Settling In

Well, it’s a week to the day of when we moved into our house. Now that we’re here, I’ll show off a picture of the outside –


Cute, isn’t it? Though I guess I’m pretty partial to it, since we just bought it. Not quite ready for interior shots yet, as about a third of our stuff is still in boxes. We’re getting there, but Rome certainly wasn’t built in a day. We have so many projects planned. On the outside –

– Privacy fence in the backyard, picket fence around the front yard – a must for edible gardening!

– Put a window box under the big window.

– Rip out the shrubs and replace them with basically anything else that is not a shrub.

– Build a compost system.

– Install some more garden beds.

– Add rain barrels.

– Repaint the porches; the paint is peeling up a bit.

And the list of projects on the inside is nearly endless, and this was a “move-in ready” home! Looking back at our home search we saw a lot of fixer  uppers with immense potential, which clearly means I had a screw loose at the time. We have our hands full with a more or less finished house; I can’t even imagine what we were thinking. Anyway, inside –

– Rip out the living room wallpaper, repair the drywall and paint. This was first-time home buyer lesson #1, as this project was supposed to take just a single day before we moved in – until we discovered that someone who came before us wallpapered with old-school (i.e. never going to come off) wallpaper directly onto Sheetrock. No primer, nothing. Sheetrock/wallpaper. So, yeah. We’re hoping to have the crap down by Christmas.

– Update all of the plumbing pipes in the basement. We have three different types all connected together. Apparently this is not a problem if you use a proper fitting to connect them together, but was a proper fitting used? Naturally, it was not.

– Install some more shelving in the basement.

– Install shelves and a clothing rod in the master bedroom closet.

– Install coat hooks by the back door (as we do not have a mudroom or even coat closet in this house).

– Update the kitchen. I’d like to replace the laminate counter with a butcher block one, install a subway tile back splash, upgrade the sink (incidentally it leaks) and paint the walls and cabinets. The appliances are all brand new and top of the line and the kitchen has a great layout, so knock on wood this will be a less than $2k feel-good project.

– Build some furniture! I want to build a coffee table and a sideboard for the dining room as a start. A half loft bunk bed for Little Man is also on the list, as well as some bookcases for the living room.

– Replace the dining room and peninsula lights with fixtures that are more to our taste. We bought the house with all fixtures and window treatments to save ourselves upfront cost on kitting out the place (and I’m so glad we did after seeing the prices for this stuff!) but eventually they will have to go.

– Replace the window treatments with ones that are more to our taste (see above for sticker shock statement).

– Insulate under the living room. It’s an addition onto the main house and our predecessors didn’t bother to insulate under the floor! Suffice it to say we wear sweaters and I have a selection of throw blankets out.

– Replace the heat lamp and fan in the bathroom. How weird/cool is it that our bathroom has a heat lamp? We didn’t even notice it when we did any of the walk-throughs.

– Figure out why the water in the bathroom sink and the dishwasher sound SO LOUD when they’re turned on. It’s strange and annoying. I have a sensitivity (my husband calls it a neurosis, but whatever) to sound, so these issues bother me greatly. In the greater scheme of things, I think they’re lower on the to-do list so I’ll probably have to tough it out for awhile.

So yeah, we’re keeping busy. Obviously plenty of blogging fodder to come, if I have any energy left at all to write. But it’s not all house stuff. I’ve got some neat ideas for Christmas decor on the cheap, and crock pot meals and gardening, so stay tuned. And stay warm – somewhere along the way, winter has shown up in the Midwest!