August's Room Basement Bathrooms Bedroom Brandon's Office Dining Room Eleanor's Room Kitchen Laundry Room Library Living Room Nursery Office Play Room Stairway Studio The First House


Our first house, as we bought it (2007):

And the house, as we left it (2013):

Goodbye, house.

Living Room, Making it Lovely

Living Room, Making it Lovely

Small Office, Making it Lovely

Dining Room, Making it Lovely

Dining Room, Making it Lovely

Bedroom/Office, Making it Lovely

Kitchen, Making it Lovely

Kitchen, Making it Lovely

Bathroom, Making it Lovely

Basement, Making it Lovely

Basement, Making it Lovely

Basement, Making it Lovely

Laundry Room, Making it Lovely

Entryway, Making it Lovely

Landing/Library, Making it Lovely

Landing/Library, Making it Lovely

Bedroom, Making it Lovely

Bedroom Closets, Making it Lovely

Bedroom, Making it Lovely

Bedroom, Making it Lovely

Play Space, Making it Lovely

Bedroom, Making it Lovely

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Laura @ Rather Square
    August 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    You accomplished so much in only six years!

  • Paola Thomas
    August 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    So just a small improvement then ;)

  • Joanna
    August 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    You know, even after reading your blog for all of these years, I never really understood the floor plan of your old house until seeing these pictures. I didn’t realize there was a bedroom off of the dining room. It’s a beautiful home – with so many nooks and crannies! – and I bet the new homeowners are grateful for receiving it in such good condition.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      I think the layout confused a lot of readers. There were often questions about why August had such a small room, when both Brandon and I had separate offices, but Brandon’s was the small room with those black dressers and mine was the minty green bedroom, both on the first floor. The three bedrooms that we used for the kids and ourselves were all on the second floor.

  • Meg
    August 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    *wipes a tear* You did inspirational things with this space. Can’t wait to see what you achieve with the next!

  • Jaimie
    August 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    You did so much to that house. All of it is very lovely. We recently moved out of our first house, but we decided to keep it as a rental. It’s weird going back and seeing it empty.

    It also made me appreciate how when you walk in it smells like a new house, whereas our new home smelled like an old musty neglected house (which it is). If it wasn’t summer in Texas I would have aired it out for a week before moving in.

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    August 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    It’s crazy looking at a house completely empty, especially one we’ve all come to know so well through your blog. Can’t wait to see what incredible designs the next house has in store!

  • Stacy
    August 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Wow it’s so amazing what you did with that house in such a short time period while having two babies! The new owners are so lucky. I can’t wait to see what you do with your new home.

  • Catherine
    August 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    You left that house so incredibly beautiful! Such lucky new owners! Cannot wait to see what’s in store for your new home. :) Best of luck!

    • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
      August 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Just what I was going to say!

      Love the washer and dryer …. our family has the same in white. How we ever lived without those miracles is beyond us.

      • Making it Lovely
        August 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        The washer and dryer aren’t included with the house we’re buying, so I’m really going to miss our set. Time to buy some new ones soon.

  • katie
    August 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time and have seen each improvement piece by piece… nice to see the whole house before and after. You did a great job – it’s hard leaving , isn’t it?

  • Jamie @ A Chandelier Life
    August 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    It’s always so bitter-sweet isn’t it? the good part is the memories go with you. :)

  • Stephanie
    August 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    You did such an incredible job with that house! I’m sure the new owners will love it just as you did.

    I can’t wait to see what the future brings!

  • Beth {Design Your Dwelling}
    August 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Such a beautiful home – I bet it is bitter-sweet to leave. I will be excited to see what you do with your next home. I’m sure it will be beautiful as well. All my best to you!!

  • Sarah (702 Park Project)
    August 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Wow! What a transformation it was! I love reading your blog and can’t wait to see what you do in your new place. As a fellow new (old) homeowner, I’m looking to you for inspiration! :)

  • Sarah
    August 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    So bittersweet! Where did you get the bin units in the play nook in August’s room?

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Those are from IKEA.

      • Sarah
        August 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm

        Thank you!

  • Meredith
    August 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Wow! I have to say, I am jealous of the family moving in. Did they negotiate to keep all of the light fixtures, window coverings, bookshelves, washer/dryer and closet organization? Because that seems really generous. (Not to be nosy. I just thought they really got some great touches left behind.)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Some was negotiated for (like the bookshelves and storage cabinets in the library), and some we had planned on leaving (like the lights and the freestanding closet).

  • Gisele
    August 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    IM-PRE-SSIVE! As many above, I have also read the blog for quite a while, but I think I never fully understood the magnitude of what you guys did to the house. Lucky new owners!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      We did a WHOLE lot of work, but so much of it happened before anybody was reading here! ;)

  • Sara
    August 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Are all those appliances, drawer units, curtains and lamps included in the sale of the house? If so was that something the new owners requested or did you just decide to leave them behind?

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      It’s a mix of both, but yes, everything you see in the photos was left with the house.

