The Art of Having Fun

Shades of Gray: Farewell to Our First Home


7 years ago

Hi Everyone,

Remember how I said that October has been a whirlwind of a month? Well, it's not over yet and there's still more to come! Today, for example, marks the day that Jeff and I say farewell to our first home. It is surreal to say the least to think about how four years ago we became first time home owners and that as of today, we'll be moving into our second home. I'm so excited to begin sharing the new space with you all! For today, though, it's all about taking a trip down memory lane on all of the fun we had decorating...


Won't you come in? This is a super early snap shot. I think we had just finished painting the entrance this fun coral shade, as I love a good pop of color.

We took care of those immediate projects like painting updates pretty much right away, then focused the bulk of our attention and budget on remodeling the kitchen. Here's a throwback to those times, but for your immediate reading pleasure, let's begin with my favorite room.


Before I

Gray Malin's original kitchen design

Gray Malin's original kitchen design

These are the exact images that my husband and I sawprior to looking at the house that we eventually purchased and moved into four years ago. For us, the kitchen is an extremely important room; we love to cook andentertain so it was the first room we wanted to make our own.

Before II

We added a white subway tile backsplash, white cabinets above the counter, and navy cabinets below. We splurged on the custom roman navy and white shades and then simply ran out of funds for the dining area furniture. To make our kitchen functional, wefound aprice-friendlytable online andthechairs on Craigslistto add a fun pop of color.

Fast forward to 2016, we worked with designerOrlando Soria fromHomepolishon the redesign of the room from a mixture of decor styles into a true nautical dream.


Gray Malin's Kitchen Redesign Gray Malin's Kitchen Redesign - AFTER Photo with William Sonoma furniture

To see more about the redesign from beginning to end, take a look at my Kitchen Makeover post. I absolutely loved hosting dinners at this round table, and I'm certainly looking forward to more in the new house.


We did a lot of remodeling last year, actually and I'm not going to lie, it was FUN! Once you get started, it is a domino effect of wanting to do more! Since I was on a roll, I figured I'd keep focused and get as much done, as possible. For the master update, I kept in theme with the guest bedroom makeover. Opting for more neutrals over primary colors, we took the room from this...


It's like NIGHT & DAY, right? We worked with Serena and Lily on both the guest bedroom and master bedroom makeovers, and I am still so in love with the results. I was especially happy to keep the custom bed frame with the ever-favored banana leaf print. Redecorating is a great opportunity to switch out the artwork, as well, and I was particularly excited to incorporate my new series (at the time) into the room, Art of Living.

To see more and learn all about the before and after artwork and furniture, please check out the Bedroom Redesign post.


The guest bedroom project was completed just prior to taking on the master, and as you'll see, I definitely took a design cue from this room. For this room, I really wanted it to feel like a true vacation for our guests, which is why I decorated it with the ultimate island escape of Bora Bora aerial prints. Want to stay in this island oasis?

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For the rest of the house, which entails the Living Room and the Home Office, we did what I like to call a little bit of a refresh. Here's what I mean...


Living Room

Sometimes all you need to make a room feel new is to add a cool new piece of furniture...

which is EXACTLY what this very cool Backgammon Table from oomph! did for this room. It has been a conversation piece ever since we first welcomed it into our home.

I'm looking forward to deciding on where it's new home will be in our new house!

Home Office

Another piecefrom oomph!, which made it's way into the house is this fantastic lime green desk as well as the eye-catching light fixture. I'm sure you've gathered by now thatI love incorpating fun pops of colors in unexpected ways whenever I can. These three pieces certainly achieved that goal, don't you think? Then, when it came to the artwork, I love using my series Up & Awayfor the work space. It helps lighten the mood when you're having a stressful moment.

Last but certainly not least, there was the BIG REVEAL of our Backyard Makeover! Similar to the kitchen, master & guest bedroom, we were all able to share the experience together, which I LOVE. Needless to say, we have tons of fun in store with the new house, but first - THIS.


I loved the fact that we had a good size backyard. It only meant one thing - parties! Living in LA, we have so many days of opportunity to spend time outside, so having a nice place to do it at home was very special. Weenjoyed countless laughs, outdoor dinners as well as a Team GM holiday party.

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The after was quite literally a dream come true! The best way to next level your backyard is to add a pool to it. Not only did we put the pool in, we took it one step further with the transformation of the garage into a pool house! The pool house project was such a fun one and in it's completion, I realized thatin a lot of ways, it tied the whole place together into the perfect banana leaf bow.

Waking up in the new house tomorrow morning, I'm sure it will be a bitter sweet moment. Going through big changes like moving homes, the emotions are always mixed, yet but overall the emotion that rises to the top is thatof joy and anticipation for what's to come. I truly am bursting with excitmentto start the next chapter in the new house and truly make it a home. With this post, I'm officially saying goodbye to Project First Home and moving into #projectGMdreamhome, won't you please follow along?