We’re in!



I mean can you get over this backsplash???

There were times when I honestly did not know if this day would come. There were a few nights after the movers came that we and the cats slept on an Aerobed in the empty old apartment while some plumbing issues got sorted. But we live here now.

The craziest thing is that it looks pretty much exactly as I imagined over 6 months ago, only a million times more vivid and beautiful.  We still have some work to do – I need to wallpaper the powder room, the office is a mess, and of course there’s the whole backyard. I’ll do a separate post with side-by-side before & after (and maybe during) shots, but for now, let’s focus on the beauty of the after. I love this house.


Our mailbox & house numbers!


The living room!


More living room!


This was the typewriter the former owners left in the house!


Now you know where the bar went!


This kitchen, OMG.


Coffee station! (we have real drawer pulls now)


Incredible woodwork to make these fronts for IKEA cabinets


The dining room! It gets amazing light in the morning.


Master bath, with our salvaged floor joists on the wall!


Master vanity. So many decisions that somehow came together.

Down to the wire

I’m not going to lie, the last few weeks have been exceptionally stressful. As the work on the house moved away from the fundamentals and into the realm of stuff I cared about (i.e. all the pretty things I envisioned over 6 months ago!), I became more and more nervous that something would go wrong.

And somethings did go wrong. Continue reading

The home stretch?

There’s been a part of me that feels like because we’re going through all of this – the work, the stress, the 9 months (!) of paying rent on top of mortgage – that everything in this house should be perfect. After all, we’ve essentially started from scratch; what excuse could we have if things aren’t perfect? IMG_1439 Continue reading

This might actually be a house one day

There was a point this spring when my anxiety levels really peaked. There was just no way this house was going to be done when they said it would be done, when it HAD to be done, according to the terms of the rehab loan. So what happens when June 2 comes and goes? I mean, they signed a contract, right?

“Well, you can fire your GC if you want,” was the helpful advice from the bank. Continue reading

Designing a bathroom is harder than you think

Take a look around your bathroom.  Without thinking too long, how many decisions would you say went into it? Like, maybe 12, tops? You are wrong.

Here’s another question: what color do you think your toilet is? Oh, “white,” you say? But is it Cotton White or Colonial White?  Or could it be Bone? Linen? Are your fixtures traditional, contemporary, or “transitional”? Polished Chrome or Satin Nickel?


Maybe this can help.

Continue reading

The waiting game

March was slooooooooow. Since our last draw inspection (when the HUD consultant determines what finished work the GC can be paid for) at the end of February, it feels like very little of substance has been done. The electric came to a grinding halt, as did what feels like a lot of other things, and we went from feeling like we might get to move in early, to wondering if the house would even be finished on time. Per the terms of the 203k loan, the job is supposed to be completely finished 6 months from the closing date, which would get us to June 2. We’re now officially 2/3 of the way there, we haven’t even had our rough inspection yet, and it still feels very far away from being a complete house. However, a few updates, and a few pictures!  Continue reading

Bye-bye contingency

You might think to yourself, “Self, we are gut renovating this house! All new electric, plumbing, insulation, HVAC–everything’s in the budget! That means that unlike on all those HGTV shows, there won’t be any surprises to wipe out our contingency, right?”

Wrong. Oh, how very wrong a person can be! You think you’re gut renovating your house, but as we are learning, there is always more to gut. #moretogut

First there were the floors. Continue reading

Demolition derby!

The night we closed, KC and I headed out in the pouring rain to our new HOUSE THAT WE OWNED. What an insane feeling, to own a building! We did not bring a pizza to eat like many do because the house was, TBH, a little too gross to eat in. It was not, however, too gross to drink in and we popped a bottle of Veuve and drank it in the bathroom in front of that magnificent wall mural.


Then, coupe in one hand and sledgehammer in the other, we opened a few walls, just to peek. Continue reading

Design inspiration #1: all I want is a midcentury beach house

They say that designing a house from scratch requires somewhere around two thousand decisions, but so far it feels more like two hundred thousand. There are decisions, and then there are decisions within decisions that you didn’t think about when making the initial decisions, which may require the re-thinking of your last five decisions and maybe one or two related decisions. There is no end to the decisions you need to make, the complexity of which is only amplified by the number of choices available to you in the first place. Thanks, internet!

But let’s back up and talk vision, shall we? Continue reading