One Month Progress

family room

Family room after one month.


The wall paper border came off really easily with a water and vinegar mix.


and then we painted two coats of Kilz primer and one coat of Simply White color matched to Behr paint.


Our TV is massive in this little house…


facing that same way but now most of the wall on the left is gone and open to the kitchen.


fireplace currently-how many people am I annoying with it only 95% primed? I still need to paint a few coats of paint on the fireplace but just getting 95% of it primed feels really great.




soon to be 16-year-olds room.


my dad’s in the back doing the grunt work of cutting in with the black paint before this happy teen gets to paint his wall black. He had one black wall in his old room and really liked it.


this was his room before–3 minutes before this photo there was a wall paper boarder that peeled off super fast.


this is the little boy’s room. And by little I mean 12 and 13. They’ve shared a room most of their life.


their room the day we closed on the house. Why, WHY is the window off center? Even on the outside of the house it’s off center.


their room a week after we closed, painted the walls a fresh coat of white, peeled up the carpet to find pet stained sub floor. I am a crazed lunatic and insist we pay cash for everything now so no new carpet for them while we are redoing the kitchen.


we sanded and then primed and painted their sub floor and then added rugs.


then we sprinkled on some dirty clothes to make it nice and homey.


here’s the before of that same corner.


the upstairs bathroom, sadly this top photo is currently. the water is turned off up here until the plumbing is done in the kitchen so this bathroom is currently low on our make it presentable list.


here’s the before.


the one corner of our house that feels normal.


that same corner, before.


and this is how we lived in the house for 3 weeks until we moved our big stuff. Mom and I removed the wallpaper border with vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This was a little more stubborn than the flower border but we had it done in well under an hour.



I haven’t painted this room yet. Our dressers fit in the closet at the rental. I forgot how red they were. They are currently driving me a little bit batty.



I realized I never took a photo of our bathroom. I wonder why?


here’s what the pool looked like at first.


then our pool doctor came and put this stuff in it that made the dark stuff collect at the bottom.


then he vacuumed that dark stuff up.


then they swam.



I never showed you the little cedar lined bathroom on the back porch. It smells heavenly and I love this room.

mud room

here’s the laundry room. my husband’s idea was to put the washer and dryer against the left side, it makes much more sense when you walk through the room and one day we’ll remove that little cabinet hung high in case giants stopped by to do some laundry.


Some of our next door neighbors.


the porch 3 weeks ago.


the porch today. sadly. we had to make room for us in the house so all the tools and such are living on the porch.


old kitchen.


torn out kitchen


cleared out space for storing future kitchen while we unbox and put the cabinets together


my kitchen in boxes.


hello lover.

about 18 times a day I walk over and move the boxes so I can look at the range.


side view of the current kitchen


our new refrigerator (thanks for your help, I read the comments to my husband as we were driving around refrigerator shopping!) it’s the Kenmore Elite and we got it for 40% off the list price from Sears Outlet because it has a small dent on each side.


we also have a basement. I think it used to be a garage. I try not to go down here.


because exposed ugly ducts, flickering florescent lights and drop ceiling skeletons are my personal nightmare. Next to waking up and discovering I’m a hoarder. This is where the work had to be done to fix the structure issues. It’s all nice and sturdy now so the ‘fun’ work can start.


this room will one day hold the leather sectional and maybe a ping pong table and stuff. it has doors that walk out to a screened in porch that leads to the pool or you can walk to the pond.


screened porch

Here’s the crazy little screened in porch. Above it is the bay window from the kitchen.


So many colors and textures begging me to make them all be friends.


my favorite part is the floor of course.

And that’s where we are so far.


  1. I am in love with your sweet place!!! So much FUN living to be had!!!!!! xoxo Sending love!

  2. That’s some good stuff going on there. Love that they’re getting to enjoy the pool :)

  3. Love how things are coming together already, and can’t wait to see how your awesome kitchen turns out. :)

  4. i am loving this space! you will do some magical remodeling for sure. the progess so far is awesome. well done!

