Two Years at Bayberry House

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This past weekend I realized that it’s been two years since I moved into my home, which I lovingly call Bayberry House as a tribute to my grandparents. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long already. It feels like yesterday.

Today I thought it might be fun to take a walk down memory lane and look at changes I’ve made to the house. I also want to share some of the exciting moments that have occurred at Bayberry House since June 2018. If you’re wanting to update or upgrade your home, you might find an inspiring idea or two!

I hope this post likewise provides some perspective on how long some home decorating and remodeling can take. Based on home improvement shows (which I love) and bloggers like me who focus on home design, it’s tempting to think that major changes to our homes should happen overnight.

But the reality for most of us is that these things can take a lot of time, planning, and money. There are so many changes and updates I want to make here at Bayberry House. My goal is to do what I can and enjoy the process along the way.

With that intro out of the way, let’s get to it!

Two Years at Bayberry House

If you are new here, this is where we started. (Take the full home tour here.) Here’s a look at Bayberry House before I moved in. And, if you’re curious about my previous home, I wrote a post about that HERE. You can see where I used to live and how my style has evolved.

Tour my new Modern Colonial Home in Pittsburgh, PA. Inspired by Charm's New Home. #moderncolonial #inspiredbycharm #hometour

Refinishing My Upstairs Hardwood Floors

One of my first big projects (before I could get settled in my new home) was refinishing the hardwood floors upstairs. The former owner had carpeting but ripped most of it up before listing the house. Refinishing the floors was a must. (The downstairs floors were refinished by a Bona Flooring expert and used Bona stain in Dark Walnut.)

Refinished Hardwood Floors with Dark Walnut Stain and Satin Poly Finish

While I was pleased with the results of the refinishing, I later found out that there were some issues with how the upstairs floors were sanded and with the stain that was used. It’s nothing major, but I prefer the refinishing method and stain that was used in my downstairs.

A New Roof

I knew when I bought this house that the roof needed to be replaced. A new roof is a big expense, but it’s also a smart investment. Replacing the roof fixed an existing leak, plus the new shingles are resistant to moss, which had been an issue. My home is now protected for years to come. You can read more about that process HERE.

My New GAF Roof with Timberline Ultra HD Charcoal Shingles #newroof #shingles

New Furnishings

The first six months in this house involved a lot of experimentation with furnishings. Since almost all of my furniture and decor items were included in the sale of my previous property, I knew I would need to start slowly in furnishing this house. My first purchases were my living room sofa and my family room furnishings.

Living Room Autumn Decorations - Fall Decoration Ideas #autumn #decorations #fall #decorating #livingroom #decor #seasonal

Vintage Modern Fall Living Room Decor Ideas #fall #decorating #decor #ideas #livingroom #vintage #modern


All of the walls were painted a basic beige before the house was listed. Thankfully, that meant nothing needed to be repainted immediately. However, I did crack open a few cans of paint.

My living room was the first to get a fresh coat of paint. It took me two attempts, but I found a color I loved.

Living Room Autumn Decorations - Fall Decoration Ideas #autumn #decorations #fall #decorating #livingroom #decor #seasonal

Then, I added chair molding and a deep blue color to my entryway. That completely changed the look of the space. (You’ll see below how this space changed again when new flooring was installed.)

A look at my newly painted entryway. Color: Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue

I’ve linked all of my Bayberry House paint colors here if you’re interested in seeing all the colors I’ve chosen for my home.

Christmas Decorating

As you probably know, one of my favorite times to decorate is during the holiday season. This was the first time I got to decorate an entirely new space for Christmas.

In an exciting turn of events, my holiday decor from 2018 sparked the interest of Better Homes & Gardens. I kept my holiday decor up until February 2019 when a photo crew from the magazine arrived to shoot my home for their 2019 Christmas Ideas issue. Even more exciting than that (if that’s possible), my home later appeared in the 2019 December Issue of Better Homes & Gardens with a five-page spread! Pretty exciting stuff for my first year in this new place.

Christmas Inspired from BHG Christmast Ideas Magazine 2019 #christmas #holiday #decor #recipe #entertaining #ideas

Christmas Inspired from BHG Christmast Ideas Magazine 2019 #christmas #holiday #decor #recipe #entertaining #ideas

Once the BHG crew packed up, I quickly removed my Christmas decor so work could start on my kitchen renovation. This project had been in the planning stages for several months, and it was exciting to finally begin.

Kitchen Remodel

This is the biggest home improvement project I’ve ever experienced. Not only did we tackle my kitchen, but this renovation affected my dining room, entryway, and downstairs bathroom. Plus, as part of the project, I also had all of my downstairs floors refinished.

The remodel took almost six months to complete, and I shared the progress here on IBC. (You can see all the steps and the process here.)

Kitchen Windows and Doors: Bayberry Kitchen Update #kitchen #renovation #windows #doors

It took the efforts of many skilled workers (and a fabulous designer) and caused a lot of upheaval in my life, but I was left with a space I now adore. In addition to the big changes I already mentioned (a brand new kitchen and refinished floors), we created a butler’s pantry, added three windows to the dining room, replaced doors and windows, updated trim work, and so much more.

You can take a look at the completed kitchen and dining room here. (If you want to see the kitchen decorated for fall, click here. If you want to see the kitchen decorated for Christmas, click here.)

