OUR PREVIOUS CAPE COD HOUSE

We purchased our first home, a 1930′s cape cod, in mid 2007. It had some really great bones and had been slightly updated throughout, but had a long way to go before it would be a true space of our own. Over the next four years we worked to completely transform the home, room by room. We DIYed just about everything we were confident in doing ourselves (and a few more things we learned as we went) and penny pinched to get high style within our tight budget. Come along as we do a quick walk-through of the process!

Like I said, a few updates had been installed prior to purchasing, builder-grade carpet with terrible seam jobs and a fresh coat of paint in a not so great dark tan color.

BEFORE

We lightened up the room a bit with Ben Moore’s Gray Husky on the walls and a bright white on the crown molding and baseboards. We layed new flooring down ourselves using TrafficMaster Allure flooring at just $1.50/sq. ft. It’s actually a vinyl plank flooring, a cheaper alternative to hardwood. We knew we wouldn’t be in the house more than a few years so dishing out more money for real hardwood just wasn’t in the budget. Beyond adding in a ceiling fixture, the remaining updates were merely decorative and furniture purchases. More on those here.

AFTER

(more on the entryway)

(more on the small office space)

We’re really not much for a formal dining space, and this room was just that. We toned down the green wall color and removed the striped wallpaper to give more of a casual feel. We were hoping for a seamless floor transition between this space and the rest of the home, but the tile was just too pretty to cover up.

BEFORE

We ditched the grand chandelier for something a little more modern and added a framed photo gallery on the furthest wall. My dad built us a super inexpensive rustic farm table and we DIYed a teal chevron rug to ground the space. Read more about our inspiration for this room here.

AFTER

Again, obviously not the original 1930′s kitchen, but this kitchen was still in some desperate need of love.

BEFORE

We replaced the dated oak cabinets with a shaker-style maple cabinet and somewhat refigured the space for more storage beneath the larger window. We went with dark granite counters, but in a tile pattern to save on the cost and continued the plank flooring. We upgraded to new stainless steel appliances and a coordinating stainless sink. The hubs installed recessed lighting throughout and two mini-pendants above the sink.

AFTER

BEFORE

We reworked the awkward space for the refrigerator…

AFTER

… and added a wine rack above additional storage that was once an underutilized blank wall.

We added a full-size chalkboard wall and DIYed a coordinating calendar

Of all the rooms, this was probably in the best shape.

BEFORE

We simply freshened it up with a light green shade on the walls and added a few accessories.

AFTER

We also removed the existing bi-fold doors on the closet and installed a curtain for easier access in such a small space.

 When we purchased the home it had two small bedrooms on the second floor, which weren’t even separated with a door.

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

We opened up the roof slightly overhead the stairs, removed the existing closet, and added a custom-look full wall wardrobe using IKEA cabinets on the adjacent wall.

AFTER

Because the only full bath was on the first floor (far away from the master upstairs) we opted to completely renovate the second floor into a master suite with adjoining master bath.

BEFORE

Equipped with a soaker tub, walk-in shower, floating vanity, and built-in fireplace.

AFTER

We saved some major moolah by using inexpensive subway tile in the majority of the space and accenting with a glass tile.

We didn’t quite envision raising children in our first home, but this room turned out to be my favorite by a land-slide.

BEFORE

We added beadboard below a chair rail in a bright white, new flooring, and painted the upper portion using Ben Moore’s Stonington Gray.

AFTER

Inexpensive galvanized tubs work great for extra toy storage.

We spray painted mix-matched thrift store frames and filled them with coordinating fabrics for an art wall. The dresser, which was an IKEA bookcase, doubles as a changing station. We added legs, switched out the knobs, and added drawers.

For info on what we used in the Nursery or where to buy it check out this post.

This home will always have a special place in our heart. It was our first home after all, but also a place where we really got our hands dirty and began to explore the world of DIY.

For more info on any of the above rooms check out the “CATEGORIES” section in our sidebar where you can find posts divided by room!

15 thoughts on “OUR PREVIOUS CAPE COD HOUSE

  1. Pingback: Bring It. | Cape 27

  2. Meghan

    Hi!
    I just found your blog – it is a treasure! Thank you for putting so much work into it, and sharing your creative energies! I could ‘pin’ all of it and hope to get myself in gear to spruce up my house – new but not a lot of character yet!

    Cheers,
    Meghan

    Reply
  3. Annie

    Do you recommand tiles countertop? Did you have any issues with the grout? Your blog is fantastic, by the way!

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Thanks, Annie :) Personally, I would not recommend tile countertops. It was a live and learn experience. We chose tiles because we really wanted granite but not the price tag. So granite tile was the best of both worlds. That was years ago and now there are plenty of alternatives that fit every budget. Tile just isn’t practical for a kitchen surface. Crumb and stain central. Hope that helps!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  4. Katie Ludwig

    Love the before and after shots! I was hoping to get more information about the built-in wine rack in the kitchen. I saw something similar online. Did you buy the rack and cabinet prefab? (If so from where?) Or did you DIY? Thanks! Katie

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Thanks Katie, the built-in wine rack was part of the custom cabinetry we ordered from Home Depot. It was a little before our “DIY everything” days, but I’m sure it’s very doable!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
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  6. Katie

    Hi! Where did you find the lower-level cabinetry that is below your kitchen window? We have a similarly large window in our kitchen, and are struggling to figure out how to make that space usable without going custom (we plan to do Ikea cabinets). Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      We purchased all of our cabinetry in this kitchen from Home Depot. Thomasville brand if I’m remembering correctly. I could easily see this recreated with an Ikea cabinet though. I’m sure they have something similar! Hope that helps!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  7. Mariama

    Hey Jessie. My husband and I recently purchased a cape cod with 2 bedrooms main floor, attic (sellers consider that a bedroom, I wouldn’t until renovated again) and basement (partially finished). The two bedrooms just need a new paint job and decoration. But we want to update the kitchen, bath, attic (to make it a useable bedroom) and remodel the basement. Where would you suggest starting? This is our first home and we don’t have thousands of dollars to throw into someone renovating for us. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      If you’re pretty new to renovating, I always say it’s best to start small. So, in your case, bedrooms and attic. Test out your skills in spaces that are not only easier, but aren’t in the main living spaces. Once you’ve gained a little confidence, then move onto the harder stuff, like kitchens and baths!

      Reply
  8. Corrie Baum

    Hi there – just found your blog & love everything. Do you remember the paint colors for the master bedroom & bath? I’m in the process of buying my first place & trying to pick the grays, and my accent colors are all the same as yours so these would work great for me. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Thanks Corrie! The master bedroom is Ben Moore’s Chelsea Gray and I think the bath is BM’s Rainwashed.

      Reply

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