Our Home | 3 Year Update + Inspiration

As I'm writing this, it's been just over 3 years since we bought our first home. I thought it would be fun to share a look back at the progress we've made and also some inspiration for the rooms that are still left on our to-do list! So far, my husband Anthony and I have done all the renovating ourselves, with help from family and friends. Home improvement is a priority for us, and we are slowly working on projects as time and budget allow.

Back in 2015, I shared a full "Before" House Tour and have been writing about our progress ever since. (You can see my 30 most recent home posts here, or view my entire blog archive for more.) Since we just had our first baby, it's a little up in the air which project will be next on our to-do list but I thought it would be fun to share my ideas for our unfinished rooms anyway. I'm sure my vision for each room will evolve by the time we get to them, but as I was waiting patiently for our daughter, Sage, to arrive I had lots of fun pinning interior design inspiration on my Pinterest boards! So you can thank my "virtual nesting" spree for inspiring this blog post.

Note: All of the inspiration images in this post are clickable, and you can also check out my Pinterest Boards to see what's been catching my eye lately!

Living Room

The living room was the first room we tackled. We spent the first two months with barely any furniture as we saved up for our couch. I painted the walls Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams and we slowly collected other furniture and accessories, mostly secondhand, to finish this room. 

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Read More: Living Room Progress | Modern English Country Style  

How to Shop for Thrifted and Secondhand Furniture

We'd eventually like to remove all of the carpeting on the first floor and refinish the original hardwoods underneath, something that I know would take this room to the next level! And Anthony and I are still waffling back and forth on window treatments. The living room is at the front of the house, looking out onto the porch and street beyond so we want privacy but I also like to let in as much light as possible. I think the ideal solution might be shades with top-down-bottom-up functionality. I've considered a ton of options for curtains- plain linen, luxe green velvet, solid charcoal gray, folksy patterns - but at the moment I'm feeling the idea of a very simple plaid. If we even want curtains. We'll see what we land on, if we ever make up our minds! I've also been wanting to do a faux tin ceiling and crown moulding in here since we moved in. But it feels silly to spend money on that while we still have so many projects on our to-do list. Wouldn't it be so pretty though?


Dining Room 

The dining room was another room we got together quickly after moving in. With my Aunt Bea's midcentury modern dining table and Eames style chairs purchased from Overstock, we had all the function we needed in this room. We painted the walls Pearl Gray by Sherwin Williams and swapped out the art and accessories several times before we landed on this final iteration of this dining room. And there's a reason I say "final"...

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Read More: Dining Room Progress | Antique Meets Midcentury 

...is because this room is in the process of being turned into my new home office and Stevie Storck Design Co. headquarters. My previous office just wasn't cutting it anymore. It's a smaller room that has to also act as a hallway because you walk through it to get to the staircase that I think will work just perfectly as the new dining room.

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I don't want to just recreate the old dining room in the new space. Anthony is partial to our current table and chairs, but I'm open to replacing them with something else if we find the perfect thing. Honestly, what I really want to do in this room is remove that doorway and cut into the wall on the left to create an open bannister for the staircase behind it and open up this room even more to the rest of the first floor. Also, I would love to install a gas fireplace with a salvaged antique surround in between those two windows once the other walls are down. We live in a 1903 colonial/farmhouse, I think we need at least one fireplace! But that's a much larger project than we have the time or budget to take on in the near future. So when it comes to a "phase one" makeover, I'm having a little trouble visualizing what I want. I would love to do an interesting wallpaper or architectural wall treatment, it doesn't make sense to do that now when I'm hoping to tear down about 30% of the walls in here. If we decide to join in with the One Room Challenge again this fall or spring, this room could be a good candidate. If we were to start this project right now, I would go for something in between rustic, collected farmhouse and polished English country home. Eventually the floors in here will be the original hardwoods too. 


