As many of you know we bought our second fixer upper a little over a year ago and in that time we’ve made many changes and renovations to the house. Some updates we’ve absolutely loved and would do over in a heart beat, some we actually regret. I’m going to share with you all which was which today. I can’t tell you how important it is to take your time when you’re renovating a whole house. Just remember it’s not an episode of Flip or Flop. You and your family are actually going to live in this home!
Buying a house can be one of the most exciting things you’ll do but also one of the scariest. If you’re buying a fixer upper there’s no way to know 100% what you’re getting into. Over the last year we’ve been renovating our colonial and there as been project after project. Most of the changes we made our family has absolutely loved. There are however a few things I would do differently.
First, let’s talk about the big-impact updates we’ve done and why I would do them again.
- We painted all the trim in the house white.
You don’t have to necessarily paint all the trim white in your home (We actually used black for the trim in my husband’s office.) but if your house is still sporting the 80’s orange stain, it’s time to brighten it up! A fresh coat of paint on old, dated trim instantly brightens a room and gives the space a clean look.
2. We painted our kitchen cabinets
You can take a look at the kitchen’s before here. The cabinets were that 80’s orange stain. They’re solid pine which is great because it was easy to sand them down and give them new life. We have done a number of things in our kitchen to bring it up to 2017 but if painting the cabinets was all that we had done, it would have been enough. It’s amazing how bright and cheerful the kitchen is now that the cabinets have a fresh coat of paint. If you’ve been wanting to dive in but are a little intimidated, you can read my how-to and tips here.
3. We removed the carpet from the staircase and painted the stairs.
There was no way around it. We had to removed the old, gross carpet from the steps before we moved in. You can see the whole project here. Had the carpet been in good condition we probably would have left it. I have to say, I’m glad it wasn’t. One of my favorite things has been our painted staircase. I chose not to add a runner and I don’t regret it a bit. They’re super easy to clean and give the foyer a new, crisp feeling. It’s been over a year and they look just as good today as the day I painted them!
4. We’re Planking the Ceilings.
I had a hard time finding a photo of the ceilings so this old photo will have to do. We only have the dining room complete and are currently working in the powder room but planking the ceilings has been such a beautiful touch. They’re true to colonials but look gorgeous in any home. It’s one of the easiest updates we’ve done and they’re affordable. We’re slowly making our way through the house as we have the time and budget. Instead of scraping those ugly texture ceilings, plank them!
5. We installed hardwood flooring.
One of the best things we did before we even moved in was to rip out the old carpet upstairs and installed hardwood floors. We were fortunate enough to already have hardwoods throughout the downstairs. The house really started to feel like home once we got the new flooring installed. There’s nothing like walking on new flooring. The room looked 20 years younger! If it’s in your budget replacing outdated carpet is something I would highly recommend.
Now, let’s talk about those regrets. I hate to use the word regrets when talking about these next few things but I would do them differently so I guess that’s exactly what they are!
1. I wish we had chosen a lighter color hardwoods.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our flooring upstairs but after living with the rich, darker color I’ve found this flooring is a clean freaks nightmare. The rich color shows up every speck of dust. Maybe that’s a good thing. At least I know when to clean the floor. If I could choose again I would have gone with a medium stain, like our downstairs flooring.
2. We used flat sheen paint.
Every room in our home needed to be painted. I used a flat sheen with all the paint except for the bathrooms. What I’ve learned about myself since then is that I really prefer eggshell. Flat doesn’t allow light to be reflected very well. With a satin or eggshell the natural light bounces off the walls and makes your space feel light and airy with a more expensive look. I’m not going to repaint the whole house any time soon but I’ll chose a different sheen as I need to repaint in the future.
3. I bought rubbed oil bronze cabinet hardware.
A lot of you are probably thinking, why is that a regret? There is nothing wrong with rubbed oil bronze hardware. It’s actually very popular but I had originally wanted gold hardware in the kitchen. I decided last minute to go with the other. It’s something that has bothered me over the last year. I wish I had listened to my gut because I think it would have been stunning! After living here for a year I’ve learned what style I gravitate too and what I want the end result to be. I’m not going to change the hardware out anytime soon because of the cost. Down the road I hope to bring the gold into the kitchen like I am in the powder room.
4. I bought all natural, neutral rugs.
This is an easy thing to update but I wanted to share this with you anyways. I love neutral backdrops and don’t get me wrong, I love jute rugs. What I don’t love is that I used them in each room. At the time I wanted to warm up the space but because we hadn’t been in our home long I wasn’t sure what colors I’d end up using so neutral seemed smart. What I wish I had done was waited. I could have figured out my color scheme and chosen the right rug from the beginning. I’m slowly moving back through our home and swapping out a rug or two. Our kitchen got a pop of color last week with this vibrant rug. You can find it here.
5. We used grey paint colors in the bedrooms.
I love a good grey paint color just as much as the next girl but I’ve realized it needs to be in the right space. I love it in my son’s room but I wish I had gone with a warmer color in our masted bedroom. We used a color called Halo by Benjamin Moore in our foyer and family room downstairs and I love the warm undertone. The room is light and bright without feeling cold. I plan on repainting my bedroom soon with a warmer tone. At least this is a cheap fix!
There’s always going to be things we wish we could change in our homes but I’m learning if I take my time and give myself a chance to live in the space first I get it right the first time. It’s those quick decisions that typically we regret later. I want to encourage you to take your time. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Focus on what you and your family truly love, not what is trendy at the time. If you do that your home will be timeless and a true reflection of those who live there!
Have a good week friends and don’t forget to come back Thursday to see the progress we’ve made in our powder/laundry room makeover!
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