March 2020, I moved from Nashville, TN, back to my hometown of Valparaiso, IN. I moved from a brand spanking new home to a house that was constructed back in the 1930’s. I bought my ‘new’, old house, sight unseen, with the help from the love of my life and some friends—who walked through it and gave me the go ahead. I realize how crazy this must seem, but to me, a house isn’t a home, until you make it one. While new houses are just easier to maintain, I appreciate the character, charm and stories behind older homes.
I had and still have huge aspirations and I’m thankful to not only have a man that can help me achieve it, he will do so by only rolling his eyes once or twice haha. So far, he and I have made it through an entire kitchen demo and renovation and now a complete office demo and renovation, I’m talking down to the studs and revamping from there. So, while we’re knees deep in this pandemic, I know that so many of us are doing home improvements. We’re spending more and more time at home, cooking at home, and just want to be comfortable in an environment that seems more safe than the outside world. If you’re looking into home improvements, I have some tips and tricks for you!
1). Create a vision board - Whether it’s Pinterest or your own visions, put pencil to paper and get busy. Start measuring things, grab different pictures from all over to see what you’re trying to achieve. I like to think about my house as a whole and then if I would sell it, what would the buyer want to see? When projects begin here, I articulate what I would like to see and my guy executes while telling me what things are possible and what aren’t.
2). Talk finances, budget - We budget around ‘must haves’. If there’s an expensive light, desk, or cabinet/s that we want, we put that in the budget first and then put in order from most important to least. My guy usually pics up the tab for all the materials we need for said room and I pick up the decorate tab—and we feel like that’s a fair trade for the two of us. When we put together our kitchen, we both went in halfsies since it was a large undertaking.
3). Don’t be hasty - good things always happen with time. This is such a life lesson for me, everyday. Guys, I’m as impatient as they come. Time and time again, I’m reminded that things will happen and that I just need to C H I L L . If the love of my life and myself operated at my speed, I believe that we’d crash and burn haha but he keeps me very level headed. He doesn’t rush and that’s important in home projects.
4). Work together - This will test your boundaries, but it’s so worth it. When I look back at the projects we have completed in under a years’ time, I’m so grateful we’ve been through it together. Literally, back breaking work. Carrying wheelbarrow load of plaster and lath over and over again to a 20 yard dumpster, moving water lines, drains, or even just painting. You’ll be so thankful, looking back at all you’ve accomplished. It’s a win win.
5). Do one project at a time - I really need to learn to take my own advice about this. We’ve done many smaller projects here, but it seems like when we have big projects, I get more and more ideas swarming around in my head. When you do more than one project at a time, life just seems more messy, more chaotic, and it feels more tense. So, heed this advice and then head back to advice #3.
As of this weekend, I have a brand new office! It's still unfurnished, but I have new insulation, new drywall with new walls and ceiling, new chandelier, a cabinet on order, shelves being built, a desk and desk chair on order, and my very favorite part of it all… a new black wall, complete with box trim for a chic way to live my life between the hours of 9 - 5, Monday through Friday! What are things you've learned while doing home renovations?
(April 2020 / February 2021)
Post more pictures as you finish projects. I love your black wall. I told someone yesterday to paint the wall black. I’m guessing it’s an eggshell finish! Its just gorgeous!! I’ve renovated so many homes and its so hard and consumes your life. Its so hard to keep your sanity but so worth it in the end. I wish you guys the very best! So far its looking gorgeous!!!