HomehousingTake a tour of our new home :)

Take a tour of our new home :)


This is now the third home tourย I’ve given to PDITF readers, and now that we own, will probably be the last one for a while. If you want to see our 600sqft San Diego condo ($1,500/mo rent) click here. If you want to see our 700sqft ($1,200) mother in law rental, 30 minutes outside of Seattle, click here. If you want to see what our new home looks like keep on reading ;)…

El Living Room (Before)…

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at Oct 23, 2013, 9.01.05 PM

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at Oct 23, 2013, 9.01.35 PM






You can see from the before pictures the living room was staged in a totally non-functional way. Seriously, who puts the couch behind a TV? The new purchases for this room were…

  • Rug $350 from Overstock
  • Coffee table $220 from World Market
  • Curtain/Curtain Rod $80, Ikea Curtain and Lowes for the Curtain Rod
  • Lamp $180 from Pottery Barn, but we used Wedding gift cards (three years later haha) so it was Free ๐Ÿ™‚

All the other furniture we’ve owned since our tiny condo in San Diego. When our roommate moves out we will replace her couch (the green one) with one that fits the room a little better, otherwise we have no major plans for this space.

El Dining Room (before)….

Screen shot 2013-10-23 at Oct 23, 2013, 9.16.04 PM

Is now the piano room…





We have a fairly large breakfast nook space, which you will see in the next set of pictures, so we opted to put our dining room table there and make this space a dedicated piano spot. We inherited the piano when my Grandma passed away a few years ago, and while taking ownership of it didn’t cost me anything, keeping it in climate controlled storage and having it moved 1,200 miles cost me around $2,000 over the years. It’s all worth it though, because Girl Ninja plays the piano and when Baby Ninjas come in to the picture, they will play too ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh and check out that super sweet globe hiding behind the green couch. Picked that baby up for $30 at a garage sale. Best part, it lights up!!!!

Kitchen (before)…

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at Oct 27, 2013, 9.18.57 PM

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at Oct 27, 2013, 9.19.08 PM

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at Oct 27, 2013, 9.18.45 PM

Before I show you the updated kitchenย I have to note a few things. The kitchen shows waaaaay better in these pictures than it did in real life. For example, the refrigerator was literally held together by duct tape inside. The gas range had a leak and made our whole main floor smell like propane. The cabinets we thought were totally fine, until we realized the gel stain they used looked really pink and was tacky. The pot rack was awesome, but way to big for the space and choked off the room. All the light fixtures were straight off the Ikea clearance rack. If the kitchen was as nice in real life as it looks in the pics we wouldn’t have touched anything. Here’s what things are looking like now…





So as you can see this is where the majority of our sweat equity has gone. Best to break it down in bullet points so it’s easy to follow:

  • We spent two weeks sanding, priming, and painting the cabinets white. Spent about $200 on supplies for that and another $80 on cabinet hardware from Amazon. Couldn’t be happier with the fresher, cleaner, more updated look.
  • We replaced the fridge ($888) and the range ($620) during a Sears Labor Day weekend sale, but sold our old range for $250 to offset some of that cost. The range hood was freaking expensive ($320 at Home Depot), but it really helps finish the space off. Eventually we will replace the dishwasher with stainless steel, but not for a while.
  • We probably spent about $300 updating all of the light fixtures. I’m pretty proud of myself because I added the two pendants above the peninsula, from what was just a single light fixture running down the middle. Total cost for the pendants was $90.
  • To add a little fun, we painted half the dining room wall with chalk board paint. Now whenever the high school kids come over they leave us fun messages.

Next year we want to add a charcoal colored solid surface counter and add a subway tile backsplash. For now though, we are perfectly content with our kitchen.

El Bedroom (before)…

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at Oct 27, 2013, 9.19.25 PM





Nothing too exciting going on in the bedroom. Bought the dark dresser ($150 at Ikea) cause we needed a little more storage space since we no longer have a walk in closet (gotta love 1930’s houses and their tiny closets). Otherwise it was just a fresh coat of paint on the walls/ceiling and throwing in our double bed Girl Ninja has owned since before we were married. Anyone else sleep on a double?

