Archive for July, 2013
If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out the first post in this series.
Once Sarah and I moved in, it was hard for us to gauge when the best time was to go looking for a pup to bring home and call ours. We decided that we wanted to adopt/rescue a dog, rather than going to a breeder. This allowed us to give a home to a deserving dog. We also knew that with going this route, we could pick one that fit our lifestyle most, rather than hoping for the best with a puppy and not knowing what the personality could turn out like. I finally was able to snag a Saturday off . I knew that this was the perfect day to go looking. It also helped that many of the Pet-Smart’s and Petco’s around us have adoption days on Saturday too. Although Sarah did hesitate, she was more than happy to go looking.
I do have to mention that before we headed out on our search, we perused Craig’s List for adoption days and saw a few potential candidates. One golden dog stood out of the rest, but the ad didn’t actually specify which dogs would have been there and their names. With that in mind we set out on a long, multi-city wide search.
We knew what kind of dog we wanted; a smart, energetic dog. A dog that was able to play without getting too riled up. A dog that would be a great family pet that loved kids and got along with other canines. A dog that was crate and house trained. A dog we could call ours.
With all of these emotions and requirements in mind we set out to our first adoption day at one of the local Petco’s. Once we got out of the car, I knew that we would find a the one pretty quickly.
Once we walked through the doors, we set our eyes on the crates that were all nicely lined up. With all of the different breeds, sizes, and personalities, it was hard to come to a conclusion. We asked the volunteer if we could bring out one of the dogs, a terrier mix, out for a little walk. With leash in hand, we led the little guy around the store, meandering through the aisles of toys and dog food, commanding the creature like we owned him. Although he was a sweetheart and very playful, we wanted to see if that golden fido would be around. After coming back from outside we finally saw her. At the time her name was Cait (pronounced Kate). A mutt in her own right, she looked like an Eskimo dog mixed with a yellow lab. The volunteer wasn’t quite sure of the breed either, considering that she was a stray dog that possibly came from Kansas and brought up to Minnesota for further care. Once we got to walking her around, we knew she was energetic as she was frantically pulling, trying to say hello to just about anyone that walked by. It’s easy to see why people love her so much; she’s a sweet dog, very friendly, smart and loves kids. She met all of our requirements yet we weren’t quite ready to commit to her yet. We left the store hoping she would be there if we decided to come back. If she was still there, then to us, it was meant to be.
We drove around the cities, hitting up every Pet-Smart and Petco that had adoption days. We saw countless, lovable dogs that needed homes but for some reason, we were still drawn to little Cait. After seeing a bunch of pups and driving all over the Twin Cities, we knew that we wanted little Cait in our family.
Just to be on the safe side, we called back to our first stop to confirm that she was there and we got the green light. We drove as quickly (and legally) as we could to go get our new addition. Once we were there, we noticed that she was being led by another person, with a bag of bones in his hand. My heart instantly sank. We patiently waited and the person with her did not actually want to adopt her, rather walk her around while he was shopping for his pets. What a relief! We brought her around the store one more time and stopped in the middle of the aisle. We asked little Cait if she’d like to come home with us, in which she just replied with a lick. We both gave each other that look, to which Sarah said, “We’re going to get her”. Sarah was almost brought to tears, considering how long we waited to finally bring a dog home.
We brought little miss back up to the adoption area and signed the papers. We are her family now. At that moment, I didn’t know what to feel. I just felt accomplished. I am married. We recently bought a home we love. Now we finally own a dog. I can’t imagine us having a different dog in our house.
It’s been almost three months now and she seems to really enjoy it here, especially when there is renovations going on. We couldn’t be happier and we know we made the perfect decision.
Check back next week as we cap off this series. In the mean time, did you ever adopt a pet?
Growing up as an only child without any brothers and sisters could have been considered a blessing by many. Although I begged my parents to give me a brother and sister, my feeble attempts never amounted to anything.
To compensate for my lack of siblings, my parents thought it was best to get me a fish, thinking that having some sort of pet would keep me entertained enough. After seeing fish repeatedly die and neglected, it was time to ditch the fish tank all together. I knew I wanted a companion, a pet I could play with instead of watching it swim around the same tank day-in and day-out. I knew that I wanted a dog but it would take a lot of convincing on my part to make it a reality.
