Wednesday, September 14, 2011

in five years

in 2006, a mere 4 months after i graduated college (and on my 22nd birthday) i bought my first house.*

home sweet home

i spent the next three years wishing i had never bought it because i (thought i) wanted go to the art institute in san diego or open my own b&b in jamaica**, but ultimately knew the house was keeping me grounded. i had even less of an idea of what i wanted to do with my life then than i do now, and being forced to stay employed was a good thing.

since receiving the keys on that fateful day, i've been renovating the house (it needed it!). the carpet was disgusting, there was spray paint down the kitchen counters, across the fridge, on the floor and out the side door, and ivy was growing in a couple of the windows. i still cringe when i see houses with vines covering part of the house.

in the beginning i decorated each room separately which resulted in a rainbow bright house. part of this was because i often found $5 cans of "oops" paint at home depot and i figured i'd take advantage of the bargain. the kitchen was bright orange and yellow striped (sadly i have no photos of this), the dining room was pink and brown, the living room a bright spring green, the foyer purple and gray, and the master bedroom a grassy green. what was i thinking?

as i've matured, i admitted to myself that it's ok to paint the walls neutral instead of pretending i live in mexico. the kitchen became buttercream yellow, dining room is neutral and brown, and the foyer brown and gray. eventually i'll repaint the living room an off-white/very light beige (probably) for a more grown-up beach vibe.

a lot more than painting was done; there isn't much of the original-ness left other than the "bones" of the house really. the master bathroom and walk-in closet still haven't been renovated, we'll probably hire out the tile work for the stand-up shower (in case it's holding hidden surprises) and haven't gotten around to hiring anyone.

so, in celebration of five long years of being a homeowner, here's a look at some of the "before's", "during's" and "current's" for your enjoyment (and because i'm proud of the work we've done, my dad and josh included of course).

foyer before

foyer during
of course there was wallpaper under the paint

foyer current

hallway before

hallway after

hall bath
hall bath before
a full bath, but hard to photograph because it's small

hall bath after

hall bath after

living room
living room before
this ivy was growing through the window... yeah.

living room progress
no more nasty carpet!
you can see skid marks in the sawdust from where my friend
and i would run and slide across the room - we were so cool

living room after

living room after

dining room
dining room before

dining room progress
during the rainbow house phase

dining room more progress
it's no longer these colors, but it's messy right now
and i didn't feel like tidying up for another picture

kitchen before
yes, that is ivy wallpaper

other side of kitchen before
you can see ivy overtaking the patio

kitchen progress
had to show off my vintage oven
(that i actually kinda wanted to keep)

kitchen after

kitchen after

updated porch
the outside has gotten it's share of updates too

personally i think i'll always want to buy fixer-uppers - i love rehabbing and making things beautiful again. i'm pretty sure josh does not feel this way as he is a little tired of the never ending house projects.

happy 5th birthday house!
(and if you paid attention and did the math you'd know that means happy 27th to me!)

*i'll admit this may not be the right time in anyone's life to be making such a big purchase, but i was stubborn in my "it's an investment" mindset.
**i was (still am) all over the place sometimes.


  1. I love reading about and seeing photos of other people's house journeys. I can't even imagine buying a house at 22! I love your house though and the updates you have done are fab.
    Happy Birthday (to you and your house)!

  2. I love looking at home remodels and I think that it is very commendable that at such a young age you ventured into a real-estate investment. :)

  3. wow, it is really impressive 1) that you could afford a house at 22! 2) what you've done with it. It looks amazing and 3) happy birthday :)

  4. Your house is beautiful :). I love everything you've done with it. As far as the paint goes, you live and you learn, it's really neat that you've put so much into it and will probably be a lot easier to sell if you decide to open that hotel in Jamaica :).

    Amy Lauren

  5. Oh how super duper cute!! I especially love the kitchen!! I would love to re-do mine!!

  6. Wow that is great Lindsay! That has to be a great feeling to see it all come together. I have so many great ideas for things I want to change in our house. Love looking at home pics. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Congrats and Happy Birthday!!! I love the before's and after's, I can't believe the ivy was grow in through the windows! I also gotta say that I LOVE the patterned chairs and ottoman you have! This makes me want my own home so bad! Spike and I have been discussing buying but we need to figure out what our plan is first.

  8. Happy house anniversary! it is SUCH a cute house and you have done an awesome job decorating. You should be way proud. :)

  9. Lovely! You really did some great things with the house. Cheers to the next 5 years!

  10. ummmmmmmmmmmm wow. you bought a house 5 years ago right out of college?! props to you!

    lovely house. when are you going to invite me to visit?! ;)

  11. Wow, I didnt know you were an undercover MTV cribs employee.. Nice job. and happy Bday, LD!

  12. Happy Birthday House! (and Happy Birthday to you too!).

    Very impressive remodeling!!

