadboard in a half bath with black and white floral wallpaper, faux marble hexagon tile floor, and wood vanity

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Hollingsworth Green (beadboard) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (crown and ceiling) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (door)

Half Bath Tutorials

Half Bath Sources

We haven’t really done anything new in this half bath powder room in four years, but it works well for us!

I painted the existing bead board using Benjamin Moore Hollingsworth Green, hung up black and white floral wallpaper (that is unfortunately now discontinued), and replaced the beige tile floor with this faux marble hexagon tile.

I painted the cherry stained vanity using my favorite faux wood finish technique, and I painted the mirror frame a brushed black.

Replacing all of the fixtures with brushed brass added some warmth to the space.

I’ve though about replacing the vanity for one more our style (especially since the black granite countertop is difficult to keep clean), but that might not ever actually happen.

mint green beadboard in a half bath with black and white floral wallpaper, faux marble hexagon tile floor, and wood vanity

Hallway

Before and After

beige hallway before and after
white hallway with black doors, vintage runner rug, brass light, and landscape art

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (walls and trim) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (doors)

Hallway Tutorials

Hallway Sources

Up the stairs is this hallway that we painted Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace to help brighten it up. The doors are Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron for contrast.

We hope to remove that attic fan one day, but the simple task of fixing the attic door and replacing the attic door string with a hook made such a difference.

I added this free printable landscape art at the end of the hallway along with this wireless picture light to help illuminate that side of the space.

beige hallway before and after home tour
white hallway with black doors, vintage runner rug, brass light, and landscape art

To add some interest, we rolled out this runner rug. And more art and a potted artificial tree took care of the rest.

This bell light fixture adds a little dose of charm too.

white hallway with black doors and landscape art

Girls’ Bedrooms

Olivia’s Bedroom

Before and After

purple girl's bedroom before and after
blush pink girl's room with cream rug, white homework desk, rattan bed, and boho decor

Paint Colors | Behr My Sweetheart (walls) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (trim and ceiling)

Olivia’s Room Tutorials

Olivia’s Room Sources

Olivia’s room has been through a few changes over the years since we love being able to have a space that grows with her. When we first moved in, we made a DIY ballet barre for her to practice dance moves.

But since then, we’ve implemented a homework desk, swapped the canopy bed for a boho rattan headboard, and added more boho style touches like this rock collection shadow box using ones she found while gem mining in the North Carolina mountains.

blush pink girl's room with cream rug, white homework desk, rattan bed, and boho decor

We painted the walls Behr My Sweetheart for just a slight blush tone. My mom and I installed this butterfly kaleidoscope wallpaper. And we added this ceiling fan since she’s gotten more hot-natured over the years.

Olivia is very into having “collections” so we give her lots of space to keep them like a memo board to display art work, under-bed storage for her book collection, and a hurricane vase for her shell collection.

blush pink girl's room with cream rug, white homework desk, rattan bed, and boho decor

Regan’s Bedroom

Before and After

green bedroom before and after
cottagecore girl's bedroom with blush pink ceiling, chinoiserie wallpaper, vintage twin beds, wood furniture, and picture frame molding

Paint Colors | Romabio Barefoot Dance (ceiling) | Magnolia Home True White (walls and trim) | Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray (doors)

Regan’s Room Tutorials

Regan’s Room Sources

Regan’s bedroom is on its second look too since transitioning out of the nursery phase into a “big girl” bedroom now that she’s almost 4.

Olivia and Regan love having sleepovers with each other and with friends/cousins, so we decided to use twin beds with a pull-out trundle underneath to serve this purpose.

We refinished the hardwood floors, and painted the ceiling with one of our colors from our paint collection called Romabio Barefoot Dance. We installed picture frame molding years ago painted with Magnolia Home True White, and updated it recently using this chinoiserie wallpaper.

The vintage style metal headboards and bedding came from Walmart, and I incorporated this multicolored rug for a little pattern play.

cottagecore girl's bedroom with blush pink ceiling, chinoiserie wallpaper, vintage twin beds, wood furniture, and picture frame molding

For the rest of the furniture, I found this dresser and nightstand on FB Marketplace and cleaned up the wood to look new again.

