• About Us

    Hey there! I'm Amanda and I'll be your co-pilot today. Along with my handy husband, Ben, we're remodeling our second house. We're avid DIY-ers, tackling large and small projects while raising two rambunctious boys. Thanks for following along on this wild journey!
    Photo by Jana Graham Photography

  • Follow Our Humble Abode on WordPress.com
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Favorite Posts

  • Bathroom Remodel

  • Painting Planked Walls

  • Ladder Blanket Rack

  • DIY Sunburst Mirror

  • Gray & Copper Table Setting

The Grand Tour

We closed on our new, less humble abode mid April and we’ve already started working on it.  Let’s get started.

Entry Before:  The previous owner installed beige marble tile and a Tiffany style light, neither of which are our style.  Oh, and lovely red curtains.

Entry Progress:  Sure, we’ve made progress, if you count moving a table and a rug in.


Living Room Before:  After climbing the stairs, you’re greeted by the living and dining rooms, complete with inlaid hardwood floors and stunning views.

Living Room Progress:  The old furniture from our theater room live here now.  Eventually we’ll repaint, install new windows and change out furniture as we go.



Directly across from the window, we’ve built and entertainment center.


Peek out the windows on the front of the house and you’ll see something like this:

Or this:

See, cool views, huh?  But back to the house.

Dining Room Before:  The bay window, super low light, and 8 foot French door in a room with 8 foot ceilings isn’t working for us.

Dining Room Progress:  After running into the light fixture a few times, we took it down, and hung a few cut out map pieces.  Down the road, we have plans to exchange the bay window with a flat window and a normal sized door.  Then new paint, trim, and a light fixture.  Oh yeah, a table would be nice, too.


Kitchen Before:  The kitchen is massive, especially compared to our first kitchen.  Ben measured the island.  It’s nine feet long.  That’s just a foot or so shorter than the stove side at our first house.  And we’ve got a little breakfast nook at the end.

Kitchen Progress:  More furniture and that’s about it.




Office Before:  My new office is right off the kitchen.  Which I love, but the ugly wallpaper is in there, too.

Office Progress:  At first glance, there seems to be a lot of storage.  And there is, but not for electronics.  I can’t wait to have a place to tuck my computer tower and printer away.  Counter height cabinets under the window and a lower desk area to the right are on my list along with tearing that wallpaper off.


Pool Room Before:  The glass door to the right leads to the indoor pool.  Yes, I feel like an over-privileged brat just typing that.  But, you can see the space needs plenty of work.  The roof is leaking, the pool isn’t functional, and we have industrial grade carpet on the deck.  So much light pours in thanks to tons of sky lights, doors, and southern exposure.  Hot tub anyone?  Well, it doesn’t work and is currently collecting bugs.

Next to the entrance is a half bathroom and the three stairs go up to a wet bar.

For some reason, the cabinets are insanely high, but the sliding door leads out to a patio and the rest of the back yard.

Pool Room Progress:  Progress in here = piles of insulation.  This room is not a priority, but we dream of a cedar ceiling and soft gray walls with pretty tile on the floors.

Family Room Before:  Large windows flank a sliding door.  A moss rock fireplace is the center of the room.

Family Room After:  New windows, larger trim, and a refaced fireplace are more modern, but also brighten up the space.

MCM Chairs Finished in Family Room




MCM Chairs Finished Toward Kitchen

Main Bathroom Before:  Although this was the most updated bathroom, it wasn’t functional for our family.

Main Bathroom After:  Because this was the only bathroom with a tub, we decided to work on it first, adding a tub/shower combo, a small linen closet, leggy vanity, and pendants.



Guest Bedroom Before:  The smallest of the bedrooms, the guest bedroom boasts courtyard-esque views and built-in book shelves.

Guest Bedroom After:  A queen sized bed fits nicely, and the book shelves hold everything I had in my first office.  Making a nook in the shelves gives more floor space to the room and creates a cozy corner.



Boys’ Bedroom Before:  Oddly enough, the layout of the boys’ bedroom is a slightly larger version of their bedroom at our first house.

Boys’ Bedroom Progress:  Already owned furniture makes the room functional, and the black out striped curtains are the first design elements of the room.


Master Bedroom Before:  Yikes.  The electric blue paint is not close to a favorite color of ours.  But the room is huge compared to our small master bedroom before.

Master Bedroom Progress:


Master Closet Before:  A walk in closet feels like such a luxury.  We’ve got plenty of space to store every clothing item Ben and I own.

Master Closet Progress:  A coat of Dragonfly paint on the walls and crisp white shelving makes for a fun mini room.

