Updated house tour with before and afters

 Before you start the tour let me tell you a little secret.  My whole house never looks like this for more then 24 hours.  3 little boys, 2 dogs and a hubby that works from home it’s more like piles of laundry, dishes in the sink, dusty railings, beds not made dirty floors, screaming kids AND a whole lot of LOVE and FUN!

When we purchased our home 11+ years ago it was builder grade with lots of carpet, tile and beige.  We have loved making the house more functional as our family grew.


One of our first projects was turning three small rooms (living, dining, family) into one large great room by knocking down a wall. This created a space that was 100% usable and functional which was so important for us, now the kids can run and be wild, not that I love that but lets face it, that’s what kids do.


Rustic elegant house tour with lots of DIY and before and afters. No more Builder grade .


(oldest trying to be a baby when new baby came)

before 1
We turned the fireplace around so it became the focal point of our home, it originally was in the corner of our family room. You can see more pictures here.

Christmas House Tour

Our old living room became our dinning room and we opened up the bottom of the staircase and turned it into a small wine cellar.


I love to decorate for each season

before 2



I guess since I am showing you the front of the home I should show you the entrance.


Christmas House Tour

One of our furry friends will most likely always be the first to greet you.


The Kitchen renovation was one of our biggest accomplishments. . It took us about 5 years to complete but we are so proud of all our hard work. Sadly, we will be tearing down the whole kitchen in the next month due to mold. We had a slow leak that we were not aware of, everything is a loss and insurance won’t cover it, it truly is heartbreaking.


What we started with

I still remember this day like it was yesterday, teaching my little ones to bake.


You can find all the details below

How to add height to your cabinets

How to add glass to a wood cabinet


Our stairs were given an update with wood and all the nasty carpet came out.  We sanded the oak railing and stained it with a rich dark stain, you read all about it here.
before 8

With three boys we were quickly running our of space. We converted part of the garage into a Craft/mud/play room which has come in very handy.


We recently completed adding wood floors to our Master Bedroom, after 12 years I don’t want to know what was lurking below the carpet, yuck.  I updated the paint with a lighter shade and added sheer curtains for a beachy feel.

update a bathroom on a budget


This is the before, so dark.

The last few months we have been working hard at updating our bathroom by painting the cabinets, updating the backsplash, trimming out the mirrors and painting the walls. We are almost finished, stay tuned!


The before

Back in July of 2011 a candle burned our Guest Bathroom down, we were very fortunate that was the only loss, everyone was safe and we were able to rebuild.

We have had a lot of unexpected things happen to our home like this huge AC leak we walked home to on a hot summer day.  Instead of dwelling on the negative we pick up the pieces and move on, besides it usually turns into a new type of project for us.

before 7 before 6


The beginning of 2012 I tackled the Loft by repainting the desk and bookshelves and making it more of a hangout for the boys.

Before, I know right?

We have lots of family that stays with us on a regular basis so it was important to have our Guest room as comfortable as possible for them.  Recently we replaced the floors with wood, prior to that we had carpet.


Two of our boys share a room and we are in the process of updating our oldest room.


We had lots of fun transforming the boys bathroom into a beachy escape for them.


The before

Living in San Diego we are blessed to have wonderful weather so we have created a space where we can relax and entertain in our back yard.


I think that completes the tour, thank you so much for stopping in.

Ray and Kristin


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  1. Thank you for the great tour and for showing the befores. You guys have worked hard to make your home so fabulous. Not to mention that you have impeccable taste.

  2. Amazing, both of you. Your home is just beautiful and most definitely are reflection of the family that lives there. I applaud you for working through each of the trials…more than your fair share! Can’t wait to see what you two have planned for the kitchen remodel. I know you are anxious to get it done. How is that sweet boy of yours doing, by the way? They are all so precious.

    1. Thanks Lauren it was fun looking back on all the pictures 🙂 Grayson is doing great, We no longer go to the cardioligist every month and are scheduled for his next heart echo in 5 months. Thank you so much for asking. XO

  3. Ray and Kristin, I love your home and always have since the first time I stumbled upon your blog. I was hooked by your beautiful rooms and that intangible FEEL that your home has – of being a place of love and happiness, a place where a real family lives and real life happens, a warm and pretty backdrop for raising a family. Thanks for sharing it all over the years, I loved taking the tour today and seeing your boys as babies…..they were and are so CUTE!!

