We’ve been in our new home for a little over a month now, and the main rooms are now somewhat presentable enough for a mini house tour!
Our first week was spent doing some deep cleaning and trying to remedy the previous owners obvious aversion to dusting. The second and third weeks we were busy unpacking, going on epic Craigslist furniture hunts, and generally sorting and organizing our belongings. Last few weeks I had to put everything on hold as we hosted my in-laws for a two week visit around Independence Day.
But NOW! We’re back on track! My to-do list is still embarrassingly long, and my “fix it up” ideas account for about 10 years worth of wages, but slowly (slooooowly) we’ll get our little humble abode all Freeman-afied! So on to the tour!
Our house is a one story ranch style home, built in 1956. When our house was the hottest new thing in Visalia:
– Disneyland had only been open for one year.
– Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” single had just released and hit the #1 spot in music charts.
– Martin Luther King Jr.’s house had just been bombed.
– President Eisenhower was re-elected.
– The US motto “In God We Trust” had just been authorized.
Crazy, no? Now, our home is situated in a quiet community, just steps from a large park and baseball fields that belong to a local school. On some weekends we can hear the excited parents cheering their kids on while they park in front of our house. (Which surprisingly doesn’t annoy me as much as I’d assumed it would.) The neighbors are friendly, the streets are as safe as a quiet residential area in 2014 can be, and it’s basically a good old slice of well established American apple pie.
The Living Room
I am a sucker for natural light, and the whole front of the house is FILLED with it! We just love the large windows, airy shutters, cool colors contrasted with the original hardwood oak floors (which are desperately in need of some TLC), everything!
The living room is still in a state of chaos, even though I’ve tidied it up for photos. We deep cleaned and resealed the hardwood floors (when we moved in there was no sealant to speak of, and it has been badly scratched, stained and damaged as a result) so it’s up on our “do soon” checklist to refinish and restain the floors – which will consume my tax refund for the year most likely.
Our good friend Buckley helped us tear out the existing baseboards and casings around the doors and we but in nicer, prettier trimmings. They still need to be painted, so we haven’t really placed or secured the bookshelves and entertainment center. (As a result they aren’t evenly spaced or thoroughly organized, which is driving my OCD brain a bit batty.) We also need to touch up the paint – we’ve decided to keep the original colors! So much to dooooo!
The coffee table and end tables we got off of Craigslist in Pensacola, Florida. The leather couches, wool Karastan rug and bookshelves we got off Craigslist here in Central California. The rest is a combination of pre-owned items, Ikea and Amazon. My favorite part of the room is the view onto our enclosed, ivy lined deck, and our entryway art wall, where I can display my original Fruits Basket studio art, Dresden Files art and autographed Labyrinth concept art from Brian Froud! ^_^
I fell in love with this kitchen through photos before we ever took a tour of the house with an eye to buying it. I love the atrium feel over the kitchen sink, the natural light, the industrial chic feel of the barn door, and light fixtures with their filament bulbs, and the outlay of the kitchen is PERFECT for Jonathan and I, who love to cook. The cutting board island with stovetop is perfect for chopping, cooking, and preparing meals. We can work side to side, across from each other, or any combination! Finally he can work on his cream sauce while I work on my pan seared fish without us bumping elbows or getting in the others way. It’s like we designed this kitchen for ourselves!
We know that kitchen upgrades can get real expensive, REAL fast – so for the time being, we are keeping things in the kitchen relatively the same as we moved in. Along with the living room, we ripped out the baseboards and casings and are in the process of reinstalling prettier ones. We’re also putting in the tile baseboards around the cabinets since the previous owners didn’t finish doing that (they did leave all the supplies and materials in the garage for us to finish the job though!).
We replaced the light fixtures on the wall that flank the sink with some awesome designer real bronze lights that I found at a swap meet. We also sanded, stained and waxed the chopping board island – I really don’t even WANT to know how long it’s been since it had been cleaned, but that project was a must do since it was covered in dirt encrusted stains, nicks and gouges.
For future projects, I’d love to refinish the cabinets, add handles, or otherwise give them a much needed face lift. I’d also like to replace the counters and the major appliances since baking in a 40 year old oven is just not working for me. Other than that though, this kitchen in golden!
The Dining Room
This won’t surprise those of you who know me, but one of the things I was looking for in a new house was a room that I could turn into a “catio”. Since our cats are indoors only, we wanted a room that we could install floor to ceiling windows for them to perch, and dream, and catnap on. I told my hubby that if there wasn’t a back patio we could convert, then we simply MUST rip out a wall and install windows to open the room up. And guess what? This house already did that!! What whaaaat?!
Okay, that last photo is what happens when I’m too busy taking pictures and then take my eyes off my little one. Haha.
Aside from ripping out the weird plank shelves in the corner by the fireplace, we didn’t do much to alter this room. We are in the process of installing nicer baseboards and door casings, recaulking the windows, and touching up the paint. We also need to get the chimney cleaned. We’re also planning on looking into taking advantage of one of the cities Energy Star incentives (families in our earning bracket are being offered cash incentives to install Energy Star rated fireplace inserts). But other than that, this room is DONE!
I’m loving using the real masonry brick fireplace as a medium to showcase the various collectibles and knickknacks that Jonathan and I have picked up over the years!
We’re not thrilled with the bathrooms. Aside from having no style, they are old, dated, everything from the grout to the tile to the plumbing is in dire need of repairs – they need a serious overhaul. Unfortunately “fix up bathrooms” is a little lower on our to do list, so maybe we’ll get around to sprucing these puppies up in a few years. Maybe.
Aside from deep cleaning, there’s not much we did to these bathrooms. I’d eventually like to completely gut these room of everything (counters, sinks, toilets, light fixtures, bath and showers, etc.) and completely remodel floor to ceiling. But that will have to be a couple tax returns from now!
The bedroom is tiny, but we love the attached master bathroom (we love that there IS one, the bathroom itself is in need of some work!) and the his and hers closets. There’s lots of room for improvements in this room, but it’s cozy and blank canvas the we can easily work with in the future if remodeling the bedroom strikes our fancy.
Aside from sealing the hardwood floors and deep cleaning, this room is pretty much occupied as-is. We have decided to keep the original paint color, and just need to touch it up here and there. I’m still in the process of sorting and organizing the closets, and the entire right side of the room is currently occupied by Tessa’s playpen and changing table and things, since we are still co-sleeping. So until my room is “my room” again I think I’ll hold off on anything more complex than a cozy bed, nightstand, and good books. ^_^
Also, Tessa gets into EVERYTHING!
The Rest of the House
I’m still working on the front lawn, the deck, the back yard, the entryway, the garage, the hallway, the office and Tessa’s room. So no pix of those, I get all squeamish about showing my mayhem. I’m not a very organized person whilst trying to get organized, haha.
But we love love LOVE this house. It already feels like a home. I’m beyond happy to have such a warm, open, lovely dwelling to call my own.
So there’s the tour of our house! Well, most of our house anyway! So whatcha think? Did we pick a good one?! ^_^