Join me on an empty house tour of our new place. I contemplated titling it a “before” tour – but that wouldn’t be very accurate, since it’s a rental.
Can I just say this duplex looked a lot more neutral and a whole lot less orange-red-brown during our initial walkthrough?
It wasn’t until I was editing these photos that I realized, “My goodness, this space doesn’t photograph well.”
Let me explain.
I’ve always believed our homes are an extension of ourselves, and much like I personally am a constant work in progress, I believe our surroundings should be too. You can see how that mentality may pose a problem if you live in a rental… Like most rental homes, there is no shortage of cherry, oak, giant mirrors and laminate here.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because the timing with this rental was nothing short of divine intervention. But you and I both know this will be quite an adjustment for me – not being able to change the aesthetics of my surroundings. So, going forward, just read this from the perspective of a design blogger, okay?
Speaking of design, would you be interested in a post where I walk you through renovation projects I wish I could do here? Let me know if that’s something you’d be curious to read!
One last note: Many of you asked for a video tour, so if you want to get a better feel for the flow of this place, join me on Instagram, where I’ll share a video tour on stories later today.
But enough rambling. Let’s start that tour, yes?
Although from the outside it may look like this duplex has a second floor, it is, thankfully, a one-level house. Having everything on one level was a high priority for me because, well, babies. Need I say more?
Through a short hallway to the right is the kitchen.
You may have noticed it is not white. In fact, it is very orange. If you know me well enough (or if you’ve seen our previous house), then you know this kitchen will take some getting used to. You cannot even imagine the self-restraint required not to throw a bucket of white paint over this thing.
I do, however, appreciate the massive size, the extra storage in the pantry, the fact that the countertops are granite (not necessarily the color choice), updated hardware and stainless steel appliances.
As I mentioned in the introductory post, the finishes here are very basic – builder-grade, as they say – but I am already brainstorming ideas on how to work around that. Stay tuned!
I love, love, love the open concept, though.
The dining area is just to the side of the kitchen, and the living room – with its beautiful vaulted ceilings – is right in front of it.
Another feature I’m excited about: the fireplace.
Our wood-burning fireplace at the bungalow didn’t get much use the last few years, and I imagine that being the case here, too – especially because a gas fireplace just doesn’t have the same effect as a wood-burning one.
But you can’t deny the styling possibilities here. If nothing else, a fireplace is a great way to add charm and character to an otherwise basic room – and you can be sure my mind is already brainstorming ideas for what to do with this one.
I’m envisioning our chrome and velvet chairs on either side – a layout that didn’t work in the bungalow because of the way we reconfigured the floor plan.
Should I put our ornate, gold mirror on top? We had a round, brass mirror at our old place, so I’m excited to try something new.
Back to the briefly-mentioned dining room.
I’ve yet to measure if our massive dining table will even fit here, but I’m crossing my fingers!
Initially, I was hoping to change out our dining room cowhide for something different, but now I’m thinking the cowhide may be just the element to tie together our French-style table and that builder-grade chandelier.
The wainscoting detail is quite lovely, and if I daydream long enough, I can almost picture an old, Parisian flat rather than a builder-grade Craftsman-style duplex.
Do you see it, too?
I think one of my first “projects” here will be to see how the light fixture looks without the yellow glass shades. Or maybe I’ll DIY this fabric light cover idea from fellow blogger Emily Slotte.
Wouldn’t that be lovely? I’ve gone down a rabbit hole on Pinterest, and there’s no turning back.
Moving on to the master bedroom.
Its size is quite impressive – which is a plus, considering that Polina won’t have her own room here and will continue sharing a room with us – or rather, we with her.
I’ve yet to figure out just where her crib will go – or to buy the crib, for that matter. She’s long outgrown her bassinet, so it’s time.
I briefly contemplated converting the walk-in closet into a mini nursery but thought better of it when I realized the doors would have to remain open at all times.
Did you catch a glimpse of the en-suite bathroom?
Behold, more cinnamon shaker cabinets.
Not much can be done here to remedy the builder-grade aesthetics without a total bathroom remodel, so I guess this is one of the spaces I’ll just have to live with.
I do appreciate the double vanity, natural light – and just look at all that storage!
The guest bathroom is nearly identical, minus the natural light. Plus, it has a bathtub – a must with little ones.
Mila’s room is also as basic as they come.
Bless her little heart, she doesn’t seem to mind one bit, though. That child is always so cheerful, and every time we’ve come to show her the new house, she prances around her room and says “Mila’s bedroom” over and over.
She’s in that adorable stage where she speaks of herself in third-person, in case you’re wondering.
I sure am going to miss her old nursery, though. I honestly can’t even think about it, or I start crying.
One update that comes to mind here is getting a ceiling fan shade replacement – something a little less yellow and a little more modern, you know?
I like that this room has two closets, though. It’s not a custom-built closet, like in our previous home, but it’ll do.
It’ll be a fun challenge (ha!) fitting the girls’ playroom and Mila’s nursery into this one small room, since we’re downsizing from three to two bedrooms.
Last but not least is the deck.
It massive and perfect for entertaining! Our 8-person outdoor dining table will fit here quite nicely. The privacy fence is also a great feature, as is all that greenery.
I can definitely get used to the idea of sipping coffee out here come fall.
That, ladies and gentlemen, concludes our empty house tour.
If you’re still here, thanks for making it to the end of this rather lengthy post. Although I talk a lot about all the elements I wish I could change, I am grateful for this rental coming our way when it did.
I’m ready to start making this place our own – as much as a rental permits, of course. But I’m equally excited to continue our house search and figure out our next steps!
If you missed the introductory post, you can see the house exterior there!
I’ll be sharing a video tour via Insta stories later today, so check it out within the next 24 hours before it expires!