    We bought our house at 22 as well so you are in good company :) (although I was ALMOST 23 - haha)

  13. Jeff and I got married when I was 20, we bought our first house a year later when times sucked and our interest rate was 15%. Yes, that says 15%! We've been fixing crap up for the last 30 years! After building our current home 20 years ago, now it's starting to fall apart-you got to see the inside renovation! It feels great to fix up the homestead-puts a warm/fuzzy feeling inside!
    Love the living room-and really, who hasn't done a Tom Cruise impersonation while sliding across a hard wood floor?!!!
    Love all the pics-Happy House Birthday and Happy Birthday to you!

  14. Very nice Lindsay. And the only place you could have gone wrong buying a house would have been San Diego wherer the prices are off 50% since 2006...

  15. What a fun tour! You've done a lot with the place and done a great job with it! I love the colors in the foyer now, very attractive!

  16. Happy House-iversary!!!!!

    Oh okay, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY too.

    But I think you should have kept the ivy.

  17. Looks terrific, well done! You have a beautiful home.

  18. I was 22 when we bought our house 6 months ago and I haven't looked back yet. I LOVE owning over renting!

    So far for house projects we've: painted the whole house and drywalled the one unfinished room. On the horizon are: Master bath re-do completely, build new deck, replace carpet on staircases, remove spackle from ceiling.

    I swear the house projects are never ending! That above list I just wrote out will probably happen over a span of at least five years :)

    Oh and your house looks GREAT! I love the flooring in your foyer.

  19. It's very pretty! I've been in my house 10 years and haven't even gotten that far with doing remodeling or renovations!

  20. Very impressive to own a house so young and do so much to it.

  21. holy sh*t that is incredible. Can I just hire you to do the work? Pay you in M&M's?

  22. Well, that's one way to announce it's your birthday!! :) Thank God I logged into FB today! Happy Birthday, girl!! And I love your remodel, I would love to buy an old Craftsman house and revamp it. Hell, I'd love to revamp my current house. It's just a money thing. *sigh*.

  23. Woww! Beautiful house Lindsay... and only in 5 years. I like so much your home... It's really so comfortable... and NOT a flat! a house.

    You're a lucky girl, believe me!

    Great post, like usual.

    P.S. I saw the trainers furniture at the entrance... COOL and big... you have to have a lot of pairs!!

    Take care

  24. It looks AWESOME! You did such a great job! Lots of hard work...but fun I'm sure!

  25. Happy Birthday!!!!! Hope you have a fantastic birthday!!!!

  26. Your house is freaking gorgeous...but it also looks super comfy too. Love it. Wish we were real-life friends so that I could invite myself over!

  27. Damn, you do good work. Come do my house!

    Just catching up - saw your post on your sinus arrhythmia & PVCs. The magnesium would be good, but also make sure your potassium levels are over 4.0 - some of our patients are fine with low potassium levels, but then some hit that 4.0 level then it's PVC-city. Solution is easy - a banana a day :)

    Also what was your heart rate? If it's low from the running, I'm not sure that the beta blocker would've been a good idea anyway.

    Enough out of me.

  28. awessome!!!!!! i love it! those changes are seriously great, you should be on one of those home improvement shows hahahaa

    -aye dubbs

  29. In 2008, the WHOLE ENTIRE year, we were remodeling. We moved out, gutted the house and remodeled. I hope and pray that we NEVER EVER, do it again. Im too lazy! Luckily, the hubby agrees.

    The updates look great!

  30. Lindsay, your home is beautiful! And I really admire you for buying a house at only 22. That is really amazing to me. Happy bday to your house, and congrats on a great job!

  31. Happy belated birthday!
    (To you and your house :-) )

  32. That is seriously a fantastic job you guys have done. Congratulations!

  33. Very cool! I love looking at remodel photos!

  34. I love to re-do rooms and update things in the house but don't like doing them myself. I'm a dictator unfortunatley. Give me a contractor and I'll set him to work.
    YOur home looks beautiful. :)

  35. I cannot believe you bought a house at 22! Good for you! I'm not even in a "nice" apartment yet.

  36. The place looks great! Happy belated birthday!!

  37. Your house is gorgeous! And with those fancy schmancy upgrades, you'll definitely get enough to start a B&B in Jamaica when you sell it! ;)

    Hope you had a great birthday!

  38. You've done an awesome job! You're house is goregous! Also, happy belated birthday!

  39. Love what you have done with it! I cant wait until I can purchase a house. Im sure I will also want a fixer-upper but nothing too bad.. just some cosmetic fixes ;)

    Happy Birthday to you!!!

  40. I'm not as enthusistic about home remodel projects as you are and lose steam 1/2 way through. I usually like the end results. I love your before/after pictures and appreciate your rainbow phase because I always look at houses with color with admiration because my color scheme is always neutral hence I think it's boring.