Archives For homeownership

Photographs of my Bathroom

November 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bathroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is my dining room as of September 2013, enjoy!

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is the exterior and entryway of my house as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

When I first contacted a realtor about buying a house her first questions to me was, “What are you looking for?” A simple enough question but I really struggled to come up with an answer. She suggested that I make a list of what I wanted in a home. After carefully consideration After five minutes I came up with this list:

Wants:
– In a specific neighborhood (I had one in mind and it helped limit my search)
– One to two bedrooms
– Within my budget
– No major damage or repairs needed (I wasn’t afraid of doing cosmetic repairs but I didn’t want to get stuck with a crumbling foundation or something)
– A “safe” feeling street

Although I’ve made a lot of cosmetic changes, this house was basically move in ready.

That was it! I couldn’t think of anything else. Honestly, I got really lucky with the house I bought. Not only have I had very few problem, I actually really like this house! But after living here for 18 months I have found that I could definitely make a more complete list of ‘wants’ for the next time I buy. So for the sake of my memory which is failing me more regularly, here is my current list for what I want in my next house (whenever that may be):

– interior trim that is white (I love that my house has the original trim but decorating with dark trim is challenging at times)
– fenced in yard (this is Bob’s only request)
– front porch (I love sitting on my front porch)
– window or door to backyard (my current house only has one window to the back yard in the second bedroom, but I think it would be really nice to have windows and a door directly into the back yard)
– hardwood floors (I love hardwood floors! They are my absolute favorite floor of choice)
– driveway (Currently I have street parking which isn’t the worst thing ever but it would be nice to have my own driveway)
– garage (a garage or carport would be nice too!)
– trees (I like older homes so yards with trees is usually standard but it’s on the list anyway)
– large windows (My house has pretty great windows so I’d like to keep that feature)
– deck or patio (This isn’t necessary but it would be fun to have a place to hang out in the backyard)

I’d like a functional driveway in the front yard and less of a beat up
cement pad in the backyard with no car access, because that’s just silly.
Have you thought about what you want in a house? I’ve always dreamed about houses but when I came time to actually buy one my mind went blank!

You know I bought a house which is an awesome thing to be able to do, but there are things I didn’t know when I bought a house. Okay, let me rephrase that, there are things I didn’t think about before I bought a house. How I would care for my yard was one of those things.

I bought my house in January so yard work was very far from my mind when I signed all my paperwork, but spring came soon enough and I found myself with an overgrown yard and no tools to care for it.

I started to research lawnmowers and checking craigslist for used ones, but nothing was catching my eye so I decided to buy a new one. After much internal debating I decided to buy an electric mower as opposed to a gas powered one. I make a lot of bad environmental choices (I drive an SUV), but I try to do my part in other ways like recycling so I figured buying an electric mower would be an easy way for me to be conscientious.

I decided to buy this one:

It is a Task Force 12-amp electric push mower (available for purchase here). It was $169 which was by far the most boring $169 I have ever spent. Despite how annoying it was to pay that much for something, I seriously love this mower. I don’t particularly love mowing the grass but it’s not that bad really, it just takes a lot of time. The reason I love this mower is because it is lightweight and easy for me to maneuver  The limit to using an electric mower is that you are literally tied down with a cord so this only works for smaller lawns. My lawn is about 4,000 square feet which is just about the perfect size to use an electric mower.
I honestly don’t remember how long the cord I got is, but I think it’s like 100 ft or something.
Once I got a lawnmower I felt empowered about what yard work I could accomplish so I got more yard tools!
The next item on my list was a weed wacker. I decided on this one:
It is a Toro 8″ cordless trimmer (not sure what the 8″ refers to… the length of the plastic string maybe?). It was $49.99 (available here) and it was the most boring $49.99 I’ve ever spent. But even though it was boring money to spend I do like this trimmer. It has a chargeable battery, so it’s cordless which is very convenient. It may not be powerful enough for a guy but for me it is the perfect size and amount of power.
After I bought these two large and expensive tools I was tapped out but then after a few weeks I decided I needed a few more things.
It is probably overkill but I actually find it satisfying to sweep my porch and sidewalks after I mow. I feel old-timey.
I do not rake up my grass clippings because that is insane. But I do use my rake a few times a year after I trim the front bushes.
This is the trimmer I got a few weeks ago:
I wrote about it here. While it is helpful to an extent, this little trimmer was definitely not worth $49.99. I am still debating about whether or not I should return this tool, but for now I still have it.
So those are all of the yard tools I had to buy. It was nearly $300 worth of merchandise that I totally didn’t even budget for. Yikes! That is my big piece of advice for the day: If you are new to homeownership don’t forget to budget for yard tools!

