Thursday, October 19, 2017

From dark to light: the living room over the years!

OH happy day! We are starting the move in process and I couldn't be happier. I'm pausing the cleaning, packing and unpacking to share another recap from our old house. 

Want to know something weird? We don't miss our old house. It's so odd -- we didn't expect that. Even on the days when living in our tiny hotel space was driving me crazy, I didn't miss the house. I desperately wanted to be in our new house, but not the old one. I can chalk that up to two things -- one, we've just been so stinking excited about the new one. Two, we get to visit our old house all the time. :) That's such a blessing for me, I can't even tell you. It feels like it belongs to our friends who bought it (as it should). Such a weird, wonderful thing. :) 

So anyway, I've been sharing recaps of many of the rooms in our old house because let's be honest, I don't have much else to talk about lately. 😂 I mean, really. It is what it is. But looking back at the progression of the rooms has always been a favorite of mine, so it's been lots of fun to do this. 

I've shared the guest room, family room, kitchen, library/dining room and bathrooms so far. This next one is a room I struggled with for YEARS. We loved the two stories ceilings when we first walked into the model and it's what immediately sold us on the house. Those tall walls were later what made me shake my fists in the air quite often. I never knew how to address them. 

I started by hanging stuff really, really high after we moved in: 
Living room before

We're going old school with photos, sorry for the quality. Our two best kitties ever are sitting in the windows. :) 

The furniture was all hand me downs. The nesting tables were Bombay Company finds -- remember them? Gosh I loved that store. 

We later bought new furniture (that I ended up absolutely HATING). I also went high with a simple painted box on the wall:
Painted box on wall

And then...they gold and red phase started. You've seen it before! 

I went all out!:
Red and gold living room

I made a quick sofa table for about $20 that we used for years. It's a super simple build and works great if you want to add some lamps or decor behind your sofa: 
Easy DIY sofa table

I changed up that rectangle a lot huh? My love of molding started and I added even more: 
DIY sofa table for $20

Then I started to branch out from my reds and try some different colors. Part of the reason I went with those colors to begin with was because of the wall color. It's hard to tell in some of the pictures, but in some light our walls looked PINK. As you can see here: 
DIY floral curtains

I didn't like other colors with it. It was a taupe color that went really rosy and was a pain in my butt. (And YES, I picked it out, of course!)

We later had half of the house repainted in the analytical gray color it stayed at: 
living room with jute rug

This little corner by the door always felt like it needed something, and I tried a few different pieces: 
desk by front door

Later on I built a bookcase that extended out from the half wall. I LOVED that little change! It added so much character to the room: 
DIY half wall bookcase

We moved some furniture around and then got a sofa (for a steal!!) for the room and I found that glass table on Amazon. I love that table! I plan to use both of these in the new family room. (I shared my layout options with you here.)

It only took me 13 years, but this space was FINALLY just how I wanted it early this year. And then we decided to move. Ha!:
Gallery wall, blue dresser, light sofa living room

Neutral sofa round coffee table in living room

This was supposed to be more of a "fancy" living area but that's not how we live. We used this room quite often -- every day! It was where our tall Christmas tree stood at Christmas and we made wonderful memories in there. It was such a pretty welcome into our home!

Oh and here's my tip for decorating tall rooms...get ready, it's big. Ignore them. :) I lived with them in quite a few rooms for years and that's how I addressed them after trying all kinds of things. Adding detail, art or any focus up high will accentuate what doesn't need to be accentuated. I think it can absolutely be done well, don't get me wrong. But I've heard from so many of you who struggle with decorating rooms like this and that's always my advice. Keep the decor down instead of going extra high. 

You can see more about some of the projects in this space here! If I missed anything feel free to let me know!: 

Affiliate links included for your convenience! 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Our in between living and why we chose it

My friends...we are just days away from moving into our house! We are beyond excited to get into our new home!! I can barely stand it.

Many of you have asked our our "in between" status -- it's not been very glamorous but it's worked well for us. I figure some of you will be in the same situation at some point so I figured it may be helpful to share what we've done! (I'm throwing in random photos of our old house because you do NOT want to see our mess of a place right now!)

