Monday, September 30, 2013

We bought a house! (sneak peek)

Soo... we bought a house! I know I've mentioned that in a couple of my posts, but considering we closed on it at the end of April (and moved at the end of May) this specific post is long overdue!

Our sweet little home sweet home is in Crestwood and we cannot say enough good things about the neighborhood or our neighbors. Seriously ya'll - I feel like we have stepped back into the 1950s! We already loved the fact that there were so many historic homes in the area (with so much charm!) but it's the neighbors that make this place extra-special. We have neighbors from Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, Australia, England, France, and the Bahamas (just to name a few)! Oh - and neighbors who are adopting (or have already adopted) children from China, the Bahamas, and Ethiopia. The diversity has been truly, truly refreshing.

Oh top of that, these precious people brought us home baked goodies when we moved in.... cookies and muffins and more cookies... and we even got a Welcome Basket (with glass bottle cokes, more cookies, and lots of interesting B'ham magazines and info) our first week here! (Did I mention we don't have a home owner's association? Nope - these people all do this on a volunteer basis. I told you it was a special place! ;)

First time home ownership can feel overwhelming at times, but we have been so blessed that this house is in this neighborhood. We felt "at home" right away and we are loving how involved and friendly all our neighbors are. (I could go on and on.... seriously... they are the best!)

Anyway..... back to the house! I'm excited to walk you through some of the DIY projects we've been working on, but first I thought I should give you a "sneak peek" of the house as it was when it first became ours. We'll call these the "before" pictures.

Ready? Let's start our little tour in the...

Living Room

 I love, love, love the original french door leading into the sunroom!

I also really like the recessed lighting above the mantle. It's not something I 
would've thought to add, but since it's there I think it's a nice touch! As you can see, 
there is a somewhat open floor plan and the living room leads into the dining room...

Another angle (shot while standing in the dining room.)

Dining Room

There are two built in bookshelves (one one either side of the glass doors). 
I loved them at first... but now I have mixed feelings. I'm a little bummed 
I can't buy cute furniture for those corners/walls but at the same time 
I really love the storage beneath them. I think I'll love them more 
when I figure out how to style them...


Okay... somehow I forgot to take pictures of the kitchen when we moved in! Oops! 
I snapped a few today. As you can see, it's still not decorated 
(although we do have all our stuff on the counters and one picture on the wall.)

This is proving to be a difficult room for me to figure out as far as decorating. 
The dark wood and black appliances are not really my style - but they are brand new 
(as in, the kitchen was just redone 2 or 3 years ago) so I am not about to 
waste time or money changing a perfectly good kitchen! I'm sure I'll figure out 
what I want to do in here (decor-wise) in time...

I do love our little console beneath the window!
That's the first piece of furniture we bought specifically for
this house and it works perfectly in our space. :)
We are hoping to someday replace the linoleum tiles with ceramic tiles,
but who knows when that project will happen!

Master Bedroom

So... the crazy thing about our 1950's house is its huge bedrooms! 
It has tiny closets, tiny bathrooms, but really large bedrooms (for a 1950's house anyway). 
I love the recess lighting in the master!

Another shot of the master (above) and its one teeny tiny closet. 
Luckily, the previous owners gave us this beautiful wardrobe along with the house 
because I was so worried about closet space! They were so great to us!

Kate's Room

I'm sad this is the only "before" shot I took of what will someday be Kate's room - 
but it's the room we were staying in while we were between houses. 
This is how we slept (a cot and a thermarest) for 4 weekends when we were 
working on the house (but still living in Maylene). Not very comfortable! 
It is a cute room though and I am excited for the day I will get to decorate it for Kate. 
It's so special to walk by it and think about the day she will be home, sleeping in her room...


 I love to have guests! I dream of someday having a guest cottage or basement apartment 
where we can host people longer-term (with their own full bath, kitchenette, etc)... 
but for now a little bedroom off the kitchen will have to do. :)

Oh, and just in case you're wondering... that's not a closet door you're looking at. 
There (strangely enough) is no closet in this room! It's a teeny little half-bath...

Half Bath

Teeny tiny half bath, with the shortest potty ever! Haha! 
Yes - that is carpet on the floor. No - it is not staying!

I like the shelves - just dislike that they are open. 
But I can't complain because it is at least *some* extra storage! 
There is a a hole where someone apparently had a rod to hang 
clothes up under the top two shelves - so I guess this "technically" was 
a closet and bathroom in one? (no thank you!)

Full Bath

... and the bathroom adventures continue! Haha! 
Yes - that is a pink 1950's bathroom. 
Yes - it is our only full bathroom. 
No - we are not leaving it pink! 

Pink floor, pink walls, pink tub, pink toilet paper holder, pink soap dishes...
(Luckily, the owners before us had already replaced the pink toilet and pink sink!)

Just in case you didn't get a good enough view of that awesome pink tile! Whew!
We have a really awesome transformation that is already 98% done that I can't wait to share with you! ;)


It's hard to capture this room in pictures - but it is definitely my favorite room in the house!
I know I'm going to spend a lot of time in here - and I have a feeling it will end up being 
a favorite place for Kate to play too. :)

I LOVE the built-in bookshelf here. I couldn't wait to fill it up with pictures and books 
(and craft supplies underneath!)

So much beautiful sunlight - and a great view 
of the pretty flowers we have all around our house too!

Screen Porch

This is Rusty's favorite "room" of the house! (It's right up there with the sunroom for me too!) 
It actually connects to the sunroom which is awesome! 
I know we're going to spend a lot of days and nights out here this Fall!

We also have an office that is a separate structure from the house... BONUS! We were so pumped about this little room, because we knew we could actually create a separate, professional space for The Sound of Hope! Having a real office (not just an extra bedroom) means we can have healthier boundaries between home and work. It also means we may potentially be able to have an intern or two someday! (Not anytime soon... but it's still exciting to think of!)

The new Sound of Hope office!

I know it looks pretty well "finished" here - but we got quite a few surprises when we ripped up the carpet and got all the furniture moved out. Turns out this room had holes completely through the walls (hello creepy crawlies!) and issues with flooding every time it rained. It has required quite a bit of work (and we still aren't done) - but that's a story for another blog! For now, we're just still really grateful for a "real" office for The Sound of Hope (even if we're pretty sure it was just some man's workshop originally.) We're going to make it awesome!

Sorry there are no outside pics - but I want to be extra careful sharing that sort of thing online. It's starting to sink in that this is the house we will bring our daughter home to... and I want it to be as safe as possible for her. So unless we know you in real life - inside pics will have to do! (For our "real life" friends - you are welcome to invite yourselves over for a cup of tea and get the full tour! ;)

So there she is! She is old, she has very small (and very few) closets, she has a creepy, creepy cellar (sorry, no pics of that) and she needs a little bit of work but honestly - we feel so blessed. Even though we only looked for a few weeks, we looked long enough to know that house hunting is very overwhelming! We couldn't believe that we actually bought the first house that we ever walked into (and that we decided to buy it in only 4 days!) But the amazing thing about this home is that it was the cheapest house that needed the least amount of work (out of all the ones we were considering). Isn't that crazy? It was actually under-valued when we got back the appraisal! We really saw God's hand in the whole experience and we are so grateful she's ours!

I can't wait to start sharing all our fun projects with you soon! It has definitely been an adventure since the day we closed... but we are slowly (but surely) fixing up our Home Sweet Home!