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Velinda Renovated & Furnished Her “Fixer Upper” For Under $55k…Here’s How

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Velinda here. This year, I’ve welcomed ya’ll to my wedding and you’ve managed to sneak into my basement. But today, I’m actually inviting you into my home. And to be frank, I could barf. 

I hinted at the fact that I renovated my formerly sh**hole house (purchased in 2012 when LA was “affordable”) on a budget. Renovated and furnished for under $55K, to be exact. Still, it took everything we had—which didn’t include a whole-lotta-dollas—so we’re talking “sweat equity” (and the blood/tears that naturally come along). We found a contractor willing to teach us, help us and loan us tools. My mom, stepmom, 11- and 13-year-old step sisters (pro tip, child labor is cheap), later, my wife and a couple of very good friends put on their construction hats (nope, couldn’t afford those) and made the house a home, er… liveable-ish, at first. It’s taken YEARS to become truly comfortable and stylistically, it’s still mostly filled with decent Craigslist purchases I made in my mid-20s.

After hinting at my humble, but very loved, home in my basement post, comments popped up requesting to see it and Emily asked if I’d let you in. “Sure! No problem.” But as we geared up to shoot, nerves began and I had to do a quick soul search after almost chickening out. My house and the budgets involved have been MODEST (I’m going to show you all the numbers…but spoiler alert, we’re talking under $55K for reno, furnishing and everything!). I’ve always been incredibly proud of the Craigslist/DIY solutions I’ve been making work since my early 20s…up until being asked to bring them to a, y’know,  slightly popular blog. Blog-worthy? I wasn’t yet a designer during these renovations. Adding this budget bungalow to our lineup of aspirational/inspirational editorial seemed like such a leap. 

But my brief soul-search brought me to this: As a newer designer building a portfolio, I’m scared. This isn’t what I’d necessarily do, given real resources. I might not even grab the same “finds” as the designer I am today, a whole decade later. There isn’t a sponsored item, heck even an item that cost more than $650 (second-hand sofa) anywhere in this house, so there’s not a chance this project compares to a “real” portfolio…or even a Makeover Takeover reveal. It’s not that. 

Still,  I’m really proud of what’s gone into making it work. And aren’t most of us in the same “make it work” boat? Look, I’ve spent the last several months visually producing and styling Emily’s second book and it has meant tours of jaw-dropping homes. I’ve witnessed a large percentage of these homeowners apologetically point out things they have yet to “fix” or upgrade. And these are book-worthy homes! So, when is a house good enough? Why does sharing our homes uncover such deep vulnerability and why are we all apologizing? I’m both a confident individual AND on a mission to stop needlessly apologizing (ladies!)… so, screw chickening out. Today, I’m very PROUD to let you into…

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Process2

THIS “beauty” that awaited us upon purchase in 2012. She’d sat on the market for several months, bank-owned and UNLOCKED. Nobody wanted her…just 980 square feet of hot mess.

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Here she is from the outside now (above), but let’s begin this Cinderella story in the first room of the house (though stay tuned this week for my kitchen reno and bed/bath)…

The Living Room

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Living Room Before 2 1

First impression: Iffy ballet studio!

There was a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall mirror and an unmistakable smell of mildew. The old windows leaked, allowing water to mold away the walls below. And there was a needless, badly veneered faux fireplace hogging very limited space. The room was (and currently is) quite dark, as a neighbor’s cinder block wall blocks most of the light just outside. We loved the cove ceilings…didn’t love the fact they were, along with every other ceiling in the house, covered in “popcorn.” What. Was. That. Trend? And, to our pleasure, a quick peek under the cheap plank flooring revealed original hardwood! 

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Living Room Progress 1

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Progress Lr 1

Flash Forward:

Velinda Diy Lores 12

The windows (throughout the house) and the sliding door were replaced by a licensed contractor who agreed to charge less if he didn’t pay any additional laborers…formally bestowing us his unpaid assistants. The contractor replaced all plumbing/electrical throughout the house and repaired molded walls. We left these jobs to the pro, but were hands-on everywhere else, cutting down costs IMMENSELY (though likely cutting down years of our lives, as well. Stressful!)

