I can hardly believe it’s been a year since we started our exterior renovation.. starting with painting our house white.

I have had so many overwhelming moments this summer of days I hoped we’d have here last year.  It’s such a neat thing to watch an idea come to life, and for me, this is especially fulfilling in house projects because it enhances the way we live.

This year’s before and after feels a lot more “finished” than our first post last year.  Along with adding shutters, we took out some overgrown bushes in the front, which opened it up a lot.  I’m hoping by next spring we have even more pretty color lining our front flower beds… I’m a learning flower gardener, so cross your fingers for me!

We’ve come a long way!

Let me tell you something funny about both of the homes we’ve bought… when we first brought our friends and families through them.. their reactions were a bit.. underwhelming. Ha! Our first house was especially hard to have a vision for – and our second home, just didn’t quite have the “magic” we had come to love about our first house.  We heard, “It’s different than I was expecting..” and “I can’t really imagine ‘The Millers’ living here..” and “I’m excited to see what you do with it, because I can’t see it!” I guess I spoke for myself when I saw the immediate potential in the house, I thought it had darling bones, and was begging to be brought to life.

Love where you live

I used those comments to add fuel to the vision and the dream.  Now I feel our house absolutely suits “us Millers” in a sense of style + vibe, it’s more welcoming now than before, and often starts topics of conversations for us between neighbors and other home renovators online – much like fixing up our last house did.  I LOVE that.  Mr. Miller always tells me when people make comments on the house, “My wife will sure love to hear that!” he says.  I do.  I love that we’ve cleaned up our little corner of the neighborhood (and the world) in a positive way.  I love adding to the story of a home.  That kind of thing means something to me.

Paint & Shutters

The obvious favorite may be the white paint (Sherwin Williams – Alabaster White), but for me it’s the board and batten shutters (Sherwin Williams – Pavestone Grey).  We built those as a family, and that has been one of my favorite memories in this house.  We used a pinterest tutorial on board and batten shutters, Brady built them, me and the girls sanded and painted them.  It took us a month of Saturdays, and it was the BEST feeling when all 18 were built and hung!

Fixer Upper Life

I’ll have to tell you the story behind our not-so-DIY patio we DIY’d.. that’s a story for another day, though. 😉 Just know that we Millers have very little limits when it comes to house projects.  Other than getting in a little over our head sometimes, I love the way that the “fixer upper” life has shaped our lifestyle.  We may not have a farm (yet), but we’ve learned a lot about the payoff of hard work (and team work) by fixing these homes of ours up.  Wouldn’t trade the experience for all the shiny new houses in the world. 😉

If you’re in the thick of saw dust and rinsing out dishes with the hose (we can’t be the only ones who have lived through a kitchen reno!) I hope this post serves as a little nudge toward the finish line.  It IS worth the mess (and sometimes marital arguments.. amiright?).

What about you? Do house projects fill you to the top, or get hives at the thought?   Either way, I get it!