Friday, August 29, 2014

Fuzzy Friday: Big Sis, Lil Sis

Sure, there has been a lot of house talk lately but be assured that there's been just as many kitty snuggles and cat chatter within our walls.  Nervous about moving the herd but so excited for them to explore new closets, to discover the large windows prime for bird-watching, and to continue making our hearts full.  I lurve those cats.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Ultimate Estate Sale Purchase

We did it.  Last Friday, we bought a new house.  Here's that crazy story.

Just a little over a month ago, we had decided to tough it out and stay in our current home for a few more years, finish some house projects, and get ready to move our family.  Literally 48 hours after coming to that decision, we found the house we would soon buy.


In early July, I hit a random estate sale like I regularly do.  When I pulled up, I quickly realized that I was in a neighborhood that I'd had a crush on since I moved back to Tulsa after college.  Beautiful ranch style, mid-century houses, homes lived in with pride, large lots, and a great location.  I'd never been in this part of the hood but was quickly won over.  As I walked up to this particular sale, I quickly noticed the For Sale by Owner sign but didn't really think twice about it since we'd chosen to stay put just a few days before.  Just a few minutes into the sale, I got a text from my dad who told me that I had to see these available digs.  We were randomly at the sale at the same time.  After finding each other, we marveled around the house together and ended up talking to the son, who was taking care of the sale and got some general answers about the house's history.  Brent did a few tours through the house the next day, with the estate sale going on, and also saw the potential.  We made an offer just 48 hours later.  Remember, not looking to move.  It was a bit impulsive.

Things continued to progress.

Being a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) house, I learned LOTS.  I mean more than I ever thought I'd know about real estate.  Talk about a crash course.  While I do think it would have been easier on the buyer's (our!) end to officially have a realtor involved in the process, there were also some really cool parts to FSBO.  In the short time that this all happened, we got to know all about the only other family that has ever lived in this house.  That's right, this is our second house to buy from original owners.  We LOVE that.  It's a quirky house that needs some TLC in many spots but more so, it's a house filled with SO much potential.  Not only is it twice the size of our (very) cramped current home, it's a house with tons of history, gorgeous mid-century modern features, an amazing yard that we can't wait to personalize, and so.much.more.

We hope to spend many, many years in this house.


We officially became this home's new owner last Friday.  We did some urban camping sans kid and cleaned into the wee hours of the morning.  We have SO much more to accomplish before we move in but luckily, we have about four weeks before we have to turn over our current home to its new owners.  Yup, our house is set to sell in just a few more weeks, hopefully.  Our luck with ALL of the house stuff has been insane...   If everything continues to progress as wonderfully as it already has, the house that we've built a family in will belong to its third family.  We're absolutely thrilled and astounded how everything has unfolded.  So surreal.

The countdown has begun and we've got a lot to accomplish before we move into our sea of harvest gold and pink.  It's crazy exciting, a little overwhelming, and quite hard to believe.  Throw work, back to teaching, and a toddler into the mix and you've got yourself a lot on the plate.  But we're always up for a challenge.  I hope.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Dream Kitchen

And now, I welcome you to my favorite room in our house, the room I will undoubtedly miss the most, the room that made me fall in love with our first home:  the kitchen. 
When we first began looking for a house to buy, Brent and I were living in different cities.  In fact, we'd spent no more than five days straight together.  Buying a house together was certainly a leap of faith.  We had our wants and had been looking on the weekends while he was in town for a few weeks.  We did our best to only look at houses while we were in town together but we hit a point where we were really ready to move so I started looking with our realtor during the week nights.  We definitely wanted an older home but everything we looked at made me feel claustrophobic and seemed like too much money for such a small space.  That's when we broadened our searching horizon a few miles and found this house.  It was a single owner and hadn't been updated for many, many, many moons.  For the first time, I didn't feel like the walls were closing in and the idea of buying a house from the original owner just felt right.  Then I walked into the kitchen.  Love at first sight.  I HAD to have this house. 
I would venture to say that even those that barely know me, know that I'm slightly obsessed with the color green.  Always have been.  I like all shades but one shade in particular really revs my engine - avocado green.  Yup, these kitchen cabinets sealed the deal.  In the early 70s, the original homeowners expanded the kitchen and had these cabinets installed.  Pretty dreamy, right?  A HUGE kitchen filled with cabinets in the color of my dreams?  Tell me more.  And yes, that's an avocado green sink surrounded by avocado green counter tops.  They weren't messing around with their green.

