Top 3 Things I Learned From Our House The First Year

To end the celebration of the first anniversary of life in our lovely home, I want to share the top 3 things I learned from our house the first year.

Earlier this week I shared about how I seriously hated our house at first. I may have cried at some point about it. I can’t remember but I wouldn’t put it past me. I was a little snobbish.

I had gotten used to our new-ish house in Texas that was all shiny and had such luxuries as a pantry, lazy susan cupboard for our Tupperware, and of course, the soaker tub.

But our middle-aged house in Arkansas is tried and true. And with age comes strength. She has shown her true colors, and they are lovely. We have done a lot of work and most projects have turned out great. I shared the top 3 from the past year here.

Yet more than how to make our home look perfect this past year (as it certainly isn’t- I’m still avoiding painting our kitchen cabinets and need to finish painting the trim in the dining room) I have learned 3 valuable lessons from our sweet home.

1. Don’t be afraid to paint… And then paint again.

I learned a lot about making the right paint color choices this past year. Fortunately, paint is really cheap and is the most cost-effective way to transform a room. Remember when I painted our living room this very saturated grey? I loved it at first. Actually, for months. And then it just started to look wrong. Too grey, too cold against the sofa.

photo 3 (46)You can really see the difference in the paint colors here… the first time around the paint was bottom left. Second time, middle right. Do those colors look the same to you? Want to know how I ended up choosing that one? Read this post first about choosing paint colors then this one about this room.

photo_5[2]Anyways, $30 and a few hours of time and our living room was transformed. It looks brighter and more cohesive.

photo_3[1]So the lesson learned: if you don’t like the color of your walls (or ceiling, or cabinets, or brick mantel), change it!IMG_0308.

2. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, remove something.
I talked about how a room can be completely done from head to toe beautifully with a huge amount of money spent but still look terrible if there’s something ugly in it. 

Like miniblinds and valances….

photo 1 (41)Or an awful awning….

IMG_0050You take them down and what a difference!

photo 2 (28) IMG_0057

We work on a tight budget but removing the ugly is free. And yet worth so much.

The biggest transformation via removal was the mini shutters though:

photo 3 (7) photo 3 (10)The first thing I did (with the help of my awesome mom) when we moved into our house was remove all the tiny little shutters from all the windows. Now you can see our lovely backyard. But that awning… that darned thing came down a few months later and it is now an ugly-free zone. Cost? Nothing, just some elbow grease.

The biggest thing you can do for room beside paint it is to remove something ugly. It’s better to have nothing than to have something ugly. Not a fan of those curtains you hung a few years ago, but don’t know what to hang up? Take them down! Not so into that art on the wall anymore? Down it comes! A blank canvas is better than a ugly one.

3. It’s better to do things right the first time than rush just to get it done.

Being super excited to work on our house has been one of my vices this past year. I was so enthusiastic to transform our home that I painted walls and then realized that I probably should’ve painted the crown molding first.

In case you can’t tell, it’s almond, not white. It’s quite a pain to go back and paint the molding after you’ve painted the walls. Lots of taping off.

IMG_9298But I learned that painting the crown first was easier and more effective.

Our big kitchen project especially taught me the importance of being patient and working together instead of forging ahead when tensions get high. It’s better to figure out how to do things right and take your time than to just get things done and then have to spend more time later correcting it.

Just be willing to take things slow and do it right. No shortcuts.

Sure we learned how to tile a backsplash and convert recessed lights to flush mount ones. But these 3 lessons are so much bigger and applicable to every room.

Linked up to Thrifty Decor Chick

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2 thoughts on “Top 3 Things I Learned From Our House The First Year

  1. When we did a lot of work on our Pennington House, we learned a lot of good lessons as well. Great post(s)! I wanted to read every single one of your links, but I have to get on with my day–working on making the new rental into our cozy home. Until I put effort, elbow grease, and love into this place, I will hate it. I think that is where the difference between the move-in-ready newer homes and buying an older one. The newer ones are done for you, but it takes blood, sweat, and tears to make the older house shine–and that’s when you fall in love with it. Oh, and I too miss my huge soaker tub. I even wrote about it in this post: http://livelifecreatedreams.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-master-suite-at-pennington-house/

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