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All My Room Reveals and DIY Home Decor Projects In One Place

Hey there! Come on in and get ready to get inspired!

We’re living proof that even a boxy tract home in the suburbs can look and feel exactly the way you want it to with a bit of sweat equity and smart decisions.

In April of 2010 we moved into our home when our first born was just a few weeks old — we tried to time it better but it was a short sale and took forever, but our patience paid off…

We’d moved to San Diego from the central coast of California a couple years earlier to be near family and since the housing market was dipping at the time we rented for two years and were able to buy at almost the bottom of the market — I told you we were patient!

Since we knew this would be where we raised our kids, schools and the neighborhood were important to us which is why we landed in the suburbs and not in a loft downtown where you could walk to happy hour — we’ll save that for our retirement years I guess.聽

So a boxy and boring tract home it was. Complete with slightly yellowish white walls, the same color carpet, and builder grade everything… cabinets, bathroom fixtures, linoleum flooring…

But it was a total blank slate!

Which for this decorating obsessed lady was a really exciting thing. 馃檪

And over the years we’ve taken on a lot of different diy projects and we’ve added our own style and personality to the place and it’s definitely become our favorite place to be with family and friends.

how we transformed our tract home with smart and budget friendly diy projects and decor


Open Concept Living and Dining Room

I told you it was a lot of off white!

This is what our front room, which is a combined living and dining room looked like when we bought our home. Before we moved in we replaced the berber carpet with dark wide plank laminate floors, replaced the baseboards with 5″ ones, and painted the walls in a greige color.

original front room

Once we moved in, I painted some of the walls in here a light blue color and it’s hard to tell here but I drew a faint hexagon pattern on the blue walls in sharpie that looked like expensive wallpaper!

We also installed some DIY modern industrial floating shelves, and I created a gallery wall in the entry area.
front room before

But over the years I realized that this room was just getting filled up with the furniture we didn’t know what to do with and we weren’t using it that much so we recently decided to create a conversation area. I built built ins with a window seat across the front wall and kept 2 of the chairs. Click here to see the full front room reveal.

DIY built-ins with bench seat

The Dining Room

Here’s the dining room when we moved in.dining room before

And here it is with the furniture from our old house. So bland!

This was before I really took the time to define my style and create a decor plan.

dining room reveal before no marksBut once I knew my style better I was easily able to transform this dining room into a much more inviting and interesting space by reupholstering some dining chairs I found on Craigslist, adding a herringbone pattern to a second hand mirror, and making a bar cabinet out of a hand-me-down.

Click here to see the full reveal of our dining room.dining room reveal

The Family Room

This room is what sold me on this house even though it looked like this. What can I say, I had a vision right away!

It opens up to the kitchen and the windows across the back of the house overlooking the backyard bring it so much light! –-Look there’s my sleeping baby girl, just a few weeks old, hanging out while we made a plan to make this a home for her.

The other side of the room was a perfect spot for the TV and I liked the half wall –the thing covered in junk there in the forefront of the photo, because it kept this space open to the kitchen area but still gave it a clear separation.聽family room before

Our family room is where we spend the most amount of time and has evolved over the years but I love the color and interest we’ve added with some simple DIYs.

I made grommet top curtains聽for the back windows to add softness and color to the space and made faux roman shade valences in a complementary pattern for the smaller windows.

And in order to get a big rug without spending a ton of money, I taped smaller rugs together –it’s one of my favorite decorating hacks.

family room

On the other side of the room we created a built in using Ikea cabinets to really give this room some character, add display space and house our TV. It also makes for really amazing toy storage.

You can see all the details of this family room makeover and how it’s evolved in this post.

She took this modern traditional family room from basic to fun and comfortable with just a few smart updates

The Kitchen

So many things in this kitchen made absolutely no sense to me. Here we have a big space with decently high ceilings and there’s no island and the upper cabinets are short!

But it wasn’t in the budget for this kitchen to happen right away so we lived with it like this for about 8 months. We even kept the linoleum flooring in here until we renovated.

kitchen before

Then there was a portion of the kitchen that overlooked the hall going to the downstairs bathroom, the guest room, and the garage that was super awkward. The previous owners actually put vertical blinds in that opening and a big armoire in front of it.

I had better plans…
kitchen before 2

With the exception of hiring an electrician and having the counter tops installed we gutted and remodeled this kitchen all by ourselves!

We installed taller upper cabinets and a huge island in a contrasting wood tone, added a backsplash for color, and even changed up the layout a bit in terms of the appliances.

Later we capped the half wallthat divides the kitchen and family room for a finished and modern look.

We put a lot of thought into how we wanted this kitchen to look and function. To peek around our kitchen in more detail click here.
DIY kitchen remodel

We also added cabinets and a counter top to that awkward opening along with a small fridge that doubles as a keg-orator to create a bar, which also happens to be our drop zone when we aren’t entertaining.beverage center in the kitchen

The Back Patio

The backyard was in decent shape with the hardscape, and a a firepit already installed.DIY Outdoor Patio Makeover before photo

But with a few easy DIY’s and some new outdoor furniture we were able to make it a true extension of our home.

I made outdoor curtains out of drop cloths, turned the old chandelier from our dining room into a candle chandelier, added some easy DIY art, and voila!
DIY Patio Makeover at

And this year we had to say goodbye to the old outdoor dining table and added this beautiful modern outdoor dining furniture to the mix!outdoor dining room with teak table

Kid’s Bathroom

This is what the kids bathroom looked like for the first 4 or so years we lived here.

bathroom renovation, bathroom renovation ideas, DIY bathroom makeover, gutting the bathroom (2)

And after completely renovating it, it now looks like this!

It was mostly a DIY renovation with the exception of a plumber who moved the shower head up for us.

We put in new cabinetry with much more storage, picked out tile for the floor and tub surround and installed hexagon tiles on the floor and white matte tiles in the tub surround, and got new plumbing fixtures in a brushed nickle finish.

See all the details of the kids bathroom remodel here in this post.
kids bathroom remodel

Our Shared Office

When we first moved in this room was just a white box of a space.

Then it soon became this disaster. That is until I got fed up and started implementing my declutter method to get it in order.

office before 1

And once we’d gotten rid of a lot of stuff we didn’t need we were able to come up with a plan to update the furniture and organize everything so now we have a nice office to work in!

We even took out the closet doors and created a built in which added a ton of storage.We finally have an organized and creative shared office space and craft room!

We didn’t buy everything new though… I painted an old frame and added cork to the center to create a corkboard and built some shelves and attached them to our existing filing cabinet to add more vertical storage.
We finally have an organized and creative shared office space and craft room!

The Garage

We’d made a few attempts at getting our garage organized before succeeding too.

It really came down to getting rid of stuff so we had room to even be organized!

garage before organization

Once a lot of the junk was gone we took on a few DIY garage storage solutions that organized our tools, provided long term storage, and we painted the garage floor which made for a really nice finished look.

garage organization ideas

Still on the list…

Our dining room is on the list again since we changed the front living room into more of a sitting area it left room to turn the dining table the other direction which is gonna be great for big family dinners in the fall. I have a plan for it, but we haven’t had the time to take on the project quite yet.

The master bedroom and bathroom haven’t been touched yet — well, we did paint the walls in the master, but nothing else. The master bedroom suite is definitely a space that needs attention but we’ve had to prioritize with where we spend our money so we haven’t made it into this space quite yet… someday.

The laundry room is a room I’ve been thinking about lately because I know I could do it on a tight budget and it also wouldn’t take too much time since it’s a small space.

Our curb appeal definitely needs some attention so when budget allows that will happen as well.

And I’m sure there’s more, but those are on the short list…

Thanks for commin’ by! It’s been fun taking a look back and seeing how far we’ve come but there’s more to come!

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