To make a long story short, it never happened. As much as I asked and as much as I was willing to give up years and years of Christmas and birthday presents, my parents knew that bringing home a puppy was more work than they thought we could handle.
As time went on, my longing for a dog dissipated and I just gave up on it.
Sarah on the other hand has had dogs her whole life, six to be exact. From a German Shepard to a Scottish Terrier, she has gotten the full spectrum when it comes to the canines. It was only inevitable that I would grow to love her latest furry friend Stewart. He is her parents dog that they’ve had since she was fifteen.
Sarah knew that I had a soft spot for dogs. We often discussed what kinds of dogs we liked and what personalities we wanted in a dog when the timing was right for us to get one together.
Once we were married we knew that owning a dog was one of the first things we wanted as a couple. Jobs with not-so-great of pay and our wacky all-over-the-board schedules made it difficult for us to afford the care of and give attention to such a pet. It also didn’t help that the apartments that were most affordable to us didn’t allow dogs or had such a steep price for pet-rent that we just stopped wanting one all together.
Our thinning patience finally paid off. After last year’s battle between purchasing a home or renting, we finally decided that it was time to buy our first home. This opened up not only endless renovation possibilities, but allowed us to get a dog without any ridiculous reoccurring pet-rent fees.
Not even after a week after moving in, we went on the search for our first baby. Little did we know, we would come home with this sweetheart.
Originally named Cait (pronounced Kate), this little lady has provided us with tons of laughs and lots of love too. Check back next week as we explain the journey on adopting a dog.
I’d like to know; did you have dogs growing up?
When we first saw our house, we really liked it, but we had some reservations. The main drawbacks were that it did not have a dining area that made sense, one of the three bedrooms was very awkward (one door to the kitchen, one to the hallways closet, and two more doors to two different closets), and the basement was not finished which meant the square footage was only around 1,000.
Here was the original floor plan on the day we bought it (the basement is not shown, but it is pretty much an empty shell besides two framed and sheetrocked “bedrooms” that are not currently legal.
The house had two original dining areas, one right beyond the front door and one beyond the kitchen cabinets in the kitchen. Both of which were WAY too small, cumbersome, and awkward. The bedroom off the kitchen had a chandelier in it, so we know that the previous owner used it as a dining room, so that was our main option. However, with four doors in a fairly small space and no easy access to the kitchen or living room, it made for a layout that just wasn’t going to work for us.
However, as we started planning out the space, we talked to my parents who have a ton of renovating experience from my dad’s 25+ years of carpentry experience and my mom’s experience renovating and building a few houses. They suggested that we go for some big renovations straight upon move-in to make the most of the space and to make living in our home easy for the longest time possible. We agreed that it doesn’t make sense to buy furniture, organize, and start decorating right away only to renovate and mess everything up in a few months.
Now, we totally stand by the “live in your house for a while before doing anything major” rule that many people follow. However, this is something we thought about a lot in advance and knew it would be the perfect choice for us. We also have been doing everything on the weekends and started with the kitchen, so we lived in the space for almost two months before anything major was knocked down or put up.
So, with my parents help, we came up with a plan that would make the most of our space. This plan involved a few different renovations:
- A “Phase One” kitchen renovation where we would work with the existing kitchen cabinets to make the kitchen more functional, modern, and beautiful while we plan out and save up for a full kitchen renovation (if we ever get to that stage)
- Knocking out the wall between the dining room/bedroom and the living room to make an open layout to the rest of the house
- Closing up the closet and doorway on the bathroom-side of the dining room
- Building a new u-shaped set of stairs going to the basement from the front door, in the area that was originally a dining space that ended up just becoming wasted space. This also includes closing up the doorway between the kitchen and the living room.
- Removing the old stairs, adding a floor where the stairs were, and knocking down the stair wall on the dining room side to enlarge the dining room and make it more open to the kitchen area (which will still be somewhat closed off until we (or the future owners) gut the whole kitchen and open it up to the dining room.
In case that is confusing, this is the layout that we are working toward:
We will definitely be breaking down each step of the process the best we can so you can see exactly what we did. It’s important to note that we know we are getting rid of a legal bedroom, but we have plans of finishing our basement and making the two sheetrocked non-legal bedrooms into legal bedrooms (by adding egress windows) while also adding a bathroom and family room.
