Upstairs Tour

Now that y’all have had a chance to see our downstairs last week, I wanted to stop back with a few photos for an upstairs tour as well. Our new house isn’t large by “American” standards, but it’s absolutely huge to us. All said and done, the house is around 2,200 square feet. All our other houses never got about 1,500 square feet, so we’re kind of scratching our heads on what to do with all the extra space.

Upstairs we have (3) bedrooms, a laundry space, and (2) bathrooms.

Hardwood on stair landing

When you get upstairs, there’s a little hallway that connects everything together. The doors to the left there are the laundry space – it’s just a little closet area. It would be nice to have a full room, but meh – it’s got lots of shelving in there so I think we’ll be just fine with it the way it is.

Niche at top of steps

There’s also a little bookcase at the top of the stairs. Other homes in this neighborhood actually have this bookcase as a small linen closet, and I like that idea, so we may convert it back in the future. Other than the bedroom closets, there really isn’t a place upstairs to store a vacuum and other essentials, so I think it may be better served as an extra storage space.

Continuing on with the upstairs tour, you can see with the Master, and the hall side by side, there is a lot of dark green in this house. They’ve basically used 3-4 dark colors throughout the house, so I know we’ll be stocking up on primer when we get new coats of paint up on the wall 😉

Master Bedroom with ensuite

This is the first bedroom we’ve had that’s big enough for a King! It’s a-mazing!!! King beds feel like 52 times larger than Queen beds to me :)

We also have a bathroom off to the side with this ginormous (albeit rather dated) shower.

Walkin Shower DImensions

And another area for a double vanity up against the wall AND we have a little toilet room – ha ha! Just add it to my list of things I’d never have in my house. 😉

Double Vanity in Bathroom

The other two rooms upstairs are for our little guy and the office space.

Upstairs Office Space

Once again – more dark green 😉

Dark Green Paint Color

Oh and last but not least on the upstairs tour, we also have a bonus room over a garage! Pretty cool, huh? This is a vast and open space that I know will be great for guests once we get rid of the sea of red 😀

Bonus Room Over Garage

Officer Mary

Can I get a what, what for little nooks in your house that you’re able to convert into your very own tiny home office. Srrriously, you guys, I’m completely smitten with the concept of having my own space to stretch out to get my work on. Not to mention, it’s pretty nice to not have our computer chilling on our dinner table, like we had in the apartment. Well, doesn’t take much to improve off that situation, anyway. 😉

So this is what the room looked like pre-movin.

Small Home Office

The room is 6×9, which in my mind, is just the right size for a desk and a few extra accessories. The location of the room is a bit different, too, since you actually have to cut through our extra bedroom upstairs to get to it. Here’s the layout to help refresh your memory.  Second Floor Layout Since I knew that I’d be more or less, using the office right after move-in, I moved painting this room to the top of the priority list along with the Master Bedroom painting. We went with a nice, calm gray tone that reads bluish green in the right light, and pure gray as the sun starts to fade. The color is Montpelier Madison White by Valspar.

Valspar Montpelier Madison White

I love how it looks against the refinished floors. So nice along with the nice, crisp painted trim.

montpelier_madison_white

This is my view from my desk these days. It’s in dire need of some accessorizing (artwork!), but for now, things are certainly feeling much more settled than when I was working off of the Dining Room table in the apartment.

Bamboo Office Desk

Right now, I’ve unearthed a few things from the boxes to add some organization in here. Our campaign drawer that was in the basement before is working great as office storage and a printer stand.

Campaign_Drawer_in_Office

I snagged the lamp from our old entry way to use for some supplemental lighting in here, too. That little storage container next to it is for all my pens and pencils – got it at the good will for .25. Zinggggg.

Seashell_Lamp

Now I’m on to picking out more exciting things, like a rug! I tried to re-purpose the one we had in our entry in the last house, but as you can see, it’s a wee bit small.

Picking_The_Right_Size_Rug

Here are a few of my top contenders! Tell me, which one floats your boat?

Best Office Rugs

Sisal Rug // Jute Rug // Blue + Gray Rug // Ivory Rug

 

 

The Great Migration

Moving all your stash twice in 3-months, it’s not recommend y’all. It’s also not recommended to move all your goodies when it’s 99 degrees outside (actually not exaggerating) but sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles. Fact of the matter – it had to be done.

