Taking You Through Our Fixer Upper

Now that we're finally out of the closet about not building anymore, I thought it would be fun to take you through what our new home looks like, and what plans we have for the space so far. The greatest challenge with this home is that it has a lot of "architectural details" on the inside that I'm not a huge fan of, but that are very common among Utah homes that were built in the late 90s and early 2000s. We have peek through walls, and more ledges near the ceiling than you can shake a stick at, but I'm up to the challenge to make it work! 

When you first walk into the front door, you're immediately greeted by our kitchen that is on the left hand side. It's spacious and has a ton of cabinets for storage, but there are some things we would definitely like to change down the road, as budget, and time permit. 

The first thing on the chopping block would probably be swapping out the old lighting fixture with some recessed can lights. Switching that out will do a lot to make the home feel more updated, but won't completely break the bank either. 

In a dream world, I would love to replace all the cabinets, and rip out the ones that are directly in front of the window, and make two built in desk seats with drawers in the middle of the two spaces, for the kids to be able to sit and do homework and other projects. Realistically, we'll probably keep the existing cabinets, paint them white, add some black hardware, and then replace the counters with granite, and add a white subway tile backsplash. 

I would also love to rip out the carpet that is in the living room and dinning room, along with the tile that is in the kitchen, and replace it all with wood plank tiles. Again, another dream world situation, but something we want to do down the road. 

I also don't LOVE the wall that peeks out to the dinning room, and the doorway that leads into the kitchen, and would somehow like to figure out a way to rip that all out and make it look a little more modern and up to date, but my mind hasn't quite grasped how to do that, and what to replace it with yet. 

This probably goes without saying, but we fully intend to paint every single inch of this house white/gray before we move in, so removing the red wall in the dinning room will be happening very quickly. Other than that, this room will remain the same, except for an updated light fixture, and hopefully a flooring change at some point. 

I am so excited to get to work in this living room space. I haven't quite figured out how to work the furniture situation with this corner fireplace, but I'm so jazzed about the makeover that I'm going to be doing to this fireplace the second we move in! I found a DIY online showing how to paint the fireplace tile white, which I can't wait to share with you. Derek is then going to build a new mantle that will essentially be a wooden box that will cover the existing mantle. For under $100 we'll have a dreamy white fireplace with a dark wood stained mantle, and I cannot wait. It's going to be dreamy guys, so dreamy. 

Our master bedroom is an interesting situation. Not only does it have that massive ledge near the ceiling that I have no clue what to do with, but there is also no door separating the bedroom from the master bathroom. I would love to install a barn door like my friend Janssen did in her house, but there would still be an awkward gap between the ceiling and the top of the door... I think eventually we may need to hire a contractor to make a proper doorframe and door there, but for now (and probably the next five years), this is what we're dealing with. 

Our two bathrooms are typical builder grade bathrooms. I would eventually like to get a double vanity in the master bathroom (top), and replace the tub because I'm not a huge fan of the existing one (brown marbling and starfish accents), but that would be a massive undertaking, so we'll probably die in our house with the tub the way it is. I'll likely replace the tile in the bathrooms to match the new tile in the kitchen and living spaces when the time comes. 

Em's bedroom currently looks like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. This will 100% be getting some fresh paint, and a new lighting fixture, and then this room will be done and finished! 

Although Jay's room is the one room in the house that isn't an offensive shade of bandaid beige, the paint in here is definitely roughed up a bit, and so we'll likely paint this room too, and swap the lighting fixture for a more updated one in the future. 

This laundry room is tricky because it's not a room at all. We have this small hallway that leads to a bonus room, and there really aren't any doors concealing the laundry from the rest of the house, which means this space will always have to look immaculate. There is a large part of me that wants to hang some palm leaf printed wall paper behind the washer and dryer, but I'm doubtful that Derek is going to approve of that. 

This bonus room is 100% my favorite room in the entire house and is the main reason why we wanted it so badly. When you walk into the house from the garage, this is the room you walk into. We plan on this being the room where we have our TV, and then we'll also store the kids toys in here, and use it as a guest bedroom as well. It's a little narrow (although not as narrow as this picture makes it look), so it will be tricky to find just the right furniture to make it serve all of our needs, but I'm confident in our ability to make it happen over time. 

We have a couple projects we want to do in the back of the house. You can't see at all, but there is a cement patio that we want to eventually put a fire pit on, and next to the fire pit is a 20 year old deck that is in fairly rough shape. Within the next year, I could see us completely replacing the deck, and adding a small ramp to it so that Em can easily get down into the grass on her own. (There are currently two steps down from the deck that we'll have to deal with... but better than the eight steps that we would have had on our new build. 

I realize that I just spent a lot of time picking apart all the things I don't like about this home, but the truth is, I couldn't be more grateful for it. It is perfect for our family, and it's a home I can see us thriving in for years and years to come. As a blogger, part of my job is sharing fun projects with you guys, and so it's fun to take you guys through the mental process of what I would like to do in this home. Will all my dreams and aspirations for this home come true the second we move in? No. But it's fun to have a plan, work through design challenges, do fun projects, and document the entire journey along the way! 


  1. I love everything about the house, even the ledges. Perfect for some beautiful house plants. Congrats!

    1. Thank you! We certainly can't wait to move in, and know that this is the last move for us for a very long time!

  2. Congrats on the new purchase!!! The ledges will be amazing for Christmas - lights, pine garland, etc. Beyond that, I would struggle as well but I'm sure you'll figure out something to make them gorgeous!

    Black Coffee Beautiful

  3. What was the no glue required linoleum floor you used, and how has it held up? (You mentioned a mint green tile?)

    1. No green tile in our house! We have tile in our kitchen and bathrooms, which we'll have to drill out on our own to replace, although we are considering replacing with a wood look linoleum.

  4. Congratulations on your new home - I agree with you that the style is challenging, but I'm sure a neutral paint job will do wonders!! I'm really looking forward to seeing the changes you'll make. :)

  5. Hi Paige,

    I love the new home. I was thinking re: the peak-through kitchen, perhaps knocking down the top part of the walls and converting it into a small breakfast bar? My only concern would be that it would cut into the space for the kitchen...