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Orchard House 6 Month Progress (Ryan Homes Palermo)

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Updates: See our one year progress, 2.5 year progress, and 4 year progress on our Ryan Homes Palermo!

It’s so hard to believe that we’ve already been in our house for six months! (And actually it’s closer to 7!) What?! I feel like the time has flown by, and at the same time it seems funny that this hasn’t always been our home.

If you’re new to the blog, about a year ago we made the decision to build a home with a community builder (a Ryan Homes Palermo), which we’ve lovingly dubbed “Orchard House” because there is a peach orchard in the back yard.

Unlike a custom home, with a community builder you don’t get to choose every single thing in the house; you have to pick from the builder’s options. What we loved about this process was that we were able to get a “blank slate” that had the “bones” that we wanted, but it also left us with a lot of room to really make the home our own once we moved in.

Some days I look around and all I see is ALLLLLLL of the projects I want to do. Other days I look around and can’t believe how different some spaces look even just since moving in a few months ago! I thought it would be fun to take a look around at some of the progress we’ve made so far and also peek ahead at what is still to come.

Let’s get started!

Our Ryan Homes Palermo: 6 Month Progress

A huge thanks to SelectBlinds, Caesarstone, EasyClosets, and Moen,  for providing product for our new house! All opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Exterior

As a reminder, here is what the front of the house looked like when we moved in:

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To be quite honest, besides the hay in the yard, this is still pretty much what it looks like. Our winters can be harsh in Pennsylvania, so I brought in all of our porch furniture for the season and haven’t put it back out yet.

(We have been known to have a few rogue snow storms in April, but my fingers are crossed that the bad weather is done!) I did decorate for Christmas before it got too cold though, so here is a peek of what our porch looked like with the furniture:

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Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

Shop Our Porch

Entry

Heading inside, somehow I forgot to get a “before” shot of our entry, but basically it was just small and blank! After some searching though, I was able to find the perfect piece to fit in this little space, and I even decked it all out for spring!

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Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

(The mirror is from Hobby Lobby.)

Shop Our Entry

Dining Room

The dining room is across from the entry, and we made some changes pretty quickly in this space. It looked like this when we moved in:

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And here’s what it looks like now:

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Just bringing in the rug and furniture we already had made a big difference, but we also changed out the light fixture and added pretty wood shutters.

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[The wood shutters (and all of the window treatments in our house!) are from SelectBlinds, and they give Just a Girl and Her Blog readers an additional 5% off of any sale on their site when you use the code ABBY at checkout!]

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Shop Our Dining Room

Kitchen

From the dining room, we head into the kitchen, which started out looking like this:

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Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

We had big plans for this space from the very beginning. This is where some of the limitations of using a community builder rather than building a custom home came in.

We did a big kitchen renovation in our last home and put in quartz countertops. We loved them so much that we wanted to use them in this home as well, but Ryan Homes doesn’t offer any quartz options. Because of this, we just had them put in the standard laminate countertops that came with our home package and planned to replace them soon after we moved in, which we did:

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The new countertops are Caesarstone London Grey, and we LOVE them. While we were replacing the counters, we also put in a new super deep quartztone sink and beautiful faucet, the Moen Glenshire.

We added pendants over the island too…

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If you look closely in the photos above, you can see some of the other projects we still need to do. We removed the ledge behind the sink and the corbels and trim from the island and are planning on replacing them with chunkier corbels and trim work.

We are in desperate need of some backsplash tile, and I’m happy to report that it arrived this week and will be installed soon!

One thing I have gotten to in this space was organizing the pantry. It looked like this when we first moved in:

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And now it looks like this:

Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

We ripped out the wire shelving and put up removable wallpaper for a pop of interest. We replaced the wire shelves with solid shelves from the IKEA ALGOT system (now called BOAXEL).

I also organized our pantry goods with IKEA containers and plastic bins from Target. Having an organized pantry was one of my first priorities because I feel like it makes the rest of the kitchen run so much more smoothly!

Shop Our Kitchen

Sunroom

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This is probably our favorite room in the house, mostly because it’s the best spot to take in the awesome view! Other than moving in some furniture we already had and adding a light fixture, we haven’t done much to this room yet.

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And actually, this furniture will eventually go on our back deck or patio when we build one, but for now, it’s the perfect size and layout for this space, so it’s working just fine!

Many people who have our same home model use this room as a breakfast nook, but it’s working well as a little seating area for us, and I’m contemplating putting a little coffee/hot chocolate station in the back corner to make it even more cozy! 🙂

Shop Our Sunroom

Living Room

Though our living room still has a long way to go, we definitely have made some progress in this space! It started out as a great big, blank, open area…

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…but we’ve been filling it up!

Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

The biggest project we’ve tackled in this space was creating built-ins using the IKEA BESTA system and adding extra trim work to make them look more custom. When I brought the chairs in from the porch, I put them in this space for the winter months, but I like them so much I may keep them here and find something else for outside! Oops!

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Donnie also began trimming out the windows in this room. As you can see in the other rooms, the windows came with almost no trim, and we are planning to add this chunky craftsman style trim to every window in the house. (We’re also changing out the trim in the doorways and openings to match, so it will be a big job! And of course when I say “we,” I mean that Donnie will do it and I will cheer him on. 🙂 )

The beautiful bamboo shades are from SelectBlinds, and we will eventually have these same ones in the sunroom and in Donnie’s office as well so that the entire back of the house on the lower level is the same.

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We are also planning on adding board and batten to the walls in this space and, of course, painting at some point!

Shop Our Living Room

Boys’ Room

Heading upstairs, our boys’ room is probably the only space in the house that I would call “finished” (at least for now). I really wanted to make sure they felt at home from day one, so theirs was the very first space we tackled when we moved in. Here’s the “before”:

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And the “after”:

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Since the boys requested “side by side” beds rather than the bunk beds they had in our old house, pretty much everything is a new addition to this space. It’s not a huge room, but since they have a playroom right next door, we really only needed a space for them to sleep and store their clothes, and this room definitely accomplished both of those things.

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This is one of the few spaces we’ve painted in the house. We’ll have an appointment with the builder in a few months where they fix any nail pops or other issues that have popped up since we moved in.

And since they don’t repaint if they have to fix nail pops in an area we’ve painted, we’re trying to hold off on painting the majority of the house until that process is finished. (Which, if you’re wondering, is why we still have so many white walls!)

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The Roman shades are from SelectBlinds, and the type-A personality in me kind of loves that they line up with the blue stripe that goes around the room. It really is the little things that make me smile! 🙂

Along with decorating their room, we also maximized storage space in their closet. It started out with just one lone wire shelf:

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But we used the IKEA ALGOT (BOAXEL) system to add two rows of storage so we could fit more clothes (and so little Caleb could reach his items by himself)!

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Shop the Cs’ Room

The Playroom

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Other than adding shelves and organizing the toys, we haven’t done much in this space.

Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

I’m kind of torn on what to do with it. Connor (age 8) is already starting to move out of the toy phase for the most part. Caleb (age 5) is still pretty into them, but since there are so many other projects to do in the house, I don’t know that I’ll ever fully decorate this space as a toy room. I may just wait it out and see if the boys want to have their own rooms someday or if it will take on a different function as they get older.

My Office

This is the room I’m most excited about in the long term, but it is pretty far down on the priority list since I’m really the only person who will benefit from it! This is the “bonus room” over the garage, so it is a fairly large space:

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It has no built in storage though, and I left most of my office storage pieces at our last house, so this space is kind of a jumbled catch-all space right now. The photo of what it looks like currently is literally just me sticking my head in here and snapping a quick shot with my iPhone without moving anything around, so this is real life right now!

Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

It’s not exactly pretty yet, but it has potential! Because the projects in this room will be pretty extensive, they probably won’t start until we have more of the main living areas situated, but I do have a simple plan for that little nook area that I will be tackling sooner rather than later!

The Master Bedroom

Oh, the master. Isn’t it always the last area of the house to get some love?! It started like the rest of the rooms in our house, a blank white box:

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And besides our bed and dressers, it’s still pretty bare. We don’t even have nightstands yet– eek! Here’s cute Caleb on the day we set up the bed:

Love this beautiful bed and cozy mattress! And that light fixture-- swoon!

While we may not have done much to our actual bedroom, we DID make some major improvements in the master closet! #priorities 😉

As you may be realizing, I am not the biggest fan of wire shelving, so I knew that these had to go:

Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction
Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

We partnered with EasyClosets to create a custom closet system for this space, and the result was so functional and beautiful!

Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction
Home- Ryan Homes Palermo, new home build, house progress, community builder, decorating a new house, new construction

WHEW! That was a lot! (And I even skipped a few rooms– eek!) It’s amazing all of the changes that 6 months can bring, and I’m excited to see the progress we’ll make in another 6 months! It’s been so fun to make this house our own, and I know we’ll have lots of wonderful memories here for years to come!

Thank you so much for following along with our journey! If you missed our previous home building posts, you can catch up 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

Orchard House 6 Month Progress (You’re here!)