My family, friends and I (henceforth called “the team”) scraped the overhead popcorn, spackled the uneven walls, and hung a mid-century pendant found on Craigslist. We sanded the worn original flooring (throughout the house), but called in a pro to do the staining/sealing because we wanted to make sure it was done well and were too burnt out by that point to make sure of it ourselves.

The ballet mirror (unsafely) came down thanks to a hammer…as did the faux fireplace, which sadly revealed a gorgeous, original plaster surround that couldn’t be salvaged. (Damn you, ’80s faux brick!)

Why the wall to wall curtain? You’ll find us hiding the wall-mounted AC unit that came with the house, which we unfortunately still need, behind said curtain, which really isn’t the prettiest textile (don’t love grommets these days), but they had enough panels at TJ Max to stretch the wall, so good enough. It would be room-transforming to no longer have to hide this ugly AC box. If we paint and powder coat this box so that it disappears, the poor placement of the unit still makes it impossible to center art above the sofa. It’s a conundrum. Central A/C is not in the budget, so this box is our homely, slightly annoying best friend for now. But speaking of art, my friend Shawn painted the old door in the corner.

Here’s a peek behind the curtain:

Velinda Diy Lores 11

Velinda Diy Lores 16

(Have you spotted Atticus yet?)

The sofa (which now has springs falling out), coffee table, begging-to-be-refinished campaign chest (above), rocking chair and side tables were Craigslist finds. The wingback chair is the first (and so far only) reupholstering I’ve ever done after finding it in an antique shop in 2010.

Velinda Diy Lores 15

Acrylic Painting by Emily Ruth Design

The shelving…DIY. Katie and I wanted a visually lightweight storage solution that also helped “hide” the TV box a bit and we found this tutorial. It seemed an affordable alternative to those sexy, vintage wall units we may never afford. After struggling to figure out material needs and shelf spacing via rough sketches on loose-leaf (thank god for CAD these days), we settled on a design and planned to dedicate a whole weekend executing it. FUNNY. Two weeks and one complete breakdown (each) later, we were very happy and only spent $450…and only that much because we opted for higher quality wood that we could seal instead of paint. Pine could’ve cut that cost in half. 

Velinda Diy Lores 13

My mom and her wife gave us the (working!) mid-century record player. The mirror above is vintage from Etsy.

Looking Back: 

  • That GIANT pendant puts off surprisingly little light and wasn’t the best scale or functionality choice. But maybe I just need to figure out how to clean it?
  • Though I’d love custom windows, the budget allotted standard/big box one. Fine, but why the faux mullions, Young Velinda? “I know what this gorgeous garden view needs; a vinyl grid!”
  • DIY sanding of floors is as easy as it looks on TV (and pretty fun) and renting a sander from Home Depot is cheap ($50ish). I wish I’d chosen a lighter stain or had just sealed the raw redwood, but there’s 0% chance I’m removing all the furniture again (or coughing up the funds) to make that change possible in the future. It’s totally fine, I just find myself still drooling over the ‘raw’ wood of the Mountain House (Link). 
  • MDF molding instead of hardwood made me nervous, but so far, I don’t mind that I couldn’t splurge for real deal because they’re holding up just fine. (Buy backup in case a section needs to be replaced in the future…it can’t really be sanded/healed as easily as wood). 

The Dining Room

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Dining Room Before 1 1

First Impression: “This basic box is the best room of the house.”

Small, but bright with a new window already in place! There was a hallway-leading door with original character and a pretty, arched doorway off the living room. Again, we found original flooring beneath the faux. I figured it’d feel tight/not have great flow once a table came in, but what’re ya gonna do…besides get rid of POPCORN CEILINGS? Whyyyyy?

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Dining Room Progress 1

(Nice bandana, Young V…?)

Ehd For Blog Velinda's Reno Process 1

Flash Forward: 

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You’re looking at a dining table, second-hand IKEA shelf and DIY pendant (Orb-lando!) I brought with me from my last apartment. The chrome/wood chairs were purchased in the desert several years ago when I was, for some reason, determined to have Palm Springs furniture in my house. I could afford these. I found the bookcase by the curb on my street and decided to refinish it (never did that).