  5. Love that you took the carpet up in the boys’ room. What did you prime the floors with to seal up the pet smells? And then what kind of paint did you use? Thanks…

    • We used Kilz primer–latex–I had it tinted grey since we were painting over it with darker paint, nothing specific, just asked if they’d put some drops of dark in the can and shake it for us. I think we did one coat of primer and two coats of porch and floor paint–they had grey already mixed and on the shelf so I just used that for the little boys’ room, for the oldest, he wanted black so I had them mix some black porch and floor paint. Black isn’t ideal for a floor because it shows everything (worse than white) but he likes it that way. The grey looks great, we didn’t even fill in the screw holes. turned out wonderful!

      • Thank you for sharing this! We are really ready to pull up our builder grade linoleum (which I carelessly spilled Strypeeze on while painting some furniture for a client, has tears from moving the refrigerator, and rust from my metal & wood island being cleaned). Seeing this post has me HIGHLY motivated! Thank you!!!!

  6. Wow it seems so much bigger with the light colors!!

  7. You’ve made excellent progress!! (I LOVE your range!)
    I should have thought to recommend this to you earlier ~ I’m sorry! You need this tool. NEED it. The thing deserves 6 stars ~ I suspect that those who gave it a 4 or lower just hadn’t figured out how to use it quite properly.

  8. beentheredunthat says

    You know, your house Before was a Shrine to the 80’s – the green, the maroon, the borders, the kitchen. Of course now you’ve blown your chance to open an 80’s museum open for tours. And I have some shoulder pads I could have let you wear.

    Seriously, I am astounded at how fast you’re moving and how it already looks like Your House. Your vision of what you want is clear and you get things done!

  9. WOW- amazing progress; it must feel so good. Parts of your house look better than (most of) mine after five years. We’ve just had one project after another… slowly but surely! Really glad to learn the vinegar and water tip for removing wallpaper. And SO glad you have the pool clean and in use. Hope you take advantage of a break there once in a while!

  10. I am stunned by your progress and your ability to create your vision of beauty. I did say “ooohhhh” when I saw the range….in awe:) A great find!

  11. So much progress! I loved getting a peek at it all. Your living room is looking so light and bright and so you. I love this.

  12. I love everything you’ve done. When I saw the ceiling fan in your son’s room, I was reminded of a project I saw. They took the fan down, painted it and reinstalled. It was a very nice, expensive fan and they wanted a fan in that room. Why pay for a new one?! You’re inspiring all of us!!!

  13. so exciting… seeing the progress and can’t wait to see more….. What is it with teenagers and clothes on the floor….mine do that too. I didn’t do that and if I did….I’ve blocked it!

  14. I love this! You have done a wonderful job with this place. What a change!!! I can’t wait to see more and more and more. Love how clean and streamlined everything looks now- xo Diana

  15. I am loving the transformation already and can’t wait to see more! Must be honest though…I lost my breath for a bit when I saw the current status of the kitchen. I know it will be amazing in the end, but the beams and lack of everything threw me into a bit of shock ;)

    • someone stopped by my house the other day and said “wow, you really don’t have a kitchen, I thought you were just trying to say that your kitchen was small”. there is no kitchen people. none. no walls. no ceiling. I secretly love it and simultaneously worry that it will still look like this in 2 years.

  16. It looks like a completely differently place! I can’t wait to see the kitchen, it will be so worth it! Congrats!!!

  17. Your house has great curb appeal, and you’re doing an amazing job catching up with the rest. I personally am in love with the porch. Ceiling fans and bead board. I would love to see blue ceilings, just love the potential of it all. Great work.

  18. This is so exciting for me because I see so much potential and I know it will be so much fun to see your progress in real time. I love the before, during, and after photos because that’s real life and the “during” shots are (I think) so inspiring to real people. Thanks for sharing :)

  19. wow, I can hardly believe the progress! you guys are working so hard! looks great, thanks for sharing :)

  20. Heaven. What countless gifts you are giving to your boys….
    Your hard work will come back to you immeasurably.
    All the best to you. <3

  21. The house is the cutest! It is really coming along…and that Range is GORGEOUS!!


  22. Knowing you lives in Greensboro near the city(really near a Target) do you like living in the country? We are thinking of buying land but I am hesitant because I feel so far away from everything.