Orchard House 1 Year Progress

Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

xo, Abby

A huge thanks to SelectBlinds, Caesarstone, EasyClosets, and Moen,  for providing product for our new house! All opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

38 Comments

  1. Totally love the master bedroom closet <3 In Holland you don't have any build in closets so I totally love this thing

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Astrid! I’m loving it too! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  2. Meg @ Green With Decor says:

    Love all the changes you guys have made!! It looks so great!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much! Hope you’re having a great week, Meg! <3

      ~Abby =)

  3. Would you be able to tell me what parts (or sections) you purchased for your boys closet? My children have similar closets and I would love to create that same look with theirs! Thank you and I hope you are recovery well from your surgery!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Katie! When you do into IKEA, each individual piece (each bracket, shelf, etc.) is sold separately (in true IKEA fashion, lol). I explained how we measured, chose our pieces, and listed the exact pieces we used in this post: https://justagirlandherblog.com/ikea-algot-closet-system/ . Best of luck with the closet!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Your home is gorgeous! Love what you’ve done with your space so far!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Rachel! Happy Friday! <3

      ~Abby =)

  5. Such beautiful decorating! Love your home!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Sarina! <3

      ~Abby =)

  6. Jodi Henson says:

    Hi Abby,

    I love the overall light, airy color scheme you have going through the new house. It’s fresh and bright! What an uplifting vibe you have set for the home! Lovely job!! No wonder you love your house!! I love the organization too! The pantry is to die for!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You’re too sweet! Thanks so much, Jodi! Have a wonderful weekend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  7. Your bonus room made me yearn for a room of my own. At one point in our marriage we bought a big house and I did have my own office, but at the time my kids were young and they followed me in there every time I went in which kinda defeated the purpose. Now we have a small guest room (dominated by the bed) in which my husband and I share a small table as office space. A dark corner in a dim room is SO not conducive to creativity! What a blessing for you to have that big bright space. I’m happy for you and praying for your recovery from surgery, too. I’ve been thinking of you this week!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Georgia! I really appreciate it! It is absolutely a blessing… looking forward to working on it! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  8. Brittany Wise says:

    You guys have done so much! That first year of waiting to paint literally drove me crazy, lol. we have the same bed in our bedroom, I am interested in seeing how you do decorate around it! We went with a sage green wall so that the white ‘popped.’ Hope you’re feeling better!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Brittany! I agree with you… I can’t WAIT to paint! It’s driving me a little nuts, too! 🙂 Happy Friday!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Abby,
    It has been so nice to watch your progress through both homes. I love the seating nook in your office, can’t wait to see what else you do in there.
    And now we are buying our first home! I am so excited and I already pinned the blue mirror for my girls’ future bedroom ;). I showed it to them and the got very excited at the thought if brushing their hair in front of it :). Thanks for all the inspiration.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, that is too cute! I hope they love it as much as I do! 🙂 Congrats on buying your first home… such an exciting time! Enjoy the journey!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Your rooms are beautiful. I love your style with the colors of white and turquoise. You inspire me!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much Debbie! Hope you have a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  11. Love the progress. Hope you are having an amazing Easter weekend. You have been in my prayers. A new home has always been a dream of mine, soon I hope. Abby I think we all could benefit from an article titled “How I keep the white, even with two boys”. Seriously I can’t even wear white Capri pants without my girls getting something on me. Your home looks like a showroom! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Deanna! You are so sweet! Love that idea for a post! I will see what I can come up with! 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  12. Marly @ A Brick Home says:

    So pretty, Abby! You have made such great progress. Loving the white/teal color scheme throughout. I’m so excited to see what your office is going to look like. 🙂

    – Marly

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Marly! I can’t wait to tackle the office! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  13. Your house is lovely, but I wanted to ask what color are your Bamboo shades?” I love the color but it appears when I look at the shades online at the website I can’t really tell the real color. I’m interested in the ones in your living room. I think it’s that room.

    Thanks, Marie

  14. Great house! My compliments to you.
    Melanie

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much Melanie! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  15. Congratulations on the move and the progress on decorating to make the home your own beautiful style!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Linda! <3

      ~Abby =)

  16. Just beautiful! I not only love your decorating style but how you blend that with your business- it is brilliant! I have been attempting to start my blog since Nov 16 but with 4 kids and a ton of commitments it is feeling like it will never happen. I am so proud of you for sticking with your passion and making it work. Such an inspiration.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are too sweet! Thank you, Jen! It is certainly a challenge with the kiddos and just life in general! I hope you’ll be able to find some time to start soon… such a fun journey! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  17. How did you do your trim around your windows? I’ve been wanting my husband to do the exact same thing. Love what you have done so far.

    1. Hi! What colors did you choose for the siding on the exterior? Love the gray combo! We are currently looking into our own Ryan home colors and are leaning toward this type of color scheme!

  18. Thanks for your window trim help. You’re the best!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Glad to help! Have a great day! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

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