This week marks one year since we moved into our Marquette House. That’s twice as long as we spent in our prior fixer upper, the Retro Ranch. When we purchased this house we needed a break. We needed a house that wasn’t a “fixer upper”. We needed a house that we could move into and not have to get straight to work on. We were burnt out and ready for a break. Ha! At least I *thought* I wanted a break. Turns out that I just don’t know how to take a break, and updating a home is somewhere deep in my blood. What I’ve enjoyed about the updates we made over the last year is that none of them turned our world upside down. None of them required living in the basement, washing dishes in the tub, or showering at the rec center. We took it easy and fixing up a home this way was MUCH more enjoyable than the last home. Although we’ve made a ton of progress, we’re far from finished with this house and we don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Today I’m happy to share with you, “Our Fixer Upper One Year Later”.
Ok, so we barely did any updates out here. We did swap out the lantern sconces, but those weren’t even shown in this picture. We were lucky enough to purchase a home with beautiful landscaping, and our only work other involved adding wood chips and maintaining the stunning landscaping.
Here you can see where we replaced the lantern lights. **This post contains affiliate links** They’re actually the EXACT same lights that we installed on the porch at the retro ranch, and the auction house. It’s only because I had a leftover which meant I only had to purchase one.
In the entry we started with a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray on all of the walls. Then I built and added this vintage shoe stretcher coat hook. I’ve still got plans to paint the tile floor, but for now I’m living with the terra cotta tile.
In the entryway I also replaced both of the lights with these great modern geometric lights. The stairwell also got a major facelift with a coat of black paint a new runner.
The living room underwent to most drastic changes in the entire house. The crazy part is that it was 100% done with paint! Shortly after moving in I tackled painting the oak paneling and built in shelves. Then I painted the brass fireplace surround black. Then just before Christmas I painted the brick fireplace black.
We didn’t have a budget for much in the kitchen, but we were still able to make a big impact. I started out by replacing the hardware on all of the cabinets. We also replaced the kitchen faucet. Then I made a HUGE impact by painting the tile backsplash and covering the countertops with a faux marble contact paper!
We really didn’t do a ton of work in the dining room, but I LOVE how it came together. Actually the only change we made was to replace the light fixture and hang curtains. I’ll actually be sharing a post this week about those great new dining chairs!
This powder bathroom was terribly ugly. Between the brown tile, yellow walls, and tiny mirror it just needed some easy updates. I ended up painting the tile, hanging a new mirror, painting the vanity, and installing faux shiplap behind the toilet. I shared all of these updates in this post.
The reading nook got a total overhaul. We eliminated an awkward closet and created a closet for a stackable washer and dryer up on the second floor of our house. Then I built a built in daybed using Ikea bookshelves, hung a new light fixture, and revealed it all in my One Room Challenge Reveal. This space went from being a useless oversized hallway, to one of our favorite spaces in our home.
The boys room was a bright bubblegum pink, and had to get a new paint job fast. Then I added the floating lego shelves, and painted them a night sky mural behind their beds.
The Master Bedroom also got some pretty major updates. In here we replaced the flooring, updated the light fixture, and updated the closet doors with “faux shiplap” doors. I revealed this space for the Spring One Room Challenge Reveal.
Although there are many rooms that we accomplished a lot in, there’s others that we have made absolutely no progress in. For example, the mudroom. It looks exactly the same as the day we bought the house. It still provides minimal function for such a large mudroom. **UPDATE** Check out how we finished the mudroom here. Or there’s the master bathroom. In here I hung a towel bar and flipped the mirror vertical. I shared my moodboard with plans for this bathroom, but haven’t made any progress on getting there yet. **Update** Check out how we updated it here.
Another room that hadn’t been touched until recently was our daughter’s room. I’ve secretly been working on it though and am going to share it all with you this month! **Update** Here is the reveal of our daughter’s room. Our basement also hasn’t seen any love or attention and mainly is a big open space for the boys to play floor hockey in. **Update** Here is the basement reveal.
After writing this post though I’m encouraged by how much we accomplished in one year, especially since we really did take it slow and never went crazy to get these projects done. I have to credit you guys, my readers for giving me the opportunity to be able to do updates like these and blog about them. Often updates are cheap and simple and only cost as much as a gallon of paint. Other times it involves updating fixtures which is more expensive. If it weren’t for the many companies that have sponsored product for these projects we wouldn’t have been able to complete many of them. Even with that said, even if I had paid retail prices for everything, ALL of these updates could be done for under $10,000. I know that this has added far more than $10,000 to the value of our home. I hope that encourages you that updating a house can be affordable and helps you to see the potential in your own home. If you love how we’ve decorated our home, be sure to check out the “shop my home” page! Thanks for stopping by today!
Wow! I love all your updates. It’s amazing what a coat of paint and the right accessories can do.
Thank you so much! Agreed, it’s as much about staging it as it is about renovating!
you’ve done an amazing job! i love your changes- the living room and your master bedroom are my favorites!
Thanks Cassie! It’s been a lot of work but TOTALLY worth it. The living room is my favorite too.
Great job. I love what you done, looks so beautiful!!
Thank you so much! It was hard to say goodbye to that home!
Were did you find your little bench for the frint entryway? I am trying to find simething similar but wall is only 25″ wide. There’s not a whole lot out there for that size wall .
This was a threshold one from Target, I don’t think it’s in stock anymore though. Agreed it was a hard spot to find one for!
House of Hollingsworth Blog says
Your entryway and reading nook are my absolute favourites! I’m looking forward to seeing what you create this year ?
