Already, so, without much announcement or fanfare, we FINALLY bought our first house last year. Yep, in the midst of a freaking pandemic, who would’ve thought it? Our market (just like MANY cities in the DMV, is highly competitive. Once 2020 rolled around, prices skyrocketed and ugh, it was tough.

All in all, we spent 9 months searching for the one (Kyle was at his wit’s end with my pickiness) but ya’ll, I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to settle for it (although we did, try to settle twice) for homes that were basically the same as we have but were way overpriced or didn’t have the single most important item on my list; LIGHT! Lots and lots of natural light (so I could get photos like THESE!)

Short story, when we first relocated from South Georgia to Maryland, we had SERIOUS sticker shock, holy cow, living here is expensive. But we still had no real roots or even prospects so we got a condo that fir out budget, and we hated every minute of it.

It was tough moving from a 3-bedroom with a backyard and garage to a 2-beroom condo with only windows on one side. It was depressing, especially because it was SO DARK. Before that place, I had never realized how much I needed basic lighting in our lives.

So that was my #1 priority when looking, that was my non-negotiable, I don’t even know how many houses we looked at, definitely dozens!

I felt bad for our realtor at times, because nothing seemed to pick our interest. Twice we put in offers but were outbid (actually once we didn’t even finish the bid and were already outbid). But FINALLY, 9 months later, VOILÀ! We found our home, and then we go to work.

Here is some before photos – Please note these are the original listing photos and I don’t know who the author is, but these are not mine.

We started by ripping out the floors, and oh boy, they were IN THERE, like, REALLY IN THERE. It was actually the longest part of the project, removing the dang floors! We rented equipment, we tried power tools, and it didn’t budge. Poor Kyle ended up taking it little by little with a chisel and hammer.

Of course, I was a bad photographer ad didn’t pull out my big girl camera so, sorry for the crappy phone shots.

Make it demo month
Our least useful but cutest coworker
Getting there, omg. Funny story, Kyle cut the last piece wrong so we had to re-do it.

There is still so much more to do, the list feels endless but I LOVE our living room, the way the light hits in the morning is one of my little pleasures in life. I love how it makes me feel when I am hanging out there, day or night and it is AMAZING.

So, drumroll please, without further ado, here is the fruit of our hard work last year 🙂

New floors, new paint, new trim and we’re still searching for new flush mount fixtures for the hallway and a new coffee table 🙂
Shelves are still a work in progress, we’re adding trim and built-in lighting

And last but not least, our tiny half bath got a makeover too. We raised the super low countertops, changed fixtures, paint and a super awesome print from our trip to NYC in 2016 by yours truly.

Here is the before

And the after

I feel instantly transported to the great Gatsby when I enter this tiny room.

Well, that is it for now, months of hard work showcased in one blog post, it doesn’t even seem fair, but hey, that is home improvement. Stay tuned for some more updates (when we have the energy again).

Thanks for reading! If anyone would like resources, please ask me in the comments.