Empty House Tour

Full disclosure… these pictures aren't the best. Well, some of them. I went over to the house the day after we got to keys before anything was moved in. I took my DSLR, I even remembered the SD card (I forget it at least half the time). I took one stinking photo and then it died. I forgot to charge the battery. Womp womp. So, long story short – these are iPhone pics. There are blurry kids running around in them, there are dogs in half of them, the lighting is bad, I didn’t do much as far as composing a good shot. I just took some photos of the house, as it sat, empty, on a rainy day so I could see how far we come in making this rental house our home. The photos that aren't iPhone pictures aren't mine. Because it was raining, I didn't take pictures of the outside of the house. And as I'm writing this, it's dark outside and I don't want to wait to put the post up any longer.

So without further ado…. Here are some kind of ugly photos, and listing photos that I didn't take, to introduce you to our new home in Washington, that I'm really happy to be calling home. 


 Via RedFin

Via RedFin

It’s a split level home, completely surrounded by trees, on over an acre of land, just outside of Seattle, Washington. We can still see our neighbors, but we love all of the green and the feeling of having space. It sat vacant for almost three years then was completely renovated to sell, so almost everything in it is new or refinished. The kitchen is brand new, the trim and paint, the windows, the water heater, the doors… we really appreciate that and feel grateful to have found such a gem in such a scarce market!

 Via RedFin

Via RedFin

We will do some things to the outside, but probably not a whole lot since we’re renting. It’s been recently painted, but the landscaping hasn’t been really tended to so we’ll give it the love it deserves. We plan to put a large food garden outside, build a free-standing dog run, re-mulch the plant beds, and put some planters outside. (All, of course, we've already cleared with the landlords.)

 Via RedFin

Via RedFin


When you walk in, it’s a split level. I don’t love that you walk into stairs, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make. Those double doors, though – we LOVE! We can’t wait to add a runner to the stairs and give the entryway a little more of an inviting feeling. I also think this will be a fun space to decorate for Christmas!

Directly upstairs is the family room, kitchen, and dining room to the left. I love the large windows everywhere which let in much needed light on gloomy Washington days. I love that out of the windows we see huge evergreens all around us. The wood floors are amazing. And the layout is mostly really great.


This living room is going to be so fun to decorate. I had to play a lot with furniture placement, but I love the white brick fireplace and huge window. I love that the kitchen, dining room, and living room all kind of flow together, too. It's not open concept, which is pretty high on my list, but it all still feels pretty unified.


This space has potential. Right now it’s kind of plain… but just you watch. I’ve got ideas a-cooking.


This is kind of my dream kitchen. I mean, not really my dream kitchen. But it’s a step in the right direction. A gas cook top has always been a must for me and I’m so excited to have one. And I love the white quartz counters. It needs some texture to break up the monochromatic scheme in here, so I think I’ll add a fun rug and maybe some metallic accents to warm it up. Oh and that giant window over the sink? Swoon.


To the right is a hallway leading to a master bedroom/bathroom, 2 smaller bedrooms, the main bathroom, a linen closet, and a coat closet. The master is quite small. This is another compromise we made with this house and while it sucks, we’re going to work with it. I mean…what choice do we have? Our king size bed kind of takes over the space, and the bathroom is about the size of our powder room in the last house plus a tub, but it works for us and it’ll just be up to us to make the best of it. We’ll call it cozy chic at the end of this. I guarantee it.


The larger of the secondary bedrooms is the boys’ room. It has two big windows and a decent sized closet. The third bedroom upstairs is pretty small and will be our office. We’re going to have to get creative with storage in here (and probably more realistic about the stuff we store!) but I like that it’s on the main floor so I can be close when I’m working while the boys nap.



This bathroom is one of two on this floor, but this bathroom is kind of a catch all. It's where the boys bathe, it's the bathroom company will use when we have friends over, and it's the bathroom for the common areas upstairs. So it does a lot and it's in need of some sprucing. It's finished nicely, but feels pretty blah.


Downstairs in the “basement,” is the garage and door to the backyard (through the garage), the laundry room, another full bathroom, the 4th bedroom which will be the guest bedroom, and another living room which we’ve decided is the play room. The floors down here are stained concrete which makes it less than cozy, though I really like the look. So we are going to be putting down lots of high-pile rugs and adding lots of texture to make it feel warm and inviting.


The laundry appliances are the only thing that were not updated in the house and I am positive they’re older than I am. I could have made them work, but they’re tiny and dirty and I just wasn’t willing to compromise on this one. So, we’re replacing them. I ordered appliances a few days ago and will update you on what we chose after they’re here. Call me a brat, but with all the laundry we do, I considered it a necessity. (I forgot to snap a picture of the laundry room as I was trying to keep the boys from climbing the dryer. Here's one from the listing.)

 Via RedFin

Via RedFin


At first, I thought, “Why do we need a separate play room?” I was worried it would go unused. But no. Now I can 100% say that I am SO glad to have a separate space to keep toys and chaos and to have somewhere to go that I don’t worry about the mess. The upstairs living room can stay nice and clean while the boys tear up the downstairs living room and that’s totally fine. I love it and am so glad they have their own space. This space will be really fun to decorate. I’m thinking a mix of modern/neutral (my preferred palette) with fun kid-friendly prints and textures with tons of storage, obviously.


When we were looking for a house, we really wanted a guest bedroom. Since we know we’ll have people coming to visit us, we wanted to make sure that they had somewhere to stay besides a sofa. I’m so excited to put this space together and make it a really fun, relaxing space for our friends and family. And if you’re wondering, we chose for this bedroom to be the guest room instead of the upstairs room because we felt this would offer our guests more privacy than the one upstairs. When on vacation, I know I always appreciate a little personal space every now and then, and they will also have their own bathroom down there to use so we felt it just made sense. (Again... forgot to snap a pic. So, this one isn't mine and neither is that furniture).

 Via RedFin

Via RedFin


I didn't take a photo of this one either. Apparently I really fail at taking photos of the basement. Anyway, this bathroom is for our use when we're downstairs, but it's mostly the guest bathroom for when we have friends and family stay with us. It's a good size and has its own linen closet which are both a huge plus in my book.

 Via RedFin

Via RedFin

And that’s it I think. We didn’t take a photo of the garage…sorry. And if I took one now, you’d only see boxes, no garage. So, you’re welcome?

The house isn’t perfect, but we’re really excited to be here to make this house our own! We don’t know how long we’ll be here, but we’re guaranteed at least another 18 months. That’s enough time to do a lot, I think. And who knows – we may be here even longer than that! 

I've got tons and tons and tons of stuff brewing that I am excited to share as we decorate and make it home! The one nice thing about renting is that we don't have to update. Firstly, this house is pretty much updated. Secondly, it's not our house to do updates to! So instead of spending money on updates to the house, we're able to allocate our time and funds to making it pretty and functional, which excites me more than I'm willing to admit. 

So how about you? What's your favorite project you've tackled in a rental to make it feel like home? I'm all ears! And stay tuned for our rental-friendly updates. :) 

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