For the past ten years (yes, TEN. I know! SHUT UP!) we have been remodeling our home. He came into our marriage with this house and, at the time, it just made sense for both of us to move in there together. It's been a decade, two kids, and lots of remodeling later and… we're still not even close to being done. It's mentally exhausting and can really take a toll on you – especially during the holiday season. So, that's why I like to focus on the good parts of my house during this busy time (instead of dwelling on all the things left to do or make better). It's nice to spend the holidays enjoying and decorating your own home – imperfections and all! Want to see 5 funny little quirks that make my home MINE? Check 'em out:
Quirk #1: Our dining area. Originally, this space was where the front door was but after relocating the entrance into the house to a different spot, we ended up with this weird corner. It had a random tall window so putting kitchen cabinets there would have been rough. Instead, I decided to add even more tall windows plus a built-in banquette and make a little eat-in area for us. It turned out amazing and we legit eat every dinner and lots of breakfasts together there as a family. I also love to decorate the windows with different garlands every season and holiday.
Quirk #2: A tiny pantry nook. When we relocated the front door of the house, we ended up building a whole new front porch and small addition for it. That gave us room for a nice entryway and a (future) half bathroom. Once the framing was up, my husband noticed that the half bath was going to be really long and narrow, so he came up with a cool idea. He “stole” about 2 feet from the back of the powder room and framed it out so that it would create a tiny spot for a pantry in the kitchen area. It really is small, just a lower cabinet and a couple of shelves above, but it's an amazing workhorse! That's where all our bulk items and small appliances go – which freed up so much space in our kitchen. It also allows me to stash my seasonal and holiday entertaining items out of reach of my kids!
Quirk #3: An indoor laundry room. Off the kitchen there's a really long and narrow room that used to be completely wasted. It held the water heater and had a door to the outside that took up an entire wall (I told you it was narrow). I used to do our laundry in a dirty shed about 5 feet from the house. When I was pregnant with Melanie, all I wanted was to make that weird little space into a mechanical room/laundry room so I could wash our clothes inside the house. Thanks to help from good friends, we converted it over and now, it's an awesome space where I do laundry, have the food and litter box for the cats, and lots of needed storage. I also love that I have a spot to store my bins of holiday decorations and paper goods.
Quirk #4: Interactive fridge panel. When we remodeled the kitchen, the only logical spot for the fridge was right on the end of a run of cabinets. Not a big deal, except that your first view when you walked into the house was of the side of a refrigerator – not super appealing. So, we added a floor-to-ceiling panel that matched the finish on the cabinets to the side. It was nice but was just a big white canvas begging for something to make it special. I added some enormous wooden frames – there's a magnet chalkboard in one for the kids and a blank one that I use for a rotating holiday season display spot. Right now, it's covered in holiday cards from friends and family.
Quirk #5: A gorgeous entryway ceiling. We built the entryway right before our wedding and then, at the last minute, used a bunch of old wooden pallets to make tables for the wedding reception. Then, those tables just sat there in the yard doing nothing and so did the entryway. We didn't get around to finishing it off until right before Finn was born. At that time, I splurged and did the walls in a floor-to-ceiling wooden grid treatment. It looked amazing but left little in our budget to buy the beadboard treatment that we'd plan for the ceiling. So, we pulled apart those old pallet tables and added them to the ceiling. It looks incredible and I love the sentimental factor of it. Oh, and don't worry! We totally swap out the regular decor for fun holiday inspired knick knacks and pretty garlands.
I think that the biggest lesson I have learned from this whole homeowner experience is to embrace your home's quirks and make your house a home. One day, we'll buy a bigger home and it will also have little flaws that I can turn into fantastic features. I was always the kind of person who dreamed about having my own home and remodeling it to exactly what I wanted. I wanted to embrace all it's charms and make it into a home for my family. Are you the same way but overwhelmed by it all? Have questions about how to get started with your homebuying journey? Well, it's easy! Just begin the process by connecting with a specialist and you'll be in your new home in no time!
Also, take a bit of time to read the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report – it's filled with great information to help you better understand the homebuying process. For example, after reading the HBIR, I learned that roughly 68% of my generation also viewed their current home as their “for now” house and not their “forever” home. I also discovered that over 63% of homebuyers take their children's opinions into consideration when looking for a new home. I love that since Melanie and Finn definitely have certain needs and preferences that would need to be considered before we purchase a new home. And look, I know that some of you are reading this while living at your parent's house and trying to commit to your future. Y'all, THAT TIME IS NOW. Don't be a part of the “boomerang” culture. Did you know that for however much you're paying in rent to live in one room at your parent's house – you could be living in your own home? Contact a specialist today and give your family the best gift this holiday season – a home of your own!