House For Six

The Moving Transition: In Which We All Try Not To Kill Each Other

Deme Crinion2 Comments

Thank you all for your kind words over our big moving news!  

This spring we took the leap and put our perfectly wonderful home on the market.  To our surprise (and "oh crap!") our home sold in 24 hrs.  We wanted to be ahead of the game when we found the next place - most buyers aren't comfortable accepting an offer from someone who still needs to sell their house - but 24 hrs. was faster than fast.  As in we hadn't looked at a single potential new home, and had just hit the road for a spring break vacation in TX. 

We tried not to freak out and simply be grateful that all those showings happened while we were far, far away.  As soon as we got back to Ohio we jumped on the house hunt.  

We were targeting a very small pocket neighborhood.  The driving force behind this move was the desire to be closer to our school/church community.  James' work has moved us quite a bit..from city to city, but also from house to house as we've settled into new cities.  We want to give our family some much needed stability and we had a deep desire to invest in our community here for the long haul.  The dream was to be walking distance to our church and school, but the available homes in that neighbor are few and far between.  Most sell within a couple days of hitting the market and some never hit the market at all - they're simply passed down within the original owner's family.  

So, we did a lot of praying, MLS stalking, and waiting.  And the right house remained elusive.  The only home that came up for sale already had a "sale pending" stinger when the sign went up in the yard.  So, we expanded our search by a 5 mile radius.  We saw some wonderful homes, but everything we looked at either didn't have the right space, had a wonky layout, screamed "money pit", or simply didn't feel like the right one.  

With every home we saw outside of our desired neighborhood, James and I both felt God asking us to wait.  And friends, patience is not my best virtue......which is probably why He asks me to wait so much. 

We eventually hit the point where it would be impossible to close on a new house before the sale was final on our old place.  Which meant a door-to-door move wasn't happening.  

I hoped beyond hope that we would not have to find a temporary living solution between homes, but that's exactly what happened.  And since I tried to wish reality into something else (fully in a state of denial), I pretty much shot myself in the foot when it came time to make housing arrangements.  It's not easy to find a 3 bedroom place for a short term lease with zero notice.  You're welcome, family.

I'm working on another post full of resources and tips for this type of scenario (obviously from a "do as I say, not as I do" standpoint), but for now I'm humbled to say that God provided a solution at just the right time...despite my inability to think/act as a responsible adult.  

A 3 bedroom apartment became available through a corporate housing company and it's just 10 min from our new neighborhood. It's not perfect but it meets all our needs during the time we're waiting.  There's lots of "togetherness" which sort of takes the typical summer bickering between siblings to another level, but escaping to the pool for swim team and afternoon dips has been our saving grace.  

And what about a new home? Did we ever find anything?  

We DID!  And I can't wait to share the story with you!!  We had to do some very uncomfortable work on our part, but man did God bless us beyond measure.  

We're scheduled to close on the new place in a couple weeks.  Hopefully everything goes smoothly and I can share all those details (and pics!) with you here soon.  But for now, here's a peak...

In the meantime, we're trying to remember that we love each other as we survive our "cozy" temp quarters and are keeping busy dreaming up plans for the new place.  It's such a different kind of gratitude when it comes to the gift of a forever home.  I feel so overwhelmed by it. 

I've been taking some time away from the computer this summer.  Life's clearly been full of all things moving, but also tending to little people who are feeling a bit unsettled.  Thankfully, as we get closer to move-in day, the excitement continues to build and the paperwork/appointments have slowed.  I'm looking forward to putting more to internet paper as I can.   Hope you're all having a great summer!

Is This Thing On

Deme Crinion14 Comments

Well, how's that for an impeccably timed blog silence?  

"Hey!  Check out our new site!!"  

And..

*crickets*

A lot has happened during the past couple months and man.....lets just catch up shall we?  Great!

Two weeks ago we loaded our crew into the swagger wagon and hit the road for a family TX reunion over spring break.  But not before we dropped a "For Sale" sign in the front yard on our way out of town.

12 hours into our drive we got a call from our realtor saying we had an offer on the house.  Then a few hours later, another offer.  Within 24 hours of listing the house we were under contract. What the what?!?! 

Wait.  You're moving?  Why?  Where?? Didn't you just get there??  

I. KNOW. 

Here's the thing about moving to a new, unfamiliar city.  You do your best to figure out what part of town to live given your work/school/interests.  But until you actually live in a place, you really don't know.  

James talked with co-workers in the area, we peppered our realtor with questions, and we did all sorts of Googling before our move to Ohio. We saw as much as we could in the 24 hours we had to house hunt and chose the place we thought would serve us best. 

