The Creative Home | House On Hilltop | The “Befores”

Happy Thursday!

We’ve now been in our new home for 3 weeks, and it’s finally starting to look like a house instead of a pile of boxes in every room! We have not yet painted any walls, but I have Annie Sloan® painted two candlesticks, an advent candle holder, a lamp and an end table. We’re really starting to think about what we want to do in each room both long term and short term, and we’re starting to feel like we’re “home” instead of “in our new house”.


{My Annie Sloan-ed Candlesticks}

I figured before I start sharing DIYs and various rooms as I get them finished, I’d give y’all a before set of photos and some ideas we have to “set the stage” so to speak. (Note: most of the “before” photos came from the Zillow listing, where we first saw the house).

With that being said, welcome to our new home! Our #houseonhilltop is a traditional ranch built in 1964 in what is now a mature neighborhood near Anderson University. We are thrilled to be here! Shout out to our amazing realtor, Wes Jones, who not only did a phenomenal job negotiating for us, he also helped us stay sane through the buying process! At about 2,700 square feet we have room to spread out, ample storage, and space to grow. The house is 3/2 upstairs and my new office is downstairs in the basement, which you’ll see as we “walk” through the house! Come on in!


Here’s my inspiration board (a.k.a. ideas and future plans) for our front porch:


Just inside the front door, there is a small entry hall.



{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here it is after our first 3 weeks…



I love how the palmetto asks, “Which way do you want to go?”

To the left of the entry is the dining room…



{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here it is after our first 3 weeks…


And here is my “dining room inspiration”…


Through the dining room, we can enter the kitchen. The kitchen will probably be one of our biggest long term projects. We’d like to eventually replace cabinets, redo floors, possibly remove the peninsula, etc. However, it works for now!



{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here it is after our first 3 weeks…


Here is my kitchen inspiration board:


Through the kitchen, a doorway leads to the “Tiger Den” a.k.a Van’s room :). This room is actually the closest to finished of all of them. I plan to paint the wall behind the couch Clemson orange, and I still need to paint the second end table and coffee table. Van also has an art project in mind for me for the wall behind the couch as well.



{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here it is after our first 3 weeks…


I absolutely LOVE the way the light comes in this room in the afternoon/evening. Here’s my “den inspiration” and also the end table that I’ve already painted.


{Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange and Pure White}


The den leads back to the entry or to the hallway to the bedrooms. The other doorway in the entry hall is to the living room, our “no TV” zone. Haha. I hate to call it a formal living room, because it’s not really “formal”. I love this room already and can totally see myself curling up with a book or napping in here.

It gets great morning light and lends itself to conversation! This room is also where my low country artwork will “live” along with several plants. I can’t wait to get this room painted! The color it’s going to be will make everything in it POP!



{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here it is after our first 3 weeks…


…here is my “living room” inspiration…


As I started arranging where some of my art is going to go last week, I realized that I was putting art from places we’ve traveled in the hallway. I’ll have to take some pictures of that eventually once I get all the pieces I have so far hung on the walls. One of the things I love about the long hallway down the middle of our home is how you can see the door to the charming side staircase off of the kitchen. It’s perfectly framed by other doorways if you stand at the very end of the hallway near the bedrooms.


…and sweet Sully, who is currently recovering from some lady surgery.

(Please ignore the pictures/diplomas on the right wall, I just hung them on nails already on the wall to get them off the floor).

The builders made excellent use of the space between walls and rooms, which was a selling point for us. We have multiple hallway closets on the way to the bedrooms and outside the guest bath. The guest bath is also off the main hallway.



{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here it is after our first 3 weeks…


I still need to scrape the scrapbook stickers off of the mirror, so please put blinders on to them. I plan to keep the yellow and gray color scheme from our previous main bath, but I bought a new shower curtain that has a little splash of teal in it. The new bath accessories (tissue cover, lotion dispenser, etc) that I purchased actually match our every day china. As far as we know, the butter yellow tile is original, and is impressively in GREAT shape as is the white and gray tile in our bathrooms. We are very thankful that there isn’t any avocado green, pepto bismol pink or baby blue china left behind for us. Here’s my “guest/hall bath” inspiration:


One of our guest rooms is currently serving as the catch all for everything not unpacked, so no pics of it yet, but both are pretty good sizes!

Here are the before pictures of those rooms:


{Pics from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here is one of the guest rooms after our first 3 weeks…


Obviously, it needs a lamp on the left side and the pillows need fixing, but you get the gist! Here is my guest room inspiration boards:



Our bedroom is a great size and we are keeping the navy and white color scheme that we started at the old house. We also have an en suite bathroom, but I haven’t taken any pictures of our stuff in it yet, so all I have are the previous owner’s pics…here are the “befores” of our master bedroom and bath:


{Pics from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here are my inspiration boards for the master bedroom and bathroom…


That pretty much sums up the upstairs! Let’s head downstairs…



{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

Here’s my inspiration for both the entry and the stairs:


At the bottom of the stairs, there is a door to the garage and to the right the entry to our little mudroom and a door to the back yard and patio. The laundry room is off of the mudroom as well (that little sliver of a door frame in the bottom left corner of the photo below), and one more door (straight ahead) leads to my new “headquarters” for The Olive Shoe!

Before (Mud Room):


{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

Here’s my mud room inspiration board:


One of the other things we loved about our new abode when we first looked at it was the back of the house and its potential for entertaining and outdoor living space. Here are the back of the house and patio “before” pictures (and you can see the cute little staircase to our kitchen as well in one of these):



{Pics from Zillow/Previous Owner}

Here are my inspiration boards for our patio space and outdoor living details. Van and both love the idea of putting in an outdoor fireplace eventually, and I plan to use the existing plant bed between the driveway and patio for an herb, veggie, and cut flower garden.


But let’s peek back inside for one more minute. Just through the mudroom, you enter The Olive Shoe office! I’ve done a good bit of unpacking, but haven’t taken any pictures yet so I’ll share the “before” pictures of the space and my inspiration board.

Here’s my new office space:


{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}

…and here is my inspiration board…


The basement also has a bathroom as well, so here are those ideas too!



{Pic from Zillow/Previous Owner}


So that’s our space! What would you do first? Any suggestions?

Here’s my paint/accent color plan in a nutshell…


Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!!

Previous Creative Home Tours:

If you have or know of a creative space you’d like to see featured, I’d love to come take a look and even snap a few photos – please email me at and let’s have a chat!

In an ode to one of my previously mentioned old favorites…There’s no place like home!


The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

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