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Our New House: The “Before” Photos

I have to admit, I feel a little sheepish writing this post. At this time of year, all of the other bloggers are giving gorgeous, perfectly styled home tours that are super inspiring and lovely to look at. And I’m over here like, “Come look at my completely empty white box of a house!”

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

But while I may not be able to put together a fall home tour this year, I am pretty excited about finally being able to move into our house, the one we hope will be our forever home. We began our search for a new home at the beginning of 2016, signed paperwork to build a house– the Palermo model with Ryan Homes– in April, broke ground in June, and were able to move in last week, in mid-September.

Right after we got the keys, I shooed the boys away to run some errands so I could take some “before” shots of the house before we moved anything in. I thought I’d share them with you today as kind of a starting point and a frame of reference. I also wanted to talk a little bit about the plans we have for each of the spaces, which are of course subject to change because I seem to change my mind constantly. 🙂

Our New House: The “Before” Photos

Exterior

Let’s start outside…

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

I really love the outside of our home. Donnie and I both knew we wanted a craftsman style exterior, and you know how much I heart gray. 🙂 Also the little lamp post is pretty much my favorite thing ever right now.

As far as the front of the home goes, we don’t have plans to change much. We will need to learn more about plants, though! We have spent the last 7 years in a townhouse where we didn’t do much landscaping or mowing at all, so I feel like I have a lot to learn.

Update: See what the front of the house looks like now!

The back of the house needs some work. Ryan Homes leaves it up to us to build our own deck or patio, so we will be tackling that project next summer.

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

We will also need to clean up the back of the property that leads down to the little orchard of peach trees. (Who knew you could grow peach trees in Pennsylvania?! I didn’t!)

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

I still can’t get over that view!!

So overall, our to do list for the exterior includes:

  • Create some sort of seating area and add decor to the front porch
  • Help the grass grow
  • Beef up the landscaping in the front of the house
  • Create a patio area in the back of the house. (Fire pit? Pergola? Lots of possibilities!)
  • Clean up the landscaping in the back of the house

Update: See what the back of the house looks like now!

Let’s head inside!

Entry

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

We don’t have much of an entry in this house from the front door. There is a little inset behind where the door is that could fit a small console table, so I’m on the hunt for the perfect piece for that space. When you come in the door, you could go down the little hallway to the great room area or head into the dining room.

Dining Room

Let’s go into the dining room for now.

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!
Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

In our townhouse the dining room was part of the main living area, so it’s kind of nice to have an official “room” for it in this house. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already caught a sneak peek of how we set up this space. 😉

Our long term plans for the dining room include:

  • Change out the light fixture
  • Add an area rug
  • Donnie might end up building a custom table for this area– we’ll see!
  • Bring in my grandmother’s hutch and continue to redecorate it constantly 🙂
  • Paint the walls
  • Possibly add some sort of board and batten
  • Hang art
  • Add window treatments

Update: See what the dining room looks like now!

Kitchen

The dining room leads into the kitchen, which is definitely bigger than our little kitchen in the townhouse!

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!
Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!
Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

First, I love how much storage there is! The organizer in me does a little happy dance every time I open the cabinets and see this:

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

Yippee! There is also a decent sized pantry, though the wire shelving is already giving me some trouble (all of my containers keep falling over!), so we will probably change the shelves out for the same IKEA ALGOT shelves (now called BOAXEL) we had in our old pantry.

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

Update: See what the pantry looks like now!

The kitchen is one area we knew from the beginning that we would be making some changes right away. I didn’t love any of the granite options that Ryan Homes offered, and I really liked the quartz that we used when we renovated the kitchen in the townhouse, so we just had the builders put in the basic laminate countertops that came with our house package, and we will be switching to quartz countertops soon.

(Yes, those are laminate in the photos! They can look kind of marble-ish with the right lighting and camera angle sometimes, but in real life you can definitely tell that it is laminate.)