We really love how this new floor plan will make use of the open, unusable space in front of the front door, create an open living area, and make going to the basement much easier. It is not fun to cart laundry through the dining room, and into a cramped space with the back door, the basement door, and the dining room door all competing for the space. It will be much easier to go through the living room.
If you noticed the closed in closet in the dining room that is on the same wall as the bathroom and thought we were crazy to leave a hollow space, we have big plans of knocking down those closet walls in the bathroom so we can have an extra long vanity and much more open bathroom than we currently have, but that’s not on our list of things to do for a while.
I’m sure we missed some of the details, but we will be chronicling the whole renovation in many different, detailed posts, so you won’t miss a beat.
Have you drastically changed the floor plan of a house? Ever closed one doorway only to open up another? Ever move your stairs?
Last time, I talked about the pros and cons of our original kitchen (before we touched it). Today, I am sharing our inspiration and our plan for the kitchen (at least when it comes to aesthetics). As we talked about in our post about our dual decorating style, we like kind of a modern, bright, cottage feel. We like classic touches with some fun, quirky, colorful pieces thrown in there just to make it more comfortable and fun.
Our kitchen is a galley, so we looked at lots of galley kitchens to see what directions we wanted to go in. Here are some inspiration photos of galley kitchens that we really liked followed by what we really liked about them.
What we love:
- Of the three major appliances (fridge, stove, and dishwasher), we like two on one side and one on the other (for balance and a work triangle)
- A decent gap between the two sides of cabinetry
- Netural cabinets because they are so close to each other (not a ton of color everywhere)
- Light and bright to open up the space so it doesn’t feel or look cramped
- Lots of light coming in
We also looked through our Pinterest boards to see what paint colors, hardware, light fixtures, and other kitchen-related items we were naturally drawn to. Here are our favorite photos and what we liked about them.
Kitchens We Were Drawn to:
What we love:
- Dark or gray countertops
- If gray counters, then silver colored hardware
- If dark counters, then dark hardware
- Gray or aqua/turquiose-gray walls
- A modern classic feel with vintage/retro details
- Some open shelving to add personal touches and to break up all the white
- White cabinetry
- Classic hardware
We took what we loved from these kitchens and applied it to our kitchen. Here is an inspiration board I created to give you just a taste of the final kitchen (I used the exact products we used as much as I could). This doesn’t include the fun accents, art, and shelving items, but it gives you a taste of the more permanent finishes we chose.
- Benjamin Moore Aura Satin paint in Cloud Cover (for the cabinets)
- Benjamin Moore Regal Eggshell paint in Stratton Blue (for the walls)
- Oil rubbed bronze hinges (since our cabinets are old school and the hinges show)
- Oil rubbed bronze cabinet handles
- Oil rubbed bronze classic drawer pulls
- Black granite sink
- Vintage-inspired faucet
- Black Alicante formica countertops (this was a low-budget kitchen upgrade – one day we will have solid stone countertops)
- Nautical light fixture
- Ikea white shelf with bracket
Looking at the inspiration board, it looks like there will be a lot of black in the kitchen, but really, because the cabinets will all be white, the black is there to balance it out. The Stratton Blue wall color paint was taken from the inspiration photos (it is used in the third and fourth photos in this post) and it is so pretty! It’s the perfect color and just reminds me of Cape Cod, which totally fits our vintage coastal style that we love.
We can’t wait to show you the final kitchen (when it is complete), but stay tuned for many progress photos of how we are getting from the inspiration to the final product.
I’m pretty sure shows like House Hunters and Property Virgins have made it clear that no house is ever perfect, especially a person’s first house. I mean, even if we had unlimited funds, I don’t think I could design a “perfect” house because so many of the things I like are contradictory (love the functionality of a rambler but love the look of a two-story, want a neighborhood where future kids could run around with other friends but also would love to be out in the country with lots of space, you get the idea). Every house has its pros and cons, just as each room does in a home.
Since we are in the process of some serious renovation, I thought I would share with you where we started at in the kitchen. I’m kicking myself for not taking better photos of the house when we first bought it, but I just couldn’t wait to move in and change everything!
