Then and Now-Kitchen and Dining Room

As most of you know, it’s hard to move quickly on house projects….they take time and money.

We have a set budget and keeping our budget is extremely important to us. 

We pick and choose projects each month based on what else is going on that month. 

For example, we don’t take on larger projects during months when we know we are going on vacation or need new clothes, etc.  When I go crazy and order a West Elm comforter, I can’t order West Elm curtains in the same month. 

It’s not that we don’t have the money, we just choose to be smart about our purchases.  There are things that we feel deserve the extra splurge (the comforter we sleep with every night) and there are things that we know we can spend less money on (a thrift store dresser that is more for looks). 

Due to our cheap frugal ways, decorating our house has been a fairly slow process.  It most definitely has not happened over night....just like Rome wasn't built in a day...all things take time...(I love cheesy sayings like that...)

This week I will show you the various stages of our house.  I’d call it “Before and After” but none of our rooms are complete so I feel that “Then and Now” is more fitting.

I’ll recap some rooms for our new readers and show some new-to-the-blog progress photos later in the week.


In the kitchen we added crown molding to the cabinets, a temporary picture backsplash, and bead board on the island.  This room took us about a year and is probably the closest to done.  We do plan to add a backsplash…..if we can ever make a final decision on what material to use.


Our dining room sat empty for an entire year after we moved in.  It’s the first room you see as you enter our front door.  We told people it was our meditation room.  We decided to purchase a table and chair set (darn matchy-matchy old self) after a year of living in the house.  We hung curtains (Target bargains) a few months after that.  I found the hutch at the Salvation Army last June.  I am still looking for a few others items to place on the top of the hutch and have been pondering chair covers.  We are eventually going to add crown molding as well.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the progress of our master suite and guest bedroom.

Do you have a decorating budget?  Do you want to learn more about how we budget? (I won’t bore you otherwise…) 

Do you have a meditation room? :)

Time Flies

We should have started this blog while we were building our house…but we didn’t.
I’m not sure why.  Must have been the whole moving in with Nate’s parents, graduating from pharmacy school and studying for boards, Nate finishing up tax season, starting a new job, and spending every waking second either at our jobs or working on the house. Guess that’s why…

In order to document our house building process, I am going to occasionally update you on where we were 3 years ago and what things look like now.  (We did do a decent job of photographing the process!)

This is what our house lot looked like exactly 3 years ago...

House 053

And here is the same view this morning….

March2011 002

Crazy how time flies!! 

It’s also crazy what I will do for this blog….like photograph our house in my pajamas.  Luckily we live in Iowa and only the 1 car passed….and luckily I didn’t know them….