With Lifestyled You, one of the messages I really wanted to share is that you have the power and ability to create a space you love to live in. As a kid, I remember hearing friends of my parents say things like, “Well, we are selling the house so I guess it’s time to renovate X”, or, “Gotta make the house look nice now that we are putting it on the market”. Comments like these stuck with me so hard. I didn’t understand why you would wait until you were moving to make your house pretty. Why would you change your space to the way you always wanted it, just so you could turn around and move? For the life of me, I couldn’t understand. Don’t you want to live in a nice house now? Shouldn’t your home be perfect for you, rather than some potential buyers?
I think that is a big reason why I chose to go to college for Interior Design. It always meant so much for me to live in a space I loved. It’s why I was always changing, decorating, and re-arranging my bedroom growing up. That was my space that I could design however I liked (thanks Mom) and I took so much pleasure in doing so. I couldn’t stand the thought of living like those people mentioned above. As I grew up, however, I realized a LOT of people live their lives that way – waiting to make their house their dream home for…[fill in the blank], and never actually living in a home they loved. How sad!
I had also been taught how to do so many carpentry/handyman/construction skills from my dad which has served me incredibly well over the years. Not only did I have a mind and passion for design, but I knew how to achieve it myself! Again, I was baffled when starting my first semester of college and my classmates who were also there for interior design were admitting they’d never painted a room before and didn’t know how to use a measuring tape….WTF?!?! How is this possible??
While going through school, buying my first home that I could go in and make exactly how I wanted it was basically all I could think about. Upon graduating in 2006, that is exactly what I did. My (now) husband and I had been renting a home for a couple years and we were on board with taking the next step and buying a house together. At the time, we were driving in complete opposite directions for our jobs so we needed a good central location. We were also young and not making much money, so budget was the other main consideration when starting our home search.
There were other things we really wanted like an attached 2 car garage, 2+ baths, a nice corner lot if possible, a room for each of us to have a home office/personal space, basement with storage, air conditioning, etc. but we knew we would be pretty limited based on what we could afford. We knew we’d be heading into a fixer-upper for sure.
After looking in a lot of areas, viewing a ton of houses, and making an unaccepted offer on a home, we finally scored this beauty! Scratch that, it was a complete hideous nightmare, but I had the vision of what it could be and I had the skills to get it there, so away we went on what will be about 13 years of remodeling nearly every square inch.
About the House:
The home is your typical tri-level style built in 1973. We purchased it for $260k which was pushing our budget at the time. (Rolling my eyes thinking about home prices in Denver now). We got the big corner lot and 2 car garage. 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, totaling about 2,700 square feet. There was a finished basement, air conditioning, new roof – sounds great, right? Only issue is that 95% of the house was in it’s original 1970’s state and had never been touched. Only the kitchen and master bath had been “updated”, which still didn’t suit our taste or style, but it was better than nothing.
We closed on the house at the end of November of 2006. I was graduating with my Interior Design degree that December, ready to transition the internship I’d had for a couple years into a full time job starting January 2007. I had a couple weeks to go into the home and do as much work as humanly possible before we would move in. During that time I (along with some help from some family/friends) painted basically every single wall of the rooms we would be using on a daily basis, changed out some light fixtures, laid some better tile in a couple places, removed a bit of wallpaper, and installed some new appliances where none existed.
I remember eating meals with my family on the floor while covered in paint and being so excited about all the work we were about to put into this house. A lot of people, my husband included, absolutely dread the remodeling process and get complete anxiety at the thought of tearing up a room. I personally get totally excited and energized by a renovation. To me, there’s nothing more thrilling than transforming a space. I could see the mountain of things we’d have to do to get from that first couple of weeks to where we are today, all the money and all the time, but I was ecstatic!
~ Takeaway ~
In this “Our Home Series”, I’m going to show you all the spaces of our home, inside and out, from the state it was in when we first bought it to where it is now as we are preparing to move into our next big adventure. I hope it will illustrate that literally anything is possible when it comes to your home, and that there is no reason to continue living in an unsatisfying space. To kick things off, I am sharing my Husband’s Bathroom which actually was one of our most recent updates – check it out and stay tuned for so much more! Before you leave, here a a few teasers of the original home as we bought it in 2006 – try not to barf, and enjoy the time warp back to 1973!