Before we get to the lists, let’s remember the layout of our house when we first moved in:
And, here are a couple photos:
The photo above shows the view from the living room/front door. There are cabinets on both side of this door way (although only one side is seen from this angle) and there is a very small open space that makes this kitchen considered an eat-in kitchen, even though that space was definitely not big enough for us, our table, as well as a walkway to the basement stair that were just around the corner.
Pros of Original Kitchen:
- Good work triangle (sink on one side with fridge and stove across from it)
- Lots of light (one normal-sized window above the sink and one huge window in the back of the room)
- No cottage cheese ceilings
- Room to add extra cabinetry (there was a very small eat-in area where cabinets could be added to make the kitchen more functional)
- Cabinets to the ceiling (we love how they look and could use the extra storage)
- Updated flooring (laminate flooring that we don’t love but don’t hate either)
- A floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinet
- A perfectly sized gap between the cabinets on either side of kitchen (some galley kitchens are super tight, so we are glad ours has room to breathe)
- Galley = functional kitchen layout (no running around corners or across a huge room to grab an ingredient)
- Solid wood cabinets (perfect for painting)
- Plaster walls (pro because we could sand and repair when dents were found)
- Gas stove (San is a chef and loves a gas stove)
Cons of Original Kitchen:
- Awkward space between fridge and stove (there was extra space between them but no cabinet)
- No dishwasher
- Plastic sink with scratches
- Cheap, plastic holders and dispensers nailed directly into cabinets (like a paper towel holder and a dixie cup dispenser)
- No fan above stove
- 60 years of grease on everything (especially ceiling and area surrounding stove – due to previous bullet)
- Old formica counters
- Outdated light wood cabinet color
- 60 years of not very thoroughly cleaned cabinets (ew)
- Only two small areas with open counter space that is surrounding the sink
- Trim was replaced with foam trim that won’t stay nailed in
- No eating area that makes sense (the eat-in area is way too small and the dining room wasn’t functional as a dining room)
- Sloped wall in back of kitchen from bump-out
- Cleaning closet that has water issues and isn’t that funcitonal (right next to back door and awkward to get into)
- Plaster walls (con because they were easy to dent and scratch)
- Two layers of wallpaper
- Very outdated large, dirty light fixtures
- Very few outlets, and a few of them don’t have three prongs
- Stairs to basement cut off flow to the rest of the house
- Very plain cabinet fronts
- Outdated (60 years old) hardware
Whew! That’s a long list! Although we had a lot of cons to work with, I must say that there were a lot of pros for a sixty-year-old kitchen. I will reveal that we are almost done with the kitchen part of our renovation, but we will be sharing over the course of many blog posts so you can see how it all went down. Now that we’ve seen the transformation, I’m happy to report that we were able to remedy almost all of the cons! That’s pretty good considering we definitely did not gut the whole thing and start over. We worked with what we had, and even added a few extra bonuses in there! I can’t wait to share over the next few weeks!
Check back on Friday to read about (and see pretty inspiration photos) our plan for the kitchen!
In the meantime, I’m wondering what are the pros and cons of your kitchen?
We all have that moment. That moment of clarity. That epiphany moment. The moment you realize that health is something you shouldn’t waste away. The moment you realize that you should do your best each day to keep the gift of a functional body healthy and clean.
This moment for me wasn’t until June of last year. I was in a workout slump, bumming from DVD to online-at-home workout plans each week. I was losing hope and interest in losing weight when I finally said it was time to enroll in a gym. A lot of people usually get a membership, go consistently for about a month, and start to lose their focus quick because they expect immediate results. This is where I excelled because I knew that the big pay off was about to come down the road. I knew that if I stayed motivated, I would get the results and hit those goals
By October 2012, I felt the best I felt in a long time. Sure I wasn’t in best shape of my life, nor did I weigh what I wanted to but I was ready to keep pressing forward. I knew I had all the drive to get those things done, but I felt that I needed something else.
This is was when I caught wind of the Nike+ Fuelband. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out Nike’s website to get more info. You may be tempted yourself to strap one of these fancy things on your wrist too.
Knowing the price of such a device, I knew I was better off putting it on my wishlist for Christmas, instead of having buyer’s remorse and picking one up myself without the proper funds. It paid off because I had that bad boy on my wrist that morning!
It’s been a little over seven months since I received this awesome gift and it’s safe to say I definitely have my pro’s and con’s that I’ve decided were the best and worst things to point out.
