Monday, August 22, 2016

Our First Home - Before & After

In 2012 S and I bought a condo in Los Angeles.

Our first home!

It was exciting and scary at the same time, but with the market the way it was, it felt like we needed to buy or be prepared to rent for the long term.

It might have been scary, but I'm so glad we jumped in feet first.

Our condo was a 60's beige box when we bought it. We got to work right away giving it our own unique style.

I thought it would be fun to put together a little before and after post to reminisce about our first home. Sorry for the quality of the before photos - they're from my phone from our showing, not the best, but I think you'll get the idea.

The "after" photos are from the awesome team at ASCENT LA Real Estate who helped us sell our condo in record time. Thanks, Travis and Greg (and Alice!)! 

Isn't S cute unlocking our door for the first time? I think so. =)

The living room screamed boring apartment when we first saw it. 

For a condo, the living room was spacious. We fell in love with the 9 foot ceilings!

The biggest change? We added custom built-ins. Thanks, Dad! Seriously, I had separation anxiety pretty bad leaving our built-ins when we moved out.

They totally anchor the room and added a great focal point that was missing before. 

I love them! (and I miss them!)

We painted the room a soft, buttery yellow, too. I always loved walking in the front door and seeing our friends and family in our gallery wall.

The dining room was definitely not a cozy, inspired space when we moved in.

Plain Jane and inoffensive beige...yawn.

We painted the dining room 'Jungle Trail' by Behr and swapped out the light fixture for a classic style from Pottery Barn. I loved our gold silk curtains and the natural fiber rug.

The faux board and batten helped the room feel like it wasn't in a boxy condo/apartment.

The condo was a flip, so some renovations had already been done when we moved in.

All the appliances in the kitchen had been replaced with shiny new ones. 

They had repainted the cabinets, installed granite counter tops, and put in a random outdoor light fixture.

We continued the Jungle Trail green paint into the kitchen and added a new light fixture.
We had an red buffet that matched the counter height almost perfectly and gave us additional prep, storage, and serving space leading into the dining room.

S travels a lot for work so we also added a clock over the window that shows the 4 time zones he is in most often when he isn't at home. 

We couldn't make the kitchen any bigger, but I think we succeeded in making it a welcoming place to prep meals and be with friends.

The balcony was a drab outdoor space with peeling floor paint and nothing but cobwebs when we moved in.

We added a pink outdoor rug, patio chat set, and mason jar candles.

The guest bath had the same counters and cabinet paint color as the kitchen.

The inoffensive beige paint was in here too.

We painted the walls a deep purple, added glass drawer pulls, and swapped out the boring rectangle mirror with a smaller, oval mirror and wall mounted candles. 

The master bedroom was more beige walls and brown carpet.

Master bathroom was more of the same with an ugly, cheap light fixture that had been mounted off-center.
We painted the mater bedroom a light grey, Pewter Mug by Behr. 
Our furniture fit perfectly, especially with the little bump-out that seemed like it had been made to fit our dresser.

In the master bathroom we painted a deep navy blue, swapped out the mirror for a framed version, and changed the light fixture to be much more our style.

There are quite a few limitations when you're in a second floor condo with an HOA to answer to, but I think we did a pretty good job of giving it our own style and transforming it from the beige box it was when we moved in. We loved our first home and had so much fun making it our own.

Have you decorated your own apartment/condo? What is your favorite trick for adding character and style?


  1. LOVE this! My fiance & I also painted bedrooms gray with a navy bathroom in our condo =) That outdoor light you mentioned in your before kitchen pic-pretty sure we have THREE in our condo hallway-how did you swap those out? Because I strongly dislike them.....

  2. Hey Linzey! Isn't gray such a great color for bedrooms? Three?! Dang! Funny enough, the light we put up in the kitchen was actually another outdoor light. haha

    It was pretty easy to replace, actually. Ours was just screwed to the ceiling and came down pretty easily. Depending on how yours are hung you should be able to put a new light fixture right up after you take it down. If you put up a heavier fixture you may need to reinforce the box that you hang it from. You can get the supplies to do that at any home improvement store.



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