7th House on the Left

We mentioned in previous posts about the master bathroom renovation is going to be one of those projects that’s “on the back burner” until we complete the hall bathroom. Simply because we want to do these renovations completely debt free. Therefore, we aren’t having anything installed until we have cash in hand. So needless to say, this renovation has been coming along slowly but surely. With things like finding an awesome deal on the bathroom countertops (more about that here) and planning out a DIY vanity on the cheap (more about that later), we’ve been able to move this project along a little faster than we thought.

With things coming together faster than expected, we decided to go ahead and have the glass installed in the shower. This is one of the bigger things (time- and expense-wise) we had to do in this bathroom, and, honestly, we were tired of the cheap shower curtain/tension rod solution in our comfortable, awesome, new shower.

This morning, the glass for the shower was installed. Yesterday, we showed you how we’ve been taking showers lately with a temporary shower curtain. Well, gone are the days of our “klassy” setup! Now we have a “glassy” setup! Yes, I went there.

By the way, please excuse the weird lighting. We haven’t installed light fixtures yet, so we’re temporarily using some blueish compact florescent bulbs that we got for free in the mean time. They’re definitely not going to be sticking around after we install the right fixtures. Regardless, there’s a catch to this glass install: we have to wait 48 hours to use it! Good thing we have another full bath, eh?

It may sound odd to some, but our favorite part of the new shower is the handle. It’s very similar to the vanity hardware we are using in both the bathrooms. It’s sleek and simple without being too modern.

Overall, we love everything about this shower. It’s large enough to feel luxurious but not too large to take up too much of the bathroom. And it’s just as relaxing as any bathtub.

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HOME SWEET HOME

posted by Ashley  /  29 Comments

Moving in is taking a little longer than we expected.  We knew that unpacking would be one of the most daunting tasks involved in moving into our new home, but I think I underestimated the amount of time it would take.  Greg, the eternal realist, has to keep telling me, “It’s a process, sweetheart.”  We’re a good pair, aren’t we?  Anyway, the reason we’re taking a bit longer in this “process” is that we want to have a place for each thing we take out of a box.  The problem with that is, with a brand new house, there are a lot of organizational products to find, buy, install, etc.

We’ve spent the last two weeks unpacking boxes, putting together office furniture and finding places for everything, and we’re still not quite done, but we wanted to give you all an update on how everything is going.  So here’s the current state of affairs at the 7th House on the Left, picture book style!

Let’s start in the most lived in room in the house these days, the living room. Our couch and love seat got all squished while they were in storage. They used to be all taught and clean lined. After 8 months in storage, they are now wrinkled and frumpy. So, we’re planning on having new cushions cut to give it back it’s shape. Or then there’s the option of buying a new sofa and love seat (that’s my vote anyway!).

As we unpack decorative accessories, we’ve been putting them on the buffet in the dining room so when we are finished unpacking, we can use that area as our own little “accessories shop”. The dining table used to be the perfect size for our cozy apartment. Now with a much larger dining area, the table seems kind of small. So we definitely have room to grow… Bentley thinks so too.

My office space (which was originally the dining room) is barely functional at this point and not even close to being complete. This is mainly because I can’t seem to decide on what I want to do with the space. I have a few ideas (read more about those here), so we shall see what happens in the next few weeks.

Then we have what we like to call our “camping kitchen”. It actually hasn’t been that bad. The fridge (which happens to be the same one I used in my dorm room in college) is big enough for a week’s worth of groceries and drinks, as long as we remember to think small at the store. Then we have our handy dandy crock pot, toaster and microwave. With those convenient small appliances and our charcoal grill (Yes, we grill even if there’s snow on the ground.), going without a kitchen hasn’t been as hard as we thought it would be. We miss baking cookies (after all, it is Christmas!), but our grocery store’s bakery has some that are as good as any we could make (maybe… my mom’s cookie recipe is beyond awesome). We’re very anxious to tackle the kitchen after the holidays!

Off to the left of the “camping kitchen”, we have the laundry/utility room complete with a half bathroom. This is probably the most neglected room at this point. All we’ve done in this space is paint and install new light fixtures. And we haven’t even touch the half bath! This shelf used to be in our apartment’s walk-in laundry room/pantry. Now it’s being used as our “catch all” for switch plates, cleaning supplies, etc. I’m dying to get everything in here organized but we wanted to live in the area for a while before we make any major changes. We have a few ideas up our sleeves but it will be a few months before we are ready to reveal them and make some progress.

Eventually, we plan on buying a front-load washer and dryer and installing a countertop for lots of folding room. But for now, this is working our just fine.

Back through the living room and into the foyer. Other than the addition of the double doors (there used to be a single door to the far left for the gigantic closet), we haven’t done much here.

We’re still in search for a perfect foyer table. For now, we just sat our big IKEA mirror against the wall. We aren’t quite sure where to put that yet.

As we go down the hall, the guest room is our first stop on the left. It’s still full of boxes and things that need to go in the attic, but it’s looking a lot better than it did two weeks ago. We can actually see the floor now! Well, sorta. We covered a lot of the floor with Tyvek to protect them from scratches, since we are often moving and sliding boxes around.