It adds so much vintage charm to this little whimsical space.

cottagecore girl's bedroom with blush pink ceiling, wood furniture, and picture frame molding

Guest Bedroom

Before and After

beige guest bedroom before and after
guest bedroom with blue curtains, bed in front of off center window, and oversized floral art painting

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee (walls) | Benjamin Moore Winter Gates (trim) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (doors)

Guest Bedroom Tutorials

Guest Bedroom Sources

The guest bedroom was a challenge for us in the beginning because it was rather small and had an off-centered window in the only logical place we could fit a queen-sized bed.

But by hanging these velvet curtains all across the back wall and placing a secondhand cane headboard in front to prevent any blocked natural light, we were able to make it work!

One of my favorite tricks for making this small bedroom seem bigger was by hanging up this oversized art.

guest bedroom with blue curtains, bed in front of off center window, and oversized floral art painting

Even though we still need to refinish the hardwood floors underneath this old carpet, adding a wool rug on top helps to elevate the space.

In front of the other window, I found this secondhand desk that works great as a makeshift makeup vanity if guests ever need it to get ready.

We love treating our guests to lots of amenities to help them feel at home, so we throw in extra toiletries, a clean robe, and the Wi-Fi password in a frame here too.

guest bedroom with blue curtains, writing desk in front of window

Shared Bathroom

Before and After

beige bathroom before and after
gray, black and white bathroom with console table converted into a bathroom vanity, subway tile walls, and black and white retro tile floor

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray (walls) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (ceiling and trim) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (door)

Shared Bathroom Tutorials

Shared Bathroom Sources

When we moved in, this shared bathroom in the hallway for the kids and guests to use was just beige on beige on beige.

We gave it a quick refresh for the first couple of years using mainly just paint by painting the tub, shower, sink and countertop. I freshened up the tile by painting the grout lines. We painted the walls a deep teal called Magnolia Home Weekend, and I painted the bathroom cabinets.

Since then, we gave this bathroom a massive remodel. We tried to stick with very classic tile to stretch this remodel for decades by using this retro hexagon tile on the floor and artisan glazed subway tile on the walls.

gray, black and white bathroom with console table converted into a bathroom vanity, subway tile walls, and black and white retro tile floor
Bathroom

We were able to stay within a reasonable budget by using these marble panels in the shower/tub combo and painted the walls Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray and doors Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron.

This bathroom’s size and shallow depth created a challenge for us and a traditional bathroom vanity wouldn’t fit, so we turned a console table into a bathroom vanity instead.

These beaded mirrors give it a feminine touch for the girls. And this tightrope walker art gives the space a childish, whimsical nod.

gray, black and white bathroom with console table converted into a bathroom vanity, subway tile walls, and black and white retro tile floor

Primary Bedroom

Before and After

green bedroom before and after
black bedroom with white curtains, mirrored closet doors, ceiling fan, and upholstered wood bed

Paint Colors | KILZ Rebel (walls) | Benjamin Moore Simply White (trim, doors, and ceiling)

Primary Bedroom Tutorials

Primary Bedroom Sources

Our primary bedroom has seen a couple of versions too before painting the walls completely black a couple of years ago using the color KILZ Rebel. It was a bold, daring design decision, but we have never slept better since going dark in this space!

We balanced the black walls by adding these French bifold doors with antique mirror film and painting them Benjamin Moore Simply White to match the trim. We balanced it with these white velvet curtains and these blackout window shades in the color Bonaire Flaxen for airiness and texture as well.

Robert is definitely the hot-natured one of the house, so adding this black and brass ceiling fan was a must.

black bedroom with white curtains, mirrored closet doors, ceiling fan, and upholstered wood bed

We found this upholstered wood poster bed at a local consignment shop 5 years ago and have loved it ever since!

Adding a king-sized bed in this small bedroom was a challenge, so we got by with adding these small nightstands and wall-mounted swing arm lamps to save space.