Do you feel the same way I do about buying yard tools?

Decorating Resolutions

June 10, 2013 — 2 Comments

I don’t typically do resolutions for the New Year mostly because I just don’t. But the other day I was thinking to myself about resolving to change this or that about my house and I was like, Hey! I should make a resolutions list for my house. Since it’s June I feel like it isn’t too trendy to do resolutions so why not?

Here are few resolutions about my house:

1) Less than 3 IKEA items per room

IKEA Karlstad couch, IKEA Stockholm rug, and IKEA Vate floor lamp
I love IKEA. I sincerely wish there was one closer than three hours round trip but my house is pretty IKEA-ified at this point. Everyone knows IKEA furniture is poor/average quality but they have some really nice designs that as a freshly minted college graduate I flocked to. Now as a successful an employed late-twenty something I can afford to buy nicer furniture. Plus most people can recognize IKEA pieces so I don’t want people coming into my house thinking it’s an IKEA showroom (even though those showrooms are amazing). My resolution is to rely less on IKEA for every piece of furniture. Yes, they have cool designs at great prices but I want to mix it up a little. I think three large IKEA pieces per room is good balance for me.

2) Stop being discontent with my progress

Sometimes I’ll be sitting in my living room or dining room or just any room and all I can think about is what projects I want to get done. I get very frustrated that I don’t have more time, money, and/or skills to get more projects done. But I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to be content with the progress I have made and to just be in my house as it is right now. This is more of a discipline than a resolution but it is something I want to actively work on because I think it will make me happier person.

3) Stop stressing about dog hair and dust


Dude, I have a dog and he is messy. I’m a tidy person and my house usually really clean but my dog is a little hellion. Also, he’s a hoarder. So my house is constantly covered in dog hair (he is black and white so when his hair comes out and mixes together it looks like grey hair so my house is always covered in grey hair which is somehow extra gross), muddy paw prints (even though I wipe his paws every time he comes inside), and dog bones nosed into corners where they are “buried”. It really bothers me. But I also don’t have the time or energy to clean up after him every day so my goal is clean up once a week and just let it be the rest of the week. I did choose to own an animal so I can’t really expect him to live up to my human standards of cleanliness.

4) Accept that I make design mistakes


I make a lot of rash decisions. Maybe rash isn’t the word, but I make quick decisions. I generally know what I want when I am making a design choice but sometimes I make the wrong choice. It happens! For example, I painted my bathroom three times before I landed on a color I like and wait for it… it was the original color of the bathroom before I even stared painting womp womp. Part of the beauty of interior design is that it can be changed easily and often. I’m learning to accept that just because I bought a piece of furniture doesn’t mean I have to keep it for 10 years. If I decide after a year or even a day that I don’t like something I can sell it or give it away and move on to the next thing and the world won’t stop turning.

5) Don’t overly accessorize

I love to go thrifting and to yard sales and to cool shops and it is easy for me to pick up little decorative items along the way. Because they are small and cheap I don’t really think about if I need a mallard duck for $4 or a purple bubble gum machine for $7. I see something cool for a good price and I buy it. But I don’t need 50 decorative items in my house. I “need” maybe 10-20. My resolution is to really question if I need that elephant planter or brass Nefirtiti, yes they are cool but do I really need them? Also, just because I have something cool doesn’t mean it has to be sitting out. My dresser, faux sofa table, and dining room credenze are overloaded with items just because I have them. I need to declutter and start rotating items. I put a small box in my bedroom closet where I plan to keep decorative items that I will rotate out. It’s a small box so I’m not keeping a ton of stuff put up away but this way I’ll get to keep the items I really like and not feel like I’m living in a Hoarders episode.

