Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Then and Now-Kitchen and Dining Room

As most of you know, it’s hard to move quickly on house projects….they take time and money.

We have a set budget and keeping our budget is extremely important to us. 

We pick and choose projects each month based on what else is going on that month. 

For example, we don’t take on larger projects during months when we know we are going on vacation or need new clothes, etc.  When I go crazy and order a West Elm comforter, I can’t order West Elm curtains in the same month. 

It’s not that we don’t have the money, we just choose to be smart about our purchases.  There are things that we feel deserve the extra splurge (the comforter we sleep with every night) and there are things that we know we can spend less money on (a thrift store dresser that is more for looks). 

Due to our cheap frugal ways, decorating our house has been a fairly slow process.  It most definitely has not happened over night....just like Rome wasn't built in a day...all things take time...(I love cheesy sayings like that...)

This week I will show you the various stages of our house.  I’d call it “Before and After” but none of our rooms are complete so I feel that “Then and Now” is more fitting.

I’ll recap some rooms for our new readers and show some new-to-the-blog progress photos later in the week.


In the kitchen we added crown molding to the cabinets, a temporary picture backsplash, and bead board on the island.  This room took us about a year and is probably the closest to done.  We do plan to add a backsplash…..if we can ever make a final decision on what material to use.


Our dining room sat empty for an entire year after we moved in.  It’s the first room you see as you enter our front door.  We told people it was our meditation room.  We decided to purchase a table and chair set (darn matchy-matchy old self) after a year of living in the house.  We hung curtains (Target bargains) a few months after that.  I found the hutch at the Salvation Army last June.  I am still looking for a few others items to place on the top of the hutch and have been pondering chair covers.  We are eventually going to add crown molding as well.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the progress of our master suite and guest bedroom.

Do you have a decorating budget?  Do you want to learn more about how we budget? (I won’t bore you otherwise…) 

Do you have a meditation room? :)


  1. We basically keep the same method as you and only make one major purchase at a time. We bought our office desks in October and didn't buy chairs until March! We also try to tackle just one major purchase a year (last year was appliances, this year is patio).

    ps- the first room you see in my house is completely empty as well, tomorrow marks one year since we closed

  2. I am in love with your hood over your stove!!!

  3. Wow, I thought I was the only cheap/ (money wise) person out here... great to meet another one! My home is a combination of additions made over the past almost 20 years! A majority of my furniture has come from second hand stores, outlets, and some curb side finds! The few pieces we've bought new, were bought at Macy's (where due to my hubbies job) we get a discount and even then most of the pieces were on clearance! I love what you have done over time! Your home is beautiful!
    Dee Dee

  4. We are very frugal and try to decorate and renovate for as little as possible. We definitely keep an eye on what other houses are selling for in our zip code to make sure that we don't ever spend more than we could get back if we had to move tomorrow. And we renovate with an eye for what will increase the value. We have to keep in mind that the value of homes in our area is outrageous so oftentimes we'll go for a higher-end product rather than the least expensive and just need to generally make sure that everything we do looks super professional, which sometimes means calling in the professionals (sigh). As for budget, we have a "big" expense budget for the year that we'll figure out each Jan/Feb, which is what we're working on now. Smaller decorating expenses come from my own slush funds, which I hate to spend, so it's a slow process. Slow and steady wins the race ;)

  5. I tried to go too fast in our house, which I won't be doing in the new house. However, most of our furniture and rugs were hand-me-downs, which makes it easier to buy more decorative items.

  6. i would love to hear more about how you budget too! Our renovations are very slow too...we don't have a set monthly budget, but we are very good about knowing where we are and making sure to spend within reason each month. Like some others said, always with the thought in the back of our minds to increase value as we don't plan for this to be our long-term home.

  7. I would like to hear more about your budget, as I live vicariously through you two nerds. I've very jealous of your house and decorating style. I'm excited to see the house when I come home in September. (Yes, that's right, I just invited myself to your house.) :o)

  8. We definitely have a budget when renovating the house. We also have to be cautious that we don't over improve for the neighborhood. Fortunately, when we moved in we had saved enough to do some major changes, but now it's just little things here and there. I love the color of your dining room, what color is it?

  9. Our dining room is Smoky Blue by Sherwin Williams!!!


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