house filled with snow

Whether you’ve outgrown our style, upgraded, or downgraded your home updating the style of your home can be daunting! It took us 5 years to get our previous home to feel “right”. Of course after we were settled and happily accepting the fact that we could make that our forever home we had twins. For us having separate rooms for our kids was very important. We also wanted to move to a different area due to our location in the city. That’s a whole other story though! Let’s focus on home updates. 

It’s a pretty easy task if you break it down. Easy does not mean it will be quick or inexpensive. It just helps to prioritize, focus, and conquer one area at a time. I’ll walk you through it with my stylistic preferences so you have an idea of what you plan might look like. 

Step 1: Assess the Character of Your Home

I’ve seen a fair number of homes while house hunting that feel so disjointed. You can clearly see what was added to the home because it feels out of place. Assessing the character of your home is a huge and important step for crafting your home. This is not to say that you can’t modernize a cottage home or shift an industrial apartment into something with more hygge. The point is to know where your baseline is and to ensure you’re incorporating and blending the styles together well. Have you ever seen a teenager that hasn’t learned to blend their makeup yet? …the results look unnatural. Same concept. 

In our case, we ended up purchasing another home from the 70s with a similar facade or our previous. Okay…nearly identical facade. What can I say? We like a certain look. Our home’s character can be described as a mix of dated 70’s items and neutral traditional finishings. 

brown wooden house near green trees during daytime

Step 2: Assess Your Style

For some people, this may be the hardest part, but it doesn’t have to be. I love using Pinterest for this purpose. Create a new board. Channel your inner Joanna Gaines and name your house. Then start adding things you are drawn to. After you’ve had a while to add, maybe you only need an hour for this maybe it takes you a week. There’s no rush. You choose your own timeline here. 

When you’ve done enough (30-50 pins). Then start removing things that completely clash. Those would be things that would look awful in your home or one-off images that don’t fit with the rest. After you’re done purging things that don’t fit then find a few words to describe your style. Also, take a moment to consider your color palette. What colors are you drawn to? What color do you always wear?

gray and white concrete house

Step 3: Create a Mood Board

Now it’s time to create your true mood board. Since Pinterest has board groups you can just create a new group. Label this subboard “Inspiration” or something similar. Use your favorite pins from the previous exercise to search for more pins that directly relate to your style. Also, do a new search using the words you’ve come up with to describe your house and design inspiration. 

Step 4: List Your Design Obstacles

New and older homes alike have their quirks. For us, we’ve noticed that many homes in this area are the same. There are a few floor plans each year and they are built to maximize the square footage of the plot. This boils down to the fact that new homes are large with small yards. That’s not what we wanted so we focused on older homes that had a decent about of yard and land to work with. Knowing these things helps with a good starting place for design obstacles. Every house has them. So write yours down. Is your house very similar to your neighbors’? Is it newly built? Are you unable/unwilling to change major finishes due to budget or newness? Is there a weird nook somewhere that you’re not sure what to do with? Write it down!

clear shower stall

Step 5: List Your Priorities

The last step is listing your priorities. Start inside unless you have to fix something major on the exterior. I like to start with our most-used rooms. In our case that meant the kitchen needed a remodel right away. How do you use your home? What rooms do you use every day? Our list looks like this:

  1. Pantry – the very first thing we did was find a closet that we could convert into a pantry. If you have more than one child or just a teenage boy you will know having the storage for all the food they eat is a major must!
  2. Kitchen – because we love cooking and entertaining
  3. Paint – nearly whole-house refresh
  4. Bedrooms – (Carpets Only)The carpet is very 70’s and badly needs replacing, this item is in second place because when you close your eyes you can’t see your bedroom. For us, that meant it didn’t matter too much what it looked like right away.
  5. Playroom – (Paint Only) While the carpet could use replacing and there are a few other updates we could do to this room we’ve decided that the old shag carpet is going to stay while the kids outgrow their messy phase (Currently Eldest=6, Twins=2 & 1/2). I am itching to paint a creative mural on the walls to give it some serious character and level up the inspiration and fun of the room. 
  6. Bedrooms – closets, DIY built-ins, and decor
  7. Livingroom decor – yep this one is last for us. We love the space and want to curate our pieces slowly. Have you ever had buyers remorse after a few years? I don’t want to make that mistake. We want to be sure it fits our style even if it takes a few years to get it right. That’s OK! We are also loving the floor space being so open. 

At the end of the day remember this is a whole house (or apartment) consider the space as a whole and remember this is your space. So, make it feel like yours! I hope after seeing our list this helps you with yours. Do you have a major project ahead of you? Or a minor redecorating project? What tips and tricks have worked best for you?