Believe it or not, these cabinets have always been a point of contention between the mister and me.  You see, to me, they are perfect.  Not a thing to change.  To a man who was once a trim carpenter, these were basic, outdated cabinets that desperately needed a facelift.  See, we're not perfect!  We bicker and it's mostly about our decor styles!  Ha!  Alas, we did nothing more to the cabinets than remove more shelf paper than one could ever imagine and added new hardware.  We had finally agreed to keep the cabinets, install new countertops, and replace the sink with a stainless number but lo and behold, an unexpected move jumped in and the kitchen remained relatively untouched.
A few years back, we did paint the walls that bright yellow color.  To me, green and yellow just belong together.  We ended up accenting in red and black, adding to our rainbow house.  Nothing wrong with adding color to a home, amiright
I wish I could have seen what the original stove looked like since the vent hood is so killer.  While we don't have the fanciest of stoves, I have always LOVED how easy ceramic cook tops are to clean.  The easy clean up is so desirable to me that I prefer these stoves over others.  Call me crazy.  :)
One of the stranger aspects of our kitchen is the brick corner.  When we moved in, there was a wood-burning Benjamin Franklin stove there, vented through the ceiling.  It was massive but cool.  When inspections went down, we learned that the vent was capped, leaving the stove unusable in that location.  We decided to remove it and make the space more usable for our household.  For us, this space has typically functioned as animal central with feeding areas and storage for pet-related goods.  We had plans (and have actually already started) to build Rio a play kitchen of her own to sit in this space.  Project postponed. 
Sometimes, I (often) get in a fury of reorganizing and cleaning out of nowhere.  The artwork above the dining table happened in one of the fits and was really a happy accident.  I was just placing them on the wall on existing nails to see if I liked the colors and the pieces together.  I took two steps back and absolutely loved the composition and left it like that.  Who says that art must be centered on a wall?
Once a mobile child started scooting across the floor, it was time to find hooks to hang my bag hoard up.  With as many different things as I tend to, I have tons of different bags that shuffle around with me.  Above that lifesaver is one of my earlier online DIYs, a floating vintage matchbook display.  
Our kitchen window above the sink faces west, something that I absolutely love.  Actually, I just love and appreciate a window above any kitchen sink but make it west-facing for sunset watching and I'm in heaven. 
While I was packing up some in the kitchen last night, I mentioned to Brent that this may be the hardest room to pack.  A few days earlier, I had said that same thing about Rio's room.  When I was packing up the workroom, I'm sure I made that same statement.  I knew that once we decided to move, it would be an emotional process but with as quick as everything has happened for this move, it feels like those emotions are intensified.  Moving is tough work physically, mentally, and emotionally.  For sure. 

Man, I'll miss this kitchen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

No Longer a Nursery

So, um, we're moving.  Like in a few weeks.  It's a crazy story that just sort of happened and we're just going with it!  I'll go into more depth soon but know that it's all super positive and exciting!  That short little teaser to introduce another room tour, Rio's Room!

The last time we toured this room, the kid was still cooking and having a child in the house was something we hadn't experienced yet.  Fast forward almost two years later, and we're old pros!  Or something like that.  ;)  Things have changed in her world since those newborn days which, of course, means that her room has evolved some as well.

One of the most popular features of Rio's room are her lockers that we configured to work as a tiny closet for her tiny clothes.  I've had some inquiries as to what we use the lockers for so here we go.  Obviously, they are the framework for the hanging clothes but they also serve as invaluable storage.  Toys that are too old for her, crib sheets, changing pad sheets, hand-me-down books, and other miscellaneous kid goods all live within those lockers.  I've already been dreaming up how they'll function in her new space since she'll actually have a true blue closet of her own!
Once we were done with co-sleeping and the kid started sleeping on her own, we quickly decided that her crib had to move.  It began on the wall that also houses our lone bathroom's plumbing which meant that anything that occurred in the bathroom was easily heard through that wall.  The crib was moved and we've never looked back since.  The hanging swaddling blanket on the window blocks out sunlight during naps and early bed times at home.  It's not the fanciest solution but it sure works!

The book tree has worked well but I don't know that we'll use it in the same form in the future.  What rocked about it was its mobility.  While I get ready in the morning, the kid often hangs out in the crib reading.  All I have to do is move that book tree next to the crib and she then has a stash of books to choose from!  It's easy for books to get lost within it though so I'm hoping to utilize more shelf space for her readers in the future.
We made the area next to the crib a reading/play area which has functioned quite well.  That rocker gets tons of use by us and the kid (I'm still impressed by her ability to climb on it!) all throughout the day which makes me all sorts of happy since it's such a dear family heirloom. 
The trunk functions as a sort of table top while storing the loads of blankets we have.  Next to it is another one of those basic storage shelves that we seem to have amassed a lot of!  I have plans for those in the future as well.  :)  Try as I might to keep her toys well organized within this space, it always seems fairly disheveled to me.  If parenthood has taught me anything, it's to be ok with the chaos, something I truly struggle with.  As much as I am ok with a little disorganization in this space, I can't help but be optimistic in our future plans to make her new space function even better and more organized! 
I still do love our wallpapered wall.  We never hung anything on it but it was a statement all its own.  I have a feeling that the changing table situation won't be around much longer as we're on the cusp of saying good bye to diapers.  After the move, of course.
So much of our house is now in boxes.  In fact, my entire studio is just a shell now.  Artwork is coming off of the walls, closets have been cleaned out, filled boxes are multiplying, but only one little section in Rio's room has been dealt with.  I think this will be the most difficult room to pack up and say good bye to.  As sad as it may be to say adios to this home, I think about how exciting it will be to start fresh in our new abode.  I can't wait to share more of it and its evolution so very soon!
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