Mini House Update: A Few Before & Afters

Home Improvement, Living Room Before & After, Tilden of To Be Bright

We move into our tiny cottage by the river in exactly three days! Needless to say, we’ve been busy this entire month of October preparing for this major next chapter together as a couple. As sad as I am to be leaving Hoboken after one short year (why we’re leaving in this post here) I’m also very excited to be transitioning from a city apartment to a house with a yard & unbelievable view. I have a feeling a lot of big things are going to happen in this cozy space in the next few months & I can’t wait to share every milestone and update with you all in the process!

Home Improvement, Living Room Before & After, Black Fireplace, Hardwood Floors, Wood Beam Ceiling Living Room,Tilden of To Be Bright

Prior to our move, we had a small list of things we wanted to accomplish before our furniture entered the home. This included painting all the wood trim around each window, each door frame, and along every wall baseboard on the main floor, as well as the wood cabinets in the kitchen. This was no easy task & I’m so grateful to have been able to hire someone to tackle this project. It took 6 days of sanding, priming, and painting to cover every part of the wood we no longer wanted visible – between the beautiful hardwood floors and gorgeous ceiling, there was simply just too much wood elsewhere. Painting it white brightened up the space immediately & we’re SO HAPPY with the result.
We’re not even close to being done & wish we had one more week to get a few things done prior to moving day but we did our best with the time we had, in-between managing work and other obligations this month. At least once we’re in the house full time, it’ll get easier knocking those ongoing projects off the list. In the meantime, here are a few befores & afters I was able to capture during this time.

Home Improvement, Brick Fireplace Before & After, Black Brick Fireplace, Tilden of To Be Bright

The only painting I personally did was this fireplace and OMG I have a new appreciation for house painters (esp after watching how long the wood trim process took to complete.) Our fireplace is not large by any means (nothing in the house is lol) but it took me 4 hours to finish! The grout work was the biggest pain for sure. But I’m so in love with the result!
We chose black for two main reasons: 1) White fireplaces are so common to see in households & it basically took over my Pinterest page each time I looked for inspo, so we wanted to go with something different and bolder as the focal point of our home; and 2) The black color ties in with the appliances in the kitchen and several other features of our incoming/existing furniture & decor. As for the mantle, we’re considering creating a custom wood piece to fit overtop the concrete slab so it ties into the room and allows the fireplace to lean more towards the rustic side of modern.
If we don’t opt for a custom piece (depending on costs) there’s always an easy solution of placing wood grain contact paper on the white concrete instead. We then have the option to change it if we don’t like it or looking for something new for the mantle overtime as well!

Home Improvement, Hallway Before & After, White Wood Trim, Tilden of To Be Bright

What a difference the white makes in this hallway leading to the bedroom, office & bathroom! It’s so much brighter and appears way more open now. We opted to keep the attic door as is because we like the look of its antique nature – it also mirrors the wood ceiling concept in the living room, balancing the continuity throughout the home.

Home Improvement, Dining Room Before & After, White Wood Trim Windows, Tilden of To Be Bright

Out of all the spaces that turned from wood to white, the dining nook is by far the best improvement in our opinion. The blinds will soon be replaced with the same white cordless ones we have in the living room (next project on the list for me.) If you can see for all the windows so far, we just had them sanded for now with the intention to paint them black down the road if we want to. Since the wood was already dark, it helps us decide whether or not we want to go that direction. The other options are to leave them wood or paint them white, but at least the sanding part of the job is already complete.

Home Improvement, Kitchen Before & After, White Wood Cabinets, Tilden of To Be Bright Home Improvement, Kitchen Before & After, White Wood Cabinets, Tilden of To Be Bright

After the dining room, the kitchen before & after is my second fave update at the moment. We have a lot more we want to accomplish in here – new sink/faucet, new flooring, adding hardware to the cabinets, & more. However, the white cabinets look AMAZING now complete which only gets me more excited about finishing the rest of the room! Hoping we can get this tackled within the first two weeks after moving in (fingers crossed!)

Home Improvement, Fall October Front Step Decoration, Front Steps Decor, Tilden of To Be BrightHome Improvement, Fall October Front Step Decoration, Front Steps Decor, Tilden of To Be BrightHome Improvement, Fall 2020 Backyard, Tilden of To Be Bright

As for landscaping & all the related, I’m not planning on doing anything anytime soon. With winter approaching and more pressing things going on inside, we hope to have the ability to start working on the outside space by next spring. I did decorate the stoop with a few pumpkins and mums just to have a little something to look forward to whenever stopping by the home, which I love that I did. But in the meantime, we intend to spend most of our low key fall evenings outside with this view. It’s been so great to spend time at the house from sunrise to sunset before moving in; witnessing the sunshine and how beautiful the lighting changes over the course of the day. These are the things I’m truly so looking forward to in the months ahead once we’re officially living here.

In the days/weeks/months ahead, I’ll continue to save every update made to the house on my ‘House Reno’ IG Highlight (click here to see more of the “Befores” from the above.) I’ve also shared a tour of the home (pre-paint) to this Highlight as well if you’re curious about seeing the entire floor plan!