We are finally finished! After a whirlwind renovation, we put our fixer upper on the market and moved into our new dream home...just in time to be quarantined! But we didn't mind it all that much at first. It allowed us to unplug for a little while and focus on settling into our new place. After the draining process of home-selling/buying/moving it was wonderful to finally be able to take a breath.

For months, we had been tossing around different options...should we do the big, whole-house reno, which meant an addition and moving walls? Do we start fresh with a new build? Or should we do a more modest fix-up and buy a new, larger house hopefully with property? We decided to do a smaller reno with the goal of selling it quickly and turning a profit to put toward our next house. I mean, if the Scott brothers can do it, we can too!

So we embarked on our project, and with the help of friends and family, we finished in a little over a month. We had previously tackled some projects over the years, but the main areas (kitchen, baths, and flooring) were still needing attention. This was the third house my husband and I have renovated since we've been married. It's exhausting and really difficult at times especially when you're living in a construction zone. But it's kind of like childbirth...when it's over you forget the pain and you're ready to do it all over again! The truth is, we really do enjoy it. Some people travel, some people golf...we renovate. There's nothing quite as satisfying as seeing a space become completely transformed and knowing that you did that.

Now we just had to wait for the right house to come along. We looked at so many properties and we were starting to get discouraged. After what felt like forever, we finally found the perfect (and unexpected) beautiful country house on acreage and a lake. So we put our house on the market and it sold in a week!

Our new home mostly needs some cosmetic updates to make it our own...and of course, the kitchen will need an update. But much to my husband's delight, no walls will move! We've done some things so far--replaced lighting fixtures, painted, put up new door casings and baseboards, and installed a shiplap wall. Honestly, we're in love with it and still can't quite believe we live here. It's true that the best things in life come along when you're least expecting them, and usually after you've totally given up.

In the months ahead I'll share some behind the scenes pics of our progress. But in the meantime, here are a few before and after shots of our last house.

House Exterior - Melissa Colson

The house would technically be considered a French Tudor. Most people are familiar with English Tudor homes, but Northern France was also known for this style. The main difference is lovely, bold colors instead of the more traditional brown and cream. Obviously, the more colorful route appealed to me! So we painted the siding and brick a light, warm gray, and used a deep cerulean blue to accent the neutrals.

Exterior Before and After - Melissa Colson

The 1970's dark, red brick definitely had to go. I white-washed the brick and designed custom built-ins for either side of the fireplace along with a mantle with hidden cord storage for electronics. Adding recessed lighting and mirrored backs on the cabinetry flooded the room with light. It's important to light the corners of a room, as it expands the space and in turn it feels much larger.

We kept things simple in the kitchen. I wanted to go light and bright to emphasize higher ceilings, so we extended the white color from the cabinets onto the walls. 

Before and After Kitchen - Melissa Colson

I probably had the most fun designing the kids' rooms. They were the first spaces we updated after we moved in. I painted a mural for each of them, along with some custom art pieces.

Well thanks for coming along on our journey! I'd love to hear about your home reno projects. Leave us a comment below and be sure to sign up for our list to receive updates and special offers.


photos © Lauren Womble



May 27, 2020 — Melissa Colson


Paul Ruda

Paul Ruda said:

You did an amazing job transforming the home. It is unrecognizable from where you began. I especially loved the kids’ craft area/work space. You have a real eye for envisioning the potential of a space!

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