Home Sweet Home: Looking Back on Year One

It’s been a little over a year since we got the news that we were moving to St. Louis and a year since we stepped into our house for the very first time. In honor of our first year as homeowners, I want to dedicate this post to the work we have put into making our house a home.

As all homeowners know, work on a house is never truly finished – this is a lesson both Andrew and I have learned over the past year. While we haven’t torn down any walls, ripped out any carpeting or made any HUGE changes to the house (yet), we have put a lot of time and effort into sanding, painting, and decorating. There’s still plenty to do and endless projects on the horizon, but celebrating the journey is half the fun!

About Our House

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Our house is a mid-century modern ranch home, built in 1965 as part of a quiet suburb in St. Louis. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a two-car garage and a huge finished basement that nearly doubles the square footage of our house. It was flipped in 2014, where I believe it lost some of its original mid-century charm, but I am excited to restore this beauty and give it an updated version of its signature style.

The Living Room

I love our living room’s vaulted ceilings. It’s a trait of this mid-century home that wow-ed me as soon as I walked in. The biggest thing I thought when I walked into this room was “holy potential!”

Before & After

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The first thing to go was the color. This warm, yellow-tan color was everywhere in 2014 and it was everywhere in this house. The mounted TV also left some pretty significant holes that required us to completely float the wall and spend hours and hours of sanding before we could even begin painting.

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As much as I wanted to go full-blown vintage in this room, the modern fireplace and hand-scraped hardwood would make it feel a little inauthentic, so I opted for a mix between mid-century and modern.

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The couch and love seat are new (Weekends Only) as well as the rug (Overstock) and TV stand (Overstock), while the end table, coffee table (which I stripped and re-stained), and coral chair are all from the 50s and 60s.

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I’ve accented the room with a vintage brass firewood holder, vintage seagulls and eclectic pottery from West Elm and At Home. The canvas on the wall, the sunburst mirror, and the plant stand are from Target.

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The coral chair in the corner has been in my possession since 2014 after my mom and dad found it at a flea market in Tulsa for $10. I needed a chair for my new apartment in college and I knew I wanted something unique. I was VERY skeptical at first, but luckily the structure of this chair was in great condition and we found a vintage-inspired fabric to give it new life.

Future Plans for the Living Room

Eventually, we will be replacing the ceiling fan with something more modern. It’s also my dream to return the fireplace to its former glory and make the entire wall with the fireplace a focal point of the room.

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via Kristina Lynne

The Dining Room

Want to know something crazy? I almost didn’t want to look at this house because of the dining room. I hated the pony walls that separated the dining room and the kitchen. However, my mind was completely changed when I saw it in person. While the pony walls are chunky, I understand that they were necessary to open up the space when the house was flipped.

Before & After

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There wasn’t much in this room in the beginning, which was great because my design wheels starting turning the moment we stepped into the house.

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We knew going into decorating this room that new dining room furniture would be expensive and made with particle board or engineered wood. I knew I wanted something durable and solid wood if possible. Which meant, in our price point, that it would have to be vintage. It took me almost 6 months to find a set I wanted, which was a Broyhill Saga set that I found in pristine condition on Facebook Marketplace. The only thing I did was reupholster the chairs since the fabric on the cushions was in pretty bad shape. You can see the original orange and teal cushions below.

This room has some of my favorite items in it. The tension pole lamp was my great grandmother’s and was passed down to my mom and dad and now to me. The credenza is actually a vintage dresser. It’s also my mom’s and is just a placeholder but I think it works quite well in the space. We also replaced the light fixture, which took us a hundred years to figure out how to install – but that’s a story for a different day.

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The geometric curtains and multi-colored wall fixtures are from West Elm (although I did change the colors of the shapes to match the color scheme of the room). I styled the dresser with colorful old books, vintage pedestal planters, a brass vase (which my parents got as a wedding gift in 1981) and brass candle holders, as well as a vintage glass set and serving tray, found at a local vintage store. The vintage mosaic end table holds a snake plant and sits under a boomerang cutting board that I mounted on the wall.

Future Plans for the Dining Room

This room is the most complete in the house. The only thing we will be replacing is the dresser (because my mom needs it back eventually) and hopefully, the pony walls that I mentioned my disdain for earlier. I’d like to replace them with something more authentic to the era of the house, likely some geometric railings.

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via @hellorefuge on Instagram

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via Retro Renovation

The Office

When we first moved to St. Louis the plan was for me to work from home, so finding a dedicated office space in a house was a must. While I would have settled with putting my desk in a spare bedroom, I fell in love with this office space with 3 HUGE windows facing the front of the house.

Before & After

IMG_9720IMG_2545The office is hands-down my favorite room in the house. Each piece was carefully chosen and most closely resembles my style and personality. The room is centered around a 1960s Alma executive desk that I bought on Facebook Marketplace in Tulsa for $120, before finding out it’s worth more than $1,000. It was originally missing a handle, but I miraculously found an extra set to this exact desk on eBay for $16.

