July 27, 2016

New House Tour!!!!

Hey y'all. It's finally new house tour time!

Thank you for being so patient with me. I've wanted to share these pics with you for nearly a month now. But, I've been busy...and also busy...and also scared.

I'm used to sharing ugly before pics followed by a nice after picture, and it's really hard for me to be vulnerable and just be like, 'Hey look at my house! It's still ugly, y'all!'.

But, I've been thinking a lot about it, and I realize that I miss out on so much when I don't share the entire journey with you guys, so let's just do it. I'll be uncomfortable. I can do it. There are worse things.

So, we've been living in our house for just over 5 days now. I've already met with 3 contractors, a kitchen designer, and I've painted the dining room. I am pretty much foaming at the mouth.

Just to give you an idea of how crazy things are around here, here is what the last week has been like.

We moved all of our stuff out of the old house. And then I had a mild meltdown for about 24 hours where I questioned all my decisions and decided I was an awful idiot and cried myself to sleep. It's hard to explain, but I spent 6 years in that house, painstakingly remodeling it, and even though it was time to move on, and even though we were moving to our dream part of town and to a 5 acre wooded property, I was also moving into a house that needed everything redone, and the feelings were overwhelming. Mostly because I have a one year old baby who needs my constant attention and I renovated this first house when I had 24 hours a day to dedicate to myself, basically.

I mean, I have perspective. These are not even problems. At all, which is why I was back to normal after that first day. But, I am a human, and moving is hard, and I'm just being honest...I had a hard time with it. Also, let it be known, moving with a baby is just impossible. I mean, I did it. But, I think I must have blacked out because I can't even tell you how we pulled it off.

So, anyway, that day the movers hauled all of our stuff to the new house and we put it all in the garage. Because we are going to be doing the flooring throughout the entire house in less than a month and there is no reason to move all of that in just to move it back out. So, we moved in a couple couches, Ava's crib, and our bed, and the rest is in here.

It's a weird feeling because I've lived without all of this stuff for a week and I don't even miss most of it. But, also there are a few things I am living without that are driving me crazy. Like chairs, a refrigerator, and also living out of my suitcase, clothes-wise, is kinda a pain. It's like a really weird vacation in someone else's house. In fact, that's exactly what it feels like.

So, we've basically just been hanging out in our new 1970's fixer upper, enjoying the finer things in life. The sellers took the fridge (surprise!), but we had planned to replace it anyway, and since this kitchen is getting gutted and replaced in about a month, we are roughing it with a mini fridge until then. Jesse somehow found the bass magnet, so it feels like home.

Other than that, we have couches and a tv setup in the living room (temporarily) so that we can at least relax until everything gets started. I wasn't sure if this house would feel like home or not yet (since it feels so outdated), but it almost immediately did.

I think a big part of it is view. The house is nestled in the woods on about 5 acres, and our street dead ends at the lake. It's totally private, and you can't even see the house from the road. Deer wander around our yard, and it's just the craziest thing.

The house is terribly outdated. It sat on the market for 2-3 years before we found it. But, the house is in one of the best parts of town, and on a huge private property, and we know that we can make this house a beautiful place for us to enjoy for years to come. And then, one day, if we ever want to do it all over again, we think this house has the potential to pay off just like our last house did. 

Just to show you what really sold me on this house, despite the interior....this is what you see when you are on the back deck.  Our property line goes about 3 acres back behind our fence, although it's unlikely we will ever do anything with it. Our last house was in a really busy neighborhood, crammed in with other houses, and it quickly became my dream to find somewhere Ava could run around one day.

This is the front yard. That little wooden trail (that needs major repairs) leads up to the front door. I'm really looking forward to landscaping all of this one day, like two years from now. :)

Standing on the top deck, just off the living room...

And then our driveway. You can't even see the house from the road. It goes way back there. It truly feels like heaven. Besides that fact that the house smells like someone else's dogs.
You win some, you lose some.

Here's a picture of Ava in the driveway back from when we were getting the house inspected, about a month ago. She was obviously really into it.

