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?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hits and misses: the bathroom renovations!

Goodness my friends...we're about a week out from moving in and I can barely stand it! We did our walk through today and things are really wrapping up. The house is so incredibly beautiful, I can hardly wait to show you. (If you missed our last update check it out here!)

I've been recapping all of my favorite room makeovers in our last house and it's been fun to look back! I LOVE before and after pictures anyway, but seeing the different designs over the years and all the work I put in is a great feeling. I'm sharing our bathrooms through the years today but you can look back at our dining room, guest bedroom, kitchen and family room as well! (See the bottom of the post for links for these rooms and their resources!)

When we finished our basement years back, we were able to complete the bathroom. It ended up being a long, narrow room because we added a laundry room and storage area as well. This is what we started with: 

We went with a teeny tiny shower in here because we knew it wouldn't be used much. And then of course for years I ended up using it a bunch. 😜 We later put the cat litter trays back there so we didn't use the shower a lot the last year or so. 

I knew I wanted to add some storage to this small space, and the area next to the shower was perfect for it:

You can see how I built the DIY floating wood shelves for that spot. This spot was screaming out for them!: 

We really used them too -- they weren't just for looks. Other than the small vanity in there, this was the only storage in the room. 

I decorated with some items from Target and it turned into such a sweet, pretty space: 

I just loved the colors in this room! And of course, because there were no windows down there, I added the daylight bulbs I told you about earlier this week. ;) 

The next before is one of the best in our whole house! Or I should say befores, plural. Our powder room was one of the first spots I added trim in our house and I went dramatic with the color:

I've always said you should do something fun in the smaller spaces in your home -- laundry rooms, powder rooms, mud rooms -- all great places to try a color or treatment you wouldn't do in a bigger living area. 

And boy did I do that! Next was the chocolate brown bathroom...everywhere: 

I mean. When I commit, I commit

This was around the time I did the same with the dining room as well. I must have really loved brown at the time? I loved this tomb room!

Well, my tastes changed. I slowly but surely started brightening up the house, and after a lot of wood and a LOT of painting, this was the result

I get a lot of questions about that Hemnes bathroom vanity and YES I would highly recommend it! We had one little tiny sliver of the finish come off in all the years we had it, and that was right away. 

Otherwise it's held up beautifully. It's a great deal for the size and the pretty sink that comes with it. 

Later I finally painted that closet door black like the rest of the doors on the bottom levels and I loved it against all the white!: 

See the awesome detail we put in that closet here. At first I didn't use it much but I came to LOVE having it!

And finally, my piece de resistance -- our son's bathroom redo. I worked my tail off on this room!! Blood, sweat and tears, literally. Here's how it looked for nearly ten years

I had an itch to knock down that wall in the middle for forever. One day earlier this year I just decided to start taking it down. It was so exciting. ;) 

It took me a few months but I finally finished the space. It's one of my top three makeovers in the house (I'd say up there with the kitchen and the dining/library). Here's how it turned out: 

Oh I do miss that pretty shower! Someday I'll do the same tile in his bathroom at our new house...someday, a lot of days from now. ;) 

I loved every single inch of this room. I am so proud of it:  

I still love looking at it. :) 

One room we didn't touch much (probably the only room in the house!) was our master bathroom. I shared that with you here -- I made some small changes over the years but since it was set up well and we knew it would be so expensive, we never tackled a big reno. 

Bathrooms are no joke people! They are hard work -- even the small ones. But they make a big impact in your home and can give it tons of personality. 

I'll be back next week as we pack up and count down the hours till we are in our house! As always, thanks for coming along for the ride all these years! :)  

You can see more about each bathroom at the links below, but let me know if you have any questions!:

     - Resources and links for this bathroom

     - Resources and links for this room