Our First Home!

by Ashley

First Home

Welcome to our humble abode!! We are so excited to finally be homeowners. After packing up all of our things in 2013 to move to Boomtown, USA and living in a 5th wheel for two and a half years, followed by nine months of apartment living we are SO incredibly thankful to finally be purchasing our first home (not to mention leaving North Dakota and being closer to family/friends). Once Mike got the official word that his job would be transferring to the Bozeman area in Montana, the house hunt was on! After scouring real estate apps like Trulia and Zillow we fell in love with this house. It had only been on the market for a few days so we didn’t waste any time and put in an offer. Two days later we were overjoyed to hear that it was accepted! We thank God everyday for this blessing!

We will be moving to Montana in early December but with holiday travels coming up we won’t officially be living in our new home until mid-January. My mind is already swimming with all things home decor! My Pinterest boards are bursting at the seams and I still have two full months before we actually get to start unpacking and decorating! The planner in me is over the top excited about planning out all of our future projects to make this house a home. Since we will be transitioning from two incomes down to one our budget for updates/renovations will be small, so most of my meticulously planned out projects will take months or even years to complete. But hey, you have to start somewhere!

I took pictures of each area in our home and wanted to share them as ‘before’ pictures to give you a good idea of the starting point and a frame of reference. This will also give me a good place to document the plans we have for each space and give you an idea how we plan to transform it from an empty house to Casa de Carpenter! Of course, these plans are subject to change as I seem to change my mind a few times before making the final decision 😉

So without further ado, let’s start the tour!

Front Exterior

I really love the outside of our house, it already feels so welcoming. The red front door gives the house a farmhouse/barnyard feel which is right up my ally. We don’t have plans to change much besides accessorizing the front porch area and adding some landscaping details in the Spring. I have some research cut out for me as I have not had the need to do landscaping/mowing at all in our past residences. Thankfully, my parents are experts in this area so I will have to glean some knowledge from them 🙂

The back yard is something we are so looking forward to! It’s an average backyard with not much to the eye, but with a two year old pup, just having our own yard space is such an improvement over our current situation! We will not miss tying her up in order to put her outside to do her business and cannot wait to see how happy she is to run free in her own space. We plan on adding a garden in the spring so that we can enjoy homegrown fruits and veggies. We are total newbs when it comes to gardening so this will be another area we will have to do some research. I’ll make sure to post updates so you can follow along 🙂 Another priority will be the patio area that could definitely use some attention.

Back Exterior

Backyard

So overall, our to-do list for the exterior includes:

  • Create some sort of seating area and add decor on the front porch
  • Add some landscaping detail to both the front and back yard
  • Add some lawn furniture to back patio

Heading inside!

Entry Way

There’s a small foyer area when you first step into our home including a small coat closet. There isn’t much room for anything too bulky so I will most likely plan on hanging some minimal wall decor to give a warm welcome to guests and personalize the space. Maybe I can getaway with a skinny table or bench behind the door?

The main living room is right off of the entryway and has an entrance to the stairs that lead to the second level.

Living Room - Before

Stairs

Living Room - Before

 

The living room is currently a fairly gloomy space with the darker walls and dark wood trim. There is older carpet in the living room right now and we hope to install a hardwood or tile solution to match the kitchen/dining area. Depending on cost we may resurface the whole downstairs to match throughout as the main floor is a fairly small footprint.

Fireplace - Before

There’s also a gas fireplace that leaves more to be desired on the far wall, directly across from the stairs. Mike and I have agreed that the fireplace needs some revamping and plan on making that a priority so that we can fully enjoy ourselves as we cozy up in front of the flames with a blanket and hot cocoa.

Our wish list for the living room includes:

  • Paint the walls and trim
  • Update ceiling fan
  • Replace carpet with some form of hardwood or wood-look tile
  • Resurface fireplace and add mantle
  • Add an area rug
  • Hang curtains
  • Add seating and a coffee table
  • Accessorize!