- It keeps you moving. By using their “Fuel”, it gives you points based on how active you are throughout the day. You can set your goal from 1500 and as high as 99,999 Fuel (if anyone ever were to attain that high of a goal, they’d have to be constantly moving for 24 hours straight). By tracking your every movement, it keeps striving to hit your daily goal each day.
- Because it has built-in Bluetooth, you are able to sync your progress throughout the day through an Apple application and share your progress through Facebook too. The program allows you to find friends who not only have a Fuelband but other Nike+ accessories as well. It will let you challenge yourself and your friends to hit higher goals everyday. (If you don’t have an iPhone, there are apps for Android that allow you to sync it up)
- The Fuelband recharges via USB with the provided cords. This means no weird batteries to purchase or change out. You know that spare iPhone charger you have sitting in wall that you never charge anything on? Here’s its’ new best friend.
- It’s also a bad-ass wrist watch. It not only tracks your Fuel, but it tracks your steps, your calories and the time too.
- When you hit your goals, you feel accomplished. As you hit each goal, the app tracks each day with your highest time of activity and lowest time. It also keeps track of your best days, your consecutive day streaks, all while rewarding you with “trophies” as you do so. I feel great knowing I did my best and met, sometimes even shatter my daily goals.
Here comes the part that I dread even thinking about, the cons:
- Set your goal to 8000 yesterday but realized you left it at home? Sorry. To prevent you “cheating” or “cheating yourself” the application does not allow the user to “cheat” and lower your goal.
- The price is pretty steep too. Coming in at $150, this product is more expensive than the Fitbit One and a few dollars more than the Up by Jawbone.
- Although it is water resistant, it is not waterproof. Light hand washing and water splashing won’t phase this little beast, but don’t submerge or even think about taking a dive with it. Sorry swimmers!
- The easy, almost gimmicky Fuel that motivates you is very easy to get. Just by simply shaking the device you will get a few notches in your Fuel count.
Is it worth forking over the cash for an overpriced pedometer? To some people, there’s no hesitation. There are millions of die-hard Nike fans that start drooling as soon as they see the display for the Fuelband at the store. I’ve received multiple compliments regarding the ‘band, but the gawker is immediately turned-off by the price tag. Although it does keep me moving and staying motivated, I was very displeased to find out that by simply shaking it, gave me Fuel.
Overall, this post is not meant to be a Nike+ Fuelband advertisement or negative review. It simply is meant to tell about something I use to get motivated (even though it has its downfalls) and to give some more info about it to anyone interested.
Sidenote: We are not affiliated with Nike in any way, we simply like to share about products we use.
Would you believe me if I said that I searched for a purse (and I mean searched) for eight months with no luck? Seriously, who does that? Unfortunately, it is true. You see, I am slightly picky when it comes to shopping, especially when it comes to shopping for something I will use all the time.
Back in November, I realized that I wanted a purse that could fit everything I want to carry around with me. As a business owner, it is important to me to have my planner on hand so I can respond to client emails on the go with dates I am available and so on. Plus, my brain retains no information, so it is important for me to have a place to jot down any information that would otherwise get lost in my head.
I had just a few requirements for my new purse. It had to have the option to be a crossbody bag because I was sick of having a sore shoulder from carting around a heavy purse on one side of my body. It had to be either light blue (or mint green) or a light gray. It had to be high-quality because I plan on using it for a long time. It had to be just the right size – not too big or too small. Because I am constantly going into and out of my purse, it had to have an easy way to close it. It had to be somewhat affordable (read under $100). And, it had to be cute. No big deal, right?
Wrong. Very, very wrong. I spent a few whole days scouring the internet for the perfect purse over the course of a few months, I visited store after store, I asked for suggestions on social media, I regularly checked stores that I loved to no avail. Eventually, I realized I needed to think outside the box.
As a photographer, I bought a cute camera bag a couple years ago for weddings and everyday use. It is the Betsy bag in mustard from Jo Totes. I love how versatile it is, the amazing quality, its affordable price, and how it does not look like a camera bag. When I really got serious about finding a purse because I could not wait any longer, I searched Jo Totes for a camera bag that I would use as a purse.