Next to the guest room, we have the hall bathroom which we have been updating you on as the project has progressed. For more on that, check out part one, two, three and four. Part five is coming as soon; our faucets are nearly done and the light fixtures are soon to follow!

Across the hall, we have Greg’s domain. Like many things around here, it’s still a work in progress. The shelf you see sitting on the floor in the corner is going to be mounted to the wall. The floor lamp is currently the room’s only source of light until we install a ceiling fixture. And his desk currently looks like Best Buy threw up on it. With much to do, we are armed with a plan. So that makes things easier on the brain.

At the end of the hall, we have the master suite. We are still searching for bedding. But we did manage to find a down comforter that we both agreed on (and love!). Now the search is on for a duvet cover, decorative pillows, etc.

Everything is kind of monocromanic and borderline bland at the moment. We can’t wait to punch it up with come much-needed color.

This chair used to be in our bedroom in our apartment but it’s a little tight for this space (we had an abnormally large bedroom for an apartment). So for now, it’s serving as the home of the TiVo and DVD player until we find a tall, shallow piece of furniture to go in its place. Once we find that, we’re going to run the wires in the wall so we don’t have to look at them. Do you like our blue Ethernet cable running from Greg’s office? We’re short one wireless adapter, so we’re using it to make sure the TiVo gets its programming. Yep, Klassy.

In the master bathroom, we are using a shower curtain until the glass is installed – which should be any day now. Again, Klassy. Yes, I’m being sarcastic ;)

Next door to the master bathroom is the closet. We have step one done: rods for hang up clothes. The total closet is 70″ x 70″ — not your biggest walk-in by any means but still not too bad. We’re planning on some more hang up space (for longer items) and shelves for jeans, sweats, etc and even some handbag storage. We’re going to have to get creative when it comes to maximizing the storage but we think we can make it work.

That’s it on the inside of the house. Since we haven’t really shared much of the back of the house yet, we thought now was a good time to do so. Here is the attached carport. The door on the far right is to a small storage shed where we stash our tools and miscellaneous maintenance stuff. The middle door leads to the laundry room while the door on the left goes directly in the living room (to the left of the fireplace). Our long-term plan includes closing this in and making it into either a one-car garage or maybe a bonus room / family room.

And there you have it!  We’re super-excited about our new home, and we love sharing it with all of you. We can’t wait to have at least one finished room. But as I keep having to remind myself, it’s a process. I’m sure the rooms will have a few versions before we land on something we love and are ready to stamp it as “finished”.

OH, CHRISTMAS TREE

posted by Ashley  /  13 Comments

We are knee-deep in boxes and our home currently feels like a construction zone, but nevertheless, it’s Christmas time! Ya’ll know I love nothing more than the Christmas season. Typically, Greg and I are those crazy people that have their house decorated by Thanksgiving Day at the latest, but this year has been a little bit different for the Brown family. My slightly OCD brain wanted to wait to put the tree up until we were completely unpacked and could fully enjoy the tree being up in our new, awesomely organized home. Yeah, wishful thinking.

Though a lot (if not most) of our Christmas decorations are still hanging out in boxes, we managed to round up the tree decorations and decked the halls… well, the tree anyway.

Silver, gold, copper, brown and red. We probably break every cardinal rule of Christmas tree decorating, but we think the mixed finishes and textures give a fun and eclectic vibe.

Remember when I gave some hints as to how we were planning on decorating our tree this year? Well, the hint came into play with our addition of antique cameras. We thought it would get the tree an eclectic vintage feel and pay tribute to our favorite classic Christmas movies.

We already had a few cameras on hand (they are the one thing I collect), but we needed a few more to fill in the tree. Luckily, we were able to snag 15 of them on eBay for $20, total! Score!

We’ve collected ornaments over the last few years as newlyweds — adding to them each year. This ornament (and the rest of its twins, scattered throughout the tree) are a personal favorite of mine:

Of course, we can’t forget the top of the tree! Check out this star lantern-turned-tree topper. All we did was pop off the opening that the candle goes in, and stick it on the top of the tree. We were sure to put a few of the Christmas lights in there as well to illuminate it from the inside.

Not all of the ornaments are part of a set. We also have a few unique ornaments here and there. Like this sock monkey ornament that my cousin, Sarah, gave us:

And this double-decker bus ornament I gave Greg last year representing his time in the UK his last year in college:

A camera can’t really capture the sparkly, glittery goodness of the ornaments on our tree. Though all of the ornaments may not match, one thing they have in common (with the exception of Mr. Sock Monkey, above), is the sparkle factor. We love how the lights refract off of each individual ornament.

When I was 14, I went through an Eiffel Tower phase. I had the Eiffel Tower lamp, the Eiffel Tower poster, the Eiffel Tower background on my phone… you get the picture. These days, I’m still loving the iconic masterpiece but in a more subtle, “grown up” way:

We really enjoyed putting our Christmas tree together in our new house this year.  Being able to say we’re having Christmas in OUR house is really exciting, and it’s something we’re sure not to forget any time soon.  If you have any special Christmas tree decorating memories you’d like to share, drop us a line in the comments!  We love good stories, especially during the Christmas season. : )