    • I’m an introvert so I kind of like it. and, it’s crazy but we have a WalMart 4 minutes away, no internet, but we have a WalMart and good pizza place and coffee shop. Also, our boys play hockey about 20 minutes a day so a few times a week we are in town and super close to a Target! Basically, this doesn’t answer your question at all. But I’m pretty sure I’m the type of person who could live on an island alone if I had internet.

  23. Nester,
    I cannot stop smiling — I am so happy for you :-)
    You and the Man are on your way to making this fixer upper your home one bit at a time. Woo hoo! Thanks for sharing the progress with us.
    BTW, I would be looking at that range every chance I got, too. When you find something you’ve been pining for and it’s the right price, the right size, etc. it’s like needing to be pinched to make sure it’s for real!

  24. Joy Manoleros says

    This is amazing! All that in ONE MONTH! What an honor to get the tour as you make it yours. :)

  25. Wow – you are making excellent progress! I LOVE being part of this adventure. Can’t wait to see what happens next in the transformation :)

  26. I am in love with your home, seriously this is my dream! Wonderful job :) Maybe someday in the future, I too will have a fixer upper farmhouse with the world’s second worst barn ;)

  27. i’m so excited to see the transformation beginning! what a treasure of a project! it’s amazing how fresh it already seems. such hard fun! ;)

  28. love all the potential you can see in your new place…
    I can see it, too. :)

    can’t wait to see it all come together over time….

  29. ah!! i’m renting right now but i’ve always wanted to do this too! now i really can’t wait:)

  30. Patricia Ann says

    Wow! That fireplace wall already looks awesome… can’t wait to see the finished product.

  31. I just found your blog from the BH&G Christmas ideas magazine. I loved your Perfectly Imperfect article on decorating your home for Christmas and had to check out your blog. Thanks for taking your readers on a tour of your new home. I laugh at your humor, and laughed till I cried about the cabinets in the laundry room in case giants stop by to do laundry! I have 3 sons also, who are 6’8″, 6’7″ and the short one is 6’1″. Those cabinets would probably be about right for my guys! Our home burned down last summer, was rebuilt on the same spot and we moved in a couple months ago. All our Christmas decor, things my boys made and what I’ve collected since I was a child (and what my mom started giving back to me that I gave to her when I was a child) is gone. I loved your simple decorating ideas and neutral color scheme. I’ve dog-eared pages and will use your ideas this year in decorating my new/old home. Thanks for sharing your life with me. God bless you!

  32. I approve of the teen’s wall decor. Go Canes!

  33. Charlotte Orders says

    I just love what you are doing with your new house! It will be an outstanding job in what ever you choose to do to it! I look forward to seeing all your projects come to life!

  34. Stumbled across your blog with the link from Joss and Main and I am hooked. I love your sense of humor. So funny! P.S. Your house is lovely. Congratulations.

  35. I am so happy for you and your family. From reading your blog the last couple of years, I know you’ve had a lot of challenges with your many different houses. This one seems like the perfect home, and I bet it’s exactly what your readers would have picked for you if they had gotten to choose it. I am amazed by how much you’ve done already. I can’t wait to see it in a couple of months!

  36. i love this. really love this. we moved into a house almost 2 years ago, and it was a mess. we moved out of a house that was pretty much done. i miss done. i look on the internet for inspiration for our new space, and often find myself feeling defeated by the all beautiful and completed spaces, which is why i l.o.v.e. this! i also appreciate that it is what it is until you have the cash to work on it (which is why we have painted concrete floors and a hideous florescent light box in the kitchen… among other things). so thanks for sharing your reality… and for helping me to embrace my own. it will be fun to watch the transformation!

  37. Beautiful! I can’t wait to see what you turn this place into. It’s going to be amazing!

  38. “then we sprinkled on some dirty clothes to make it nice and homey”-I laughed about this for way too long. Waaaay too long. Must be because I only have one toddler and not teenage boys.

