We’ve officially been in our house for one month which makes us real, experienced homeowners. We did not burn the place down or break any large appliances (yet), so I’d say I’m ready and qualified to dish out some serious home owning advice at this point.
Here are 10 things we’ve learned so far:
- Neighbors aren’t like in the movies. I thought I was automatically gaining 4-5 new bff’s and we would all bake each other pies and hang out on our decks together and wave to each other and say things like, “Hey John, love the new car!” but no. Not one word from the neighbs yet.
- Things in your yard will not be picked up unless you pick them up. On about our 6th day here, Greg texted me and said “I picked up that butter knife that was in the driveway. I finally realized nobody else was going to pick it up” –Coming from apartment life, you get accustomed just walk right past the junk because it’s not your problem. In a house, it IS your problem. Imagine that. (if you’re wondering why there was a butter knife in the driveway, i’m not sure. It must have fallen out during the move.)
- Just because you own a home, it doesn’t automatically make you super organized and clean. My big dreams coming into this were that i’d somehow transform into the cleanest, tidiest, most mindful person when it came to keeping my house in tip top shape. A month in i’m finally realizing i’m the same slob with just a bit more room to slob around in.
- There will be critters and crawlers and you’re just going to have to deal with it. I knew the day would come where I was no longer in an apartment building on a high-up floor without the worry of creepy crawlies, but I guess I didn’t realize that we’d have AN ANT AND MOUSE PROBLEM RIGHT OFF THE BAT. There has been bloodshed. We’ve had 2 mice and an army of ants. Luckily, some caulk solved both problems, but for a while before bed every night I would call Greg into the bedroom to do what we called the ant genocide. He’d kill them and dispose of their bodies so I could sleep in peace. We’re true romantics.
- Dads are helpful. Between my dad and Greg’s dad, we have the most badass team of dad smarts + dad strength. There is not much that can’t be figured out when you put their dad powers together, so Greg and I are eternally thankful for their help!
- Stuff is expensive and it’s a lot of work…but not that much. Is there like, some secret paperwork you sign when you buy a house that I missed out on? Some contract you sign that says you have to complain about the money and the ‘hard work’ that goes into owning a home? Like, yeah, it’s going to cost some money if you want to fix some stuff up.. but DUH. And yeah, it’s going to require some effort to get stuff done, but hello, it’s a house that you bought. You knew what it needed when you bought it. I guess I hear people all the time complaining about the troubles of home owning and the “oh man, it’s so much work and money!” but it’s not that big of a deal. Do what you want to do when you want to do it. I’m personally loving all that we’re doing to this place, it’s been super fun and rewarding.
- Having a washer and dryer is the best thing ever. Coming from apartment life, we’ve never had our own washer and dryer. Greg and I have lived together for 5 years now (spread out over 3 different apartments plus this house) and we’ve been waiting for the moment where we have our own laundry that we don’t have to pay for every time. It’s glorious. It’s going to really cut my underwear spending down because I no longer need 325 pair to get me through until I can muster the energy to do 5 hours & $15 worth of laundry. Instead, I do it every few days like a totally normal, functioning adult.
- Buy some god damn curtains We’re one month in and we have not bought ONE window treatment for our house. Our main window in the living room is still wide open, which means everyone gets a front row seat for all the fun renovations we’re doing. In the bedroom, the sun rises quite literally next to my face each morning and i’ll probably lose my sight soon because every morning is the same: sun rises, I roll over and look out the window only to be temporarily blinded by the brightness, I curse the fact that we haven’t bought curtains yet, pull the pillow over my face, and fall back asleep. It’s a really cute routine me and Mr. Sun have, but my corneas are starting to deteriorate.
- I love my husband He’s just been crushing it with the house projects lately. He’s in school and working, yet he still finds time each day to tackle another project. Often, I leave for work in the morning and come home to find one more thing checked off the list. He’s a magical human and this experience has reminded me of that fact. He’s really gaining his “Dad points” here so that when he’s a dad he can be as helpful as our dads! (Refer to #5)
- I can’t think of a #10 and Tesla is unveiling it’s Model 3 in about 10 minutes so I have to go watch the internet and drool. To bring this post full circle, I’m really hoping neighbor John gets a Model 3 so I can say “Hey John, love the new car!” and mean it.
Just after we closed!
I love home offices. Put me in a beautiful, cozy little office and you can get me to happily tackle the most mundane of tasks. Since our last apartment was only a one bedroom and there was no room for an office, I built a wall unit so that I could have a cozy little place to blog and edit photos. I built it just a few months before we moved out of that place, but it was my absolute favorite spot in the apartment.
Ever since then, I’ve been home office obsessed. The tiniest bedroom in our house makes for the perfect office space.
Here’s the yucky room before:
Peaches kissing the carpet goodbye
Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If you want a man to work hard, buy him a toy that he can’t use until said hard work is done. The toy in question here was our awesome new computer. Since Greg’s in school and I needed a good monitor for photo editing, we decided to splurge on an incredible Dell Ultrasharp monitor. Of course, with a new monitor we needed a new desk, too! The desk is on it’s way, so Greg wanted to hurry and get the office all set. He told me last night that he was going to get the floors done today but I guess I didn’t fully believe he’d do it.
