I don’t know how many of you remember this, but a while back I did a post entitled “True Confessions of a House Gone Bad” where I got out of bed, walked around my house, and just took a picture of each room without cleaning, styling, or otherwise trying to make it pretty.
My goal was to capture the truth. Unvarnished.
It was embarrassing, but it was also liberating. Suddenly I was able to talk to all of you about the real situation my home was in and get help and advice on what to do about it.
Best. Decision. Ever. (And THANK you.)
Well, it’s been over a year, and I thought it’d be nice to take a look and see where we’re at. What’s better, what’s worse, what’s unchanged…
So again, I didn’t clean, I didn’t style, and I didn’t compose my shots. I just went from room to room and clicked. Here’s what I saw:
This is one of the first rooms I worked on, with your help and advice. I completely emptied the room and worked on furniture arrangements, then I did a digital makeover to play with ideas. Of course, then real life intervened and the couch got ruined, I got a new loveseat, then an antique cabinet for Christmas. Finally, my friend Krista helped me come up with a new floor plan that included the piano, and now the room looks like this:
I still have tons to do in here — paint, trim, plaster, slipcovers… but at least it’s not embarrassing.
Verdict: Much better!
Dining Actually Just Part of Family Room
Having the dining room here was kind of an experiment that didn’t really work. We now just have the one dining room by the kitchen that we had momentarily been calling the breakfast nook. So this is really a picture of one part of our family room.
Verdict: Meh. I’m glad it’s not a dining room, but it’s really not very nice, either.
This probably looks pretty familiar since I just posted some pictures of the family room the other day, when I was trying to notice the positive things instead of dwelling on the negative.
Before I moved the piano, I had slightly different furniture in here. But I’m pretty happy with the arrangement in here now.
Again, the next steps are lots of painting, sewing and decorating — I want a cheery palette in here (what Mr. Magpie calls “Easter Colors”). But again, it’s cozy and makes me happy for now.
Verdict: Much better!
Not a lot of changes showing here. BUT, since these pictures were taken, there’s been changes, and oh boy am I excited to share them with you! Hee hee hee!
Verdict: Oh, It’s Changed… You’ll See!
(The Actual) Dining Room:
It’s hard to tell here, but there has actually been quite a bit of change in the dining room. We cut our dining room table down so it would fit in here and brought back our oak chairs. I also was trying to paint the whole cabinet before Thanksgiving last year, but as you can see, I ran out of time.
BUT, I did get the fireplace wall plastered and my salvaged door painted, and so the other side of the dining room looks like this:
Still tons of things to do, BUT, it’s way better than before. It’s so much brighter!
Mostly we just added shelves in here. I have a plan, but it’s not at the top of the list right now.
Verdict: Marginally Better.
Craft Room / Office:
This room actually got way, way worse before it got to the state it’s in now. BUT, in the process I reorganized the storage in here and though it’s hard to tell, the room is functionally much better.
Plus I have a comfy place to sit when I’m doing handwork, or for family to lounge. I’m still working on this room, and I posted a whole ton of inspiration posts showing craft rooms, furniture, storage and pin boards.
For now, I’m trying to just work on this one little spot:
Progress is being made, just very sloooooowly.
Verdict: Organizationally Better.
Not much to say. It hasn’t changed. Except that it’s messier (luck of the draw there).
Verdict: No Change.
Only small changes in here. I rearranged the furniture slightly, and briefly considered making this my top project (I didn’t). A few weeks ago we started building the mini-library outside the room and I loooooove that. I’ve also been steadily adding more pink into the room, and you all know that makes me happy.
As with all the rooms, there’s a ton I want to do. Banishing all that wood trim is very high on the list. But the room isn’t on the top of the list at the moment. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, as they say.
Verdict: Mostly No Change.
Well, it’s cleaner, anyway!
Verdict: Mostly No Change.
Rocket Boy’s Room:
Now, this room is pretty much always a huge mess, so it makes it really hard to tell what’s going on in here. Plus we’re still lacking a couple of storage items so again, hard to tell. BUT, we actually completely cleaned out and reorganized and rearranged this room and it’s MUCH better in terms of how we’re using the space. We’re planning to actually finish this room this summer so we can finally give my poor soon a really great room that WORKS for all his stuff.
Verdict: Better (But Hidden In the Mess!)
Baby Girl’s Room:
Again, hard to see with the mess, but there’s been LOTS of changes in this room! I moved her chandelier in here from Rocket Boy’s room, then started fiddling with her artwork, which made me decided to go ahead and really DO the room, starting with all new trim (moulding) and wainscoting. We’ve also been (again, sloooowly) collecting things for her room, too, like her headboard, bedding, and furniture.
Of course, along the way there have been inspiration posts and posts about how I’ve tried to work with my toddler on the design of her room.
This is one of the rooms we’re actively working on because it doubles as a guest room, and we’re expecting guests this spring!
Verdict: On It’s Way to Way Better.
And yeah, remember how I said we’re having guests soon? So yeah, we might need to step up our activity in this loooooooooooooong guest room project! (Seriously, anyone remember when we first did the demo? Yes, that was nearly four years ago!!!!)
Verdict: Mostly No Change, But Stay Tuned.
WHEW! That’s a LONG post there, Nellie! But it was therapeutic for me, and I hope (HOPE) interesting for you. You can see why I said the other day that we are trying to make this dream come true “one Saturday at a time” because we have to do things in very small chunks.
But the best part for me was to see how far we’ve come, just in the last year (plus). I am always thinking we’re not getting anywhere, but we did! Sure, it’s not a lot, but it’s quite a bit considering how little time we have to work on it. It’s nice to see that we ARE making changes and we ARE getting somewhere.
I might take the time and go back to seeing how far since come since we bought the place, too. I think that might help me really start to see that things ARE different than they were before.
Thanks for hanging in there with me, messes and all!
Updated: Of course, the BIG thing you might notice in here is that we have A LOT of STUFF (you are so right, gentle readers!) It’s a source of constant frustration and we do have a major purging operation happening now, too, which is hard to show on the blog, but definitely rolling forward. We’ll never be minimalists, but we have a LOT of room to improve. As I said on my Facebook page just a few days ago, “Holy Toledo, we have a lot of stuff, Batman!”