Saturday, December 17, 2011

A few of my favorite (house) things...

We are very happy with our new home. I love that it is old and has all the charm and details of an old home! A few of my favorite features:

Lots of cupboards means that I can have one dedicated to just jars! I love opening this up to get one out!

This little corner cupboard is in the dining room and is just darling. I want to add some more shelves, and then it will be really handy.

Our house has two French doors - the front door and then this one off the kitchen leading to the laundry room. They are so pretty!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Settling in (and some Improving)

We've mostly settled in, although I still need to hang things on the walls and finish organizing a couple of rooms. We've been able to do some small improvements - I am continually re-amazed at how much of a difference cleaning, painting, and removing or replacing (small) things can make! I was really bad at taking before pictures, since we were so focused on doing things, but I did get a couple (although they are mostly in-progress pictures).

The living room - this room we painted, and I love the cheery yellow (it was a dirty, dingy white)

The kitchen - this is my favorite room in the house, which is funny because when I first saw the pictures of this house online during our hunt, the pictures of the kitchen made me cringe. We removed the doors on some of the cupboards and I am loving the open shelves! I also replaced the foil-covered burner pans on the stove and I feel like I have a whole new stove!

Before Pictures:

The dining room had old ugly wallpaper (the sellers also left their huge, heavy treadmill which is still sitting in our garage until we figure out how to get rid of it), which we started removing. The first layer peeled off easily, leaving the lower layer firmly stuck to the wall. I started scraping that off - my plan is to paint the top half of the wall yellow, and the trim blue, but that will happen sometime next year!

Here's what it looks like right now:
My drying rack is also in there right now, which helps with the electric bill! =)

And, on with the tour!

I have to admit that the bathroom isn't my favorite room, probably because it needs the most work. The bathtub and the surrounding tile wall (and the floor, probably) need to be ripped out to fix the water damage behind there. We have a shower curtain covering the falling-off tiles until we can get to it - hopefully sometime this spring/summer.

I do like the linen closet, though. We removed the ugly, plastic, accordian-style door and I'm planning on hanging a cute curtain there.

The bedrooms are small; ours pretty much is what you can see, except for the closet behind the door, and the dresser next to that. Curtains for this room are first on my list, since there are no blinds, and I'd like to replace the black plastic garbage bag we have hanging there right now! =)

The kids' room before:

Dark, ugly paneling - not a very attractive room.

And now:

We painted the paneling, and that made a world of difference! The room is bright and happy now. Red will be the main accent color in their room - I can't wait to get some red curtains at the window for some color! Ezra has just about outgrown his basket, so after Christmas we'll be getting another bed set up for Joanna, and he'll be moving into the playpen.

The laundry room is definitely still in progress. There's a bunch of stuff in it that needs to be moved to the gargage, and I'd like to put up some more shelving. We did remove some built-in shelves to make room for our chest freezer, since I preferred that to not have to be in the garage. I'm loving the new-to-us washer and dryer! The house didn't come with those, and after a few unsuccessful tries at getting some off Craigslist, we were able to find these at a used appliance store.

And last but not least is the office/library/sewing room.
This is technically Seth's office, but my sewing stuff and our books are also in there. This room mostly just needs organization, but Seth also has plans for painting and someday replacing the ugly built-in shelving that is currently there.

That's our house! We are absolutely loving it and are so thankful for it! We do have lots of work to do (we also have to do some electrical and other work), but are very encouraged by the small improvements we've already done. I'm looking forward to the spring, when I can get outside and dig a garden and plant some flowers!

Our House

Our house was such an unexpected blessing. We had not expected to be able to buy a house for years, mostly because we hadn't realized how low house prices had come, but also because we thought we needed a much bigger down payment than was actually required. Although I wanted my own house eventually, I was fine with renting. Earlier this spring, when we were seriously looking for a bigger apartment, we were frustrated when we couldn't seem to find anything. Several places that looked promising just didn't work out for one reason or another. Then all of a sudden prices went up, and what we needed just wasn't affordable anymore. I knew that God would provide something for us, but I was impatient and anxious when nothing seemed to open up. I had no idea that he wasn't letting us get an apartment because he had a house waiting for us! One day just after Ezra was born, Seth just happened to look at a real estate site and he was amazed when he saw what a monthly mortgage payment would be. Everything followed from there - visiting the bank to find out what we might qualify for, looking at houses. We found one house that we were going to put an offer on, but it went off the market that very day (only to come back on right after having the accepted offer on our house) - can God speak any plainer than that?
Our house was the first house we had seen that fit our needs and seemed to be in pretty good shape. It is an old house, so it does need some work, but it is definitely livable, and everything it needs can be done slowly, as resources (time and money!) become available. We feel so incredibly blessed and are so amazed with all that God has done for us!