First things first -- in hindsight I wish we hadn't sold our home so quickly. Even though we had our buyers lined up, they had to sell their house and our (shared) realtor highly encouraged us to get it on the market during the summer. I am glad that we got the sales all done in plenty of time, but we didn't realize how much time we'd have to live in temporary housing. If we did it all over again I probably wouldn't have gotten the ball rolling quite as fast, but not worrying about the stress of selling/closing has been nice too.

When we got the sale process started our realtor mentioned some nearby apartment complexes that offered short-term stays. I didn't worry about contacting them until we had our closing scheduled but when I did start calling, I had a bit of a freak out. None of the complexes he recommended allowed stays shorter than six months. I started to panic a bit and kept calling places to be told the same thing over and over. Finally one very kind employee of one recommended that I call newer apartments as they typically offer short term because they aren't full yet. I think she could hear the panic in my voice. ;)

I finally found some complexes that did short term stays, but all did a minimum of three months. At the time we thought we'd only need about six weeks of housing so those were going to be crazy expensive for what we needed. This is the thing with a short term apartment situation -- we would have had to pay around $900 in fees just to move in. Most of that we would never see again. Some we'd get back if the apartment was left in good condition of course, but most (at least $600) we wouldn't get back. That was a tough pill to swallow.

Remember, at the time we thought it would only be a six week wait, so that extra month would have been an entire month we would pay for and not live there. We were also going to have to pay movers four times -- for our moves in and out of our houses as well as the apartment. AND they only allowed two animals, we have three. It simply wasn't an option for us to give one up for even that amount of time.

Soooo. It was discouraging. We started to think about other options. Friends suggested VRBO or other short term options but anything that allowed animals was insane expensive. Then someone mentioned a long term hotel situation and the more we looked into it the more we liked the idea.

Here's what we loved about moving into a hotel instead of an apartment:

  • We could set the exact dates of our stay. 
  • No movers -- all of the furniture was provided and ready to go
  • No limit on animals (they may have one but never asked how many we had!) 
  • One $100 animal fee at the start of our stay and that was it as far as fees
  • Free food! Yessss. Breakfast every morning and some kind of dinner or evening snack three nights a week. 
  • If you don't have animals you'd get "free" cleaning services as well! We have a dog who doesn't take too kindly to new people, so we've never had them in to clean. But man, that would have been awesome!
  • A stocked kitchenette (bowls, plates, some cookware and small appliances)
  • Hot tub and pool anytime you want it!
There are some downsides too -- mainly just the tight space. Six of us (three people and three animals) have shared less than 300 square feet for the past two months. At first it's sweet and cozy and we didn't mind it one bit. About four weeks in I started going a little stir crazy. :) Most of the time lately I spend the day out and about -- either running errands or sitting and working on my computer somewhere. And this time of year our evenings are always busy with marching band, basketball and fitness classes. 

I have learned one thing through this experience...I will NEVER be a tiny house person. It's just not in my blood. I need space! Windows! Doors! Furniture! All the things!! 

With all of the natural disasters and tragedies of late it's made me crave our home even more. I want to put roots down again, bake things, build something(s), organize list is endless. I have a million recipes I want to try out, so many projects I'm ready to tackle and of course, I'm planning our Christmas decor. 😁

Obviously the hotel option isn't for everyone! But if you only need a couple months to cover in between houses it may be best for you. We're spending about the same (or less depending on where we would have ended up) than what we would have paid at an apartment. We would have been dangerously close to having to sign another three month lease with an apartment too, so overall we've been really happy with our decision to stay at a long term hotel. 

With all of that being said...I hope we never have to stay here ever again. God willing. Hotels have lost their luster for awhile. 😂 We are getting packed up, I'm cleaning the hotel room from top to bottom and then we are getting the heck out! Our new home awaits!:

Have you ever done the "in between" and what did you do? Did you enjoy it or go stir crazy like me?