Sharing our FULL renovation home tour- come see behind the scenes of living through renovations the DIY way. From the freshly remodelled spaces to the in progress renovations and the spaces we NEVER show that are yet to be touched. Also sharing our DIY renovation plans for this house and the next few years.
I wanted to do a home tour like this for a few reasons. At first, I wanted to do one that was just of our everyday home decor- not seasonal, so I’d have photos to share throughout the year but also so that I wasn’t showing you our house only when it had decorations… like that is the only time it’s good enough to share.
But then more questions came in about how our rooms fit together in our house and why I only share one view of our bedroom. And I got comments about how our renovation is going so fast and how others are feeling frustrated living in an unfinished space, ‘it must be nice to be so close to done!’. And you guys… our house is far from done! And we have those same feelings of frustration sometimes- there’s so much more to do and DIY can be… well, slow! And I am really not a hide-the-wreck type of person, so I wanted to show up that way online too. We have definitely made progress, I won’t discount that! You can see how far we’ve come just by looking at our original house tour when we bought this place a year and a half ago!
I’ve written about living through renovations with kids (toddlers! at the time) before and shared the things we were working on in our last house. I shared that we have hosted birthday parties with plywood floors (we have in this house too!), we’ve hosted Christmas dinner with no window trim or blinds. We’ve hosted friends for dinner in our driveway for goodness sakes… while our kitchen was under renovation. I don’t know why they said yes to that invitation. They must like us- ha! We’ve been ‘the plywood box’ of a house on our street for almost a year now. But this is probably the first time you guys (and Instagram!) are seeing that side of how we live… to get us to the house we dream of.
The other reason I wanted to do this is to show you all the exciting projects we have coming up! It turned into more of a renovation home tour at the end of this post. We won’t be getting to them all this year, or even close to it. But we have a vision for every single space in this house and I can’t wait to share some of that with you! So let’s start with the finished spaces, shall we?
Also… as I’m finishing writing this post- we’ve already made over the fireplace almost completely AND cleared out the laundry room to make it into a paint shelter. Things honestly change daily around here.
Our kitchen is dooone and it feels so good! We remodelled this space start to finish the summer that we moved in and I’m obsessed with how it turned out and how well it functions for our family. There’s nothing I would change in this space in the year and a half we’ve been using it.
You can see the full before and after as well as progress shots for the space right here. This was a huge project and included tearing down walls and moving the kitchen from one side of the house to another.
When we moved the kitchen, the dining room was technically ‘renovated’ as well… but we never finished it. We later replaced the windows for efficient ones and months later put up trim, but we’ve still to finish filling and caulking the trim before we paint it.
And we need to finish that before we can put up window coverings! Our dining room is level with the street so we’re right in view when we sit to eat. We ordered window coverings last year, you guys. But still haven’t finished filling and painting trim to get them up. We’re always working on something, that just hasn’t been the current priority.
I am planning to take this space and the updates we need to do in it for a weekend makeover in March. Other things we need to do in here? Patch and paint the walls. This room has taken such a beating. We also need to refinish our dining table. We made this table a few years ago and it’s a softer wood that will age well with our family, but has more fork marks than we can count and some kids paints have stained the epoxy covering. We want to give it a sand and a fresh coat of epoxy to get it back to it’s glory (while keeping some of that aging that we love!).
We also would like to decorate. I have a rug on it’s way and am dreaming up some DIY art for that big blank wall that is easy to take down when we have birthday parties (we decorate this room more than any other one).
Our entry way is another space that we’ve officially finished. I tell myself once I do a reveal of a space that it’s done. We did this one last summer and it’s also working so hard for us in the best ways. You can see the full before and after of this space right here.
The only thing that’s changed in here since the reveal is we’ve gained a basket for mittens and scarves now that it’s winter (we’ll put this away in a couple months)… and we’ve killed our plants. *sigh*.
This room is a bit of a funny one because it’s mostly done now and I share it a lot, but I’ve never done a reveal for it! It’s the room that has changed the most in incremental ways over the past year and a half that we’ve lived here. It got a big refresh when we got the new sectional last year (see that here), but even since then, we’ve replaced the doors and the windows in here and painted the patio doors black, adding window coverings to them all.
We changed lamps a couple of weeks ago as our toddler knocked over and broke our standing lamp a few months ago. This weekend, we’ve been working on a fireplace refresh that I’m hoping to share with you all next week. It won’t be major but it’s already looking so much fresher.
The last thing we’d really love to change in here is those chairs. We find them really bulky compared to the low profile of the sofa. I’d love to get something a little more shapely to balance the sectional… we’re on the hunt, but I have a few ideas. In the meantime, we’re putting our resources towards renovations, not furniture.
