My husband and I bought our first home 2 years ago. We bought a foreclosure because at the time that is all we could afford in a good neighborhood. If my husband really knew what visions and projects I had for our home, he would have never bought it and rented for the rest of our lives. :) I knew that most of the projects were my idea, so I needed step up and do most of them. I really had no idea how to remodel. We had a lot of trial and error and youtube was my friend. The first thing I did was scrap the popcorn ceilings. We have a 1990's home. Who in the right mind sprayed popcorn on the ceilings in the 90's. Some crazy contractor that probably had left overs from the 70's. ;) I actually dry scraped the ceilings because it left a orange peel texture and it looks nice. The only downfall was I was blowing white stuff out of my nose for days, even with a mask on. The next thing I did was paint. I painted the whole house, top to bottom. Paint makes a big difference in a house. The other thing we found out that makes a huge difference is the lighting. We replaced all of our gold fixtures to new dark bronze. We are almost done with our home. I wished I took more pictures along our journey of remodeling. I do have pictures for a few projects and this mantel is one of them. I will post step by step instructions on how we made this mantel soon . It really was easy and it looks so pretty. I even tiled it all by myself without my husband. This was the first thing I have ever tiled. I am telling you youtube has so many things to offer and teaching me how to tile was one of them.