And truth be told, the place we chose is amazing.  The location is amazing.  Our neighbors are amazing. God was so faithful and generous in providing us this home.

Not to mention, we brought the sweetest babe home here. 

So, why leave? Well, because we spend the majority of our time about 20 minutes from our hood.

We ended up pulling the kids from the first school we chose, spent a short stint homeschooling, and have finally landed in a school and church community that we love.  One that we really want to invest in.  And we're having a hard time doing that without some serious strain on our time and budget.  

It takes me about 20 min (one way) to get to the kids' school...sometimes less if you hit the magic phenom of all green lights and more if you hit the wall of morning traffic.  If it's a day where Jack has half day preschool and we have an after-school event, then we can make that drive 4 times a day between all the drop-offs and pick-ups. 

The time in the car (and the gas fill ups) took their toll and as spring approached in a market primed for sellers, we decided to put our home up for sale.  The dream is to be walking distance to our school and church, but homes in that area rarely stay on the market more than a week.  Some don't ever hit the market, but go by word of mouth.  You have to be able to act fast and we wanted to be in a position to do that.  

Well, it turns out our neighborhood is moving pretty fast these days too!  So, now we find ourselves in the position to find a new home and quick, otherwise we'll be bunking up in a friend's basement or a Motel 6 for awhile.  

Inventory is still really low in the area we're looking, but we're hoping more things will come on the market as the weather warms up.  It's tempting to rush and jump on the first thing that pops up, but we really don't want to move again for a very long time.  It's hard to be picky and keep the big picture in mind when you're facing "homeless" status.  

But hey.  While a few months in transition wouldn't be a party, it's also not so bad in the big scheme of things.  All the homes in the surrounding area are in older established neighborhoods and there's a good chance whatever we find is going to need a little TLC.  It would certainly be easier to knock out some projects before all our boxes and minions hit the deck.  That's what I'm telling myself anyway as I try not to freak out.

And that's what we've been up to for the past few months.  Painting, purging, scrubbing, and staging. We knocked out a crazy project list in order to get the house on the market before we left for our trip (hallelujah to being far, far away for house showings!), so I have a lot to show you around the abode.  

The close of our house sale, the hunt for a new one, and all the packing in between are happening during the last weeks of school - "busy" doesn't even begin to touch it.  I was starting to feel things spinning a little out of control when I remembered that I've already helped myself out on this one.  A couple years back I did a 31 days of moving series born out of our crazy cross country move #handy. Tomorrow I'm going to print myself a fresh moving binder and make some lists over a cup of coffee.  I'm excited to crack open the archives on this one and add some new topics and tips as we go through our in-town move.

Thanks for all of your sweet notes checking in on us to make sure everything was OK.  We've just had our noses to the grindstone and are finally coming up for a bit of air while we wait for the right home to pop up.  

Master Bedroom Refresh: The Plan

Deme Crinion5 Comments

Our poor neglected master bedroom.  She's a dump zone and she knows it.  Is yours a dump zone too?  Is it brimming with piles and clutter and randomness? Can you just ignore it or does it drive you nuts?

I'm not jumping on a soap box about how our bedrooms should be a serene sanctuary or how we should put ourselves first by making our bedroom a retreat.  I mean that all sounds nice, but in reality I'm just tired of bumping into things. And not knowing if the piles of laundry are clean or dirty or a rare mixed breed.  

A couple weeks ago I also started to feel like a bit of a hypocrite for requiring our kids to maintain their spaces when ours was the pits.  Then I thought it might be nice to actually crawl into bed at the end of the night and be able to breath in a sigh of relief, instead of looking around at more things to add to my to-do list before closing my eyes for the night. 

So, here we are scheming about a little refresh for our much neglected space. I'm calling this a refresh instead of a makeover because most of the pieces are already there....just buried.  

I've gathered a few things for this space over the past year that will finally get the dust blown off them. I had forgotten about some, but was pleasantly surprised to rediscover these old treasures in looking at what I could use that I already had on hand.  

The first was this Deuteronomy 6 print from Naptime Diaries.  

I grabbed a poster size of this beauty a few months ago and it has sat in the shipping tube like a trapped genie ever since.  I was so excited to find this hiding next to my desk, because it's now driving the train for this whole project - the colors, the significance, all of it.  

James' only input for the room is that he wants some color.  Taking that feedback and using the print as a jumping off point, I came up with this:

The base of the room (walls/furniture) will be mostly neutral, but there's plenty of color coming in via the headboard and other accents.  The best part is that I already had everything here except for the duvet/comforter.....and thanks to a clearance sale, I can now check that off the list too. 

Here's the breakdown....

