Our New House – Part Two


Hey, guys! Today I’m picking up where I left off in my last post about our new home. Be sure to check it out to hear more overall details about the place and our plans for it.

Okay! On to the bedrooms.

Harper’s Room


The first space we painted – a gorgeous light tan/gray (depends on the light) with white trim – and I still haven’t made it feel like a complete room yet. Sure, Harper’s furniture and shaggy faux fur carpet are in there, but we haven’t put anything fun on the walls or done anything to make it feel particularly “her.” “Her”, by the way, seems to be no-nonsense(!) but fun and colorful. Her clothes tend to have a comfortable vibe (comfort always comes first, especially with the little adventurer that she’s become) with small, bohemian florals and neutrals or bright, modern colors. Kid’s hip and she knows what she likes. I love her for that.

Now, if she’d only USE her crib more often. :-\ Nighttimes are often spent traipsing back and forth between her room and ours and, admittedly, she’s become a bit of an accidental co-sleeper.


TO DO:
Organize – Her closet is still full of spillover boxes and toys and…oh, just crap. Plus, ALL the toys in the entire house need a good purging. Christmastime left us overwhelmed. Will it ever NOT do that?!
Treat those windows. She needs some cordless blinds that will hopefully help block out the light, but I’d also like to hang something fun from them, too. It’s hard to figure out the challenges of both toddlerdom and baseboard heating.
Decorate – The things we had to decorate her last room still haven’t found themselves to her walls, and I even have a couple of blank canvases (literally) awaiting a DIY artistic touch to create some additional wall art. It’s lower on the list than it should be right now, poor thing.

Hadley’s Room


So far, this is the biggest transformation in the whole house. Dave’s parents worked SO hard taking down the wallpaper, scrubbing and scraping the walls, and painting.

I’ll be sharing a more in-depth post about this space soon, but suffice it to say, we’ve tried to pull his room together a bit to make it feel more like home. I know it’ll continue to evolve (as does our little man’s personality and interests), but for now I sent Dave out with both kids so that we could make it more fun – like him! – and homey. A couple of store-bought art finds, some old DIY art from his old room (that he loves), and some white Christmas lights and it’s one of my favorite rooms. It’ll do for now, at least. Oh, and Dave’s parents were kind enough to get and come install his blinds. Love the cordless ones!

TO DO:
Finishing touches. We need to finish painting the trim around the windows, maybe add some additional window treatments layered on top of the blinds.

Our Room


Our main priority was getting the kids’ rooms livable before moving in, and that was pretty much accomplished. Needless to say, this left our room in a less-than-desirable state. The walls and trim are institutional – I can’t even say what color they are. You know that oatmeal-manilla folder-ish color paper your elementary teachers would have you use as scrap paper? Kind of like that. And, of course, we didn’t paint the closet before throwing stuff in there. (But, at least we get to share a closet now! Dave used to get changed in Harper’s room since that’s where his closet was.)


We’re thinking of taking some bigger chances in this room. So far, all the other rooms we’ve painted have been a neutral greige of some sort. We’re considering doing something similar in our room plus an accent wall, but we’re also mulling just going for it and painting the whole space a deeper, moodier color. After all, it’s a larger room than we’re used to and it gets plenty of morning sunlight.

What would you guys do???

TO DO:
Paint, paint, and paint s’more. Trim needs to be white. Closet needs to be freshened. Walls need, well, ANYTHING.
Grown-up decor. We don’t actually have a headboard, so we’ve been discussing getting a new bed altogether. I’m considering a DIY option, but overall we need to get things to play nicely together. The hodgepodge of dressers and side tables needs to be adultified. Let’s just pretend that’s a word.

Office


Yay, we have an office!!! This is actually Dave’s realm, mostly, because my writing is generally done wherever my lap is (ie the bed, the couch, the dining room). This space is in the half of the basement that’s “finished” (albeit super outdated) and will probably also house a futon or some sort of sleeping option for the rare guest or two.

TO DO:
– Paint the walls. I believe the walls in this room look like wallpaper but the design is actually printed right onto the wood paneling. Yep. Gross. So, after we get on top of the boxes and clutter in our basement “hallway” area, we’ll move this stuff around to try to paint this space. Hoping to find a color that will work with the ugly old but in-good-shape carpet but also any future flooring changes we may make, too.
– Make the rug work. This may entail layering another larger rug on top, I’m not sure. It all needs help, let’s say.