On the walls…the bar sign from our wedding and some subtle gray lines that were painted upon moving in (2012, same time the rug was purchased). Katie and I almost painted over them when we redid the kitchen in 2016, but weren’t committed enough to losing them to go through the trouble. Are these totally dated now? *Hands Splayed Shrugging Emoji*

Throughout the house, we painted every wall…and door. That involved dismounting them and removing each hinge/knob, soaking the hinges in acetone and then chipping away layers of paint, sanding down decades of paint layers on the doors themselves, and finally, spray painting the hinges and hand painting the doors. My mom earned a medal of honor for this particular project.

One of the best decisions Young Me made during reno was swapping the window in the dining room for French doors. It makes the room feel so much bigger as it becomes part of the garden when opened up. We LOVE the breeze during meals and there’s now a lovely, indoor/outdoor flow for entertaining. 

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Looking Back:

  • Once again, I’d opt for a different lighting functionality.  The single bulb doesn’t give off great light for dining at night. It was even worse when we used an Edison bulb (the current bulb’s much “cooler” brother).
  • Thinking we couldn’t afford to add a door to the budget at all, we put in the most basic french door available. Worth the added cost. Wish I’d spent more. This model is pre-primed and must forever be painted. Okay, fine. But the plastic-based latching system feels on the cheaper side and can be a little finicky to operate. 
  • The table and seating have been collected over time and feel about as accidental as their combination actually was. Incorporating several styles is fine, but this just doesn’t quite jive in a way that makes my heart happy. Are we rustic? Are we mid-century? Are we ’80s? Whatever we are, we are NOT comfortable. The glass table takes up little visual space, which is nice for the small room, but the top just balances on the bases, meaning if you lean on it, you risk… not sure… shards of glass in your leg? Living on the edge over here while we eat our oatmeal. (But guess you’ll find us hiding under here when “the big one” hits…?)  Katie and I love playing games together and usually shift the chairs around so we both get an upholstered seat. The others are just no fun to sit on for any length of time. It would be SO amazing to have nothing but comfortable seating. Downsizing our dining surface for an even easier flow is definitely “on the table.”

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Before we dive into the ins-and-outs of the budget, let’s look at the before and afters for each space (and the front exterior), because it’s fun:

B&a Exterior

B&a Dining Room

B&a Living Room

As for the kitchen you see through the dining room, the house has one! But this post is already a beast and I have TOO MUCH to say about gutting a kitchen and pulling it back together for under $20K. So come back tomorrow and I’ll break it down. For now,  the numbers so far (including room-specific numbers as well as the “general reno” notes that applies to the whole house):

Emily Henderson Velinda Diy Reno Living Room And Dining

Before you go… can we give a huge round of applause to our new(ish)ly-hired photographer, Veronica, for these stunning “after” photos! This is her first feature on the blog as an interior photographer (she normally shoots Em’s fashion posts), so if you see her, buy her a drink! Okay… see you all tomorrow at my place! BYOB.

***photography by Veronica Crawford

Fin Mark
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Sam

This house is darling and relatable and so easy to see how I would fit my own life inside it. Different chairs here, bring in my beloved table, add some green. I LOVE these types of homes! They’re inspirational because it’s a place I could live in too. Thanks for sharing!

VELINDA Hellen

Thank you, Sam. So glad you relate!

Clarissa

I love this! Probably my favourite part of following blogs is being able to see how people grow and perfect their design over time. This is an amazing ‘starting’ point, and you definitely shouldn’t be so modest about it! This is your home, not a job, and you’ve made it beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Velinda Hellen

Thanks, Clarissa. Great point.

Maggie

This is lovely Velinda. I completely understand how scary it would be to invite Emily’s fan base into your home but I have to thank you for doing it. My home and location are so very different from yours but mine is also filled with all secondhand pieces… some that I love and some that I don’t! Kudos for showing us an example of how to make it work.

