September 15, 2011

Two Months and One Day

Yesterday was the official two month mark for us living in our new home. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been two months. It feels like a lifetime ago that we got our keys, after waiting for so long and going through so much. That first night in our place was so surreal. After getting our key (and finally booting our real estate agent out the door), we went straight to our storage unit to collect our mattress and some bedding. We hauled it over in the dead of night, then rushed over to the dive we’d been staying at while between our apartment and the new place. We checked out at around midnight and came back to the house, feeling like thieves in the night as we quietly made our way inside and up the stairs. It felt so odd, like we were strangers bunking in an abandoned building. At the time, it was hard to imagine that someday this place would be Home.
And now, only sixty short days later, it feels like this has always been our place. We’ve cut down trees, replaced bathroom doors, slowly collected furniture, repaired things in the crawl space, put up window treatments… Little by little, it’s become ours. And although we still have a long way to go, I thought you might like to see how much it’s changed since we first saw it, to what it looks like today (well, technically yesterday, but I promise nothing drastic has changed since then).

It’s kind of hard to see what’s really changed out front (unless you count the lawn going from spring-green to late-summer-yellow). However, we’ve actually done a few things, like chopping down a couple of rosebushes along the driveway, removing the edges from the front step, and cleaning all the moss off of the roof. And, of course, you can’t see it from here, but there’s the small stoop improvement project and the addition of my lovely red mums.

These pictures, although taken from slightly different angles, are a little more dramatic. It’s easy to see what we’ve done here, like removing all the “extra” bushes and ripping out the pet cemetery.

Moving inside, it’s obvious to see that the carpet has been switched out and the curtains ripped down. The front living room has also been, uh, somewhat flooded with crap (only it’s not crap—it’s all very important stuff that just needs a home still!). There’s the addition of Homer, you can see my spray painted vines propped against the wall, some cabinet doors that still need to be rehung, and a corner devoted solely to my upcoming “Amanda Project,” as Mom calls it.

Here’s the dining room in it’s “before” condition, followed by what it looks like today, both from the original viewpoint and from the stairway leading up. As you can see, we’ve recently hung curtains, but I still need to do a lot of work on this space, including reupholstering the chairs and hanging some art.

The kitchen has had more work done, although it currently looks a little worse for the wear. We still need to rehang some doors and (I’m ashamed to say this) finish painting. There’s also the little matter of replacing those hideous overhead lamps and…oh, only about a million other things. But it’s not all bad. For example, I finally finished my window, we now have a cupboard devoted to recycling, and the new fridge definitely helps matters.

Here’s the gloomy looking lower living room “before” (those fleshy walls, the tacky fireplace, and green carpet weren’t doing it any favors) and also in it’s brighter (albeit very unfinished) “after” condition. In the two months we’ve been here, we’ve done a few things in here, like putting away most of the boxes and moving in a new TV, but there’s still the issue of said TV living on my coffee table and the fact that my bookshelf is currently a dumping ground for homeless knick-knacks. Oh, well. Patience, young Padawan, patience.

Now, here’s something that I’ve never shown you before: the hallway leading into the guest bedroom, half bath, and utility room. Nothing fancy, obviously. I’m kind of ashamed to say that I don’t go down there often and so mostly it just gets the door shut on it and I forget it’s there. For a while, I was even a little scared to go down there (the door shuts by itself and it’s kind of dark and cold), but I’ve since then done my best to man-up and learn to love that part of the house, as well. It’s a lot easier, though, when Mom and Shawn come to stay and this area of the house gets lived in (meaning the bathroom and the upcoming bedroom, not the utility room obviously), making it much more hospitable…

This is the guest bedroom (also known as the Cave, occasionally). I cannot tell you how much I hated its “before” hamburger-chic color palette. Not that its current taupe-wall-and-assorted-bed-linens-and-extra-chairs look is anything special, mind you, but I still think it’s a vast improvement. Oh, and this room isn’t actually as big as it appears, by the way, but since it’s somewhat awkwardly shaped the only way I could get a good picture was in panoramic mode.

Also, never before seen (because it’s kind of boring) is the upstairs hallway. Oooh. Aaaah.

Here’s something more interesting. This is the art studio (again, please forgive me the weird pano-pic). It was in pretty bad shape for a while, having been used as a storage space for anything we didn’t want to look at. But since I needed a large workspace for the art I’m doing up for Amanda’s living room, I decided it was time to clean the old girl up. Here it is in its current condition, complete with enormous piles of art supplies, a bookless bookcase, and my gigantic craft table that I got at a garage sale for $7. Score.

Haha. This is the before-and-after that I like best: Denny’s office. Those purple walls really don’t even need any snarky commentary; they speak for themselves.

Here’s the hall bath, which you can see has changed slightly. New shower rod and curtain, actually clean enough to be useable…yeah. That’s about it.

Likewise with the master bathroom. Not much to be said about it, except that it made all the difference in the world putting up that curtain and getting it cleaned from top to bottom.

And, lastly, we have the master bedroom. The amount of green that used to be in this room completely overwhelms me. Just looking at the “before” picture makes me feel like I’ve crawled under a mossy rock. However, the “after” picture makes we want to curl up and take a nap. It’s not the most decorative room just yet (and I have a feeling that it will stay that way for a while), but it’s comfortable and functional. It also has the only set of blinds to be found in the entire house, so you gotta give it points for that.
Are you still with me? Or did I lose you about 1,000 words and 20 or so pictures back? If you are still there, thank you. Not just for making it through this long post, but also for sticking around to read my little blog. It means a lot to me to be able to connect with everyone this way and I hope that I’ll be able to continue doing this for years to come. Love you all and thanks again! <3 Ashley


  1. Thank you for writing your little blog, it's sort of like getting to have a little home-themed chat with you most days :)

    Also, I feel like my living room project is taking up all your home decor time. Sorry and thank you all at the same time!

    Love you, Ash!

  2. @Amanda - It's been a pleasure to write all this stuff down. I have a feeling that someday it will mean a lot to be able and look back at our first place, so careful documented. :)

    And I'm SO excited to work with you on your living room! Next weekend is going to be a blast. And until then, I have lots of fun little projects that I'm trying to get done for your space. Love you too, friendly!

  3. You know, I kinda liked that pale geen (yes, geen) kitchen color. I know you are all painted out but paint is really what you need. Not too costly and a bit of color really adds so much. Overall it's an amazing change, tho. Off topic, do you know if you need a permit to have chickens in your city?

  4. @Kaydeemcdee - I didn't mind that green color, either. I would've been happier with that then this chalky flesh color. We will end up painting, probably this winter. It's so difficult to keep the flat paint clean, we'll need to upgrade to something glossier soon. And, no permit. As long as you have under 5 chickens. But I'm not sure about roosters.