So, I've rambled long enough. Like I'm making my case or something. 
Let's take the house tour. I'm just going to trust that you guys believe in me and are also the sort of ladies (and gents?) who can look beyond what's there. 

So, let's start in the kitchen. This was the pic in the real estate listing. It's not bad at all. It's just so not me.

This is a pic from my camera, and it's much more honest. This house is a sea of orange upon brown upon tan. I am gutting the entire kitchen (selling it on Craigslist) and starting over. Except for the appliances....those stay. Don't get mad at me if you like granite or those cabinets. I just have a totally different vision for this kitchen, and it's a really small space, and I am determined to maximize my little kitchen situation.
Also, this will be my first full kitchen renovation, and I couldn't be more excited. It should be underway in about a month once the cabinetry is ready. And I promise to talk more about it soon.

Here's the view of the kitchen from the opposite direction.

So, this is weird. Ava's room is actually to the left of the kitchen. You go up a little set of stairs and she has her own little massive bed and bathroom up there. There isn't a door to her room. It's a giant pain and kinda drives me crazy. One of the first things we are doing is having someone come frame in and build a doorway. Because uh-uh.

This is her little bathroom. Full gut. Again, not bad at all, but I just have a vision for it.

It has some weird laminate tile. More beige.

This is her room. It looks like it used to be two rooms, but they left a giant partition in the middle. We are removing the partition and replacing it with a header since it's load bearing.

The view from the other side. That door to the right is her bathroom.

One more view.

When you come out of Ava's room and turn the corner, there is another set of stairs that leads to a basement level bedroom. The picture below is of me standing in the kitchen doorway. The stairs to the right go to Ava's room, the stairs to the left go to the guest bedroom and also out to the garage.

This is the guest bedroom that's down those stairs.

Opposite view. There's literally a little hole cut in the wall and a tiny sliding door. There's nothing in there. And I have no answers for you.

Oh, and the popcorn ceilings do delight. It's like popcorn times 100. Luckily most of the ceilings in the house are already smooth. But there are several areas that we have to have someone come and re-drywall. Because the texture is so thick. But, hey, ten points for making some little floral swirls. 

So, here are the stairs when you come out of the guest bedroom, leading you back up to the landing right by the kitchen. This house has such a funky layout, and that's just the truth. But, again, peaceful land situation, so I'm rolling with it. 

So, if you walk around the kitchen peninsula, there is another little hallway. And there you find the stairway to the basement and also another full bath.

This bathroom will be a full gut. The tub is in really bad shape (although it looks okay in the pic) and the vanity looks to be from 1970 with 10 layers of paint on it. That being said, it has a nice granite countertop, so I'm passing it along to a friend who can use it.
All I really know so far is that I'll be using this mirror in here.

Here's the opposite view.

When you walk out of the hallway, you enter the dining room. This main area feels really spacious and has great views of the outside. We'll be redoing the wainscotting and replacing all the fixtures, painting and redoing the flooring, etc. I haven't decided on my flooring plan yet, and it's basically been consuming me (thanks to this flooring debacle and this flooring debacle), but whatever we choose will go through the entire main level and bedrooms, just like in the old house. I'll go into more detail about all of that later.

Another view of the dining room.

There's the entryway. As in...you opened the front door, and you have entered.

And here's the living room.

Another view of the living room. Not a dead body in there, just a pile of old curtains.

Also note that sweet Tuscan (?) inspired wall texture. 
I've been really enjoying sanding that off.

From the below pic, you can see how there is a set of stairs and on the other side is the kitchen. 

All of the stairs in this house (all 4 sets...gonna be werkin on my fitness) will be redone with hardwood. I'll be leaving the iron balusters alone, but painting the newel posts.
I've been painting a lot this week already and everytime I paint over something that's orange, it's like Mario running over a mushroom.

So, this set of stairs leads directly upstairs to the master bedroom.

And you literally walk up to our room. Again, there is no door. It's really no mystery why this house sat on the market for years. There are about a million reasons, but the no door thing seems pretty high up there.
We'll be fixing that asap.

