Monday, July 7, 2014

One "Room" is Done!

Oh summer... it's simply the best season of the year! Perhaps because I live in the Pacific NW, these long warm days are just such a welcome change from the gray wet days that dominate the rest of the year. To make the most of this short season in the new house, the first "room" on my list to finish was the courtyard.

Thanks to all those clearance sales on outdoor furniture at Target, a garage sale find and a floor model purchased at Pottery Barn, this room was dressed in no time and we've already enjoyed entertaining multiple times over these first two weeks in the house.

Here's to making the most of this season!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Apparently I Woke Up and Had Nothing Better To Do...

Seriously, I had no intention of ripping out a mantel and some tile today. But walking out from the bedroom this morning, gazing upon this somewhat wimpy mantel sporting a hue I've never been a fan of, I knew it had to go. It wasn't doing the house any favors, particularly installed on this fireplace wall rising some 17 feet in the air.

It literally took 15 minutes. A couple screws and a few nails was all it had in its defense.

But shoot. Once the mantel was off, I had no desire to stare at this for any period of time. So those had to go as well.

That took 45 minutes. 

It's a slippery slope, this DIY stuff. This certainly could be made a little prettier... while I decide what will go in its place. So the rough spots were sanded down and a can of the original wall color found in the garage work station made everything at least presentable for the interim. 

Aww... I like it better already. Now it's possible to start visualizing what could be here!

A few weeks ago I spotted this photo of an entry, above on the left, and was completely inspired: something can be done with this house! And on the fireplace wall, perhaps planks running up its height?

 I'm going to live with it for a while and decide.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Moving Day(s)

We finally closed on our {smaller} house and of course that means it's been a bit crazy around here as I clean and prep the rooms for moving day... or days! Slowly the smaller items are getting hauled over as we wait for the movers to handle the big stuff this upcoming weekend. {And if you need proof this house is smaller, look at this walk-in closet. It's a good thing I paid attention to those "clean out your closet" tips on Pinterest!}

But before anything gets hung in the closet, beyond repair carpet has to GO!

I'll take clean subfloor for the interim.

It hasn't been all cleaning and minor demo jobs however, we are nearly ready for summer entertaining courtesy of some clearance finds at Target. {And a timely tip from an IG friend that those items I'd been stalking had hit clearance status!}

Once things settle down I'm looking forward to getting back into posting mode as I scheme how to make this house our home using what we have, some good old DIYing and eventually some bigger reno projects. But in the meantime if you want to follow again, visit me over at Instagram.

Hope you are having one fabulous summer so far!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Scratch That. Moving On To House Number 2

As more and more issues became apparent at the new build home we had an offer on, with fixes that just didn't meet our expectations, I couldn't help but begin looking online each night to see if anything matching our very specific requirements had come onto the market in the neighborhood that day.

Well what do you know, I didn't see this one coming! A week ago on a Thursday night at 8:45 I realized I hadn't looked in over a day, so promptly logged on. Scrolling through the list of homes I'd seen day after day suddenly one that hadn't been there before popped up on the screen. I couldn't believe my eyes: a mini version of our last home, by the same builder, located just around the corner from where we previously lived at a price that hardly made sense. "Omg, omg, come look, a house just got listed! We have to go see it, NOW." My husband, who was watching Modern Family, responded, "Oh. Really? Ok. What is it? Ok. After the show finishes." He wasn't all that thrilled, probably thinking what wild chase is she taking me on now. "No, you don't understand, we have to go now, while it's still light so we can see in. Let's go! This thing is not going to last." And so off we went, him begrudgingly.

But the moment we began walking up the steps to the home, between a stone wall, through the wrought iron gate leading into a large courtyard situated at the front of the house... we knew.

Turning around we dashed back to the apartment to pick up the kids, wanting to get their opinion, and by 10 o'clock that night my husband had sent a text to our agent saying we wanted to put in an offer first thing in the morning. Oh, and by the way, when could we get in to see the house? Yes, that's a first even for me, making an offer before stepping into a property. (Although, to give some perspective, an acquaintance has the same floorplan so we knew what to expect inside, basically.) Going over the decision I asked, "What do you think, what should we do?" His response: "Is there even a question?" Now when my husband gets that sure about something, you just go for it.

And we got the house! And as predicted, there was a lot of interest. But happily for us our agent worked his magic and this family is thrilled! It has some dated and slightly funky finishes inside, but those can be changed over time. The location just can't be beat, we are back near our old friends and neighbors in the corner of the neighborhood we have come to love over the last several years. I really can't believe how things aligned during this decision to downsize, I couldn't have written it better. We were able to sell quickly and there was just no way we could have ever hoped or predicated a resale of a smaller home by the same builder, in our price range - that we love - would come on the market at exactly the right moment. 

We'll be in the apartment a couple weeks longer, but that is no price to pay. Soon we'll be moving into a house that again, I can't wait to make into our home.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Progress At Our New {smaller} House

Update: the issues with this house and the unsatisfactory fixes just became more than we were willing to accept and we have terminated our agreement to purchase this home, not without a lot of thought and deliberation. But tomorrow I'll share the news that made the decision much clearer. Here's to not settling. 

Our new house is coming along fast and in a month we'll begin moving in! 

After the quick sale of our last home we decided to purchase this smaller one just a few blocks away in the same neighborhood - which is key! I love it here. The key factor that drew us to this choice is its floorplan, which has a layout we believe will work well for us and makes great use of all the available square footage. A grand 1800. I know for some that's big, for others small, but for us it's 1400 less than we had become used to. Lots of smart storage solutions will be key, as well as our ongoing process of getting rid of things we don't use regularly and keeping only what we love. 

It's been fun to watch the progress...

... and top on my wish list was a tub big enough for a soak, with a window above. 
{I have to say I do miss my old bathroom!}

One element of the house that I really can't stand, seriously can't stand, is this oval window with it's dated detailing! My hope is to replace it with the style seen below on the left, the window which is situated on the other side of the front door from this questionable choice. Why, oh why couldn't they have just done that from the beginning?!

On the flip side, I do love the light streaming into the house from all these windows! Above in the master and below in the main living area. 

A challenge for someone like me that has very definite ideas about what should go into a space is the fact this isn't a builder that gives you much choice, or really any at all. It's how they keep their prices down, I do realize, but if I could have my way I'd get the house delivered to me minus the finishes! Do I need to share how I'm not so crazy about the tile, the lighting, the wall color, etc? Happily, that all can be changed.

And on the note of making changes and additions, I met with a favorite tradesman yesterday to start plotting out plans to bring in some character to the rooms, starting with trimwork. This is exciting stuff for a girl like me! It's kind of been a roller coaster like that, excited about some things, and having to take a deep breath to accept others. Like the workmanship on the tile installation, it just made me shake my head! Luckily my infatuation with the hardwood floors balanced out the scale and at the end of each of these days, it comes down to being excited about the prospect of getting my hands on these rooms to begin making this house our new home.

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