more »" />

Home Sweet Home

by Meghann on September 23, 2014

I just returned from my final event of our race season. I traveled to more events last season, but for some reason this season felt tougher. Maybe it was because all of my travels were condensed to a two-month period. I love my job and I love being on the road, but I missed being home and I’m so excited to finally have a few weekends to myself.

Weekends I can finally dedicate to putting our new house together. I know, I know – I owe you photos and I want to start delivering, but you have to keep in mind we still have a looonnnggg way to go. Let’s call these the “before” photos, because we’re not even close the being done.

Take the living room for instance:


Short term:

  • New rug. Our old one is small and beat up. I want to find a vibrant rug that will add some color to the space.
  • Refinish the coffee table and end tables. These were hand me downs from my parents and are about 15 years old. They’re in rough shape, but Derek and I love them and really have no desire to replace them (the coffee table pulls up, which is convenient for working on the computer and eating meals/snacks in the living room). My little brother recently refinished an old table of my parents, so I’m hoping he’ll help walk us through the progress when he visits in the near future.
  • New throw pillows. I purchased the gray chevron pillows from Target the other week and love them. I just need some small pillows to replace our other throw pillows and we’ll be all set.
  • New curtains. We want something light and airy for the sliding glass door.
  • New table. We need something where the end table is against the wall currently. I’m not sure what that is, but we’ll figure it out.
  • Wall décor. I haven’t even opened the boxes with all of our frames and home décor. I have zero design taste so the task of trying to figure out where everything should go makes me head hurt.

Long term:

  • New paint. When we bought the house I didn’t mind the color on the walls, but as soon as we moved in, I wasn’t a fan anymore. At night the paint color looks really yellow and dingy. I’d love to paint the walls and liven it up a bit, but I’m not sure what the magic color is. Thoughts?
  • New floors. I’m not a fan of the white tile. Personally, I’m a fan of hardwood floors, but Derek wants to keep tile so we’re compromising with tile that looks like wood. We’ve watched enough HGTV to fall in love with the idea and have even been drawn to it at our local home improvement stores. Only problem is wood tile is $$ and it’s a major project to take on. Our goal is to replace the white tile in a year or so.
  • Remove the popcorn ceiling. Not only is it dated, but there’s a spot where someone really did an awful job trying to patchwork where a wall had been removed. It’s gotta go.



Short term:

  • New stools. Our old stools are too tall for our breakfast bar, which makes sitting on them very awkward and uncomfortable. I’d love to sell the old chairs and replace them with something fun and modern.
  • Wall décor. Again, no clue where to start.

Long term:

  • Figure out what to do with our “bar” area. Right now it just looks awkward. (I guess short term should also be throwing out those boxes of trash – whoops.)


Dining room:


Short term:

  • Wall décor.
  • New curtains
  • New rug. Just need to figure out size and color.

Long term:

  • New table. I wish this was a short term goal, but it’s unfortunately a “want” not a “need.” I’d like to get something a little larger to fill the space.
  • A new cabinet? I feel like the space needs something.
  • Replace tile (see living room)

Entrance room/ Playroom/ Second living room


No idea what to do with this space. Eventually we’d like to turn it into a play room for future kiddos, but right now it’s our storage space. Sigh.



Short term:

  • Assemble the desk. (I think this is a given)
  • Organize space.
  • Rug?
  • Hang wall décor – think race bibs, medals, and trinkets.

Long term:

  • Not sure. I think we’ll have to revisit this once everything is up.

Extra bedroom #1:


Long term:

  • Nursery. Until then, I think it may remain empty.

Extra bedroom #2:


Short term:

  • Our new guest bedroom, complete with an air mattress and tons of closet space for all guest’s needs.

Long term:

  • My uncle is downsizing in January and we’ve got “dibs” on his extra bedroom set. My uncle has awesome taste, so we’re going to hold out buying furniture until then.
  • Paint. There we go with the nasty yellow again. What’s a nice color for a guest bedroom?

Our bedroom:


Short term:

  • Large mirror over dresser. I have my eye on one at Homegoods. 😉
  • Stand for TV.
  • Ditch mirror closet doors. Replacing the closet doors might be a long term initiative (dude, who knew closet doors were so much money?), but the mirror ones need to go.
  • New hampers. Something pretty that’ll look nice next to the dresser since they no longer fit in the closet.
  • New baskets for my impromptu dresser since my workout clothes didn’t fit in the other dressers – whoops!