Lucky for us, we’d been moving most of our stuff over slowly, but we knew that we’d need to bite the bullet and get another U-haul to finish off the deed. Namely, our couches were most definitely not going to fit in the Prius 😉 So, enter U-haul movin’ round 2.0.

Moving with Uhaul

Another happy quinkie dink was that there is actual a U-haul rental location a half mile from our apartment, so our total cost to move our last leg of stuff was just under $40. We paid a $29.95 fee up front, and then they charged us .59 per mile after that.

Since our route was only 8 miles round trip, the mileage fee really didn’t set us back all that much. Rock. Here’s Jay, all ready to test his truck driving skills once more. I think he was pretty happy that there were no mountains on this leg of the journey 😉

Moving from Apartment to House

The U-haul was definitely a bit less packed this time around … they only had a 14 footer, so we had ample space to stash our goods. Conveniently, we were able to get rid of one of our couches that same day via craigslist, so we didn’t even have to load this one into the house.

Selling Furniture

Our small doors made it rather tricky to move in some of the furniture. In the end, for the larger items we had to use our side kitchen door, which was a pain in my bondonka donk, since couches are heavy, and I really prefer to not lift them for sustained periods of time.

The first whomp whomp moment. That couch and that door are not made for each other.

How to fit couch through door

After we moved all the larger items over, we still had a few days left in our apartment to pack up the odds and ends. We still had all our kitchen essentials, and clothing. Oh, and our mattress and our dining room table, too. We wanted to wait until the final day to move over our bed, since we don’t have a washer or dryer, or kitchen, at our new place yet. (y’all, I may be pulling my hair out over here with a few said conditions that are out of my hands right now. Uggh) With a few ratchet straps on the top of our little car that could, we we’re off to the races.

We had our doubts about this process (ok, I did. Jay seemed pretty confident), but we made it to the new house with mattress and table top intact.

Moving Mattress on top of Car

Our little orange boy hates kitty carriers and any type of car trip, but he was an absolute trooper. I told Jay he must have known he was headed to his forever home. He is so happy here. This little guy has just been crazy about exploring every nook and cranny. Happy as a clam in the salty sea. He even got to take his first trip outside this weekend. That’s a cat on the move.

Bringing_Indoor_Cat_Outside

Although we are beyond elated to finally be officially moved in to our new home, things are most definitely not finished yet. We’re started to get pretty frustrated with the kitchen process (cabinets were supposed to be delivered last Friday, the 27th … can’t get a hold of anyone after leaving multiple messages. Customer service at it’s finest), but all and all, we’re loving calling this new space home.

Our “kitchen”, currently looks like this.

Renovating Kitchen

No where to put anything, which is bad when you have a curious cat that would like to open your potato chips for you. We need kitchen cabinets, y’all. Badly.

Our other dumping ground for the time being is our upstairs guest bedroom. We started out with boxes just distributed throughout the house, but over time I realized that I’d feel the most sane if we just pushed all the clutter into one room, vs. spreading everything out, and seeing boxes in every space you turned.

Not going to lie, one of my favorite things about unpacking was being reunited with all my clothes. I feel like I went on a shopping spree! It’s awesome!

Unpacking all clothing

It was odd, closing the door at the apartment last week and realizing that a chapter in our life was coming to a close. That apartment. That mattress on the ground and that tiny little kitchen – it was good to us. I know that Jay and I will always look back at that place and smile. Thanks for the memories, little apartment that could. Home ownership, here we come! :)

Empty Apartment

Dinner for Two

Y’all TODAY IS THE DAY. Not yo momma’s birthday, not the day Abe Lincoln was shot and not Goldfish appreciation day. It’s closing day!! WOOOOOOOOTTTT. Apartment life has been fun, it’s been adventurous, it’s been efficient, it’s been cheap – but ya know what – I’m pretty excited it’s also fading into the memory banks and officially becoming a “remember when” chapter of our lives. I’m SO ready to grab the keys for this next house, and take on all the beautiful adventures that await us.

I’ll definitely be back next week with all sorts of fun details on what we got to tackling in weekend numero uno, but while y’all are waiting on baited breath for those adventures, I thought it would be fun to continue on with the house styling plans. Aka, let’s all escape to dream land, where rooms are done and all prettied up. Today, let’s talk about one of my favorite rooms, the room we eat in. 😀

For a refresher, this is what the dining room looks like pre-movin.

Taking Out Wall

I love the look and feel of this dining room (below), I’m especially digging the color with the nice crisp crown up top, and the wainscoting down below.

