First House Vs. Current House

Last Friday on this post we got this comment and thought it sounded like a good time: “I love your videos and it’s crazy to see the difference in YHL style from the first house to this house! If you wanted to do a side-by-side of rooms past and present, I wouldn’t hate it :)” – Sarah

I decided I wouldn’t hate it either. So here we go. It’s a battle to the death. First house vs. current house. Cue the dramatic music and picture me in a Gladiator outfit. Of course it’s kind of an unfair fight since we’ve been in this house for eight months and it took us four and a half years to finish our first one (and we definitely expect this one to take us at least that long since it’s bigger and we have crazier plans). So think of this as finished vs. in-progress (aka: cut the current house a little slack). Oh and we stole most of the current house pics from our House Tour page, hence the big “progress” label on the bottom. Anyway, it’s on:

The Front Yard, First House:

The Front Yard, Current House:

Winner: The first house. That’s an easy one. It took us over four years to upgrade it from this disaster, and we still need at least three more years on our current one, since from other angles it looks like this unfortunate mess.

The Front Porch, First House:

The Front Porch, Current House:

Winner: The first house. We actually would give the front door win to our second house (we loved the red but we lurrrve the yellow). But we still have big plans for boxing out the porch columns and staining the concrete and doing about a million other things at our new digs – and the hanging ferns and tan-and-cream stripes on the first house’s porch were a few of our favorite things.

The Living Room, First House:

The Living Room, Current House:

Winner: Our current house. This might be a controversial choice since our current living room is nowhere near done (and still looks like a hot mess from certain angles), but we never really used our formal living room in the first house (we had a den for TV watching and chillaxing). So we feel tons more at home in the current living room where we can sink into our giant sofa, play on the cushy rug with the bean, and even eat by the big window at the pedestal table in the back (sometimes while watching TV, we’ll admit it).

The Kitchen, First House:

The Kitchen, Current House:

Winner: Is it lame to say it’s a tie? The first house’s kitchen made our hearts go pitter patter when it came to the granite counter, shiny white cabinets, and the stainless steel appliances… but it was tiny. The new kitchen, although extremely early on in our big makeover plan, is nice and spacious, with a fireplace and room for an eat-in area. And once we knock a huge opening to the dining room, get new appliances, paint the cabinets, and upgrade our old table for something built-in, we think the current kitchen will take the win, hands down. So I guess it’s a tie just because the last one was full of loveliness but pretty small, and this one is full of space to spread out and some serious promise.

The Hallway, First House:

The Hallway, Current House:

Winner: Current house. We’re so thankful to have a nice wide, light-filled hallway. And the giant family gallery of frames makes us feel all warm and fuzzy.

The Spare Bedroom, First House:

The Spare Bedroom, Second House:

Winner: The first house. Duh. Although this picture is stolen from an old post about how messy the playroom was before my mom helped me clean it, once again it looks almost this ca-razy. So yeah, the clean little room with a daybed and a desk was a lot less hive-inducing.

The Nursery (Formerly The Third Bedroom), First House:

The Nursery, Current House:

Winner: Current house. But it was a hard call. We loved the room that we took Clara home from the hospital to so much. It just was such a sentimental space. But the bigger closet in the current room (which Clara now uses as a reading nook) gives her current room the edge.

The Master Bedroom, First House:

The Master Bedroom, Current House:

Winner: Current house. Even though it’s only about 20% done, sleeping under that big chandelier which reflects perfectly in the mirror that we hung above the sink makes us geeky-giddy. And of course having a walk-in closet and a master bathroom that’s actually connected is a huge step up. Although the built-ins that we created with doorless Ikea wardrobes to flank the bed in our first house (and provide some much needed storage) always have a special place in our hearts.

The Master Bathroom (located in the hall), First House:

The Master Bathroom (actually attached to our bedroom this time), Current House:

Winner: First house. By a mile. We loved that complete bathroom gut job more than words can say. And we haven’t really touched our new one. But we can’t wait to update things (check out that bisque toilet). We’ll probably love this one more someday, since it’s attached and doesn’t have to be shared by everyone in the house.