1. This jute rug from H&M was such a fun find (and H&M has become one of my favorite online stores for affordable home stuff - check out their pillow covers!).  I got it months ago intending to use it in another room, but I think its going to help add a great natural/textural element. I'm thinking on the wall above the headboard.

2. Obviously this piece is central to the room.  I love the saturated colors and versatility.  We can pull some blues/greens into the accents for a cool feel or pull some of those pinks and oranges if we want to warm things up.  

3. I've been e-stalking this upholstered headboard for over a year.  I was hesitant to go with such a bold color and it seemed a little too teal online.  I was going for more of a peacock blue or navy.  But I just never found anything else that was the right style/color at the right price point. The reviews mentioned the color was darker in person, so I finally pulled the trigger during Wayfair's last headboard sale.  It did not disappoint! 

4. Anthropologie is like a dream.  A dream way beyond my budget...BUT!  They can have decent sale prices and occasionally run an extra 40% off sale items.  I jumped on the last one and snagged this duvet. It has some pattern and subtle gold hand stitching but the black and white allows it to act as a neutral.

5. Even though I ended up finding two bigger items at deep discounts I didn't want to sink much more cash into the room, so we're using a left over can of paint from the family room.  At first I wanted dark and moody but for free I think I'll be fine with light and airy.  It's a great light neutral grey with warm undertones (Silver Drop by Behr). 

6. You know you've found a kindred spirit when your friend calls to inform you that they've cut down a tree in her yard and wants to know if she should save some stumps for you to use as side tables.  Free and rustic and just the right size: WIN-NING. 

I think the biggest challenge is going to be keeping the room from feeling too feminine.  The florals, the delicate details in the jute rug....I'm hoping some of the more rustic elements like the stump tables and some black accents will help dude things up a bit.  We also brought in two bookcases from other rooms in the house to flank the headboard.  We'll mount some reading lights (which I already have) and then we just need to find some curtains.  I do have an extra white set but I'm not sure if that will meet the color quota from the hubs.  Maybe some fun trim details?  We'll see.  For now, we're starting by digging our way through the piles of books and clothes and then we'll hit those walls with some fresh paint!  

Our Home Two Years Later

Deme Crinion4 Comments

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If you're a chronic planner, a creative, or even just a day dreamer, then you're familiar with the constant stream of ideas flowing through your head at all times of the day.  When it comes to our home, I have a running list of ideas for each and every room.  I can't help it, my mind just automatically goes to paint colors and light fixtures.  

But as much as I love tweaking this house to make it a haven for our family, it's easy to become overwhelmed by all that's left undone or yet to-do.  This home definitely isn't the fixer of our last home, but it's enough of a blank slate that it's pretty noticeable which rooms we've touched and which spaces are still waiting for a little love.

When I was working on the new site I hit a road bump when I got to the "Home Tour" page.  This is one of my favorite spots to visit on other home/DIY blogs and I've always had one on mine.  So what to do when your house is very much not an "after" yet?  Celebrate progress, that's what!

As I pulled pics of the house when we first moved in I was shocked at how different some of the rooms are today.  Yes, there's still plenty to do, but we've come a long way in putting our own stamp on this place.  And it's got me excited to keep going!

Here's how things are looking compared to move-in day two years ago, and what we're eyeing for our project list this coming year...

This is our front door/entry.  And evidence of children.

As you come through the front door you walk right into our living room.  We loved the vaulted ceilings and all that glorious natural light.

We did not love the floors or the dated window coverings.  

A look to the right and you'll see our garage door.  This is how we enter the house 99% of the time. 

Our first item of business was to address the floors.  The previous owners had a large dog and while the upstairs carpet was fine, the light carpet on this main level was pretty gross.  We weren't loving those curved steps either.  So, before we started really unpacking we built out the steps and put down some durable new flooring.

The new floors made such a huge difference.  Those rooms instantly felt fresh and updated and the floors have been so much more practical for our young (read: prone to spills and tracked dirt) family. 

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do something with the area that juts out into the living space.  We went bold with a deep navy and I've never regretted it (color is Volcanic Ash by Valspar).  

With such a dark accent wall, we went pretty light on the remaining walls.  This room gets such fantastic natural light and it's my favorite spot to drink my morning coffee.  Well... sip, get interrupted, reheat, then sip again....repeat 5 times....

After years with empty walls and family pics in boxes (or digital files on my computer) we finally put together a family photo gallery with some floating shelves

This huge armoire was a Craigslist score and it's on my paint radar this year!  I'm sure I will be polling you all for color choices because my indecision is ridiculous. It houses some smaller musical instruments, music books, and photo albums.

We carried the navy wall color into the dining room, just off the living room.  

