I want to start by saying thank you for the sweet and supportive comments and emails I've gotten since my last post. The decision to stop writing this blog hasn't been an easy one, but I feel really good about the reason why. (If you missed it you can read it here.) But I'm sad too, to not be doing this anymore. So the very kind responses I've gotten have meant a lot.
As promised, I have photos of the house in Minneapolis that we just moved into.
As promised, I have photos of the house in Minneapolis that we just moved into.
It wasn't the easiest down-sizing for a second time. This house is actually not that much smaller than our last one- that one was around 2,000sf and this one is around 1800. But it's 1800 split between three levels, so each level feels tiny. Like every move, before this one we had a yard sale and got rid of a ton of stuff, but after moving in there are still boxes of things that I have stored in closets and the attic because they just won't fit anywhere in here. I'm fine with the wait for most of the stuff because once I open it up again it will feel brand new and be really fun to be able to use again in a different house. The one thing I am sad about is our DIY dining room table, which barely even fit through the front door, and had absolutely no way of fitting anywhere in the house. But since it's my dream table and cost way more to make than I could hope to get for it on Craigslist, it's currently wrapped in plastic and being stored in our garage till we move to a bigger house.
It's funny though that after getting rid of so many things before we moved, we then had to go out shopping and buy a ton of new things just to make this house work. There were no window treatments, which made our first couple nights a little unsettling. There also was no storage what so ever in the main floor bathroom so we had to go out and buy a cabinet. All of our rugs were too large for the living room so we had to buy a new one. And a new couch because we gave the old one to my sister. Oh and a new table because the kitchen table from our old house was also too large to fit in here.
We made about 15 trips to Ikea in our first two weeks here, and I never thought I'd say this but I actually got tired of going there. Give me a few more weeks though and I'll be ready to go back. But anyway, all that was just to say that for us at least, it turns out down-sizing isn't always the more economical option. But I'm glad we found this house because it's in a great area and we're close to everything we need. And I'm THRILLED with the amount of light this house gets. Our last living room drove me crazy with how dark it was, and this one gets tons of light. Really, in the summer I think I'll tan in here. And the house meets everything on my list that I wanted to find here: Neutral paint colors, an updated kitchen, at least two bathrooms, and a decent amount of natural light.
I'm going to describe everything in more detail than I normally would in a house tour so that family who is interested can kind of get the lay of the land in here since they're too far away to see it for a while.
So here's the house, beginning with the entry area and living room.
This first photo is the view when you walk through the front door.
I am obsessed with the gallery wall. I wanted to keep it mostly neutral or muted colors with just a couple bright pops of color to wake it up, so I used the pom poms on the pouf as my color inspiration and included a couple pink paintings done by the kids. Then I made sure to have a few small hits of pink on the other side of the room for continuity.
Couch, rug, and drapes are Ikea. Ottoman is a diy; it's fabric is West Elm. Side table is Target. Moroccan wedding blanket pillows are Pottery Barn and gold leopard pillow is West Elm.
Between the living room and the kitchen is a little hallway that leads either up these stairs to the second floor, or to another tiny hallway (where I was standing when I was taking this shot) with the master bedroom, second bedroom that we're using as a home office, and a bathroom.
This is the bathroom that came with zero storage so we got the tall cabinet in the corner from Ikea so that we'd have somewhere to put all of our bathroom stuff. After one shower in here- where you have to huddle in the corner to try to stay under the spray and simultaneously kick the water down the drain because the floor slopes in the opposite direction, turning the shower into a bath- was more than enough. Now everyone uses the shower in the basement. At least this one will always be clean.
Directly across the hall from this bathroom is the master bedroom. It's really small and thanks to the placement of a wall/floor vent required off-centering our dresser in a way that now the closet door can't close. The closet itself is tiny so Rob generously said I could have it for my clothes and he'd hang his in the closet next door in the office. Because the bathroom doesn't have much storage (or a counter) I keep my makeup in our bedroom and get ready mostly in here. Even though the room is tiny I was able to figure out a way to make everything fit and it works.
The headboard and upholstered bed frame were from West Elm and my favorite Christmas gifts ever. Actually they are pretty much my favorite things in our house. (Duvet cover and matching pillow shams are also West Elm.)
