Hey guys! Today I am blogging on behalf of Trulia, but the views expressed here are ours, the stories are ours, the photos of my house are… obviously, ours. To learn more, visit the Trulia website.
So let’s start from the beginning – in November, we bought a house!
When we decided to buy this charming little 1940s house, we took a lot of things into consideration. For example, the neighborhood (adorable). The price (low). The amount of money we’d have left to do some projects (comfortable). The character (charming). The space (small). The structural condition of the home (sturdy). The FURNACE (new). The possibility that we could make this house into our very own yum sweet home through renovating, redecorating, and making memories here. Yep, embracing the cheesy.
We had done our homework and scoured the real estate websites. I was obsessed with the real estate apps on my phone, and I would drive around neighborhoods I liked with my Trulia app open, looking for homes for sale. We actually found the home we bought through this exact process. Go figure. But for all our research, one thing we did not consider: the amount of TIME it takes to make a house your home. Along with that, the reality that that time is at the bottom of our priority lists, right under Teaching, Food Blog, eCookbook, Family, Birthdays, New Baby Nephew, Spring Break, Working Out, Watching The Voice, Re-Watching the Bachelor Finale to Critique, and Eating Salted Dark Chocolate Almonds.
We’ve been here for almost four months now, and this about sums it up:
I mean, when do people have time to do all of this stuff? Get new curtains? Paint your trim? Sort through millions of kitchen appliance options and try to figure out how to sand something? We have dreamed big small-house dreams, and I’m going to be totally honest: while some of the more urgent things have been taken care of right away (anything involving pipes, locks, or furnaces), most of our DIY dreams are still sitting in some corner of our brains, or in our actual house, gathering dust while still in the packaging.
But you know what? Who the heck cares. The moving in and getting settled is all part of the homebuying process, and it all takes a long time.
So come on in, you guys. Here’s a glimpse at what the house looks like now and some thoughts on where we’d like to take it sometime in the next 100 years.
First up, the entryway slash front door area! First on the list: replace the lock on the front door so it’s not padlocked shut anymore. Thankfully, we did this already so we can actually open the front door like normal people instead of running around the side of the house whenever someone knocked.
I’d also like to repaint the front door. Is that a red? Or pink? Or, dare I say, magenta? Not for long it’s not.
And how about adding a fun entryway light fixture? I’m on it.
Our living room is probably our most finished room, even though it’s not finished. I’m super excited to get the matching loveseat to complete the seating in the room. Ordered – check. We also had the walls painted a nice soft grey. Been there, done that, two thumbs up. The last detail thing that would make this room for me: the window trim painted white to match the baseboard. Add it to the list of ridiculous little things that probably won’t happen for the next 8 years.
As far as décor goes, I’m on the hunt for new glass for some of these frames to keep these sweet faces looking their best. I’m also on the hunt for something, ANYTHING, to put on those bookshelves. The goal right now is some cool arrangement of books, but you can see how far we’ve gotten with that. Three contributed by him, three contributed by her. Teamwork?
The living room does need a few minor fixes and adds – like fixing the crooked curtain bar that’s been almost falling down for three months, and possibly buying new, more colorful curtains. Or maybe we’ll just live in a mellow zen state of relaxing neutrals forever. Don’t know don’t care.
I’d also love to put something else on the wall by the front door. Preferably something … uhh, cool. Ideas?
Like many old house bathrooms, this one is a trip. It’s the one and only bathroom in the house and it will let you know that it’s in charge with its colorful patterns. First order of business here is changing the pink circus bathroom floor into something that fits the rest of the house. And WHY have we not gotten a white toilet seat yet?! I specifically remember when we moved in that we talked about how we would definitely for surely absolutely want to do that right away. Riiight.
I’d also like to get a mini wall clock that works. It’s so cute, but it hasn’t worked (even with new batteries) since the day I put it up. The eternal 10:30. And again with the window trim. Check back in 8 years. And are we going to do something cute with the sink and mirror? Yes. Maybe. I have some big five-year dreams.
The bedroom is one of my favorite spaces. Mostly because I sleep there and I LOVE SLEEP. Some of the things we need to do for this room would be refinishing the wood floors. Or maybe just finishing? I don’t really know. They’re in kinda rough shape. Also, finding curtains to cover the blinds. Bonus if they’re super pretty and sleep-inducing.
And it would be great if we could paint the bedroom my favorite shade of slate blue. Oh wait, already did. *fist bump*
Anyone know of small closet organization seminars in Minnesota? Sign me up twice.
Oh, you guys. The upstairs. It’s a lot of fun.
But at some point we do need to remove of the pink stuff behind the door – except not yet because right now that’s the only thing keeping us from losing all our heat to the uninsulated upstairs. We also need to fix the door handle so there actually is one. That latches.
Thankfully, tech-boy already took care of getting us a Nest and a Nest Protect. It’s a tech lover’s form of house work, obvi.
So you walk up the stairs and you find yourself here: in the completely unfinished, cedar-smelling beautiful bright attic. Half floor. Whatever.
Finishing this beauty into a master bedroom is definitely on the home project list. It could be a while, like, really a while, but the dream is there.
And the most important of the project is insulating this space IMMEDIATELY so we don’t die in winter.