The Office/Guest Bedroom/Playroom, First House:

 The Office & Guest Bedroom (which are now separate rooms), Current House:

Winner: Current house. The office in our first house was such a great multi-tasking space, but it was teeny and it made us feel a little cramped when we were all in there (just look at how small the desk that used to take up a whole wall looks in the new office pic to see what we mean). And when guests came to town it was hard to do blog stuff (which definitely doesn’t stop on nights and weekends) since the office was occupied by family & friends. So although our first home’s office/playroom/guest room was such a fun space, it’s a lot more functional to have our own cheerful guest room (with its own attached bath) for guests. Although we wholeheartedly admit that our current office situation “ain’t got no alibi, it’s uggggly (hey, hey) it’s ugly.”

The Den, First House:

Winner: The first house. 1) Because our current house doesn’t have a den, and 2) Because our first house’s den was one of our favorite rooms ever – so cozy.  Although the room that we call “the living room” in our current house could have been a den (but instead we opted to turn what used to be a formal living room into a spacious dining room to accommodate our huge family who couldn’t squeeze into the dining room behind it, which we made into the office). We decided that one huge casual room for TV, reading, playing, & hanging out was more than enough, so we didn’t need a second formal living space in the front (especially because we didn’t use the first house’s formal living room much at all).

Dining Room, Current House:

Winner: Current house. 1) Because those curtains are my babies and we’re enamored with the dark teal color that we painted on the back of the built-ins, and 2) Because our first house didn’t even have a dining room (it just had a dining nook in the corner of the living room). Well, originally it had a small dining room off of the other side of the kitchen but we closed off that doorway to turn it into a third bedroom which later became the nursery since we needed that space far more. It’s all much more clearly explained here.

The Laundry Area, First House:

Laundry Area, Current House:

Winner: The current house. We love our new laundry space. Even though it’s narrow and we don’t have a surface for folding, it just feels happier. Plus we don’t have to fight all of our normal human urges to resist clutterering up a big long counter near the door like we did in our first house (it was always full of incoming or outbound stuff). And it’s more fun to fold laundry in front of the TV on the sofa in the living room anyway.

The Hall Bathroom, First House:

Hall Bathroom, Current House:

Winner: First house? The stripes and the fun glass chandelier were so charming. And we loved the pedestal sink and the pocket door too. But the new hall bath isn’t just a toilet – there’s a tub in there, which is where Clara takes all of her baths. So maybe the current house wins for function but the first house wins for sweetness? Either way, that blank slate of a bathroom in the current house is begging for some love. But we’ll count this as a point for the first house until we tackle the new one, since that was our first instinct.

The Sunroom, First House:

The Sunroom, Current House:

Winner: First house, all the way. We have about ten million things on the list for the current one though, so maybe in four years it’ll give our first one a run for its money…

The Patio, First House:

The Patio, Current House:

Winner: Current house. Just because it’s more spacious and cozy/shaded. But most of all because we did it ourselves (we hired out the first house’s patio since we were three weeks away from our backyard wedding and worried that if we tried to DIY it we’d get married next to a half-finished mud pit).

The Basement, First House:

The Basement, Current House:

Winner: First house. Because we’ve obviously spent a little more time on the first one. Haha. But you never know what we’ll do down there with our current one someday…

The Backyard, First House:

The Backyard, Current House:

Winner: First house. We still miss that lovely flat grassy area surrounded by pretty woods. Someday we’ll get there though (after lots of transplanting, to hopefully make a little grassy spot for Clara and Burger to romp).

So there you have it. I think the final tally is 9 to 8 (with our first house in the lead). But I guess in fairness we should revisit this whole comparison thing when some of the spaces in the new house have actually been updated a bit more. That was a really fun little comparison though, Sarah. Thanks for the suggestion. It’s interesting to see how our style is gradually evolving, although we always have a soft spot for the tone-on-tone look of our first baby- er, house. What do you guys think? Have you ever looked at photos of your current house next to photos of a previous house to compare what you liked or disliked about them? Isn’t it funny how a new house is a chance to completely reinvent yourself, yet you’re usually working with a lot of existing furniture, so it still has “glances” of your first style going on? The evolution is definitely all part of the fun.