Long term

  • New doors for the closet. See above.
  • That’s it. I’ve made the most progress in the bedroom and right now I’m really happy with it. I like the gray the walls were originally painted. It’s not something I would have picked myself, but I instantly fell in love when we moved it. It’s very soothing and welcoming.





So, there you have it. A mini tour of the new house. It’s still a mess and it’s not perfectly put together just yet, but it’s home and we’re slowing getting there. Just trying to keep it real.



I’ll post updates as they come. We still have so many things to tackle and next thirty or so years to figure it out. 😉

1 The Many Thoughts of a Reader September 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Nice! Love the shirt. Stitch fix? I got it in my first fix last month.
The Many Thoughts of a Reader recently posted..The Murderer’s Daughters

2 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 23, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Looks like a lovely house — can’t wait to see what you guys do with it 🙂
Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs recently posted..High Five for Friday!

3 Carrie (This Fit Chick) September 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm

haha i love how your dog sneaks in to those photos! adorable!
Carrie (This Fit Chick) recently posted..Tuesday Blues

4 Jessica Watts September 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm

I live in Oldsmar. We got our tile that looks like wood from a store in Largo, it was on sale for $1.99 sq ft. Do you want me to give you the name of the company and the woman I worked with? They were amazing. I also have a contractor if you need one. Your house is beautiful!

5 Tricia September 23, 2014 at 10:54 pm

You’re house is beautiful! It definitely sounds like you guys have your work cut out for you with all your projects though!
Tricia recently posted..Drink More Water Challenge + Stepping Up Our Game

6 Kellie September 23, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Try a shade of gray for painting. Gray’s can bring out certain colors depending on the shade. Find an accent color you like and put it up against a different shade of gray with the lighting in your living room, etc. It can surprisingly brighten up a room. You might be able to find the perfect shade that goes with several different colors!

7 sara@runninginpinkproject September 24, 2014 at 6:36 am

LOVE house posts. 🙂 We are about to start looking for our “forever house” next year and I cant believe I am about to start all over w that process!!! Good Luck and Have Fun!!!
sara@runninginpinkproject recently posted..Taco Tuesday- Honey Chipotle Tacos

8 Megan P September 24, 2014 at 6:46 am

My husband and I bought our first home last winter and I am fairly certain we have LIVED at Lowe’s and Home Depot ever since. We are also debating the wood-look tile situation vs hardwood. Words of advice – make sure your concrete slab is in good shape before you decide on any tile! You have tile right now so it shouldn’t be a problem, but the wood tile is often very long, and if your slab is cracked or “warped” in some way, you could end up with cracked tiles at some point. Just a friendly word of advice from a fellow homeowner who still has bare concrete floors 😉

9 Danielle @ It's a Harleyyy Life September 24, 2014 at 6:50 am

yay! Thank you for sharing! We just bought a house too and I’m going through the whole half decorated stage as well so I know your pain! I love your bedroom very cute! I would definitely get rid of those yellow walls we painted ours a light tan/slightly darker tan (living room) and light grey/slightly darker grey (bedrooms). I love it!
Danielle @ It’s a Harleyyy Life recently posted..Easy, Baked Apples

10 JulieL September 24, 2014 at 7:13 am

I have a colour called Pepper spice (Behr) in my main living area. I have used this colour our last two homes and really like it!

11 Goldie September 24, 2014 at 7:45 am

I don’t have any suggestions but I know what you mean about wall colours. when I viewed my house I was like ‘yeh, this is fine’… the minute I moved in I hated the colours and got them painted immediately!

So much fun though! it’ll be a process but you can really make it home!

I also really enjoyed Maddie’s appearance in various pictures! She is clearly loving all the space!xx
Goldie recently posted..Maybe I’m not ready after all.

