Posted by on Aug 18, 2013 in Uncategorized | 9 comments

A couple (dozen) folks have asked me for more pictures of our new home. As of today, we’ve been in the house for two weeks. So obviously, we still have work to do. But I feel pretty good about how it’s coming together.

As some background, our house was built in 1925. I’ve always wanted to live in an older home because I adore old-home charm. However, to find one in our price range with solid bones, a modern heating and cooling system, and three good-sized bedrooms was challenging (one income, people).

We did it! (Well, only the first floor has central air … the bedrooms have AC units in the windows. But waaaah, first-world problems.)

Meet our new home:

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It’s a twin home (i.e., we share a wall with our neighbors. Their entrance is on the right side of the house, so it’s not visible head-on.) The redish-brown fence you see in the back is the fence we have all around our backyard, so our yard is separate from our neighbor’s.

When you walk into the front door, you enter a sun porch. This was originally a regular porch when the house was built; the door leading from the porch into the front entryway was the original front door and still has the original door knob (see, I love this kind of stuff).

(Looking from the original front door out over the sun porch, toward the newer blue front door.) Note the Man Chair in the left corner. It's not something I'd ever choose for a pretty sun porch ... but it didn't fit anywhere else in the house, and I simply cannot deny my husband the opportunity to read the newspaper and drink his coffee in his beloved chair. No gorgeous sun porch is worth making my guy sad.

Looking from the original front door out over the sun porch, toward the newer blue front door. Note the Man Chair in the left corner. It’s not something I’d ever choose for a pretty sun porch … but it didn’t fit anywhere else in the house, and I simply cannot deny my husband the opportunity to read the newspaper and drink his coffee in his beloved chair. No gorgeous sun porch is worth making my guy sad.

Other side of the sun porch:

That window on the left looks into our living room. And the chair back in the corner? That IS perfect sun porch furniture. Not only is it pretty, but my great-grandmother bought it for my great-grandfather decades ago. And then my great aunt, who I loved dearly, reupholstered it. It's really the only "family" piece of furniture I have, and I absolutely love it.

The window on the right looks into our living room. And the chair back in the corner? That IS perfect sun porch furniture. Not only is it pretty, but my great-grandmother bought it for my great-grandfather decades ago. Years later, my great aunt, who I loved dearly, reupholstered it.

Entering the original front door. The print on the wall above the table is an Irish Wedding Blessing. My mom and my mom-in-law read it at our wedding, so it's very special to us. After the wedding, my mom-in-law bought us this print for us, explaining that both she and her mom (who we never had the pleasure of knowing) both had this same blessing hanging in their homes for years.

Entering the original front door. The print on the wall above the table is an Irish Wedding Blessing. My mom and my mom-in-law read this blessing at our wedding, so it’s very special to us. After the wedding, my mom-in-law bought this print for us, explaining that both she and her mom (whom we never had the pleasure of knowing) both had this same blessing hanging in their homes for years.

Oh, hello couch.

The living room. Oh, how we missed this couch. We bought it when we still lived in our condo in Phoenix but had to leave it behind when we moved into a house just 9 months later. It. Is. So. Comfy. My mom gave me the table on the left, which is a beautiful antique (the photo doesn’t do it justice – you should see the detail on the side … exquisite). My in-laws bought us the tiffany-style lamp on top of it as a house-warming gift, and I love the soft light it gives off at night. Please imagine some greenery coming out of the tall white vase on to the right of the couch. Remember, I’ve been in this house for two weeks. I’m good, but I’m not perfect, ya know.

Looking from the living room out onto the sun porch. Original window = swoon.

Looking from the living room out onto the sun porch. Original window = swoon.

Looking from the living room to the dining room. This is an original  1925 built-in cabinet. We are pretty sure there was originally a second one on the other side of the entryway from the living room to the dining room that was removed at some point to open up the space. I like the modern, open feel, but I mourn the loss of the second built-in a bit. These are the details that make an old home so freakin' cool.

Looking from the living room to the dining room. This is an original 1925 built-in cabinet. We are pretty sure there was originally a second one on the other side of the entryway from the living room to the dining room that was removed at some point to open up the space. I like the modern, open feel, but I mourn the loss of the second built-in. These are the details that make an old home so freakin’ cool.

