Thursday, November 11, 2010

Welcome To Our First Home of Eight Years

Finally I'm ready to share our home of eight years, these photos were used for our real estate listing. I enjoy looking at them because it reminds me of all the things that made me happy about our first house (plus it looks so sparkly and well kept). We went under contract after 31 days on the market, I've never felt so lucky in my entire life! I came across photos from when we moved in and I have to admit, we really did leave a special touch on the place. I love this house and I always will. I actually cried at closing, sitting at the table with a group of people around us! I had no idea it would be that emotional for me. I really liked the woman that purchased the home, I can tell she loved the place already which made it easier for me to say goodbye.

The house was a split level built in 1959. Most of the homes in the neighborhood were brick ranches, so I loved how our two story stood out. We painted all the soffit and gutters before putting the house on the market, they were originally grey but the tone I chose was much softer and matched the garage door. The front door was white, I had never painted it over the years. I was wavering on what color to choose, but went with a green tone that tied everything together nicely. Of course I had one of those a-ha moments walking inside one day, like why didn't we paint this years ago? It's hard to see, but my brother did the wood working where the ceramic sun is hanging in between the two windows out front. We had it just the natural wood over the years and I just painted it when we did all the other exterior painting. It was some cheesy looking grey grate when we moved in, his design just spruced things up wonderfully. My father put his touch on the front of the house as well, the front entryway was sunken in concrete which made the step an awkward height. He put a Trex deck on the front when I was in labor with Sj seven years ago! It was just big enough to hold two Adirondack chairs and one of my antique crocks, I loved it. Click here to see photos of how the house looked for years!

The entire house with the exception of the bathrooms was painted this khaki/yellowish tone when we moved in. I never changed the paint in the main living space and hallways, but we painted almost all of the other rooms. This living room was tricky to arrange furniture in, I was always fighting the "bowling alley" feeling by having everything flow like one narrow track in the room with the focus on the television. With the chairs grouped together on the opposite end of the space, it created a nice place for conversation.

The dining room was one of my favorite rooms of the house. My father added the crown moulding, chair rail, and split pea soup green paint (so my parent's called it) the first few weeks after we moved in. We lightened the tone of the paint right before putting it on the market on the top half of the wall above the chair rail to lighten things up. The far end of the room had French doors which both opened up to create a wonderful way to bring the outside in on a nice day. The oak hardwood floors were really the center piece of the house, you can see a peak of them in this photo. The dining room and kitchen both had pocket doors which closed off those rooms from the living room. We didn't use them much, but I loved that feature.

The kitchen was redone and brand new when we moved in. We had always spoken about putting in a gas range, but we never did. The counters were granite tile, which gave the appearance of an upgraded kitchen with out the cost. I will admit cleaning the grout on a kitchen surface was really a pain, I would never choose to put tile counters in any home! There was a plethora of countertop space in the kitchen and keeping appliances on display to a minimum really helped feature them. The wall where the print hangs was a wasted space, there really should have been more cabinets there. I thought one open cabinet or glass doored cabinet would be a nice touch. We replaced the refrigerator a year ago, one of the items the experts say to upgrade if you are going to do anything in the kitchen because it's so big and catches the eye!

Our bedroom, very simple. I rearranged the furniture about twice a year in there. The bed always had to be under a window, which bothered me because I could never create a focal point above the headboard. It was spacious and had a great wall length closet with built in shelves. We never outgrew that closet.

Our house had two full bathrooms. When we moved in this bathroom, which was upstairs and had a pocket door off the master bedroom desperately needed updating! It had a huge oak cabinet that consumed such a small space, a peeling re-painted tub, lovely linoleum flooring, it felt like 50 square feet of hodge podge gone wrong. My father and I re-did this bathroom in a weekend during one of their visits from New York. Everything in the room was purchased off the shelf at a big box hardware store. We put in travertine floors, the vessel sink, wainscoting, and even replaced the green tile that bordered the shower with white to tie the tub area in with the new sink and toilet. After the remodel I had painted the room a Tiffany blue, but repainted it a friendly neutral tone to get it market ready. I laughed because the paint I had laying around was a left over quart from when we were originally deciding on a dining room color. My best advice, always use what you have. Click here to see before and after photos!

The girls' bedroom, a simple lavender. Pretty much speaks for itself. This room had two awesome closets, one was full of amazing built in shelves so no toys were out cluttering the space. I did take down these curtains before it went on the market, as they are darkening drapes from Pottery Barn and replaced them with sheers from Target. All curtains are a part of the contract, so it's worth buying $5 panels if you want to take your expensive ones with you.

The guest room. We took GL's dresser from upstairs and put it in the guest room to stage it.

Our office, playroom, and potential fourth bedroom. A truly conforming bedroom has to have a closet and if it's in a basement a full window. Our lowest level had full windows in them, as it was just a garden level, not a basement. The cabinets were there when we moved in, but my handy contractor brother put in the built in shelves which I loved. I got rid of most of our bookshelves after he did the work and now I am scrambling to find more! Funny enough that track lighting was in the downstairs hallway when we moved in and the office had a ceiling fan. I moved all of it around, ditched the ceiling fan, and just bought a simple light fixture for the hallway. This is one of the only rooms we never painted, but the walls wiped up nicely before it was market ready.

Lastly, the monster backyard. If you don't know most yards in the area where we live in Colorado are on the smaller side. We fell in love with the mature trees and spaciousness, which is a bonus in the older neighborhoods. The mature trees, aka the cottonwood that canopied the backyard was a blessing in the summer, but a curse every Autumn. We were still raking leaves well into Spring and averaged about 60-80 huge black bags every year. J and I took out the buckling concrete patio that as once out the French doors and put in a tumbled Pavestone patio. My father built the jumbo shed off there in the back left corner, attached a little frame to it for swings, and even built a sandbox.

There you have it, our first home. A place that will always leave me warm inside with wonderful memories. Can't wait to embark on the journey in our second house...


  1. What a beautiful, fun home. It looks well loved.

  2. Absolutely loved your tour Denise. The girls room is my favorite. I can't wait till Fi can sleep in a twin bed - I'm going to get two and put them on the sides of the room like you did. So cozy and welcoming!!!

  3. fun post!!! next u can do one of the new place! xo KS

  4. Your home is beautiful!! I love the exterior look of homes from the 50's - and the inside is so bright and modern!! This home is going to make another family very happy. :)

  5. thanks for the tour! i just love a peek inside someone's house. can't wait to see the next one. bless you on your move. i know it's a lot of work.

  6. Your house reminds me a lot of the house we left behind in Lakewood when we moved to Utah. I remember sitting on the stairs between floors bawling as the last of our belongings were taken out to the moving truck.

    I still miss that house....

    Can't wait to see what your next house looks like!

  7. Wow, a really beautiful home that you obviously put a lot of love into. I love all the color in the walls - I'm too much of a wuss to paint. I can never decide on a color!

  8. I love getting a peek inside homes! Of course - your rooms were sparkling and clutter free in these...but I'm sure they were just as charming (if not more so) with signs of the family living there. That yard is amazing. Wonderful shade too!

  9. Oh...the memories of play group at your house when our girls were little babies. Such a great, comfortable home you had. I'm sure the next one will be just as wonderful. - Melissa

  10. Hi Denise!

    Great meeting you today. I think I might have seen your house online when it was on looks SO FAMiLIAR!

    Congrats on getting a quick close and have fun in your new location.




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