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The matching bookcases are surprisingly from Walmart and the Edison bulb lamp is from Target, which are the only two new pieces in this room. The 1978 Steelcase swivel chair adds a pop of yellow to the room (a signature for each room of the house).

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The pink couch is from a vintage shop in St. Louis and it is in AMAZING shape except for the missing button, which we will be replacing soon. The vintage guitar pick table was also found on Facebook Marketplace in Tulsa for $25.

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Some of my favorite pieces in this room are the set of three diamond mirrors (Hobby Lobby) which I painted to look mid-century modern, the custom-made curtains that my mom sewed for me – which was the style inspiration for our entire main floor, the art deco “Tulsa” print, my 1950-60s radio, and my vintage sunburst clock (Etsy).

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Future Plans for the Office

Eventually, we will be replacing the ceiling fan with something more modern and replacing the carpet with wood floors to match the rest of the main floor. I’d also like to add some built-ins to give this room back some of its original charm.

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via Popsugar

Kitchen

When we were looking at houses, an updated kitchen was on the higher end of our priority list. We knew that things would be so busy once we moved back to St. Louis so having a kitchen that was ready to use was important.

Before & After

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I love all the storage in this kitchen, including the built-in pantry. The custom cabinets are in great shape and have a little tint of red to them, which really makes them stand out. The under cabinet lighting and the can lights make the kitchen feel upscale. And the kitchen island? The best! When our friends come over, everyone gathers around the island to eat, drink and chat.

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My favorite thing by far about the kitchen is the garden window. I was a notorious plant killer before we moved but having this garden window has inspired me to do my research and try again. All the plants in the window have been alive and well for the past year and I consider that a win in my book!

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Future Plans for the Kitchen

Eventually, we will be replacing the beveled, tan subway tile backsplash with something more modern.

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via The Creativity Exchange

The Guest Bathroom

Our guest bathroom is great because it has so much space, which means endless potential! Besides our finished basement, both of our bathrooms are what I want to redo the most. While they are updated, it’s more traditional than what I would prefer.

Before & After

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The first thing I did before painting was take the storage cabinet above the toilet down and the thousands of extra towel racks that were in this room. I replaced it with two hanging planters from Target and fake succulents. I also replaced the shower curtain with this gold geometric one from Target as well.

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Future Plans for the Bathroom

Eventually, this bathroom will get a full upgrade to match the mid-century modern style of the rest of the house. The flooring, shower tiles, vanity and lighting will all be replaced.

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via Bigger Than The Three Of Us

The Master Bedroom

The problem with wanting an older home is dealing with the fact that bedrooms were just smaller back then. We walked into so many homes that were built during the same time period and I thought I was going to have to settle for a small master bedroom. Boy, was I wrong.

Before & After

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It may be hard to tell from the photos but our master bedroom is HUGE. I was worried about fitting our king-size furniture in almost every house we walked into but not this one. Luckily, we had most of the furniture already for this room.

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The bedroom set (bed frame, two nightstands, and two dressers) are from Coleman Furniture, the lamps and curtains are from Target and the bench is from Overstock.

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I custom mixed the paint for this room after putting about 7 different color swatches on our wall for two months straight. The wall behind the bed is an accent wall and is more of a dark navy, despite looking lighter in the photos. The vintage orb lamp was found on Facebook Marketplace and the geometric shape above the dresser is from Target.

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Future Plans for the Bedroom

Just like the office, we plan to rip out the carpet and replace it with hardwood floors to match the rest of the main level.

The Master Bathroom

While our master bathroom isn’t as big as our guest bathroom, we are lucky that it was updated as well. Currently, it works for just the two of us getting ready since our morning routines are a little staggered, but eventually this space will have to grow with our growing family.

Before & After

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Future Plans for the Bathroom

This bathroom will also get a full upgrade to match the mid-century modern style of the rest of the house. The flooring, shower tiles, vanity and lighting will all be replaced.

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Bonus Pics

Here are a few other photos from our home that don’t quite fit in anywhere else! The only photos that aren’t included in this blog are of the finished basement and backyard – both of which we have BIG plans.

Entryway Before & After

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Guest Bedroom #1

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Guest Bedroom #2

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Big Things Are Coming

So many things are about to change in this house and we have a lot of exciting projects and renovations left to do, but we are so happy with the progress we have made so far – even it means filling rooms with stuff we’ve had since college. Many of my Mizzou friends will recognize the girly blue and coral decor in our guest bedroom. 😉

I just wanted to give a big shoutout to my mom who has helped us through all of this – finding the house, decorating, fixing holes in drywall, installing light fixtures, etc. I honestly don’t know what we would do without her!

And thank you, friends, family and the city of St. Louis for welcoming us home.

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