Bayberry Kitchen Remodel Reveal - Kitchen Makeover Kitchen Design #kitchen #makeover #remodel #traditional #modern #country #design #decorating

Bayberry Kitchen Remodel Reveal - Kitchen Makeover Kitchen Design #kitchen #makeover #remodel #traditional #modern #country #design #decorating

This renovation also allowed me to update my powder room, which is now one of my favorite spaces thanks to a bold wallpaper and custom vanity.

Powder Room Remodel Reveal #powderroom #bathroom #remodel #makeover #modern #country

And even though my entryway may look similar, the closet was removed and the damaged slate floor was replaced with hardwood to match the rest of the house. See more of the update entryway HERE.

Entryway After Renovation - Entryway Ideas #entryway #foyer #decor #decorating #style #renovation

Master Bedroom Remodel

If all of that weren’t enough, I decided to join the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge as a featured designer and completely renovate my master bedroom. This was a project I tackled on my own. I hung board and batten, gave everything a fresh coat of paint, updated the furnishings and linens, and even did a mini-makeover of my adjoining master bathroom.

Master Bedroom Makeover Reveal #masculine #modern #country #bedroom #design #oneroomchallenge

It was a bit crazy to do all of that at once, but the results were so rewarding. You can see the entire process HERE or head straight to the final reveal HERE.

Exercise Room Makeover

in addition, I worked with Sherwin-Williams to make over one of the bedrooms of my home using their 2020 Color of the Year. I turned the space into a fitness room. I went bold and used this navy blue color on the ceiling and partway down the wall to create a unique look. Check out the full makeover HERE.

Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year Naval Two-Day Makeover #makeover #sherwinwilliams #coloroftheyear #navel #homegym #beforeandafter #paint #navy

Tree Removal and Landscaping

During these past two years, I also did some work outdoors.

Since 2018, I have had more than 16 trees removed. These trees were already dead, being choked by vines, or hollowed out by carpenter ants. It’s always a diffcult decision to remove trees, but in such cases, it’s necessary. I was able to create a beautiful new landscaped area, and I will be planting 7 or so trees to replace the ones that were removed most recently.

Adding Style to My Outdoor Rooms

Beyond that, I did a little decorating. You might be familiar with my side porch since I’ve shared it both in the spring and the fall. This is one of my favorite spaces.

Fall Porch Decorating Ideas - How to style your porch for Fall #decorating #fall #decor #autumn #porch #pumpkins

Fall Porch Decorating Ideas - How to style your porch for Fall #decorating #fall #decor #autumn #porch #pumpkins

I also added a little style and decor to my deck which you can see HERE.

Modern Country Colonial Deck Styling tips and inspiration. #outdoor #deck #decor #styling #modern #country #colonial

During my time at Bayberry House, I also created a fire pit in my backyard. I love sitting around the fire, roasting marshmallows, and cooking up mountain pies. I have a fairly large wooded property (2 acres), so an area like this was practically a must.

Ideas for a Color-Inspired Backyard Fire Pit Makeover #firepit #backyard #decor #style #ideas #outdoor #decorating

Creating a Garden

I also added a small garden last summer and filled it with vegetables. This year I took a different approach and planted one raised bed with dahlia tubers and the other with my favorite veggies. In my first year of gardening, I discovered that I like growing vegetables, but I LOVE growing flowers. You can read about my dahlia growing adventures HERE.

Planting and Growing Dahlias #planting #growing #dahlia #tubers #garden #flowergarden

I hope to expand this garden in the future and make it a more permanent and attractive part of my backyard.

Other Happenings at Bayberry House

And in other random but exciting news, I was just mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article about paint-by-numbers. I hung a gallery wall of PBNs in my family room, and the journalist wanted to get my take on this lost art. You can find the article here.

How to Create a Vintage Paint By Number Gallery Wall #paintbynumber #vintage #PBN #gallerywall #walldecor #painting #vintagefinds #antique

What’s Next?

As I shared earlier this year, there are lots of things I want to accomplish this year and beyond. In case you missed that post, you can find my 2020 Bayberry House Projects here.

I’ve already begun work on a few of the items, including my office makeover. Click here to see how that’s coming along. I’ve also lined up a carpenter to make a few built-ins in my entryway and living room. I’m especially excited about those.

That’s it!

I think that wraps things up. This post was probably mostly for my edification, but I’m glad I took the time to put it together. I often feel like I need to be tackling more, doing more, changing more, but the truth is, this is a lot for one home and one person.

It’s always such a joy to share this journey with you. Thank you for joining me and being my cheerleaders and support system. Here’s to more exciting adventures at Bayberry House!

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  1. I always look forward to catching up on your latest and greatest home projects so it’s nice to revisit. You are creating a home that is stylish but still livable. A home that is a home. Thank you!

  2. Michael, I was exhausted just reading all you have accomplished in two years! Your house looks wonderful. I’m a newish follower and glad I found your site!

  3. I love your house and all the remodeling you have done. I also like seeing how your landscaping is coming along, any recent photos of the right side of your front yard if you are facing your house? Or did I see the most recent with the plants in pots waiting to be planted? Always looking for ways to “dress” up my yard too.

    Thank you!

    1. Sue, I haven’t shared an update of my landscaping. (It’s kinda been a nightmare process.) I’ll snap some photos at some point and share them.

      xo Michael

  4. Wow! You have completed an incredible amount of work on your home and grounds in a very short time! And, all of it looks very well thought-out and tasteful! Congratulations! Your blogposts are always interesting and informative.