Emma’s House Progress

House progressI had so much fun sharing my empty home tour with you guys yesterday. So, I wanted to share a quick update on what’s changed since shooting that video, which we shot about three weeks ago. You might be thinking, “Whoa, you’re not moved in yet?!?” I’ve been thinking the same thing. 🙂 Well, sort of. We decided to wait to move in until a few updates were completed. I’ll share more on that in a second.

First, the photo above pretty much sums up my life from the past few weeks (outside of work and a friend’s wedding we went to one weekend). I’ve spent about 40 hours painting over half our house. We’re waiting on a few other things too, so I decided to try and get all the painting in the living areas, my office and the kitchen done before we move in. We aren’t painting any of the bedrooms, bathrooms, or the mudroom/laundry room yet. I probably will in the next few years, but those rooms are easier to tackle one at a time without feeling like our whole world is getting painted. So I’m not worrying about them yet. I’m a slow decorator. I like to take my time and this also helps to spread out the expense. Speaking of expense, we saved over $2000 painting the house ourselves. Wahoo! Painting is seriously one of the best ways to save money in any renovation project, but it definitely takes time and you have to enjoy painting a little. I listened to both seasons of Start Up while painting the first two weeks and loved it. Then I ran out of episodes and I started to hate painting. Lesson learned: I need to listen to more podcasts or download an audio book.

Emma's house progressPainting cabinetsWhat else has been going on while I’ve been painting? Well, we’re getting new kitchen counter tops. I got lots of samples and a few quotes and I’m excited to show you what I picked once they are installed! Sadly, they won’t be done until after our trip to Europe next month, so we won’t be moving in until then. But we already removed the old counter tops so we could paint. I’m having a painter (Tomy—he’s awesome) paint the kitchen cabinets. You can see he’s already working on the doors and has started sanding/prepping to paint.

Donate your old counter tops to HFHHere’s our old counter tops. Shortly after I snapped this photo they were donated to the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Backyard fenceAnd here’s the main reason we haven’t moved in yet—we wanted to wait until our fence and dog door were complete. Our dogs are pretty spoiled and are used to a fenced in yard and dog door so they can go in and out pretty much all day long whenever they please. Our house had a chain link fence along the back of the property but no fence along the sides. So we’re getting that added this week.

Random updates, but just wanted to share! Hope you all are having an awesome weekend. I am finishing up painting, so I’ll be ready to rejoin society this coming week. 🙂 xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • wow what stunning floorboards, gunna be amazing when it’s finished! xx

  • You guys are really getting in there and getting this work done fast! I love all these updates!


  • Yes, it’s right around $2000 for the labor and supplies. I have a LOT of cabinets so depending how much you have it could be less, or more depending on your city. Things tend to be fairly cheap in Missouri compared to, like Los Angeles or New York. Just FYI.


  • It’s actually faux wood-lamiate. Still nice but I do wish they were actual hardwoods. Oh well, I have my ceilings to look up at. 🙂


  • Whoa. Really?! I’ll see if we have that in my town, if so you may have just changed my life. Seriously.


  • Oh man, thanks for the recs! I will for sure be checking them out. I was painting again this weekend and discovered Limetown and also Magic Lessons, both really good but very different. 😉


  • We’re gonna rent it out. I’ve never owned a rental before but my grandfather used to own quite a few in his hometown and it was a good source of income for his family while my dad was growing up. So I thought we’d give it a try and see how we like it.


  • Yes, it is a Rancher. I live in Springfield, Missouri which is smack dab in the middle of the country. 🙂


  • Yes, I had one other reader suggest this. I have about ZERO graphic design skills but I’m going to see if I can get some help and get that made at some point so you’ll be able to better understand the layout.

    Thanks for the thought!


  • Thank you so much-glad you like the site and thanks for the nice words about my home. 🙂



  • For your trip to Amsterdam, you might want to read those two post I`ve written about my stay there 🙂
    Hope that helps!