Here is our full wish list for the kitchen:

  • Replace the countertops
  • Put in an undermount sink
  • Upgrade the faucet
  • Tile the backsplash
  • Add pretty hardware
  • Replace the corbels on the island and in the morning room
  • Beef up the trim on the island
  • Install pendant lights over the island
  • Bring in stools for the island
  • Change out the shelves in the pantry
  • Pick some cute area rugs
  • Add a refrigerator (just a little necessity 🙂 )
  • Paint the walls
  • Accessorize!

Update: See what the kitchen looks like now!

Sunroom / Morning Room

Off the kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the house, the morning room:

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

This room has the best views, and I know we’ll be spending tons of time in here! We’ve gone back and forth on the best way to use this room. We’ve seen some people put a dining table in here and use it as a breakfast nook, which is cute. We’re actually thinking that we may do a little seating area in here with chairs, a love seat, and a coffee table so it can be more of a hang out space and can still fit the breakfast function.

In the sunroom we plan to:

  • Add an area rug
  • Create a seating area
  • Add minimal window treatments (so we can block sun when necessary, but still enjoy the view!)
  • Add an overhead light fixture
  • Paint the walls
  • Don’t tell Donnie, but I would really like to plank the vaulted ceiling and add some beams. I am going to have to ease him into that idea, though…

Update: See what the sunroom looks like now!

Living Room

The kitchen also opens up into the “great room” or living room area:

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

Right now it is just a big blank space, so there are tons of possibilities! The furniture arrangement was a little tricky. We had to decide whether to put the TV on the wall between the windows or on the far wall, and we went with the latter option.

My thought was that having the TV on that wall would allow for people in the kitchen– whether it’s me cooking dinner or a group while we’re entertaining– to feel like they were more part of the action. We’ll see how it works out!

That door with the glass panes leads to Donnie’s office, so with this configuration, I think we’ll be able to create the seating area in front of the far wall and still leave a clear walkway to his office.

In the living room we plan to:

  • Create built-ins around the TV
  • Add a big area rug
  • Create a seating area with our existing furniture + some new pieces
  • I’m thinking about going with a round coffee table for the first time– I’m getting daring in my old age, lol.
  • Maybe add some sort of board and batten treatment to the walls
  • Bring in some pretty window treatments
  • Add a hanging light fixture
  • Paint the walls
  • Add art
  • Accessorize!

Update: See what the living room looks like now!

Donnie’s Office

I’ll give a quick peek into Donnie’s office. It is on the small side, but it has great views! And it is certainly an upgrade from his 8′ x 8′ basement office in the townhouse that had spiders and was freezing all the time. 🙂

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!
Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

I’m not going to make a to do list for this room because it is totally Donnie’s domain! He actually has a pretty good eye for design, though, so maybe he’ll let me do a post on it when he gets it the way he wants it… 🙂

Update: See what Donnie’s office looks like now!

If you go back through the great room and hang a right before you get into the kitchen, you’ll enter a little hallway that leads to the front door:

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

Mudroom

You can’t see it in this photo, but on the right side of the hallway are two little rooms, one of which is the mudroom:

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

This is the little room we enter when we come in the house through the garage. That wall is just screaming for a built in bench, a row of hooks to hold bags, and maybe some cubbies! There is a coat closet in this room as well.

The to do list for this room is short. We just want to:

  • Paint
  • Add some built ins
  • Add a rug

Update: See what the mudroom looks like now!

Powder Room

The other little room in this hallway is the powder room. The odd thing about this powder room is that it is in the front of the house, and there is a window that you can easily see into from the porch! Eek! I think my #1 priority in this space is definitely to get a covering for that window!

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

In this room we want to:

  • Add said window treatment
  • Paint
  • Bring in a small rug
  • Add art
  • Eventually change out the light fixture

Update: See what the powder room looks like now!

Whew! That’s the downstairs! Let’s head upstairs…

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

If you look to the right when you get to the top of the steps, you’ll see the boys’ playroom, the laundry room, and the boys’ shared bedroom. (You can’t see their bedroom door in the shot below, but it is to the right of the laundry room beyond the stairs.)