Rebecca

I love this! What a wonderful renovation (and done with an amazingly small budget!); you should be so proud of your home. I love when you guys post aspirational content, but it’s also refreshing to see what someone can do on more of my budget

VELINDA Hellen

Thanks, Rebecca. Definitely different worlds. I love the aspirational too… gives me ideas of what to search for on Craigslist. Ha!

Emily

Loved this post! I understand the feeling that your home is never ready to post on a blog (especially one as widely read as this). I move every few years and always post an apartment reveal on my personal blog. I keep putting off that post because my place never feels ready. But sometimes good enough is good enough! It can be more interesting to see a real lived-in, thought-through house anyway, as opposed to perfection in a book. Thanks for sharing!

VELINDA Hellen

Thanks for the note, Emily. Good luck with your own reveal. I feel ya!

[…] Source link […]

Becca

Amazing work! I love it when we get to see in EHD staffers’ homes. Maybe the blog could throw some resources toward making the space even better? It would be great content.

Michelle

^ I would love to see this, too! It’d be amazing to see some different ideas from the EHD team for how to improve the space from here – it already looks amazing – and then the final decisions/outcome.

Lucky

STARS…they live just like us!

JK< I really love this post – you did an amazing job on such a tight budget. But the thing I love best is how your "team" showed up and y'all did it together. One day, when you are old and cynical like me, you will reflect back on those vinyl grids and pale gray stripes and realize that life was pretty sweet and simple. All the elbow grease does our souls good.

VELINDA Hellen

Hahaha… I used to LOVE that section in the magazines! And great insight… I love sweet and simple.

Jane

This is a real house crafted by real people. I LOVE
It.

Emily

I’m sorry the dining room isn’t super comfortable, but it’s gorgeous! I actually like the subtle stripes, and the layered eras you see represented. I know the pain of renovating and decorating on a shoestring – and I appreciate what you guys did! Thank you for sharing.

VELINDA Hellen

Thanks, Emily… ‘Layered Eras’ is a fun way to put it!

Michelle O

This is probably the best post I’ve seen on this blog this whole year. I love coming here for pretty pictures and inspiration. But this is finally something I can identify with. Maybe have a few more of these types of post in the future?
And Velinda… Stop being so apologetic! Your place looks great.

Julie P

Yes!! I agree! Thank you for sharing. I love seeing a house that is SO relatable and affordable but still super cute 🙂

Karen

Agree completely. More of these realistic types of reno projects please – something for real people with real budgets.

Mariann Alexander

Same ☝️

VELINDA Hellen

Thanks, guys! Glad we’re all in the same boat. Appreciate the feedback.

Shanna

Also agree! I have used furniture, popcorn ceilings (the labour of scraping them frightens me – so good on ya!), and I definitely have a mix of styles – but when my budget changes I will change pieces when I can. You have done a wonderful job, and are inspiring!

Maria

Totally agree. We bought a house last year and we’ve been working on it since. While the usual posts feel very inspirational they mostly leave me wishing I had a bigger budget. This post actually inspires me a lot in a different way.

JulesG

Agree too – there aren’t enough ‘real’ home on the internet. But having a real and affordable home loved up by someone who knows what they’re doing is gold. Thank you for sharing this part of your life.

JOANNA

Totally agree! such a great , relatable space! I’d love to see more small homes! 🙂

Steven

Floor sanding is indeed and doable with one caveat: remain very vigilant about the thickness of your flooring and sanding down evenly. We got a bit careless in a few spots and had to do some patching.

Heather

Absolutely beautiful!! Such a wonderful lesson to all of us, beauty takes time ❤️ Thank you for sharing your house Velinda!

VELINDA Hellen

GREAT advice. Our dining room floors had been sanded one or two more times than the rest of our house and our contractor was quick to point that out, letting us know to ‘be careful’. Thanks for pointing that out. Very important.

Faith

Thanks so much for sharing your house! It looks like a wonderful, lived-in, loved, HOME.

K

I loved this! Thanks for sharing! It’s awesome to see a house that is relatable and to hear about what you’ve put into it. I’m excited to continue to hear about the other rooms!