I’m lumping these two together because they’ve seen some changes in the past month. I could have shown you the finished spaces from Christmas time or the reveal for this renovation home tour- but this is what they look like right now. We made over both Aubrey’s bedroom and the boys’ bedroom and loved them and revealed them and they were beautiful and then… Aubrey wouldn’t sleep in her bedroom. I’m totally understanding because she’s a twin and has actually never ever slept alone. She even shared a crib with her brother. But as a parent that worked hard to give her the room of her dreams because she begged for it, it was frustrating. So we had let her camp out in her brothers room with her for almost a year, thinking she’d get sick of it and want a space of her own. But she didn’t. So a few weeks ago, we moved things around.
So now the boys room is incredibly spacious with just the older boys in a bunk bed in there. We moved Aubrey back into her bed and moved our toddler in there with her. It makes her room a bit more crowded, sure, but her room is now 100x more used. She loves having her brother in there with her, and he seems to love being in there too.
We are planning this to be temporary, we know she will probably get comfortable in here and want her own space in the next couple years. But in the meantime, this totally works (although less beautiful).
The boxes in these rooms? In Aubrey’s room, the custom sized blinds for her window did not come in time for the reveal so we have a set that is too short in here. It wasn’t a priority to fix (we forgot!) since no one was sleeping in here. Now it’s back at the top of our list.
In the boys room, we’ve bought a trundle to assemble and put under the bunk bed for when we have family sleep over. For now, it’s just tucked under the bunk bed- I’m sure we’ll set it up the night before company arrives. We even ordered more paint to match it to the bunk bed! One of these days, we’ll get that done ;)
I shared this on Instagram a few days ago… I hope that it gives you permission to change things in your house to work for you, even if you’ve already changed them. It was really hard for us to let go of that pretty bedroom we created for Aubrey. We were frustrated that we did all that work and that it didn’t work. But once we got over that and just moved her brother over? Bedtimes have been easier, the rooms get played in equally, it just works so much better for now.
Here is where the post turns kind of into a renovation home tour… projects, baby! Our master bedroom is another one that is so close to done- it really would only take a weekend to get it complete and be able to reveal it! We painted when we put up that moulding wall. We replaced windows in this room as well (we did the whole house), but the bay windows came in the wrong size. Totally our fault but waiting to have them sent in the right size meant that all the trim was complete in the house when we installed these windows. So do you think we pulled back out the saws to do trim? Nope! Haha, we will get there one day!
Again, since we don’t have the window trim complete, we haven’t put up window coverings. Again, we did order them because we were eager to get them done, but then other renovation tasks took priority. We’re currently using a super classy sheet stapled up method for privacy.
We also need to give the room a fresh coat of paint. I’ve tried washing the walls since we moved the lights to suit a king size bed (they were previously wired for queen) and having the ceiling patched and texture matched. The drywall dust being wiped off did leave a bit of residue. Our toddler also drew on one of the walls with deodorant. Again, it mostly wiped off but giving the room one coat of paint on walls and trim would make such a difference.
I am making the bay window into a little bit of a reading nook. I wanted to wait until the window trim was done before setting up but after moving the boxes with the chair and lamp around our house for months, I finally set them up. Some of you might have been around when we were deciding on these pieces! The one thing I’d still like for here is a side table. I have the stumps I used for the tree ring art in the living room, I’d love to make one of those into a side table- I just need to strip the bark off!
Lastly in here, we just need to decorate. I have a large mirror I’d like moved up here and to hang my macrame in here again. Other than that? Who knows! I can’t wait to get to that point in this space. A master bedroom is like a sanctuary and I know how great it felt in our last home to have that space totally done.
PS… here as an updated shot of our closet. It’s been over a year since we shared that makeover and it still has plenty of space. So much so that we store gifts, offseason clothes, our extra sheets, and some renovation supplies in here- ha!
We have yet to touch the bathrooms, but goodness knows they need it. We’ve been taking on these renovations at a pretty good pace and doing them ‘all the way’, gut job style renovations. That is definitely our plan with these spaces eventually, however we’re getting to the point now that we’d like these spaces to function better but aren’t ready to take them on this year. So help a girl out and let me know what little updates you’d do in this part of the renovation home tour!
Currently, our ensuite is tiny with no good way to make it bigger. I do think that a good makeover in the same foot print will make it feel less claustrophobic but until then, we’re working with forest green faux marble tiles, rusty brass vents and hardware, santa fe style shower, a vanity that won’t close, an almond sink and can we talk about how everything is cut into the wall? The vanity is notched to fit, the shelves are cut into the wall, the toilet is cut into the wall for goodness sakes! And above the toilet used to be shelves- but they fell off the wall in the middle of the night shortly after we moved in. Followed by the towel bar. *sigh*
In the main bathroom, we’re working with the same vinyl tile they put throughout the kitchen and an original almond coloured tub. The sink is built into the countertop and the taps are broken. And the tile around the room catches allll the dust and grime while the towel bars catch nothing. Because they too fell off the wall shortly after we moved in along with the toilet paper holder. Yes, we’ve fixed them, no it didn’t hold for long.
