10 years ago today we moved into this house – a house that Steve could not see my vision on and yet he trusted me. (We were getting slightly desperate as we’d put offers on so many houses before this)

In ways I see how far we’ve come and then there’s other aspects that I’m wondering how in the world we made it 10 years without fixing or addressing. The nice thing about living in a long-term house is you know you have time and we really have taken our time. We have had some major projects over the years and never failing, we would burn out afterwards. Renovations are not for the faint of heart and the older we get and the older our kids get, the harder remodeling has been. Just ask my kids about their bathroom that has been under construction since it flooded earlier this year! 🙂 We’re taking baby steps.

This is where we started – a short sale property in the 2011 low point in real estate.

We quickly removed all the gingerbread which made a big difference, but we still had 7 orange trees in our front yard.

This is the most recent photo I have of the outside and even it’s a little outdated because it was two years ago and our trees have grown significantly. But this is where we’re at.

When we first walked in, I immediately knew what I wanted with this space in opening the wall to the kitchen – perhaps create a half wall with a counter top. But we couldn’t tackle anything major right away and it was actually good for us to live in it for a while before making any major changes. There were things I would have done right away that I would have later regretted. Years after living in the space I realized I didn’t want a half wall in that space – I wanted the wall gone all together to give us more living space. It’s funny to see how my ideas have changed over the years.

We replaced the mauve carpet within a year and a half of moving and then we just hung tight for several years.

Almost seven years after we moved in, we started our largest remodel to date and we took a section of our house down to the studs and then decided to move walls while we were at it. 🙂 It doesn’t even feel like the house from 10 years ago.

Here’s move-in day. A great shot of the orange oak staircase and mauve carpet.

This is what it looked like the day before we started our kitchen remodel


The original owners loved tan and gold. Years from now someone will look at my pictures and say wow she really liked gray!

Eventually I’ll make it through the whole house with before and after photos – today it’s just our main living area and kitchen, the heart of our home. One of my favorite things about remodels is seeing just how much a space has changed and this house has some serious stories to tell.

It was a house for the first three years and it’s been a home to us ever since. Here’s to another 10!