One Year in Our Home: What We Did in 2019

Today I’m sharing the details about all of the projects we tackled in our home during the first year living in it: 2019.

Can you believe that we only have a couple of days left in 2019?!  In some ways, this year has whipped by in a flurry of activity and in other ways it feels like we have been living in our home for so much longer than a year.  Today I’m joining some of my blogging friends for a special end-of-the-year hop, hosted by my friend Lory from Designthusiasm.  Today and tomorrow nearly twenty bloggers are sharing the details about all that they’ve accomplished in their homes during the past as well as details about what they hope to tackle in the year ahead.

These kinds of summary posts are always really fun to write because it forces me to take a look back and reflect upon exactly what was accomplished over the course of the year.  As I wrote this post, I was almost in awe of how much has changed in our home in just one year.  After you’ve lived through major renovations, one after another, you start to forget just where exactly you started.  It was only last November that we moved in and now, just 13 months later, we have completely renovated all but one room on the main floor as well as the exterior of our home.  So without further ado, I’m going to get started, because I have a LOT to share today!

Immediately after taking possession last November, we tackled a quick makeover of the main living room areas by painting the walls all white, painting the fireplace a charcoal grey, and setting up all the new furniture we had to purchase since we sold our previous home basically furnished.

When we viewed the house last fall it looked like this…

A before picture of the living room in the house.

And shortly after moving in it had a light new colour scheme. It looked like this in our 2018 Christmas home tour, less than two weeks after our possession date…

An after shot of the same living room with updates.

And then this summer…

A look down the living room towards the painted fireplace.

 Our living room source guide is here.

The small TV area that adjoins our main living room was updated immediately as well when we initially painted the living room space.  The previous owners had used this area as a kind of walk-through with a piano and a bookcase. We decided to turn it into our TV area, since we chose to put our dining table where they had previously setup their TV area.

When we viewed the house last fall, it looked like this …

A dark hallway leading to the living room with a bookshelf and a piano in the hallway.

We painted all of the walls a whisper white except for the one charcoal grey feature wall (same colour as the fireplace), and then I ordered the same Ikea Farlov line sofa as I ordered for the living room because the two spaces are so close together. The vintage sideboard that holds our TV was a Kijiji find.

A white couch with a wooden coffee table in the hallway.

A wooden cabinet has a TV on it.

For Christmas this year I actually switched the orientation of this room and placed the TV cabinet on the charcoal wall and the white couch on the white wall.  So far we are really liking it and I think I may keep it this way even after the holidays area over and the trees are put away.

There is a decorated Christmas tree beside the couch.

A blanket ladder is beside the TV.

We also updated the foyer right after moving in by adding box style paneling and painting it all out white, as well as updating the tile to a vintage patterned style and switching out the light fixture to a sputnik style.  When we updated the exterior of the house this past summer/fall, we changed out the front door as well.  I haven’t share much about this space, but you can see the before and after below…

The entrance to the front door.

And here is how it looked at Christmas this year…

The same entrance with a new light fixture, door and painted.

Right after Christmas last year, we started tearing apart the main floor and we lived in and through major renovations for over six months.  In fact last year, just before New Year’s Eve, our house looked like this…

The walls taken down to the studs.

During the six-months-that-felt-like-six-years-renovation we moved and removed walls, updated electrical and plumbing, and completely revamped two bathrooms, the kitchen and the dining room.  The layout of our house was changed like this…

All the house plans.

To this…

More house plans, drawings.

I’ve shared quite a few detailed posts as we went along through this huge process and the first room that was finished was the main bathroom.

It went from this…

The bathroom that is outdated.

A small bathtub in the bathroom.

An outdated sink and mirror.

We were able to add some square footage to the main bathroom by removing a pantry closet and hall closet.  The big expenses were the construction and plumbing changes, so I kept my finishes budget-friendly by working with big box fixtures and finds.

And now, it looks like this…

The same bathroom with a black and white floor and a white vanity.

A small wooden bench is inside the shower stall.

There is a palm leaf on a shelf in the bathroom.

You can read all the details about this main bathroom renovation in this post.  

We tackled the main bathroom and ensuite at the same time, as we needed to rework the space in both in order to gain enough space to add a shower to the ensuite.  With some smart re-jigging of the walls and the loss of one closet in the master bedroom (which we made up for by expanding the other closet), we were able to add the shower and get a much more functional (though still small) ensuite.

The ensuite used look like this (it was just a two-piece ensuite)….

Outdated ensuite.

And now it looks like this…

The ensuite with shiplap and a round mirror.

And has a shower (which now has a glass door)…

The small wooden bench in the bathroom.

You can read about the ensuite renovation in this post.

With the ensuite being such an integral part of our master bedroom, we ended up tackling the master bedroom at the same time as part of the Spring One Room Challenge.

Our bedroom started out like this…

A bed in the middle of a bedroom with no decor.

White closet doors in the room.

There is a small ensuite off the bedroom.

And it ended up like this…

A bright bedroom with a tufted bed and a beaded chandelier above it.

A white faux fur throw is on a bench in the bedroom.

There is a white and grey blanket on the bed.

