Photo Memories reminded me that 3 years ago today we closed on our first house and started literally that day tearing things out of the house to start renovations. It both feels like no time and all the time in the world has passed.

If you'll indulge me for a moment, let's take a trip down memory lane:

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  • April 12th we officially closed on the house after seeing it a few times, getting an inspection, and weighing all the pros and cons. *we truly feel blessed that we bought before this crazy house market. I can't imagine moving quickly or needing to forgo an inspection to buy a house, especially a first house!

The Zillow listing photo above really showed the house in prime condition. In reality it looked more like this:

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But we started that day moving forward with our renovation plans. We were lucky to find a contractor that could start some of the big projects just a couple days after closing (again something that couldn't happen these days), so Monday morning after being homeowners for 3 days we met our contractor at the house bright and early and watched them start to tackle projects like:

  • opening up our downstairs floor plan
  • removing a large brick hearth
  • relocating a back door and changing it to be a sliding one
  • tearing out a lean-to on the back of the house
  • addressing structure issues, electrical issues, hot water heater, etc.
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Meanwhile, we were in the house most evenings and weekends working ourselves. We started by tearing paneling off the living room walls, ripping up carpet from our upstairs bedrooms, doing some drywalls, tearing out some accessibility features older owners had put in, and generally cleaning and managing the contractors work.

We also, we starting on design decisions for the kitchen, floors, ceilings, paint, etc. There was no end to all the work, but also so rewarding. It's crazy looking back at that time – from April to mid-June when we moved in we spent every single free moment working on the house. Thankfully though we didn't move in during the bulk of the renovations.

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I did document quite a bit of those initial renovations on the blog. Like a full review of the paint we used to cover the very yellow walls.

A few update posts like this one which shows the progress we were making on the kitchen and this one which shows more of the detailed changes like new floors, living room and painting.

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This post shows a before and after of our downstairs bathroom, a total update I did for only $30! Something I was very proud of. One day we'll get around to fully renovating our bathrooms, but that $30 makeover has last 3 years now.

I also did a blog post on one of the best personal renovation services out there – The Bagster Bag. And if you'd like to see some panic inducing photos of our guest bedroom, read at your own risk.

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We shared the process of our big kitchen/dining renovation which was the biggest redo at that point.

Sliding into 2020 we did a refresh of our laundry nook, and our primary bedroom and started planning out our living room plans.

2021 was a big focus on one massive project: our living room bookcases. We spent March-June again focused on this one project because Lee designed and built it all himself.

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This year we've been working on our offices - doing some much needed design refreshes - something we're not quite finished with, but when we are I'll be sure to share! We're also getting quotes and getting started on some exterior work.

New gutters are on the agenda as is a new front door and we're tackling painting the exterior this spring/summer as well.

And that about sums up the 3 years in our house. Just a few adjustments and changes!

In all reality it's been a wonderful process overall (not without hiccups of course) but we've loved having this as a hobby and take a lot of pride in the work we've accomplished. But just a reminder that it's been 3 years of us working on the house for it to just get to where it is and I'm sure it'll be another 3 years before we're running out of projects.

House work takes time. Pinterest vision boards don't just come to life (unless you have an unlimited budget and have a contractor in the family). These beautiful homes we see everywhere on the internet are created over decades of intentional work, decisions, and pennies saved. I obviously get impatient at times and so often just want to get started! but taking the time to save up for a project, find the right materials or the right person is a big task and one that shouldn't be rushed.

So, if you just bought a house or are renovating one or have lived in one you don't love for 10 years, just remember that nothing good happens quickly.

Good things take time!

Thanks for following along this little walk down memory lane. Hopefully you'll stick around for the next 3 years of renovations. :)