It hardly feels like we have been living here for a year (and one month). I don’t remember feeling particularly nostalgic when we hit our one year mark in Ohio, but we hadn’t accomplished much; our house pretty much looked like the same house we moved into. Only with our furniture. And a new fridge. And a bathroom under construction.
Here, I feel like we are meant to live here. Sure, there are lots of projects to get done. In Ohio, even though we had every intention to live there for a good decade, I feel like we were living in someone elses house now that I look back on it. I’m sure I felt like it was our house when we were pouring money into bathroom and kitchen renovations… And when we left those gorgeous appliances behind, but I do not miss Ohio. At all.
Okay, maybe I do miss french door refrigerator.
The first day I set foot in this house, I was feeling lots of emotions… I was relieved that our Ohio house had closed that morning, I was anxious because I had only toured it virtually while I was in Ohio and Nathan was zipping around the property with his iPhone on Facetime. I was completely grossed out because it was absolutely filthy. I was excited because it had such great light and an awesome layout. And mortified when Finn managed to track poop through the whole top floor when he realized there was nothing to wipe with… One of his finer moments.
Now, most of the filth that belonged to the previous owners (and Finn) has been scrubbed away – only the original carpets upstairs and in the family room remain and they have been cleaned within an inch of their lives, and our stuff is mostly unpacked. We’ve painted rooms and planted gardens and replaced most of the hideous brass light fixtures. We have enough furniture to fill the place, which is novel since we had countless empty rooms in our house back in the Midwest.
There is still LOTS to do. The place was all original builder finishes when we turned the key, and it will take years to update it to our liking. But it is getting there.
I’m glad that we started working on the living room first. We ripped up the carpets the day we moved in and laid new floors the next. All those oak railings are in the process of getting painted and stained at the moment and the stairs are in serious need of carpet removal and refinishing. The dining room is looking much better and is going to get a giant mirror as soon as I salvage one from one of our blah bathrooms. The living room is where we spend the most time… Only the kitchen gets as much action.
Speaking of the kitchen, it is finally, mercifully a blank slate now. The giant box housing the florescent lighting has made way for recessed lighting, though we still have to patch the ceiling and give it a new coat of paint. I turned the orange blinds into roman shades with the help of a drop cloth. And thank god the seashell/butterfly/flower wallpaper is toast. The whole room is pretty unassuming, uneventful and bland. I loathe the honey oak cabinets, and they are slated to get a fresh coat of paint. While I cook, I fantasize about reclaimed wood open shelving, farmhouse sinks, white subway tile backsplashes and concrete counters… All of which will have to wait for a mysterious, unknown, filthy rich distant relative to leave me a giant inheritance.
Finn’s room is D. O. N. E. It started looking like this:
And now it is gloriously DONE.
Alice’s room is on the chopping block, but we are hanging tight until she moves to a big girl bed. I’ve already got lots of ideas, for her room, and I’ll probably be knocking them out little by little over the next six months or so.
Our room is awful. And you aren’t seeing it. The carpets are stretched and stained. Our mattress could use replacing and I despise the giant computer desk that lives in there – since it doesn’t fit anywhere else. I would love to put in faux beams and a tongue and groove ceiling, but Nae assures me it is way too much work and money. But I still dream of it. This is the one room that is on my mental list to tackle next. Right now my carpenter (Nathan) is heavily tasked with everything else in life, but once things settle down, I am pinning him down to build us a new bed and night stands. I am pining over this amazing chandelier at West Elm that I will sell my first-born for once we get moving.
The bathrooms are functional and boring, though I did sing an aria when I scrubbed this off the wall in our master suite:
All the finishes are ho-hum. We’ve replaced two broken faucets and I have plans to do the same to our builder-grade fixtures in our bathroom. What matters is that they are clean. And everything works. Knock on wood.
We have a family room downstairs that doesn’t get much play. Our giant sectional from ill-advised-purchases-past barely fits and the fireplace is begging for a makeover. Nathan wants to get moving on this room next; and I can understand since this is the TV ROOM.
Right next door is the laundry room which also houses my sewing area and craft stuff. If ever there is a photo on the blog of a sewing project, it was taken in this room. They are terrible pictures, mostly because I am taking them in what amounts to a tiny-bit more than a closet, but it suits me. Though I am dying to get Nathan on board for putting in a sliding barn door so it feels more open. I have to close the door to sit down. Actually, now that I think about it, it is like a little Martha Stewart cocoon. And I like it.
The front of the house needs landscaping and new lighting. We painted the shutters and front door. The garage door is slated to be painted the same color, but I can’t even think of exterior stuff when there is still snow on the ground. Every time I think of the backyard, I get an ulcer.
I spend a lot of time feeling inadequate since I look at so many design blogs, but taking a peek back makes me feel like we’ve come a long way. And without spending thousands of dollars.
So there it is… Don’t judge my lack of design skills (and moolah) just yet; the house is a work-in-progress and probably will be until the day we move out. That said, I am planning on making a point of NOT getting caught up in spending a fortune and making my house look good just so I feel like I am keeping up with all the Pinterest-worthy houses on the interwebs.
Well… Maybe I’ll start toning it down once I get that West Elm chandelier. *Sigh.