All posts in house tour

end of an era

I first saw the farmhouse when it was covered in snow, and it’s always the most magical scene.

It’s official: This little farmhouse will soon be someone else’s to love. In a few days, I’ll be handing over the keys to its new owners, and I’ll be moving on to a house that could not be more opposite of this one. It’s been a lot of work and stops and starts, but I’m so excited for the new adventure!

Want to see all the before/after photos from 2010 to today? You’re in luck — I updated the room-by-room page with photos taken after staging.

I’m writing this from my usual spot in the corner of the couch, gazing longingly out the picture window. It’s such a lovely view.

How it all came together: I started prepping for a “someday” move in 2018, including investing in new windows and siding repairs. Boyfriend and I had been talking about finding our own place in 2020, and then coronavirus put a wrench in almost everything. I had met with my realtor a while back to do a walk-through of the house and yard so that I’d know what needed to be done, and spent this summer working on those projects. When we were ready to start looking for a place this fall, we met with the realtor again and decided that instead of selling both our houses and moving into a new one, the best move in the market right now would be to sell mine as quickly as possible and then spend a few months making more updates to his house. So, we hit the gas pedal and got mine ready to list in just under 5 weeks. It went on the market Nov. 13th, accepted an offer Nov. 14th, first buyer backed out Nov. 20th, accepted a second offer on Nov. 21st, and now we’re in the final stretch before closing!

One of the biggest pre-listing changes my realtor recommended was painting the kitchen gray (Agreeable Gray, Sherwin-Williams). Farewell, cherry red!

What’s next: We’re consolidating households at the house my boyfriend has owned for a number of years, and taking on some DIY interior renovations this winter. When the weather warms up again, we’ll tackle the exterior. We plan to sell it in a year or two, but we have built flexibility into the plan so that we’re not locked into anything too overwhelming while the world is still feeling a bit chaotic!

It’s definitely bittersweet to leave this house and this neighborhood. Both have been so good to me the last decade. I’ll miss walking in the park every day and being able to ride my bike to the office downtown (I miss going to the office, too.)

This front porch has been a dream. I may never have one as amazing again! I just love it.

The new house will be different in so many ways. Instead of a 120-year-old farmhouse in the middle of the city, it’s a midcentury ranch-style house in a first-ring suburb. Our street doesn’t have a sidewalk (which I find bizarre), but I can walk to Target and Hy-Vee, so in those ways it’s even more walkable than my current neighborhood. The house itself is only one level with a basement, so there will be a lot less running up and down stairs. It’s completely different in its design and layout and amount of natural light (ahem, virtually none), not to mention we’ll be living through a remodel for at least six months. But: we’ll be together, and I love a design project! I’m going to learn a lot more DIY remodel skills than I did on the farmhouse, and I won’t be doing it alone.

I’m spending these last weeks in the farmhouse feeling incredibly grateful for all it has given me — independence, shelter, a chance to learn new things — and for all the incredible memories made here. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. I’m sure there will be days when I miss it very much. And, I’ve moved before and survived it, and I know the new place will be great too.

I’m not decorating for the holidays this year because the move falls right before Christmas, but I loved decorating for the photos and seeing these bright berries out my window the last month.

Thanks to all of you who have spent time making memories here with me. I wish we could give her the send-off she deserves! Cheers to the little farmhouse, and onward. xoxo

landscaping maps

Hand-drawn maps. Boom.

Hat tip to my cousin Tamara who helped me ID a few of these. When I moved into the house, the previous owners had left me a labeled map of most of the plants in the backyard … but not the side or the front. So it’s been a long overdue (and time-intensive) project for me to track down and map out everything in the yard. Check! Off the list.