The right side of the living room. I'm not a fan of a million toys in the living spaces, but I'm also not heartless.

The right side of the living room. I’m not a fan of a million toys in the living spaces, but I’m also not heartless. Kids need toys. And fans to keep them cool while they play.

Looking to the left of the built-in. See? Very open.

Looking to the left of the built-in. See? Very open to the dining room. The cabinet that the microwave sits on is an antique bar from the 60s or 70s. I bought it from an antique store in Phoenix and it is So Cool. (By the way, Mike bought me the flowers on the table a few days after we moved in. He randomly brings me fresh flowers every couple of months. It is one of the reasons why I adore him and why he deserves his man chair at all costs.)

Please note the amazing chair rail detail, the trim around the windows and the moulding at the top of the walls. This is why we bought this home. Ok, it's not the only reason (good neighborhood, great schools, blah blah blah). But these details are what I fell in love with.

Please note the amazing chair rail detail, the trim around the windows and the moulding at the top of the walls. This is why we bought this home. Ok, it’s not the only reason (good neighborhood, good schools, blah blah blah). But these details are what I fell in love with.

The right side of the dining room, peeking into the kitchen.

The right side of the dining room, peeking into the kitchen. My parents bought me that table when I first moved to Arizona. For a week before the rest of my possessions arrived, it was one of the only pieces of furniture in my first apartment there. The rocking chair is the first piece of furniture Mike and I ever purchased together when he moved in with me a year before we were engaged. We found it at an antique mall and split the $70 cost between us.

Half of our kitchen. If you turn that corner on the right, it will take you to the other half of our kitchen (more cabinets, a fridge and the stairs to our basement). I was taking photos right after breakfast this morning and didn't feel like showing the world all my dirty dishes. So for everyone who thinks I've got things really together, here is proof that I choose to only show you what I'm currently proud of.

Half of our kitchen. If you turn that corner on the right, it will take you to the other half of our kitchen (more cabinets, the sink, fridge and stairs to our basement). I was taking photos right after breakfast this morning and didn’t feel like showing the world all my dirty pans. So for everyone who thinks I’ve got things really together, here is proof that I choose to only show you what I’m currently proud of (this is also why you’re not seeing my basement).

Our backyard, off the kitchen door and through an enclosed back porch (again, too messy for public consumption). The yard is fairly small, but Ryan has much more grass playing space than we had at the house in Phoenix, so it’s a win.

Quaint but with a legit fence.

Quaint but with a legit fence.

Shall we go upstairs?

That's our TV on the left, catty-corner next to the built-in cabinet. Do you see those gorgeous posts on the stair case? They are so pretty, yet made moving box springs VERY challenging. Sometimes old-house charm collides with modern comforts.

Do you see those gorgeous posts on the stair case? They made moving bed box springs VERY challenging. Occasionally, old-house charm collides with modern comforts.

The top of the stairs. I'm showing this simply because of the star print. It's another hand-me-down from my mom (actually, so is the little plant stand - hey Mom, thanks for all the stuff!) and it says "Hope" under the star. I love it because it embodies our past year. We've had to hold on to so much hope. Hope that Mike would land a job before his severance ran out, hope that he would make enough for us to buy a home, hope that I would do well as a stay-at-home mom. We clung to hope and at the end of this whirlwind, we are totally blessed.

The top of the stairs. I’m showing this simply because of the star print. It’s another hand-me-down from my mom (actually, so is the little plant stand – hey Mom, thanks for all the stuff!) and the little tag under the star says “Hope.” I love it because it truly embodies our past year. We’ve held onto hope for dear life. Hope that Mike would land a job before his severance ran out, hope that he would make enough money for us to buy a home, hope that I would do OK as a stay-at-home mom. We hoped and hoped, and now we feel very blessed.

Moving on …

We have just one bathroom (I know, GASP) at the top of the stairs. It's not ideal, but you know what? It's fine. It's a pretty room and it's the only spot we didn't have painted before we moved in because I loved the pairing of the dark green tile with the white and light blue walls.