  39. Hey there! I found your blog through the whole 31Days blogging link up. I’ve heard about it and have joined on because I think it will be a great challenge. But anyways, I was surfing through your blog and AM IN LOVE with your creativity. The fact that you are able to take what looks like a disaster of a home and turn it into something beautiful is inspiring for me in this season. We live in a VERY old home right now, but we’re not paying rent because it’s the church parsonage. I know, how can I complain. right? I just want to make it home! And this truly inspires me to do so. Also, I just love your blog and am so excited to follow along now!

  40. Could you please provide the mixture ratios of vinegar and water for removing wallpaper border. Also, did you just use a putty knife (or like tool) to remove the border. Did it leave wallpaper residue or damage the wallboard when the paper border was removed. I would truly appreciate your responding to my e-mail as I, also, need to remove one room and connecting hallway of border. Thanks!

  41. Wow, you are so brave! I have three children 5 and under and another on the way in 3 months so you are living my dream of being able to start from scratch. Aren’t you lucky to have a house full of strong guys to help you;). I am truly looking forward to seeing your end result, as I have admired your ability to make a space lovely and inviting at the same time. You have such a gift for balancing form and function.

  42. Wow, what a charming home! There is so much potential there! I absolutely love the curb appeal. You have already made such amazing progress with your projects and I can’t wait to see it once it is all done. Thank you so much for sharing!

  43. Debbie Gazdecki says

    I’d love to know where you got the upholstered bed? Its beautiful!

  44. I follow so many blogs and look at their homes and ooo and ahhhh… but your house is the only one that I could walk in, plop down and be at home. it’s gorgeous and looks like people live there and I love it. your style calls to me… guess I need to go paint my walls white!!! Congrats on the new place, its just a slice of heaven

  45. Thank you for sharing your home in progress with us. We’ve been in our “new” house for 2.5 weeks now, and everywhere I look, I see little projects waiting to be done. Seeing your progress has encouraged me, and I will try to be more patient as we go along. Thanks for being willing to share the views of your house that are not all perfect yet.

  46. Connie Love Hall says

    Oh Myquillyn! Thank you for posting all this and encouraging me! God brought me to your sight again at the perfect time! We are about to close and move into an old farm house. I dread the “during” moments but long for the “after”! Your post encouraged me to take it slow and it doesn’t have to be perfect! I can just hear your giggle now with some of your captions (handsome neighbors).
    Keep in touch!
    Your CU friend,
    Connie Hall

  47. Krystin Gillogly says

    I am LOVE with your new home! What a project with so much personality and charm! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  48. Joy Carrera says

    Love looking at all the “potential”. Just bought your book (ebook) since I am mentioned in the nomadic, renter, MISSIONARY, type decorator. Not only moved from one South American country to another last year, but next month moving into a delapidated, wooden house on the mission center. First wood house experience so this is a new challenge, and our remote town has no thrift stores, yard sales, or for that matter real decorating stores although the new hardware store that came a few months ago has some house stuff!!! Hoping to be able to use your book to transform our new place into an inviting place to gather and bless my family and others! Joy

  49. Leslie Pierce says

    I just stumbled across your blog and I’m so in love with your design style! Signed up to subscribe and I’m looking forward to my email alerts. I have a questions for you. We have 3 adorable cats that we have taken in, we love them to pieces, but…..they can be a bit destructive. We decided not to declaw them after researching. Any who, our second floor has major carpet problems. It’s actually just one particular cat that doesn’t like to be shut out of the bedrooms, so he has clawed the carpet in front of each bedroom door. It’s makes me ill when i see it everyday. Unfortunately, new carpet for the entire floor is not an option right now. So I want to learn to love my imperfect house now. I saw the pictures of the painted subfloor in your sons room and was wondering how it was holding up. What type of paint do you use and did you use a sealer? Thanks !!!

  50. I love the picture of your awesome porch with all the tools and paraphernalia on it. We just bought a fixer upper farmhouse in the country this summer with a great wrap around porch, but no garage. Let’s just say your picture looked familiar! I keep thinking one of these days this porch will be beautiful and it will not look like the Clampetts just moved in!

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