With Understanding Comes Confidence

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust Mortgage. All opinions are my own.

Finding the perfect home can seem like the impossible, but with the right tips and guidance, you can get there. Once you find the home of your dreams, discovering and incorporating your own personal style, truly turns your new house into your home.

When shopping for a home, there are a few key things that we always look for: location, layout, and property’s potential. We’ve had this house for almost ten years, and it’s still a work in progress.

We have three children, so being nearby good schools was one of the requirements. The fact we only have to drive a mile to drop the kids at a highly rated school, is without a doubt, a luxury for all of us. We are lucky and blessed to live are across the Intracoastal, even though that was not a [location] requirement.

The layout is something that is very important to me, more so than to my husband. I love an open floor plan and a layout that flows. Lots of windows are always on my wish list, and we often joke that our next house will be made of glass.

Property’s potential is key when considering buying an older home. Our house was built in 1966 but it has a lot of potential. We have changed, renovated and remodeled, over and over again. We live in an area that is old, but the houses have character. Most new builds in this area are over $2M and that’s a tad outside of our budget 😉

To recap, location – we love where we live. It’s close to the kid’s schools, grocery stores, fresh markets, and malls. So when buying a house, keep these in consideration. Not sure if you are like me, but I often ask my husband to go to the market and get a missing ingredient, half way through my cooking. So it helps to have a Publix and a Whole Foods less than a mile away [for his own sanity].

Our layout is great, although not perfect. We still have one hallway that I would like to tear down, but my husband doesn’t want to feel like we live in an industrial loft. [sighs]

Property’s potential is where I get to explore my creative side and find it very important for those considering reno homes. Make sure the basics are there. If you like the layout, the foundation is solid, there’s no roofing issues, and the room sizes are acceptable, everything else can be changed.


When I first moved in, I didn’t like the walls knock down texture. In fact, I hated them. I love flat, smooth walls, but I soon learned that is something you can easily change. Throughout the years, I have smoothed some, applied wallpaper, built shiplap, and for our latest project, we did framing and wainscoting.


Entryway Before


Entryway After

The piano room wall was also knock down, but instead of installing framing and wainscoting, we did shiplap since it was against a 1910s piano. Here’s the after:

Piano Marta McCue

Piano Room Sunny Chic IV


Shutters was another thing it was bothering. Although the home came with beautiful plantation shutters, they were dark wood and I love a bright house. So we painted them. We started with the kids’ bedroom and it quickly went from a dark room to a bright and soothing living space.



After being a success in the kids’ room, we decided to paint the Master Bedroom’s shutters as well:

White Bedroom Sunny Chic


We are wine lovers [not connoisseurs], have visited several wineries throughout the world, and wanted to have a wine cellar for all of our keepsakes. Since we don’t have a basement to build a fancy underground cellar, we had to make due with an existing wall. We had a drywall guy come in, add a frame to the existing wall, a couple of lights and voila!



Dining Room Wine Wall Sunny Chic III

Dining Room Wine Wall Sunny Chic IV


Last but not least, we wanted a backyard large enough to fit a pool, a BBQ area, an outdoor movie screen and a kids’ playhouse. You can never add land, so having that nice backyard is always a must for us.

Easy DIY Kids Playhouse


If you are in the market and looking for a home that you can renovate and have fun with it, just remember that you can’t change its location or foundation. If those are a thumbs up, and you like the house layout, I say get started by finding the right mortgage for you. Head over to “Your Guide to Home Buying” where SunTrust Mortgage defines the process from A to Z. At SunTrust Mortgage, they truly want to help buyers understand the ins and outs of the home buying process. The key is having the confidence needed to make home happen, and they do just that.

At SunTrust Mortgage, we make it a priority to learn all about your unique circumstances. Confidence starts with a conversation.

Talk with a SunTrust Mortgage expert today.

Suntrust Disclaimer

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust Mortgage. All opinions are my own. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

1 Comment

  1. August 8, 2017 / 1:21 AM

    Marta, what a incredible transformation! I read and enjoyed every picture and word! I’ve always wanted to DIY some board and batten and yours is fabulous! I’m putting it on my list of things I need to do to our home. We have the textured walls too and I cringe every time I look at them! Thanks for the great post!

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