Moving with 4 kids and all the STUFF 6 people need is NO JOKE. The last time we moved, Henry was 8 months old. Not only was he only one baby, he was a brilliant napper. Three naps a day. THREE. Also, one kid.
And kids, any number of them really, still need to eat lunch and snacks, and have diapers changed and fights broken up and messes picked up. None of that every day stuff (that can be overwhelming on a good day) stops even when you have the monstrous task of unpacking on top of it. (In fact, these two teeny paragraphs? Took me 20 minutes to write. Because everyone woke up. And was obviously in dire need of 17 things. Each.)
So, all of that to say that boxes are unpacked. Everything is out. I’ve hung stuff on walls, but it’s not necessarily it’s final resting place. I was mostly wanting to get things out of boxes and off the floor.
And now comes the task of making this house a home. A quick tour shall we?
So this is our house.
I freaking love it.
We moved kinda sorta to the country. Except not really the country because I’m originally from Los Angeles and I think I mostly like the IDEA of Country.,
(I can hear you midwesterners snickering from here.)
We have four acres, so it’s all wide open spaces and such.
Except that literally 1 mile away there is WalMart and Trader Joe’s and a cute little downtown filled with shops and restaurants. So it’s like the first house in the country right outside of suburbia. Which is basically EXACTLY the kind of country this city girl who thinks she loves country needs.
Andy and I have always loved Craftsman styled homes, and while not authentic, historic Craftsman, we were smitten with the siding. (Our last house was more of a Spanish style stucco. Pretty, but not our first choice.)
This front door is begging for some paint to brighten this space up (I’m planning this blue.). In fact, the ENTIRE house is begging for color. You’ll see.
WE HAVE A FRONT PORCH!!!!
Several years ago, before I even had kids, I had a calendar that was front porches. Literally. 12 months of the coziest porches you can imagine. My porch is pretty barren right now, but in due time, my friends. In due time.
This is the other end of the porch.
I envision a porch swing and hanging plants and maybe a fountain or something.
And big, fluffy throw pillows.
And sweet tea sipping. Except I don’t like sweet tea. So regular tea. (But sweet tea sounds so much more romantic.)
A word to the wise: when you buy a house, if you have the negotiating room, INSIST THAT THEY CLEAN THE CARPETS RIGHT BEFORE YOU MOVE IN.
I don’t know if the carpets were this bad when we saw the house and I was too busy looking at more pressing issues like layout and functionality (likely), or if they got worse during the moving out process, but IT’S ALL I CAN SEE NOW. And it’ll cost us several hundred dollars to have the carpet in the whole house cleaned. Grrrrr.
When you first walk in the house, there are a couple of rooms. This is what is supposed to be the formal living room.
But since we are about as formal as flip flops, it’s become our school room instead.
This room is probably my favorite room in the house.
This room needs bunting. Stat.
It has so many windows and the lighting is just glorious.
Our last schoolroom was dark and dim and had but one teeny tiny itty bitty window. And that window was mostly blocked by the neighbor’s house, 8 feet away.
Opposite the school room is our office, which is supposed to be a formal dining room.
While we love to entertain, and do it often, we are more of a BBQ or buffet kind of people. Sitting down to a pretty spread sounds fun in theory, but it doesn’t execute well. 90% of our friends have 4+ kids, so it doesn’t take many families to make party numbers jump into the 25+ range. Also, kids.
Besides, with a husband who is self-employed, having a separate space for him to work is much more functional. (He goes to an office everyday, but sometimes he works from home and sometimes he needs to get stuff done on weekends and evenings.)
Please note that there are double glass doors going into the room…but then 2 big, open cut outs in the wall. So I’m 100% unsure what the purpose of doors are, when it’s not exactly going to keep noise out. To keep the turkey isolated on Thanksgiving? I don’t know.
We actually had this desk in our bedroom at the last house…it’s just three of those particle board bookshelves from WalMart and a piece of melamine we bought at Home Depot. Andy still has to finish hooking up all the technology stuff and tie/clean up the wires.
And look! A bookshelf! We didn’t have a wall space at the last house for a bookshelf, so they all lived hidden away in a cupboard. But now we can! I actually need to order another one from Wayfair.
I haven’t decided fully, but I’m thinking of doing something like this along the desk wall to make it more masculine and feel more office-y.
So then we pass a small half bath (no pics because I mean, it’s a toilet and a sink) and right into the great room area.
Let me be clear: I LOVED my last house. It was fantastic.