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

We went with hardwood floors throughout the downstairs level, up the steps, and in the hallway, but we put carpet in the bedrooms and bonus room that you’ll see in a minute. This was both for comfort and to save some money. Donnie is totally capable of laying hardwood floors himself, so if we find we want to change some of the flooring upstairs or if the carpeting wears out, we will take on that project sometime down the road.

Playroom

All of the bedrooms are pretty plain and basic right now:

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

This will be the playroom, so just picture toy shelves galore in here! (You may have seen my sneak peek of it on Instagram.) I am excited to finally be able to just close the door and keep most of the toys contained!

This room is low on our priority list in terms of decorating. Right now we just want to create some semblance of organization for the Cs’ toys so they can find them easily, but eventually we would like to:

  • Paint
  • Add a fun light fixture
  • Put in some sort of cool shelving for the boys to display their Lego sets
  • Do some major organization!

Update: See what the playroom looks like now!

Laundry Room

The laundry room is upstairs in this house, and I could not be more thrilled about it! I used to dread carrying the laundry baskets down two floors to the basement in the townhouse, and now this room is so close and convenient!

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

In this room we will…

  • Paint
  • Add some cabinets and/or better shelving
  • Change out the light fixture

Update: See what the laundry room looks like now!

Since the laundry room is right between the boys’ playroom and their bedroom, that means they should be in charge of laundry, right? 😉

Boys’ Bedroom

Since the Cs shared a room in our old house, we decided to start them off in the same room in the new house as well to help make a smooth transition.

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

Their room is definitely one of the first I want to tackle so they will feel at home and comfortable in their new space. They specifically requested “side by side beds” in this room rather than the bunk beds they had in their last room, so that is what we’re planning on doing.

Since they have a dedicated toy room, we don’t need to fit much in this space, basically just the beds, a nightstand and a dresser. The plan is to:

  • Add the requested side by side beds 🙂
  • Steal Donnie’s dresser from our last house and use it in this room
  • Paint the walls
  • Add an overhead light fixture
  • Pick some fun window treatments
  • Put up some cool art
  • Accessorize!

Update: See what the boys’ room looks like now!

Heading down the hallway from this little pod of rooms…

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

Guest Bathroom

The Cs’ bathroom is off to the right, just at the top of the stairs. It is pretty boring and basic, but it gets the job done!

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

This is another room we probably won’t mess with for a while, but when we do we will…

  • Add hardware
  • Paint the walls
  • Change out the light fixture
  • Either frame the existing mirror or change it out for two smaller ones

Update: See what the guest bathroom looks like now!

Guest Bedroom

Just past the stairwell is the guest bedroom, which will inherit some of the furniture from our old master bedroom. My family lives out of town and stays over quite a bit, so I am thrilled to finally have an actual guest room for them to stay in!

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

Plans for this room include:

  • Adding an overhead light fixture
  • Hanging pretty window treatments
  • Painting the walls
  • Buying or DIY-ing a headboard
  • Bringing in decor pieces and accessories

Update: See what the guest bedroom looks like now!

My Office

Only a few rooms left, and the next room is my very favorite! It’s the “bonus room,” a ginormous room over the garage that will become my office!

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!
Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!
Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

This room kind of overwhelms me. It’s big, but it needs to serve multiple functions. Also we left almost all of the storage pieces from my old office in the townhouse for the new owner, so I have approximately zero storage right now. Eek. The possibilities for this room are so exciting to me, though, and I can’t wait to have a chance to work on it.

Here’s what I’d like to include:

  • A desk area
  • A separate craft/work table
  • Some kind of storage cabinets– lots of them!
  • Maybe some pretty built in shelving
  • I would like to have a way to mount a tripod to the ceiling to make it easier to take overhead photos and videos.
  • I need some sort of pretty backdrop, which could end up being the built in shelving, similar to what I had in my last office, or could be something completely different.
  • A cozy chair
  • A girly, sparkly, beautiful overhead light fixture
  • Window treatments
  • Paint

So basically, this room will need to do A LOT, but I’m excited to see how it comes together!

