A Private Upstairs (Before) Tour.

If you’re just coming to us from our downstairs tour, you’ll remember we’re now standing in our entryway.

Not many people get to come upstairs in our house, but today is your lucky day. (Well, keep in mind that none of our stuff is actually showing in these pics yet…)

entryway of view upstairs
If you haven’t had a chance yet, a (before) tour of our downstairs can be found HERE!

Wanna come upstairs? That black banister is beckoning you on…

If you’ll all look up with me before we ascend the staircase, you’ll notice two men and a baby discussing floors, while a set of shockingly painted linen cabinets looks on.

view up the stairs
A close-up of those frightening cabinets – click if you dare!

As you glance down, you can see the entryway from whence you came.

view from downstairs to entryway
A (before) tour of our downstairs!


Turning to the left, you’ll find the master bedroom.

Master bedroom with bed nightstands and sitting area
A complete list of our master bedroom: layout, design, and decor ideas!

A master sitting area with fireplace wasn’t on our list of things we wanted in a house, but we’ll take it if they’re throwing it in for free.

master bedroom sitting area
We made our master bedroom sitting area into a sanctuary!

Notice the railing between the bedroom and the fireplace sitting area (which the prior owners are using as a clothing rack). I point that out only because we don’t plan to leave that railing there for long, so say your goodbyes now.

We don’t plan to use this fireplace sitting area as a home office, that’s for sure. We need to do some work on the fireplace, but a big cozy couch for in here might be in the works.

master bedroom fireplace and cabinets
Painted fireplace – the after!

Turn yourself to the left, and you’ll get a view back to the bedroom—and you may even spot Matt walking into the master bathroom with a Baby Bjorn strapped to him. (And a sleeping baby inside.)

I wanted to take you in there next anyway, so it’s like he sensed that and is leading the way.

master bedroom
It’s hard for me to believe this is the same room as now. We made it SO MUCH BETTER!

Please note: Those two mirrored sliding doors are to a closet, and there will be another closet in the bathroom. (You’ll find that information useful at a later date, so just a heads up.)


Walking through the poorly constructed curved archway into the bathroom, you’ll spot the vanity—and possibly a sleep-deprived new mother snapping quick pics on her iPhone so that she can make a list of “Rip Out Priorities” when she gets back to her apartment.

master bathroom vanity
The “after” including our new beautiful and custom vanity!

You know, this bathroom was the first major project we thought we’d tackle. We both agreed it would be a great idea to focus first on getting the master bedroom and master bathroom to be more “sanctuary-like” before any other projects. We figured, even if the rest of the house is a wreck, we can come in here, shut the doors, and have it be calm and beautiful.

master bathroom tub
That pink tiled bathtub did not stay – see what we replaced it with!

Because right now, in these photos, it is not beautiful.

Unless you are a fan of dirty pink tile and narrow showers.

master bathroom shower and tub
master bathroom vanity and tub
master bathroom vanity

If you open the door above, to the left of the vanity, you’ll find Closet #2 on our tour.

I can’t even talk about the clutter here. My brain is too scrambled by it. Don’t worry, brain. It won’t be like this for long.

If you back out of this space quickly (I don’t blame you because I’m right behind you) and back out to the landing, you’ll find one of the other two bedrooms upstairs.


bedroom with bed dresser and nightstand

I hate to tell you this, but if you turn around, there’s another messy closet and IT HAS NO DOORS.

bedroom closet
Our complete closet design guide & build plans!

Everyone pauses to let Jess scribble this down on her priority list of issues to address with Matt.


The door to the left leads you to a Jack-and-Jill bath.

bathroom vanity

And behind you, you’ll find a door to a separate room with a bath tub, shower, and toilet.

That tile starting to look familiar to you too? Yep. We’re on the same page here, friend.

bathroom shower


The other bedroom sharing the Jack-and-Jill bathroom is here…

bedroom with bed and nightstand

Complete with exposed, no-door closets. (The curtains aren’t fooling me. Are they fooling you? No, you can’t be fooled either.)

bedroom closet
Don’t worry, we didn’t leave this closet doorless and non-functional!

Let’s move quickly before the whole thing collapses, and try to avert our eyes from that hanging chandelier in the entryway.

bedroom with dresser

Yes, that’s the entryway again. Let’s move along to our final room.

view downstairs of entryway
Another view of our downstairs – the full tour can be found HERE!


Turning left, at the end of the hallway is the bonus room, which here looks quite sunny and bright:

bonus room with couch and ping pong table

However, on Inspection Day we can see that the prior owners kept the blinds closed and it really makes it more like a cave. You can decide whether you like caves or not.

bonus room with tv and ping pong table
We made this into our homeschool room with the help of some furniture from Ikea!

At this time, I had no idea what to do with this huge room. We were just two people who had just had a baby, and it seemed like so much space.

I did, however, start to envision it as a dropping ground on moving day. You know, the room you tell everyone to “just drop it in there” when you don’t know where to put something?

And we had a LOT of furniture and boxes in storage from our first house, so I knew this room had the potential to fill quickly.

bonus room with couch and tv

➜ Want to tour the backyard? (That’s what sold us on this house!)

➜ Tour the downstairs.

➜ All house updates we’ve made are on our current house page!

➜ A final house tour of our California home before we sold it!

➜ All of our plans and guides!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Claire Sticht

    Hi, I’m pouring over all your DIY projects and just love your ideas and helpful hints. We are hoping to start renovating the kitchen next year, and one of my “bugbears” is the pantry. Do you have some plans to renovate a small-ish pantry? Hoping to add drawers, shelves and just make it more user friendly and efficient (and get the “stuff” off the floor that just gets thrown in there sometimes.

    Thanks for all your awesome ideas!

    1. Jess

      You’re welcome, Claire! Thank you for the kind words. We didn’t renovate our pantry but I did create a number of kitchen resources (and others) HERE!

      – Jess

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