VELINDA Hellen

Thank you, K! Thanks for following along… really appreciate your kind words

Karla

I love this! Everything in our home has been put together on a budget with many thrifted finds so it’s so nice seeing another home look great while also doing so.

Amanda

I love how relatable your space is, Velinda! As much as I love all of the other makeover’s on this blog, they seem to always involve gifted items or family money. Not to begrudge those folks, but that’s just not in my future. Your reno is so cute and reminds me a lot of what I’ve lived with over the years as someone interested in design with no funds or technical professional training (which you now have, of course). Thanks for sharing!

Karen

Agree completely. More of these realistic types of reno projects please – something for real people with real budgets.

VELINDA Hellen

Thanks, Amanda! No funds definitely calls for an increase in creativity. I’m sure you’ve found the same to be true.

Andrea S.

I LOVE this post! Congrats on all you accomplished on a tight budget, it looks amazing! And I’m so glad you shared even if things aren’t exactly the way you want them. All of us are works in progress!

Laura

Thank you for sharing your home! I love it. It’s great to see a real, lived-in house where issues like the AC unit are not photoshopped out.

Paula Carr

Yes!

Kelly

It makes me so sad that Velinda seems so apologetic about her beautiful house that clearly she and her wife have poured so much time, money, and love into. It makes me wonder if all of these polished posts about unrealistically perfect, expensive spaces are doing far more harm than good. Are photos like those inspiring us or just making us ashamed of the imperfect spaces we live in? I’m not sure anymore.

BTW – your house is beautiful as is, Velinda 🙂

Betsy

I totally agree with you, Kelly. I absolutely love my tiny 848 sq ft., 5 room cracker box. It is far from “perfect” in almost every aspect of the house. Especially when I could fit 4 of my home, on the big ass lot. But it is my imperfect home, and I love it so much The perfect homes may be pretty to look at, but are just not attainable for a lot of people. And honestly, perfect is boring in my book. Velinda, my home is very similar to the parts you’ve shown today. I think you have done a fantastic job so far with all of your finds. Maybe they aren’t “perfect”, but like I said above, perfect is boring in my book. Relax and just enjoy being home. When you find something you really love, and can afford, then you will change it up. I much prefer to really live in a home, and see how you live in it first. People make too many mistakes when they renovate before moving in and seeing how they will use the space. And the striped walls may be a smidge 80’s, but subtle enough that I think they still… Read more »

VELINDA Hellen

Betsy, thank you…. A. for the striped wall feedback 🙂 and B. for the point you made about living in the space. It’s such great advice!

Betsy

I’ve been in my home for 16 years, September 30th! I’m still figuring it out! But I guess I have also changed the way I live in it as well. This is why I cringe at spending so much money on something I will tire of in a few years. I really want this Serena and Lilly wallpaper. But I just am not sure if I will like it in a year, for $200. A can of paint is only $50. Homing is hard!

Lane

So pretty. I understand some things don’t excite as much as we wish. I have that feeling about a number of things in my home. But overall it looks really good. You kept to a specific color palette so there’s nothing that seems out of place. I also like how functional everything is.

herselfindublin

Love what you’ve done. And although you didn’t specifically mention it, widening the entry into the galley kitchen was clearly a game changer. It all looks gorgeous.

Martha

More like this please! Love how unique and beautiful and resourceful it is!

Kimberly

This is my favorite post in a while. I love seeing people who do a great job with limited resources. We all ‘start somewhere’ and evolve. This is an awesome start and I can’t wait to see the kitchen post.

Allie

I love this! I can actually relate to this post since I’m not ever going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a renovation. Great job, Velinda. Who cares about mismatched furniture… our bedroom, dining room and guest room is still that. I’d rather spend money somewhere else! Maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves for just living in our homes and enjoying them.