Update: See what my office looks like now!

Main Bedroom

And finally, our bedroom!

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!
Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

I have been falling in love with white bedrooms lately, so I have no doubt that this one will be light and bright. We finally have room for a king-sized bed and are so excited about it!

We plan to:

  • Bring in a new bed and nightstands
  • Add a pretty chandelier
  • Paint
  • Add pretty window treatments
  • Create a little sitting area if we have enough space

Update: See what the main bedroom looks like now!

Main Bathroom

Our main bathroom is also pretty basic and is not high on the priority list to change any time soon.

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

We will eventually…

  • Paint
  • Add hardware to the vanity
  • Change out the big single mirror for two smaller ones

Update: See what the main bathroom looks like now!

Main Closet

I do have big plans for the main closet, though, and I’d like to tackle it sooner rather than later. It’s a good size, and it has two sections, one where Donnie keeps his clothes and one where I keep mine.

Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!
Love this gorgeous home! It's new construction, a Ryan Homes Palermo, and I can't wait to see how she decorates it. Click through to the post to see the full tour!

I don’t love the wire shelving, and I don’t think it even comes close to maximizing the potential of the closet space, so our plan is to put a more custom closet arrangement in to get everything organized in the best way possible.

We will:

  • Replace wire shelving with a better closet system
  • Replace the light fixtures
  • Paint
  • Organize!

Update: See what our main closet looks like now!

Throughout the House

Whew! That was a lot already, but I also wanted to mention a few things we want to do throughout the entire house, things like:

  • Add crown molding
  • Beef up the trim on the doors and cased openings
  • Trim out all of the windows
  • Replace outlet covers with something more substantial
  • Paint all of the walls

We definitely have years of work ahead of us, but we could not be more excited about it! We already love this house, but we can’t wait to truly make it our own home.

I’d love to jump right into room makeovers, but the reality is that there are a few projects that we want to tackle before we start decorating room by room. Whether you’re moving into an existing home or new construction, the number of projects and things that need to be done always seems overwhelming at first, so I thought I’d do a “First Things First” series to focus on those items that we needed to do when we first moved into the house. Watch for those posts in the coming weeks!

Thank you so much for joining us on this new home journey and for sharing in our excitement! It really means more than you know!

If you’d like to catch up on the past posts about our new home build, you can do so here:

I’ve held this in so long that I feel like I might burst. (our moving announcement)

Our New Home: A Preview

The State of the Move: Some Updates

New House Update: We’re Getting Close!

Our New House: The “Before” Photos (You’re here!)

Our New House: 6 Month Progress

Our New House: One Year Update

Hope you have a wonderful week, friend!

Small Signoff

98 Comments

  1. Eek! Soooo, exciting Abby. I couldn’t wait to see the inside. It looks so nice and open. I guess I’ll wait patiently to see what you do with all your spaces. ☺️

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Heather! It’s definitely going to take some patience on this end too… I just want to tackle it all! Lol! Hope you’re having an awesome week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  2. Sarah @ The Teacher's Wife says:

    It’s so funny to see your long list of projects because I always had the misconception that new homes didn’t need any work! Your house looks beautiful, but I can see where you want to make it your own and customize it over time. I can’t wait to follow along! Owning a home is never dull, whether it’s a new home or an older one like mine! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I used to think so too, Sarah! Lol! Definitely looking forward to putting our own personal touches on it! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

    2. I also severely underestimated the amount of work for a new build! I started with a few minor changes, then became a little bit addicted to home improvement… My neighbors already told me that my wife and I need an intervention….