Here is the master bedroom. It has its own little balcony and it's a pretty decent size. And for some reason, I've slept so good up here. It just feels so peaceful, even with old dog carpet.
You guys know how much I loved our old master bedroom, but the truth of the matter is that it was in a busy neighborhood and I could hear cars constantly zooming around our house. It's so nice to just hear crickets. I've always been a bit of an insomniac, so for me to just be falling asleep the minute I get into bed feels like some sort of life changing event.

Here's the view from the opposite side. You can see the staircase leading down to the main level, that's the walk in closet straight ahead, and the door to the master bathroom on the left.

Master closet. Not huge, not small. I can deal with it. I'll rework it.

And here is the master bath. These are the professional pics from the real estate listing.

I've met with a couple different contractors to discuss options. We've discussed making a bigger shower, replacing the big tub with a free standing tub, etc. Or even just retiling the entire thing and painting it. It will really come down to the budget, so we will see. 

These are pics from my own camera, and again, a much more honest look of what's really there. 

I mean, in all honesty, it feels like a big upgrade from our last master bathroom, so even though I know it's not really stylin', Ava and I have used that tub almost every single day.

And also, there's this.

And then last but not least, here is the basement.

Scary steps leading down (will be redone)...

 Here's the main room. Keeping that sweet light fixture (no).

The beam will be removed and replaced with a header, since it is also load bearing. But, that way it will be one big room, rather than a big room with a beam in the middle. And obviously some other things will be done, like flooring, paint, etc. We love a good basement hangout, so I know we'll get a lot of use out of this space.

Also down in the basement is a really awful laundry room and an office space. I have some plans for this space that include adding a bathroom and drywalling in the laundry room area, but those are low on the renovation totem pole. 

This is the view from the walkout basement. There's a huge deck down here that we plan to turn into a screened in porch. Eventually. The lake is in walking distance, just down the street, so you hear a lot of water noises. It's heaven.

 And now you can go back up my shaggy carpeted basement stairs and the tour is over.

That's the order I took the pictures on my camera, and my time is limited these days with a feisty 13 month old, so just saving the best for last.

Thank you guys SO MUCH for believing in me and for following along on this journey. Your comments and love via Instagram over the past week or so have seriously kept me going. I just can't even tell you how much that means to me.

I'm so excited to be getting started on this project and I'm so glad you guys are coming along with me.

Until next time.
(Also, if you're behind on what's been going on, you can catch up here.)


  1. Congrats!!! We've also been renovating a 1970s home over the past year. I can't wait to see what you do with your lovely new home. And your chunk of land looks so heavenly!

  2. How amazing, it is an odd layout, but I think it gives great charm and character! Looking forward to your updates! God Bless!

  3. I'm so jealous you get to have fun (sometimes) putting your own spin on the entire house! The deck and outdoor space is absolutely everything! Why does it seem like the home building style in the 1970s is so distinct? Like, you can definitely tell a home was built in that decade, especially when you look at the angles of the structure.

    I'm really happy for you and hope that you turn this home into everything you want and more. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress (read: stealing inspo for our home).


  4. Wow! Looking forward to the renovations. Loving the yard space!!

  5. It's going to be an interesting reno. So much potential and the 5 acres definitely are a huge plus. Looking forward to seeing you pull this house together.

  6. Wow! I can't wait to see the finished product. As a gent, I'm excited for you.

  7. A gent!!!! A real, live gent!?!?! Justin, you've made my night. Thanks for following along. :)

  8. Virginia! This is amazing! So much potential. It's like having a new baby. Can't wait to see what you will make of it!

  9. Can't wait to see what you do with such a lovely place (and space).

  10. Definitely an interesting layout but I love houses that have some quirk & character. I know you'll do amazing things with this house & I'm excited to follow along as you do!

  11. Well, you talked it down so much, I was expecting much worse LOL!! It actually reminds me a lot of the house my husband and I just bought - the property is beautiful, the house layout is weird, it's totally livable, but there is plenty of room for improvement. I am really looking forward to your future posts for inspiration and comparison. Good luck!