  • Catherine
    August 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Wow, you guys really did make it lovely! The new owners are walking into a dream. :)

  • Crystal
    August 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Wow! All hail the power of paint!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Ha! You know I was kidding with my earlier comment, right? ;)

  • The Art of Michelle
    August 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    So excited to paint your new house! Bittersweet to say goodbye to an old one though. They really hold so many memories, don’t they?

  • KarenAnita
    August 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    What a beautiful space. You’ve done amazing!
    Does it feel sad seeing it all empty? I’m sure you will do more amazing things with your new place :)

  • Jill Browning
    August 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I became a reader when you were pregnant with Eleanor. Your blog was still new enough then that I went back and read it from the beginning. I’m going to miss this house, but I’m SO excited to see the new one!

    PS. Is it weird when strangers tell you they’re going to miss your old house?! Also, I feel like we just sent the old house off to college… ;)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Off to college… I like thinking of it that way!

  • Lucy
    August 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    It is so sad leaving a home, much less a first home that you owned. I’ve always been so sentimental about that part. Even as a little girl I would go to each room and picture the memories that were made in the house and say goodbye. I always would be the last one out.

    The house is lovely and will be well loved by a new family now.:) Congrats on your new home.

  • judy
    August 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    any chance the new owners would give you a couple of pictures of their décor? It would really interest me to see theirs since obviously they identified so well with yours. Just a thought

  • Christina W.
    August 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Just curious, but some of the Ikea stuff you were planning on leaving behind…did you decide to do that because you have outgrown it and want to move on to other pieces or because Ikea stuff doesn’t particularly survive moves intact? I ask because I have a move coming up and I have no idea what I’m going to do with my behemoth of an Expedit.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      I know — we didn’t do it on purpose, but everything we left behind was IKEA. It just happened that way though! The three dressers in Brandon’s office are mounted to the wall, and we cut out the baseboard in back of them, so those are semi-built-in. The freestanding closet is a behemoth, so that was staying too. The library bookshelves and cabinets were negotiated for, and then the Expedits in the basement stayed because we didn’t have a great spot for them in the new house and they fit the basement so well. I did have a third Expedit (in my office) that we moved, but we had to disassemble it first. Indeed, they don’t survive moves well intact. The Värde butcher-block units that were in the basement should hold up, as those are pretty solid, but some of the cheaper particle board stuff can be a little iffy from location to location.

    • Monica
      August 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Christina W – I had movers move my giant white Expedit from an elevator building to a 2nd floor walk-up and we didn’t have time to disassemble it. It shows some wear now but it’s mostly a cosmetic thing. No way I could have moved it without professionals, though!

  • Nicole L
    August 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Wow, what an accomplishment! Totally curious about what (if anything!) the new owners will change… and lucky them with all that fabulous free-standing storage left behind!

  • RebeccaNYC
    August 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I got a little misty there. What a beautiful home you created, and the new one will be even better! Congratulations on a job well done!!

  • Sona Jacob
    August 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    That was awesome! So much in so little time and with two babies, too. I remember I first started reading your blog when you were painting your porch for the competition, while you were pregnant!!
    Time flies…
    Congratulations on your new house. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  • Jen
    August 7, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Amazing and so motivating! I do wonder, however, what’s with the odd toilets in the basements of old homes?! We had something similar in our house, although our “bathroom” didn’t have a door. Just three partial walls.

  • sara
    August 7, 2013 at 11:11 am

    i think your house had a lot of character. i love what you did to it.

  • Cottage Katie
    August 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Beautiful style! The colors you chose promotes a lively and energetic home! The new owners must be thrilled to inherit a home with such character!

  • Neal
    August 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Someone is so lucky to walk into the space that you made that is full of love. I hope you have great pleasure in your new home.

  • Kim @ Yellow Brick Home
    August 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Three cheers for new adventures! Not only is it such an exciting time for your family, but also for us as readers :)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 8, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Same for us, with you! I’m waiting to see some ceilings at your place. ;)

  • patricia
    August 11, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Oh Nicole, this is indeed lovely! You guys made it lovely. It’s more than just paint. It’s the lighting, the customized storage, the small finishing details, and much more than meets the eye, that made this house LOVELIER. The owners got a sweet deal. Unto new adventures. Can’t wait to see what you do next. No pressure!

  • Tena
    August 13, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Great post! This house is so charming and it has been such a pleasure to see the transformation. A true inspiration.

    Just wondering if you left behind the egg lounger in your backyard? Also, I had never noticed the blue tub in the bathroom. Did you ever replace it?

    • Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

      We took the egg chair with us. And when we first moved in to that house, we thought the blue tub would be the first thing to go, but then we redid the kitchen instead. The bathroom did get an update to work with the blue tub and toilet, but not a full-scale renovation.

  • Kelly
    August 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I’m not usually a wallpaper person but I love what you put in the dining room!

  • Julie @ Birdie & Chick
    August 14, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Oh my gosh. I’m honestly in tears here looking at your empty house. Thank you so much Nicole for sharing your journey with us over the past few years – you’ve been so such an inspiration to me both at home and even in my career.

    Three cheers for new adventures in design and life!

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