Last year, we bought a home, spent 5 weeks renovating the inside, moved in and found out we were pregnant with our fourth baby. Then Hurricane Irma trashed the outside of the house, so we redid the entire exterior. Then our baby was born. It’s been a whirlwind of a year and a half, but I’m finally getting around to the house tour you’ve been asking for! It’s only taken almost 2 years. *wink* #thisisreallife
I’m finally taking you guys on a house tour today, and I couldn’t be more excited!
As many of you know, it was a long road to get here. When my husband and I were first married, we purchased 3 homes that ended up being underwater after the recession. It took us more than 10 years to sell all of them, as we had to basically pay the bank to offload each one. It was a trying time, and very defeating, as we’d worked very hard to buy each home, only to be slapped with decreasing value due to the mortgage crisis.
After selling our last underwater property, we moved into a rental home. At the time we had 2 kids and figured we’d be there for a year. We spent almost 4 years in that home, and added a baby to the bunch in the process! Renting was so fun and we loved the ease of it, but we ached to have a home that we could put our own stamp on again.
After scouring the market for years (literally), we found a home we thought we could grow into our forever home. It satisfied all our criteria: it was on open water off Tampa Bay, the main room had high ceilings, it had 4 bedrooms and a huge yard for the kids to play in.
The only problem was that the house was really dated and every fixture was mismatched and builder grade. But we put in our offer, got a great deal and before we knew it, we were homeowners again!
The awesome thing about having a house where you want to redo everything is that it’s literally a blank slate. I was so excited to put my stamp on it before we moved in.
Here’s what we did!
Let’s start with the great room. When I say it was dated, can you see what I mean? One look at the before photo and you can see what was totally en vogue the year the house was built, which was 1997.
We gutted it all: the popcorn ceilings, the flooring, all the fixtures, the clear block wall near the stairs and that crazy teal fireplace.
Let’s start with the floors. I love them because they remind me of driftwood! They look like wood, but they are actually porcelain tile. I almost went with laminate because it’s cheaper, but I’m soooo glad we didn’t because my kids leave wet swim trunks and towels everywhere, and it never would have lasted. I mean, seriously, we already have like 5 tiles that are cracked from kids (honestly how do you even crack porcelain tile?), so anything that is not indestructible literally doesn’t stand a chance in our home. #boymomlife
We had all the walls painted in Campfire Ash by Behr. A friend of mine had recently sold her home, and her realtor told her to paint the interior in this color because people love it. I tried a bunch of different grays and was totally sold on this color. It’s basically the color of most of the interior of our whole house!
I’ve raved about our Ikea Ektorp couch before, and for this house, we bought a second one. I like having 2 couches separate, rather than a sectional, because I was able to maximize the space in our great room, by putting the new one at an angle. Here’s why I love this couch. It’s under $700, and it’s totally washable! Like, the entire thing, not just the cushions. I used to wash mine about once a month but I’ve been lazy (slash have 4 kids now), so now, I wash it about every 3 months or so, and it’s fine. They’re both covered in Nordvalla dark gray, which has worked really well for disguising baby spit-up or poop or whatever the case may be. Let’s be honest, it’s a new fluid everyday LOL. I also figure that, later, we can buy new covers for these same couches (*she ponders white for when the kids move out*), and for only about $100 per couch, they would feel totally new.
My favorite part of this room is probably the double oyster chandeliers above the dining room table. If you’ve ever looked at shell chandeliers, they can be extremely expensive so I had to really shop around, but finally found these on Hayneedle, and they were pretty reasonable. They are very heavy so our electrician had to install special mounting thingys (very technical term) in the attic to get them to stay up, but it wasn’t a huge deal.
The ceiling fans are actually outdoor fans from Home Depot, and we literally have 5 of them in our house! Needless to say, we love them. They’re stainless steel and the light part resembles ship lighting, which of course, I love! #nauticalismylovelanguage
I wanted a huge white coffee table that looked like shiplap, but that was also indestructible (again, my kids are animals), and so far I’ve been happy with this now-discontinued one from Wayfair. The striped pillows are from Pottery Barn, and they’re Sunbrella outdoor fabric. Again, kids. And the octopus pillow and crab pillow are from Etsy, and while I love the whimsy they add to the room, they were $40 each once you included shipping, and I’m not sure it was the best value.
Next to the kitchen, I wanted a cozy place to sit and drink coffee, or for kids to do homework. These are most definitely the 2 most-often-occupied chairs in our house.
Let me just back up a tiny bit and start by saying that everyone needs a couple comfy chairs next to the kitchen. They are a total gamechanger. This is where people come hang out while I’m cooking or cleaning up or doing any of the things. It helps connect the kitchen (A.K.A. me) with the rest of the space, and it’s an actual destination because the chairs are actually comfortable.
I actually bought these swinging chairs first (because obvi and they’re amazing), but I got them home, and then reality kicked in and I knew that someone in our house would probably die if we had them installed (*again she ponders for when kids are older*). So I returned them, and ended up finding these high-backed wicker chairs on Wayfair, and they’ve been amazing. They have the weathered, gray seaside look I was going for, and the cushion covers are removable and washable (because, at this point, obvi). Sadly, they are discontinued now so I couldn’t include a link for you, but Pottery Barn has a low-backed version I almost got.
I searched, high and low, for a table for this space, and this one from Cost Plus was more than I wanted to pay, but after a few months of looking, I ended up splurging on it with a 20-percent off coupon. (Overstock offers a slightly cheaper version.) It was the best in terms of height, quality, gray weathered look I wanted, and I love that it has wings that can be extended for homework time.
The Florida pillow is from Home Goods, the lamp is from Amazon (and filled with some of my favorite shells from my collection!), and the rug is from Rugs Direct (but Overstock has a similar one that I almost like better). My husband got me the driftwood seahorse for our 14th wedding anniversary last year at our local shell shop, and I’m seriously obsessed with it.
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