But my biggest complaint was the lack of natural light. It had lots of windows, but they were all oddly small and on the wrong sides of the house. The majority of the windows were on the north/south facing walls, and yet the sun rises and sets on the east/west…so there was only indirect light…and not much of it.
A natural light DREAM.
Windows everywhere. Big ones. And on the correct sides of the house.
White tile and white grout that I celebrated hauling out of the last house?
Right back atcha. Oh, irony.
The kitchen is a good layout, but the cabinets and counters could use some updating. I miss my glass subway tile.
I have what I call my $60,000 kitchen remodel idea (which involves knocking out walls and completely moving every aspect of the kitchen around, but that may not happen. Basically picture something like this recreated in my space. Pretty, right? Gah.)
At the very least, I see counter tops, fresh paint, and updated appliances in the future. Not soon, but someday. Like, several years someday. (Also, I have no clue what my big remodel idea would cost. I just picked a big number to be dramatic. Because that’s kinda my gig.)
And you better believe I brought my Barn Lights. I made it a point to have Andy pull them down and replace them with basic, universally acceptable pendants before we so much as put the house on the market.
First of all, I WANTED THEM. And secondly, it would have broken my heart into a million pieces if I had left them and found out that the new homeowner didn’t like them, or it wasn’t their style, or color scheme and they took them down not knowing they are not cheap.
So I took them.
I call this little corner my baking station.
The drawers and cupboards house a dizzying amount of baking paraphernalia.
And hot dang that view.
We need to talk paint.
I want to paint. I NEED to paint.
These walls deserve better than Swiss Coffee (the builder standard paint color).
I want something neutral…THAT WON’T DARKEN UP THE ROOM or take away from the gorgeous light that streams in here. I’m thinking Abalone like this, but I’m not sure.
Honestly, we didn’t do much house shopping, because we weren’t truly house shopping to begin with, but you better believe that we had an entire conversation about if the couch would fit.
Because I love this couch and I may or may not have taken a house out of consideration if I felt that the couch wouldn’t fit.
Also, it needs cleaned. See that line of gross along the back? That’s where the dogs would rub against it as they walked by it in the old house.
The bad thing about natural light? YOU SEE DIRT that was once hidden and mostly unnoticeable when rooms were dark.
I have a dude coming to clean the couch next week. I’m kinda dying.
Also, I had to put my hutch and Le Creuset in the living room because there are zero blank walls in the kitchen. It’s a little random, but I don’t think it looks too bad, right?
Eventually (although probably sooner rather than later) we plan on pulling up the PRACTICALLY WHITE carpet and putting down wood or laminate (depending on what we can afford).
With four acres for the kids to play on, it’s not going to be anywhere close to beige in 5…4…3…
A fireplace sits off to the side.
It’s kind of a random spot, but what are you going to do?
Paint the mantle piece white, that’s what.
This big hole in the wall needs a custom cabinet.
Because that’s super inexpensive.
But seriously. Our little IKEA TV cabinet looks pretty ridiculous.
Built in cabinets!!!!
I didn’t have anything like this in the last house, so we had to keep sheets and blankets in the cabinets in bathrooms. Which I guess was fine, but it always seemed kind of unsanitary. Now I can have bedding not where people poop. Fancy that.
And then you walk through double doors to our bedroom.
This feels supremely luxurious to me.
I feel like there should be a voice saying “Enter” as we walk through. Like in a Disney movie or something.
The room is pretty bare right now.
Again, I need some color on the walls.
Paint is going to be tricky in this house.
I really, really, REALLY don’t want to take away from the light and bright airy feel of the rooms, and I certainly don’t want to detract from the fantastic views, so I want to do something really pale and light. But still something that will give contrast to the white trim and give the house a little more character.
And then a doorless bathroom.
Which makes showering really awkward.
Obviously, we close the main bedroom door and draw the blinds (not that anyone is around to see), but it still feels really vulnerable.
No jets. But soaking tub.
I didn’t take pictures of the kids’ rooms because really, they are just rooms with a bunk bed in them (we moved the kids to bunks to save space) so they are pretty boring so far.
Next week I’ll share some photos of the property/grounds. But for now, this post was long enough.
But seriously. Help me with paint colors. I have a Pinterest board just for it. Send me pins as you see them and I’ll add them to my board!
Also NO STAIRS.
None. Not even one. Nowhere.
Okay, now start sending me pins for paint. (Here’s my Pinterest account. I think you have to be following me to send me pins.)