Psst- Check out a full source list for where we got nearly every last item (and what paint colors we used) in our first house here (we’re still working on one for our current house).


  1. says

    This was such a fun idea! It’s refreshing to see your basement unfinished – it makes me feel a little less ashamed of the work I still have to do in my basement back room! Plus whatever you guys do with it will be a huge inspiration!

  2. says

    Love the side by side! It’s funny how much things change each time you move. In fact, we are moving this weekend (I really should be packing right now!) and I already have a list of things I want to change. I just posted some of our new paint colors here. I think I’m most excited about changing our 20 month olds “nursery” into a Piratey “Bigger Boy” Room. :)

  3. Jessica says

    This post was so fun! I disagree on two room winners, however….lol! I loved Clara’s first nursery most, but I think that’s because I’m a sucker for that wall color. Annnnnndddd…..I love the new house’s sunroom more! So much potential with those sky-high ceilings….

    still the same final score, ultimately….haha!

  4. tara says

    What happened to the 2nd horse print? Either a.) the pic of the master bedroom where it faces the sink is old, or b.) I missed a post about why you took it down/moved it/didn’t love it anymore.

    Love the side by side comparison:) both houses are amazing and I love watching your style change and grow!

  5. says

    Great idea for a post! And I loved the trip down memory lane to see the old house pictures. Had totally forgotten about the shelves in your old office. Very cool!

  6. Jeanine says

    I love this post! It’s hard to pick a favorite between each of the rooms. I think both houses have such great elements. The rooms in both houses are all great in their own ways. It’s awesome to look back at all the old pictures though. I forgot what your old den looked like! I do enjoy the transition you’ve made from tone-on-tone to bold and colorful. I wonder what house #3 will hold for you two!!!! haha

  7. Meagan says

    I am still crazy about your old house. It definitely has the warm cozy homey feel that I love. The new house is great…don’t get me wrong…the frame hallway gets me every time. I just have a soft spot for the old house. But I am totally dying to see how the new house comes along. (p.s. the refinished chair is to die for. so gorgeous. and what a steal!)

  8. Zoë says

    I love your first house because it was so cute and cozy and you can see the love that was poured into it. And I love your home (do you see what I’ve done there – you had a house which was your home when you lived there, and now your new house is your home) because of the layout, the colors, the creativity and again the love that you are putting into it.

    We are on our second house. Our first house was definitely prettier on the outside and had a great master bedroom. It was also the house we brought our firstborn home to so I love it just for that fact alone. But it had a layout that would not work with our family of five, so our now home wins the contest. It probably doesn’t help that my memories of our first home are tainted by the debacle that was closing day. We had moved out a couple of weeks before we closed because my husband was already at his new job which was 3 hours away, but we planned to go back a few hours before closing so we could finish cleaning. The buyer asked if she could leave a few things in the shed, and a couple of items in the house. In our naivety, we agreed. When we arrived on closing day to clean house, we discovered a strange truck in our driveway, and a strange man in our house (it was still ours because we hadn’t closed yet – we could have walked away at any time). The buyer’s agent had given her a key to the house (the one from the lockbox) which she had then turned over to the guy who was going to put in hardwood floors. Our living room no longer had carpet and there was a bunch of junk in every room, including the nursery. I had wanted to go back to the house and say goodbye and have a little cry over the fact that this was the home where we became parents (I was 3.5 months pregnant at the time too). That clearly didn’t happen. I was on the verge of tears for different reasons. My husband was so pissed he complained to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission and in her written explanation, the buyer’s agent had the gall to complain that we left the house in a mess!!!!! Grrrrr, we went back to clean it up and it was trashed by the buyer before it was even hers!! Can you tell I’m still bitter over it 4 years later? But I did love that house. It was a happy home.

  9. says

    Love this post! Loved the side by side comparison. It’s neat to see what elements you’ve stuck with(light & bright, clean lines) even though this house has a different vibe to it. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Katherine says

    Loved this post!! I almost said “Hey!” out loud (I’m at work, oops!) when I looked at one of the patio pics. My daughter Noelle just got that awesome Vespa-like rocker for her birthday! Hope Clara likes it as much as Noelle does! Thanks for the cool breakdown!