Do you guys want to see our new house?
This spring David and I sat down and had some serious conversations about how long we thought we could stay in our 900 square foot cottage. With two little ones, David working from home, and the inconvenient convergence of our bathroom and bedrooms at the end of our tiny hall, we were on the hunt for new office space. Not only that, but there was no bedroom or bathroom for my Atlanta-visiting family members. Which was kinda starting to bother me after four years of asking people to sleep on our couch or get a hotel.
At the end of the day, it made the most financial sense for us to sell the house this summer and move.
Never in a million years did I think we would end up with a huge 5/3 1980’s tract home with a pool! And a fixer, to boot! (Well, to us. Our old house was a pristine little flip). I actually wasn’t even going to look at the house, but did it out of obligation on my way to see another one I was really interested in. Never say never. Turns out it was the perfect thing for our budget and our “features we must have or we might as well not bother moving” list.
We put quite a bit of money into the house in paint, pool safety, flooring, pest control (read: rats), and basic functions like HVAC and electrical. There are approximately 87 cosmetic imperfections that make my eye twitch, including original bathrooms, missing baseboards, strange wires coming out of strange places, and nonfunctional light fixtures downstairs.
It is a fifteen year home, so all in good time. I nest with whatever I have anyways.
Nothing is finished, but when is it ever? My current MO is “use what you have and thrift the rest.” I have to put a little money into aesthetics like rugs, window coverings and lamps, which are always a necessity for cozying up a large space.
When you walk in my front door, you enter our big front room, which is open to the dining space on the west side of the house.
Why yes, those are teal paint chips taped to my front door.
The corner of my front room is set up as a play space for the girls. Because The Nester said I could.
Many people have commented to me that the bannister is hideous, but it is one of my favorite features of the house. It’s going to stay and be repainted a bright white.
Coming in from my garage, my guest bath is immediately on the right. It currently has no floor, but it has some really great original drawer liners!
Connecting to this bath is my guest room. This extra first floor bed and bath was the selling point for me on the house. For the original home owners, they would have had the choice of this little suite or a larger family room. It is going to be the perfect place for my Atlanta guests to stay.
It is currently my dumping ground…
Down the hall to the right is our family room, my most nested room to date.
This is where I sit to blog and watch Netflix.
Things are imperfect, but as my muse The Nester says, “Imperfections ease people…and I like to ease the people.”
On the left is my kitchen, which is open to the family room. It was very hard to find a large, open kitchen within our budget. It has head-to toe charcoal granite and the original oak cabinetry. We brightened it with some white paint on the cabinets and will ride it for another 5-7 years when we are ready to renovate.
The upstairs has lots of work to be done, but I set up the girls room exactly like it was in our old house and got some colorful accessories for their ugly little bathroom. Everything clashes in there, except, I suppose forest green wall paper, which is probably what it had in there in its original state.
There was no possible way to make this cute. But I tried.
The hallway and the spare bedroom are serving as my second dumping ground for unpacking and organizing. I am really enjoying having dumping ground space.
And here is David’s office, a whole separate floor away from almost all household activity.
Finally, I never did get the big deal about having a huge master bedroom and bathroom, but I can’t deny that I adore it for all of it’s pointless additional space.
These sliders lead out to a deck with stairs for back yard access. Kind of plus, but kind of a huge safety issue for small kids. You win some, you lose some.
I didn’t take a picture of the toilet closet, but I’m sure it was a luxurious little corner in it’s day, as you can see where the phone used to be attached to the wall next to the commode.
Having a double vanity really is a breath of fresh air to me, even if it’s technically not at all fresh because the drains smell like the sewer each time the water is turned on and you continue ignoring it because you’d really rather not know.
And finally, the real living space of any California home: the back yard. This was the selling point of the home for David. He wanted a large back yard that would give him the option of adding a pool and constructing an exterior building for his office in the future. When he saw the pool, well, it was a done deal. The newer homes in our budget had no back yard to speak of.
The yard is completely dirt and rotten persimmons, but I can see the string lights in the trees, the succulent ground cover and tree house with a tire swing.
And here is the pool, which is a beast of it’s own. It needs extensive work. You know, the type that scares you because when you do one thing, you must do the other or it will all implode and be worse than it was than if you never touched it. Right now it is David’s play science project, but some day it will be a sparkling lil’ back yard sapphire for birthday parties and barbecues.
Property in California is really expensive (though relatively less expensive in our particular region), so if I told you the price, some of you would probably think we were nuts. Fortunately, we bought our first home at the very bottom of the market and were able to walk away with some decent equity to put into this one. Also, in our area it is frowned upon to over-develop, so living in an older, un-renovated home is not really uncommon.
Sometimes I sit around and wonder what this place used to look like in it’s day when it was first built and the happy owners went shopping for bright brass fixtures and country blue wallpaper borders. Sometimes I wonder if I should just give up and restore into a 1987 time capsule home.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour and that all my faraway friends and family feel like they just walked through my house! Happy weekend!