Four Years in our Home – Favorite Projects, Regrets and What’s Next?

Four years in our home. I can’t believe it either! I am feeling really nostalgic and wanted to share a walk down memory lane today. I’m here to share favorite projects, regrets and what’s next.

Some of the happiest moments of my life have happened while living in this home. Bringing Nova home is an obvious favorite … she’s our pride and joy. The launch of our app, A Color Story, happened while we were living here. I’m also incredibly proud of us for making it through our first major renovation and staying focused until we ended up with a home we love. And I have no doubt we will make so many more incredible memories, including bringing home our second daughter!

So, about that walk down memory lane …

Favorite projects 
Our exterior updates
(I told Jeremy there was no way we were looking at this home unless we could paint the exterior white. It makes my eyes so happy every single day—best $ we spent on this house, hands down!)
The projector (yes yes yes)
DIY fiber art (I’ve seen so many of you make this and it makes me so happyyyyyy!)
A-Frame Playhouse and Play Set
Our DIY campaign dresser 
Gold cactus wallpaper
My closet makeover (this one is small but it makes me happy every SINGLE day)

And a few favorite room tours: 
Our den tour
-Our master bedroom and bathroom
-My first big holiday home tours here and here, and don’t forget Halloween
(these are some of my favorite blog posts and memories)
Marigold’s nursery tour

Regrets 
Hmmm … I have thought about this a lot. I’m overall really happy with how the home came out, but in hindsight I rushed too much. It was my first big renovation and I had unrealistic expectations for how quickly we could renovate a home this size. I wish I would have focused on just one room at a time instead of trying to renovate and design so many at once.

The biggest lessons I learned from this renovation were to not rush so much and to enjoy the planning phase. Now that I’m done with all the renovation I miss it and wish I had spaced it out more.

I also regret not putting in a deck. Now that we’ve been here four years and we’re talking about moving, my husband doesn’t want to do it anymore, which I understand since it’s a huge project. I wish I would have prioritized it higher up on the list. But at the end of the day, it’s not that big of a deal. I’ll think of that deck as my “the one that got away”—haha.

What’s next?
While we no longer have any large projects on our list, there are still so many other projects I want to do. It feels like a fun change of pace to have this season for smaller projects. We also have some bnb properties we are renovating, and those keep me super busy. If we have any big gaps between those projects, I’d really like to mix it up and learn to make pasta or learn to sew—two things I’ve been wanting to do for years.

We’re currently not sure whether moving is in our near future or not. It’s something we’re giving a lot of thought to and are still on the fence about. As I mentioned in this post, I am currently inspired by some very different styles of homes, so narrowing down the style of my “dream home” feels like a lot of pressure. But we are getting to the phase in life where we’d be doing a “forever home” (or if not forever, a home where we live while our kids are going through school).

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the dreaming phase. I’ve been spending my nights glued to Pinterest and researching different areas and neighborhoods. It’s fun to have so many exciting possibilities on the horizon.

Happy four years, cute little kitchen! We love you.

I feel so lucky that we stumbled on this home when we did. It was the greatest project for me. I feel like I grew 10x in my design skills and my knowledge of remodeling since we moved here. Very thankful for the chance to turn this ’70s ranch into our dream home!

xx! Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • This is totally your business and it’s fine if you don’t want to share – but I’m curious as to why you would consider moving. You put so much work and love into this home, and four years really isn’t that long of a time. Unless you’re redistricting for your kids’ school, why leave it behind? Really curious as to why you don’t see this as your forever home. It’s beautiful and you’ve done so much with it!

    • Hi Sarah!
      There are several reasons we’re considering it. But I totally understand how from an outside perspective it seems a little crazy, it IS a dream home.
      -When we bought this house we didn’t live in this area yet (we lived in Missouri) so we didn’t fully know our options in terms of neighborhoods, where our friends would live and what parts of town we’d want to spend the most time in- we know all that now.
      -Schools are a big one. We have access to good schools here, but we’re considering all the options since our children have special needs (another thing we did not know when we chose this home/area).
      -Proximity to things we do in our everyday lives.
      -A walkable neighborhood. Our home is on more of a main street, and while it’s still totally safe for our kids to play outside it’s not safe to take a walk around the neighborhood or ride bikes in the street (so we have to stay in our driveway or drive to a park).

      Anyway! Hope that makes sense. Even with all those factors there is still a part of us that wants to just stay here and we could make that work too, so we’ll see!

      • We are in the same boat living on a main street; I was pregnant when we were house shopping and overlooked it. Now I miss going on walks and the neighborhood feel. I wrote a list of priorities for our next house and update it constantly so we do not make the same mistake. In the interim, we are renovating our existing home (it’s my #1 hobby) and enjoy going on weekend drives searching for our future neighborhood.

        • I relate to this so much! We have a list of “forever home” features that’s super specific that we add to constantly. :))

  • When you’re looking for inspiration on pintetest, do you ever come across one of your own spaces and get inspired before clicking that it was already yours? 😂

    Or is it more of a surreal thing?

    Love your work!

  • A small but important request….do you think when you post your blog entries that you could include the year, along with the day and month? Sometimes I’m scrolling through old posts and I have no idea which ones came first, especially with room redos and makeovers. Food for thought…thank you Elsie!

    • YES!!!!!!!!!
      i like the date as is but maybe turn it into a “division” sign and add the year at the bottom.
      its always kinda of bugged me that im not sure the year im reading.

    • Agreed, this would be really helpful to have this context sometimes!

  • How do you keep the kitchen cabinets white? I’m doing a Reno soon and love white for cabinets but ours are always staining. Thoughts?

    • We wipe ours down and occasionally use a magic eraser along the bottoms. They’re not perfect, but they’re perfect enough for me! I would definitely do a white kitchen again in the future. 🙂 xx

  • Wow, you have done SO much to your home over the last few years! Every change you’ve made is stunning; you’re living in such a dream house now! Even though it’s still VERY far in the future, I cannot wait to own a house and be able to change what I want in it so that it suits my own interests. I always thought I’d spend my life travelling around the world, but I’ve realised as I’ve grown up that all I really want is a stable place to come home to and call “mine”.

  • Absolutely love the kitchen. After moving many times over the years, we are now in our ‘forever dream home’ – how lucky are we?

  • What are your tips for furnishing an Airbnb? We have an extra house currently, and we are looking at using it as possibly an Airbnb. Thanks!

  • Hiya! Do you have a list of recommended neighbourhoods?
    Both mine and my husband’s positive astrogeography lines run straight through Nashville so we’re considering a move. We’ve visited twice and already love it so much.

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