I implemented some of my favorite budget bedding tricks for extra fluffiness too.

black bedroom with white curtains, mirrored closet doors, ceiling fan, and upholstered wood bed

En Suite Bathroom

Before and After

green bathroom before and after
white bathroom with marble shower and frameless glass shower door

Paint Colors | Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (walls, trim, and ceiling) | Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron (door)

En Suite Bathroom Tutorials

En Suite Bathroom Sources

Our en suite bathroom went through a refresh phase for the first couple of years as well before an HVAC leak required us to take on a full renovation. We were definitely not prepared for it, but we could not be happier with the end result.

Choosing marble look porcelain tile over real marble tile was definitely the right choice for us in terms of cost and maintenance. But we splurged on a real marble countertop to create the scalloped backsplash of my dreams.

We really didn’t change the footprint of this bathroom much at all, but by adding glossy white tile and a seamless glass door in the small shower, it created the illusion of more space.

green bathroom before and after home tour
French inspired master bathroom remodel with marble countertop and herringbone tile

To bring in some warmth amidst all of the white, we added this wood bathroom vanity with warm brass fixtures for balance.

The Venetian mirrors weren’t our first choice thanks to supply chain delays, but they ended up being so perfect here! We added a little interest and traditional style by incorporating picture frame molding here as well.

Because this bathroom is on the small side, we had to get creative with storage, so including this double hamper and hanging open shelving here helped with that.

In a perfect world, we would have loved to include a toilet closet separate from the rest of the bathroom, but adding a wooden toilet seat helped make it work in terms of visual appeal.

My favorite finishing touch is the glass knob on the shower door.

Home Gym Shed

Before and After

backyard shed before
backyard shed home gym after

Home Gym Tutorials

Home Gym Sources

This shed in our backyard was a total afterthought that we used for random storage for years. Then, last year, Robert had the idea to repurpose it into a home gym!

It turned out even better than we imagined! We ripped out the ceiling and reinforced the roof to provide more space, and we added faux brick panel walls. To save money, we mixed together leftover cans of black paint and white paint from previous projects to reuse on the ceiling and walls.

Robert found the floor mats secondhand on FB Marketplace.

shed interior before with pegboard
home gym made from a backyard shed with faux brick walls, black vaulted ceiling, and black rubber floors

To keep air flowing, we added this industrial style retractable blade ceiling fan, and we hung up these large black framed mirrors for checking our form during workouts.

Robert already had most of the workout equipment that he’s collected used over the years from secondhand sporting goods stores and online listings.

backyard shed before with beige pegboard
home gym made from a backyard shed with faux brick walls, black vaulted ceiling, and black rubber floors

On the other side of the gym, we added much-needed storage like this cube shelf for holding gym rags, disinfesting wipes, and a mini fridge.

We added this wall shelf for hanging resistance bands and holding a Bluetooth speaker, clock, and handheld equipment.

The only piece of workout equipment we had to buy new was this MYX cardio bike.

home gym made from a backyard shed with faux brick walls, black vaulted ceiling, and black rubber floors

Back Porch

Before and After

back porch before
back porch after with mosquito net curtains, string lights, outdoor day bed, outdoor conversation set, and floral block outdoor rug

Paint Colors | Behr Ultra Pure White (trim and railings) | Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue (ceiling)

Back Porch Tutorials

Back Porch Sources

This back porch was one of the biggest buying factors for us when purchasing this house. It’s such a charming spot to gather with friends or sip coffee on a sunny, bright morning.

We painted the ceiling Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue, one of our favorite “haint blue” colors keeping in tradition with Southern porches (if you’ve ever been to Charleston or Savannah… you know what I’m talking about).

We added this comfy day bed and resin wicker conversation set last year, and I painted the plain outdoor rug with this floral block stencil pattern.

