One year in our home!

One year in our home via Elsie Larson abeautifulmess.comElsie Larson home abeautifulmess.comThis past month we celebrated one year since we moved into our current home. 100 million projects later, I'm sitting here wondering how it passed so quickly! I thought it might be fun to share a few stories and memories from our first year in this home. I shared our home buying story back in February, but so much more has happened since then.

One giant, crazy project that happened in this space (and in Emma's home too) was we started and finished a home decor book! It was an incredible experience and honestly one of the projects I am most proud of to date. It will be released next summer (we're in the editing phase now). We decided when we started that book we wanted it to have 100% new photos, which means none of the images have been shared here on the blog. If you're a blogger you're probably either eye rolling or high fiving us right now, because you know that is a CRAZY goal. We decided to use new photos, because we blog so much about our homes here that all different photos was literally the only way to ensure that the book feels super fresh when it comes out next year. It was paaaaainful to keep so many rooms in our homes and giant projects hidden. Hopefully it will be more than worth it come next summer when the book launches! 

So now you know the back story there, you understand why I've only shared one room tour on the blog this year (our living room). We had to wait until our book deadlines had come and gone, but now that they're mostly behind us we are starting to restyle and re-imagine each of our rooms so that we can (FINALLY!) share them here on the blog without spoiling content from our upcoming book. Double yay! Plus I'm not complaining that I get to restyle my rooms again… I'm addicted now!Elsie Larson's living room abeautifulmess.comElsie Larson's living room abeautifulmess.comElsie's Living Room (Before + After!)

Elsie Larson home Elsie Larson home Elsie Larson home Elsie Larson home On a personal note, this past year our home has been a space for Jeremy and I to dream as a family. In addition to being our temporary office, it's been a space for family and friends to come and hang out for a fun night or weekend. We loved our first holiday season here. I'm not sure if I ever admitted this here or not, but I did something really stupid last year. I was overly excited about our new high ceilings and I bought a Christmas tree online that was WAY too large for our living room. It was touching the ceiling—like, really touching the ceiling. I bought it online, and it was non-returnable. I was so determined to love it that I left it up, but it's hard to pull off a tree smushed into the ceiling. 😉 Ooops. Already got a smaller one for this year. 

We started a few new traditions, including a nightly cocktail (or scotch and wine… whatever) on the back porch. We decorated a room for our (5!) nieces and nephews to play in. We grilled on the back porch. We took lots of walks around the neighborhood. It was a good year in this house. We bonded. 🙂Elsie Larson home     We planted our first garden. What an experience! We learned a ton for next year. I'm really happy we decided to just do it!Elsie Larson home       We started and finished countless projects. Home ownership is no joke. In addition to all the pretty projects you saw here on the blog we had our fair share of not-so-pretty plumbing problems and rooms filled with boxes for way WAY too long. If I've learned anything so far it's that taking care of a home could easily be a full-time job, and people with beautiful, cared for homes are hard workers. 🙂Elsie Larson home  abeautifulmess.comThe best part of being in our new home is having guests often. We LOVE it. We've hosted friends almost every single month and it's been amazing. (Dolly likes it too, as you can see!)

Here are a few of my favorite projects (big and small) from the past year. Looking at all of these together makes my head spin a little. I'm so proud of the progress we made, even though my list is still a few miles long! 

Elsie's favorite home DIYS (part 1) abeautifulmess.comVintage Planter Cacti Garden, Hand Printed Pillows, Blueprint Copies, Yellow Painted Chairs

Elsie's favorite home DIYS (part 2) abeautifulmess.comReStyled Bar Cart, Honeycomb Shelves (made with this DIY), Vertical Bike Storage, Custom Stenciled Wall. 

Elsie's favorite home DIYS (part 3) abeautifulmess.comHandwriting Statement Wall, DIY Dining Room Table, Family Photo Bookshelf, Anchor Statement Wall

Elsie's favorite home DIYS (part 4) abeautifulmess.comInstax Wallpaper, Handprinted Quilt, Metal Crate Side Tables, Painted Patio Tiles. 

Elsie's favorite home DIYS (part 5) abeautifulmess.comMudroom Organization, Jonathan Adler Inspired Vase Set, Guest Room Cart, Colored Kitchen Cabinets. 