Playroom


Ugh, that picture. It’s actually been picked up some since this was taken, but it’s still pretty rough. Let’s say that it’s got lots of potential.

This is a big, mismatched, totally ‘60s era space that still has a sink from a previous wetbar. I mean, can you say “swinging”? That said…it’s going to be our kids’ playroom!!!!

We’ve got several types of paneling AND faux brick that’s clearly more plastic than faux brick on the walls and an industrial linoleum floor, but the space is huge and I can’t wait to make it work. Again, I’m envisioning a fun, bright space with the kids’ fun in mind here with an accent on “modern.” ‘Cuz currently, it ain’t.

TO DO:
– Try painting…or replacing paneling, as needed. I’m totally cool having that one faux brick area, but if it doesn’t paint up well, I’m going to replace it. I also hope to replace at least one of the walls with a flatter material to create a chalkboard wall (ssssqqqquuuuuuuuueeeeeeeee!!!!).
– Furnishing and decorating. Since it’s such a LONG room and the floor can be cold given what it’s made of, we’ll need to have some throw rugs to make it a comfy, unified space. Also, if we can’t fit a couch/futon/daybed in the office, it’ll most likely end up here. Honestly, since the kids are so young and they need almost constant supervision, this will probably be where Dave or I perch while watching the kiddos destroy…er…I mean enjoy the space. 😉  
Organizing. I’m hoping to make this more of a Montessori-esque learning space, so I’d like to put any of the kids’ toys that they don’t use super regularly on the main floor down there and organize them into zones. Let’s just say we’re planning a dress-up zone (eventually to house a – wait for it – stage!), kitchen area, constructive counting/math/problem solving space, tent, and more.


Basement Bathroom

No picture here…and kind of with good reason.

Bwahahaha! So. Get this. I had made an old “parsons” desk (kind of) back in the day that we ended up moving when Harper was born to make room in her new room. Long story short, it ended up in this room that’s attached to the end of the playroom – part bath, part laundry room, part cat potty room. I’m not sure if it became structurally unsound during the move or if one of our chunky kitties walked on it, but it’s currently laying halfway on the ground with two legs off.

But, wait, there’s more! Lately, Winston has been flexing his “curiosity killed the cat” side by getting himself stuck in the drop ceiling in the basement (he found it from the unfinished side). So, while I was down working in the unfinished area recently, I put him in the bathroom to keep him from a similar fate…only to accidentally lock. Him. In. I eventually took off the handle, then still had to find a way to open the door, but obviously freed him. Soooo…the handle needs fixing. Still. Ahem.

TO DO
– Um. Fix the handle. Yyyyyeah. I’ll get on that.
– Um. Fix the table. Yyyyyyeah. Again. Will get on that.
– Update the space. #modernupdate Need I say more? (I’m sure I’ll be posting and showing off the awkward space soon.

Unfinished Basement

Again, no pics. It’s kind of self-explanatory, but, again, I’ll show pictures as I work in the space.

This is kind of the area that I worry about the least, but let’s just say that the purging will continue. I’m planning to have a garage sale (an actual one, in our awesomesauce garage!) when the weather warms up so that this space gets utilized in the best possible way. The same goes for the garage. The real “to do” here is just to organize and go through crap. Oh, and to buy a shed when the weather changes. That’ll help as far as the garage goes, too.


So, what do you guys think? Any ideas for any of the spaces? Any Pinterest boards you suggest I follow? I would love to hear any thoughts!

Our New House – Part One

So, are you ready for a house update, folks? (It’s actually the first of a couple! So very long. Eek.) Here goes!

Things have been such a whirlwind since we closed way back in November, it’s taken me longer than I’d hoped to put together a proper tour of our new house. I wasn’t able to take final pictures of our old home before things were boxed up and it bums me out. Between Harper’s first birthday, closing and working on the new house a bit before moving in, moving, and the holidays…wow, things have been crazy. Anyone who’s moved, let alone with kids, can attest to that.

But, here we are! Thanks to the holidays, we forced ourselves to focus on the family and getting cozy, so it’s really starting to feel like home. It’s been difficult – to say the least – leaving our first home, but as time goes on we see how awesome the move has been for us. We haven’t put our old house on the market quite yet, so I’m sure that rollercoaster will drudge up even more emotions.

