A break from our regularly scheduled programming… house update!

It seems that life kind of “happened” and I haven’t had a spare moment to sit down and share about some of the many other exciting things happening in our lives!  I’m going to try to get things written down a little at a time, and things may be out of order here and there, but that’s the way my ADHD brain works.  I hope you will all enjoy seeing a few other tidbits of life around the Hill homestead.

Two weeks ago, less than a week before Kevin’s surgery, we FINALLY moved into our new house!  This was after delays with the contractors by four weeks, rescheduling the move twice, and ending up moving in before things were completely finished.  Have I mentioned that life hasn’t been really going according to “plan” lately?

We hired movers for the first time in our life, and can I say that that was the best $400 we have EVER spent.  SO worth every penny.  They literally came in at 9AM and had every piece of furniture set up and in the right room by 1PM.  They moved the piano, the washer and dryer, the upright freezer.  They put our king size bed in our master bedroom on the second floor and even set it up.  Why did I spend my twenties moving myself and all my friends in the back of my parent’s van?

After the move, Lila helped me whip the house into shape and we had our first party just one week and a day after moving in.  We got to host our church’s monthly potluck and it was such a blast!  Kevin had just had surgery a few days earlier, but we were both eager to have something joyful to focus on and a reason to get the house sorted out.  I’m so glad we did, because we hosted somewhere between 30 and 40 people and the house didn’t even feel crowded!  I can not tell you what a blessing this house already is, and even though we didn’t search out a huge house, the size has made it oh so comfortable.  It’s 2800 square feet, which is huge for intown standards.  Downstairs we have the living/dining/kitchen area and three bedrooms, and upstairs we have the master suite.  My goal is to take you through the house a little at a time (and also because I probably can’t manage to keep the whole place clean all at once for pictures!) so this week will be the master suite.  We’ll start with the office!

Now, if you remember, the attic had already been built out with a master bathroom and one long room that kind of resembled a bonus room.  And did I mention the entire thing had been painted blood red?  Not exactly the look I was going for!  Here’s a reminder of what things looked like before…


After a little brainstorming, I came up with the idea to subdivide the big space, with a master bedroom at the front part of the house and the middle part to be sort of an office/loft.  We opened up the wall to the stairway, so that it no longer felt like you were coming up to an attic.  We added skylights.  We added hardwood flooring.  We put a wall with french doors to divide the bedroom from the office.  We painted the whole thing a light, airy color called Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.  I call it the magical chameleon color because it changes between a blueish gray and a greenish gray depending on the light and what’s around it.  This makes it go with everything!  Love!


My dad helped me build built this awesome desk for me.  It’s made from an Ikea countertop and two Ikea kitchen cabinets.  The whole thing was a tad pricey at about $450, but considering it’s custom fit to the nook and super durable, we felt it was a worthy investment.  This little nook used to be the master closet, but we took the wall down and then put the master closet in the bathroom.


I had always kept and displayed Kevin’s mom Agnes’ old SLR camera and liked the idea of having a vintage camera display.  So when my Dad pulled out some old family cameras, I jumped at the opportunity to group them all together and show them off.  Being a children’s photographer, I’m all about the light, and I felt like I needed a little bit more lighting when the sun went down and the gorgeous skylights weren’t filling the room with natural light.  I liked the idea of making a lamp out of a vintage camera tripod, but when I found this one for $40 at Target, I thought, “Why DIY when you can buy?”  Done and done.  I love how the cameras pop off the white shelf like an art galery exhibition and the tripod lamp makes me look fancy!


I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t show you Kevin’s desk.  I made a promise to him that I wouldn’t make him keep it looking pretty, but would let it be the functional space he needs it to be.  We will be doing something about the cable clutter on the floor, but that’s about it. I’m grateful for that cable clutter though because it means that my amazing computer nerd hubby put my laser printer on the network so I can print from anywhere in the house, because he’s just that good!


This is the little sitting area for meeting with clients, reading while Kevin’s working, or just relaxing and gazing at my gorgeous skylights.  Did I mention that they’re gorgeous!  Natural light just makes me so happy.  You can also see the french doors and the transom window that lead to the master bedroom.  I got both the transom window and the window above my desk from a lady who had rescued them from an old 19th century house that was being torn down.  I love how they are a shout out to this house’s history, as we believe the original house was built in about 1890 or so.


Here is our library area.  I got this set of furniture from my parents.  Anybody remember the Cargo furniture from the late 80s?  It’s rock solid and still in perfect condition.  I’m thinking of painting it kind of a distressed white, letting some of the wood show through, and then covering the cushions with some fresh fabric to lighten it up a little.  For now, it’s super comfy, looks great, and totally anchors this area of the room.  You’ll see the rest of the furniture from the set when I show you the playroom.


The bookshelves are $15 prefab shelves from Wal-mart.  They do the job for now and help us to keep our book collection in check.  If we have more books than can fit on the shelves, then it’s time to give some away!  Eventually, I want to con my dad into helping me add a large piece of white trim to the top, some molding on the top and bottom edges and along the edges where each shelf joins the next to give it a built in feel and to make the whole piece sturdier and more solid.  But again, I’m so glad they work for me just the way they are!  Not bad for 45 bucks!

I absolutely love our office.  It’s such a sanctuary and a clean, uncluttered workspace.  I’ve never had a space like this to call my own, and I just love every minute of being up here.  It also makes things ten thousand times better to have our new puppy Sadie curled up under my desk warming my toes!


3 thoughts on “A break from our regularly scheduled programming… house update!

  1. This transformation is just unbelievable! You guys and your dad did an incredible job…And love your sweet new puppy – She looks a lot like Kelly’s dog – is she a mix breed?xoxo

  2. It took me awhile to find this in your new “site” of photos –
    I am not at all skiled with finding my way around the “internet”
    I am impressed with your finding “beautiful” bargains and you did all
    of this with two little charmers demanding your time and energy.

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