The new house after one year.

The new house after one year.

We passed our one-year anniversary at the new house last week, and as is common to milestones, it’s given us an opportunity to stop and take stock of how far we’ve come, and how much we still need to do.

In short: we’ve done so much; we have so much to do. Putting a house together is hard work, much harder and more time-demanding than I expected.

But it feels like home. It’s been months since I accidentally made the turn to go to the old house. I love the floors and the light and the two bathrooms (and a half, that it turns out we never use), the easy layout and easy park access.

There are drawbacks, too. I miss the library more than I thought I would. And the kids miss the backyard—the giant backyard that Will and I hated (HATED) taking care of—more than I thought they would.

But all in all it’s been a good move, and we have learned so much—not just about paint colors and furniture and decorating priorities, though of course we have—but about what our lives look like, and what we want them to look like, and how our home can help or hurt that, and what makes a place feel like home, anyway.

We’ve learned so much about white space and clutter and organization. (Moving and doing a Kondo-style tidying up in the same six month period is a revelation.)

Progress has come in bursts: there have been months, even just weekends, where we have gotten so much done. Then there have been months with nothing to show, house-wise, because our real life couldn’t accommodate one more thing. Such is life.

Here are a few pictures of what things look like around here, right now.

The living room

sofa 1

This is my favorite room, design-wise, and it’s the room we had the most help with. (Coincidence? Probably not.) We need to hang a few pictures, paint a bookcase, add a few more pillows, and we’re done.

We also need to have the electrician fix an outlet that’s been broken since day one. (I was mortified to realize we’d hit the one-year mark without fixing that, and tempted to beat myself up about living like this is our home.)

house after one year 2

We added one of these wingback chairs to the living room right after we moved, and another one six months later. I added the disco ball because of the Nester. The way it reflects the light is dreamy.

IKEA borgsjo front facing

We’re still loving our library area. It’s given me a new hobby: constantly reshuffling the bookshelves.

The kitchen

We’ve been conflicted about how much to do to this room, because we’ve known since Day 1 that we’d probably be doing a major remodel. It looks like that’s coming late summer.

It happens when you're not looking | Modern Mrs Darcy

It took us five months to find a kitchen table, and another 6 months to get a glass top for it. But it’s done.

kitchen frames

Just last weekend we finally hung up these frames. I love them, but I had no idea where to put them. Now they’re in the kitchen, and they may not be perfect there, but at least they’re up.

During this whole process I’ve discovered that while it’s hard for me to face a blank slate like an empty wall, it’s much easier to make changes once the ball is rolling. That realization has made it much easier for me to just hang the pictures already.

(My mom found those L’il DaVinci store and display frames and they are awesome. Each frame holds up to 50 pages of artwork, and they’re hinged so all you have to do is open the frame’s cover—while it’s still on the wall—and add the latest piece of artwork. Spring-loaded corners keep everything in place.)

house after one year 1

I’m reading Design Mom’s book (love it, full post coming soon) and one of her offhanded suggestion was to create open cabinets by removing the doors. Simple as that (and nothing to lose since these cabinets are coming down in August anyway) so we did, and I love it.

We didn’t remove all the cabinet doors: there are some cabinets I’m much happier to keep covered. But this was such a fun change to make.

The entry

house after one year 4

The entry holds this rickety thrift store table, a lamp, and an oil painting my mom did of our first house.

house after one year 3

I still want to find a cute bench (or ideally, church pew) for seating, and I’m hoping I can find a way to hang twinkle lights that doesn’t look stupid.

The backyard

The backyard has been in great shape from Day 1, which is why it’s the best room in the house. (I’ll love it even more when the seasonal pollen explosion is over.)

Notably missing from this round-up: the dining room (so boring right now!), the kids’ rooms, the office (we just hosted a tween sleepover there—you understand), our bedroom.

More about the bedroom: when we first moved in, I was adamant that our giant bed only looked good on one wall. After a year, I was completely sick of the bed on that wall, and we spent last weekend rearranging all the furniture, including moving the bed to the wall I swore it looked horrible on. I’m loving it so far, but it is not photo-ready.

That’s where we stand today, after one year and one week. I’m hoping to make much progress in the coming months, when I expect to have more time for the house than we’ve had this spring.

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  1. Sara K. says:

    Looks great! I love all the natural light you have! That is one feature very high on my want list when I buy a house (hopefully in the next couple of years). And I still LOVE your library area!

  2. I love the natural light and the color. I think the new blog design must reflect your same color sense as I see reflections of it (both the bookshelves and the kitchen table area).

  3. Breanne says:

    I love the framed kids art, so smart and great way to display them. Wingbacks will forever be my favourite chair, I picked one up on the side of the road with great bones, just needs to be recovered but even still its a favourite.