About the New House

As far as our new home goes, we’ve gone from a two-story, 1920s-style 900-something sq. ft. house to a ranch that’s just shy of 1400 sq. ft. The house was built in 1960 – something I never thought I’d be okay with – but the bedrooms (and closets!) are larger, we have 1 ½ baths in the main living space, and there’s a finished basement space (in addition to an unfinished area that’s got sufficient storage and still allows us to continue our constant purge – a plus, in our book) that offer both an office/guest room, playroom, AND additional bathroom/laundry area, so I’ve warmed up to the idea. The perfectly sized front and back yards helped, too!

Dave and I find deep connections to the past, so the fact that we like certain cultural and design aspects of the 1960s gives us the inspiration we need to help freshen up the space. It was owned by an elderly woman prior to this, so while it may not be modernized, it was deeply and meticulously cared for with plenty of upkeep.

When we put in our offer, my mother mentioned the fact that we’re a “modern” family and that she knows that I like vintage/retro styles – and I realized she was right. The design blogs that I follow are leaning more towards the comfortable-but-modern styles (like the Scandinavian designs, hits of bold colors and geometrics among neutral backdrops, organic fabrics, natural elements, quirky art) with an accent on family-friendly comfort. So, that’s my hope and vision for the new house.

Okay, here we go – a breakdown of the space!  

Dining Room


This is actually an open room connected to the living room, so the vibe for both spaces has to be cohesive. Kind of goes without saying, right? We currently have a solid walnut table and chair set (that we put together on our due date for Hadley…which didn’t help him arrive any faster). It’s getting dinged up pretty efficiently by the kiddos, but it only adds to the character. We like the warmth and depth it adds to the space. So, while the set stays, I’m thinking of adding a couple of chairs or a modern bench to create additional seating.

We also have a 1920s art deco-ish sidebar that had a rough time during the move, losing some of its detailing (I’ve done some repair, but it’s still not great). But, we got it during our honeymoon and it’s practically part of the family. We WILL make it work, dang nabbit.

We also already found the *perfect* greige for the entire living area. My family worked hard to help get this main space painted (along with the kids’ rooms) before we moved in, so having a warm neutral gray-ish to help unify the dining and living rooms helps update the space tremendously. Let’s just say we were dealing with *pink* before this. *Side note: I just saw that “blush” is now an “in” color. That said, sorry. I still wouldn’t have kept the pink. Neener neener.*

TO DO:
Organize the sidebar to fit our needs. The fine china/crystal has been relegated to the basement (we only use it maybe once a year) until the kids are older, so I figure it should serve the whole family’s storage needs.
Buy updated seating. Since the house is much better suited to entertaining, the more people we can fit at the table, the better. We’d also like to modernize a bit, so whether it be mid-century chairs or a sleek bench of some sort, we’ll see.
Hang/buy art. The whole house needs a revamp in the art department. Our old house was a mix-and-match of art pieces, and while it was personal and “us”, we’ve outgrown some of it (along with the cheap frames). So, it’s time to purge, update, and hang our absolute favorites while adding to our actual art collection. Time to be grown-ups but with a fun, kid-friendly vibe.
Create a “foyer” area. Since this is where people enter, we’ve thrown our Target ottoman there for our shoes (family shoes MULTIPLY like mad), but the space is crying for a modern mirror (hopefully round) and maybe hooks or a shelf.
Buy a rug. I’ll get into this more in the next section.


Living Room


The greige I just mentioned plays nicely with my favorite part of the house – our gas-insert fireplace. It totally blends with it while allowing it to pop at the same time. Amazing. (I also LOVE the black detailing around the insert, which helps modernize the stone, which is the exact same stone my grandparents had in their house. #memories)

We installed our favorite bookcase and need to fill in some old anchors/holes on one wall, and are still trying to figure out our seating arrangement. The old, cat-scratched ottoman used to hold excess toys, so we’re trying to figure out where it belongs. We enjoy having the open space for the kids to play (and not, ahem, get precariously close to the stone hearth) but need something to put our cups on while watching TV. And, yes, we still have the old school boxy set; it’s a point of pride in our house that we’re not throwing away a perfectly fine (okay, it has its quirks) TV just to get a new, flat-screen. #keepingupwiththejoneses #hellno

