3 months ago
New House Q&A
How old is our new house? Are the girls sharing a room? What are our renovation plans? I’m answering all your questions about our new house in today’s post.
New House Q&A
What year was the house built?
Can’t remember the exact year but almost 100 years ago.
What is your favorite thing about the house?
This is going to sound so sappy and very Father of the Bride but the feeling I get when I’m there. The first time we drove up, I knew. Then we walked inside and it felt like home. There’s a warmth and soul to the house that I can’t quite describe. But sappy feelings aside, the details – old wood floors and big, beautiful windows, the brick driveway, and the land is incredible.
Why did you move?
After being home for two years, we needed more space. Our current home was the perfect place to start our family, but doesn’t have a family room, office, guest room, or separate dining room. It’s a great house, but about 2000 square feet which is a good size, but not ideal with a toddler, preschooler, and two parents who both work from home. It’s so cold here half the year and we both work from home, so it was about space and truthfully, a fresh start after everything we’ve been through.
Any major updates required to make it livable?
There are things that need to be fixed but the house is definitely livable. One of the toilets doesn’t work but there are other toilets, so again, livable. The AC unites need to be replaced. Refinishing and staining floors is just so much easier before moving in. So lots of fixes and updates – some we need to make and others we want to make.
You mentioned Kate’s room. Are the girls no longer sharing?
They will not be sharing a room. Kate goes to bed an hour before Margot and their wake-up times are very scattered – often an hour apart. I really wanted them to share but when Conor told me why he thought they shouldn’t, I agreed with him. Messing with sleep isn’t worth it. I love the idea of sharing, but also like the idea of the girls each having their own space to go to when they need it. Margot likes to play quietly on her own and I could see that being beneficial. They can always move in together later.
Are you moving your swing set?
Yes. It’s getting moved next week, and the add-on arrived at the new house today. The girls are going to freak out! We got them a moving/birthday/end of treatment twisty slide!
What will you do for the playroom
No idea! The basement is a project that we’re not tackling yet, and I’m focused on too many other projects. Have given it zero thought but imagine it will be fairly simple since it’s in the basement. Fortunately, we have a pretty large family room and there will be space to keep some toys in there. I prefer to be upstairs, so I plan on having more toys upstairs in this house.
Is this a forever home? Or a 5-10 year home?
You never know where life will take you so never say never but we’ve said multiple times that this feels like a forever home. I cannot imagine ever wanting to leave it.
Are you doing anything to the exterior?
The house will need to be repainted in the next few years but will stay white, and we love the shutters, too, so just cleaning it up. We’ll eventually landscape but it’s beautiful as is and there are some bigger, more important updates to make before then.
I want to decorate myself. How are you doing it? Teaching yourself?
I’ve lived in quite a few homes, so I’m not a complete stranger to the process. But I’ve never had custom shades made and felt overwhelmed by choosing fabric, and by figuring out pairings. I otherwise know what I like, and just go with it. Sitting down with my friend Kira was so, so helpful. She showed me fabrics I never would have found on my own, and it’s just really nice to have someone to chat through my ideas with. My husband has a great eye but his interest in decorating the girls’ rooms is minimal. I showed him Margot’s block print and he was like umm ok? Our hour-long call with Steve Cordony was amazing. We made a ton of progress before the call so knocked out multiple rooms in an hour. You could look through design books, scour pinterest, and find inspiration, but it is not easy. There’s a reason interior designers have jobs. It’s hard work! And the decision fatigue is so real.
Will you have a true office in this house?
Yes! So, so excited for that.
More info on the budget friendly bathroom updates?
Those will be done in July. I’ll share as soon as they’re done. You can see more here.
What are your plans for the yard?
We will eventually landscape but that is not high up on our list of priorities. I’d love to add a second larger patio at some point and cover everything in hydrangea.
How are you prioritizing updates?
It’s an old house, so we’re doing what has to be done right now (full list here) and have lists of things we’d like to do when it’s in the budget. This is a house we’ll be in for a very (very) long time, so we’re not rushing to get it all done immediately. Ordering furniture is going to be big – so the big goal is to fix what’s broken, paint, stain floors, and get the house furnished. The living room and family room will be almost empty for a while. Sofas have been ordered, and we’re hoping they come by December. Lead times are insane.
How much does an interior designer cost and do you recommend it?
Each designer has their own packages and rates, so I’d inquire with them. I’m only working with Kira on a consulting basis which she doesn’t usually do, but she’s a good friend and is doing me a favor. I am paying her for her time, but this is not how people typically work with designers. It’s not the same as hiring her to do an entire home. If you just need a little help, I’d check out The Expert or a site like Havenly. If a designer is in your budget and you want a beautiful home, yes – I would 100% recommend it.
Are you going to sell your current home?
We already did and are currently renting it back from the new owners.
How did you find the house?
My husband is a very, very good realtor.
Favorite white paint colors?
I have a whole blog post on this. We’re really liking snowfall white, but have a few more swatches coming. I’ll share more on the colors we looked at for this house soon.
How are you bringing light into the room without canned lighting?
Chandeliers, picture lights, lamps, and sconces. We have cans now but I just don’t love the light they give off – it doesn’t feel very warm to me. I prefer something a bit softer (and love a good lamp shade).
What would you consider your style for this home?
I wrote a blog post on this, too.
Will you share the floor plan?
I don’t plan on sharing the floor plan of our home but will share how we lay out each room.
How big is your property? It looks beautiful!
It’s about 2 acres. And thank you, we love it!
Are you doing wall to wall carpet in any of the rooms?
We’re not. I almost carpeted our closets because I think that looks nice but imagined spilling an entire cup of coffee while getting ready and that would be sad. Wood is just so much easier to clean and looks beautiful. We’ll add lots of area rugs.
What are you prioritizing before moving in?
Refinishing the floors, painting, and the girls’ bedrooms. I suppose our bedroom, too. But I really want their rooms to feel finished ASAP since this is a huge change for them. Read the full list in this post.
Real hurdles when renovating an older room
Umm. Things are old and fixing old things isn’t cheap. We need multiple AC units, a new chimney, and there’s a toilet that doesn’t work. But it’s an incredible home and we knew things would come up.
What is being replaced and what is being kept?
We are replacing most of the lighting, parquet floors, and will eventually redo the bathrooms and kitchen. We’re keeping some lighting and as much of the original detail as possible.