Welcome to HartLand: Brittany’s House

Brittany's House

Let the House Search Begin!

Who out there has champagne taste but only a beer budget? Anyone spend hours upon hours dreaming about the beautiful homes of Instagram and Pinterest? And once reality sets in…well, you know that feeling too. 

How We Found Our First Home

In February 2020, my husband, Corey, and I knew it was time to start looking for our first home. We found a cute little farmhouse built in the 1800’s and had to have a look. I’ve always had my heart set on an old historic farmhouse full of character and charm, but Corey… not so much (he’s shall we say, the more practical one). After coming to the sober realization that this farmhouse was going to be a huge headache, we continued our search. 

Once we (as in ME, haha) learned our lesson, we only focused on newer-built homes. I searched the internet for days at a time, trying to find the perfect home. Do we try to build? Is that even affordable?  Should we consider a model home? At just 22 and 23 years old, we had no clue, but we needed to explore our options. We met with a builder in a neighborhood still under construction right outside of Gettysburg to get an estimate for a new house. This ended up being way out of our budget, considering that we wanted more than a shell of a house.

Earlier that day, I happened to see a house for sale in that same neighborhood, so we jumped on this opportunity before our hopes were dashed.  With fingers crossed, we called a real estate agent that Monica knew, hoping he could show us the house right on the spot.  Luck was on our side, and the realtor, Andy, met us an hour later. The colonial-style house built in 2012 wasn’t exactly the farmhouse of my dreams, but it had country style, a gorgeous lot with stunning views, and an idyllic setting. The house was on the market for one day before we made an offer.  We were disheartened to learn that another offer was already on the table, but after a sweet letter to the seller, our offer was accepted and we were officially homeowners!

My First Impression Of Our Home (Hint, DARK and NOT good)

When I first saw this home online, I hated it! The house had good bones, but the inside was not my cup of tea. I prefer light and airy, but this house was dark.  Dark carpet, dark tan walls mixed with bright blue, and a dark kitchen.  Everything was exactly the opposite of what we wanted.   With the help from our family, however, I was thankfully able to see past the dreary colors, but there was no time to waste.  We had to get to work!

Our Home Improvements and Renovations After We Bought Our First House

Fresh Paint

Paper white by Benjamin Moore

The very first item on our to-do list was paint. The entire interior needed to be painted, but there was one big problem:  I knew nothing about paint. Monica came to the rescue and suggested we pick a neutral/timeless color that goes with everything. She showed me the color Paper White by Benjamin Moore, and I loved it immediately. Although this color has white in the name, it is more of a pale gray that is part of Benjamin Moore’s off-white collection.  With our family’s help, we were able to get the entire house painted in under two weeks.  What a difference!

New Carpet


This was a MUST.  Non-negotiable. The thought of living with someone else’s original nine year-old carpet stressed me out.  This was nothing against the previous homeowner, but more because I’m a clean freak (Corey calls me Monica, Jr). Fun fact: replacing the carpet was actually something Corey and I fought about. He originally just wanted to get a professional carpet cleaner, but Monica and I quickly talked him out of that. The carpet we chose was Homefront III by Mohawk in Lucky Pearl. Corey ended up admitting that Monica and I were right,  and he is very glad we replaced the carpet.

Vinyl Tile

We had boring, outdated beige vinyl flooring In the laundry room, master bath, and guest bath.  With new fresh and bright paint and carpet, the beige flooring just wasn’t working. For a quick fix, I decided to try out Floor Pops Peel-and-Stick Tile. I bought the tiles on Amazon and installed them in all three rooms in three days. Overall, I am impressed with the quality and durability, and they are super-cute! 

vinyl tile

Chalk Painted Vanities

You will never believe this… the vanities in the bathrooms were too dark for my liking. Shocker, right? I decided to use milk paint to refinish the vanities in a light shade of blue. I used General Finishes Water- based Milk Paint in Persian Blue.  I chose blue to add a pop of color, and to tie together the various shades throughout the home.

The Kitchen

Ugh!  There was a lot to do in the kitchen. I was totally overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. The cabinets were in good condition, but I could not live with the orange-toned wood for too long. The countertops were a swirly brown, there was no backsplash, the sink was splotchy, and the light fixtures were dated. Please stay tuned for my kitchen renovation blog post entitled, “New Year, New Kitchen”.  In the meantime, here is a sneak peak:

I can’t wait to share my complete kitchen renovation with you, and to show you how much you can accomplish on a budget.  Until next time…

From the HartLand with love,

Brittany, Monica & Cheyenne 

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