  • A – Arborvitae
  • AL – Alyssum
  • As – Astilbe – Vision in White
  • B – Beets
  • BE – Black-Eyed Susans
  • BG – Begonia
  • BH – Bleeding Heart
  • BL – Basil
  • Br – Broccoli
  • BS – Brussels Sprouts
  • BSA – Black Scallop Ajuga
  • BT – Baby Tut Grass
  • BW – Bridalwreath (officially: Vanhoutte Spirea)
  • C – Clematis
  • CB – Coral Bells (Berry Smoothie)
  • CBLM – Coral Bells – Lime Marmalade
  • CDP – Columbine – Dark Purple
  • Cl – Cilantro
  • Cm – Columbine – mixed (seeds)
  • CO – Coleus
  • CR – Croton (pot)
  • CS – Cushion Spurge (technically, it’s a kind of grass! who knew!)
  • CT – Candytuft (seeds)
  • CTL – Catalpa Tree
  • D – Dianthus (seeds)
  • DA – Daffodils
  • DF – Diamond Frost
  • DL – Day Lily
  • DR – Dracaena Spike
  • FCA – Flowering Crabapple
  • H – Hosta
  • Hy – Hydrangea Tree
  • HyB – Hydrangea Bush
  • I – Iris
  • K – Kale
  • L – Lilac Tree
  • La – Lavender
  • LAN – Lantana
  • LC – Lemon Cucumber
  • LM – Ladies Mantle
  • Lp – Lupine (seeds)
  • LV – Lemon Verbena
  • M – Maple
  • MG – Marigolds
  • MGC – Marigold – African Crackerjack
  • MGS – Marigold – Snowdrift (seeds)
  • ML – Mixed Lettuces
  • MT – Mint
  • Mu – Mums (Chrysanthemums)
  • N – Nasturtium
  • O – Oregano
  • P – Polygonatum
  • PP – Peppers
  • Py – Peony
  • R – Raspberry
  • RC – Red Comb Celosia
  • Ry – Rosemary
  • S – Sedum
  • SA – Sage
  • SC – Swiss Chard
  • SD – Shasta Daisy (seeds)
  • SM – Snow on the Mountain (Aegopodum)
  • SPV – Sweet Potato Vine – Marguerite
  • ST – Silver Dust
  • SVB – Salvia – Victoria Blue
  • SVP – Salvia – Vista Purple
  • T – Tomatoes
  • Th – Thyme
  • Tp – Tulips
  • Y – Yarrow

two-year anniversary: the house now

Two years into living in the little farmhouse, a lot has changed. You can see the whole transformation here… but for those of you who have been following the transformation all along, here is an up-to-date tour of the house, top to bottom!

Dining Room

Living Room


Yellow Bedroom

Blue Bedroom
Master Bedroom



Front Porch

the big reveal…

OK, so I meant to post this on Tuesday but my internet has been down all week. Le sigh.

The good news is this: my house has a brand spankin’ new roof!

Taking before and after pictures wasn’t really worth it, since it looks exactly the same (luckily). But here are some of the in-between mess:

It all started last spring, with a hailstorm that led my insurance company to declaring the roof “totaled.” And then a summer of back-and-forth with the roofing company. And then a long line of other roofs for them to fix. But finally, it was my turn. And two days after they arrived, waking me up at sunrise with ladders against my window, they pulled the last pile of shingles and tarps off the front lawn and I have a new roof on my house.

Ta-da. Major “someday” project = checked off the list.

in visitor condition

The house is spic and span … perhaps cleaner than it has been in a long, long time, although I’m loathe to admit that. But tomorrow begins ten days of parents, aunts, cousins and friends descending upon the house for a variety of parties and visits. So I’ve been scrubbing for days. There are a few corners (especially in the basement) that aren’t as organized as I’d like them to be, but as of Saturday it’s all going to be as done as it can be.

So for the record, here’s every room of the house, shot on the same night (I can pretty much guarantee that it’s the cleanest any of them have been at the same time since I moved in).

And with that I’ve also accomplished my to-do task of giving ya’ll an updated tour of the place. So there you go. Enjoy. Come visit. I mean it – I’m ready.

stepping back: six month check-in

It’s been six months since I got the keys, and things are coming together. Not always the way I imagined in my mind, but that’s okay – it’s still great. For instance: I’ve only had one major mechanical failure, and the basement stayed mostly dry during last week’s record-breaking rain. I have just three more rooms to paint, and there’s functional furniture in all the necessary places. I finally have the DVD player hooked up to the TV. Maybe someday I’ll even get an antenna.

But overall, it’s home. And it’s amazing. Thanks to all of you who have lent a hand in helping me over the last six months. Truly, I couldn’t have done it without you.