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It’s Our 1 Year Houseversary! Progress, Before & After Photos

I cannot even believe it’s been an entire year since we closed on our house and one year since I lost almost half of the hair on my head along with all of my sanity during the process. I try to block it from memory, but I vividly remember calling/texting/emailing/stalking our realtor, mortgage guy and lawyer multiple times daily for over 2 months. I was on top of my shit more than ever to make sure we got this house and I’m so thankful that we now get to call it our home.

And I’m sure all the stakeholders involved were happy as shit when they handed over the keys so I could GTFO of their face forever.

*skip the next three paragraphs if you could care less about my life story*

To provide some context; before we bought our house, Angelo and I dated for nearly 8 years while we both lived with our parents, roughly 40 mins apart from each other. Our younger, naive selves would always talk about the “day we could finally live together,” initially thinking we could rent a place until we bought our own home one day. Unfortunately, that idea didn’t go over well with my strict Italian parents, who’s rule was: buy a house, get married and move into that house the day after the wedding. That’s what our family did, and that’s what we were to do. As rebellious as I am, I didn’t fight it and figured there was some sort of method to their madness. So we saved some funds and a few months after we were engaged in Sept. 2016, we started house hunting in Feb. 2017.

The fact of the matter was, is that we had to buy a house before our November 10th wedding, or else Angelo wouldn’t have a front door to carry his new bride through on November 11th. Imagine…the day after your wedding day you have to move back in with your parents? Every time I thought of it, another chunk of hair would find it’s way to the ground. I was beginning to resent some ancient ancestor in Italy for this ridiculous rule.

But a few months into our search, 5 failed offers, and 40-something open houses later, we finally closed on our home in June, just a few months before our wedding, with a move-in date planned for the day after and the entire summer to clean, paint and prep.

I have to say – I’m not mad about my parents rule. In fact, I think if it weren’t for their rule, we would not have been able to save up and buy the house that we now call our home.

I want to preface the before/after photos with this: we didn’t really do anything to our house – I just became obsessed with getting each room ready to furnish and decorate, which meant painting every single room (twice) until my arms fell off, while Angelo spent his time outside doing some serious shit with his home depot toys. Since we bought the house with no furniture or decor of our own, the “progress” photos really just represent all the shit I’ve bought over the last year and how I’ve styled our house with said shit. The first year as new homeowners was spent furnishing and decorating the house, so our focus is to now move forward with the larger, adult-oriented projects – like bathroom renos.

So in honor of our one-year houseversary, I’m sharing progress photos along with a side-by-side comparison of one year ago vs. today.

The Downstairs “Lounge” Area

Beginning with the room that’s made the least amount of progress…the basement. We painted, bought a TV and threw in an old Ikea sofa for the time being. This is my next big project and my greatest challenge will be to ensure Angelo is happy with the design because he hangs out down here the most. He walked into my office a few weeks ago and told me his two very specific requests for me to keep in mind when designing this room:

“no gold shit”


“I need to be 70% involved with the sofa decision”

uhhh yeah hello 911? I have a situation. lounge area before and after

The Living Room

This is the room I’ve changed up the most. In fact, I didn’t realize how many times it’s progressed over the last year until I pulled all the photos together.

living and dining room before

living room before

(clearly where my obsession with paint swatches began)

Living room look #1…you can read more about the reason behind this not-so-great style here

living room before

Living room look #2…I styled this back in January and at the time I remember thinking “this is great!” LOL.

I mean it’s nice, but a bit too girly for me. And Angelo.

modern glam living room decor

The debut of living room look #3…semi-masculine glam 

masculine glam living room

Living room look #5…the current design of our living room and my favorite thus far. Every time I think to myself “this is it, it can’t look any better…” I do/buy something that I love even more than I did before that completely changes the room.

living room masculine glam

Side by side comparison of one year ago vs now:
living room before and after

living room before and after

The Dining Room

There aren’t many iterations of this room, so I’ll just post the side-by-sides.

First up – the glamorous chandelier change that completely leveled-up the dining room:

dining room chandelier before and after

Sales listing photo vs now:dining room before and after

We knocked down the dividing wall between the dining room and kitchen months ago, but haven’t fixed it up because we’re not sure what to do with it yet – thinking of a wood beam across the ceiling and wall? TBD folks.
dining room before and after

The Master Bedroom

bedroom before

Photo taken the day after our wedding:

bedroom before

Andddd a few weeks later:

masculine glam bedroom


bedroom before

My Office

(perhaps the most dramatic difference & my personal fav)

office before

office glam


One year ago vs. now:

office makeover

The Kitchen 

My pride and joy…painted three times over the span of 3 weeks and the greatest transformation thus far.

kitchen before


white cabinets


You can find more kitchen makeover photos in my DIY-paint-your-cabinets post here.

The Backyard

We fell in love with this backyard, particularly because we don’t have any neighbors behind us – just plenty of woods and privacy. We just opened the pool a week ago and according to the previous owner, it hasn’t been opened since 2015 so we have some work to do before it’s clean enough to jump into. But here are some photos from the listing and what we’re hoping it will look like in a few weeks!

I hope you guys enjoyed the before/after photos of our home! Thinking of doing a 1.5 year progress to show you the 74th iteration of our living room? TBD :p



  1. Alisa! I love all the progress you’ve made! I’m an absolute sucker for interior design and I wish (like most of us crazies!) that I had unlimited funds so I could shop for allllll the decor. Nice work, can’t wait to see the newest living room design! I’m glad I’m not the only one who changes things up so frequently, LOL


  1. […] One year ago I wrote about how much our home has evolved since we became homeowners in June of 2017. At the time of writing that post, we had made some progress in our home, but I had no idea that in the coming months I would challenge myself more than ever (physically and mentally) and would end up renovating a living room, master bedroom and master bathroom.  […]

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