Home Office

With the dining room moving across the hallway, I'll be able to have a bigger office with more storage and a door that I can close at the end of the day. This is also the first room downstairs that we've taken the carpeting out of and the original wood floors are just about ready to be stained and finished. Once that's done, we'll probably just move all my office furniture in and let me rearrange and get settled in there for a while before we do any real decorating. But here are some home office vibes that are inspiring me right now:


Kitchen

So far we've done some little things in the kitchen, like removing the cabinet above the fridge so it would fit better, demo-ing the scalloped valance above the sink, painting the door to the porch black and removing some cabinets to install a dishwasher. But overall, the kitchen looks about the same as when we moved in 3 years ago. I have big plans for this space though!

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It's a large room that isn't being used to it's fullest potential. I would love to do a complete gut and remodel, but I think there's a lot we can do ourselves on a smaller budget. I want to rework the cabinetry we have into a better floor plan, remove some more of the uppers, paint the cabinets and add new hinges and hardware for a fresh look. The walls in here are a mix of old wallpaper and formica that have been painted over, so I like the idea of stripping some of that down and maybe doing vertical paneling or horizontal beadboard for some texture and character in here. I would ideally like to uncover the original wood floors in here as well, although I could see doing tile in both the kitchen and the laundry room off of it. I'm drawn to these country style kitchens, and although I plan to add some open shelving I would want to lean more towards the minimal styling of the two kitchens on the right. 


Bathrooms

We have two bathrooms, one on the first floor and one on the second floor. Really, we have a third in the basement but it's pretty basement-y and gross down there so we've never used it. The upstairs bathroom was recently remodeled but with builder basic finishes. It would be fairly easy to tile the floor in there, since it's a smaller room and with that, some paint and maybe a new vanity that room could be complete. The downstairs needs more of a complete gut and remodel, so that project is a little further off. For the time being, I'm just collecting general bathroom inspiration and once we decide when to start one of the bathroom projects I'll narrow down which ideas I want to use in which. I want them to share some elements, so that the whole house feels cohesive but I definitely want each to have their own personality too. 


Master Bedroom

Our Master Bedroom is a project we've been working on for quite some time! This room was my first attempt at the One Room Challenge, and we bit off a bit more than we could chew at the time! By Week 6, we did have the random bathroom sink removed, the original yellow pine floors refinished, a DIY faux brick accent wall installed and a new chandelier hung. We eventually moved in the furniture (once the floors were cured) but our progress stalled for a good year or two. This spring, I was motivated to get back to work on our bedroom before our daughter was born and I'm so glad we did! I'd say at this point, our bedroom is 85% complete but I shared an update post because I felt like I had left you all hanging for way too long on this room!

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Read More: Master Bedroom Progress

What's left on our to-do list for our bedroom is a little finish trim work, adding curtains to my closet, finishing out Anthony's closet (he built and organization system for mine as my birthday present!), and installing real window treatment. I've already changed some of the bedding since I last photographed our room and I'm thinking about bringing a little more color into the space with different accent pillows.  But overall, we are in love with our room! And I'm so glad we finished as much as we did before Sage was born. We've spent a lot of time in here the past few weeks!


Nursery

Enter our favorite project so far, Sage's nursery! We decided to try again at the One Room Challenge for this room and this time we were successful in finishing the room in just six weeks! Designing and putting together a nursery for our first child with Anthony was so special for us. Of all the rooms in our house, her room is the most complete. It's a mix of old and new and feels peaceful and calm, which is exactly what I was hoping to create for our little girl. There are a couple little projects I'd like to do in her closet, but she has real window treatments! That's more than I can say for most of the house. We absolutely love spending time in this room!

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Guest Bedroom

The guest bedroom was one of the projects I thought I'd start with when we bought the house,  but 3 years later it's full of stuff but still never really been decorated. There are paint swatches on the wall that have been there since the summer after we moved in! I shared some vintage nautical inspiration for the guest bedroom around the time we moved in, but I'm kind of over that vibe. For our house at least. We're not looking to start any new projects in the immediate future (we're a little busy caring for a newborn) but my wheels have been turning about this room. I love our dark living room, and I'm thinking it would be fun to do a dark bedroom, since the paint color of our master bedroom and the nursery are both on the light-medium side.