  3. Your new home is absolutely beautiful before you ever touch it, but I can’t wait to see what you do with it :). Congratulations on your new home.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Christy! Can’t wait to get started! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  4. Leslie @ Lamberts Lately says:

    I absolutely love it Abby! So many possibilities!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      There really are, Leslie! Can’t wait to get started! Thanks so much and hope you’re having a great week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  5. What a lovely view from your kitchen!!
    Nice blank slate to work on. Love the flooring too.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Barbara! <3

      ~Abby =)

  6. April Hoff says:

    Woohoo! So excited to see how you make this place your own! You have such an amazing space with great bones to work with! Love the floors, the views, that staircase, and the front is SO cute! Congratulations!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much, sweet friend! Definitely overwhelming but SO exciting! Can’t wait to see how it turns out! <3

      ~Abby =)

  7. Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says:

    Congratulations on finally getting into your new home! It is gorgeous and SO spacious!! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together!! XOXO

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Christy! We are definitely loving it so far! Looking forward to the journey! 🙂 Hope you’re having an awesome week!

      ~Abby =)

  8. Wow! I love the light you have in your new house, I can’t wait to see your decoration there. Congrats for the new house, I wish you all the happiness possible in your new home.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Esther! We are certainly looking forward to making it our own! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Hi Abby,
    I am a new comer to you blog. Your new home is so beautiful. May God grant you many awesome blessings in it . My hubby and I retired this year and are in the process of downsizing our 3,000 sq ft home to half 1,500 sq feet. We also plan on building again but this time a smaller home. I love your white kitchen and cabinets and your floors. This is very similar to what I would like so that the space looks bigger. I am curious how many sq feet is your new home and when do you move in? I cannot wait to begin seeing the decor take shape- what fun! We’ll have to run but be blessed and prosper. M

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Maria! We actually moved in last week and are loving it! The house is ~ 2500 sq ft! Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Sahvana Stapleton says:

    I can’t get over that view either! Stunning! And you crack me up with your empty box of a house hahaha I sure can’t wait to see what you do with it. You have such great ideas. I bet the kiddos love the empty box though Lol

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Sahvana! We are all loving it and looking forward to this crazy journey! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  11. Congratulations on your beautiful new big house Abby!! I really like it and it will be interesting to see how you change it! I like the white colour even though it’s not easy to maintain with two kids around – is that the reason you’ll paint the walls? Good luck with everything that needs to be done!
    Love from Greece!
    Irini

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Irini!! I actually like the color too! But they used flat paint, so any time you even lean against it the wrong way, it leaves a mark. I feel like I’ve been following my boys around with a magic eraser trying to get rid of all of the scuffs they’re leaving, lol! I do like the white, though, so I may still paint some of the walls that color, just in a more kid-friendly sheen. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  12. Selene Galindo says:

    I totally enjoyed looking at your beautiful blank canvas! I’m obsessed with looking at floor plans and empty home interiors! I can’t wait to see the process of adding your own personal touches! Thanks for sharing ☺

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Selene! Looking forward to the journey! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  13. This is so exciting! Congratulations on your new home. I can’t wait to see what you do with the space! We’re moving in a few months so I am psyched to see what you do first 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much, Nikolia and congrats on your upcoming move! It’s an exciting adventure for sure! 🙂 Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  14. Oh my gosh Abby!!! I love your home!! And stop it!! That view!!! I just can’t!! I’m super excited to see your home transform!!! You’re such an inspiring person!! I love following you!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are just the sweetest, Nicole! Thank you! Looking forward to this crazy journey… glad you’ll be following along! 🙂 Have a great evening!

      ~Abby =)

  15. Linda Pemberton says:

    WOW!! Love it! Soo excited for you. I know you felt like it took forever, but it’s actually here now. Your house is beautiful already and I love the flooring! Did you know The Container Store has a transparent shelf covering for wire shelving? To keep things from falling through? Just a thought. Also love that you put the hardwood on the stairs, Beautiful. I’m jealous! Just think about how much fun for the upcoming holidays?!?!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are too sweet, Linda! Thanks so much and thank you for the shelf tip! Definitely looking forward to this journey and decorating for the holidays will be extra fun this year! 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  16. It’s beautiful – congratulations!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Amy!