Elsie's favorite home DIYS (part 6) abeautifulmess.comVintage Brass Planters, Washi Stripe Doorway, Ladder Display Makeover, DIY Light Up Headboard

One of the things I love about owning a home is the ability to just try things. We've already moved our furniture from room to room several times, re-painted quite a few walls and traded items with friends that weren't working in our space. I love that it's a continual process—a never ending hobby, if you will! I plan to keep on painting and sanding and adding and changing my mind for as long as it's still the. most. fun. thing. ever. I don't see that changing anytime soon. 🙂

In year two my big goal is to share all our rooms with you here on the blog. I think that will keep me pretty busy! 😉 Thanks so much for sharing in our journey. This home is a special place and as our family begins to grow (not a hint, sorry). I have the feeling it will become more and more special each year. Can't wait to share more projects, progress, messes and happy memories with you! xo. Elsie 

  • Can we get a source on your friends rabbit top? I’ve been thinking about it all month!

  • Wow! How quick has that gone! I love your home a Elsie, it’s so beautiful!

    Lulu xx

  • You have the cutest house! Seeing all these projects in one post makes me realize just how many DIY projects you have done. Great job! 🙂

  • oh my, your list after just one year is amazing, no grass growing under feet at your house (; hooray! for year one!

  • I just got married (almost three weeks ago!), and now that the wedding planning is over, I’ve moved onto planning things for our house! Your home is my inspiration for ideas, and as I’m sure you can understand, it takes time to make your house what you really want it to be…especially when you’re young and just getting on your feet as newlyweds! Even though my husband and I have actually been together for 8 years, living together for almost 3, we were always just waiting to get married to have “real” home things, and just got by with hand-me-downs and discount appliances. So now I’m slowly but surely trying to take our home from “dorm room” to “adults actually live here.” haha! Anyway, thank you so much for your beautiful creativity and wonderful photos of your home. I dream of one day having my home be as bright/homey/cheery/lovely as yours. 🙂

  • wow, your home is AMAZING!! I love what you have done with it. so creative.

    reckless abandon blog

  • Congrats, Elsie & Jeremy! I love seeing all of the home updates. My boyfriend and I just bought a condo this summer, and I’m amazed at how much time has passed and how little we’ve been able to do! Seeing what you’ve done is so inspirational; we’ve got to get our butts in gear! xo Sami

  • This was an amazing post to see! I’m a new follower, so I missed out on pretty much everything this past year, so it was great to see it here and get to know even more of what you guys are about.

    I’m only 22, but recently have been starting to sort of play around with the idea of my own home someday and how I’d want it to be, this was a great, great inspiration – you are simply a visionary group of people that transformed a nice place into something very special.

    Renate from

  • Looks so beautiful, like a dream home. I can’t wait to have my own home too 🙂 Thankyou for the inspiration

  • wow! this is awesome place! Really – love your house ! and love the changes.. before, and after! 🙂
    well done you!!! 🙂

  • Happy Home Birthday! We love your bright and cheery space.

  • LOVE your style and creativity in your home decorating and can’t wait to see the other rooms.

  • Hi! Love what you’ve done with the place. Makes me feel inspired to crack on with my headfull of ideas! .. I live in Australia and have searched high and low for a similar fabric to the blue lounge. (In printed cushion and metal crate side table pics) even drove 1hour away to a place I was sure would have it (no website) but alas no. So I was wondering if you would be so kind as to tell me what it’s called and potentially the fabric supplier.
    Thanks so much in advance.

  • inspire me!!! can’t wait to see your new book!! I hope to complete some projects around here…wish I had more energy..i am recovering from chemo and have returned to work 40 hours a week…but looking at your pictures make me feel like I can do a little at a time..and get something done…love the mudroom organizer…I have an old metal cart sitting on my patio right now…waiting for paint..i was thinking red… but now I am thinking the white is pretty cool…

  • You’ve done a great job with your home!

    xo Jennifer

    p.s. Check out my Chicastic giveaway!

  • I love your little daschie. I have one of my own. Theyre such gorgeous little creatures <3

    Sam //

  • Wow, you’re sooooo incredibly creative and talented! I’m so jealous of your house. Nice work and congratulations! x

  • oh my this is pretty much the coolest house ever!