Then, I found her. The Allison bag in mint. When I saw the bag online, I was certain that it had met all but one of my requirements. The only thing I was unsure of was the price. So, using the dimensions on the website, I made a mockup out of paper and carried it around my house. Nerdy? Probably, but it helped me make my decision. I was able to lay out all of my purse necessities on the paper mockup version and a few seconds later, she was purchased.
Because it was such a struggle for me to find the right purse, I wanted to give you a detailed look at this particular purse and what I keep inside of it. You know, in case any of you carry your whole life in your purse like I do.
This purse is definitely just as beautiful and well-made as I thought it would be. It has a front pocket with a flap, a main compartment that easily zips close, two zipped pockets within the main pocket, and a back compartment that also has a zipped pocket. The main compartment is velcro lined (the soft side that doesn’t stick to everything) and it comes with a couple dividers should I decide to use it as a camera bag and want to divide it into sections.
This is a view of what I keep in the main compartment.
I keep my wallet, my planner, a pen case, business cards, a tablet, and a portable keyboard in the open part. I’m going to break down each item as well.
This is the wallet I use for my everyday purchases. It is this Merona wallet from Target. I hold my debit cards, license, library card, loyalty cards, and medical card in here. I also keep a checkbook and my own personal blow money (money allocated in our budget that I can use to buy anything I want). Later on, I will do a few posts on how we budget since we use a cash budget (envelope system) and how we keep that organized.
A few months ago, I bought my first Filofax planner. I had used an Erin Condren Life Planner before that, and although I loved it in so many ways, I needed something smaller and more customizable. I actually recorded a two part Youtube video about this subject (Part 1 and Part 2). I currently use the personal sized Dakota Filofax, but it is no longer for sale on the Filofax website. I actually purchased it in their sale section because I did not want to pay big bucks for the Filofax I really wanted before I knew if I liked the system. I am sure I will do a more in-depth look at my Filofax (especially when I update it), but for now, the Youtube videos give a lot of information. The pen case I use is this pink and white one from Target.
A little over a month ago, I received a Nexus 7 tablet (and this case) for my birthday along with a Zagg Flex portable keyboard. I really wanted this combination for business purposes. Eventually, I hope to get a calendar going that I can sync to my iPhone and my tablet so that I can easily add reminder and appointments for my business. I also love that I can surf the web, add notes to my Evernote, and use my apps on the go, so it was extremely important that these could both fit in my purse. I don’t carry them around with me always (like when I am just running errands), but I carry them often enough to need room for them in my purse.
In the front pocket, I carry the items I need the easiest access to.
This includes my phone and two sets of keys. On one key chain, I hold our house key and the key/remote for my car. On the other keychain, I keep the keys to my husband’s car (as well as a whistle – I used to be a teacher and you never know when a whistle may come in handy).
In the two zipped pockets within the main compartment, I hold the little items I don’t need all the time but might need at some point. I did not picture my feminine products (I don’t think we need a visual of that). I keep a Thirty One case with tweezers, nail clipper, bobby pins, and some hair bands. I have a purse hook to keep my purse off the floor at restaurants. I also carry chapstick, some tissues, a compact mirror, a flamingo keychain (I found it years ago and I don’t get rid of it in case it brings me luck!), a mini six-foot tape measure, and a whistle and pepper spray in case of an emergency.
All of that fits into my purse with some room to spare! And, my purse isn’t huge with tons of space for everything to get lost in. Although I’m really happy with my purse organization, I always love new tips and tricks, so feel free to share yours in the comments!
Sidenote: I am not affiliated with Jo Totes in any way and did not receive any compensation for this blog post. I simply love their products and wanted to share my love with others!
I’ve always been a decorating nut. When I was in elementary school, I dreamed of buying an A-frame house that I would decorate with boat-shaped bookcases and giant wooden bear statues. Thankfully, over the years, my style changed, but my obsession with the art of decorating has only grown stronger.
I learned early on in our relationship back in high school that San likes joint decisions when it comes to anything pertaining to our relationship. Truthfully, we knew we would get married even back in high school (which seems kind of crazy now), so we often talked about what our kids’ names would be, what dog we would get, and what our house would look like. Before Pinterest, I hoarded images of beautifully-decorated rooms in a Photobucket account. When I would see San, I would show him the newest photos I had saved and he would often utter a polite “yuck” or “ew” to every one.