Master Bathroom Before:  Red walls + yellow sinks + dingy tile = a mess made in the 70s.

Master Bathroom Progress:  Definitely not an upgrade, just more clutter on the counters and fresh green paint.


Basement Before:  Although ugly, this large open area gets a lot of light thanks to two south-facing windows.

Basement Progress:  Yet another room has fallen victim to our storage.  Random junk, mattresses, more foam, and toilets.

Laundry Room Before:  Um, the Brady family called.  They want their countertops back.  But we are thankful for the large space with plenty of storage.

Laundry Room Progress:  Washer and dryer from our last house work well side by side in here.  A left over rug covers the ugly glue covered floor.


Basement Bathroom Before:  More yellow fixtures, orange counters, and glue covered floors.  Nothing has changed since we’ve moved in here.

Back Yard Before:  A stone patio complete with non-functional fountain with a few trees.  Even better, we’ve got a steep lot backing up to state park land.

Back Yard Progress:  Other than cutting down a tree and digging out a few little rock retaining walls, the back yard hasn’t been touched.  We’ve got big plans for this space, including lowering the patio one or two feet, pouring a concrete slab patio, building a pergola, adding a retaining wall, and plants.

To get an even better idea of the layout, here’s a house tour and a separate tour of the pool room.

Leave a comment


  1. aussiebushgal

     /  April 19, 2012

    Looking forward to seeing where you head with this one! I’m not convinced about the washer/dryer being placed in the walk-in dresser! These spaces usually lack ventilation and are also incredibly noisy and invasive. Why not reinvent the laundry downstairs and have a laundry chute upstairs directed into it to eliminate carting your clothing basket downstairs every day? it’s a great house, with plenty of potential. I think a contemporary/Danish look would work really well with this 70s style property. It certainly lends itself to lots of directions. Good luck and much happiness in your lovely new home!

  2. danita

     /  May 24, 2012

    Your new house is going to be awesome! I cant wait to see the updates.

  3. Christina

     /  May 31, 2012

    Just stumbled upon your blog and signed up! Can’t wait to see the changes you’re going to make!

    Greetings from Germany! :-)

  4. Lauren P

     /  July 11, 2012

    I just found your blog and I’m so excited to find a Montana blogger! We just don’t have the same stores that many bloggers have access too so I am excited to see how you make it work. Congrats on your new home!

  5. Lucy Beliveau

     /  August 26, 2012

    It’s HUGE. You have already done a lot but I’m tired (and much older than you!!!) just thinking about what you have a head of you! But…it will be fun and you will have a tremendous feeling of accomplishment; not to mention an amazing home! Good luck to you and enjoy the journey! Lucy Beliveau in Dallas!

  6. Lauren

     /  November 23, 2012

    This is a gorgeous house! But wait… why are you getting rid of those gorgeous french doors and bay window in the dining room!? Those are features you already have that people would spend thousands to upgrade to… And they up the value of the home!

    • Hi Lauren!

      I completely understand where you’re coming from, but our grand plan includes some changes for those. The French door is 8 feet tall in a room with 8 foot ceilings, so it’s strange. And the bay window and door plan is changing to accommodate a fireplace. :)


  7. I so love the newly remodeled home. Wide open floor plan design makes the house look more bigger. I so envy you your Family room and the wet bar.. Now I can’t wait to see what will happen to the backyard as well the patio.. Thank you for sharing photos of your beautiful home, this just gives me the idea of what I will be doing with my den.

  8. Hi Amanda :) I am clicking through pics of the new house (huge!) but I can’t seem to get the link to look at your first house (the one in the ‘about us’ section is bringing me to the tour of the new house — can you help? Thanks :) Elizabeth

  9. Katie Miller

     /  August 7, 2013

    Thanks for sharing the grand tour! I love your house. Your blog has given me so many good tips I had to share this giveaway with you right when I found it. I couldn’t pass up the prize! Sarabella Giveaway

  10. Hello! I happened to see you in the BHG issue and saw you are in my hometown – Billings, MT. I live outside of Syracuse, NY now, but looking at the views out your windows makes me miss home a little less. Happy DIYing!

    • Hi Christine!

      That’s so crazy! Not too many things pop up in Montana, let alone Billings. Glad I could show you a little bit of home. :)


  11. Hi Amanda,
    I also reside in Billings, and am considering buying a fixer-upper. I was very pleased to find your blog on Pintrest, and surprise! Pictures of my city:). I was wondering if you had any experience with converting small basement windows into egress windows?
    Thank you! Your blog is very inspiring.


Now it's your turn! Share your thoughts and opinions, stories and links. We love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,293 other followers

%d bloggers like this: