Hi everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic day!
As this blog is mostly about balancing travel and a home life, I thought it only proper to spend some time introducing you to our home. We bought our house in October 2015, a little over a year after getting married. Sam had moved into my little bitty apartment after the wedding, and while we were able to save a ton of money by living there, it was way too small for our lifestyle. Half of what we owned was in storage, and what was in the apartment was packed in tighter than tuna in a can. It also didn’t help that we lived farther away from our friends and family than we liked, so we decided to start house hunting about 6 months after getting married.
We knew right away we wanted to move into something affordable enough that would allow us to pay off our mortgage quickly…currently we are on a 10 year plan (but that is for another blog post). Although neither of us are town people (we both grew up in the country), we knew we weren’t going to be able to afford our dream house this early in our lives. We compromised and got a little 3-story town home in a quiet neighborhood close to family, friends, and Sam’s work.
While it is only about 1200 sq. ft., it has 3 stories plus a basement. The basement isn’t finished, but it is where we store a lot of items and also have the washer and dryer. The first floor has the living room, dining room and kitchen. The 2nd floor has the only bath in the house as well as 2 bedrooms and the extra room, which is my office. The 3rd floor has two additional bedrooms – one is Sam’s office and one is currently our attic.
Although the house was move-in ready, the previous owners didn’t take very good care of the home. It was quite dirty and needed some TLC. You could also tell that they or the owners before were DIY’ers – and didn’t do a good job. There are a lot of projects, both small and large, that we plan to tackle in the next few years. The trick is going to be deciding which projects are worth doing. As we only plan to be in the home for about 5-10 years, we have to balance what work is going to make the home more desirable/worth more money, what projects we want to do in order to make the house feel like our home, and what we should pass on because it just isn’t worth the investment.
We have been in the house over a year now and have only just started our projects. I don’t have a good reason why we haven’t done anything until now except that we have been super busy and just didn’t make the time. Now we have finally made the commitment to start cracking down and getting crap done.
The first room we are tackling is the living room. So far we have bought brand new recliners and an electric fireplace/tv stand. While that is definitely a good start, we have quite a few more projects to do. Here is the list:
- Build a rustic bookcase for our DVDs and books. Sam is currently working on this and (fingers crossed) it should be done in a few days! He hates that we have two separate stands for our DVDs, and we also would like more room for decorations as well. While I want to keep the final product a surprise, here is a sneak peek:
- Replace the broken blinds on the front door with a burlap curtain. Having a dog is pretty awesome most of the time, but they certainly do a number on your blinds (you will notice this in pretty much every room of the house). I plan to take the blinds down completely and replace them with a burlap curtain. Hopefully Radar doesn’t ruin that plan…
- Move the wall clock above the TV. Right now the clock is on the opposite wall, but when we are sitting in the living room we can’t see it. The screw that is currently above the TV is too fat for the clock, so we are going to remove it and put a new nail in so we can hang it above the TV, which is a much better set up.
- Replace the blinds in the window. These blinds were actually broken when we moved in. We are planning to buy thick, wooden ones that darken the room – something like this.
- Buy new curtains for the window. The curtains that are up now were in the house when we moved. While I don’t mind the color per se, we are planning to have blue be our accent color, so the green will have to go. I may also add some burlap as well, but we will see what I can find/make when I get that far.
- Move the books to the new bookcase and give away this bookshelf. Once Sam finishes the bookcase, we will move most of these books onto it, and the rest will find a new home in one of our offices. The current bookshelf has no real spot in the living room and blocks the window and the coffee table. It will be nice to find it a new home.
- Decorate the walls. I don’t have a particular plan for this wall yet, but I hope to compose an inspiration board soon and come up with a couple of ideas. Whatever I decide, there definitely needs to be something above the couch. As I mentioned earlier, the clock will be moved to the opposite wall above the TV.
- Find a lamp for the corner by the couch. This side of the living room is very dark at night, so we need to add a light to brighten up the space.
- Add a photo collage on the wall up the stairs. While I haven’t picked out all the photos I want yet, I am working on putting together a wall collage for this space. This will probably be one of the last projects we do, simply because I anticipate it will be very time consuming.
- Decorate the wall. This is probably the one project I am most excited about. We are going to mount one of Sam’s grandfather’s guns on the wall, and then below it will be a pin map. I have wanted a pin map for ages, and we have finally decided to get one. We just ordered it the other day from Push Pin Travel Maps, and I can’t wait to get it on the wall. Once that is up, I want to figure out a way to display our travel photos around it, but until the map itself is mounted, I don’t know how much space I can utilize for the pictures.
After the living room is complete, Sam and I will work on the dining room and kitchen…look for a post on those project ideas in the not-too-distant future! I will also post about the 2nd and 3rd floor plans as well as the basement improvements. Keep checking back for updates!
Whew! If you stuck with me through this post, congrats! I know it was a long one! I hope you will follow me on Project Casa as the husband and I work on making our house a place we want to call home.
Do you have any ideas for me for Project Casa: Living Room Edition? What projects are you working on in your living room? Leave some love!