What do you think? Are decorating resolutions something you think about while sitting on your couch? No, just me? Ah well.

Well, it has been one year (and five weeks) since I moved in to my little house and I have to say, best mistake ever! Why mistake? Honestly, I was not financially prepared to buy a house, but I really wanted one so I did it anyway. There is a saying that goes something like, “Bad decisions make for good stories” and that is literally the story of this blog. I wrote more about my decision to buy over continuing to rent for twentysomethingindy.com. You should check out my article and the rest of the site because it’s awesome.

The point is I wasn’t completely ready to become a homeowner, but I love this house and in my mind that equals so far so good! I simultaneously feel like I’ve been here forever and for a month, but it’s actually been 13 months. Let’s take a look back on all the progress I’ve made (with the help of friends, family, and hired hands), shall we? Also, bad before pictures because I wasn’t a blogger then and for some reason didn’t think to take any ‘before’ pictures, ah well, live and learn.

What I accomplished this year on the outside:
– I had the exterior painted
– While it isn’t seen and nobody would notice, the biggest, most expensive thing I had done to this house was a major electrical repair before I moved in. I hate spending money on stuff that isn’t seen and appreciated but I guess not dying in a house fire is good too.
– The backyard fence was repaired (not pictured)
– I added patio chairs to the front porch (a minor improvement over just plain empty)
– While not a large accomplishment I managed to mow the grass several times… go me!
On the agenda for the coming year and beyond:

– Screen in the front porch (it is already framed and ready)

