Our First House

We moved into our first home (lovingly nicknamed Heardmont) about seven years ago and immediately began snapping before pictures.  In the six years we owned the house, we tore down walls, scraped popcorn ceilings, painted practically every surface and really made the place our own. Check out the before and after photos below.

Entryway Before: The first thing you saw when you walked into our 1980s entryway was wood, wood, and more wood trim.  This photo shows our entryway after we’d scraped the popcorn ceilings, changed out our door hardware, added a storage ottoman and mirror, and painted the previously off-white walls a light gray.

Entryway After: We primed and painted the trim white and added the DIY sunburst mirror and white console table.  The new wood floors and baseboards really brought the room up to date.

Striped Sheet Curtains Entryway Console

Living Room Before: The day we moved in, our living room was big, empty and dated. And did I mention BIG? The dark brick fireplace was overpowering and the off-white walls went on for miles.

Living Room After: We started by painting the walls and that massive fireplace and then tackled the fun parts!  New window treatments and furniture helped this room come a long way from cavernous to cozy.

Living Room After

Dining Room Before: Before Heardmont was even ours, we had big plans to turn this little box of a dining room into an open space for entertaining in style.  Like the rest of the house, this room featured popcorn ceilings and wood trim.  Although we appreciated the upgraded chandelier (who KNOWS what used to hang there), it wasn’t our style.

Dining Room After: The day we moved in, we tore out the wall between our dining room and kitchen.  We scraped the popcorn ceiling, painted the walls and trim, and hung a new light fixture almost immediately.  We updated our dining room even more by installing can lights and built a beam to disguise the missing wall between our dining room and kitchen.

Dining Room After

Kitchen Before: Novice DIYers that we were when we bought our home, Stephen and I thought updating this dark kitchen would be a snap.  As you can see, we had a lot to do, and we started with cabinet painting and (more) popcorn ceiling-scraping.

Kitchen After: Those cabinets took longer to paint than we’d like to admit.  Along the way, Stephen changed out the fluorescent fixture for recessed lighting, and we replaced some appliances and added a new island.

We also extended our kitchen cabinets with crown molding and paint and removed some cabinet doors for a cute little cookbook shelf.

Kitchen After

Hallway Before: A neighbor who toured our home when it was up for sale told us that her immediate memory of our house was the LONG, DARK hallway. So many wood doors, dim light, and dingy paint and carpet!

Hallway After: Our hallway saw a little love in our first couple years of owning Heardmont.  We scraped the ceiling, painted the walls, and changed light fixtures.  Later down the line, I finally worked up the courage to paint those miles and miles of wood trim.

New Lights in Hallway

Laundry Closet Before: On the left side of our hallway is our laundry closet, and that’s just what it is – a closet.  Since our house was built before front-loading washers and dryers were common, the bi-fold doors wouldn’t even close when we moved our front-loaders in.

Laundry Closet After: We added shelves for storage with wooden roman shades in front and a countertop across the washer and dryer for laundry folding.  Up until our master closet makeover, this was my favorite closet in the house!

Master Bedroom Before: Two kids one year out of school don’t necessarily have the funds or the furniture to make a master bedroom shine.  We bought our bedroom suite on a whim at a discount furniture store, and have been pleasantly surprised at the quality over the past few years.  The rest of our master bedroom was a mix of hand-me-down furniture and bedding.

Master Bedroom After: New paint, new carpet, nightstands, curtains, and bedding – whew!  We had a lot to find for our little room, but our favorite finds by far were the vintage mirror and Michelle Armas art.

Bed from Side

After we snagged the gold curtains and art for the nursery, I sewed some quick curtains and brought more blue into the room.

Master Bedroom with Blue

Master Bathroom Before: This master bath was bland and beige when we moved in. We tackled the popcorn ceilings first, but after 3 years of boring, we were ready for a change.

Master Bathroom After: We started by adding board and batten to the walls, and the reno took off from there! For less than $600 we completely updated our master bathroom, top to bottom.  The list of projects in this room is long and includes the board and batten, new lighting, a painted vanity and new sink, and our DIY shower curtain.


Master Closet Before: You probably remember our stories of leaking washing machines and flooded closets.  After a required ripping out of the carpet, we laid tile and painted walls to clean up our master closet.

Master Closet After: The updates to this space were far from over, though.  For around $100, we were able to add lots of fun and style to this room.

Guest Bedroom Before: For the first six months in our home, the guest bedroom served as Wedding Storage Room Extraordinaire.  After our November 2008 wedding, it got the same “whatever works” treatment as our master bedroom.

Guest Bedroom After: Since we use this room primarily for guests and craft storage, we decided to give it a real makeover.  I made a set of DIY drapes, a new headboard, and added more storage to the room.  Check out all the projects from our guest room makeover here.

Whole Room

Office/Nursery Before: The third bedroom, which is actually bigger than the guest room, once served as Stephen’s office and then became our nursery.  We added the couch in this room early on, and after seeing our hallway, you can guess what a feat that was!

