Saturday, June 13, 2015

Got Books?

One of the things we discovered we most used at our first house was built-in storage.  The home had 3 decent sized (for a home built in the late 30's) closets, and plenty of wall space for bookshelves, armoires, and dressers.  Over the years we added some built-in bookcases to flank our fireplace and a huge walk in pantry.

{photo by Tina Boaen}

{photo by Tina Boaen}

Those served most of our storage needs.  Until we had a baby, and then a few years later, another.  As we added those babies we shuffled our bedrooms around and lost our extra closet space.  We remodeled an en-suite half bathroom and a closet into a full bathroom so we had a master suite, but then we had to build two small closets out into the room to provide us with the clothes storage we lost when the original closet became a shower.  Therefore the master bedroom became the smallest bedroom in the house, shared by half the people in the house.  We needed more space so we moved to our new house.  Which had PLENTY of closet space.  But no other forms of storage.  We lost our huge pantry and we had nowhere to store all of our books.

{photo by Tina Boaen}

So, as a stopgap measure we bought some wall mounted adjustable track shelving.  Super classy, but it got our stuff out of boxes.  We knew we wanted to add wood floors someday so we wanted to wait until then to do any kind of more permanent built-ins.  The initial plan was to do built in Billy bookcases from Ikea, but as we lived with all the games and other junk on the open shelves I knew I needed some closed storage too.

They didn't look awful in these pictures because these were taken pretty early on.  As we unpacked more and more boxes the shelves became more and more crammed full of stuff.  By the end  there was no more open space between them.  I finally could not take anymore so I found some inspiration on Pinterest and over a weekend my husband and father-in-law managed to get these up.

They are standard, off the shelf wall cabinets from Home Depot, which they built bookcases on top of.  They planked the back for some interest and then I was able to do some purging and editing and have a much more put together looking living room.  I no longer feel overwhelmed by all of the stuff behind me as I sit on the sofa watching TV. 

They still need some trimming out and painting but look 100 times better than the stopgap measure!  And function a million times better too!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Choosing a home

When my husband and I were house hunting we knew we wanted an older home that had charm but that we could put our personal stamp on.  He liked ranch homes but I liked bungalows.  He finally agreed to a bungalow as long as there was ample garage space.  We started looking in the urban areas that I liked and quickly became overwhelmed by the potential mortgage payments.  We broadened our search horizons to some of the older suburbs and were much happier with the direction the payments took.

Right before Christmas in 2006 we found our first home and closed on it at the end of January, 2007.  We knew we would want to do some work but at that point had no idea how much work would be in store. 

I had so much fun choosing all the paint colors so that everything would flow since the home was small.  It was great to be able to vent that decorating need since my husband wouldn't let me do much to the apartment we had before buying.  And it needed paint badly as one of the rooms was fluorescent pink and another was royal blue.

We stripped a wallpaper border in the bathroom and replaced the upside down, Dr. Seuss chandelier
in the dining room with one I found at a vintage store.

We loved the hardwood floors and all of the windows and light.  We spent a few weeks hunting down hooks for the picture rail so we wouldn't have to hammer into our plaster walls.  Then we lived with it for awhile so we could see what we wanted and could afford to do.

The house had great bones but if we had only known what we were getting into!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hi there!

Hi, I'm Danielle and this is something I should have done a long time ago.  We lived in and loved our first home for 7 years and made so many changes to it and our life in that time.  This is an attempt to better document our lives going forward!

{photo by Tina Boaen}

My husband and I bought our home in 2007 right before the market tanked.  I had always wanted to renovate an older home and my husband wanted plenty of garage space.  When we found an affordable "fixer upper" with a 700 square foot detached garage we knew we had found the one.  Of course with the almost immediate loss in equity we had to wait until we had the cash to do the work but we redid most of the home as we started a family and eventually outgrew it.

{photo by Tina Boaen}

We now have a newer home that still needs a bit of updating.  I can't wait to see what we end up doing here!