the before tour: our new house!

If you saw my post on instagram last week, then you’ve heard the news…WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! I can’t believe I finally get to write this post! It’s been almost six months of house hunting for Jon and I, and I think I may have worn him out with all my crazy ideas for fixer-uppers and complete remodels. I fell in love so many times I lost count, but at the end of the day, they just weren’t right for us or our wallet. We began to realize that anything worth flipping was already being flipped or would have a cash offer on the table in a matter of hours. I’m not talking about small projects either! We lost out on a home we lovingly called “the dog house” because it belonged to a dog breeder, and another that was a foreclosure where everything had to be updated…and I do mean everything! With the market being so outrageous here, our main priority became finding a home we knew we wouldn’t lose money on that we could also make our own. As with my wedding dress shopping, I bought something entirely different than what I set out to purchase. Sometimes you just know the right fit when you try it on for size!

If you had asked me back in October, when we first hired an agent, I would have told you we wanted a lot of land to ourselves and that the condition of the home or commute wasn’t as important. Boy was I off by a mile! As soon as our new home popped up on the market, everything just started to make sense. The commute is only 15 minutes for Jon as opposed to the hour each way he was doing before, and the yard is private and big enough to really relax in without needing too much maintenance. The inside is dated and and needs some cosmetic updating, but all the major things (roof, HVAC, etc.) are pretty new, which means more time decorating and less money spent on things like a new roof…yay!

The licensed real estate agent in me wants to tell you how we snagged this house (in an extremely popular neighborhood and seller’s market) as well as some of the things I wish I had learned sooner. I’ll plan a separate post for that for those who may be going through a similar situation, but without further ado…here is the grand tour of our new house!

ENTRANCE/DINING AREA:

You enter off the front porch into the dining room, and although it’s a relatively small home for this area it feels open with the higher ceilings. Definitely going to be losing the heavy drapes and the chain on the front door has to go too! We’re smack in the middle of an extremely safe neighborhood, so it was a little puzzling to see something you might find on a sketchy motel door. With a new light fixture and an expandable  modern table, I think it’s really going to be comfortable hosting a dinner party. While I love gray, this color is really making the space feel smaller as it chops up the rooms. White paint on the walls and ceilings is really going to open the space up and make the rooms feel so much bigger, because your eye will no longer have a transition line to focus on.

LIVING ROOM:

Again, white paint is going to make all the difference here. We’ll be mounting the flatscreen above the fireplace as shown, which creates 2 main focal walls in the room. The first is the one that currently has the “Out- r-inn” sign as it faces the kitchen and main walking area and should therefore be important for creating a conversation zone. The second is the wall that faces the television as it will be used most frequently when we’re not entertaining and just lounging with our fur baby. A smaller u-shaped sectional isn’t a good fit here because it leaves one of the focal walls almost empty. We’ll need to find a sectional that is almost equal lengths on both sides so both of the main walls in the room feel of equal importance.

Our plans for the kitchen include cutting open the wall (with the bookshelves in this photo) almost all the way to the stairs. This will open up the kitchen to the living room and create room for a peninsula with counter height stools. We hope to make the lower ceilings in the kitchen less noticeable by installing recessed lighting and designing an open plan concept that allows for better conversation while cooking and entertaining.

KITCHEN:

Oh, the kitchen! It’s the heart of the home, right? Well, in this case it’s not doing much for me. The cabinets have been hand-painted at some point and the counter tops are a color I’d prefer not to describe. It’s so much more space than we had at the town home, so I’m just thrilled to have the room to work. Eventually though, we do plan to replace the cabinets and upgrade the counter tops. The wall with the stove will be the one that gets cut into in order to open the space up, and we’ll do a built-in cook top here instead with an larger amount of counter top space.

The awkward little cabinet will be replaced with a coffee bar cart that will also house our favorite cookbooks. I’m thinking the space above the cart will get enough sunlight for some fresh herbs in decorative hanging planters. The eat-in kitchen is too small for a 4 person table, but I’d bet a small tulip table and 2 chairs would be just right.

MASTER SUITE:

The master feels really big with the high ceilings, but I think it’ll feel even bigger when it’s all white. Don’t worry, I’ll be adding back in color in all the decor! Adding some double rod curtains at the highest possible point above the window should also help to soften the 90’s style arch.

Through the double doors is the master bathroom. The sliding mirror doors lead you to the walk-in closet, but I’ll show you the closets as I start to organize them. The shower is on the smaller side, so an expansion may be in it’s future. As well, we will update the hardware in here and add a new vanity that’s at the current standard height (it’s currently pretty low). I’m thinking of painting the new vanity in a muted color, but more on that later.

BEDROOM 2: 

A nice sized guest room with a walk-in closet. If you know me at all, then you’ve already figured out the track lighting is on it’s way out. I’ll show you more photos as I redesign this space, because there’s actually a little hidden space in here that I want to make into something special.

BEDROOM 3:

With the right layout, this will become a great little office space. There’s plenty of storage in the closet for all my samples too!

BATHROOM 2:

A pretty standard sized bathroom sits in between the two bedrooms upstairs in the hallway. Like the master, there is certainly a need for some updating of the hardware and vanity. There’s also an additional powder bath downstairs by the kitchen and dining area that I’ll get some photos of for you guys. I’d love to do a wall sink in there with a wall of colorful tile behind it. It’s a tiny little thing as it sits under the stairs, so I’m going to have to get creative on ways to make it feel not so cramped.

BACKYARD:

As I said earlier, the backyard is where the tour ended for both of us and the negotiating began. It’s hard to put into words or photos how park-like it feels back there. There’s privacy and a lot of well-established plants, so someone really took the time to do their homework on what would grow well in each area. The firepit may just be my favorite part, but we’re not a sit-and-wait-for-the-wood-to-catch-fire kind of family. We’ll upgrade to a gas firepit at some point. I’d also like to add some more modern outdoor dining with market lights, more fun seating by the fire pit, and additional plants to the beds.

All-in-all, we’re completely exhausted but totally excited for this next chapter. I can’t wait to start showing you our plans for the place. This little white house is about to get a whole lot whiter on the inside, so check back soon!

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