Thursday, January 2, 2020

Making a House a Home: 2019 in Review

During the late Summer of 2018 we made a decision to purchase an older home here in our small Midwest city. It might have seemed like a spur of the moment event from the outside, but we had known since we moved into our previous home 5 years before, that we needed a place with more space on one level. We knew that it would need to be a home in an older subdivision close-in town so it would have a bigger yard to accommodate a house that was more square footage in the main living areas. We found a place, but it was not my dream home to say the least. It would require a lot of updating inside and out, but we made a plan to get to work. That takes me to the beginning of 2019.

If you were with me in the last half of 2018 I shared pics of where we started. It was a mid century brick "ranch" that was just not me. But my husband loved the setting and I prayed for a vision of what it could become. Literally. We worked weekends on the house interior from the end of September, through the holidays and into late February. We didn't do any major renovation except the laundry room. Mostly it was paint, new hardwoods, carpet, and MORE paint.

We moved in stages from January to the end of February, 2019. Besides moving, I had some furniture painting projects that I wanted to accomplish so I could use them instead of just being storage pieces.

The house came together pretty easily, since I had more space to work with. One of the best aspects of this house is a great layout for us. A separate Formal Living Room and Dining Room at the front of the house, and a Hearth Room, large Kitchen, an office for me, and Sunroom addition at the back. The house has a basement Living Area, Office for my husband, Bath, and a lot of storage. The best part of the basement is that I don't have to go down there every day.

In June of 2017 we adopted my Mother-in-law's kitty, but the kitty had reoccurring cancer and the week after we moved in March 2019, we had to have her put down. I haven't talked about it here on the blog. The strange thing was that she played a big part in choosing this house, since we needed a separate space for her. I have to believe that we were led to a house that we might not have seen as a blessing if it hadn't been for her.

Looking back to March, things look really bare since it took us awhile to get artwork and prints up on the walls. I wanted to have a white/neutral basic palette so I could easily decorate seasonally. 

I was able to get the back and front porches cleaned and somewhat organized once the weather warmed up. Having a roof over the back porch was a real improvement from the last house that was just a deck, with no real protection. But good grief, the trees are big and beautiful but also really  messy. There has been some form of debris falling from them year round!

One of the main renovations has been out front with a tear down of the 60's wrought iron columns to my version of a European Timber Frame remodel. It started out like this pic from the listing...

and went to this...

Then this.

But there's still more to share; coming soon!

The landscape hardscape is almost finished. Plants are in and it looks so much better. We still have more plantings and areas for this Spring, but all the 60 year old landscaping is gone. The shrubs look like munchkins since this is a really looooong house. Fresh paint and new windows, along with the landscape remake, are finally bringing this house into my vision for this place.

Each new season and holiday brought the search for pieces still in moving boxes, but it's been fun having the ability to use more of my vintage pieces, and a mantel I can actually reach.

and the Garden Room/Sunroom has been so much fun to decorate seasonally.

I haven't shared a lot of pics of the kitchen, because it seems like it's always messy, 
but I did manage a quick post this last summer.

In August, Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home and I teamed up to start a new link party that's "All About Home". We'd love to have you come by and link up with us, each Monday evening.

I had looked forward to Fall for a whole year.
 In 2018 I didn't even buy a pumpkin, so I was more than ready for some Fall Fun!

Then came Christmas...
So exciting and fun to finally get to decorate my new rooms, 
but I was a little overwhelmed with having more space. 
I stuck with my tried and true Tartan Plaid, which I've used
as a basic Christmas theme for years.

The Home Tour really has all the fun for Christmas.

This was a year of excitement in seeing our home come together, but so much hard work. A year that I hope we won't have to do again (if ever) in a very long time. My husband is still working full time, so we had to accomplish it one project at a time, mostly on weekends. I'm so glad I could share it with you all. Thank you for being there with your encouragement, prayers and friendship. I'm praying that each one of you will have a Happy and Blessed New Year!

joining in here:

All About Home at Common Ground and Follow the Yellow Brick Home
 Celebrate Your Story at The Zucchini Sisters
Create Bake, Make at Across the Blvd
Happiness is Homemade at Blue Sky at Home
Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda
Tips and Tutorials at Home Stories A to Z
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tuesday at Our Home at Our Home Away from Home
Keep in Touch at Let's Add Sprinkles 
 Talk of the Town at Knick of Time
Turnabout Tuesday at My Wee Abode 
Share Your Style at French Ethereal 
Vintage Charm at Our Hopeful Home
 Wonderful Wednesday at LeCultivateur 
Thursday Favorite Things at Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Grace at Home at Imparting Grace
Farmhouse Friday at The Painted Hinge


  1. So awesome of you to share. Love what you have done with the place and love seeing your decor changes! I need to take time to read your bio again, but where do the lovely watercolors come from? You? Have a blessing-filled New Year!

  2. Debra,
    I am lovin' all the updates you made to your l o n g Ranch Style Home.
    "Mr. Ed" & I are always on the look~out for a home more on one level.
    I'm not really ready to make a move. . .but, then if the "right"
    home became available, I think I'd take the challenge.
    Looking forward to a New Year of exciting posts from Common Ground!
    Cheers to 2020!

  3. What an exciting year (and a half)! You have really made your house a beautiful home filled with visual delights at every turn. Thanks for sharing your journey. We are going to put our house on the market in April to see if we can sell it (houses are not moving very well in our area). We plan to move to an apartment closer to our grown children and then see where we want to be after that. Hearing about your move gives me more confidence that it can be done!

  4. 2019 was a big year for you with buying and fixing up of this home. You have done so much and I followed you every step of the way. You really put your touch on this house inside and out. Now onto 2020 with new adventures in decorating. Happy New Year.

  5. I've loved your posts all year---I had so many problems entering and answering comments after upgrading my computer. I hope you have another great year, I so enjoyed all your posts! Hugs, Sandi

  6. I've been getting your blog a long time. This house has sure been updated by you and looks good. You are good seeing how changes can make a difference. Looking forward to seeing what you do in 2020. WISHING You A Blessed New Year

  7. What a great home you've made, Debra, with tons of hard work. Like you, I hope I don't ever have to do as much work in one year. So sorry about the kitty you adopted, but how she helped is definitely a blessing. I cannot wait to see that landscape!

  8. What a fun read Debra! I have enjoyed seeing your house become a home and all of the beauty you have brought to it. Looking forward to seeing all you do in 2020!

  9. Debra, you did a fabulous job, and I enjoyed the tour journey of your progress.


I love hearing from you. Feel free to comment, big or small. Be sure and leave your name and blog if commenting under anonymous. Thanks friends

New Posts in Your In-Box