  12. I just love your blog! I love your honesty when it comes to everyday life. You don't always find that on blogs these days. I too moved with a 15 month old. Packed it all and sold the house in 3 weeks while hubby was 3 hours away in another town at a new job. We left everything we knew...friends, work and family all to move away to a new town and start all over. I packed a newly remodeled home to move into a dump of a house we stayed in from a friend who used it to stay in while he did work in town. We had to wait it out for 3 months while we built our house. Shortly after moving into the new house I became pregnant with my second. It was not easy and there were so many times I regretted moving away from everyone when I had a toddler and a baby on the way. I can now look back on it and say it was all worth it. We have a great house in the woods and we have done so much to it. We have great jobs and I am able to work from home. We have talked about moving to a different part of town and it stresses me out but at the same time, I just might be up for the challenge now that both my boys are 12 and 10 and they can help and learn. Hang in there and again thank you for your honesty! Your house is great and I look forward to seeing all the amazing things you do to make it "your home"

  13. Fun to see! We get our fixer-upper in about a month and it is similar, some wonky things going on but the property makes it all worthwhile. I smiled at all your descriptions because I've been showing people pics of our house and saying similar things, pretty much all along the lines of 'now it doesn't look too bad in this picture but in person it smells like reptiles'... sometimes you really can't tell from photos what a space is actually like. Anyway I feel energized reading your posts and excited to get into the painting of all the things. Bring on the Mario mushrooms! :)

  14. What a great blog you share! It's the only one I follow. You are so funny and humble and creative. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this awesome house...Take your time , and pace yourself!

  15. Virginia, Found your blog a year or so ago (I went back and read from the beginning) ~ I have so enjoyed watching your adventures and have learned so much from all your tips! Decided to follow when I saw that y'all were moving & doing it all again (you're braver than I, doing it w/ a 13 month old). Our house is a split foyer like your old one & was built in '69 (we bought it in '89 because it's on 1/3 acre ~ a decent size for a subdivision ~ and we had 4 kids at the time & had 2 more eventually). I *so* know what you mean about the style and "decor" of those years! The saving grace was it had 4 BRs & white walls which I love. ;-) We'd never done anything major (other than put closets in the "office" to turn it into a 5th BR, and rip up the w/w carpet & put in Pergo flooring to help my allergies; found black mold under the carpet ~ ugh!) until 2010 when dh designed a "sun room" addition, plus gutted & remodeled our kitchen (he's a draftsman/designer by trade), with the help of our 2 youngest sons. I'm with you on the granite counters; our old kitchen had wood grained laminate, but the new counters are Silestone which I *love* ~ our oldest son is now a contractor (no he didn't help) & he says working w/ granite is a pain. Both he and his dad told me Silestone was the way to go and I've not regretted it one bit. My counters cost more than my cabinets [we bought IKEA which I love] but they are beautiful and indestructible! And this is way longer than I intended, but I wanted to let you know I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the new house!
    All's grace, Kay in VA

  16. First, thanks for keeping it real and always making me laugh out loud. I am a real estate agent in Asheville, NC and thanks to you I am always walking into homes and asking myself "what would Virginia do?". No joke! You inspire me to open my clients minds to all kinds of possibilities. So, thanks!

  17. Wow, this house is a little random, so many stairs, levels etc. I just know that it will look amazing once you get into it! I can't wait to follow you along this journey! That view/property is absolutely perfect!

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

  18. Hello Virginia! You will not believe I'm following your blog and your make over of the "old" house from Germany. It's so encouriging to see the pics and I adopted many of your ideas. Good luck for your next project! I'm sure you will make a good job with your next house! It has so much potential!

  19. OH! I am excited for all of you.... The woods, the deer, the porch, the deck, the bigger rooms, the.... well, not so much the doggie carpets (I have experienced that one myself!!) I'll be tuning in to every post. Enjoy your new life there.

  20. I love the new house and the space outside is heaven. I wish I could have a house with that exterior space. Looking forward to see the renovations. Big kiss to you.

  21. Not bad! This really has a lot of potential. I'm pretty sure it will turn out great at the end. Thanks for sharing this. And please don't bother. This will be awesome :-)

    Best wishes from Germany!!

