Okay, so this post is a couple of months late, but that’s because there was no way I could share any pictures until my home had all the furniture I ordered, actually in it. 🙂 Plus, there’s a lot I learned about the “joys” of homeownership, that I’d be remiss not to share.
45 Days of Impatience
As you saw in previous posts, on my home buying experience, if there’s two things I don’t have much of, it’s patience… and eyeballing measurements. When I put an offer on my home, and it was accepted, it took 45 days for closing, which is a short amount of time, compared to the standard (60 days). This meant I was moving out of my apartment a full two months early, which meant breaking my lease (guess who won, financially, from that situation – hint: wasn’t me). It also meant having two weeks to pack up as much as I could, trying to sell almost all of the furniture that wouldn’t fit (note: I sold more than I needed – who doesn’t like new stuff anyway), and buying all of the paint I needed to begin painting, the minute I had my keys in-hand. Being a planner, it was the most painful experience, having to wait close enough to closing, to make absolute sure all of the financing went through. If you don’t have thick skin (mine is still in development), you’ll end up with a few breakdowns, panic attacks, and bouts of “I want to buy that couch before it’s gone, oh my god, it’s gone”) impatience.
To add to this, the last time I got to see the place was one week after I put the offer in, which meant the proper thing to do would be to take great measurements and pictures. In my excitement, my handwriting was chicken scratch (with the notes I took anyway), and no photos were taken because at the time, I though “I can totally eyeball this”. Thank God for the MLS listing, and being able to save the seller’s photos!
If there was any time to have a reality show, it would have been “moving week”. First, I never should have said the words, “Watch it, it hasn’t snowed all winter, and it’s gonna snow the week of my move.” Guess what happened? Second, I grossly underestimated the amount of time it would take to paint extremely old walls. My house was built in the 40s and while cozy and charming, the layers of paint, spackle, divots, holes, and bumps, were no match for my paint rollers and brushes. (The upside, going up and down ladders for days, made for a tighter glutes.) And while I was cursing up a storm, getting paint everywhere, my saint of a boyfriend underestimated the time/strength it would take to move my stuff in simultaneously (which he thought he could do alone). After some reinforcement was called, and everything was in one place, we survived the following:
- Snow, ice, mud
- One back injury
- One old knee injury flare up
- A few hundred man hours of moving help
- 16 hours of painting
- 8 coats of paint
- A lot of junk food consumption because the kitchen wasn’t unpacked
- One sad pup who was passed off to family for a week, coming “home” to a different place than where he started
That Moment When you Realize You’re Responsible…. for Everything…
I knew that when I bought the place, I’d be responsible for anything that broke, needed maintenance, renovating, etc. However, like anyone that brings home a baby, a puppy, or anything else delicate for the first time, everything freaks you out at first, and I mean EVERYTHING.
When is a Leak a Catastrophe?!
Week two and I find a tiny drip coming from the hot water heater, and you would have thought I thought it broke. “What if that slow drip turns into a bigger leak? And, what if that leak turns into a puddle, which turns into a flooded basement?” Were the questions I asked to my mom, before getting the name of her plumber, and calling my dad. My dad (who is the BEST Mr. Fixit), took one look and said, “You just need to tighten it. Go buy the wrench and some Teflon tape, just in case.” After I got over the shock that I didn’t even think of that, I took my ninth trip to Home Depot in two weeks (side question: When do they start customizing carts for repeat customers?), bought what I needed, and fixed it. I was proud of myself for being responsible (and now having enough tools to be the community’s handy-woman).
I Hate Bugs, No Seriously…
One and a half months in, and it’s spring, which means unwelcome “visitors”. Anyone ever seen a Centipede? Anyone see one RUN on 100 legs, about 5 feet from your bedroom? Yep… mama Centipede was squashed (by my own personal hero, my boyfriend, because I ran to my room and shut the door, screaming) but it turns out… she had kids, which when I found one in our bedroom, it went something like this:
Thank God my sister is my Realtor, and she could hand me the name and number of the Pest Control Inspector (Pest Now) we used for inspection. They have become my own personal heroes. For $89 a quarter, Pest Now is coming out and spraying because God knows I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night with a scene, straight out of Arachnophobia.
Realizing If You Break a Window, You Have to Pay For It… So Move Furniture In Gently
If I was renting this place, I’d never give a second thought to popping out a window, in order to move furniture, in. I’d chalk it up to being part of the deal with moving into an old house with tight corners, and if it broke, no big deal. BUT, since this is MY place, I’ve twice had to enlist the help of three people to carefully remove the windows, so two couches could come in through it… which begs the question of why I never thought to do it, while moving…
P.S. I’m pretty sure two sets of furniture delivery men hate me now.
The Fun Part…
Regardless of all the money you “bleed”, the sweat, tears, swear words, ripped/stained clothing, and physical pain you go through, to start turning a house into a home, it’s so completely worth it! I’ve already got renovation projects and small touches, on schedule for the next two years (take note of boyfriend’s total patience and encouragement, here).
In the meantime, while still a “work in progress”, I’ve managed to make our house a home. Below are before-and-afters of the rooms I’m sharing for now. Stay tuned for the myriad of decorating ideas, renovation projects, and any mental breakdowns that will come with this 🙂
Guest Bedroom to Chic Office
Design Notes: Still searching for just the right artwork to complete this room. The paint is by Behr in Island Aqua, lamps from Safavieh, rug from Houzz, desk from Overstock, bookshelf from Overstock.
Drab Bedroom to Cozy Bedroom
Design Notes: Pain by Behr in Espresso Martini, nightstands form Pottery Barn, lamps from Home Goods, bedding from Pottery Barn, fur throw from Z Gallerie, area rug from Home Depot, artwork from Home Goods.
Comfortable Living Room to Cozy Chic
Design Notes: Floor lamp on order, followed by two side tables, a mirror, and centerpiece display. Pain by Behr in Perfect Taupe, Dryden couches custom made by Crate and Barrel, coffee table, drapes and rug from Z Gallerie; painting by Maggie O’Neill, media console by Z Gallerie, travel books made by me on Shutterfly.
Multifunctional Dining Room to Dedicated Space
Design Notes: We are refinishing this dining room wall with stone next year! Table by World Market, dining chairs by Pier One, artwork by me, candles/candlesticks by Pottery Barn.
Outdoor Functional to Chic Outdoor Space
Design Note: Next year there will be flower pots! Outdoor set by Houzz.