All that we’ve done in the main bathroom so far is install a working shower head (the home inspector suggested we not use the old one) and replace broken toilet seats. As far as temporary upgrades we’d like to do? I’m thinking I’d like to paint the rooms and vanities, add new towel bars and some storage like shelves above the toilets. Maybe new countertops and sinks too- these ones are pretty dated and worn.
Basement Rec Room
Our basement is mostly one large room. The play room, tv room, and this weird fire place space are all open to one another. I started painting in here, working to get rid of that green (it was our entire main floor as well when we moved in!) but powered out. I did paint a fun mural though! In here, we’re planning to move walls to make the laundry room a little bigger and would love to do some built in storage down the road.
We’d also love to freshen up the carpet. This one is longer pile than we’d like, but also has had paint spilled on it in places (us) and has been pulled up in spaces (I’m assuming the previous owners cat?). It totally works but it’s on our wishlist for one day.
In the TV area, we’d also love to do built ins around the TV like we did at our last place. And that gym? We’re moving that into the spare bedroom.
One day, we plan to finish that fireplace and set up a cozy reading corner here. It’s a super awkward space since it needs to be open for a walk through to get outdoors and to the office, but… it’s also a fireplace and we don’t want to cover over that!
Back to a regular home tour! This is another totally finished space- wooho! I’ve been using my office studio for a couple of months now and it’s honestly a dream. I love having all this space to spread out. I have all of my supplies in here now- I hadn’t when I revealed the space initially. You can see the studio side reveal here and the office side reveal here.
I also have kids stuff and an extra chair in here. I can have two kids (or two friends!) working here as well- the desk is so spacious!
This room is our next indoor priority renovation. We miss having a finished laundry room but also… this washer and dryer is damaging our clothes. We could just replace them, but if you follow along here, you’ll know that I can’t not be extra and give a room a face lift if I’m spending money on appliances!
We are planning to take over the hallway in the basement to make this room a little bigger which would give us space to add a sink (you can’t have water under electrical panels, so there is currently no wall to have a sink and the washer dryer without jackhammering the floor a ton. Moving this wall will allow for that!
We would also add a ton of storage in here for any extra linens and plenty of hanging space.
Spare Bedroom Turned Exercise Room
If you’ve been following along closely here ono Lemon Thistle, you might recognize this space. We first set it up as a guest bedroom to be able to host which we loved, but when we started building my office, we relocated my office temporarily into here (you can spy that here).
After finishing our office, we’d only displaced guests once- and had just popped the bed out in our rec room for them. It wasn’t an inconvenience (still better than what we’d had at our last place) and discussed using this room as an exercise room as it would get daily use instead of quarterly use.
We’re in the middle of clearing out this room from storage (that mattress is meant for the trundle bed we’re assembling upstairs in the boys room) and turning it into an exercise room. You’ll notice the super duper deep closet. It’s strange and pretty useless. We are considering taking some of that space at the back for a linen closet in the bathroom off this room.
Bathroom off this room?! Yep, there’s one… but it’s wholly unusable. It looks like the past owners started remodelling for a bathroom but then never finished. Some of the pieces are there, but it would need a lot of work to get it up and running… and even more to make it beautiful. Until we finish our upstairs… this room is on ice and as one friend who watched my YouTube video of our home this past weekend said, ‘I didn’t even know this room existed’. And she is over at least once a week, guys. It may as well not exist for a few years… ha!
We are mid remodel on the exterior. We started last spring and it might look like we got very little done and you’d be partially right but… we did a ton too. We quickly ran into termites. We spent some of the summer having that remediated and checked. We are clear now, but it definitely set us back. We have all the siding for the exterior makeover sitting in the driveway, just waiting for spring. I can’t wait to get started on it!
We hired out landscaping last fall and this year we’ll get to enjoy a finished front yard for the first time since moving here (it was an actual rock pit, you guys).
Other than the siding… around the side of the house, we need to build new stairs and a fence. The current fence which was there when we moved in is chicken wire. It’s classy, alright. Building a fence and gate will give us peace of mind letting our kids play in the back yard while we are in and out of the house on summer days.
In the back yard, we worked hard last year. We tore down the existing decks, found tons of garbage buried under them (what?!), remediated termites back here, and rebuilt a larger upper deck, and rebuilt the lower deck. We need to finish the lower deck skirting and stairs to the yard. We also created a modern slat wall for our concrete retaining wall. We want to carry this towards the house, possibly incorporating a ladder to the top part of the yard where we’d love to build a playhouse.
I forgot to photograph or video our garage- just know it looks like this but full of drywall for our basement. K?
PHEW! What a beast this post has been… to photograph, video, edit, write, and post… it’s huge! Every once in a while, I’m reminded that this house is bigger than our last and this is one of those days. This is a lot of spaces and information in our behind the scenes renovation home tour- but hopefully it answers a lot of the questions I get asked so often! If you have any more questions- let me know!