Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An introduction to Our Home

Kitchen Before
Kitchen After

I have been so swept up in writing about travel lately that I have neglected writing about my blooming domesticity. While it's lovely to leave home briefly to see how other people live, at the end of the day I have a mortgage to pay:) And in making that kind of commitment to a building, I need to show it a little love, too.
Before I can start sharing posts about projects I am undertaking on the home front, I feel it necessary to introduce you to the history of my home. We moved into our townhouse in June of 2009, just over 2 years ago now. Of note, this was after living at a boarding high school for two years with about 25 teenage girls. During that time, we lived in the tiniest apartment on campus. The schedule and responsibility that came with our living arrangement paired with the tax rebates being offered for first time home owners made for a perfect storm to start a housing search.
 We chose the area we settled in for a number of reasons. Admittedly, the primary reason was that I wanted to be closer to my family and farther away from work. Although the commute is sometimes challenging, it's nice to be able to have the separation for both physical and emotional safety; I never run into clients I work with at the grocery store. While we may have preferred to be a tiny bit closer to work, all of the towns between the city we work in and the town my parents live in and I adore are big ticket towns. We either couldn't afford anything there or we could afford smaller, more run down places that would need more work. Therefore, a 45 minute commute was a compromise to have 1600 square feet, three levels of living, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a finished basement and an attached garage. In the MetroBoston area, that's a decent amount of space for folks not working with huge cash flows.
Our upgrades began in the kitchen. It looked old and had some drawers that couldn't even open due to the layout. There was also a stenciled/painted ivy motif near one of the windows which, I hope goes without saying, had to go! We used the tax refund we got to pay for new cabinets and counters. I found a great deal on Craigslist for stainless steel appliances because not all of the old ones matched the refrigerator was spoiling my milk.
It took until August of 2010 to start thinking about really decorating. Beyond what we brought from the tiny apartment that we tossed up on the walls, we didn't invest in items for the walls or other accessories until I took a week off in the summer. When it rained most of the days I planned to go to the beach, I watched a lot of HGTV and got some ideas and inspiration and ran around to craft stores, department stores, home goods stores, hardware stores, and even book stores to begin to fulfill my vision.
It wasn't until this past Spring that we finally put up curtains in the living room and master bedroom (don't worry, we had blinds so the neighbors weren't getting a front row seat to everything). And it's still a work in process!
Here is what has been done:
kitchen cabinets, counters and appliances
painting accent wall in kitchen, and both bathrooms
removed living room carpet and had laminate flooring installed
food storage area in laundry room created
window treatments in both bedrooms and living room
basic wall decor and accessories in both bedrooms and living room
Here's my wishlist to do:
new bathroom vanities
more pops of color
repaint kitchen
paint dining room accent wall
new faucets
new shower head
greater development of style vision in both bedrooms and living room
clean the garage out (we still have the original stove in there)
pull together the basement man cave/sports and movies room
paint stairwell banisters (they just started peeling!)
at least one piece of customized art
remove caulking from tub

I'm sure there are more projects but my brain just flooded.......


  1. Looks awesome! Home ownership for us is so far away it's non-existent. I'm proud of you!

  2. Your updated kitchen looks really good! I think you made the right choice about where to live--the trade-offs are so worth it.
    I have a list that is a few pages long of things to do to decorate/fix up my house. It can be cumbersome but overall it's good to have a place of one's own that you can really call home.