D-D Remodel: Before Tour


This post is the first in a series called D-D Remodel, where we’ll share the progress of renovating our Colorado mountain home. I’ll be posting updates regularly so be sure to check back for the latest.

Our one year anniversary in our new home has come and gone, so it seems like an apt time to finally get around to writing this post. Those of you who have been following over on Instagram have gotten a bit more of the behind-the-scenes scoop, but I know how nice it can be to see the overall, and be able to put the tiny blimps of Instagram stories into perspective.

So today I’ve decided to share with you all the “before” photos of our home renovation. These pictures were pulled from the original listing, because unfortunately, I didn't get any good ones of the rooms cleared before we invaded and started unpacking...and that wasn't a pretty sight. And some of these are slideshows, so be sure to click through!

In the spirit of full disclosure, nothing about renovating a house is simple. There are a lot of hiccups, rarely quick decisions, and a whole lot of what I’ll just sum up as house stress.

But it’s also one of the drivers behind trying to simplify other parts of my life — trying to lessen the decisions that surround meal panning and wardrobe planning, to allow me to focus my priorities toward the messy stuff that does require quite a bit of decision making. Read: I can’t spend 4 hours picking out the perfect faucet and four hours cooking dinner. I exaggerate, but you catch my drift.

So let’s back up a bit, shall we? Brian and I started looking at houses about a year after we moved to Denver. He had been wanting a house for a while — someplace with a garage and a workshop to store all his tools. Ya know, guy stuff. Denver rent and housing prices had been sky-rocketing with the influx of newcomers to the area. They just can’t build places fast enough for all the people who want to live here.

So prices being what they were, and buying on only Brian’s income, we would likely have only been able to afford a one-bedroom in Denver. Cough: goodbye garage and workshop. So we started to look elsewhere.

When we decided to move to Denver, one of our main priorities was a place that had the outdoorsy activities nearby that we both love, but also a good art and design scene for me. And I’m super happy with our decision, because one of the things that I love most about this area is how quickly you can get between the mountains and the city. It’s all very accessible.

So we started looking at homes out toward the mountains, where housing prices had typically always been high, rather than buying into the Denver bubble. It was a lot more bang for your buck.

And I should also mention that we had ideas swimming about one day opening a B&B. And while we didn’t think we were ready for quite that large of a business endeavor yet, we did like the idea of getting a property that was large enough for some sort of rental income or airbnb.

So now that we have that back-story in place, on to the good stuff. I think it’s safe to say that we fell in love with the house’s location first. We’re perched on the side of a mountain overlooking more mountains. It’s absolutely dreamy. And while we looked at a bunch of other houses, and this one was way more house than we need, and needed quite a few updates, we just kept coming back to it. It was THE ONE.

I’ve told Brian since the beginning that it had “good bones.” It was definitely dated and needed updates, but livable in the meantime, and I could see so much potential in it. I love how it has a more open floor plan and a ton of natural light, both of which are hard to come by in older homes. (This one was built in 1979.) My main objection is that overall the finishings are just not my style. I picture it a lot brighter and airier, bringing in a bit of a Scandinavian influence with lighter walls and natural materials.

I like that the updates needed are largely cosmetic (heating system update aside), we wouldn’t be moving any walls or starting from scratch. Much of this could be cured by scraping the popcorn ceilings, applying a fresh coat of paint, and installing wood flooring. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But we’re project people and I think we (mostly) knew what we were getting ourselves into.

And there we have it. I’m excited to share more about how things are progressing, because even looking back on these photos is mind-blowing. Things have changed quite a bit already. 

For the most up-to-date progress keep an eye out for my Instagram stories, where I’m sharing behind-the-scenes progress of us getting our hands dirty. But in the meantime, I mean...check out that view.