    Rowdy Fairy Blog

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  • Have always loved that Instax wall of yours! Awesome. Also love the Ladder with the lights 🙂

  • How exciting Elsie!!! I still remember reading about when you guys got the house. Looking forward to the book and new projects ahead 🙂

  • Congrats on one year AND on the DIY home project book! I’m excited to see it because I love a good DIY project and love that little before + after photo in your post! 🙂

  • I spend way too much time on this blog and i just don’t care that i do ha

    I want to do everything you’ve done, it’s amazing! x

  • wow wow wow, I love the amount of yellow in that gorgeous home 🙂

  • Wow! It’s so incredible to see everything you’ve done to your home in just one year! Everything is absolutely beautiful.


  • Your home is beautiful! It’s definitely giving me ideas for when I can design my own home. Thank you for this post!

  • I love your house! It’s beautiful and so creative. I have to do the washi stripe doorway sometime soon. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂 –

  • thank you for sharing this with us, you have a beautiful home. I agree, the best part of owning one is that you can do whatever and have parties whenever! 😀

    can’t wait to see more! Jelena

  • Your house is seriously stunning ♡ I would love for my house to be like this when I’ve finally saved enough to move out! 🙂

  • Your home is so lovely an inspiring! When I have an actual home one day i really hope it can be half as wonderful as yours!

  • Your home is truly amazing and that photo wall is just impressive! xx

  • You have such a beautiful home. We are creating our first home with my boyfriend and your DIY projects are great inspiration. 🙂 And since we made majority of furniture by ourself, we are documenting the process, so maybe I will start a blog to share our work with people.

  • I absolutely love your home! It makes me want to do so much more with our house but we are looking to move soon so I’m saving all of my creativity for the new house when it finally comes along! You’re definitely a huge inspiration and I thank you for that!!!


  • You have such a beautiful home and I love how unique it is. I’ve really enjoyed reading about all of your DIY projects and hope to complete a few of them myself this year.

  • I can’t believe how different your home looks from when you bought it! It’s a complete 180. Love it!

  • I love this post – so inspiring. Congrats on 1 year in your house and so amazed at all you were able to do in that time. Your house is AMAZING!

  • Your home is adorable and so beautifully decorated, it is very charming and it truly indicative of your personality and love for all things vintage! Absolutely stunning and cannot wait to look for your DIY projects for inspiration upon the purchase of our first home in the future! 🙂 -Iva

  • Wow. I am IN LOVE with your home!! It’s so unique, and it fits you perfectly. I love it. All these pictures have inspired me so much! I am only 16 but I have much of the same dreams you do! 🙂 haha. You guys are AMAZING!
    I really love this blog a lot…I feel so connected! Thank you for inspiring me 🙂 and all your projects are so cool! Okay I’m gonna stop rambling now lol

    xoxo, Maddie

  • Oh, time does go by, doesn´t it. It soon is a year that I´ve lived in my apartment. So much has happened since.

    I love the yellow chairs with the polka dot seats.

    By the way, did you ever try arm knitting? I tried it today for the first time and it´s so easy. I made a scarf which turned out to be super soft and cozy and chuncky, just perfect.

  • Your projects are awesome! It’s just so fun and satisfying watching things come together!

  • Hi Anna! Nope, our home was not furnished. I didn’t do a very good job of taking “before” photos in the new place, so I used a pic from the real estate listing (so you are seeing the previous owners decor here)
    thanks so much! elsie

  • You’ve truly made the house your home. The best thing I love about it is that it’s uniquely yours. Congrats on the one year and wishing you many more years of memory making!

  • Ohgosh, perfection! Your home looks amazing and it’s such a great inspiration for other “new-home”-newbies just like me 🙂
    The instax wallpaper looks very unique!

  • Love your house & your blog!! I saw this dishtowel at anthro the other day, you totally need it for your kitchen!!


  • Can you came to my home and make something similar???
    Love every space of your home, really great job!

  • Congrats on one year!!! I’m 11 months in our apartment after moving 400 miles from home and haven’t gotten done even a tenth of what you have done! Y’all are such hard workers! I’m inspired, haha!

  • I can’t wait for the book. Your home is so alive and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Your home is truly beautiful and every time you share a glimpse of it, it’s very inspiring to me!


  • Your home is seriously gorgeous, Elsie. Can’t wait to see all the projects in your forthcoming book… but in the meantime your photo book is on its way (I think it’s waiting for me to collect at the post office now, in fact), can’t wait to read it.

  • wow.. i can’t stop looking the photos! There are wonderful! I love the colors in every room, the wall and the couch! My favorite is the chalk wall. You can write and draw everything you want! So creative! And also, the letters wall! So great!! 🙂

    Dream House, dream rooms, dream wall! You are so lucky!

