The Nickel Tour

Welcome to our house!  Come on in, take off your shoes, and make yourself at home.  May we take your coat?  Feel free to peek around our house as it is “in process” of being updated and renovated.  We have included links below to some of the bigger projects we have tackled thus far and the changes will be even more impressive as the months (and years) go by, so stay tuned for updates.  If you want to see various versions on below, check out the links below:

We’ve also created a “source list” if you’re curious about where we’ve purchased something and/or if you’re looking for something similar in your home!

The First Floor

Front of the House

The exterior of our house left a lot to be desired when we first moved in.  The trim and woodwork had suffered from neglect, we had dangling gutters, and it was suffering from overall deferred maintenance.  Here is the house before we moved in:


After a few months of living in the house, we managed to rebuild some decaying pillars, re-caulk and paint all of the window trim, and refinish our damaged front door and installed a beautiful storm door to keep that door looking top notch in the future.  We also built a fence for our backyard to enclose it for our dog, Maggie.  Here it is after those transformations and ready for the rainy Pacific NW Winters:

Dining Room

The dining room sits just beyond the front door and off of the front hallway.  There was caked masking tape on the floors by the baseboards and filthy floors and windows.  Here is the dining room before we moved in:


Moving in our furniture to the dining room filled up this void of a space and gave it some purpose.  We painted the space a two-tone color, hung some blindsreplaced the builder basic chandelier and purchased a space appropriate table.  Now it’s ready for some dinner party and gaming shenanigans.  Here’s the after:


The kitchen was filthy dirty when we first moved in and required several cleaning jobs and a lot of elbow grease to remove the layers of dirt and grease from the cabinets and counters.  The counters were unsealed and stained, the kitchen sink was partially removed and unhooked, the microwave was hanging by a thread, and we had no range or refrigerator.  Here is the sad before:


To update this space and to make it functional, we purchased brand new appliances, sealed our already stained granite, re-attached and caulked the partially removed sink, replaced shelves on the inside of the cabinets, installed beadboard on the back of our kitchen island and later painted the corbels to match, and baked one Blackberry Pie courtesy of our backyard Blackberry Bush – yum!  Here it is after some of those changes:


Family Room

The Family Room was another filthy dirty room with more damaged baseboards, filthy carpets, drink-stained walls, and a poorly placed sliding glass door that enters from the backyard onto white carpet!  We have so many plans up our sleeves for this room, including replacing all of that grody carpet with some hard surface and hopefully building some kind of built-in apparatus on the fireplace wall!  Here is the family room before we closed and before all of our large-scale changes that we have planned for it!


We have painted the family room, hung some much-needed light-control curtains, re-finished a bookcase and an old knotty pine hutch, refinished some old brassy lamps, hung a mirror arrangement on the wallreplaced the baseboards and purchased a nice big wool rug to really ground the space and tie it all together.  Here it is after all of those changes.  And we’re not even close to done yet!

The Second Floor

The Upstairs Hallway

When we moved into our house, it seemed like our upstairs hallway was just screaming for a little love.  We had smoky/stinky carpet and dingy walls which just made it feel dated and depressing!  Here it is before we moved into the house:

I know it seems silly to spend a lot of time making over a hallway, but this was such a high-traffic area that it needed some serious help!  After painting it the same colors we used downstairs to tie it all together, we ripped up all of that stinky, smoky carpet and installed lovely cork floors.  We also hung an asymmetrical frame collage to give this space a nice focal point and even installed shoe molding and spray painted some of the floor grates to make them fit in a little better with the new scheme.  Here it is after all of those changes:

Laundry Room

Our first stop on the second floor is the laundry room.  Talk about a complete blank slate!  This room had no cabinetry, no utility sink, and only a dim light fixture to speak of.  Here is the barren and unfunctional before:

Our barren laundry room prior to move-in Prior to even moving into the house we painted a tone-on-tone paint job to spice it up.  We also purchased used appliances on Craigslist to save some serious moolah and then performed a total overhaul to this room by adding cabinetry, counters, plumbing, faucet, sink, electric new cork flooring and some snazzy new front load machines.  Here is the laundry room after all of those changes:

