Our first house

So here's a story of the first house our little family of 4 lived in.  It seemed huge to us at the time, our kids were 6 weeks old and 4, and we were enormously grateful to call this place home.  The house was in a great neighborhood with amazing schools in a perfect little suburb, we were in love.
We knew down the road we would update what was out of style and outdated, but we didn't envision an entire house revamp! That's what was happens when Colette realizes her husband is handy and can make all her dreams of chevron ceilings and wood tone ceramic tile come true.

Now back in 2007 blogging, at least to me, wasn't a word I had even heard of! So did we take any before pictures? Nooooooo. Do I want to hang my head in shame? Yesssssss.  I wish I could take you all through the realtor walk through when we first bought the house so you could see the monumental change, but sadly I can't. So you'll just have to trust that this house had old, nasty carpet, brown plastic trim everywhere, outdated linoleum, and floor to ceiling yellow walls in. every. room.

We started with small projects like painting walls and installing laminate floors (hardwood would not have made sense at the price point of our house).  Then we repainted walls, sometimes 3 and 4 times until we got the color right, which made the other half so happy with his indecisive wife.  But alas, we moved on and added decorative moldings, crown molding, i-wanna-pet-it ceramic tile, and new lighting galore.

Thanks to our realtor in Illinois, Donna and her photographer Katherine of KDE Photography we were able to give you these beautiful pictures of our house. Looking at them makes my heart happy thinking of all the hard work we put into these rooms and all the love our family shared there.

Oh the memories of hockey in the driveway, chalk drawings, and rollerblading.  I miss the old girl.

Alright, enough sappiness. 

When you walk through the front door, you literally walk into the living space. This was a huge design challenge and one that took us years to figure out what worked for us. 

Ikea came to the rescue with their shoe storage systems. It was the perfect drop and go spot for shoes, scarfs, hats, hockey pucks, and baseball gloves. I'm trying to find a way to somehow incorporate these into the new house.

Our wall color is Sherwin Williams Olympus White and it's one of my go-to favorite colors. Just a hint of blue and so versatile. We will be painting a room in the new house that color as an homage :)

And here's the view of the living when you walk into the front door:

And one more from the view of the couch:

This room was where we spent most of our time! Aside from new paint on the walls (it went from yellow to green to olympus white) it also received new laminate floors to replace the old carpet, painted trim, and updated lighting. In hindsight, I really wanted a drop pendant where that track lighting is, but the husband said no deal. So that light was never on!

Through the doorway of the living was the Kitchen.  I didn't like how closed off the kitchen was from the living space, so I was thrilled our new kitchen opens up to the living room:

It wasn't a huge kitchen, but it served us well. This room got the most painting jobs at 4! It started off yellow, then we painted it chocolate brown, which felt cave-like after a few years.  Then we painted it Behr's Peanut Butter and I just hated it. So after a few months, we decided on Olympus White from Sherwin Williams and never looked back!
This side of the kitchen got all new stainless steal appliance, painted cabinets (small cost for a HUGE impact) and new laminate flooring. Had we stayed longer, we would have replaced the laminate counter and added a backsplash but it was great as it was.  This house also doesn't have an office, so we built in one! We added a small desk and shelving to an awkward wall in the kitchen that became our command center for school papers and bills.

The other side of the kitchen was our dining space and I loved it:

We custom built a bench from ikea cabinets, mdf, foam and fabric which served two functions, a place to sit and storage! We added decorative molding to the walls with lattice strips and boards.  We also placed a very large drum shade over the chandelier, thank you again Ikea!

Through the door off the kitchen is our laundry/utility room and a spare bathroom, the only spare one we had in this tiny house!

This was a hard-working room in the house. Our entrance into the house from the garage was through this door, so it could easily become a dumping ground.  Because we didn't have a pantry, the industrial shelving was extra food and household essentials storage.  Since these pictures, we replaced the flooring and the hot water heater (fun, fun). We always talked about getting a tankless water heater since there was no utility closet, and lets face it looking at the water heater and furnace isn't pretty, but it just wasn't worth the money at the time.  So we did the best we could with this space!

Here's the spare bathroom:

It was a really small bathroom.  We replaced the linoleum with ceramic tile, painted the existing vanity, painted the walls, replaced the mirror, replaced the faucet, and added decorative shelving.  That's all she wrote there.