Traditional Dining Room

Although I love the color in this space, the furniture is a bit too traditional for my taste. I’m thinking I’d really love to tackle building a farmhouse style table with Jay bird in this space. I’m (giddy) excited about how much space we will have in this house for chowing down. Our last house was more of a combined kitchen/dining space, so it never really felt like we had a formal dining space for entertaining. Even though this room will still be close to the kitchen (with a wall removed…) I’m really looking forward to giving this space it’s own identity and vibe.

I’ve always gone a little too white (IMO), since it’s safe and neutral, and easy to decorate around – but I’m looking forward going a bit darker in here. I’m thinking that the white wainscoting below will help support a darker color a bit better. Right now I’m leaning toward Benjamin Moore Rockport Gray. Here’s the color in Rhoda’s house, from Southern Hospitality.

Buffet and Lamps

Love the board and batten treatment in her house, but we’ll probably only go half way up the wall, vs. 3/4, like she has it.

Just like the living room, I put a board together to help guide my style evolution for this space, as well. Here’s what I have so far.

Dining Room Mood Board

I like the idea of going more mismatched in this room, with lots of the same elements to help tie the space together. I’m considering (not certain if we’ll do this or not) bumping out the counter on the island in the kitchen in order to make room for some additional seating – if I do that, I’ll definitely be using bar stools like the one pictured above.

Here is a snapshot of the layout, so you can see what we intend to do with the wall adjoining the kitchen/dining room.

Removing Wall Between Kitchen and Dining Room Timmmbeeer, it’s coming down. Now, since we’ve done the whole wall removal rodeo before, I’m pretty sure we can pull this off. That being said, I’ve got a few lingering concerns, namely – is there HVAC or any type of plumbing in the wall. The rest is pretty easy to deal with, but those two variables could really impact our overall bottom dollar. Like the last house, we’re majorly crossing our fingers that there isn’t anything too significant in our way when we grab the good old sledgehammers and start working away.

Since we haven’t been able to answer those big picture questions quite yet (don’t think the current owners would be too keen on us creating some exploratory holes during our final walk through…), I’ve been working on some of the smaller details around here – to the tune of a massive thrifting expedition. I’ve got a confession to make. I seriously spent $45 at the goodwill, which to me, is crazy town since I didn’t buy any furniture. I usually spend like 10 bucks at goodwill, but the good times were rolling man and I just kept adding things to my cart.

For the dining room, I found a few winners.

Artwork for Dining Room

For $2 each, I thought this artwork would look fun nestled on a small space on the wall. I’m thinking a good spot for it will be on the wall between the built-in and the basement door.

I’m also seriously in love with these salad servers I found.

Unique Salad Servers

If you can’t tell from the zoomed out picture, they’re little zebras, just chilling at the top of the servers!

Zebra Salad Servers

Probably my take the cake thrift/craigslist find so far though, has been these (2) slipcovered dining room chars that I scored for $25 – for both!! Huzza!! They a tiny bit beat up, but I think we can remedy most of the problems they have with a deep steam clean.

Slipcovered Dining Chairs

 

Inspector Gadget

House inspections – aren’t they just a barrel of monkeys. Now, being that Jay and I have been through this whole inspection rigamaroll 3 times now, you’d think we’d be seasoned experts and know all the ins and outs of what’s coming to us. You’d be wrong though 😀 One thing I think we both realized during this round of house hunting, was that southern houses are a bit different. Not a ton, but enough for us to throw out a few of the things we thought we had down pact.

The wrinkles this time around – oh …. where do I start.

How about with the basement (aka the bane of my existence). So, before we even put in an offer on the house, the hubster noticed something awry down in the pit of the house. Jay and I have a pretty good system down where I inspect the house for things like layout, neighborhood and general loveliness potential and he scopes it out for all things structural. Thus – he is usually the bearer of bad news 😀

Basement Settling

Do y’all see that? That’s a big old crack. With a serious wall lean. So as I’m all perky and excited and thinking THIS IS IT, I go down to check on the husband, only to find him scratching his head and telling me he’s got some bad news. Oye. Luckily, we knew the problem was fixable, but we also knew it wasn’t going to come cheap. I must have batted my eyelashes enough though, since we landed up putting in an offer on the place anyway. 😀

Believe you me, it wasn’t without doing a fair amount of homework (including getting some preliminary quotes) before we even put in an offer, since we wanted the price to reflect the work that would need to be done to get this house to a place where it would be structurally sound. (Always good…)

Cost to Repoint Fireplace

It’s kind of hard to see in the picture above, but the next issue we ran into with this house was the fireplace. See the bricks up on the top row there – well they are loose as a goose and ready to fall off with the next wind storm and bonk you square on the head. Essentially, the furnace was venting off to one side of the fireplace, which over time caused that particular side to degrade and wear down so the grout is gonzo.