The living room leads into the kitchen and dining area.

Kitchen - Before

Kitchen - Before

Hellooo cabinet space! I cannot wait to come up with an organization plan for this kitchen; living in an apartment, I had to get creative with my kitchen storage solutions and now I feel like I won’t even have enough stuff to fill all of these cabinets! However, we are limited on pantry space – the only pantry option right now is this small space under the stairs.

Pantry - Before

I haven’t decided yet how I want to organize that space, but I will keep you posted!

Dining Room

Hands down, my favorite part about this kitchen is that it is open to the dining area and has a breakfast bar. I foresee many joyful meals being shared here 🙂 Since the kitchen itself does not have any windows (other than the window and sliding glass door in the dining area) it does have a bit of a cave-like feel to it. One of my first priorities for our new home will be to brighten up this space by painting the cabinets white and updating the current light fixtures. The kitchen truly is the heart of the home so I cannot wait to liven up this space and make it a little more inviting.

Our full wish list for the kitchen/dining area includes:

  • Paint the walls and cabinets
  • Paint existing cabinet hardware
  • Update light fixtures in kitchen
  • Update chandelier in dining area
  • Replace existing flooring with some form of hardwood or wood-look tile
  • Update refrigerator
  • Add bar stool seating
  • Mike is planning on custom building us a dining room table (!!)
  • Add dining room chairs
  • Hang curtains
  • Revamp shelving options in pantry/closet
  • Eventually look into upgrading counter tops, sink/faucet, and adding backslash
  • Accessorize!

There is a door off of the dining area that leads to the laundry room and half bath, as well as an entrance to the garage.

Mudroom

Since the laundry room is an open space leading to the garage I want to create an area for hanging coats and storing boots across from the washer/dryer. Obviously there is not a ton of room but coat hooks and maybe some storage shelves/cubbies would be just enough to create a functional space. I don’t have any specifics in mind yet, but I’m pondering the idea of horizontal planks on the walls to mimic the look of shiplap. Recently I have been head over heels for all things shiplap! (I blame Joanna Gaines 😉 )

Laundry Room

In that same area, directly across from the laundry area is the half bath, which is fairly basic aside from the bold paint color.

Half Bath

I probably won’t do much in here for a while but would eventually like to upgrade the vanity and fixtures. I haven’t decided yet on the paint color, I may have to give it a few weeks to see if I want to keep the existing red color. Maybe if I do shiplap in the laundry room area I should bring that into the half bath as well? What do you think? (Let me know in the comments below!)

Here’s what I’d like to include in this space:

  • Upgrade the shelving option above washer/dryer (potentially add cabinets)
  • Add a rod for hang-drying clothes
  • Paint walls (potentially add faux shiplap)
  • Add shelving and hooks on far wall
  • Replace all light fixtures
  • Upgrade vanity in bathroom
  • Redo flooring when we resurface living room and kitchen areas
  • Add window treatment
  • Add a rug
  • Accessorize!

The garage is something both Mike and I are very excited about. We have never lived somewhere together with an attached garage so that will be a really nice convenience. No more spending ten minutes every morning scraping snow off my windshield, woot woot! It’s the little things in life, ain’t it? There is also plenty of room for some major storage/organization ideas in here which I am overjoyed about. (We didn’t get a picture of the garage, but it is just your average 2 car garage with some wood shelving.)

We don’t have room in the attic for any storage so the garage will have to be our main storage area. The existing shelves that came with the property seem fairly flimsy but will work fine for now; eventually we would like to customize our own design to fit our specific needs.  Thankfully my husband is very handy so that will be a fun project for him some day. Many of his hobby-specific items will need their own home and what better place than their own spot on a shelf or cubby! I would also love to have a small area made available for some home workouts, but I might be getting ahead of myself there… Baby steps.

That’s the downstairs, let’s head upstairs!

Hallway

When you reach the top of the stairs if you were to continue walking you would enter the master bedroom, however if you take an immediate right you would be in the “bonus room”, a giant room over the garage that will become our media room!