  4. Ana says:

    I LOVE your rainbow dishes. I think you mentioned before where they were from but can’t find it. I’m hoping to convince my husband to go for something besides plain white when we replace our chipped mis-matched IKEA dishes.

  5. Stephanie Mitchell says:

    I adore your wingback chairs (perfect color!!!) and the rainbow dishes. Can I ask where they came from?

  6. Anne says:

    Great update, Anne! Love those wingback chairs and the cheerful colors. Glad it’s feeling like home. We are still looking for a new house, even lost out on a bid recently. We forge on!

  7. Tim says:

    Looks nice, Anne. I’m glad you’ve settled in well over the past year. Now I want to see pictures of what the place looks like after a day of all your kids having all their friends over. 😉

  8. Tamara says:

    There’s a church pew for sale at a local antique shop. I wish I could end it to you! Your house is lovely. We’re in the process of buying our first single family home. (We owned a condo before and have been renting a house for a few years.) I’m so excited.

  9. Amanda says:

    “I’m hoping I can find a way to hang twinkle lights that doesn’t look stupid.”

    The story of my life. I had them in my college dorm room, but haven’t been able to make it work in the ten (wow) years since then. Admittedly I haven’t been prioritizing my effort in this area, but if you figure this out, please, please post it on the blog!

  10. Hannah says:

    We’ve been in our house for eight months now. A lot has been accomplished, but there’s still more to be done. Thankfully, it finally feels like home, and that’s something!

  11. I love seeing pictures of other people’s homes, and especially seeing how they settle after a move.

    As a military family, we try to make each new house feel homey as quickly as possible. We’ll be moving again next month and already know that we’ll be there for just 18-20 months.

  12. Leigh Kramer says:

    I cannot wait to see how your kitchen remodel goes! Looking forward to swinging by in a few weeks. I like how there’s always something new to see whenever I visit. 🙂

  13. Lauren says:

    Great post! Your house is looking wonderful!
    I know you said that you loved the sectional when you got it,do you still feel the same way? We are almost ready for new Family Room furniture and a sectional is one of the things we are considering. If you do still like it, would you mind sharing where you got it from? I really like Pottery Barn couches….made in America and FSC certified which is important to me. If there are other good options out there, I would love to know about them.
    By the way, I think it is very smart that you have waited a year before remodeling your kitchen. Now you have had some time to think about how you want it to work and time to daydream a little. That’s a great thing! When we redid our kitchen years ago, we did away with the eat-in area and created a large counter height peninsula that easily seats four and can do six relatively comfortably. We now eat all our meals (well, dinners anyway) in our dining room which is SO nice! The kids and their friends hang out at the counter in the kitchen ALL the time! I just thought I’d share that with you because we also have 4 kids and the eat-in area was so cramped for all six of us for meals, let alone when grandparents etc. came over for a visit.

  14. Pam says:

    Benita at has written about different ways to use fairy lights. She doesn’t blog anymore but has left her posts up and they are searchable. You might find some inspiration there. Her photography is wonderful, too.

  15. Jeannie says:

    Thanks for this peek into your rooms. I especially like the blue chair; it made me think of The Nester before I even saw the reference to her disco ball — but the disco ball just makes it. 🙂

  16. Amy says:

    It’s so much fun to have a little tour around your new place. I love all the color, and all the light. Just a beautiful nest.

  17. Julie Williams says:

    Love seeing it and I need to look up those frames for the artist in our home. I would love to know the color of the paint in your kitchen. We are about 8 shades in on trying to find the right one for our bedroom and this one is lovely. Thank you! I can’t wait to see your kitchen remodel!

  18. Jessica Pace says:

    I saw a twinkle light inspiration today and thought of this post! It’s at and is in “5 Alternatives for Hanging Art Without Frames.” {sorry I can’t seem to link directly to the article} it may or may not be your style but it doesn’t look stupid! 🙂

  19. Georgie says:

    Your home is lovely! So bright with great hints of colour. I’d love to steal your disco ball idea but I have the feeling it would just become a cat toy…
    We’re also a year in our new home and I’ve implemented the Konmari method in some areas too. Looking forward to your next update!

  20. Kathy Grey says:

    Enjoyed this post so much! I’ve owned my house for 10 years and have always had anywhere from one to three people living with me. Finally lost the last roommate a couple weeks ago, and now it’s just me and Bear, my dog. I am so excited to have my house back, but when I look around, all I can think about is how much there is to do! I’m turning one bedroom into my crafting room, and I’ve decided to focus on that first because it will give me so much pleasure! I don’t know if I qualify in any of the categories you mentioned. I think I’m more of a plodder…LOL! it’s always good to know I’m not alone in my struggles, and others are dealing with this stuff, too. Thanks for sharing!

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