Our First Home
Apparently being pregnant, buying a house, running a business, and having a few side hustles means that it can go from January to June (umm… basically July) in the blink of an eye. I’d love to blame my lack of consistent content on the fact that I’ve been growing a human for the past 30 weeks but the truth is that I’ve just been plain busy.
Seth & I found out we had a little one on the way on New Year’s Day – which is pretty epic if you ask me. Literally the day before I took a pregnancy test we were out to breakfast at one of our favorite little cafes dreaming up a list of our goals for 2018:
Buy A House
Make A Baby
Spend More Time Outdoors
That was literally it. Well… by the next morning we found out we were pregnant and by the next month we had put an offer in on our first house. No big deal, right?
With a bun in the oven we knew that we couldn’t take on the type of “Fixer Upper” that we may have otherwise invested in. Our goal was to find something affordable that fit our needs for the short term – not our “forever home” that we still hope to one day build.
My list of hopes for our first house were about as straightforward as our 2018 goals. I was hoping to find 3 things:
A Wood Burning Fireplace
By some miracle of fate we managed to find a house that has not one… but TWO wood burning fireplaces, a bathtub, and a ton of trees in a luscious backyard. The location, price point, and timing were perfect and we pulled the trigger the second we saw the inside of the house- there was just enough character to make it interesting and plenty of projects we could do to make it our own.
We really hit the ground running with our initial projects and got most of the big jobs done before we moved in but managed to leave enough unfinished that we still have plenty to keep us busy or plenty that will forever be left unfinished… who knows?
So – about 2 months after I had initially intended to share some sneak peeks of our house… here we are! There is still a lot to do (including an entire camp-themed nursery) and a lot of areas of the house that aren’t pictured but here are a few of my favorite transformations so far!
Living Room (Upstairs)
This room is the first room when you walk in the main door (which is a side door otherwise I’d refer to it as a front door like a normal person). Seth + I loved the sloped ceiling and the fireplace… it also features a “sunken” living room space which resulted in some fun problem solving on our part.
The previous owners had installed an IKEA cabinet in the entrance where a banister used to be but we knew we wanted to get rid of that. They also kept the original mantelpiece on the fireplace – WHICH HAD NEVER BEEN USED. That’s right folks, a freakin’ fireplace in Fargo, ND that had not been used in the nearly 30 years since it had been installed… who does that?! Needless to say Seth started a fire in that bad boy as soon as we got the keys.
We promptly removed the huge mantelpiece and covered that feature wall in shiplap – painted in my favorite shade of green on the planet. We put up a new, reclaimed mantel from Seth’s shop and started ripping up the carpet on the steps before we realized we wouldn’t actually be replacing the carpet for a while so… hi exposed plywood!
Seth used remnants of the shiplap around the “step” down into the sunken living room. For some ungodly reason this had been left carpeted when the previous owners replaced the flooring. We still have to put nosing around the seams where the different floors meet… hopefully at the very least before baby CarlDedinson starts crawling around.
You can also see a tiny peek of the railing in our “dining area” in the BEFORE photo above, we ripped that out and have yet to replace it with something less icky so dining at our house is basically like an extreme sport where you scale something of a considerable size and hope that you don’t fall off/backwards to your untimely death.
Here you can see the carpeted step down into the living room. It was a choice that somebody made and we’re not here to judge people but… really? The walls in the main space were a creamy beige color so we cleaned everything up with bright white paint. We also replaced that funny little light fixture in the entryway which on the scale of “okay” to “why God why” wasn’t so bad compared to others in the house.
This space is where we hang out with friends, chat, read books, eat our morning cereal, and do other old fashioned things that don’t involve staring at a TV. We used the couch from our apartment that we bought a few years ago and I made new pillows for it (which I will eventually make a tutorial for… key word: eventually).
Our coffee table in this room was made from a live edge oak slab and some bent steel legs. We inherited the dining room set that belonged to my Great Grandma and use the top of her buffet as our little bookshelf. The wall to the left in the above photos was covered in reclaimed wood but has yet to be adorned with decor… I figure it will probably be taken over by photos of the baby once he gets here so why waste my time?
I love our little geometric light fixtures! The small pendant fixture here matches the larger one above our dining room table which replaced the “why god why” fixture that was previously hanging in that area. It is a really small dining area (especially for a family that loves to eat) so we had to get creative with our small space.
Our solution was installing a bench along the length of the wall on one side of our dining table. Once we get our new railing up we should be able to seat 7 comfortably at the table without anyone having to worry about falling backwards and busting their noggins open.
Above you can see a peek of our cabinets (which we painted) and countertops (which we replaced). The kitchen is a pretty small space and the cabinets made it feel like cave so we removed one set of upper cabinets and opted for open shelving instead. Note below that the light fixtures in the kitchen were far past the “why god why” end of the spectrum and into “what the actual hell” territory.
Our cabinets were painted the same color as our shiplap and the countertops, shelves, and our dining bench all match as well. We actually took each door off of the cabinets and brought them into Seth’s spray booth which made a BIG different in the finished product. Simple black hardware kept the light fixtures and other accents all tied together.
Downstairs (which is sort of our basement but we don’t call it that since we have another basement which we refer to as our actual basement or as the “down-downstairs”) was painted an unholy yellow.
We promptly painted the walls in “alpaca” and replaced the light fixtures as well. This room still has a LONG way to go before it feels finished + cozy but it gets the job done for now. The big L couch is the only piece of furniture we bought for the new house!
Our master bath upstairs is what I call a “hotel” bathroom where there are two separate rooms… one with just the sink and the other with the toilet and bath/shower.
It was pretty “blah” before and the cabinet / mirror / light fixture were definitely original to the house because they were so outdated it was almost comical. We initially planned to do a “floating” vanity with a live edge slab but ended up just painting the cabinets white and adding a reclaimed countertop. We replaced the hardware, mirror, and light fixture too along with painting the walls “alpaca” in this main space.
In the shower/toilet room we added an accent wall of a deep charcoal/navy color (the same shade we used in our bedroom) and installed some floating shelves that match the countertop for storage.
The bathroom still needs some major touches of decor because it definitely feels like a hotel bathroom. I think some artwork in the sink room and some cute stuff on the top shelf in the toilet/shower room are all that is really needed so maybe when the whole “nesting” phase hits me I’ll get on that.
Overall we made the new house feel like “home” pretty quickly. Between getting our stuff moved in and making a few cosmetic changes it really feels like an entirely new house. We have a little bit of time before the babe gets here to prioritize some projects so I’m hoping that by the end of the summer I can share even more!