This past Sunday marked one year in our home. One year! That’s so crazy to think about. The time has gone by slow and fast at the same time. Know the feeling? I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the things that we added to our home during the build process that I absolutely love and three things that I regret. I always love helping those that are going to go through the build or remodel process. Learn from my mistakes, yeah?
Laminate Flooring Throughout
Our standard home plan is laminate on the main floor, carpet on the upstairs floor. In our last home, we changed the upstairs bedroom from carpet to laminate and knew we wanted to do the same in this home. We only added carpet to our stairs (for kids safety reasons) and now our basement. Being a high allergy family, I love that we’re easily able to clean all those dust bunnies in our upstairs level. Plus having laminate (or vinyl or hardwood) looks so much better in a bedroom. You’re also able to easily lay a rug in a bedroom on a hard surface versus on carpet.
I know, this is kind of a weird highlight, but I’m so glad we didn’t finish our pantry and closets before we moved in. We were able to live in these spaces, even for a short time, and figure out how we wanted the space to function. I definitely wouldn’t have added drawers and a pull-out garbage to our pantry without having lived in this space for a month or so, more on that here. We also were able to envision our closet after we moved in and added items like a pull-out hamper (don’t worry, I’m planning a blog post talking ALL about our IKEA closet).
My biggest love is our white appliances. I’m working on a full review, which I will save for another day, but they are so gorgeous to look at. I love the matte white finish with the bronze handles. They are stunning in person! I debated going with a less expensive, matte white option, but so glad we went with the GE Cafe line.
Another happy addition to our home, was the addition of lighting. We added a lot of recessed can lights. By a lot, I mean 35+ lights, including our basement. I love well-lit, bright spaces and knew that adding can lights was the best option. Lighting took a big chunk of our budget; however, we were able to install builder-grade light fixtures throughout our home, where a can light was not needed. We have slowly been swapping out the light fixtures for a more high-end, customized look. I’m so grateful that we didn’t have to pick out all of our lighting right away.
This is one of my biggest regrets. We had the option to extend the back of our house by a few feet and I wish we would have jumped at the opportunity to do this. Our main floor living space feels a bit small at times and I think the few extra feet would have really helped open the space up. I honestly can’t even remember what this would have cost and it wasn’t even in our budget, but I wish we would have planned better. We did extend our main floor ceiling height from 8′ to 9′ and I think that really helped make the space feel more airy, so no regrets about that.
Again, this comes down to budget, but I wish we would of had more items finished while we were building through our builder. Don’t get me wrong, I love our fireplace and built-in’s, but I wish we would have had them finished at the time of our build process. Or even our kitchen backsplash. I love DIY’s, but with 4 kids, I feel like our project time is limited. Plus, I have a long list of projects. 🙂
I haven’t really shown our exterior, but it’s because it’s nothing crazy or out of the norm for a Midwestern home. It’s white vinyl siding with brown brick, just no wow factor. I really wanted to add shakes or vertical board and batten to our exterior; but opted to go with a few interior additions instead. I really wish we would have added a few small items, like white shakes, to make our home feel a little less standard and cookie cutter. I do have a few plans for our exterior, but at this rate, they won’t happen until 2025.
Well, that’s it for now. I have a long list of items that we have added to our home during the build process, but these are the main big items. I honestly, could write pages and pages about the nooks and crannies of our home. I think we’ve come a long ways in just a short year and need to keep that as a reminder. Not every free moment needs to be filled with projects, even if it is my hobby.
Here’s a few before and afters to look back on how far each space has come.
As always, thanks for reading!