We bought our very first home in Maryland in 2009 when David’s job was relocating him to the area. I was still in college, finishing up my senior year. Luckily the stars aligned with my job search that I was able to work in Delaware, albeit it was not a short commute. However, our home provided us a (somewhat) halfway point between our jobs, and a really great family-friendly neighborhood… you know for these dogs that we adopted and planned to raise!
If I can say anything about this home, it was a learning experience. The home was built in 2002 so there weren’t a ton of upgrades needed (or so we thought at the time… ask me now and I would have changed so many of the builder grade details). It was 2100 sqft with 4 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms, sitting on 0.2 acres. We did everything from painting rooms, installing some molding, changing out light fixtures, and new countertops and backsplash in the kitchen. Pretty basic improvements, but I think the most valuable part of this home was learning our needs and desires for what works in a home layout for our family.
Here was the floor plan of the house.
See all of the before and afters below! Please note, that we never really had “before” pictures of what the house looked like when we moved in, but luckily I was able to pull some MLS pictures of what it looked like when we toured it before purchasing.
We liked the exterior of the home, but the landscaping needed some TLC. We treated the lawn and got ride of weeds, dug out the two massive bushes and replaced with flowering shrubs, recentered the boxwoods in front of the windows, painted the wood trim bright white and re-stained the stairs, installed a storm door, and upgraded the builder grade exterior lights.
The yard was pretty large, and gave the pups plenty of room to run around. Here, we re-stained the deck, bought and installed a new shed, rerouted the fence to accommodate for the shed, upgraded the exterior light fixtures, and made DIY stone fire pit.
If you can call it a “foyer” in a bi-level? More like a landing. It was a good space, it just needed some paint and new decor.
This was our main living area, as it was just off the kitchen. It was an awesomely large room, but also made furniture placement a little cumbersome. Here, we painted, decorated, and installed a ceiling fan since the room badly needed one.
This was a true “open concept” home, so the dining room was in full view of the kitchen and living room. We painted it, added decor, and updated the chandelier. I always hated the fact that there was carpet in here, but we never got around to updating that.
Our first kitchen was tiny so it was a difficult process to make it beautiful, yet functional. There wasn’t much counter space which is one of my biggest kitchen pet peeves. We took out the laminate counters and installed granite, installed a new tile back splash, installed a deep stainless under-mount sink and new light fixtures.
I loved this master bedroom, it was such a good size with a cathedral ceiling. We painted and decorated it, installed a ceiling fan, made a DIY headboard, and installed some bed side lighting.
Technically the basement in a bi-level? Don’t ask me about it because I’m still bitter about that in the whole listing for sale process. We made this into a movie/craft room, where we installed the projector, screen and surround sound in the front half of the room, and a crafting area with my sewing machine in the back half of the room.
The office where we got our first experience of dark paint and molding installation (chair rail and crown). I also DIY’ed a roman shade, which looks good, but it was functionally not so great.
The deck got stripped and re-stained, and we bought new furniture and a disappointing umbrella.
Guest Bedroom 1
The smaller guest bedroom was just plain and in need of new decor and a coat of paint.
Guest Bedroom 2
The larger guest bedroom was also plain and in need of new decor and a coat of paint.
The laundry room was in a usedful but also loud location on the second floor. We decided to give it a little makeover since it was so close to the main living area by painting it, adding in some more shelving, and putting some cute decals on the front of the washer and dryer.
Looking back at this bathroom, I’ve decided it’s not my proudest work. The yellow paint and the beige counters and tiles were all wrong, but it was the very first room that we ever painted and decorated.
Guest Bathroom 1
The guest bathroom got some simple paint updates, and we also tried our hand at our first Pinterest project of framing out the builder grade mirror.
Guest Bathroom 2
The first floor bathroom got a new towel rack and fresh coat of paint.
This was such a great room off of the garage. It was the perfect spot for storage and working with tools. David built an awesome work bench that fit the space perfectly.