I grew up in a home where my mom made the decorating decisions, my dad tried to talk her out of them because it meant work for him or change, but eventually he would come around and love whatever she did. My dad is not a guy who cares about aesthetics, so my mom got to choose the decorating style she wanted and he never complained once it was done. I was quickly learning that San would not be like this and that I would have to cater to his likes as well.
The longer we dated, the more our decorating styles started to mesh together. Then, once we were married, we decided we both had to agree on every decorating decision we made. We quickly learned what we both liked and what we didn’t and eventually we found a “style” that would work as our dual decorating style even though our individual styles are pretty different.
A few years ago, I gravitated toward pretty feminine rooms like this:
It’s pretty funny looking back at these because I wouldn’t consider them my style at all now, but I showed San rooms like this all the time while we were dating. Poor guy!
San used to, in return, show me photos of rooms he liked, such as these:
I think as we make decisions together, our style has grown closer and closer together, which is remarkable considering how far apart they were to begin with. As you will see as we get further along in the renovating and decorating process, we gravitate toward rooms that look like these:
After looking at lots of photos, pinning away on Pinterest, and shopping together a lot over the past few years, we have learned that there are certain things that we really love when it comes to decorating that define our style.
Our style includes:
- Lots of white, grays, and other neutrals mixed with bold pops of color
- A retro vibe
- Vintage elements like old signs, vintage pop cans, old fruit crates, etc.
- A few modern touches (especially geometric patterns and some crisp lines on furniture)
- A homey, cottage feel
- Some quirky touches (like a bingo card-turned-decorative-dish, a ceramic flying pig, etc.)
We like to say our style is like a bright, modern, cottage because we love lots of vintage elements, but we also like the room to feel updated and timeless. We hope that made sense! Our aim is for our home to be youthful, casual, inviting, and a little quirky (like us). We have learned to decorate using things we both absolutely love and when it all comes together, it works because we are drawn toward alike things. We can’t wait to get to decorating and will be sure to show you lots of inspiration that guides us along the way!
My childhood was filled with building houses with intricate multi-level floorplans out of Legos, playing house in real houses when my dad (a carpenter) was working on one, and drawing out massive layouts of mansions on paper for my barbies to spend their days. When my dad would come home with a briefcase full of blueprints, I would eagerly ask him to open them up for me to see. This Old House was my show of choice before cartoons and I would choose a decorating book over a children’s book any day. To say that I’ve been house-obsessed since birth would be far from an exaggeration. We closed on our first house on April 29th and we moved in last weekend. We decided to start a blog to share our journey of decorating, renovating, organizing, cooking, and gardening with ideally our family and friends who aren’t closeby to see every change we make, but if others can gain inspiration or amusement from our journey, then even better!
The name, House Made of Marital Glue, comes from something we talk about all the time. I am a love and marriage photographer and write a weekly “Marital Gluesday” post where I discuss anything marriage-related. I came up with the term “marital glue” when I was thinking about all the rituals, routines, and other bonding moments that make marriages strong. We named our blog after this because we are sharing just the daily little things we do together that bring us together. Picking up a paint brush, making a meal, or designing a special piece of art are all types of marital glue that secure us as husband and wife. Our house becomes a home because of all the marital glue holding it together.
Today we are sharing our house’s current floor plan. Notice how I said current, meaning it is not going to stay that way. We have all sorts of crazy amazing plans for our house that will unfold over the next few years, but because owning our first home is a major life dream of ours, we want to document every little change we make starting at the beginning. Currently, our house has three bedrooms, one full bathroom, an eat-in kitchen, a living room, and a hallway. It has a small front porch on the front and just a simple set of stairs off the back into the backyard. The garage (not pictured) is technically “attached” to the house but the door leads to the backyard, so there is no door that connects it to the house. Here is how our house looks right now, just two weeks after closing.
This floor plan is very common in our area – we saw many homes with a very similar layout. The basement is unfinished, but it is huge and just waiting for us to finish it. We plan on adding probably two bedrooms, a family room, and another bathroom down there. We intend on doing some major renovations that would open up the “Dining Room or Bedroom” (it has two closets so it is technically a bedroom, but it is off the kitchen and has a chandelier in it right now) into a real dining area off the kitchen with an entry into the living room as well.
We cannot wait to share the progress! Tell us, what are some renovations you did to make your floor plan more modern or functional for your family?