Thank you so much! I don’t know if I can keep pace with last year, but I’m hoping at least to do a big mudroom reno… maybe some bathroom updates too.
Great updates and one of the most aggravating repeating advertisements I’ve ever encountered on a website. I hope you get paid a ton of money for that, especially since when the x is hit to make it go away your beautiful photos also fade away almost to nothing. Love your renovations though.
Thank you so much for your feedback. I got a similar comment last week and had my ad provider reduce my ads after hearing this. Would you mind letting me know if you were viewing on a mobile or desktop device? That will help me figure out where to eliminate more ads. It’s a fine line between earning an income and alienating my readers, and it sounds like I’ve crossed that line.
I am trying to see your site on an iPad and it keeps resetting because of the ads. I literally was screaming in my head at one point it was so frustrating. I even went from Pintrest to search engine, which got a little better, but not much.
I’m sorry that it was such a frustrating experience. I try to find a good balance of ads and content, but maybe I’ve tilted too far with ads. I’ll work with my ad provider to see if I can scale back. Thanks for the feedback!
I love that you painted your fireplace black. That must have been scary, but it paid off!
Thanks! I was nervous to do it but it SO glad I tackled it!
I love that something as small as paint can make such a large difference. I’d also paint the kitchen cabinets, architraves and skirting boards white but I love white.
Thanks! I’ve been on the fence about whether or not to paint the cabinets. For the sake of retail most people around here love natural wood cabinets. I would LOVE painted ones though and don’t want to live with only resale in mind. I’ve also thought about a compromise of maybe painting the uppers and leaving the lowers wood? Anyways, Thanks for your comment!
Emily Field says
How do you paint tile and make it stick so it doesn’t peel right off?
I love rustoleum tub and tile paint, it works great!
Ingrid Peeples says
Looks beautiful! I have wood trim like you, and want to paint it. After seeing yours, though, I may reconsider leaving it. Could you tell me your reasons for NOT painting it white? Thanks!
Thanks! We flipped a house before this where we painted all the trim white. This house is in the North Woods though and it just felt right not to paint it. It also is a lot of work and then there’s more upkeep with painted trim, versus the wood trim hides dust and doesn’t ever need touching up. In order to not feel like everything is all wood I accented with white wherever possible. I think I’ll probably paint the kitchen eventually too.
Loved your before & after pictures. I have been wanting to paint my trims white too but you have made me consider leaving them as they are. Also have a brick wall in lounge room to paint or cover & a staircase to update. All on a tight budget. So you’ve given me some ideas. Thank you
I’m so glad you found my blog! Yes most of our updates have been really budget friendly, the light fixtures have been the most expensive part. Good luck on your updates!
Wow! I’ve just now stumbled on your blog and it’s amazing!! Thanks for the inspiration with my future project this summer!
Aw thank you so much! It’s so cool to hear that my room was someone’s inspiration! Thanks for letting me know!
What paint did you use to paint the tile?
THanks! Rustoleum Tub and Tile Paint. Here’s the link: https://www.brightgreendoor.com/how-to-paint-tile-countertops-and-our-modern-bathroom-reveal/
This is impressive. All manageable and all affordable. While it’s fun to watch HGTV transformations, they are often out of reach for most people as the channel has gotten away from shows demonstrating how to do just what you’ve done. Good for you for sticking to your budget while still creating a beautiful space in which to live!
Aw thank you so much for your kind comments. It was taken some ingenuity but its totally been worth it. Especially not totally blowing our budget. I’m glad I can show people that there is another way to get it done!
Love these simple updates, makes a world of difference! I came across this post through Pinterest. I was looking for anyone who may have blogged about what to tackle first on a fixer upper. Looking into maybe buying one that will need quite a bit of work, but wondering what we should fix first (in your opinion/experience)?
Lovely transformation, I especially like the way you did the brick fireplace and paneling. We have a similar situation in our basement with paneling throughout and a wide brick fireplace with a limestone slab like yours. Did you do anything to the limestone? We considered whitewash for the brick, but were afraid it would make the limestone slab look dirty.. (it doesn’t help that we burn coal also). Thank you for any input you can provide!
Sadly I still haven’t taken care of the stained limestone. I’m thinking of using Ardex feather finish to coat it.
What’s the blue color that used to be on the fireplace? Was that also the same color on the closet doors?
The firsplace does look a tinge blue, but it’s actually just a straight black. The doors are Benjamin Moore Hidden Falls. Thanks!
Barb Wey says
I love your staircase!!
I thught you replaced it with rod iron.
Til I read it was paint!!
How did you do it?
and is it holding up?
Thank You Barb
Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas to you! Here’s the post with all the details: https://www.brightgreendoor.com/black-painted-staircase/ It held up wonderfully!
Where did you get the rug in the living room? I LOVE IT!!! The entire living room is such an inspiration!
Thank you so much! I loved this living room so much too. Now we live in a different house. Here is the link to the rug: https://rstyle.me/n/cryqvkcb4ex
Oh dear, you covered your countertops with Contact paper? How long do you figure that will last? Poor choice…
It actually worked great and we knew we would be replacing the countertops eventually. I hated the red counters so much that this was a great short term fix that lasted about a year. It was a great choice for us until we replaced them which I shared in this post: https://www.brightgreendoor.com/modern-counter-stools/
Nikki Hall says
Great job!!! I love the closet doors that are painted blue in the room with the two beds. Where did you find doors like that?
Thanks, here is the link to the post: https://www.brightgreendoor.com/french-closet-doors/
So beautiful and inspiring! Did you stick with Edgecomb Gray in all of the rooms (entry, living, dining, and kitchen?)