      ~Abby =)

  17. Congrats on your new home. While it is crazy pretty…that view!!!! Makes me feel like I am in France! What an exciting time for you and enough blogging material for maybe ever. That is why I started blogging because we are building our “last” home for what I call “dreamtirement” but, we just can’t settle on a floorplan and we have owned the land for one year now this month. And it has a view! but we aren’t moving there for six years so I have time. I am looking forward to watching your transform your house to your home. So happy for your family.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      It is definitely hard to make those decisions for your forever home! Thank you so much for your sweet words and for following along on our journey! Hope you’re having a fabulous Thursday!

      ~Abby =)

  18. Karen L Ploransky says:

    I wish you and your family many years of health and happiness in your new home. The view is incredible. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. It’s beautiful and sooo roomy! Have fun!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Karen! So glad you’ll be following along with us! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  19. re. pantry shelves – Home Depot/Lowes will cut acrylic to size – works great!

  20. Trina Esquivelzeta says:

    So thrilled for you – it looks wonderful. Congratulations.
    Good luck with everything.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You’re too sweet. Thank you, Trina! Have a fabulous week!

      ~Abby =)

  21. Jann Newton says:

    Abby, I love seeing the before pictures of your new house! Such and exciting time for you. I can’t wait to see the progress you make. I’m really jealous of your wonderful room over the garage!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Jann! I can’t wait to see how the office turns out. Definitely a great space! Hope you’re having a fabulous Tuesday!

      ~Abby =)

  22. Calypso in the Country says:

    Congratulation! Your new home is beautiful and the views look amazing. Enjoy this exciting new chapter in your lives!
    Shelley

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Shelley! Looking forward to the journey!

      ~Abby =)

  23. Julie Messer says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. My house is pretty much the same model. Looking forward to the updates.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Julie!

      ~Abby =)

  24. Jane Garner says:

    Abby, it’s just beautiful! A lot of work, but so rewarding to make it your own. A little suggestion–I agree on the wire shelves in the pantry not being the best surface for storage. If I were moving my foods into such a storage unit, and having so many other tasks needing attention, I would do this: measure the shelving. Take your shelf dimensions to ACE hardware, or one of your choice. Ask them to cut 1/4″ plexiglas pieces for each shelf. Bring them home and lay each piece on the shelf. Now you have a solid surface and it wipes clean in a jiffy. This would be a quick fix, save money and time, and you can change out the shelving at another time. Whatever you do, it’s always pretty and efficient. Have fun as you continue settling in. Jane

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the great suggestion, Jane! Hope you’re having an awesome week!

      ~Abby =)

  25. Your house is gorgeous and that view! I can’t wait to see how you transform it all through decorating and doing the items on your list! Enjoy!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! Hope you’re having a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  26. Love your home. It’s so much fun to decorate new beginnings. Our metal shelving problem was handled by placing strips of plexiglass to each shelf. We thought it would only be a quick fix until we changed out the shelves. But it has worked just fine. This might work for you guys too and can be marked off “honey do” list rather quickly. 🙂

    I look forward to being inspired by your home decorating and organizating projects. Thank you for sharing.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Tina! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  27. Can’t wait to see the finished project, thanks for sharing. Talk about inspiring, look what blogging and hard work can get you, right? 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much, Kimi! You are too sweet! It has definitely been a LOT of hard work but so worth it! Hope you’re having an awesome week!

      ~Abby =)

  28. The Granny Nanny says:

    Congratulations on your new home!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much!

      ~Abby =)

  29. Joanna @ MumsKidsJesus.com says:

    Love your new home! It will be interesting to see if your boys and toys migrate to wherever you are most. We tried having a separate playroom but kids and toys always ended up mostly in our living area and kitchen because that’s where I was 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      That has definitely happened some already, Joanna! My youngest just loves the playroom, though, and could play in there for hours! 🙂 Hope you’re having an awesome week!

