February 5, 2015

New Home First Look: Entry, Living Room & Kitchen

Hello! It's been a hot minute. But with good reason...

Somewhat on a whim, Jake and I decided to stick a for sale by owner sign in our front yard to see what would happen. We had been house hunting casually for about 6 months at that point, and felt that we were ready to take the next step. 

Our house sold relatively fast, but not without a few bumps in the road. We had three separate buyers that we were under contract with fall through on us, the final one was shortly before our closing date. 

To complicate matters further, we had found a house that we loved, made an offer that was accepted and were under contract, but we couldn't close on the new house until we were able to close on our old house. The final buyer that fell through nearly resulted in us losing our new house. 

We knew that on the surface it was just a house. I tried to take a step back and gain some perspective... We already lived in a beautiful home that we were happy in. Maybe this wasn't the right time to move. But the truth was, deep down, we both felt that the house we had found was already ours. We had walked through it dozens of times, imagining how we would decorate every square inch. We pictured hosting holidays, gathering (read: drinking and dancing) in the kitchen with friends and starting a family there. It didn't feel like just another house to us. It felt like home.

I'll admit we let ourselves freak out the day that our last buyer fell through. I cried a lot. But, we picked ourselves up and hit the ground running the next day. We had a deadline from our builder of one week to sell our old house before we would lose our contract on our new house. We held 4 open houses back-to-back days (while I had strep throat -- fun times!) and sold our house FSBO with just 12 hours to spare. Thanks to our neighbors that referred an interested buyer to us just in the nick of time. 

We had back-to-back closings on our old house and new house and moved all in the same day. We couldn't have been more excited to get the keys and start this new chapter. We lucked out and had a great realtor that helped us with the purchase of our new home. If you know anyone in the Charlotte area that's looking to buy or sell, Steve is the man! 

Living in our new home is a constant gratitude reminder for me. We both feel completely grateful to live here. Many times when I pull up out front, I'm reminded of the night that our last buyer fell through when we drove here and parked outside (apparently I like torturing myself). We sat out front and said our peace, if this isn't meant to be, please help us move on.

This experience taught us that sometimes life doesn't make sense when you're in the midst of chaos -- but if you look hard enough there's usually a lesson to be learned. We realized more than ever, that we make a great team and even if things hadn't worked out, the support that we found in one another would have gotten us through. 

I originally started this blog to share the journey of making our old house into a home, so it's only fitting to check back in with an update of our new house. We've lived in our new home for about 2.5 months now, so I still have a million ideas of things that I'd like to add and tweak, but we're excited to call this place home. We hope to be here for 10-15 years, so we have plenty of time to make updates and work on projects. 

I'm planning to check in here more often to share glimpses of our life and home. Now more than ever, the name of this blog holds such meaning.

First, some before photos (sorry for the low quality, they were pulled from a real estate site):

Here's a quick glimpse of the front of our house. Stay tuned for photos of our porches in the spring/ summer. It's going to take us a while to furnish these bad boys -- we have 4 covered porches in total!

Below are some photos of the house now that we're moved in. Prepare for picture overload, since I haven't posted in oh, 10 months I figured a long photo-filled post was overdue.

Our biggest project to-date are these built-in shelves. We drew up the plans, had the wood cut, installed and painted them together. I'm happy with how they turned out, since there's not a ton of wall space in the living room, they give us an area to display family photos and a few of our favorite things. 

A bonus little peek through our pantry into the dining room - lots to do still in there:

Lastly, a quick mood board with a few ideas of some elements that I'd like to add to the kitchen in the near future. I also have a longterm plan, since we didn't get to choose our granite or backsplash, down the road I would like cream or jadeite subway tile for the backsplash and carrara marble or light quartz countertops.

It's lacking life and color in our kitchen right now so I am hoping to 1. Add some accessories over the cabinets. 2. Spray paint the e-a-t wall letters that I have a fun bright color and hang by the table. 3. Bring in a floor plant for the corner behind the kitchen table. 4. Remove a set of cabinet doors for an open shelving look to display some of my favorite kitchenware.  5. Add a bright colored eames style chair to the built-in desk area. I'm toying with the idea of painting the back wall of the built in desk area with the two square windows black chalkboard paint. Thoughts on this? I'm worried it might feel too dark but I love the idea of it further separating the desk area from the rest of the room, defining that space and adding functionality. Does this make your head hurt? Now you have a better idea of what the inside of my head looks like ;)

Really excited to have our first out-of-town overnight guests this weekend!
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