First Impressions: Before & After, The Kitchen Becomes the Entry!

This is what my current entry way used to look like – because we never had an entry, you used to walk straight into my dining room/kitchen.

 I know it’s a mess! I’’m being brave and showing it to you anyway. Maddie started pulling cabinets out while I was still trying to box things up! Storm damage construction isn‘t like planned construction, with storm damage everything has to happen at once.

 BTW see the lower left hand corner, where the floor is missing? That‘s because there used to be a stairway there, then after we moved the steps it was a temporary pantry. The whole wall around on the kitchen side was a chalkboard wall. Can’t you totally imagine it through the mess.

Can’t you??

   Maddie is practicing for her dream job, for realz, she wants to be a general contractor. She‘s planning on attending UNI and taking their Construction Management program. She says she loves the work but doesn’t want to take guff from the guys, so she’ll be their boss. :)   She‘s only 16 and a sophomore for now, so there is still time to change her mind.

     This is what it looks like now… it’s a work in progress. We still need trim, but that will have to wait until taxes get back because I am out of money. :)  Redoing a home is so expensive! So I‘m trying to decorate with what I have.

Here‘s a couple of things I had on hand. Keep scrolling down, it’s there I promise!

That collage is on a white background and squared up for instagram – but on a website it looks like I hit the enter button a few to many times. Any who, this is my grandmothers old sewing cabinet, and a door my mother found for me, and this is what it looks like now.

 I have yet to find the perfect mirror, but this one was free so it will do for now. :)

 I have already redecorated the top of the piano, again. :) 

I like the way the piano looks open, but little visitors keep having to pound the keys and I’m getting to old for that kind of noise, so I may have to close it. The photo above the piano is one I took when my youngest was 4 and the dog was 3, they are 13 and 12 now. I’m not sure if the photo is as good as I think it is or if I just love it so much because of what happened right after I snapped the shot. My daughter broke down and crying because she had “dog germs“ and I started laughing hysterically, because I’m evil like that.  

My youngest is also the piano player in the family so technically the piano is hers.  We are currently in a disagreement about it being painted, and beings I didn’t buy it I can’t even use the old parent fall back of “I paid for it. ” A close family friend, had friends that had a piano at a job site, and they were told to throw it away. He found out about it, drove two hours to pick it up and two hours home again and surprised us with it, so it has some sentimental value to her – I just wish it didn’t extend to what it looked like.

 So that’s what I have so far, I’ll update as things progress.


Changing My First Impression

I wanted to add a story for the block party #firstimpressions but I am not a photographer and so I’ve spent time trying to get it right. Thanks to a suggestion from neighbour, Tonya, I am resizing some of my shots to see how it works. As I was snapping pictures, I remembered advice from designers who say you should take pictures of your rooms to see where you need improvements. So I reviewed my first picture and sure enough, I could see some new possibilities. So I ran around my place seeking some accessories to give more colour  and height. Just a couple of subtle changes but I liked the effect. Now I need to go buy some items to leave there permanently! 🙂 I added a basket with pillows and a small ceramic apple for colour. The dark basket gives some more grounding to the vignette. Although I probably will choose different items, I am happy to have a new mission! Can’t’t wait to start the hunt! Any suggestions would be gratefully received!

First Impressions

My entry is on a level all of it’s own. Once you walk in, you can either go upstairs to the dining room/kitchen/living room and 1/2 bath, or go downstairs to the master bedroom, guestroom, and full-sized bathroom. I love this little black entry table that I found at Marshall’s. I’m not crazy about how the top is decorated at the moment, but I love my green wooden basket filled with seashells that I’ve collected over the years.                           #firstimpressions

Welcome to Our Home!

Welcome to Our Home! This is the #firstimpressions you will see as you walk through our front door. Very casual. Our Main floor is not very big, but I try to make it welcoming for all who enter. Our home has evolved over the past 19 years with things new and old. We all would like to make changes to our home and to keep it updated when our budget allows us to. But for now, I “Love the Home I Have!”

My goal this year is to replace the carpet and vinyl flooring to make this first floor one continual space. My husband and I have talked about removing this wall so we can make the kitchen a little larger.

We had updated our kitchen about 12 years ago. The blue tiled walls were new before we moved in about 7 years before that. They may be even making a comeback by now. LOL! Even if it’s not, we are keeping the tile. At the time of our kitchen updating, we had replaced the cabinet doors from those white laminate doors with the oak wood trim at the very bottom of them. But, since we weren’t going to change the cabinets, we just chose basic oak doors to match. I’m thinking of painting them gray to brighten up the kitchen. What do you think??  I did try to freshen the cabinets up about a year and a half ago with new stainless hardware. At the time of our kitchen update, we also added new laminate counter tops and the island. Our intentions for the future are to replace the counter tops again and add more counter and cabinet space to the island.

This is our every day Dining space that takes up the other half of our kitchen. Off to the left side of this space is our Sun Porch which I will be sharing with you all another time. Thank you for stopping by! I have plenty more to share with you soon!


When you walk through our front door, you’re kind of hit with the whole house at once.  The stairs are directly in front of you, to your right is the living room, and to your left is the dining room

And after you close the front door, you’re surprised with this little bench tucked away into our little entry “nook”. :)


My entryway has become one of the most used spots in our house. The rack on the wall is from the grandin road catalogue. I loved it when I saw it and we really do hang coats and hats on it. I recently added the floral cone that I made from items from Hobby Lobby. It was my first time in that store and they really have more home decorating items than I expected. Very fun!! I also added the chalkboard so I can write down things I need to do because even with all my little sticky notes I’m still forgetting!  This really does help nag me into getting things done. The bench from Homegoods is a home for boots, gardening shoes, umbrellas and bubble blowing items for the grandsons. I pass through this space coming in and going out and when heading upstairs for the night and it just calms me for some reason. Thanks for “”walking in”!  And walking out!  I added the walking out view because that mirror makes me happy too!!  


Recently I created a gallery wall of family and installed it in our entryway. This is important for us as we continue to blend two home into one and I love the sense of family portrayed here. This photo is how it looked after my 10-year-old guy finished dusting for me, so it’s not exactly perfect and there is a DVD on the stand, but it’s fairly noramal for us.

If you are standing at my front door, you can see straight through our home.  I do like the open view from the entryway, past the staircase, through the living room and out the large windows that highlight our forest view.   

Someday, I hope to add a longer entry table.  This is also part of the home I would love to paint.  In fact, I can’t wait!  I want to lighten it up with a gray tone.

Thank you for looking!  I’m daily choosing to love this home that I have! I have always appreciated this fun, arched front door!