– Add a daybed or some other type of furniture to make the porch more welcoming
– Dig out and replace those large ugly bushes in front (forsythia is the dream)
– Potentially replace the sidewalk up to my porch
What I accomplished in the living room this year:
– Painted it ‘Suede Gray’ by Behr
– Added a gallery wall, furniture, art, etc.
– One thing I managed to ‘un-accomplish’ was that I broke two of the blinds. Lame. They are those $4 ones from Walmart but I refuse to buy them because they are ugly.
– Added a faux sofa table (here)
On the agenda for this year:
– Buy new blinds! Seriously, it is about time. Those blinds are hideous, but I can’t seem to jump on a blind style (more about my indecision here).
– Get a second couch. I want to get the same couch I already have and put it where the red chair is now.
– Mount the TV. I got a mount and haven’t taken the time to hang it yet.
– Add art around the TV?
– I’d like a bigger rug, different coffee table and side tables, a real sofa table instead of a faux one, etc. but I’ll just have to see how much my budget can handle this year.
– Rearrange gallery wall, change out pictures, etc.
What I accomplished this year in the bathroom:
– Installed new medicine cabinet.
– Painted the room three times (ugh) and it ended up ‘Ballet White’ by Behr (more on that here).
– Hung art, towel rack and hook, crates, and a second shower curtain (more on that here).
– Installed new faucet.
On the agenda this year:
– I’m thinking about painting again, I know, I know, but seriously wouldn’t it look beautiful navy blue? I asked my friend that and she said, “isn’t every room in your house dark blue?” Touche´.
– Re-grout the tub and shower. It’s gross and a good re-grouting is loooong overdue.
– Change the light fixture. I am really good at cropping out things I don’t like so it isn’t pictured here but the current one looks something like this and it’s fine, but I really want to get something else so hopefully this will be the year.
What I accomplished this year:
– Painted it twice and it ended up ‘Canon’ by Ace Hardware (side note: I love the black walls, way more than even I though I would).
– Added art and open shelving.
– Added a chalkboard wall.
– Installed cork floors! (toe kick is not present in these pictures, but it is in now- I need to take pictures again).
– Installed new faux wood white blinds to the windows and the door.
– Installed new light fixture.
On the agenda for this year and beyond:
– New countertops and backsplash (so excited for this!)
– Possibly replace the light? It hangs at about 6’1″ and whenever my 6’2″ brother comes over he complains about it so maybe I’ll lift it up or just change it completely.
– I’d love to add a ceiling light by the chalkboard wall. It is super dark back there at night (and not just because of the black paint, it has always been dark back there). Not sure how much that would cost but it’s on my brain.
– I’ve been thinking about added roman shades or something else to the windows.
What I accomplished this year:
– Painted it ‘Underwater’ by Behr.
– Added curtain rod and curtains (here)
– Installed new light fixture
– Added gallery wall
– Added postcard wall art (here)
– Recovered dining room chairs (here)
What I hope to do this year:
– First and foremost I want to get my dream bookcase (here). The wall to the right is blank and sad and I want to change that as soon as possible.
– I’ve been thinking about repainting, ugh I know, what is wrong with me? I’m obsessed with painting! But no seriously, I like this color, it’s just… I can’t put my finger on why I’m tired of it.
– Re-do or do something completely different with the corner gallery wall, it looks messy and it’s a little too much with the postcard wall art (and I really like the postcard wall art).
– Touch up the paint around the light fixture’s canopy. I’ve been meaning to do this for a year, maybe writing it down will make me do it.
– Replace the buffet. It is an IKEA clearance piece that I got for like $40 and I want to replace it with something more solid.
What I did this year:
– After living with an off-white paint color for six months, I decided I am not a white room kind of person so I went bold and blue by color matching Sherman Williams’ ‘Loyal Blue’ (more on that decision here).
– Furnished it mostly via craigslist (campaign dresser, jenny lind bed) and IKEA (Rast dresser, Billy bookcase, Knappa light fixture).
– Hung a light fixture on my own! (here)
What I should accomplish this year:
– I’m really dreading it but the floors seriously need refinished. When I first moved in the bedrooms were carpeted (see the before picture) but since I really hate carpet I ripped it up. The hardwood floors are original to the house and actually look pretty good but in this room they sprayed the trim and since they were planning on putting carpet down they didn’t worry about getting white paint on the floors. See the right of the picture above? How the paint comes out about 2-3 inches from the trim? Not cool people who painted the trim, not cool. I may actually tackle this project on my own but we’ll see how brave I get.
– I’d love to add curtains or roman shades to this room. The white vinyl blinds in there are fine, but I think an upgrade would be nice.
– If I get my dream bookcase this year I will be moving all the books from this bookcase into that one (plus my books from storage) and then selling this one. I really like this bookcase, but if I have my dream bookcase I really won’t need this one. If all that happens I’d like to get a parson’s desk for that spot to create a sort of in-room office space.
What I did this year:

– After being used as a storage unit for 12 months I finally cleared this room out which was a big weekend project.

– I left my daybed, rug, and old dresser in there.

– I craigslisted a desk and bought a chair and lamp set at a used furniture store. (here)
– I painted this room with the left over paint from the kitchen’s first paint job, ‘Suede Gray’ by Behr. (here)
– I DIYed fabric lampshades. (here)
– Added a little bit of art that I already had. (here)
– Cleaning should definitely get it’s own bullet point because I did a lot of that in this room.
What should get done this year*:
*My student has only been here two weeks so I haven’t decided if I’ll keep hosting someone but for now she’s there and I won’t be doing any projects in this room, but if I don’t keep hosting… 
– The hardwood floors in this room also need refinished, although they aren’t as bad as my room since the trim in here didn’t get painted.
– Change out the basic light fixture for something a little more fun.
– Add curtains or different blinds.
– Repaint it a more exciting color.
Not too bad for 13 months! I’m happy with the progress I’m making. Most of the projects I did this year were lower cost things like painting, getting used furniture from craigslist, and making my own art. I tried to space out the expensive projects (Jan ’12- electrical repair, June ‘2 – bathroom tile, July ’12- exterior paint, Feb ’13- kitchen floor) and since I did four major projects in 13 months that averages out to about one project every three months. If I continue on that path this year, I hope to do the kitchen countertops, screen in the front porch, refinish the bedroom floors, and upgrade the landscaping in the front – but we’ll see what actually gets done!