I'm using one of the bookcases from our last house to hold makeup, jewelry, purses, shoes and clothes that don't fit in the closet.
The dresser is Ikea and we really like it so far. My plan is to eventually replace all the knobs for something prettier.
So back out of the hallway and up the stairs is the second floor, which isn't actually a "true" second floor- it's really an attic that's been finished so they called it a "half" floor on the rental listing.
Up here is just this little open space, and then through the door is the bedroom where the twins sleep. (I'm not bothering to show it because it's still kind of a mess.)
Back down the stairs and to the left is the kitchen.
The table is our newest diy- and it took all of two minutes! The top is from Ikea; it's actually made to be a desk top but it was the biggest size we could fit in here and still be able to walk around to get in the room. Rob just screwed the legs from our old kitchen table to it. (We'd gotten rid of the top before the move and just brought the legs with us.)
It's pretty tight to sit in here. Only the kids can fit in the chairs up against the wall since they can't pull out from under the table very far. But it works, at least for the five of us. The kids may find themselves eating on the floor if anyone else comes to dinner.
I'm not crazy about the cabinet color (although it's not as orange as it looks in photos) but I am so very happy that this kitchen was updated.
This blank wall next to the refrigerator looked really ugly and just felt like dead space. So I chose to make it the Instagram wall and now it's so much better to look at.
The view of shoes from the kitchen kills me but it's necessary. I'd forgotten how dirty things get when there's snow on the ground.
Since these photos we went out and bought one of those industrial rugs that's big enough to fill most of the space in this corner. It's hideous but it's saving me from the tedious, three-step process that had to happen to the kitchen floor every time we came home- dry mop the mud and melted snow, then sweep up the dirt, then swiffer. It sucked.
So directly across from this door are the stairs that go down to the basement.
The basement has an open area that we're using as a playroom, and there's a bedroom where our oldest sleeps, and a bathroom. It also has an unfinished section which is where the laundry is.
The doorway to the unfinished part of the basement was just open, so I used a tension rod to hang a curtain across it (just a shower curtain that we weren't using), that way we don't have to see in there all the time.
The playroom has a pretty awkward layout, and because of a heater vent that spans a good amount of the back wall along the floor, I couldn't lay things out in a way that looked decent. I just had to shove things along the walls any where they would fit. But it's fine because obviously I'm the only one who cares about that; the kids love it and they spend tons of time down here.
And that's the house! We're a little too cramped in here to be comfortable for a long amount of time, so this definitely couldn't be a long-term house for us, but for finishing up school it's perfect. And I've kind of enjoyed the challenge of making it work.
So I guess this is where I say goodbye.
I am really going to miss writing here.
I forgot to mention in my last post how much more DIYing I was able to do during my break from blogging at the end of last year and beginning of this one. It was really eye-opening for me. It's been a whole lot easier to carve out time to decorate and up-cycle things when I don't have to also photograph every step and write out a tutorial. But I've absolutely loved those parts of my blog; they were actually my favorite posts to do, it's just gotten harder and harder to do them. But every time I make something now I find myself thinking of the easiest way to explain how to do it. As time-consuming as project tutorials are, I'm going to really miss writing them.
And if I'm being completely, shallowly honest, I'm also going to miss the extra money! It's been fun to see things I want and know I can get them for myself without any guilt about dipping into the grocery fund or something. And without standing around in a store isle, desperately trying to think of what holiday is coming up in a reasonable amount of time, then buying what I wanted, bringing it home, and then cheerfully telling Rob that I've just done him a huge favor and he no longer needs to stress about what to get me for Valentine's Day because I've just picked it out for him. You know, just to make his life easier.
I guess I'll have to resurrect that tactic. And Mother's Day is just around the corner....
I have lots of dreams about going to school and becoming a designer, and even having my own design business someday. And my blog became a part of those dreams. But there just isn't enough time in the day to pursue every dream, at least not right now.
And my kids were my first dream. They are the real dream.
So for now, I'm letting go of something that's good so that I can have more time for something that's better.
I love you guys for reading this. It wouldn't have been nearly as fun if I'd been writing to the sound of crickets.
It's been a blast.