Rule #3 for a Home Renovation

An important lesson for home improvement (and an all-purpose blogging tip):

Always remember to take Before photos, and take more for the progress.

Pictures (from top): 1. Was it just two years ago that our helper was born? 2. cans of white; 3. the master bathroom, before; 4. this was scary, but worth it to make the kitchen feel bigger

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. That’s a neat dress you’re wearing while photographing the bathroom.

    I like what you’ve shown so far about your new house. What I like most is that is looks like a well loved house, even if the design choices might not be my cup of tea.

    Well loved houses just have that good vibe about them that makes me smile.

  2. Kathy B in TN says:

    We did the same thing in our kitchen in our last house – makes an incredible difference! I’m love watching you remodel.

  3. Looking good!! You are so lucky to have a hubby who can do it all.
    don_mae´s last post…Any Topic Comment

    • That’s my “New Son “ son-in-law and my precious grandson. Tom is tool man like his dad. Doug spoils Rachel, fixing breakfast for his kids, letting her sleep late when she has been up late working on her blog. He provides wealth and happiness and a God centered home. Rachel,you chose well. And Doug did too.

      • It’s wonderful that you appreciate him. My mom is that way with my husband too. She is always reminding me what a wonderful man I have. Sometimes I have to remind her that he didn’t do too badly, either!

  4. I can’t wait to see the AFTER shots! I’m sure it will be wonderful!!!
    Sharon´s last post…Back to school "fesitval"?

  5. I love it! I love watching before and afters, thank you so much for sharing! :) I ALWAYS forget to take enough before and during pictures, so way to go! And tell your husband, great job! I’m impressed with his DIY skills.

  6. Those cabinets and layout look just like my kitchen. Have you done anything else yet in there?

  7. Exciting!! You’re making me a little house-jealous. Living in apartments is great…until you want to rip out cabinetry.
    Jennie´s last post…When Things Aren’t Quite Finished….

  8. Denise C. says:

    Love the home photos!

  9. Oh Rachel,
    My husband is going to be SO not happy with you. . .why? Because I already have the little remodeling bug buzzing around my head, and when I come here it’s worse! Ha.

    We didn’t take pictures of our last big project, and I really wish we would have!
    Amy Sullivan´s last post…Abandoned Blogs

  10. We renovated our kitchen about ten years ago and did all the work ourselves, it was well worth it!
    Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith´s last post…Come on, Irene!

  11. Renovation rockstars!

  12. You have guts! I am living vicariously as your transform your space into something amazing!

  13. There is something so exciting and inspiring about before and after shots. And white paint. Can’t wait to see more!
    Katherine´s last post…Another book I think you should read. Or “Saving on Groceries”, Part I. Whichever title appeals more.

  14. Sigh – I know about the two years going by so quickly – my almost two year old is saying so many things and I feel like he’s grown up a lot faster than his older brother.

    I LOVE those windows in the living room (is that the living room?) – is that laminate flooring that you’re putting in or hardwood?

    • My son is just now starting to talk since Lane started school last week. It’s like he was waiting for his turn, or just listening the whole time they are together.

      That’s engineered wood going in on the living room floor.

  15. Rachel P. says:

    Oh, good choice with the kitchen cabinets! I see that in other people’s homes and want to immediately suggest that they remove them. I look forward to seeing how things work out with all the renovations.

  16. Go Doug!
    Slackerjo´s last post…Inside Voice! Say It Loud, Say it Proud!

  17. Your cabinets look a lot like mine used to. We stripped and distressed them and put a cream color wash on them. Pulling that piece down will definitely open up the space!
    Lovely light fixture in the bathroom! Ugh!
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Is your life a roller coaster ride?

  18. I’m just LOVING watching your home renovations… I need you to get more done and post more pictures so I can copy… er, gain inspiration! We are buying our first house and we close within the next few weeks. We are spending about a month doing some repairs/renovations before moving in, and I’m feeling just a tad overwhelmed about all of the options/choices re: paint colors, flooring etc. It’s a wonderful overwhelm to be feeling though. So exciting for you!

  19. Lovely bank of windows there. Do-it-yourself flooring & dismantling — even with the extra set of little hands. Impressive Doug!

  20. Love, love, love the first picture with the little “helper”.
    Good luck with the reno – you’re brave – and lucky to have qualified help! Reminds me of the ad for handy- man service:
    ” wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone who could paint, plaster, do electrical, plumbing and carpentry? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if that someone was you husband?”
    deb´s last post…A Couple of Quick Projects

  21. Oh my, everything is all coming together, so quickly. Good to have it as a family affair too x
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…They Don’t Sell Happy At The Store

  22. Wow, scalloping in the bathroom and kitchen! That’s crazy talk.

    Can’t believe how big Tom is, and how fast you’re getting work done on your house. More pictures please! :)
    Jessicah´s last post…my little artist

  23. I love those windows in the first picture. Can’t wait to see the final results.
    Meghan´s last post…Gone Campin’

  24. Your home has lots of character. The more pictures you post, the more I love it!

  25. what an exciting time for you and your family! will be fun to see your place transform. :)

  26. Oh I love knocking down big cabinets that are right in your face! You might lose a little space for storage, but the roomy feeling is so worth it!

    Jenna´s last post…Sitter Circles Review

  27. That looks like SO much work. Can’t wait to see the finished product!
    Anna´s last post…Two Under 2: Coming Up Soon!

  28. that reminds me of my home remodel… but ours was for just a small condo. Its home now and that’s whats nice.

    Can’t wait to see how things look once you are all settled in.
    south County Girl´s last post…An Unexpected charge on my credit card…

  29. I love the way the white paint transformed the bathroom. And you will never regret taking down those kitchen cabinets!
    Tanya´s last post…Homemade mixes to the rescue

  30. Wow again! Even the cabinets are going! I cannot wait to see what goes in their place. I am living vicariously through your home improvements right now.
    Megan@declutterdaily´s last post…Day 203 – Wordless Wednesday

  31. My eyes are playing tricks on me: when I scrolled from the picture of the bathroom vanity down to the upper kitchen cabinets being removed, it looked like the cabinets were sliding down into his arms! Try it and see!

    I’ve been reading your blog for months, but haven’t posted until now. I appreciate your minimalist style, and really look forward to looking at your beautiful photography. Thanks for sharing!


  32. Yeah, I never have my camera around for the “during” shots. I haven’t checked in for a while so this is the first post I am seeing on what seems to be a new house. Can’t wait to dig deeper and find out what has been going on in your neck of the woods. We just got through the main part of a reno. It’s tough work but so worth it. Enjoy.