You can read about our full master bedroom and ensuite reveal here.

You can see how we used PAX wardrobes to increase our small closet space here.

As soon as the bathrooms and bedroom were finished we moved immediately on to tacking the kitchen, which was another huge job.  It involved a ton of construction, the removal of the walls, new flooring, appliances, cabinets, tile, lighting and hardware.  It’s a completely different space then what we began with and now that it’s all done, I can say it was definitely worth the effort (mid-renovation, I might have had a different answer for you).

As I mentioned, we really changed the layout of this area…

Floor plans to the house.

This picture is of the dining area when we looked at the house – it is in the area that has become a banquette nook for us)…

The before shot of the dining room.

We opened up the wall and took out the little door so that the kitchen flows into the living room now…

Tearing down walls.

Mid-renovation, when we setup our temporary kitchen in this area while we tackled the construction in the main kitchen area…

The kitchen all opened up.

Previously, the main part of the old kitchen was fairly cramped and dark…

A shot of the before kitchen with dark cabinets.

The kitchen before being renovated.

We took down the wall between the kitchen and dining room…

A man putting up drywall in the dining area.

And now it’s a big, open, super functional space that we love. This picture shows the kitchen from the top of the stairs looking straight through the banquette/bar area through to the main kitchen at the back of the house.

The kitchen after being renovated.

A white kitchen island with wooden chairs.

There is a wooden cake stand and a pie on it.

The new kitchen is now completely open to the dining area…

A shot of the kitchen island and the dining room.

Grey kitchen cabinets with brass pulls.

You can read about the before/construction/after of this space in these posts:

Kitchen Reveal Part One: Banquette Eating Area & Beverage Center

Kitchen Reveal Part Two: The Main Kitchen 

We also updated the dining room as part of this huge project.  When we initially viewed the house, the previous owners used this space as a TV area…

A small room off the kitchen.

The wall that you see on the right is the wall that was removed during the kitchen renovation.  The wall on the left is now covered with box paneling and has our pew against it.  We updated the light fixture and moved it to a new location during construction so that it would sit directly over our dining table…

The same small room turned into the dining area.

A wooden table, and large brass and white lamp.

You can read all the details about this makeover/renovation as well as find the source guide for our dining room in this post.  

Finally, we also tackled the exterior of our house during the summer and early fall this year, though the process began in the late spring with some construction work.  The previous owners had some major drainage work done just before we took possession of the house last November, so we needed to fix the yard up from that.  It looked like this in the spring…

The off white exterior of the house.

The cracks in the driveway.

A small stone path leading up to the house.

The stone path to the house.

We had the driveway, stairs, and sidewalk redone and then the yard levelled and cleaned up.  We planted grass and redid the landscaping ourselves.  We had a friend update the exterior of the tall garage and change the posts to cedar, as well as switch out our front door, which I stained to look like wood.  We hired a professional to install some rock along the base of the exterior, and then tackled the painting of the exterior and added new light fixtures ourselves.


The exterior to the house in grey and wood.

Up close look at the garage attached to the house.

The pathway all in concrete to the house re-poured.

You can read about the full before/after exterior renovation here.

You can read how we tackled our exterior painting with ease in this post here. 

Whew.  What a year.  No wonder I’m exhausted.

But seriously, although we don’t plan to take on any more major renovations there is still a lot more to be done in this house.  In 2020, we plan to…

  1. Get organized!  It’s really hard to get/stay organized when you are moving in and immediately renovating, so I think it’s time for me to take on the 10 Week Organizing Challenge once again, in this house. I’ll be sharing about that over the next few months.
  2. Finish the boys’ bedrooms.  First up will be a refresh on our youngest, Finn’s room, as part of the New Year New Room Refresh Challenge.  I’ll be sharing details on that next week.
  3. Freshen up the basement.  Our lower level includes a rec room, office/craft room, laundry area, entry/mud room area, a bathroom, as well as two bedrooms (one we use for storage and the other we hope to turn into a home gym).  We want to paint it and will consider changing out the flooring but are not sure if we want to spend much more money on this house after the scale of renovations we did this year.
  4. Finish off the outside.  This spring we plan to freshen up the backyard and deck, as well as paint the pool deck and clean up the landscaping.
  5. Move on and Build! Yes, you read that correctly.  After ALL we’ve done, we are thinking that in the next 1-2 years we may sell and build a house from scratch.  Building is something that we’ve always wanted to do and when the time is right, we plan to go for it.  We shall see if that is what’s in store for 2020 or not…

And, as I mentioned, today some of my talented blogging friends are sharing all that they’ve accomplished in their homes in 2019.  I am looking forward to perusing their posts to see all that they’ve tackled this year! Just click the link below each image to be taken directly to their post.

End of Year Hop Monday 01

Designthusiasm | StoneGable | Shabbyfufu

End of Year Hop Monday 02

The Happy Housie | Southern Hospitality | Sanctuary Home Decor

End of Year Hop Monday 03

Zevy Joy | Nick + Alicia | So Much Better With Age



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  1. What an amazing year you’ve had, Krista! Everything you did is exceptional, but what I love most is all that white that utterly transforms each of the spaces!! Gorgeous job!

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