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We're not looking to start any new projects in the immediate future (we're a little busy caring for a newborn) but my wheels have been turning about this room. I love our dark living room, and I'm thinking it would be fun to do a dark bedroom, since the paint color of our master bedroom and the nursery are both on the light-medium side. I love the feel of this guest bedroom I designed for a client last year. Here are some of the things I've been pinning for our a future guest bedroom makeover.


Family Room 

So the fourth bedroom in our house is the exact same size and shape as our living room. So it's very large for a bedroom, and doesn't have a closet. At this point in our lives, I don't think we need two guest bedrooms so we want to turn this room into a family room that can also function as a playroom for Sage as she gets older. Right now, it's housing all of our leftover furniture plus some home improvement supplies from the nursery and master bedroom projects. But here's what it looked like when we moved in!

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We weren't planning to tackle this room anytime soon, but a $25 distressed leather couch I picked up from Facebook Marketplace might have changed that! Our end goal is to have a projector up here for family movie nights but we'll probably start slowly working on this space once I can convince Anthony to haul to new leather couch up the stairs. Since it's literally the same footprint as our living room, I want to go the opposite direction and do light walls. I would love to do another wall moulding treatment like we did in the nursery! We'll see if that idea makes the cut. Other than that, I'm envisioning a really cozy, layered space with maybe a bit more quirk than the other room in our house.


That's it for now! Our days are looking a bit different now that Sage is here, but I'm itching to get back to work on the house. Fingers crossed we'll get something done while I'm on maternity leave from my interior design business. For more of what I'm up to lately, and a first look at any new projects be sure to follow along on Instagram!

The "Before" House Tour | 2015

I know what you guys are thinking. (At least those of you who have been following this blog for a while...) "Stevie, you told us you were buying a house way back in April. When do we get to see it?!?!?" 

I've really been slacking in the house tour department, and I'm sorry. To be honest, I started the first draft of this post back in June but because I didn't do an amazing job of taking photos before we started doing things, I was struggling with how best to organize a digital house tour. Especially when many of our rooms are still empty, even though it's now been 5 months since we moved in. So these photos are a combination of crappy photos I stole from the online listing, plus better photos that I've taken in stages over the last few months. I'm also sharing some of our plans for each room in the form of a punch list.  If it's in italics, that means it's done! 

Get your scrolling muscles ready, this is going to be a long one! 

EXTERIOR

Our house was built in 1903 and has the look of a farmhouse, even though it's right in town. I love the look of the black shutters against the white siding and the wrap around porch is what dreams are made of. I took these photos before Anthony had a chance to pressure wash the siding, so rest assured that our house doesn't look quite so grimy today! I also pruned the rose bush after work one day and went around ripping off all the weeds growing on the side of our house. 

House Tour | Spring 2015 - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour | Spring 2015 - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour | Spring 2015 - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour | Spring 2015 - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour | Spring 2015 - Stevie Storck Design Co.

We have a lot planned for the outside of our house. Eventually, I would like to replace the siding since it's currently mismatched vinyl and aluminum, but in the meantime we want to:

  • Patch and paint the porch floor
  • Paint both front doors
  • Possibly paint porch ceiling (still debating)
  • Build planter boxes for the front windows
  • Hang our porch swing
  • Plant some flower beds along the front and side

Here are the posts I've written about the exterior of our house so far:


KITCHEN

It may not have been updated since the 1960's, but there is a lot to love about our new kitchen! The peninsula is a great work station, and I love that it has it's own exterior door with a small porch. I also love how spacious it is-- we have plenty of space to work when we eventually do a full remodel. A good scrubbing was all we needed to get our kitchen into working order.

House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.
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House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.

We're not planning to do any major remodeling in here for probably another 5 years, but I have some inexpensive ideas for a mini-remodel that will take our kitchen to the next level:

  • Remove cabinet above fridge so we can push the fridge back
  • Remove lower cabinets to left of sink and install dishwasher
  • Remove upper cabinets to left of sink and install open shelving
  • Paint walls, trim & ceiling
  • Paint cabinets
  • Install new hinges and hardware
  • Install new faux concrete countertops and add overhang to peninsula
  • Install a creative, temporary backsplash

DINING ROOM

I forgot to take photos before we started painting the dining room, so here's a bad, blurry photo from the online listing and a couple from right after we painted. I know separate dining rooms have become less popular in recent years, but I am so excited to have one. We are already using it a lot for dinners and game nights! My favorite thing about the dining room is probably the enormous closet with built in shelves-- perfect for our collection of board games. 