12 Molly Rose September 24, 2014 at 7:58 am

To me, shopping for new things is so fun, but then deciding where it should go and how to angle it and will my mom mutter comments… ugh, makes my head hurt too! 🙂

Love Maddy’s appearances in the photos, it made me laugh!
Molly Rose recently posted..Halfathon Training Wk 7 + I HAVE MY OWN DOMAIN

13 EB @Running on E September 24, 2014 at 8:03 am

House look cute! Love your kitchen.
EB @Running on E recently posted..Chickamauga Marathon Training Week 2

14 Stacy September 24, 2014 at 8:16 am

We are in the process of building our first home. It won’t be completed until January, but I’m already trying to stash away major funds for all the new things we’ll want to buy (we are doubling our space).

15 Stacy September 24, 2014 at 8:17 am

Love your room by the way!
Stacy recently posted..Time Flies

16 Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed September 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

I can relate to so many things above! I have all this art that we ended up with and absolutely no idea where to put everything. I’m so not a fan of yellow paint either haha! We’re about to move into a new spot and I also really want to buy a big beautiful dining room table, but same situation. We already have a table and it’s definitely a want vs. a need. Looks good so far, love your wedding photo in the living room, I really need to get some of ours printed. Your kitchen space looks awesome. Congrats again 🙂
Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed recently posted..Weekend Snapshots & Paint Colors

17 Christine September 24, 2014 at 8:59 am

Moving and owning a home can be overwhelming! We bought a house in April, did some work, moved in at the end of May, and are still not even close to being done organizing, putting everything in its place, etc. A suggestion for the white tile (we did this) – we got the tile and grout cleaned and then the grout color-sealed. It costs a fraction of the price of replacing tile and the floors look BRAND NEW (esp if your tile is in decent shape). The grout can also never really turn dark again because of the seal. Feel free to email me if you want some before and after pics of my floors!

18 Abby Schock September 24, 2014 at 9:05 am

Everything is looking great so far- congratulations! My husband and I moved into our first house in April and we still aren’t fully “settled” so don’t worry, you’ll get there! P.S. I LOVE your kitchen!
Abby Schock recently posted..Four Cheese Buffalo Chicken French Bread Pizzas

19 Shannon September 24, 2014 at 9:19 am

What a great post! You’re so organized that you have this all laid out for what you have to get done 🙂 Love it!
Moving is really exciting, but it makes me only want to stay at the new place 24/7 and get EVERYTHING put away haha!
Shannon recently posted..Fox Cities Half Marathon – Got my PR!

20 Shannon Tis September 24, 2014 at 9:33 am

Oh, I feel your joy and pain of buying a new home. My husband and I bought our house last July and have been renovating ever since. We put in dark wood tile and absolutely love it. Everyone thinks it’s hardwood and is shocked to learn that it’s actually tile. Word to the wise: have someone else do the demo work involved with getting your existing tile up. We did it ourselves in the name of saving money. NEVER again! Also, I painted all of our walls off-white with white trim. I know that’s kind of boring but we have lots of wood through the house (wood tile and wood beams–the house is an A-frame). I was really overwhelmed with decorating and designing at first, but found that binging on Pinterest really helped me narrow down what looks I like and what I wanted to recreate in my own house. I actually walked around with pictures from Pinterest and showed the construction guys who were working on our bathrooms and kitchen. I’m sure they loved that, haha. I also read tons of home decorating/DIY blogs now (Young House Love, House*Tweaking, Little Green Notebook, Lauren Liess). 🙂 Good luck with everything! I love how big your house is and can’t wait to see what you do with it over the next 30 years!

21 Amanda September 24, 2014 at 9:53 am

I highly recommend going to Home Depot or Lowe’s and asking for a paint color fan set. They typically have a ton and will give them away for free – I have a Behr one just because I like their 1 coat and done paint. They are super helpful to see all the different color options out there and you can see what the exact color looks like next to curtains, furniture, cabinets etc. and you can always check a shade darker or lighter if you don’t like what you’re seeing without an additional trip to the store for more paint chips 🙂

22 Silvia @ skinny jeans food September 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

I think anyone buying a house becomes a ‘designer’ or is interested in becoming a designer/remodeler/gardener etc. I still remember my apprehension before I painted a wall any other than eggshell. But then, it is just a paint of coat, and you can always paint over it. It’s a process, brooding over paint samples at Lowes or Home Depot to select JUST the RIGHT shade…

This gal might have tons of inspiration for you, if it is your style. I think paint would make such a difference and give the rooms character.
Silvia @ skinny jeans food recently posted..Komorebi

23 Kirsten September 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

Beautiful house!! For paint I would recommend “sea salt” from Sherwin Williams. I just bought a house over the summer and we used the color in our master and the guest bath. It’s a really pretty light green.

