It never really occurred to me to write a blog (or really even write at all) until we went through the process of buying our first home and I started thinking about designing it. It can be hard to share the details of client projects, especially with e-design because I'm not physically present for the installation of rooms. And to complicate that even more, most e-design projects come together over time, so it's not like I'm there to document painting, rearranging, and styling spaces. But, with my own house, I can share all the details of the process, so here is where the story begins!
Even before my husband and I got married last year, we had both been saving for a while. We even had the intent to buy a house, but decided not to buy in Georgia because we didn’t think we’d be there long-term. But when Josh got a new job bringing us to Texas, we were ready to start the house hunt. In February we found a house to rent month-to-month (no small feat when you have three pets!) and spent the next few weeks exploring the area and figuring out where we really wanted to live. We settled on Georgetown because it's less suburb and more small town - there's a downtown with a square, small local shops, and non-chain restaurants - plus it’s removed from the city, but still less than 40 minutes from downtown Austin. There are also more neighborhoods with larger lots here, and we were hoping to get at least an acre. After going to lots of open houses and seeing postage-stamp sized lots, we were even more convinced, so we narrowed our search to areas with more space.
After almost three months of spending our weekends at open houses and showings, we finally found our house! No house is perfect (and we saw A LOT of them), but this one had a lot of the things that we wanted - a 1.5 acre lot, covered porch on three sides, a metal roof, detached garage, separate shed, 3 bedrooms plus a bonus room for me to work from home, a big living room with large windows, and all hard floors (essential when your animals shed!).
We weren’t necessarily looking for a new house, but the people who built this house and intended to live here ended up selling it instead, which worked out great for us. But, even though it’s new, there are still lots of things we wouldn’t have chosen that we’ll either deal with or change.
Some examples of things we wouldn't have chosen...
The wood mantel on the stone fireplace in the living room has some mosaic tile inset into it. I'm not sure why they didn't do a simple, thick piece wood for the mantel? But we will probably be figuring out a way to change this!
The kitchen for sure has some quirks. There's no backsplash behind the range, and the rest of the backsplash doesn't match anything (really none of the finishes in the kitchen match...). The builder hung a light fixture (which isn't pretty to begin with) over the peninsula that was definitely meant for a dining room/breakfast nook. They had to swag the chain so it wouldn't hit the countertop, and even still the giant pendant hangs in your face when you're prepping at the peninsula. It's coming down immediately.
Also in the kitchen, there's a little side section of cabinets, which is great extra storage space, but for some reason the lower cabinets are four feet wide with a five foot countertop...which leaves a twelve inch gap. So there's a hole in the middle of the cabinets, and it's not big enough for a desk/chair, or really anything functional. We will definitely have to address that!
Those are just a few of the "features" we have to work around and change, but overall we really love this house, and I’m excited to start planning and designing to really make it our home! And I’m going to share the whole process here because even though I’m a designer, I’ll be changing, updating, and decorating like I think most people do - on a reasonable budget slowly over time. So get ready for lots of updates!