House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.

My plan for the dining room is to mix it up and pair antique, midcentury and modern styles. I want it to look like we've lived here since the house was built 112 years ago, and collected our furniture over the decades. I'm hoping the outcome will be a cool, cohesive and casual space to gather with family and friends. Or it could just look like the inside of a thrift store... I'll keep you posted! Our to do list for the dining room:

  • Paint ceiling, walls & trim
  • Obtain an awesome antique piano, for free preferably
  • Install a new light fixture
  • Order new chairs to go with our midcentury table
  • Find some sort of server/buffet/credenza for the back wall
  • Replace mini blinds with nicer window treatments
  • DIY some large scale abstract art

LIVING ROOM

I also forgot to take a proper before picture of the living room! But I've included some nice "during" photos for your viewing pleasure, after this photo I stole from the listing. The living room is nice and spacious, but is lacking the character you would expect in a house this age. 

House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.
House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.

This living room is my current labor of love. Yes, that's dark spot between the windows is the sample paint. We painted this room BLACK! More specifically, Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams. It looks fancy and wonderful and I can't wait to show you some updated photos. Here's the plan:

  • Paint walls & trim
  • Paint upholstery of gold chairs using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Thanks, Pinterest!)
  • Install art shelves 
  • Do something cool with the ceiling
  • Replace mini blinds with nicer window treatments
  • Find a cool vintage chest to use as a TV stand
  • Order new rug (the one I originally bought for in here is moving to the dining room)
  • Find new end tables and coffee table

OFFICE

I'm so excited to have a designated office space! The staircase is on the other side of this door, so you do have to pass through this room to get upstairs. Eventually I would love to open up this wall and built an open bannister, and widen the doorway into this room. I think it will go a long way towards making the whole first floor feel less segmented, but that's the 5 year plan.

House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.

My "now" plan has changed a little bit now that Anthony is going back to school online this winter. I'm now thinking of doing back-to-back desks so a.) we can both work in the office at the same time and b.) when he's not working at his desk, I can take it over and turn the double desk thing into a big craft table. Here's what I'm thinking:

  • Paint walls & trim
  • Possibly wallpaper the cieling?
  • New light fixture
  • Order simple parsons style desks we can arrange back-to-back
  • Get bookshelves for one wall
  • Find cool upholstered dining chairs to use as desk chairs
  • Reupholster an existing chair we have or find a new one for a little reading nook
  • Install a pin board on one wall
  • Organize and outfit the closet as a craft/gift wrap/ filing closet
  • Replace mini blinds with nicer window treatments

DOWNSTAIRS BATH

Of all the room in our house, this was the only room that didn't have new flooring. In general this room is kind of a let down. While the upstairs bathroom has an upgraded vanity and fixtures, the downstairs bath is a mixture of old honey oak and just plain old.  The linoleum floors have yellowed and are peeling. This room just needs a little more love than the others. Someday I would like to totally gut this bathroom and install a larger, tiled shower with glass enclosure, tile floors and a custom vanity. The one thing I do love about this bathroom is the cool built in cupboard that right inside the doorway. It looks like an addition that was made in the 1960's based on the hardware and slab style doors and drawers. It's taken a lot of scrubbing and baking soda to get rid of the mothball smell inside of it, but it has some real potential!

Like the kitchen, I have plans for a mini-remodel to improve this space in the short term, without spending so much money that we feel guilt ripping it all out in the long term. 

  • Paint walls, trim & ceiling
  • Replace linoleum with new sheet vinyl 
  • Install new vanity and mirror
  • Replace rusty and warped baseboard heater
  • Paint inside and outside of built in cupboard and install new hardware
  • Replace towel bars with hooks

FAMILY ROOM

Look familiar? The interesting thing about our house is that the first and second floors are exact copies of each other. At one time, our home was turned into a duplex, which means the living room and this upstairs room (which I am planning to make into a family room) are the exact same size and layout. If we were to use it as a bedroom, it would definitely be the biggest, but it doesn't have a closet. My plan is to turn this into a second living room where Anthony can set up his video games and where we can store/display our instruments. (Anthony has a guitar and bass and I have a mandolin.)