The string lights add a cozy glow in the evenings, and the mosquito net curtains help keep the bugs at bay in the warmer months.

back porch after with mosquito net curtains, string lights, outdoor day bed, outdoor conversation set, and floral block outdoor rug

Swimming Pool

Before and After

backyard swimming pool before
backyard swimming pool with outdoor dining sets, striped umbrella, painted vinyl siding on shed, painted concrete deck, poolside patio furniture and cabana

Swimming Pool Tutorials

Swimming Pool Sources

Our backyard swimming pool has been a massive project, but doing lots of it ourselves one DIY project at a time has really paid off over the years.

We were able to replace the swimming pool liner, paint the vinyl shed, paint the concrete deck, and add a modular outdoor kitchen.

backyard swimming pool before
backyard swimming pool with painted concrete deck, poolside patio furniture and cabana

To add some poolside shade, we constructed this DIY pergola cabana and added outdoor sectional dining sets for doubling as lounge areas and patio dining.

Since the lighting in our backyard is limited, we added lots of string lights all over to enjoy especially in the summer months for night swims.

backyard swimming pool before with orange brick house
backyard swimming pool with outdoor dining sets, striped umbrella, painted vinyl siding on shed, painted concrete deck, poolside patio furniture and cabana

Backyard

Before and After

orange brick house with back porch and backyard before
limewashed brick house, backyard fire pit, bocce ball court, white fence, back porch, and string lights

Backyard Tutorials

Backyard Sources

On the grassy side of the backyard, we removed LOTS of snaky overgrowth and bushes to provide more outdoor living space and room for the kids to run.

We built a fire pit with a surrounding pea gravel area for lounging and a DIY bocce ball court that can convert into a horseshoe pit.

limewashed brick house, backyard fire pit, bocce ball court, white fence, back porch, and string lights

Replacing the old rotting wood fence made a massive difference out here, and we placed a playground and trampoline in the side yard for the kids.

Backyard parties have gotten even more awesome out here over the years. It’s been SO much hard work, but we are so happy with how it has all come together.

If you need more info about any of the spaces in our home, you can see all of our room reveals here with breakdowns of decor sources, furnishings, and DIY tutorials.

We have no intention of moving anywhere any time soon (if ever) because we are so absolutely in love with this house, especially after all of the work we have poured into it. These before and after home tours always blow us away every year because it’s such a celebration of every exhausting step along the way.

limewashed brick colonial house with solar spotlights

The “afters” are still “progress” because I totally believe in allowing a home to grow and change along with us and our needs as the kids get older and our family evolves over time.

We’re still making plenty of messes, living in each moment, and embracing the non-picture-perfect days all the time over here. (Maybe this also calls for a “real life” messy home tour? It’s been a while since I did one of those, and I think it’s over due.)

There are still plenty of projects on the horizon at this house, at friends’/family members’ homes, and who knows where else.

No matter where life takes us, we are so excited about where the next 5 years take us, and we are so thankful for all of you who have been a part of this journey to get here.

sign off

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10 Comments

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post! I am new to your blog and spent days following the links to many of your projects. Thank you for all the inspiration!

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I know this was a lot of work to put this together. I adore your style. My favorite part of your transformation is that you have used the basic structure of the house and have made it so beautiful and updated. I love to approach decorating that way as well. I have really enjoyed your site and your posts. Thanks again!

  3. Thank you for this great post! So inspiring! I just moved into a house with very 90’s decor and there is so much I want to do. Showing your changes makes me realize it’s just taking one room at a time. You’ve done a beautiful
    Job!

  4. What a beautiful job (or jobs) you have done. I know the work is hard, but isn’t it rewarding to be able to say “we did that”? And you know the work is done like you want it to be.

  5. My soul! Your hard work has me all kinds of inspired. Even the hallway. I remember when you shared that long ago and even then I was like – holy guacamole, even the hall! I love every inch of what y’all have accomplished. Not only does it have the perfect amount of sophistication but it’s party central. A place where your girls want to invite their friends and you know what they are doing. 😉 Thank you for sharing all the spaces. I can’t get over the amount of work you’ve done in only 5 short years.

    1. Hi, Cindy! Thank you for your kind words and for the commitment in following. I am so happy to have had you through the journey. It definitely doesn’t feel like five years.

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