This was a major selling point of the house for us, even though we know we won’t be able to get to finish the space for a while. Having the potential to do something more and make this house even more wonderful and charming is really exciting to think about (me, from a romantic and fun standpoint; him, from a practical resale value standpoint).
Welcome to my kitchen! There’s a lot I could say here, since the kitchen is my household domain. As you might remember, we had initially planned to do a complete kitchen remodel. We had one of those classic moments before we bought the house where we said something genius like, “Okay, so we’ll just knock down this wall and it will totally open up the space!” This was really going to be a real thing – we met with a builder, we had people come out to take measurements and draw up 3D plans, I pinned a whole board full of nice kitchen remodel ideas. Cyuuute!
And then we saw the price tag and thought about what that really meant, and whether or not that was really a good use of money, and experienced the discomfort of the heart-deep always-present war of wants vs. needs vs. spending a large amount of money in good conscience. In the end, for a number of reasons, we decided that the little regular kitchen will do us beautifully for now. And it really will. I like this little space.
I would love some kind of color change. All these wood tones are making me loopy. But as soon as we figure out how to change the cabinets without actually changing the cabinets, we’ll be golden. Or hopefully not golden. You know what I mean.
Since we decided not to do the full kitchen remodel, we are compensating with new kitchen appliances which have yet to be picked out and purchased, because all the options available are enough to make you want to stick your face in a tub of ice cream and never come out. Can I tell you a little secret? These…
are appliances we found in the basement. That’s right, folks. We (that’s a ‘we’ that doesn’t include me) FOUND them and dragged them up the stairs knowing nothing about their quality or functionality and wiped of all those cobwebs and now we eat our food out of them. We’re those people.
Food-blog-basement-found-appliances people. It sort of works.
PS. I just want to acknowledge that little curvy piece of wood above the sink. And I want you to come and knock it down with me. It will feel so good.
Ha! Office = 3 feet x 3 feet of small space that my desk occupies where all Pinch of Yum work happens. My desk used to be in the living room, but then I got kicked out by a new big rectangular electronic with a remote control that is now in its place!!! But we already talked about that.
So this is the current home for my desk. It’s right by the kitchen which is delicious. I mean, gluttonous. I mean, convenient.
This is the dining room where we haven’t done much of anything yet. Note the empty walls and the clock that’s been sitting on the floor for an obscene number of days, waiting to be hung by the husband who does the hanging. No further comment on that, Bjork. XO
Also To Be Replaced: the light fixture. I shopped around, compared prices, bought a new one, it came in the mail, and now I can’t decide if I like it so it’s sitting in the box in the Random Room. I need to give myself a time out for being so fickle.
The basement is our future in-home food blog studio/workshop/man cave. Depends on who gets there first.
PS. The fact that there are things on shelves is in and of itself a small DIY miracle. Applause is very appropriate.
This is a room where applause is not appropriate, because we put boxes and random treasures in here, look away, and shut the door. We also chose a horrible, pinky tan paint color because we are not capable of making good paint color decisions at 11pm during move-in week.
Truly, my goal is that this room would be sleep-able and mostly cute within a month. Cross your fingers for me, and for our friends from out of state who are arriving around the same time.
Where We Are, Together
In a sweet, and weird, and serendipitous turn of events, we actually signed the papers, said goodbye, and officially sold our old house today.
This morning Bjork had to go over and drop off the keys in the empty house. We didn’t plan it out in advance, and so even though I’ve said goodbye to that old place a million and one times during our many trips back and forth during the move, I was at work and I didn’t get to go with him for the final farewell today. I hardly even thought about it. I was at school when I got a text message from him – it was a video, him walking through each of the rooms, talking about his favorite memories from each of the spaces. I watched him retell stories about his memories from our first little home together, and I cried. And I have tears in my eyes again now thinking about it again.
The walls and ceiling that he stayed up so late to paint just a few days before our wedding. The patio and grill where he learned to grill a mean, juicy pork chop. Our cozy fireplace where I would sit for most of the winter with hot chocolate and that thick blue blanket. The big windows in the living room where I learned how to be a food photographer. The kitchen where I cooked, and we ate, and I cooked, and we ate. And the office where we dreamed big dreams and unknowingly made life-changing decisions, like starting a blog and going to the Philippines.
The funny thing about these heart-happy memories is that the LAST thing I think about is the warped floor in the kitchen where the dishwasher leaked, the drafty windows, and the faux wood floor carpet (no, seriously) that I disliked so much. I just think about us, and what we did together, and how that little house played a big role in that precious first-five-years-together chapter of our lives. And now suddenly I have a small heartache.
Dear Pinterest Loving, Overly Ambitious, Wanna Havva Perfect House Lindsay: remember this feeling as you unpack, settle, remodel, decorate, DIY, and generally start this chapter of life in your new home. Home is home because it’s where we are, together.
What a funny thing, houses.
Psst! Are you a fellow home-buyer and home-decorator? And do you have great ideas for simple ways to make a house look nice? Specifically, do you know how to deal with orange-ish cabinets without spending 900 million dollars? I covet your brilliant comments. Thank you, thank you.
Also, the best part of this whole buying-a-home process is knowing that you’re not alone in the overwhelmingness! Maybe it’s even worth a laugh amidst the craziness. If you want to see the other Trulia postcards and feel like the world understands your home buying journey, check these out.