We have just one bathroom (I know, GASP) at the top of the stairs. It’s not ideal, but you know what? It’s fine. It’s a pretty room and it’s the only spot we didn’t have painted before we moved in because I loved the pairing of the dark green tile with the white and light blue walls.

Loving the towel hooks. And the print above it, purchased for us by friends who traveled to Holland.

Loving the towel hooks. And the print above it, purchased for us by friends who traveled to Holland.

Sink. Clearly.

Sink. Clearly.

Ok, now for my absolute favorite room … The one I spent hours thinking about and planning in my head. The first one that really felt “done.”

The bed, headboard and quilt are all brand new. Ryan was in a crib when we left Phoenix. I wanted something cute and colorful and boyish. My aunt painted the RYAN letters back when I was pregnant and they've been in every room he's had since then. I love the colors of them and based my decor off them. The large picture of Ryan was taken at his one-year photo shoot and is one of my all-time favorites. The white frame below it contains a newborn photo and his newborn handprint and footprint. Next to the large canvas photo print is a dream catcher we bought in Arizona.

The bed, headboard and quilt are all brand new because Ryan was still in a crib when we left Phoenix. I wanted something cute and colorful and boyish (thank you, Pottery Barn Kids). My aunt painted the RYAN letters back when I was pregnant and they’ve been in every room he’s had since then. I love their colors and always based my decor off them. The large canvas picture of Ryan was taken at his one-year photo shoot and is one of my all-time favorite photos of him. The white frame below it contains a newborn photo and his newborn handprint and footprint. Next to the large canvas photo print is a dream catcher we bought in Arizona.

Mini-man chair to the left. Toy box and stuffed "friends" at the foot of the bed. Dresser to the right.

Mini-man chair (with dinosaur pillow) to the left. Toy box and stuffed “friends” at the foot of the bed. Dresser to the right. Window valances to come.

His dresser. We bought the alphabet picture on the wall when I was pregnant with him. I still remember standing in the aisle at Target and Mike saying, "I love it. He has to have it." It's still one of my favorite things in his room.

His dresser. We bought the alphabet picture on the wall when I was pregnant with him. I remember standing in the aisle at Target and Mike saying, “I love it. He has to have it.” It’s still one of my favorite things in his room.

The wall to the right of his door. Play kitchen, art desk and bookshelf. When we put him in his room for "quiet time" when he gets really wound up, I have zero guilt, knowing he has plenty to keep himself occupied.

The wall to the right of his door. Play kitchen, art desk and bookshelf. My aunt (the one who made the RYAN letters) sent him some wall dinosaur stickers that will go above the art desk soon. The rug was in his playroom in Phoenix and adds a little whimsy (and protection from splashing “art”).

Now let’s move down the hallway. We are going to skip past the guest bedroom, which has become known here as the “Cleveland Room.” It’s called that because 1. we are going to hang a really cool Cleveland skyline picture there (Cleveland is my original home and must be honored) and 2. the vast majority of folks who will stay in this room will be from Cleveland. Unfortunately, it’s currently a dumping ground for stuff that doesn’t have a home or still needs to be hung.

So let’s move on to our master bedroom.

After a week of sleeping on a mattress on the floor, we finally found a box spring that could fold up the stairway. Modern living for the win!

After a week of sleeping on a mattress on the floor, we finally found a box spring that could fold up the stairway. Modern living for the win!

My dresser, on the wall across from the bed.

My dresser, on the wall across from the bed. I’ve had this dresser since I was a kid. I can’t bring myself to buy a matching bedroom set because I love this dresser and mirror so much.

Some of my favorite pictures find their home on my dresser.

Some of my favorite pictures find their home on my dresser.

Mike's dresser.

Mike’s dresser.

He decorated it with a photo book that Ryan and I made him for his first Father's Day and a photo of him and Ryan as a baby. I hung the "Home is Wherever I'm With You" print above it. Cuz ... right?

Mike decorated it with a photo book that (Ryan and) I made him for his first Father’s Day and a photo of him and Ryan as a baby. I hung the “Home is Wherever I’m With You” print above it. Cuz … right?

 

There it is! Our home. Hopefully for many, many, many years to come. Because seriously, I’m not moving again any time soon.