Inspecting Fireplace

Another fun surprise was that the fireplace does not have any type of cap on it right now, so it’s just free flowing air from the sky above us, down into our cozy little living room. Great for Santa, not great for my utility bills. All things considered, the quote we got to repoint the fireplace (grout and fix the top), add a flue and add a cap on top, came in at just under $2,200. I can tell you right now, there are many other things I’d rather spend $2k on. Can I get an amen?

Moving on to other repairs I’d prefer not to spend my moo-la on, let’s talk about windows, shall we? Given that the house has been settling slowly over time (it was built in 1939) and the fact that things were made more severe by the leaning basement wall happenings, the windows in the house – well, they pretty much don’t open. Not a single one. Ok, like one. One opens.

Windows that Stick

In all seriousness, although this is definitely another expense we’ll have to incur down the line, it wasn’t a deal breaker for us. More than anything, I think we figure that we can do this gradually, as our budget allows. Plus, just think how nice brand spanking new windows will feel after having these relics for a bit! 😀

And the windows are definitely not the only thing that sticks. Anywhere that tape went up during the inspection, indicated a door that either wouldn’t open, or stuck enough to warrant a flag. You’ll notice a lot of blue tape in these photos 😉 At least renoing a kitchen falls into the fun category for me … so there’s that.

Cabinets that Stick

When we we’re going through and doing the routine inspection check points, we also noticed that the water pressure got really low when you ran more than one fixture at a time. Like flushing a toilet meant that your shower went from full blast to a wee little trickle. Although I could chalk this one up to old house charm, I really don’t want it to feel like we’re camping when I go to suds up at night.

Another culprit of the water issues could be found in our basement. See the areas of the pipe that are white and green? The copper in those spots is actually starting to thin out, which causes other plumbing issues to boot.

Pin Holes in Copper Pipes

It’s not a huge deal (per the inspector…) but it’s definitely something that we’ll want to fix down the line.

Another down the line change, is our furnace. It’s currently oil burning and OLD, which means it will be getting the heave ho eventually as well. A downside to having the oil furnace is that our water heater is electric as a result (no gas line), which is a much more expensive way to heat up the water. Essentially, what all this equates to is that we will have to install a gas line to run up to the house. The good news – the city does that for FREE!! The bad – we’ve gotta pay for the line once it enter the house – so there’s that 😀

Inspecting HVAC System

Just check out this relic! Old school, man.

Old Oil Burning Furnace

Lucky for us, the outside had much more manageable fixes. The inspector flagged things like this ivy, which he thought was too close to the house and could cause problems down the line by growing up the side and under the vinyl itself. We just need to keep an eye on it. Total cost = Free. 😀

Ivy Growing Next to House

Small things like this bump in our back deck was noted as well. Apparently it’s a trip hazard. Don’t tell Jay, but I want to rip the whole thing out anyway. I’ve got grand plans for a deck like this with an outdoor eating area like this. Swoon.

Bump on Deck

The front stoop also had a few cracks in it, that may or may not have led to some discoloring in the wood below the basement steps (water). We’ll have to keep a close eye on that situation as well, since we obviously don’t want any water damage! Whatever the fix lands up being, I really hope we can keep the front porch as is, since I really like it.

Cracked Front Porch

There was one money saving component on the house that’s definitely the hubby’s favorite feature. See that contraption on the ceiling? It’s a house fan that essentially sucks all the cold evening air in and puts all the hot stuffy air out. Pretty sweet for the southern summers headed our way soon!

House Attic Fan

For all the things that we’ll “need” to fix, we’re looking at right around $10k. Luckily not all of it needs to be done immediately but still – that’s not the best case scenario for buying a house. The good news, is that some of these issues kept other potential buyers away, so our willingness to deal with them allowed us to purchase in a neighborhood we would not have been able to afford otherwise.

As we tackle each issue, I’ll definitely be providing a holistic cost breakdown of how much each project sets us back. For my sanity, hopefully it’s on the low end!