Guest Bathroom

The plumbing had all been “winterized” in this room as with the rest of the house to prep it for Foreclosure, so it needed a lot of Goo-be-Gone and a lot of cleaning.  And that builder’s grade mirror did nothing to mask all of its problems!  Here it is before we moved in:


We cleaned this room top to bottom and replaced the boring builder’s grade mirror to take it to the next level.  We hung some DIY artwork and performed an overhaul of the room to really polish it off.  Here is the room after all of those changes were made to it:

Front Bedroom to Room of Requirement

When we moved into the house, this west-facing room stood pretty much empty and was another blank slate like most of the rooms in our house.  Since it was the largest non-master bedroom in the house, we had some pretty good ideas up our sleeves for what we wanted it to be.  Here it is in all its blank glory before:

It took us almost two years to get this room to where it is now as our “Room of Requirement” – our room that needs to be precisely what we need it when we need it to be that (Harry Potter fans will understand).  After purchasing some Ikea bookcases to store our mountain of books, we didn’t really touch it again until a full year later when we painted this room with a fun cityscape mural to keep it feeling young and hip, purchased a sleeper couch, installed crown molding and restored an old steamer trunk that I found on Craigslist to give it a rustic “manly” feel.  We are loving this room as an extra Media Room, Library and overflow guest space when we need it.  Here it is in all of its “manly” glory after all of those changes:

Guest Room

This room was likely an office and a “smoking room” for the prior tenants and needed some patch-work done in the walk-in closet as well as paint on all 5 walls.  Here is the sad and empty before:


We started by hanging curtains, creating our own DIY artwork and even purchasing some furniture to make this room feel well rounded and welcoming to our guests.  But this room was screaming for a little some’n some’n, so we performed a pretty major overhaul to this room to really kick it up a notch!  Here it is after all of the back-breaking changes!

Home Office

This room was very obviously used as a nursery/child’s bedroom before we moved in and we had all of the artwork stains to prove it – acrylics, water colors, permanent markers – you name it!  It was all over the walls.  This is the smallest room in the house, which made it perfect as a blank slate for our office.  Here it is before we made any changes to it:

It was a long time coming to really makeover this room.  Our first makeover was really just to clean, paint the walls and replace the baseboards back when we first moved in.  But then we got the itch to really have more of a “custom” office experience and our best (and cheapest) option had us building a wall-to-wall desk from scratch!  Here is the beautiful after that my hubby built with his own two hands!

Master Bedroom

This room needed a paint job as there were many stains on the walls, including coffee and other liquids we’d rather not know the origins of, but it had some lovely assets in a walk-in closet, a fireplace, and a beautiful bay window area with potential galore!  Here is the sad and lonely before:


Our first makeover room is also our favorite!  A couple of coats of paint, some new (and very necessary) blinds, a rigorous unpacking job and we’ve been sleeping better than we have in over a year thanks to our army of crickets and a quiet neighborhood just outside our window!  We also added a functional seating area, updated our window seat to include some much-needed storage and incorporated an updated neutral and blue color scheme.  Here is the dream-inducing after:

Master Bathroom:

What a doozy!  This bathroom seemed okay when we first bought it, but after living with it for about a year and half we realized that it needed a serious gut job and renovation.  We had black mold growing in our shower, damaged marble countertops, a loo that just didn’t work and not enough storage for us.  Here are a few views of this room before we took on a massive renovation:

It was a six month odyssey to whip this space into shape.  We completely gutted and renovated this room from the ground up.  The only thing that is really original is the tub.  We installed new cabinetry, new countertops, created a fully custom shower from scratch, and generally created a new space that feels both serene, restful and clean (no black mold here!).  Here is the bathroom after all of those changes!  And if you’re curious where we got something or how much it cost, then you can take a look at our budget breakdown here and our source list here!