Dear Megan, what has been your favorite thing about updating your new home?

Gosh, I have loved having a home to call my own. You might not know this, but I actually have a degree in Interior Design. Now before you get ahead of yourself and think I know everything about decorating, I don't. That's not what Interior Design is about -- it's learning how to design floor plans and plumbing plans and electrical plans, and how to plan out a space so it is the most functional for each home. I didn't go to school to learn how to pick out paint colors -- that just comes with the territory.

I feel like I thrive when doing space planning for a home. I love grabbing my graph paper and figuring out the best way to set up each space to make it work best for the room and the people using it. I'm not as great at deciding on finishes for a home. I know what I like, but it usually takes me a long time to figure out how I want everything to be put together. My BFF Nat is the friend I go to for help in the finishes department. She works as the interior designer for a home builder and does an AMAZING job. She's received countless texts and photos from me asking what throw pillows I should pair together or how I should style my open shelves. Ha! So while I have an eye for decorating, I struggle to get everything together in a timely way.

My favorite part of updating our house has just been seeing it all come together and making it feel like us. Our house is over 120 years old, so everything is small. The living room and bedrooms are small, the hallways are small, the doorways are small. So the smallness of everything proved to be a challenge when arranging each room, but I think we've made the absolute most of the space we do have, and I love it!

You might know that we rent out half our house on Airbnb. So the front half of our house is set up for guests as a separate unit and had to be functional for that purpose. So while I love the design aspect of it a lot, we don't get to have any photos of us up there or super personal items that are meaningful to us. We wanted it to be a space that was comfy for guests, but that didn't feel like another family lived in it -- basically, we wanted it to be like a cozy hotel suite.

Because we plan on using this home as a full-time rental property in the future, we didn't want to spend a lot of money on making it our "dream house" because that's not the plan for this home. So we painted the walls to give everything a much fresher look, added a kitchenette on the Airbnb side, and replaced all of the carpets. We updated a couple of light fixtures, and added nicer shelving in some areas but left everything else as is. I don't have a "before" picture of our kitchen and we didn't do anything to update it (because that is WAY expensive), so I didn't take an "after" photo either. Ha!

We have also just finished remodeling our basement, and I can't wait to show you the outcome! We're still getting the space together the way we want it, but I'll share it with you soon! Until then, enjoy these before and afters!

Sidenote: The American Flag in our bedroom was made by a friend and former U.S. Army paratrooper. If you would like to support one of our brave veterans, you can check out his work at Riser Burn Woodcrafts.