  • What an amazing home! Beautifully decorated. Can’t wait for the book! A “first home” is something everyone remembers and tells stories about. How awesome that you can capture so much of your home and detail it an upcoming book! Love your colored patio tiles too! Congrats on the one year! 🙂

  • this was such a joy to read and see — so much inspiration for us readers! thanks, miss elsie!

  • Your home looks so incredible Elsie, and it’s amazing to see what you’ve changed it from. You should be proud!!
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

  • You have a dream home ! Love it


    Chic look with ruffle skirt and shiffon blouse, today on

  • Home ownership is such a dream! I know it’s a lot of work too, but I can’t wait for that phase! I love the Christmas tree story… my husband and I have actually talked about get an oversized live tree that is slightly bent over at the top, from touching the ceiling, for some quirky character!

  • I work at Urban Outfitters and every time someone purchases your book, I’m like “you need to see their blog, I’ve been following it for years and now they made this book and they are amazing!!”

  • So beautiful house. Do you realize what did you accomplish in there during only one here ?
    It’s crazy, I’m so in love with it !

    Congrats and so much happiness for the future…

  • What a fun and bright home. I love seeing all of the DIY projects. It is nice to see you actually live with the projects and they aren’t just for the blog. I would kill for that backyard!

  • oh this makes me so excited for the future! We’re in what I hope is our last rental home & I’m so ready to have a place that’s OURS. thank you for sharing & very excited to see where year 2 leads you guys.

  • love everything about your home! awesome photos with so much inspiration


  • So looking forward to seeing the book! I love your unique and beautiful style(s). I hope you spend many more years and many more projects in your lovely home!

  • Nope, this wall is in our home. Katie helped work on the project, so that’s probably what you are remembering! 😀


  • Your home is BEAUTIFUL! I am obsessed with your style! Thank you for sharing this! I have definitely used some of your home as inspiration for my own (tiny apartment!). LOVE your blog, can’t wait for your book!!!!

  • Thanks Quyen! This past year we’ve been trying to focus on projects that we need/want for our homes… multipurpose, ya know?! 😀

  • All of your home projects were so beautiful I cant pick a favorite! Congrats on the one year!

  • the photograph with the fairy lights and dress, actually makes my heart hurt a little! At least you have inspired be to go home and tidy!

  • Hi. I’m a regular reader but I don’t comment often. But this post just spoke to me: I wanted to say that I adore your house and the projects that you post here on your blog.

    My biggest wish is to have a house one day (currently we have a flat) and to be able to do projects like you write about.

    Oh and that garden looks wonderful! Cannot wait for your book and best wishes from Prague, Czech Republic.

    Yours, Miss V

  • we just bought our first home 6 weeks ago and it is so much fun. it totally feels like my favorite hobby i’ve ever had. i hate going to work- i just want to paint and hang curtains and dream up projects with my kids playing in the background.

  • Love your decoration style, it is so sweet and cozy!! I would love to keep reading about your home, thanks for sharing, caro.

  • Wow, you pretty much have the coolest house ever! I love the stenciled wall and the wording on the wall-very unique!

  • I cannot wait to be able to own my home and get into more permanent projects like painting and gardening. I’ve been renting a house with my longtime boyfriend for the past year and I’ve absolutely loved having so many rooms to style. So many cute projects, and I can’t wait to see the book!


  • I’ve lived in two houses with my parents and sisters but they were never ours. It really pained me (and still does) because of all the crazy things I wanted to do in my room. I’ll definitely rent for a few years before having a settled job and then I’ll buy a house for sure… With a giant backyard. This post definitely revived my dreams of a big english garden!

  • So beautiful! Can’t wait for the book….ALREADY super excited! 🙂

    And I’m totally high fiving you about the new photos, even if that is crazy!! 😛

  • Ohhhhh, I can’t wait to see this book. And many many congratulations on the first year in your home! That’s so exciting.

  • Don’t be sorry, your house is so full of love and happiness I am sure you will have a house full of tiny feet soon xx

  • Can’t wait to see everything you’ve done with the rest of the house.

    I’ve lived in my apartment for three years now and I still have two boxes that need to be deleted completely from my life but you know, no time! Now that spring is almost here, I think it’s time to finally do it. I do love just thinking about new things to add, pretty things to make and then sit down and enjoy it. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.

  • I still love that Instax wall. It is SO COOL. Can’t wait to see the rest of your house!

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