TO DO:
Update the furniture. Slowly but surely, I’d like to add a bit more of the mid-century, slightly bohemian look to the whole house. So, time to do some furniture hunting. (Over time, of course.)
Buy a new rug. I’ve picked out a surprising rug that I keep going back to for this space, much larger and different than the crappy old striped one we’re currently using. Now, to get a rug in the dining room that will play nicely with it (not matchy, not competitive in pattern)…
Figure out our furniture placement. This will probably be an ongoing struggle.
Add an upright piano… A house simply cannot be a home without one. Our old house couldn’t support one properly and since we were constantly house hunting, we thought, “why get a piano if we’re just going to have to move it, anyway?” Four years later…

 

Kitchen


Ugh. My bone of contention. Let’s just say that this kitchen is a weird hodgepodge of styles, seemingly “updated” by a person with a split personality disorder. Super dark speckled granite that I can’t see a single crumb on (some might like that idea, but I don’t feel like it’s ever clean!), weird pickled pink cabinetry with rounded doors (WTF?!), and wallpaper that’s older than I am. It’s just…ugh. Makes me feel like one of the Golden Girls, somehow. Cheesecake, anyone?

I don’t mind doing some updating here and there to freshen up a space, but will eventually need a complete overhaul. Yep. But, I count myself lucky in so many other ways, so the more time I spend there, the better I’ll be able to plan our next steps.

TO DO:
Make it livable in the meantime. I’ll probably take down the wallpaper when it finally drives me mad enough and paint the walls, and will weigh whether or not I should paint the cabinetry to update things a bit or wait. At least the floor is relatively neutral enough for now.
Bigger changes later on. I’m thinking about opening the wall into the dining room with a breakfast bar, updating the countertops and cabinets with something a bit more classic and light (maybe butcherblock?), and some more modern details. So, yeah. Lots.


Hallway


It’s a small space, but it’s central to the home. Just past the living room, it contains 6 doors – our bedrooms, our two main floor bathrooms, and a coat closet. Oops. Make that 7; there’s a linen closet, too. Holy crap.

TO DO:
Finish painting. This space will continue the paint color from the living and dining room area, in addition to all the white trim painting we’ll be undertaking. Thank God for the Purdy short-handled paintbrush. (Not an advertisement. We just adore them.) We also learned that we need to start with a primer (or just cheaper white paint) for the color to “take” in the way it’s intended to look.
New rug and light fixture (eventually). I’m thinking of a modern angular slightly-hanging pendant.

Main Bathroom


While there are some minor repairs and touch-up paint that we’ll need to track down, this space is in good shape. Everyone we’ve spoken to has liked the light green paint (which plays well with the grays throughout the rest of the main living area) and the storage and sink areas are nicely updated.

TO DO:
Minor fixes. Touch-up paint here and there. One of the many towel bars wasn’t properly anchored so it fell out of the wall (I’ve fixed it temporarily; needs a permanent fix – possibly a shelf replacement). Nothing big deal. I’m not a huge fan of the flooring, though, so maybe one day we’ll do some bigger updates.
Organize storage. It works fine for now, but I feel like it needs a better method. Lots of small drawers so things have to lay flat or find another place to live.
New accessories. I’d like to modernize the curtains/towels and add some art.

Kids’ Bathroom

We’re lucky enough to have a half bath near our bedroom, so while we all use it, I’d like to turn it into a bathroom with a kid vibe.

The issue? It also houses a stacked washer/dryer, leaving little space for anything else. Plus, it’s got blue mosaic tile floors, dirty-looking cream tile on the walls as well as for the toilet and sink, and wallpapered everything else. For now, we’re making use of the washer and dryer even though we have our own from the old house in the basement (it’s a schlep to get down there and I just can’t leave the kids alone in order to switch loads). We’ll see where we go with it.

That said, all I can say is it’s HEAVEN having an extra potty room nearby, even as outdated as it is! (The same can be said for the laundry.)

TO DO:
Update – I’m thinking of whether or not we could simply scrape the wallpaper and paint the walls and sink cabinet for now just to make it comfortable enough. There’s a chance I could make the cream and blue work for awhile until we’re able to do a bigger overhaul and throw in a couple of small accessories.

 

So, I think that’ll do for now. I’ll get to the bedrooms and basement next time. I’d love to hear any thoughts, suggestions, or even Pinterest boards or blogs you think I should check out in the comments. I’m always open to suggestions.

Welcome to our home!