Posted on | March 5, 2013 | 6 Comments
We’re in that awkward yet familiar to millions situation of living in a house we don’t exactly adore, yet finding ourselves unable to afford to move. We bought at the top of the market and while we’re so fortunate to still be able to afford our home, we can’t get what we owe on it in the current market, let alone anything resembling what we paid for it. I was talking to some friends about this last week, and Miranda’s awesome DIH (that’s Do It Herself) on her bathroom inspired me to finally put this post together.
Our house isn’t perfect, but it’s safe. And sound. It’s in a good neighborhood, close to family and friends. It has quirks we don’t love (I could write an entire post about the world’s most asinine hallway design award that this house surely has coming to it. We think drunken lab mice designed it.) and with three humans, 2 cats and a large dog it’s not exactly what I’d call spacious. But it’s ours, and it’s affordable and it’s time we start “fixing” what we can.
When we bought this house almost 7 years ago (!!!) we did some things right away. Most importantly we gutted the kitchen and replaced the cabinets, sink and countertops almost immediately, but we also painted several rooms. In fact the only room that still has the “original” paint is our master bathroom (we’re not talking about that room. We can talk about that room $5,000 from now. Otherwise known as never.)
But there’s one thing I never had the nerve to paint. “They” tell you not to. It’s not good for resale.
(Did you hear that? I know I know, it was loud and distracting! It was the tens of thousands of dollars that we’re underwater on this house laughing hysterically at “them” and their opinions on “resale value”.)
The fireplace! I have never liked it! I am not a bricky brick inside kind of person! I never have been! But “them”! And “their” professional opinions!! OH THE CONFLICT!!
Eventually I decided it was time. I’m not leaving this place anytime soon and man oh man was I sick of looking at that thing.
I Pinterested my way to a plan and decided to whitewash it. I primarily used the tutorial from The Yellow Cape Cod, and it really was as easy as they made it sound. My mom came over one Saturday and while she started out helping me, it quickly became apparent that this could easily be a one woman job, so she ditched me to play with the kid.
The mantel is the same as what we had before (You can see it in this post) but after painting the fireplace I painted the mantel black. It looks about a billion times better.
I can’t get over how much I love this one update. It took about 4 hours, plus an extra hour for painting the mantel and it completely changes the look of the room. More importantly it changes how we feel about it.
I’ve got a lot more updates planned for this house. Next up is the master bedroom.! There will be more paint, primarily because that’s affordable and makes a big impact. It’s also something I can do myself. I’m also working hard to get stuff out of this house that we don’t use. And by use I mean USE. If it’s doesn’t serve a serious purpose around here, it can get the hell out. I’ve got a not insignificant problem with hanging onto things like clothing and furniture that I just know will be perfect someday. But it’s time to face the fact that someday isn’t today, and the walls of this house aren’t moving. And frankly, staring at that armoire I’ve been lugging around for 12 years is not helping my attitude.
I know lots of folks are in a similar position, working hard to fall back in love with what we thought would be our starter homes or even investment properties.
I for one, am hopeful about our prospects.