A Year in the Pretty Little Portico – What We’ve Done

It’s officially been a year since we bought our current home which we affectionately call The Pretty Little Portico. Last year at this time, we were in the thick of house projects. We worked to get the yard work done before the weather got too cold. And our families helped us do all the projects, from painting to laying tile to hanging fans – all the things! We moved in just after Thanksgiving. So, I figured it’s time to walk down memory lane and remember all we’ve done this past year.


The extent of work we did outside isn’t evident unless you know how it looked beforehand. Because, we had technical things to fix. We driveway had to be moved a foot closer to the house. And we also removed a dying tree in the backyard. We also cut out all the shrubs close to the house to give it space to breathe and create a more varied landscape. I recently shared an outdoor tour of the house, as well as an update of what we changed along the way up til now here and here.

Rachel Winchester outside tour pretty little portico


Living Room

The power of paint never ceases to amaze me! We painted the walls white (Valspar Blanched Pine) and streamlined the fireplace. It was a little visually overwhelming before! Paring down the color palette of the room to be more streamlined made such a big difference. Initially when we saw the house, I thought we needed to do a lot of work on the fireplace to update it. And while I think extending it to the ceiling would still look amazing, the less involved work of painting it helped update the whole space.

Rachel Winchester pretty little portico one year update living room

Rachel Winchester pretty little portico one year update living room

rachel winchester one year update pretty little portico

Dining Room

I wanted to go bold in the dining room. The room is quite small so we went with a bright green, vibrant curtains, and the tall bookshelves to cozy up the room. Sometimes, rather than make a small space feel bigger, it works to your advantage to emphasize its smallness. Small isn’t always bad. The trick is to make it feel cozy, not cramped!

Rachel Winchester one year update

Rachel Winchester one year update pretty little portico


Our most labor intensive project was the kitchen! We painted every inch of the space – the walls, ceiling, cabinets, countertop. Everything! Jesse and my dad laid the tile floor, and Jesse’s mom installed the backsplash. I took care of a baby.

Being a mom to littles while buying and upfitting a house is a challenging task. I mostly supplied the vision for our house. I didn’t do the actual work, because Benji was always with me. Jesse worked on the house in the evenings after work or during the day on his days off. And family came during those times to help as well. I chose colors and packed up the old house and took care of the baby. The whole process was eye-opening in the sense of what it requires to renovate a home.

Rachel Winchester pretty little portico one year update

Rachel Winchester pretty little portico one year update

Rachel Winchester outdated kitchen

Rachel Winchester pretty little portico one year update

Family Bedroom

Our bedroom required a little extra effort as it was the only room in the house with carpet when we bought it. However, we thought hardwoods were underneath. And they were! We had to remove the carpet and clean up the hardwoods. But, otherwise, we gave it a fresh coat of paint, installed a new ceiling fan, and called it a day.

Rachel Winchester pretty little portico one year update family bedroom

We still have finishing work to do throughout the house. And as I’ve mentioned, we are working on Benji’s bedroom. I shared inspiration and plans for it, but progress is slow. Our goal is to have him in his new room before Christmas so the transition is not at all related to a new baby joining the family. And the bathroom also needs a bit of love. We laid new tile in there and painted it as well, but it doesn’t have a finished look to it. We hit a few roadblocks in the process of that renovation which caused us to press pause and simply get it to a place where we could move in and use it.

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