Bonus Room

When we first saw this space both of us looked at each other and could tell we were thinking the same thing: home theater! Being the homebodies we are, watching movies and TV shows together is one of our favorite ways to spend time together. It may not be in the budget to completely deck this room out and make it the home theater of our dreams, but we do plan on this being the only room for watching television so either way we are planning on making it a cozy space.

Our full wish list for this room includes:

  • Paint the walls a dark grey
  • Update the light fixtures
  • Update (or remove) the ceiling fan
  • Eventually replace our two-seater loveseat for a larger sectional
  • Add a table and chairs area
  • Create a drinks/snack bar area
  • Create some kind of storage cabinets
  • Add blackout curtains to both windows
  • Consider setting up a projector and speakers (this may never happen, but it still gets to make the list because #hometheater 😉 )

If you take a right from the bonus room, directly across from the stairway, you’ll see the door to the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Not much needs to be done in here besides paint and move our existing bedroom furniture in. Eventually I would like to add horizontal planks (again, with the shiplap look, I know!) to one of the walls to create an accent wall and bring in some texture.

We plan to:

  • Bring in existing bedroom furniture (bed, nightstands, dresser)
  • Hang window treatments we have in our current room
  • Paint walls and trim
  • Add faux shiplap accent wall
  • Replace light fixture
  • Add an area rug
  • Potentially replace existing closet and bathroom doors with sliding barn doors (not sold on this one yet)

The master suite includes a walk-in closet and average sized bathroom.

Walk-in Closet

Master Bath

Master Bath

Master Bath

Not a lot needs to be done in either of these spaces, just some touch ups and updates. We probably won’t do much with these rooms for a while but when we do our list will include:

  • Paint
  • Update light fixtures
  • Paint cabinets in bath
  • Update mirrors
  • Replace existing shower rod with a curved rod
  • Add rug(s)
  • Eventually it would be nice to upgrade the countertops but this is low priority
  • Accessorize

From the master bedroom, there’s a hallway leading back to the front of the house that has the two other bedrooms and a full bath. The hall has a half wall that overlooks the stairway which creates an open feel upstairs. Mike already has big plans to add an elk mount on the far wall some day, and I am 100% on board with that!

Stairway

Hallway

The two bedrooms are modestly sized and are in need of some fresh paint and updated light fixtures. We plan to set up the first room as an office for now and hopefully someday it will serve as a nursery, Lord willing 🙂 The second room at the end of the hall will be designated as a guest room. Both of our families live out-of-state so we are thrilled to finally have an actual guest room for them to stay in when they visit.  I don’t have any specifics worked out for either room beyond purpose so I will have to fill you in later on those!

Bedroom Bedroom

The guest bathroom is at the end of the hall facing the front of the house.  It is fairly dark right now but with some fresh paint and updated light fixtures it should brighten up quite a bit.

Guest Bath

Guest Bath

We plan on:

  • Painting the walls/trim
  • Updating light fixture
  • Updating mirror
  • Possibly painting the cabinets
  • Eventually upgrading the countertops
  • Adding window treatment
  • Adding rug(s)

Whew! That was a lot already, but I also wanted to mention a few things we want to do throughout the entire house, things like:

  • Paint all of the walls/trim
  • Update all light bulbs/fixtures to LED
  • Replace/update most of the blinds so that everything matches (right now we have a mix of cloth accordion style, cheap metal blinds, and thick wood blinds)
  • Eventually replace the doors throughout the house

We definitely have months/years of work ahead of us, but we could not be more excited about it! We already love this house, but we can’t wait to truly put our personal touch on it. Thank you so much for joining us on this new home journey and for sharing in our excitement!

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1 comment

Rochelle the SIL November 8, 2016 - 2:15 pm

I can’t wait to see it all come together! I have no opinion on the downstairs bathroom color; I like your idea of waiting a few weeks to see how you feel about it after living in the house. I think the designated elk mount space is perfect!

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