  4. Kristin I love what you’ve done to your home. It’s been so fun to watch you transform it over the years and what I love most is what you shared in the beginning of this post. Thanks for being so real. I believe a house becomes a lovely home when it’s filled with kids and pets and lots of fun and love which usually includes messes. You guys are the cutest family!

  5. Your home is really gorgeous. Kristin and Ray, you have done such a beautiful job. It is a true labor of love. Your home has a very welcoming feel to it, inside and out, very relaxing and comfortable. I love your calming color scheme. Your outdoor patio is lovely….your own special retreat. What a beautiful family you have.

  6. Thanks for taking me on a tour of your lovely home. I love the changes you have made. Some of your “before” pictures look just like my sister’s home and she also lives in San Diego. I think the name of her development is Fleur something or other.
    I know how long this kind of post takes. I have been working on a tour for my blog too and I found your tour very inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. I always enjoy seeing photos of your home. It’s such a beautiful place. I’m not a drinker but I’ve always been intrigued by wine cellars and would love it if you would post some photos of the inside of it and do a blog on that.

  8. Omg! I have your fireplace pinned from Pinterest! We love it. We are in the planning process of putting one in ourselves. I would like to know the name of the rock you used and how deep is your mantle? Also where did you purchase your mantle? Is your tv hanging on the rock? You have a beautiful home…. Love your choices!

  9. Ummm…wow. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!! You guys have put a lot of love into your home and it really shows. Love it. It really is beautiful.

  10. I adore your home! You are so talented!
    It’s so unfortunate about your kitchen, but now that the cabinets etc are finished you should be able to safely remove them and hopefully rebuilding your kitchen again won’t take very long at all.

  11. Kristin ~ Your home is so lovely. You and your hubby have done beautiful work! Hope Grayson is doing extremely well!!

  12. Kristin, you and Ray have done amazing things to make this house a beautiful home. What vision and creativity you two have. Every room looks gorgeous. Your vision for taking out the wall and opening up your living space is fantastic. Love the way you lightened everything up. Thanks for sharing.

  13. All I can say is, YOU ARE MY HERO!!! What an amazing home, and you have done a fabulous job making it that way! So so beautiful, it gives me hope that maybe someday…..I am sorry to hear about your kitchen, I hope things work out with that!

  14. I love everything you’ve done in your house. Taking down the wall really opened up the space. Amazing! Cannot believe insurance is not covering the kitchen. I’m so sorry. That just sucks! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home. Have a pretty week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  15. I love seeing more of your stunning home, Kristin and didn’t realize exactly how much you all have done! I’m still so sorry that your insurance won’t cover your kitchen reno, but, I’m sure you all will make it look incredible!

  16. You have a beautiful home Kristin! I have loved watching it evolve. So very sorry about the kitchen. Can’t wait to see what you create in there next.

  17. Hi Kristen. I love your beautiful home and especially your fireplace. I have one question…Where did you put all of your electronics for the T.V. on the fireplace? Cable box, dvd player, etc.? I would love to do the same, but I am trying to figure out where to store that without a lg. cabinet or built-in.

    1. Hi Heather, thanks for you sweet note. We actually moved our fireplace when we knocked our wall down which gave us access to the ceiling. We had a built out made on the opposite side of the room (kind of like a armoire) and it houses all of our electronics. While the ceiling was exposed we were able to run all of the cables from one side of the room to the other and then drywall it in. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

  18. Hello! BEAUTIFUL updates!!! I have a question, do you remember what the name of the rock you used for the fireplace was? I really like it!


  19. Thank you for your most generous sharing…Your home has been one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen…. Makes me want to dare to dream of one day of attaining a small portion of your design skill in my very small home…! I love your design taste! I have just run out of time and health to do it myself…..I am so happy you were able to catch and illiminate your mold problem….I suffer from mold poisoning…and have biotoxin illness from the same…Issues you had also in my kitchen… I wish you so many blessings…in your home.. and a wealth of health! Again your home is so beautiful…and warm….

    karen warvi

  20. Kristin,

    You have a beautiful home! I love how your entries contain both your name and your husband’s name. That says a lot about your relationship – a true partnership.

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