He ripped up the old disgusting carpet and went to town. ((The floor heater thingy is going to be removed but Greg said something blah blah about wires. I wasn’t really listening, I just know I want it gone. They are in every room in the house but they’re no longer needed since we have central air. We’re removing them as we go.))
I started painting last night but there was a ton of patching to do, so we’ll finish that tomorrow. Three of the walls will be Valspar’s Bistro White and the wall that the computer is going on will be Mark Twain Gray Brick.
My vision for this office is simple whites, blacks, and wood tones with lots of plant life. Calm and clean!
Here’s a little mood board I put together with those things in mind:
Here’s where we’re at now!
And a side by side:
This Saturday I woke up super early with the urge to run around to all the antique shops in the area.
First, I wanted to stop at the Regional Market to see what plants they had. I’ve been looking all around for a Fiddle Leaf Fig (Which you’ve definitely seen in any awesomely designed room, you just never knew what it was called until now!) Here’s what they look like..
I did pick up some succulents from the stand of a local nursery and I talked to the owner about where to find a Fiddle Leaf Fig. He said he has them at his nursery & would bring me one next week, hooray! Now I just need to learn how to keep it alive.
5 for $10 at the local market!
After the market, we headed down the street to the Syracuse Antiques Exchange where I scored my favorite antique shop find ever.
Here she is where I first spotted her…
I asked how much it was, thinking it would be way out of my budget, but to my surprise the owner said he was going to list it at $115 but was having a sale and would give it to me for $85. I already have a bar cart that I bought about a year ago for ~$150, and I know I can sell that for at least $85 which is how I justified this purchase (IT’S FREEEEE). This cart fits so well with the vision I have for my living room.
I didn’t know how much I loved it until I actually got it home. It’s currently right in my entryway, and I actually think I might leave it there! It’s a good piece to have right as people walk in the door and it looks super cute with my little succulents on it. Of course, I’ll style it up more once the room is complete.
The weather’s getting nicer & I’m dreaming about the Deck Days of summer. Since there are so many other projects happening at our house, we won’t be dropping any serious cash on new furniture for the deck. The only thing big thing we’ll be doing out there is staining and maybe painting. I’m actually kind of excited to try and thrift that entire space. It’ll be a challenge to keep it cohesive. The best part is that even if I fail, nobody will know because nobody ever hangs out on a deck sober for too long. Still, I have some ideas in my head for what I want it to look like. Hopefully I can find some great items during the summer garage sales (i’m lookin’ at you, Raddison) WAIT PS SIDE NOTE!!!!!! Two of my best friends from different parts of my life have JOINED FORCES AND THEY LITERALLY LIVE NEXT TO EACH OTHER IN RADDISON NOW. I’m excited because
I’ll get to see them both alll the time in one trip now I have not one but 2 options to stay the night on the most magical eve of the year: Raddison Garage Sale Eve. Both those betches have babies and they better find sitters because I will not be slowed down this year. I’m thinking about bringing my rollerblades to cruise through the ‘hood at a faster speed than the walkers, but not so fast that I don’t see all the goodies. People will laugh at me, yes. But i’ll have the last laugh as I make off with the best finds ‘blading and screaming “THIS IS MY YEAR GOD DAMNIT.” (For real though, I take this weekend very seriously. My mom tried planning a family trip to Nashville that weekend. NASHVILLE. & I made her move the date.)
Anyway, here’s some deck inspo. that’s got me rooting for global warming.
Our living room floors are 98% finished! I’m so excited to finally fill this room with some pretty furniture. To recap, here’s where we began when we moved in:
I won’t dwell on the things I hated. Instead I’ll boil it down into one word: everything. The big window was the only redeeming quality about the room to begin with.
First order of business was to paint, and paint we did. We chose Benjamin Moore Classic Gray for the walls. At first, going over the green, the gray seemed so light that we were a little nervous that it looked too much like white. Thankfully, the second coat dried a lot darker.
So after we were all painted up (kitchen too) it was onto the floors. We chose Antique Hickory laminate. We were searching around for someone to hire to install the floors for us, but then we realized Greg’s dad was our secret weapon. He renovated the entire kitchen in Greg’s parents house (I think he was hoping we’d forget that important fact so that wouldn’t ask for too much help, heh) He showed Greg how to install the laminate we chose (SUPER easy) and since the existing floors were so flat, we were actually able to just put some padding down and layer the laminate right on top. Some people may frown at that idea, but it saved us tons of money and time and nobody would ever know! (Except you. Now you know.)
March Madness was the perfect time to do this because I did a ton of jumping, screaming, spinning/rolling/beer spilling during it all. The floors passed all the tests.
Please lets never forget this hideous transition to tile.
SO MUCH BETTER! For this whole room, the laminate cost ~$400. Not bad! We just need to get new molding, paint the back of the door, sheetrock the weird window in the middle of the wall, and fill the room with pretty things! That last step is my favorite part, so I made a mood board of the feel we’re shooting for in this room. Lots of color, plants, gold accents and modern style furniture.