We sold our old dining set on craigslist and swapped it for a round one, added some open storage and removed the lamp shades from the chandelier - simple changes but ones that really gave this space a fresh feel.  And clearly I need some updated pics of this room #merrymerry. 

One of my favorite updates happened back by that garage door/entry.  We ripped the bar out of this closet, mounted a ton of hooks, and magically the coats stay off the floor.  Usually.

We took the new floors into the laundry room, but haven't really touched the space since.  I'm hoping to address some basic functional issues in here this year:  a shelf over the washer/dryer and wall storage for cleaning tools (vacuum, mop, etc).  We also need to paint and do something with those cabinets.

And then there's the very green great room.  Our main level is one big circle, so you can come into this space through the dining room or by the garage door.   It really had so much potential, but also some challenges for furniture placement (hello, giant counter cutting the room in half). 

And that range hood.  My 6'4" husband literally has to bend down to cook at the stove.  I don't think countertops or a backsplash are in the cards this year, but painting the cabinets and ripping out that hood are high on our list!

While we're at it, we'll probably ditch the track lighting.  We already swapped out the ceiling fan for a flush mount and it offers plenty of light.

I wasn't sure how to set up this space, but once we let go of this room as a homeschool space and finally embraced it as a family room, it really changed the way we used the house.  We spend almost all of our family time here, and it's been a great space to host friends. I was desperate to ditch the green (which read a whole lot more neon in person), and we finally got a less abrasive coat of blue on the walls.  

It was a good fix at the time but I never loved it.  The kids wanted color; I wanted neutral.  Even with that serene blue,  the room still felt really dark by the fireplace, but then...

...a blessing in disguise. a huge leak caused us to rip up all the floors.  It prompted us to jump on a few other projects (like white washing the fireplace) and now we've resumed the saga of which wall color will make everyone happy.  Currently, undecided.

Upstairs you'll find 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  

Originally we had the boys bunked up in one room, Mia in another, us in the master, and the extra room was my office craft space.  

We said goodbye to the yellow, beefed up the trim, and ditched the half shutters.

Then a little lady joined our family.  So we traded the desks for a crib and had fun transforming it into a girly nursery to welcome home our newest bambina.

The other princess in this family started with a very green room that's now a pale pink.  This  room has seen at least five different furniture arrangements, that never really worked until we eliminated a large piece of furniture and combined her bed and dresser into one. #IKEAtotherescue

My mini hoarder has worked so hard to pare down her things and we're almost done making this her own special space. 

Purple was not going to fly in our boys' shared bedroom.  So, we quickly got up a more masculine color.

These beds are from James' childhood but the movers lost the base/support pieces in our cross country move....older pieces not easily replaced.  Since the room is on the small side we decided to bunk them up.  We're working on making it a cool reading/sleeping spot for them and I obviously owe you some updated pics of this room!

Our master is a complete blank slate.  We slept on a mattress for the first few months here.  

We finally added a bed and moved in a smaller desk when my office morphed into a nursery. And then we neglected her. She became the stash-zone when company was coming and a lot of those piles never left.   At the end of last year I knew we had to reclaim this space.  We did a little furniture shuffling, a little purging, and paint is going up this weekend.  I've been collecting things for this room for awhile and had grown up talk with myself about finally doing something with them.  I'm so excited to give this space some long overdue attention!

Finally, the garage.  It has great storage, and for reasons I can not explain, all of our stuff is piled against the walls and nothing in the cupboards/shelves.  I don't even know.  As soon as it's warm enough, we're all over it.  We have a few lingering boxes to unpack and I really want to get this area purged and organized for summer. 

While I do have specific areas I want to work on this year, I think more than anything I want to stop avoiding the hard stuff.  When it comes to our home, it's easy for me to take on a skewed perspective.  Even though I love a project that addresses form and function, I can easily get caught up in all the pretty stuff when I need to be doing the dirty work of cleaning out a closet.  

For the coming year I thought about those areas that I've been avoiding.  The areas that drive the other members of my family bonkers (not necessarily me).  I tried to think about the best time to tackle them and avoid flashbacks to painting cabinets in the dead heat of summer.  So while I'm putting some of the house fluffing projects on hold for a bit, I'm getting excited about facing some of these giants.  Not necessarily because it's going to be loads of fun, but because I know how good it will feel to buckle down and do the work.  Nothing has given us more satisfaction in our home that clearing out the excess and paring down to the stuff we truly love, need, and use.  I hope that we can eventually get there with the entire house.  So...

Finish the unfinished.  Touch the untouched.  Use what we've gathered. 

That about sums it up.....in an extra long, billion picture format ;)  

*Does anyone else have house projects on the agenda this year?  How do you prioritize projects in your home?