Well, that's it for the lower level! We didn't have a basement, which was definitely on the need list in selecting a new house. You'll notice all of our lower level colors are very similar, light blue and grey's.  Fun Tip: When living in a small house where the rooms all seem to flow together, it's important to keep the colors in the same family to give the house the illusion its bigger, more open, and less cluttered.

On to the upstairs!

The Upper Level had three bedrooms and one teeny tiny little bathroom. And that's it.  It was nice and cozy up there :)
We replaced the carpet on the stairs, landing, and hallway with a mid-grade carpet.  This was not a DIY project despite my husband insisting we could. I overruled that decision and never looked back!
Those boys had that job done in hours and it was awesome to watch!

Alright, back to the house.

Here is the Master Bedroom:

She's a beauty.

We painted her Sherwin Williams Watery.  I really loved this color even though it was a bit more bold.  We accented with yellows and burn orange and it really worked well together.  This room got new laminate floors, a new ceiling fan (despite my disdain for them), and we added these wall sconces which got a good IKEA hack.

The wall of curtains at one end of the room was actually our closet.  We took off the ceiling to floor doors and added a full wall of curtains. It added a bit of drama to the room and softened it up a bit. I would definitely do that again.

The bathroom was oddly attached to our room via another door, which we could never figure out why a bathroom that small needed two doors. But here she is:

This room was a HUGE upgrade from its previous conditions. We painted, installed the most gorgeous tile floor you will ever lay your eyes on, added a new vanity and a new mirror. I cant wait to find somewhere for that tile here in the new house, I seriously wanted to take it with me. I was overruled.

Down the hall was the kid's rooms.

I have to say Abby's room was quite the show stopper:

I mean really. What little girl wouldn't want that room?! We surprised Abby on her 10th birthday by locking her out of her room for a weekend while created this little gem.  This room went from bold pink stripes on the wall to grey (behr's castle) and pink and white chevron on the ceiling.  We also added crown molding and a fancy pottery barn chandelier. New laminate floors and a new closet system added (not shown) and this room was fit for a princess.

Our sons room was the only room in the house to only be painted one time!  It's the smallest bedroom in the house, but he preferred to play outside or in the living room so its size didn't affect him much.

Believe it or not, his room housed a full size set of drum that we removed for showings and these pictures.

We added new laminate flooring, chair rail molding, and a new closet system.  We added bunk beds to his room for our out of town guests since we lacked a spare bedroom.

So that's it for our first little starter home! All the work done in this house (aside from the carpet) was by Mr. Wright, myself, and some help from friends and family. We learned so much and made many mistakes, but hey, that's the fun of it right?

Living in a small space forces creativity and organizational systems and I am so thankful and grateful to have started here.  We feel uber lucky to have the home we have now, but I will always look back on this house with the fondest memories. It truly doesn't matter the square footage of your house, just the memories, laughter, and love that fill that space.

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for a chevron ceiling tutorial!


  1. Wow!! So so beautiful. Like something out of a magazine.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ashlyn! And Thank You! We really loved it.

  2. So nice of you to share these pictures. To each home we lived in belong so many special memories and it's nice to have them.

  3. Omg... this restyling is beautiful. I love how you have the same pattern all over in the curtains in the rooms matching in the laundry room and even the shower curtain. Simply beautiful.

    Totally in awe of your style. I really want to remake my home, but we are moving soon so I don't see the point.

    1. Thanks so much for the sweet comment! We really loved it there. Since you're moving you'll have a whole new space to play with :)

  4. Your home is absolutely beautiful. We bought our first home about two years ago and it has been a huge work in progress. I love how open and airy your home is, I'll be saving this for inspiration. We are in the middle of doing our kitchen a lot like yours (white uppers, colored lowers), and this reassures me about my decision :-)

    1. Thanks Jenna! I don't regret for one second our cabinet colors, in fact we will be using the same colors here at our new house. Go for it!

  5. What a beautiful home -- and that tree in front is gorgeous!!

  6. Just browsing around and viewing your home tours. This is truly amazing! Everything looks so lovely!

    1. Thanks Zan! I do miss that house...even if it was tiny.


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