The First 90 Days

The First 90 Days

3 months ago,

Chauncey and I bought our house. To think about that day, driving to the house with our keys and parading around our property drinking champagne out of the bottle feels like ages ago.

Home. But not quite home yet.

Some people have asked me 'So,does it feel like home??' Not yet.  I felt guilty the first time I had to honestly answer that, although I love this home, it doesn't feel quite like home yet. But then I realized it has only been 3 months! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this house. But how can it have all the feels before we even have a housewarming party or celebrate our first holiday? It shouldn't. Home is not about a beautiful (or at least, beautifully work in progress) house. Home has the comforting feeling of familiarity and us and this house, well, we're still getting acquainted. :)

The First 30 Days

Chauncey and I took about a week off of work to do some initial work on the house and move ourselves in. His mom and aunt were generous enough to come out and help us, too! Highlights from the first 30 days are:

We painted the first floor.  I chose Silver Bullet for the living room which has a subtle blue undertone. The kitchen cabinets and counters are very brown-heavy, so I needed the color in the dining/kitchen to be in the brown family but transition nicely to the more cool-toned living color. Ashen Tan is exactly what I had in mind and was perfect. 

Chauncey chopped down (most of) a tree. There was a Magnolia tree in the front lawn, but unfortunately is was mostly dead and it bothered the heck out of Chauncey. He decided it was the very first thing he would do. More on this in the "Last 30 Days" section..

We (I) sanded the whole second floor. And stained the bedroom and hallway. The whole house is basically hardwood but the second floor was lighter than the first floor. "Let's stain it darker" we said. "It'll be simple!" I said. "I've watched all the youtube videos!" I said. .....,Word to the wise: if you have friends or family tell you "We stained the floors," IT IS A LIE. They HIRED someone to stain the floors. But silly me, when I heard multiple friends say "they stained their floors" I assumed they personally did it, which gave me even more confidence to DIY it myself.

Fast forward to us renting a sander from home depot, and I personally sanded the floors while Chauncey's gracious mom did all the corners and tight spots by hand.

The most important thing to stain was the hallway and bedroom , so I focused on getting those areas done first. I learned a lot in that process, so it is unfortunately where I made some mistakes, but overall it really did turn our pretty great. 

We also did a ton of cleaning up from the prior owner, weeding, lawn edging, and unpacking.

OH and we smelled gas, and Nicor had to come rip apart our driveway to fix a leak in their pipes. On the bright side, we got a brand new sidewalk (it was oddly beat up) and now know how to take care of sod! 

The second 30 days

The dining table was the item I was most looking forward to buying with a house. None of our previous apartments were big enough to have more than a two top bar table, but cooking meals have evolved to be one of my happy places, so having a place to put said food would be nice. I did a lot of research and ended up falling in love with this wooden table with a slight industrial nod (not pictured is an iron detail underneath the table), and I paired it was tufted oatmeal chairs (wingback versions on the ends!). {Side note that I literally want beige tufted everything. Any suggestions for a cure for this craving?}

I started decorating the built in book shelves. It is one of my favorite characteristics of the house and there's so many different ways to decorate it.

Oh and then theres hanging curtains. Did you even know how expensive curtains are?? I didn't. Even discount curtains are pretty expensive given that I need 10 for my first floor. But we needed, you know... privacy, so when I found simple curtains at Ikea for $40 for 2, it was an obvious choice until I get fancier versions (but will I ever, because these look pretty great?).

The point is that we have tall ceilings and these extra long drapes REALLY glam up the space! Oh, and also privacy. :)

The Past 30 Days

Chauncey removed the tree stump. Like, himself. We were pretty sure we were going to have to pay a company to do it, but with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears Chauncey got that puppy out. The funniest part was when all the neighbors started telling us that they were watching the whole battle. Chauncey has made a slight name for himself as the guy who chopped the tree down on our block.

I FINISHED STAINING THE SECOND FLOOR! Today marks the day that I finish the floors. That was not an easy task and I'm so happy to have it done with. I'm pretty happy with the work, although I know where all the imperfections are, so hopefully I will learn to look past those over time. If you ever are considering staining your floors, here are the top 3 things I learned:

  • Sand really thoroughly. Seriously, be meticulous. My first go around, I noticed that there were some places that the sander missed or did get quite as well because of uneven floorboards. There was very obvious places the stain didn't absorb because of this. I had to re-sand those places by hand and did a thorough once over on the following rooms.
  •  Sweep/vacuum constantly. This is more advice I would give myself if I ever did this again (which I won't). Hair will get stained/poly'ed onto the floor. Chauncey and I weren't even living in the house when I did the first bedroom and somehow, there are some rouge hairs permanently in the floor. #amateurhour
  • Using a hand brush worked best. For me. The guy in the paint section looked at me like I was crazy when I told him I was staining my floors with a hand brush, but I found it to give me a lot more control over even staining and not wasting product. It took a bit more time but I thought it was worth it.

And then there is a whole slew of other 'smaller' things we've done like:

  • Replace the Air Conditioning (because it broke)
  • Bought a new TV (because ours broke..)
  • Ripped up the carpet in the basement so we can put down laminate flooring
  • Hung string lights around our primary tree and pergola
  • Installed solar spotlights to light up the property at night

And we're not stopping! In the next 30 days, we will have a new roof (ugh, stupid insurance company demands...) and we are having our gas lamp post restored and up and running with an open flame. And then we can tackle the next 40 items on our to-do list, which is a list fellow homeowners tell us never goes away :).