  22. Congratulations on your new home! I am so happy for you and your family. Although you say some of it may not be "stylin", it's looks like a great house and it sits on lil piece of heaven. I love that you show the ugly pictures and we get to see your process as it happens. It's awesome. Congrats again!

  23. Congratulations! The house is incredible and I cannot wait to see the transformation. Lots of love from the UK.
    Hayley xx

  24. Hey Victoria! Congratulations! What a potential! You did a great job with your first house make over. I can't wait following the next pictures how things are going on. The very best for you and your family. Jutta (from Germany)

  25. Exciting! Can't wait to see how things progress, Congratulations!!!

  26. thank you SO MUCH for sharing! It's making me excited to see what you're going to do and follow along over the years. And it's making me remember all the projects that got me excited when we bought our house! I love your new house and all its layout quirks. Keeps people on their toes :)

    PS We had a daughter a couple months ago and her name is... Virginia! It's for her great grandmother, but there's a little part of me that loves the name because of you, too!

  27. So excited to see what you do with your new house. It really isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be! How lovely to have so much space and peace and quite too and lots of greenery and trees - what an amazing setting!

  28. I love your honest commentary on the road ahead of you. It makes me feel as though everyone has struggles and everthing is not perfect from the get-go. Real work and effort needs to be put in! I'm excited for follow your journey in revamping this beautiful home!!

  29. I'm very jealous of your property and the lake. That's amazing. And like someone else said, I was expecting the house to be way worse. :) As someone who has done this pre-babies and post-babies, just take your time and don't be hard on yourself. Enjoy it!

  30. I would live in a shack if I could live on a property like that! I can't wait to see all the updates you do to the house.

  31. We moved almost exactly a year ago when my son was 18 months old. Like your move, it was local. We had some help with the big stuff, but for the most part my husband and I moved ourselves and it took us 3 full days (2 of them with our pint-sized helper) plus a half-day AFTER closing to get everything out of our shed. I can relate to the misery that is moving with a small child. Honestly, I'm not sure I've recovered yet.

    Anyway, I can't wait to see what you do with this place. I'm so glad you shared all the befores because it has a ton of potential and I'm excited to see what you have in mind. I love that you guys had enough vision to see past the orange and funky layout because I think this place is going to be an amazing home for your family.

    Good luck!

  32. Looks like it's got a nice bunch of open space and totally workable problems- it's going to be great! (Sidenote: I, also, have a dorm fridge right now because we are in moving limbo as well. I feel your pain.)

  33. Can't wait to see what you do here. Your location looks gorgeous, I'm very jealous of the deer!

  34. I can't tell you how much your blog inspires me. This week is exactly one year since my divorce. Even though I don't like to think of it this way I got "stuck" with the house. All the bad memories plus all of the repairs that never got done. I've been too overwhelmed and scared to tackle any big projects but seeing the transformation of your old house with basically just paint gives me the boost I need to get started and making my house fresh and new! I need to do trim, cabinets and walls and I don't have the budget or time to experiment so I'm sooooo happy that you list all of your paint colors because they're beautiful! I can't wait to see what you do with the new house!

  35. So much potential in this house! You're going to make it beautiful. It's so fun to follow you on this new journey. And it's even cuter this time w/ Ava.

  36. Thanks for the new tour Virginia! I've been reading along through your entire last house reno and am SO excited to watch you transform this one, too. I'm thrilled you found your dream location and soon it will be your dream home, as well! Thanks for being honest about your low moments. Everyone can relate to authentic. I truly believe there's nothing you can't improve upon. I'm saving all your tips for the day I find my dream house and start in on making it my own. Best Wishes!

  37. The yard sounds wonderful, and you're going to make the house wonderful to :)

  38. Those woods are amazing, totally worth it just for that.

    You know, sometimes I wonder if 20 years from now everyone is going to be muttering about all the grey and dark floors the way we do about all the beige :-)

  39. Your property is amazing!! I miss the trees since moving from New York to Texas. Also basements. I know you'll make this house look amazing like the last one! Thank you for sharing the befores!!