Christina Sabo

I LOVE THIS. I wholeheartedly am in for more of this content. I love seeing the “magazine ready” rooms but this is so much more my real life, where things look nice, but aren’t full of high-end items and there’s a lot of DIY. Love it.

milo

I <3 this: So, when is a house good enough? Why does sharing our homes uncover such deep vulnerability and why are we all apologizing? I’m both a confident individual AND on a mission to stop needlessly apologizing (ladies!)… so, screw chickening out. Today, I’m very PROUD to let you into… Thank you for letting us in and for being proud of your past work, even if you wouldn't do it all the same way again! I love that about this post and many of Emily's posts like the Mountain House ones – when we do something we learn how to do it, so realizing we'd do it differently after we're done just shows how much we've learned and discovered about the space. I realize (and read because) for this blog it makes sense to reach for perfection in many posts, but sometimes it doesn't make sense (like when you aren't committed to staying in your home forever, when you might have other big changes to your family, etc.) to perfect every space even if you do have the budget for it. And knowing me, even if I did perfect it, I'd just want to change it up for fun… Read more »

Katie

Okay so I absolutely love Emily’s style and homes she features here. They inspire me so much, however I could never ever afford anything like it. Even the budget posts are out of my budget. I come here because I love Emily and I love the inspiration. This tour was life giving. Such a warm and welcoming home styled with pieces that are almost all thrifted and within my budget. Thank you for being vulnerable and showing us.

Blair

What a great post! It’s inspirational AND attainable. I was especially wowed by your plants and succulents, you must have a green thumb. Thank you for sharing your home.

LJ

Thank you Velinda for being as transparent as your dining table! 🙂 Your house is great and you should be immensely proud of all you and “the team” have accomplished. Looking forward to seeing more!

Also, can we get more of this “scale” of work (cost, home size, DIY work, all of it!), pretty please!?!

Lisa

Your aesthetic shines through. The dining room in particular is beautiful. In fact, if I were a young woman in LA I’d move into your place as is in a flash, the only thing I’d change would be the curtain wall – grommets make me nervous. You show how much personal style and a good eye can accomplish. Thank you.

Amy

Love your house Velinda! Appreciate the real content here and seeing an everyday home decorated and renovated on a budget.

Meg

I love this post! So great to see design that does not have an unlimited budget, since most of us who are reading don’t either. I’d love to know what kind of wood you used for the living room shelving unit. I’m looking to do one in my own living room, and would prefer not to do pine, and the color of the wood you used is exactly what I was envisioning.

Renee

Love this post! Thanks so much for sharing your unique and beautiful home with us!

Natalie

Love this. Such a relatable post Velinda and you did a great job. I feel your pain on popcorn ceilings. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if whoever was responsible for such abhorrent trends had to then pay to fix them? Although, based on that logic, Gwen Stefani would need to buy my new eyebrows.

brooke

I just laughed out loud about Gwen Stefani. Me too!!!

Elisabeth

Hahahaha Gwen AND Drew Barrymore owe me for my brows! And Velinda, thank you for sharing. I LOVE your home, and it’s so refreshing to see how much love, creativity, and sweat can bring to a fairly small (by EHD standards, that’s still a lot of $!) budget.

Rusty

Wot a grrreat post!
Velinda…you’ve (both and your team) done a brilliant job! This ix a HOME you’ve shared eith all 80,000 of us! 😉 Not some flashy, perfected, unattainable for most, magaziney place, but your home! Thank you.
I can only imagine how vulnerable you must have felt hitting the ‘publish’ button. Remember, vulnerability is what makes us human, lovable and approachable. You smashed it! 🙂
Your home reminds me of my homes past, with pre-loved items, curated to work together. Sometimes, having exactly the ‘right’ item, doesn’t make it real. However, I do wish that an air con sponsor would solve that issue for you, so you can share those before and after pics to 80,000 people!
Hint….hint….. 😉
Great job!

Nelli

The work you’ve done is stunning. Thanks for sharing your home with us, and showing us what’s possible on a reasonable budget : )

Rae

The reality for most of us is that we are working with a budget, and have to make do with what we have (and can’t afford to replace/redo everything if we change our mind). I loved reading about how you got creative and all the hard work you poured into your home. Also – I think it looks incredible and you should be so proud!

