New House Tour: Kitchen, Dining & Living Rooms

Oh yeah, hey...we bought a new house this summer. Three months ago. The same month Ezra was born. It was great fun! We had only just bought our previous house two years ago (same month Harper was born, hahaha), and honestly, I never got around to making it "home." There was a new baby, then a failed pregnancy, then a long and miserable (but successful) pregnancy...you get it. Things were complicated and busy.

So this summer, we started looking at houses kind of on a whim. We called ourselves "looking at houses now so we know what we want later." My husband and I are both licensed real estate agents, so it's pretty easy for us to go shopping. It was really just something to do together those last couple months of pregnancy when I was feeling miserable and wanted someone to drive my fat ass around to look at things.

Then we found this neighborhood...the neighborhood of our dreams. The neighborhood we thought we couldn't afford (and so consequently had never perused). Only, we found our house. Small for the area, and on one of the busier streets in the neighborhood (though still not very busy), it presented a lower price point than we had anticipated. When we stepped into the door, Scott said, "SOLD." This is a BIG. DEAL. Scott doesn't LOVE anything. He "doesn't dislike" things. But he never loves them. He loved this house.

A few minutes later, while sitting on the swing set in the back yard of the prospective new house, Scott said to me, "Are you going to swing all afternoon and act like you own the place? Or are you going to go home and write an offer?"

I chose the latter.

So here we are in our new house. There's so much I want to do with this place. Although we're all moved in and settled, and it DOES feel like home in a way the previous house never did, I haven't done much to make it ours just yet. It will take some time with our current budgetary and time restrictions, but oh...I've got big plans. And of course, I want to document them here.

Let's start with the kitchen.

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This kitchen was almost a deal breaker for me. I really wanted a big kitchen. A gigantic kitchen even. I like to hoard kitchen gadgets and spread stuff all over the counter. I like to fill the cabinets with oodles of stuff so I don't have to go grocery shopping often. And I like to be able to hang out with the family while cooking. This kitchen obviously doesn't provide any of those things.

HOWEVER.

I have learned to love this little kitchen. It's bright and sunny, and it leaves little room for messes. Efficiency and organization have been key to surviving this kitchen - a downsize from our old house for sure. The cabinets are newer, and everything is clean and up-to-date. Scott wants to change the countertop someday, but I am just fine with it as-is. My biggest gripe is the lack of cabinet space, but I am getting better at dealing every day.

I left the big bin of recycling sitting out for this photo to show that trash/recycling storage is another issue I need to creatively solve. I want one of those multi-compartment trash bins, but that will have to wait a little while. This works for now. Here are a couple more shots:

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Scott added the blinds (no more flashing my boobs to the neighbors after late-night pumping sessions) and replaced the faucet with this nice goose-neck.

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Anyone have suggestions on how to get rid of little fingerprints from the fridge?

I don't really have big plans for the kitchen. I know I'd like to paint the walls at some point, but I'm pretty okay with the rest of it. There's not really much room for change in there other curtains, rugs, etc.

Next is the dining room.

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It's also on the small side. It will really only comfortably fit a four-top table, but that's fine for our little family. The previous owners added the built-in shelving to make up for the lack of cabinet space in the kitchen, but so far, it has mostly served as a central hoarding spot (as you can see here). Doesn't every house have that ONE SPOT that always accumulates random crap? Very annoying.

I like our dining set okay, but the space might be better served by a shorter set and possibly a more streamlined silhouette. The only other change I see in here is paint color and some small decorations for the built-in. Oh, and wall decor. We need to work on that. Currently I have all our framed stuff on the previous owners' nails...randomly hung all over the house as storage more than anything. There's no rhyme or reason to it.

And the living room...

_DSC0123Let me start by saying part of the reason I blog is to hold myself accountable to creative goals and to get better at my artsy endeavors. One of these is PHOTOGRAPHY. As you can tell from the photos above, I kind of suck at it. I am using these photos (and hopefully the "after" photos that will result) to practice my skills. I shot all these using a tripod and my DSLR in manual mode, but I can obviously use all the help I can get. Tips are greatly appreciated. I think maybe the living room would benefit from being photographed at a different time of day or a cloudy day so the windows aren't all blown out.

So I really love the shape and size of our living room. I do think our furniture is a bit big for the space, but nice sofas are damn expensive, y'all. I'm also way over the Ikea thing, but you know...the moneys...they don't grow on trees. So it is what it is for the time being.

I've got REALLY big dreams for this room. A cool gray shade for the walls...a penny-tile makeover for the mantel...charcoal gray (?) sofas...coordinating but mis-matched chairs... We'll see. I change my mind often as documented by my Pinterest boards. I'm definitely thinking about a gray/navy theme with splashes of yellow, coral or turquoise. OH, and a rug! A nice, big area rug. With some kind of geometric print. But NOT that Ikea one that everyone else has. No, not that one.

Well, that's it for now. I'll get the bedrooms, bathrooms, sewing room, basement and exterior photographed soon. I think my actual changes to the house will start with Harper's room. Until then, send all your suggestions my way in the comments!