      ~Abby =)

  30. Abby, I can hardly wait to see how you personalize your new home. You always make things so beautiful! You have amazing talents in decorating and inspiring others. 🙂

    Since you are starting with mostly plain, new lawn, have you considered cultivating an edible landscape, e.g. blueberry, gooseberry and currant bushes as hedges, rhubarb as accent plants, etc? There are some great books on the subject for while you are deciding on what foods you would most like to have on hand and which particular plants will best match your ideas for how you and Donnie want your yard to look and function for you and your boys. (Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasey is one of my favorites, as are similarly named books by Ivette Soler and Lee Reich)

    Our kids love going outside in the morning and picking blueberries for their morning oatmeal or cutting some rhubarb for afternoon pie. And happily, it requires far less mowing!

    As you alluded to in an earlier post, it’s too bad (so inefficient!) that builders won’t just leave some things out (countertops, sinks, etc) when we would prefer to personalize it with our very own selections.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Ooh thank you so much for those suggestions, Ingrid! I am a complete novice when it comes to plants, yards, and gardens, so I have a ton to learn before we make any final decisions. I love berries, though, so it would be fun to have some of those. There is actually a peach orchard in the backyard, so we are definitely looking forward to that! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  31. Congratulations! Your new home is gorgeous. Can’t wait to see the touches you add to make it home.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Peggy! I’m looking forward to it! Have a great evening!

      ~Abby =)

  32. capturing joy with kristen duke says:

    A clean slate, I love it! Can’t WAIT to see all the fun stuff you’ll do with your new home!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Kristen! It will be a fun journey! 🙂 Hope you’re having an awesome week!

      ~Abby =)

  33. It looks lovely Abby. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Barb! <3

      ~Abby =)

  34. Yay!! Awesome! It’s so exciting,!! I’m so excited FOR you and to see it. What an awesome blank slate for you guys – it’s perfect!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, sweet friend! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  35. Wow!!! This is SO beautiful! It’s making me look forward to the day I get to move in to my very own 🙂 Thank you for sharing!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are TOO sweet! Thank you, Shazie! Hope you’re having a fabulous Tuesday!

      ~Abby =)

  36. What a stunning house! I love the white walls with the dark floor. I had the same issue with things tipping over on the wire shelving in our pantry so I bought placemats and used them to line the wire shelving. I cut them a little to fit around the screws and such. It was supposed to be a temporary fix but we’ve had it in place for several years now and it works very well.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much! The pantry is on our list for this week and hopefully will be completed soon! 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  37. Bernadette says:

    I love the little lamp post out front, so cute! Congrats on the new home. Can’t wait to see how it transforms over the next year, especially your new office and kitchen organization.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yes! I can’t wait to tackle the office! It will be a big project but there is so much potential! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  38. Awesome place. Congratulations – I can’t to see how all this pace comes together! Excited!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much! I can’t wait either! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  39. I can not tell you how excited I am to find your blog. I saw the pic of your kitchen on D.Lawless Hardware”s Instagram today, and said, “that’s my kitchen”! I own a Palermo in Murfreesboro, TN. We have lived here for a year and I am slowly getting things done on my long list of to-do’s. I used to search the internet for Palermo’s to try to see how they decorated their house. I didn’t have much luck. Found a few but did not like their style. I like your style and look so forward to seeing how you decorate yours. 🙂 We actually put in a paver patio in the back and we love it, we eventually want to add a Pergola too. I’ll try to share a pic, but not sure if it will work.

    Nicole
    13512144_1533952116620293_2029724014774192672_n.jpg

    https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13512144_1533952116620293_2029724014774192672_n.jpg?oh=e668a410b8dd22b567a108ecf5077b8e&oe=58666B96

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for sharing the pic, Nicole! LOVE it! Donnie will be building a patio next summer… can’t wait! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  40. Victorious1 says:

    Congratulations Abby,

    I am s happy for you and your family!!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  41. Rebecca Kennedy says:

    Congratulations!!! You guys are living the American Dream!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, you are too sweet, Rebecca! Thank you! It was a dream of ours for sure!