  40. Oh my gosh I can't believe the similarities between our houses! We also bought a 70's house that had been redone Tuscan style. The kitchen is so similar, lots of yellowy wood and the tile is EXACTLY the same. Can't wait to see what you do to your place! Love your blog, and love that you are real:)

  41. I love your new house and excited to see what you do with it!! This is exactly what my husband and I have wanted....land, house, trees :) Can't wait for more updates.......

  42. Can't wait to see the progression...I totally remember binge-watching HGTV when I was in college in the early aughts and omg everything was Tuscan! That kitchen would have been super stylin' in those days. But honestly, did you even notice the kitchen after you spotted the view? :) Thanks for sharing-always love to read your new posts!

  43. Well it'll be amazing to see all the transformations and I would love to have the location of this house too. But if you think those basement steps are scary, you'd never want to see some of the houses and basements and their steps I'VE been in! You'd probably never sleep! Haha! But then I've looked at a lot of older homes (like 100+ years old) and I'll tell ya, your basement steps look like the stairway to heaven compared to many I've seen. ;-) Can't wait to see what you do to this house. Loved your old one. (p.s. Would you believe that in my area, the way your house currently looks is what builders are still doing ...and calling it new! Arrrrrg! LOL!)

  44. Congrats on your new home! I can't wait to see what you do!!

  45. Can't wait to see how you transform this into a beautiful home!

  46. I can't wait to see what you do to the house! I'm think I'm almost as excited as you! I, too, am drowning in a sea of orange (ugh) and redoing a little at a time. I look forward to new inspiration from your journey! I absolutely love your blog. Best of luck!

  47. Love it soo much!! To be honest, I wouldn't gut a single thing - paint everything a pretty pastel salmon, pink, and aqua, and I'd be done, haha! Can't wait to see what it looks like as you go. =) So happy for you all!

  48. Congratulaçtions on your new house! You will certainly make the best of it,you have such good taste... Your previous house was amazingly beautiful after all the improvements you've made.I am sure this one will become even better!!!

  49. Omg this is my dream home!!! i loved your old house and everything you did and also saw this one and how you guys will remodel it. With your skills and talent this one will be more amazing that it is now but to me i love it already! Congrats and cant wait to see your future projects.

  50. Omg this is my dream home!!! i loved your old house and everything you did and also saw this one and how you guys will remodel it. With your skills and talent this one will be more amazing that it is now but to me i love it already! Congrats and cant wait to see your future projects.

  51. Can't wait to see the wonders you'll do with this place!!!

  52. Girl! This is awesome! I love the before pics and the potential. The land is gorgeous and being in your own little neck of the woods is worth all of it. Good for ya'll. Take your time and keep us posted sister. And, the little hole in the wall with the sliding doors in the guest bedroom crack me up! Like, what? " I have no answers for you." word. Have fun and remember Rome wasn't built in a day;)


  53. Facinated at all you want to do to the house. I wish I understood about putting in dark floors that will show everything. Just saying, but if I lived near water and had that gorgeous property, re-doing the basement and putting in some kind of mud room would be priority over remodeling perfectly livable spaces. To each his own. The wall in Ava's room could be a cool divider for her bed space and play space, but can't tell the size of the room from pictures. Have no idea why this house sat for so long, except it was supposed to be yours! Best to you on all the remodeling...with a baby! You are brave!

  54. I just recently discovered your blog and wanted to tell you how helpful your paint tip posts have been to me. I am painting the cabinets in a 1970's mobile home and sprucing up a buffet with stain. You told me about helps I didn't even know existed, like odorless mineral spirits instead of paint thinner and the plastic caps you can get with pour spouts for gallon paint cans. I haven't read all your blog, but plan to go back and do so. I also have two bathrooms to redo, and thanks to you and other DIY bloggers, I am not scared to paint the floors in those bathrooms. I look forward to seeing what you will be doing to your new home. Have a great week.

  55. Not sure if I'm the only "gent" here, I love your blog and can't wait to see what you do with the new place. Congrats btw. You give me a lot of inspiration to tackle some diy projects around my house to full on renovations.


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