Office After: Amazingly enough we were able to get that couch out of the office without tearing up the hallway.  With the addition of a loveseat and chair, new window treatments, and an L-shaped work area, the new office really worked for Mr. Heard.

Stephen's Office Now

Nursery After: We had such fun decorating this room for our little girl. Check out the reveal here.

Nursery Left Side

Guest Bathroom Before: Can you say Builder Boring?  This room tied with the kitchen and dining room for First Room Tackled at Heardmont.  Those off-white walls didn’t last more than a month after we moved in.

Guest Bathroom After: We just finished up this renovation, which started with more popcorn ceiling-scraping and ended with white-washed horizontal paneling, a new mirror and lighting, and lots of new linens!

Guest Bath After

Exterior Before: Our house sported brown brick and cream paint when we bought it, and one bad paint decision later, we had this brown and navy mess on our hands.

Exterior Before

Exterior After: We painted the house a not-so-serious shade of green (Sherwin Williams Artichoke) with fresh white trim and gutters. After cleaning up the landscaping, guests could actually see our front door!

Exterior After

I hope you’ve enjoyed our little home tour.  Let us know if you have any questions about any of the specific items or paint colors you saw on our tour, and check out Our New House tour for more before and after photos!

42 Responses to Our First House

  1. Christie King says:

    What kind of refrigerator do you have? (and how big) it looks huge! (I need huge)

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Christie,
      Our fridge is a stainless KitchenAid with the drawer freezer on the bottom and french door fridge on top. There’s also the handy feature of a filtered water dispenser inside the left fridge door. It was the largest fridge we could find to fit the existing space in our cabinetry, but it definitely wasn’t the largest one available. It’s actually only 25 cu ft and 69 7/8″ tall, but it’s way more than enough space for the two of us!
      Hope that helps and thanks for the visit!

  2. OMG! LOVE your house sooooo much! Every bit of what you guys have done is amazing! NICE work and am soooo glad to follow. 🙂 PS- I love the DIY circle art… I might need to whip some up too!

  3. Sandy says:

    You have turned your home into a show piece through lots of hard work and good design! I really enjoyed touring it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. I love your sofa and have been looking for one similar! Do you mind telling me where you got it?

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Andrea,
      We got our living room sofa (the tan one) at Bassett Furniture. I don’t think they sell this specific model anymore, but you can get something that looks really similar for a similar price by using their “Build Custom Furniture” option. Our sofa originally came in a chenille type of fabric, but we upgraded it to a darker, more durable upholstery fabric when we ordered it. The pricing was very deceptive because the sofa was inexpensive with the chenille but almost doubled in price with the new fabric. We’ve had it for 3 years and it’s held up pretty well. However, the back cushions have gotten a little bit out of shape and it’s not amazingly comfortable, and after seeing all the less-expensive sofa options available out there, I probably wouldn’t pay as much as we did for another sofa again.

      I hope that helps! I actually spotted a pretty similar model on the site http://www.customsofadesign.com/ .. the Emma model is a lot like ours for about half the price. :-/ Live and learn!

  5. I’ve visited your blog a couple times now from link parties, but finally had a moment to stop and look around. I’m very impressed with all the projects you’ve done on your house and have decided to become a follower. Keep up the good work!

  6. Susan says:

    Hi! I linked to your blog thru pinterest. Your DIY projects are great!! I was curious about where you found your dining table and chairs. We’re currently looking for a set, and I loved yours. Thanks!

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Susan,
      Thanks for the comment and the question! The table and chairs were purchased separately when we set up our dining room 3 years ago. We found our dining room table at Ashley Furniture and the chairs are from a store called IO-Metro started here locally in Northwest Arkansas that has since opened up branches across the U.S. They have a website where you can order pieces online, I believe: io-metro.com.
      Hope that helps!

  7. Jamie says:

    Just stumbled onto your blog looking for a striped shower curtain. You’ve done a great great job! I’d love for you to come to my house. 🙂

  8. Katelyn says:


    I am in love with all of you diy-ing! I have spent so much time looking through all of you projects and house tour. I noticed you scraped off your popcorn ceiling. I want to do the same. Did you put anything on your ceiling afterward or leave it flat?


  9. LOVE your house tour!!!! I looove the bathroom, ours is pretty much identical in the layout.. so I may be taking some inspiration from you! Cannot wait to read more…. 🙂

  10. nicole says:

    Wow! Awesome blog! Ran up on this looking for Tommi items & found this instead. ABSOULTELY BEAUTIFUL work all around (house & the blog)! BTW: I sold a lotus identical to the one you were looking for at $1000. You got a GREAT deal!! =) lol

  11. Jenna says:

    WOW. I am SO JONESING for your closet. I want to cry, its so beautiful. oh, it’s lovely, Meredith. We’re still in school and waiting to get a house (so we can get to do all this fun stuff to our new digs), y’all are so inspiring!! Keep it up!