Jill McKenna

Check out a Mitsubishi or other brand A/C Heating split to replace your A/C. Way cheaper than traditional A/C.
Thanks for a post that shows how the majority of us with limited means and friends and famy willing to help can live beautifully!@

guada

LOVE this! And Love seeing renovations that relate more to my own budget or lifestyle as well (that’s why I love all team members’ posts).

I should have asked this on your other post, but your basement kitchen was made for renters? Or you have family living there?

Laura

You have a lovely home. My favorite thing about DIY is the memories – remembering your friends and family in every part of making your house your home.

Belen

I love this post!!! I love Emily’s aspirational posts but as a young person about to move into my first home without sharing with roommates I can relate a lot more with this house and I love to see that a house on a budget can come out looking this stunning! It’s so pretty!

jmarie

I love this post. Reminds me of why I enjoyed reading the design blogs of yore. Looking forward to reading the rest of this series!

Kelcey

We are in the process of decorating our first home, and this makes me feel SEEN, Velinda! I’m ALL ABOUT the thrill of the flea market/thrift store/Craigslist chase, and since college I’ve been collecting pieces slowly but surely that I still love, for the most part! Brand new furniture and remodels aren’t in our budget even for the medium future, thank you for sharing your lovely, collected home with us!

Emily

Velinda! Thank you so much for being open to sharing your home. Relatable content is so important and has so many valuable lessons in it. I wouldn’t think to ask a contractor if I could help, but now I’m totally going to. And I love homes that have more craiglist/etsy/side of the road finds than big box store items. It looks so much more organic and comfortable. Since your basement kitchen was one of the top pinned images of the year, trust yourself and please keep sharing!

Mary

I’ll echo what the others said. Thank you for sharing this! It is so real and so relatable and such a beautiful home! My husband and I just purchased our new (to us) home that was built in the 50’s. We already have one quote to re-wire and update our electrical panel ($10,000 yeesh) and know there will be plenty more like it (old plumbing, old windows, old roof….. but the charm! The neighborhood!) So, this very much feels like us. We want to love our house, and loved houses are perfect because we LIVE in them and made them our homes…not just because we bought new pretty stuff to put in them. I love the aspirational/incredible design that is done here, but I also recognize that that will probably never be what my house looks like.

Also, shout out to Emily and the whole team for your transparency. Hiding the true cost of things helps no one, and you all are always super upfront when possible.

Roberta Davis

I’m glad you shared, and I think many of us can relate. I did go to design school (in my 50’s) but my entire house was done before I studied interior design. I remember putting together something from nothing in my 20’s. I am constantly daydreaming about how to change every square inch of my place. A lack of resources makes us way more creative. And constant updating helps us create our story. It’s a never-ending process! You have done a lot with very little! This is just as inspirational to most folks as a $100,000 room.

Sara Nelson

Your dining room is so incredible… OMG I’m in love!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home! Be proud!!!!

Loveley of honeymoonvintage.com

i LOVE this type of post. it’s so relatable and normal. And, your home is BEAUTIFUL. love the mix of craigslist/diy. that’s my space too. much more interesting than something everyone can have from big box stores. your reno changes and work are sooooo great. You deserve an award : )

i think that when you work in an industry where you look at beautiful, but financially out of reach homes all the time, you feel like your home is not good enough. but that’s not real life. i love your home and can’t wait to see the rest of it.

also, who t f covers real hardwood floors with faux hardwood. and yes, why why why to popcorn ceilings. ug.

Brooke

Now, THIS post is amazing (I was a previous commenter who wasn’t that jazzed about the Target collab). Well done! What an awesome house and a seriously lovely writing voice. Please produce more content like this — which I know is easier said than done. Your blood, sweat and tears are all over this house, so I realize one can’t post this all the time. But I think many of us want to see more “real life” issues such as ugly AC units, realistic budgets, and previously purchased items that just have to work, and quite frankly, are the best choice for a lot of sentimental, budget, and environmental reasons. There is amazing wabi sabi in this home. This sort of sharing is the best of the internet.

Meite

I love this tooooo! Your home is beautiful 🙂

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