El Basement (before)…

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at Oct 27, 2013, 9.19.39 PM



The basement was the first and only space we’ve had to hire out work. We had the carpet replaced because the old carpet had water damage and smelled like old dog. Set us back $1,000 for a relatively tiny space because the exposed basement staircase was a nightmare for the carpet guy. We painted the trim, walls, and ceiling to lighten/freshen things up. Just in time for our tenant to move in and get settled ๐Ÿ™‚

Backyard (before and after)ย 

Screen shot 2013-10-27 at Oct 27, 2013, 9.19.49 PM


Haven’t had time to do much in the backyard yet. The previous owners kind of let things go and stuff got way overgrown. We’ve spent a couple of hours hacking things back and trying to open the space up a bit, which helped a ton. Still have a few more weekends worth of work to go before we can be in love with the space. It’s definitely a work in progress.

And that concludes the house tour for now.

We haven’t touched the two rooms upstairs or our bathroom at all, hence the reason we don’t have pictures of them. It feels good to finally have the nest moderately feathered. What better way to celebrate than to leave the country for six weeks!? Haha. Oh well, at least I have something to look forward to when I get home.

What do you think of our 1931 cottage?


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  1. Long time follower, but first time commenting (I think…) Love the new house. Love your blog. Love you two. Love how inspiring you area! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Love it!! I have been coveting your dining room table for years now (or whenever you first showed it on the blog!). I seriously can not find anything similar…and I want a white kitchen table with a bench in the worst way. Great job on the kitchen, you two are pretty handy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Amazing! I am very happy for you two considering it was such an endeavor to make it this far into home ownership. What I’m most impressed with is how you are able to minimize the costs with sweat equity and frugal shopping. Of course your talent in making your house into a home in general is impressive too. Thanks for the peek into your house, you two should be very proud ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. oh my gosh. you guys should start interior decorating/remodeling on the side- I love your decorating style! Looks amazing.

    PS do you have a microwave? I always wonder where people put them when there’s no space above the stove. those things take up so much counter space!

    • Agree that microwaves take up too much counter space. The best design I saw was a cabinet space made for the microwave. I dislike the over the range/range hood ones because they are usually coupled with a weak range hood,

  5. Wow, it looks great! I’m especially impressed by the kitchen. Those cabinets look completely new, particularly with the hardware. Awesome job!

  6. Water damage in basement + new carpet = future insurance claim. I know your renting out the room but why professionally install new carpet less than a couple of months after you bought the house. Why not go with something less susceptible to water damage? Do you know how and why the water damage happened and has the problem been fixed?

    • Found the problem when we ripped out the old carpet. Improper down spouting from outside gutter. A $7 water catcher at the base of the gutter saved the day. Had multiple heavy rain days too, to be sure the problem was fixed before we laid new carpet.

  7. Looks beautiful, you guys did a great job! Very inspiring! Love the piano room/nook – so cozy and chic and moody. The kitchen is amazing, LOVE the pendant lights! Thanks for sharing your home!

  8. Very cute! You guys have expensive tastes! We slept in a double bed for 8 years. One night while my husband was “sleeping” and sick he would cough every time I was almost asleep. We didn’t have another bed at the time so I made up my mind that we were upgrading to a king size and moving the double into the guest bedroom. It is nice to have a “sick room” now when someone would be coughing all night and keep the other one up!

  9. Love the cottage! We are looking to buy something similar in the next few months. I actually have the same ikea bed that girl ninja has. My sister uses it, but it was my big first post-college purchase. Are you guys fans of the ikea dressers? I’m contemplating buying two for our master since we are lacking closet space as well.

  10. Beautiful house, really gorgeous! If it makes you feel particularly frugal, we spent $3000 getting our cabinets professionally spray painted – doors off site and the rest at our house; also new counters and an island for a kitchen make over for a few more thousand. I thought we were being frugal, as we have friends getting new kitchens for $40,000+.

  11. I love your house! You’re done a really nice job decorating. I also love how green your yard is. I have the same problem with my yard in that the previous owner of my house (built in 1974) didn’t do a thing with it, and it was very overgrown. I’ve been here three years now and am still making progress. I think by next summer it will be close to how I want it. I’d highly recommend an electric pole saw if you have branches to take down. That’s made the job so much easier and strangely a little bit fun.

  12. Love your new home! It looks great – I agree that painting cabinets is SO MUCH WORK, but so worth it. I just got done painting mine and replacing hardware, too. My husband and I also sleep on a double/full size bed – but since we got a 70 lb lab who likes to sleep with us, he wants to upgrade to a queen. Can’t say I blame him, since two adults, a dog, and two cats is a bit too much for the double size bed! But I’ll miss it when we do finally upgrade. It’s always a plus when the sheets are cheaper!

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