  • It’s gorgeous! Love the floors.
    I listen to podcasts while I work too. Some other favorites to keep you going: TED Radio Hour (so good!), This American Life (of course), Tiny Sense of Accomplishment (for writers mostly), Criminal (if you like true crime stories)…there are so many great ones, but I always binge on them all at once, and then move on.

  • I’m so glad you Guys are painting everything in the main area, especially the cabinets and trim! It’s such a great space but needs a lot of brightening up! (I’ve seen this house in person when it was on the market) So excited for you guys! I’m sure your arms are so tired from painting!

  • Here you have to wait a few months before you can even get into your new bought house, so you guys are quick 😀 The fence looks great! And way to go, donating that countertop :)You guys are really awesome!

  • It’s amazing how much of a difference paint alone can do! This is looking great! Can’t wait to see more 🙂


  • your kitchen seems that will really amazing kitchen, I am sure all house will be very very beautiful when works end!!!

  • Spilled Milk, My Welcome Table, and Jalen & Jacoby are my favorite podcasts to listen to while doing work around the house. Since you love cooking Emma, I think you would love listening to My Welcome Table.

    Happy Sunday

  • I feel your painting pain…we just moved into our house in August and it needs a lot of paint. We moved in right away so it’s a little slower process but as I finish spaces it feels soooo good. Also audible has been my bestest bud through the whole process 😉

    Congrats on the beautiful new space…change is so good!

  • Do you mind sharing how much you’re paying to have your cabinets painted? I’m looking to have mine done and would love a baseline of a reasonable cost. Also, how many doors/drawers you have that are being done?

  • A neighbor just installed a fence like yours and I am super jealous! Can’t wait to see your next progress post…hopefully it will include your dogs.

  • Your progress is amazing, I can’t wait to see the finished results! Such a beautiful looking home- tonnes of natural light.

  • It is really coming together! I can’t wait to see the kitchen finished.

    xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com

  • Ah! This house was one of my favorites when we were house hunting! Excited to see the changes you make to it. 🙂

  • There’s a great app called Overdrive that you can use with your local library card login that allows you to virtually check out audio books for certain lengths of time (I assume it works in Springfield, MO as so far it has for me in New Hampshire and Oregon). I use it all the time for listening to books while I run and I plan to use it to keep myself occupied as I pack up my apartment for a big move! You should definitely check it out to having something free to listen to while painting.

  • Such a cool house!!!! Love the rock fireplace and wood ceilings (and the exterior looks pretty cute too!). Can’t wait to see many more updates.

  • This house is beautiful already I can just envision how much more beautiful it will be with all the lightening up painting projects it’s recieving.

  • I’m just over-joyed for you two. And that fence is so mid century/California! Love it.

    I’ve been re-doing my studio for the past month and have had a similar podcast issue.. Here are a few of my favorites to get you through the painting! Limelight, The Mystery Show, The Splendid Table, Dinner Party Download, This American Life, and The Truth! Hope there are some new ones in there for ya. Good luck!

  • I love this quick updates 🙂 It`s so fun to see what you guys are doing! 🙂 Your house looks great, really nice light from the windows! Have a nice weekend!

  • Wow you guys are so productive! Very impressed. Also I lovebyour new house. Looks cery scandinavian with the wooden ceiling, beautiful. Cantbwait to see more updates.
    Are you selling yourvold house or renting it out? Xx

  • Gorgeous house!! I can’t wait to see it all done. I gather it’s a Rancher. Where or what city in the U.S. are you now located?

  • This house is amazing! Can’t wait till the kitchen area is completed, it has LOTS of potential!! BTW, congratulations for your new house 😀

    Also, could you make a house floor plan?

    It’s difficult to imagine the distribution of the rooms 🙁


  • Beautiful progress, Emma! So stylish and inviting! And obviously a lot of thought, planning, hard work and diligence is going into this home. Excited for you! 🙂

  • I saw you’re video of ’empty house’ yesterday and LOVE the kitchen and well, the whole space. Very much looking forward to seeing how you personalize this lovely new home 🙂
    (btw, I’ve only JUST cottened on to the fact that A Beautiful Mess is a really awesome blog! Will be following with much enthusiasm from now. Thank you! ?)

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