24 Bridget September 24, 2014 at 11:11 am

I just have to say I love how you are keeping it real here. So many websites and blogs gloss over how much time, cost, and effort it takes to transform a space and I love that you’re just owning where you’re at and that its going to take time to make it a home. Congratulations! It will be fun to see what you choose to do with the spaces.

25 Rebekah Smith September 24, 2014 at 11:51 am

Wow your hair is so long now and I love how Maddy is in all the pictures. haha.

26 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner September 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Oooh, I love the setup of your kitchen. Looks like a beautiful house!
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..Livening up the Meal Plan

27 Chloe (Marriage and Money Blog) September 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Decorating is super hard, we just moved in together 2 months ago and right now have random prints hanging on our walls. I like the idea of a gallery wall, and Young House Love has an awesome tutorial on how to make one. For decorating in general, I would suggest looking around design/DIY blogs to see what styles you like, pinning them, and then trying to replicate that in your own home. Neutral colors are always a great choice for a house as well, you can always add color in with fun pillows or accessories, but having a neutral wall (eggshell/cream/light gray) will make your home feel super relaxing and will remain up to date. Good luck!
Chloe (Marriage and Money Blog) recently posted..Meatless Monday

28 Katie September 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Maybe its just me but I’m in love with bright shades of green right now. You could do most of the walls in a neutral (gray) and then have one wall be bright. My living room/dining room/kitchen (open floor plan) has beige, red and chocolate brown which makes it very warm/inviting.

29 Lesley September 24, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Congratulations on purchasing your first home together! How exciting!
Lesley recently posted..Pacebands Giveaway!

30 Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy September 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Looks a little dark and yellow lighted, but looks homey. Can’t wait see how it turns out.
Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy recently posted..What I Do In a Day

31 Angie September 24, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Even without all of those updates it looks like you guys found a great place! Congrats! I feel you, though. We bought our house back in May and it’s still pretty empty. I can’t wait to see what you do with your space! 🙂

32 Lacey September 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Are your Master Bedroom closets and Guest Bedroom closets the same size? If so you could swap them out until you can afford new closet doors!

33 Reenie September 29, 2014 at 11:23 am

What a great idea.

34 Lacey September 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm

(Just to clarify, I mean you could swap out the closet DOORS, not the closets themselves- lol!)

35 Mary September 25, 2014 at 1:57 am

I love your kitchen … I’ve dreamed of having a centre island for years now! There is always something you’d like to add to our improve about a house. We bought ours three years ago and still have several items on our to-do list!
Mary recently posted..Scarecrowy Stanwick

36 Caileigh September 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Loved this post, moving into a new house is so exciting! It’ll be so good to see once you guys have got it all done the way you like it. We stuck to pastels in our house, they seem to look good in every light! but I always recommend grey as a safe option, you can totally change a room by just swapping out the accent colour. Keep us updated!
Caileigh recently posted..My Sephora Hiring Experience

37 Reenie September 26, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Very nice home. Gosh, how I wish I lived near you to help you decorate. 🙂

Living room (where small end table is) ~ how about a sofa table/entry table there, or buffet? With lamps on it, photos, etc.

A few tips ~

*Look at 2nd hand stores; Craigslist; Estate Sales; Garage Sales ~ you’d be surprised what you can pick up for a great price.

*Take your time in deciding what you want and where. It took me several years to find what I wanted on my living room wall (biggest one).

*Pick a theme for your kitchen. {my kitchen is coffee themed} I had no idea how many cute “coffee themed” things were out there.

*Paint ~ pick up several paint cards ~ hang them on the wall in the room that you are getting ready to paint. Look at them for several days and at different times of the day/night. Once you narrow it down to like 3 of them, go get a small sample can and then paint them on the wall ~ look at them at different times/day/night ~ and decide which one you like, if any. 😉 Saves a lot of time, in my opinion ~ ~ choosing the wrong color, buying a gallon, painting it ~ then not liking it once you get it on the walls.

How exciting to be filling and decorating you and Derek’s new home….. Congrats again!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: