Our Home, One Year Later

Monday, December 12, 2016

Just over a year ago we closed on this home of ours. It is/was our first time owning a home so we were kind of in over our heads, especially as city dwellers/renters for all of our adult lives. 

When we decided we were moving to Salt Lake City, I became addicted to looking at listings on my phone on my lunch break while teaching in Chicago. I found this one and let our real estate agent know and prayed it would still be on the market in 10 days when we flew out to look at places in person. Literally everything we liked was flying off the market in a day or less! Lucky for us, this one stayed on the market because it was on what Utah considers a "busy street." For us, coming from living on one of the busiest streets in downtown Chicago, the slight sounds of cars and street lights were music to our ears. We fell in love and the rest is history!

Here's a little bit of an Internet tour, before-and-after.

Living Room

This picture of the living room is from the original listing. When we saw it back in Chicago, we liked it, but we were not going to buy a house sight unseen! We fell in love with all the natural light and the beautiful hardwood floors. What I did not love was that every room was this beige color. A bunch of boring beige rooms. I wanted to paint so many things immediately.

I loved the charming touches of our historic neighborhood and the exterior, but I needed to modernize the interior to make it my own. I started with this fireplace. I hated this peach stone around the facade of the fireplace and I used a super sticky (and fireproof) white paint to cover it up. As you can see by the paint swatches I had pinned up above the fireplace, I had originally wanted to paint this room a shade of white. 

The deeper I got into the design of this room, I started to think I could pull off a deep charcoal gray on the upper parts of the wall. You can see the paint swatch on the bottom left corner of the picture  on the couch and one above the fireplace. I thought that between the white wainscoting and all the natural light, it wouldn't look too oppressively dark. Andrew trusted my design instincts and I went for it. The result is probably one of my favorite paint choices of my life! The paint color is Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore.

All product details for our living room can be found in this post!

Kitchen / Dining Room

Next up was the kitchen. I had never really had a full kitchen before. Certainly never a dishwasher and never a dining room table. Growing up I had a picnic table in our kitchen and my mom would say I had ten dishwashers, referring to my fingers. So having some of these modern luxuries was super exciting for me, as was all the storage space. In our old apartment in Chicago, space was limited. But here I had this whole wall of cabinets you see on the left of the listing photo. Not much of this has changed, but behind it certainly did.  

We actually kept the beige in this room since I think it kind of worked in this room, not to mention I really didn't want to have to climb up and paint behind cabinets. So I guess we just made it work.

Details for all products in kitchen/dining room can be found in this post.


On the way to our bedroom and my office you have this hallway. I decided to keep the dark paint running down the hall extending out of the living room. I'm pretty glad I did, even though I worried about the dark color making it feel small. Instead, it feels warm and cozy. I added this beautiful mirror I found at Megmade in Chicago right before I left as well as a Lulu and Georgia runner and one of my paintings (which you can find more of at @hotpinkpaints).

Our Bedroom

Believe it or not, this is actually a different shade of paint than the living room, although it's almost impossible to tell them apart. This one is called Nightfall by Benjamin Moore. I literally painted this room within days of our arrival. Even before our furniture arrived.

My Office / Closet Room

This is the room I spend the most time in as of late. Instead of it being just an office and my closet, it's become my late-night pumping headquarters while the baby sleeps. I actually get work done but feel as if all my blog posts since Athena was born should come with a disclaimer on the bottom such as **Attention! This post was written by the mother of a newborn at 3am while using a breast pump. Please excuse any nonsense, typos, spelling and grammatical errors for she is sleep deprived. 

You can find all the details and products from my office here and here.

Athena's Nursery

Probably my favorite room to put together in our house has been Athena's nursery. It's such a cozy room for snuggling our sweet girl. You can see all the room details and products linked here.

Basement Playroom

This playroom is still kind of a work in progress only because Athena is still so very small and literally has no need for a playroom. Hopefully soon she will get some fun toys to play with in here. Until then it works as a guest room and a place for us to hang out in.

All the details for this room as well as a better view of before and after check out these posts here and here.

So as you can see, in just one year we've pretty much changed this whole beige box into a home full of personality and function. I love having a home full of character where nothing is wasteful and everything serves a purpose for our little family. It truly is the perfect place for us!


  1. Wow. This is truly wonderful. Blessing on your house and all of you.

  2. I gotta say Jill, you missed your calling as an interior designer! Your home is just gorgeous.

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality