OUR HOME'S BEFORE PHOTOS


We’ve come a long way in the four years we’ve lived in our home. What once was an array of blue paneled walls and $3 blinds, has turned into a minimal space that we pour so much time, energy, and love into. You can’t tell from This Minimal House’s home, or even blog page, but we literally started from the bottom. Gutted rooms down to the studs, worked until 4 am for an ungodly amount of nights. Tarped, taped, scrubbed, scraped, stripped, sanded tirelessly until we made a monumental step forward.

A fun story, in case you’re a new reader here, when we purchased our home, Scot hadn’t even seen it yet! He was at work, and I was out and about looking at houses with our amazing realtor all morning. This house was the last stop of the morning, and five minutes after looking at it I called Scot at work and claimed, “THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE ONE! OUR HOME!”. Needless to say, he didn’t IMMEDIATELY see the same potential I saw, I’m pretty sure his body just started to ache thinking about what was about to begin on this DIY journey. Can you blame him though? That was 5 inch thick wood paneling after all.

So today I want to show you where it all began! The original rooms in our home prior to moving in, so you can grasp just how much progress we’ve made so far in our home. We are so thankful for everyone that takes the time to read our space, and we hope every post encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and tackle something, even the smallest of projects.

While this is a for profit blog, we do everything ourselves. Nothing has been given to us, and we use our hard earned money in every single space. We save where we need to, then get to work. We hope this is relatable to our audience. We strive to be real, honest, and authentic (if you haven’t checked out our almost DIY fireplace fail, then stop what you’re doing and check it out now). Some projects and spaces cost us a little more money, but we’re very conscious about what we put into our home because at the end of the day it’s not about the items you possess, it’s about family and being together. You can also read more about our passion of minimalism in our Journey to Minimalism post here.

Are your eyes ready for this? Enjoy! :)

OUR HOMES BEFORE PHOTOS
OUR HOMES BEFORE PHOTOS
OUR HOMES BEFORE PHOTOS
OUR HOMES BEFORE PHOTOS
OUR HOMES BEFORE PHOTOS
OUR HOMES BEFORE PHOTOS
OUR HOME'S BEFORE PHOTOS

THIS MINIMAL HOUSE BLOG

FIREPLACE UPDATE + THE NEXT STEP IN THIS DIY


If there ever was a project that I could take back and start all over on, it would hands down be our fireplace. MAN. What a pain in the ass this entire thing has been, not to mention a painful amount of money that has gone into the trial and error of do it yourself projects. When you have a certain vision for a space in your home, and you don’t receive immediate results it can be a huge bummer. HOWEVER, I believe that we are making waves, and this will all pan out perfectly…even if it almost gave us gray hair and tested our patience along the way.

To back things up a bit, here’s what we started with.

THIS MINIMAL HOUSE FIREPLACE MAKEOVER

It’s hard to tell the true beauty and potential of that fireplace because of the glamorous blue stained paneling, but work with us here, don’t get distracted. ;) HA!

Our fireplace stayed like this for about two years until I decided to paint it white in an attempt to make it more aesthetically pleasing, like those cream colored pull down blinds. Needless to say the white painted brick fireplace just screamed everything that we’re not into, farmhouse, so it really messed with the surrounding decor as we were torn to work around the fireplace.

This year we said enough is enough. This space is our dining room, and as you can see we’re not working with much, so we needed to brainstorm. The most practical thing on our list? Remove the brick fireplace hearth of course. This might raise a white flag for some because even we didn’t know what we were getting into. Was there anything behind said brick hearth? If we ripped it out would our house crumble (kidding, kind of)? Would we be exposing some old house funk buried beneath the pretty aesthetic that would harm our insides?

Basically we dove in head first, because #YOLO. Here’s a photo of our brick hearth removal, and if you missed that post and want to check it out you can do that HERE.

REMOVING FIREPLACE HEARTH

As you can see we gained so much walking space. The plan was to create a flush with the hardwoods hearth. TODAY. Today we have gone through three different brands of materials, and tools. To be honest, I have been feeling incredibly down about the direction this project has taken, HOWEVER, I’m also an optimist and believe there is power in positive thoughts.

Want to see it in it’s current state? Imperfections and ALL? Ha! Here’s what we’re working with. Be kind.

FIREPLACE MAKEOVER

I plan on replacing our current antlers with something a little more European down the road when we’re closer to a “finished” space. For now I hung it up to make me feel better about the entire project. As you can see from a distance the products we used were not only not matching/uniform in color, but they’re also ‘rough’ as we found out PRETTY fast that we’re not in fact professionals when it comes to this sort of thing. BUT that’s what makes you better at DIY projects, experience. We’ve gathered enough experience from this project to redo 15 more fireplaces. KIDDING, Scot. KIDDING.

Here’s a close up of the roughness I’m referring to.

FIREPLACE MAKEOVER
THIS MINIMAL HOUSE FIREPLACE MAKEOVER

SO there is a positive when it comes to the current status of the wall. It’s unique. The original vision was a tad closer to a concrete surround, but we wanted to save on cost and labor, hints that #diylife. Another positive is that it can be ‘fixed’ per-say. The game plan and next step in this DIY is to grind the wall down to create a smoother surface. Another area that didn’t work too well with gravity was the inside of the fireplace. Exhibit A.

FIREPLACE MAKEOVER

Jesus. Shield your eyes. Insert the black out sunglasses they give you after having your eyes dilated. I’m pretty sure someone rocking those could’ve done a cleaner job. HOWEVER, I’m going to give us a break on this because having four children, our DIY’s take place in the wee hours of the morning after long days soooo giving us all the grace. This area will be fixed with the smoother, too so it won’t be this horrendous.

We also had a wood burning fireplace insert quoted and that came in just under $8k. Talk about a huge blow to our final vision, but we definitely cannot justify forking out that much money when we’re currently renovating our basement.

Here are a few more photos for your enjoyment.

FIREPLACE MAKEOVER

The door to the left will also be getting replaced with not only a more modern door, but also a more energy efficient one because #oldhouse.

FIREPLACE MAKEOVER

We threw the wood holder together a few weeks ago with a few scraps we had laying around. It, along with the antlers, also makes me love this project that has taken us down the black rabbit hole of DIY doom.

So that’s it! Our fireplace update, and what we plan to do next. Smoothing out the walls is coming up, and fingers crossed it produces a finish that makes all of this hard work pay off. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and welcoming our DIY ‘fail’ with open arms. We’re not all perfect, and we don’t claim to be professionals, but we sure as hell know what not to do next time. ;)

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FIREPLACE UPDATE + THE NEXT STEP IN THIS DIY!

THIS MINIMAL HOUSE BLOG

6 TIPS ON HOW YOU CAN HAVE A SUCCESSFUL MINIMAL CHRISTMAS WITH CHILDREN


I grew up walking into a toy store on Christmas morning. No seriously, everything we could ever want or imagine sat there in front of our eyes. I definitely never lacked a huge celebration at Christmas thanks to my parents! They went above and beyond, and made our childhood absolutely magical. While those memories are so amazing to look back on, I now understand as a parent, of four no less, not only how expensive Christmas, or any holiday for that matter can be, but how quickly the excitement wears off after all the money comes off…I mean wrapping paper. ;)

The first Christmas we had with our oldest was hands down the most modest Christmas we’ve ever celebrated as parents. Granted we weren’t making nearly as much as we are making now. Gone are the hamburger helper days, but here are the days where we put a stop to consumerism and entitled children. That last sentence seems so harsh, but when you see second graders walking around with Iphones…you’ll do anything in your power to run in the opposite direction.

Today I’m going to share a few tips with you when it comes to celebrating a minimal Christmas when you have children. These tips will eliminate ALL of the stress and pressure you feel during the holiday season to buy the latest and greatest. They will help you ease into a minimal Christmas if you’re still struggling with how to approach it to begin with. If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet (high five to all the type b moms rocking it out there), then you’ll definitely want to utilize these tips!

TIP #1: SOMETHING THEY WANT

Having a minimal Christmas doesn’t equal deprivation. Kids are going to want things, but it’s important to really look at WHY they want something and how much that item/product will improve life/get used. Ask your children to pick one MAIN thing they want for Christmas. Next throw some follow up questions in there. Do you want this because a friend has it/mentioned it? Did you see this on TV? Will you take care of this item (because this will most likely be the most expensive thing on your Christmas shopping list)?

TIP #2: SOMETHING THEY NEED

This might seem like a boring tip, however it’s so nice to have something that you’re in need of. Do you children play sports? Could they benefit from a new pair of shoes/cleats? If your child has a hobby, could they use more materials like new paintbrushes or watercolors?

TIP #3: SOMETHING TO WEAR

We have dress code, so our ‘something to wear’ isn’t as exciting as it would be if you child didn’t have dress code at their school, however something to wear is a great way to knock out gifts across the board. I know personally, my children love great lounging comfy clothes! They love a good and sweat pant combo to wear around the house. Plus, socks. Do anyone else’s children sometimes run around outside in their socks ruining their soles? No just mine? ;)

TIP #4: SOMETHING TO READ

I love this one because our oldest are finally at an age where they’re finding book series that they’re really interested in. There are so many options for this minimal shopping tip. My children love getting mail, so you could look into a book/magazine subscription that they’re interested in! That will give them something to look forward to and excitement to finish their current read. You could also sign them up for library cards and take them on a date to the library a few times a week to replenish their stash.

TIP #5: SOMETHING TO DO

You’ve probably seen this tip all over, but it’s always always my favorite minimal Christmas shopping tip. Speaking from personal experience, having four children you really have to divide your time, making sure you spend one on one with each one. They deserve that time, and buying ‘something to do’ is a great way to make sure those dates happen. A few things you can do for this tip would be to buy a movie ticket gift card for a movie night, or a day date to a local museum or amusement park.

TIP #5: SOMETHING FOR “ME”

Incorporating personal keepsakes every year is a a great way to look back on all the memories. A great way to incorporate this tip could be in the form of a Christmas ornament that you can put on the tree every year, or a photo album of each years Christmas you could display on a table or shelf.

TIP #6: SOMETHING FOR FAMILY

This one, like the ‘something to do’ tip is top favorite for Scot and I. We have a DIY credenza hanging in our family room and it’s filled with family games. We are obsessed with playing family games instead of sitting around watching tv in the evenings. It’s a great way to connect with your children and talk about life, and their day. Undivided attention for everyone while spending time together.

SAVE THIS PIN FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. All six of these tips on how to have a successful minimal Christmas can be applied to all holidays, birthdays and celebrations!

6 TIPS ON HAVING A SUCCESSFUL MINIMAL CHRISTMAS WITH CHILDREN


THIS MINIMAL HOUSE BLOG