House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.

Because it's not covered by a porch, this room is lot brighter than the living room, so I'm planning to stick with the light and bright feel and go more midcentury in this room. We have an awesome set of Lane coffee and end tables that Anthony's grandmother first bought in the 60's. Anthony's parent's had them in their living room when Anthony was a baby and then we used them in our first apartment I'm excited to design the perfect room for them. This room isn't high on our priority list, but we do have some ideas:

  • Install panel wall treatment using moulding
  • Paint walls, ceiling & trim
  • Install new light fixture
  • Order a cool retro-inspired sofa or sectional
  • Hang a gallery wall

GUEST BEDROOM

So this guest room is directly above the dining room, and like I mentioned above share the same size and shape. Since Anthony and I planned to upgrade to a king bed, we moved our existing full size bed into this room so we wouldn't have to set it up in the master bedroom just to take it apart again a few months later. So here's a photo from the listing, and then some photos from early this summer, featuring Annie, my good friend Jamie's pup. She just couldn't resist stealing the spotlight!  

House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.
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I'm keeping our existing IKEA bed and dresser, and I've decided to go kind of vintage nautical-inspired in here. You can see more my inspiration collage in the "Our Guest Room" post linked below. I thought we would finish this room up really quickly after we moved in, but Anthony convinced me to focus on the downstairs first. I put a chair in the corner and tested some paint samples on the wall, but other than that this room looks the same today as it did when these photos were taken. Here's what we still want to do:

  • Paint ceiling, walls and trim 
  • Hang ship art above headboard
  • Install window treatments
  • New light fixture
  • Paint nightstands
  • Find cool rug for texture

NURSERY

Before you say anything, NO I'm not pregnant! We just refer to this room as the nursery because it's just more succinct than "smaller guest bedroom/designated niece quarters/future nursery". Until we decide that it's time to welcome some non-furry children into our family, this room is pretty low on the priority list. In the meantime, our nieces have claimed this room. The closet is situated over our staircase, so there are these cute little stairs that they love to run up and down. We set up a bed for guests and that's about it! 

House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.

UPSTAIRS BATH

While the downstairs bathroom wasn't touched at all in the previous owner's renovation, the upstairs bathroom does have some nice, new fixtures. The only problem is that they didn't quite finish -- the fiberglass tub/shower was installed but not caulked, and the waterlines were roughed in, but there were no plumbing fixtures. Anthony and his Dad fixed that in one good Sunday afternoon, so we now have a second functional bathroom! 

House Tour - Stevie Storck Design Co.

Since the downstairs bathroom is going to be more of a project, I'm just planning a few simple things for this bathroom:

  • Install tub/shower plumbing
  • Caulk tub/shower surround
  • Paint walls, ceiling & trim
  • New shower curtain
  • New rug
  • Install clear plastic organizers on the inside of the linen closet door
  • Replace tiny medicine cabinet with statement mirror

MASTER BEDROOM

I absolutely love this room! Not only does it have two closets (mine is huge and Anthony's is tiny...as it should be!) but it also has a door that opens out onto a little balcony. I can't wait to start making this room into our little retreat!

Here's what I'm thinking:

  • Remove random sink & cap waterline
  • Paint walls, cieling & trim (Can't decide if I want to go dark or light for the walls!)
  • Install curtains across the whole back wall to disguise the off-center window
  • New KING SIZE bed & small dressers to use as nightstands
  • Refresh our current tall chest with new paint, knobs and maybe wood overlays?
  • Find a cool rug & light fixture
  • Some kind of glider or porch swing for the balcony
  • Maybe a coffee bar area? (This may be impractical, but I just picture us enjoying our morning coffee together on the balcony before the day starts...)

There you have it! We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but we are having so much fun making this old house our own. We're starting to make some progress, so you can expect some more photos and updates coming soon! For more sneak peeks, be sure to connect with me on Instagram & Twitter

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