      ~Abby =)

  42. Marilyn McIntyre says:

    Love your new home, Abby! I wish you all the best with loads of memories to look back on in the years to come. We just did the opposite of you….moving from a 14 room home to a lovely 4 room apt. Talk about downsizing! We sold, gave away, donated and even left some furniture for the new owners who were so grateful! Congrats on your new home!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      That is great, Marilyn! I bet it’s so freeing to get rid of so many things and live more simply! Thanks so much for your kind words. Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  43. Jeanette L. says:

    Oh my gosh how exciting, guys! How beautiful! And that VIEW! Funny tidbit: my entire blog was created while living in a Ryan Home (Esquire Model) and I’m still here! It so interesting to hear what you were already thinking about changing – it sounds so much like me when I moved in. The pantry gives me fits! and we are just now updating the flooring. Finally the deck is done but no patio. Everyone in our neighborhood is already getting a new roof and our houses are only 10 years old so I’m nervous about that. Can’t wait to see what you do with the place.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Jeanette! Totally agree with you on the pantry! So glad it was one of the first projects we tackled! Donnie hopes to build a patio next summer! Hope you’ve had an awesome week!

      ~Abby =)

  44. Congratulations Abby! How exciting for you and your family 🙂 I am curious if you ever found a console table for your front entrance area? I have been looking for one myself, and was hoping you had some suggestions. Thanks!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I haven’t gotten there yet! Right now I am just using a small dresser that was in my boys’ old room. I will be sure to post about it when I find a more permanent solution, though!

      ~Abby =)

  45. Hi Abby! Congratulations on your new home it is beautiful!!! It’s so fun to read your blog and follow your instagram! We are in the process of selling our house we are in now and then going to build , I’m so nervous but reading your blog makes me feel better and have hope. We love you guys Floorplan, do happen to have the Floorplan draw out still?:)

  46. Thank you so much Abby for that!;) can’t wait to continue to watch you guys make your beautiful house a home!! ?

  47. Abby – I love your selections (especially the flooring)! We built a Venice model with Ryan Homes in 2015, and have spent the last year customizing it! I just started a blog to share our projects (we have done some large ones including a sunroom addition). I love your fire pit/patio idea in the back. Soon, I will be sharing a patio/outdoor fireplace project that we did on a budget (full 6′ high outdoor fireplace). Feel free to email me at mpc20555@gmail.com, and I will send you a picture of the fireplace and details. I’m hoping to post the fireplace in the blog in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see your progress! Below is the link to my blog if you are interested (first time, so still learning 🙂

    https://customryanhomesvenice.blogspot.com

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh FUN!! I love finding Ryan Homes blogs to follow! Thank you so much for sharing your link, Michael! I look forward to checking it out!

      ~Abby =)

  48. Great information and blog/pics! My wife and I are building a Ryan Home – Milan. We have picked the same carpet (we think after looking at the pics) – taupe stone. We are hesitant to finalize this because we think it may be not “neutral” enough of a color. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it is more of a neutral color or if that is the look we are going for should we opt for something lighter in color? Appreciate any thoughts you might have.

    Thanks.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Bobby! It is definitely neutral. I actually picked ours because I thought it had a little more gray to it, but the gray doesn’t really come through in our house. It just looks like a standard, neutral carpet. It’s nothing exciting, but it is really easy to match with just about any decor. Best of luck with your build!

      ~Abby =)

  49. Hi Abby! My husband and I are looking at building with Ryan and are seriously considering The Palermo. I notice many fixtures are missing (cabinet pulls…etc), along with the deck. Does Ryan consider those things “upgrades,” or was that your choice to DIY?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Emily! We chose not to have them install any of the cabinet hardware because the hardware that came with the house was pretty basic and I wanted to choose our own. They do provide them, though, if you want them. They did not give us the option to add a deck, so we are responsible for adding that ourselves after we’ve already closed (construction is supposed to start on it this week, actually– yippee!). I hope this helps! Best of luck with your build– we really love the Palermo! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

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