  12. Shirley Beaty says:

    I LOVE your renovations! Your a very talented woman! Could you tell mehow you did the master bath? Did the vanity have a marble top and if so was is difficult to remove and/or do anything to the walls. Also, the walls , are they painted white then the wood added? If you could send me some details I would really appreciate it. I’m going to start redoing our master bath soon. I love everything that you are doing, sort of have same “style” as you, with a little “country” added in. Thanks, Shirley

  13. Jae says:

    Looking good. I, too, have endless amounts of trim to paint. I’ve sucessfully avoided it for years now but its time to tackle it.

  14. Hello! I just found your blog through Fun with the Fullwoods… I LOVE you’re master bedroom! It is so pretty! I’m your newest follower. Hope you’ll stop by my blog sometime!


  15. Rebecca London says:

    You’ve done a BEAUTIFUL job on your home:)

  16. Holli says:

    I love your home. Where did you get your entertainment center?

    • Meredith says:

      The entertainment center is actually a dresser we picked up at Surplus City, an overstock and discount store with a location near us. We removed the center top drawer and drilled a small hole in the back for our cords. Unconventional, but we like it!

  17. Wow! I’ve enjoyed looking through your house tour. Your master closet is awesome. It’s so pulled together but not fake, you know? I’ve been compiling pictures of “real” master closets to show my hubby to get the go ahead to tear into it! Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  18. Judy says:

    I so need to paint bathroom and kitchen cabinets and I know it can be done; however, I don’t know how to begin to tackle it. They are solid wood and of good quality, but old and outdated. I thought new hardware might spruce them up but they need paint! Yours are beautiful after you painted…tips, advice, colors? You have done a great job!

  19. Lynn aka Elle (@hungryelle) says:

    Just wanted to say that I have spent the weekend reading about all of your DIY upgrades (especially those in the bathrooms)!

    Thank you for all of the information. As a new homeowner myself (and my father FAR FAR AWAY), you’ve given me hope that we (read: I) can figure it out.

    Looking forward to more updates.

  20. Beautiful home you have! My absolute most favorite thing is the wall of curtains! There is something about a wall of curtains behind a bed that just makes the whole room seem more comfy and large! That is one of the things I am definitely going to do when we move in our new home!

    I am so excited to follow your progress!

  21. I LOVE what you have done with your home, great job! Was it hard to remove the popcorn ceiling? What did you do to remove it?

  22. Wow, your home has made quite a transformation. I love your style and thanks to a random bathroom search I will now be following your blog! Keep up the good work 🙂

  23. Pingback: New Blog Design | Welcome to Heardmont

  24. Heidi Wincek says:

    I love everything you did in your home. Can you tell me where you got the curtains that are in your living room.

    Fellow DIY’er


  25. Mickey says:

    Hi can you tell me how you did the counter over your washer dryer?

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Mickey,
      We built the counter by attaching 1×3″ boards horizontally on both side walls of the laundry closet. The countertop is just a painted large pine board from Lowes that we laid across those supports. We chose to use the supports because our washer and dryer aren’t perfectly level with each other and to allow for air ventilation from the sometimes warm dryer.
      Hope that helps!

  26. Michelle says:

    Wow. Your before and afters are crazy awesome! Thanks for sharing a picture of my art hanging in your beautiful new room btw.

  27. Anne Marie says:

    I love everything you have done in your home! We got married and bought our first house this past November- it is so motivating to see everything you have done. Do you have any tips on how to begin and where to start without getting completely overwhelmed? Where did you find most of your inspiration– everything you did looks amazing and so thought out.

    I am so happy I found your blog 🙂 I will be spending lots of time on it now!

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Anne Marie,
      Thanks for the comment and question (and congrats on the wedding and house!). Renovating our home has been an ongoing process – I definitely can’t say we knew what we were getting into when we bought the place! We started in the kitchen because we spend tons of time in there and the original dark wood cabinets and lack of light were just depressing.

      Honestly, we just tackled things on our list in the order that they bothered us. One day I got sick of looking at all the dark trim in the entryway, so I broke out the paintbrush and did something about it. 🙂 Now that very few things inside are giving me the itch to change them, I’m all about fixing up the exterior of the house.

      One thing I wish I’d had when we started was Pinterest. It would have been so helpful to have had all my favorite images in one place when deciding how I wanted rooms to look and feel. Back then, I just spent a lot of time on Google and reading other home improvement blogs.

      One last thing – don’t forget to take lots of photos of your home “before” all your hard work! One of my favorite things is flipping back through old photos and seeing how far we’ve come. It definitely helps when I’m feeling less than motivated about a project!
      Good luck!

  28. Mary says:

    I’m so grateful I came across your blog! We just bought a house built in 1979, complete with dark wood trim EVERYWHERE. Your “before” pictures of the hallway are practically identical to ours. I’m inspired now and can’t wait to do some similar transformations with our place. Thank you!

  29. Michelle says:

    Wow!! I LOVE what you have done with your home. A lot of your house is similar to mine. What brand of paint and colors did you use?? Your pictures are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Pam says:

    Your upgrades look amazing! Overall, how much time/ Money did it take for this all to happen?

  31. Heather says:

    Your home is beautiful! I absolutely love your bathroom updates! Thank you for sharing!

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