Last weekend marked two years since we moved into this little bungalow, and I could not be happier. I totally fell in love with this house the first time I saw it online and am still in love today. I know that someday we’ll move on but for now, it’s perfect. We refinanced last month and were able to lower our interest rate and monthly payment, plus–bonus! our mortgage insurance went waaaay down? Why, might you ask? Because the appraised value went waaaay up. Nick and I were both shocked to see the appraisal come back at $40,000 more than we paid two years ago. I know that most of it probably has to do with our neighborhood and the market, but I can’t help but wonder if some of the changes we’ve made had any impact. Then I started thinking about everything we’ve done in the last two years to make this place our own. Even though we are not the type of people to be renovating kitchens or ripping out walls, the things we’ve done have gone a long way towards making this place feel like our home.
The deck, for example, looked like this when we bought it.
But we took some of that 8k new homebuyers tax credit and paid a handyman about $1000 to turn it into this. (read a little bit more about it here)
We paid the same handyman to hang curtain rods throughout the house, then I sewed simple curtains out of white muslin. (read more here)
We removed the ceiling fan from the dining room and replaced it with a $10 thrift-store chandelier. This was pre-blogging so I don’t have a post about it, but the fan was centered in the room so we used an extra long chain and hook to swag the chandelier over so it hung centered above the table.
We cleared a bunch of ivy and added a sweet olive next to the porch for privacy. I’m in love with it and would love to add a few more to create a wall of green along the side of the porch.
I made a giant floorcloth rug for under $150.
Whipped up a makeshift mantle out of an old cypress floorboard I found on the side of the road.
Turned the unused room at the front of the house into a functional office and family room.
There are so many more things I want to do, like finishing up the nursery and the front room, making some more changes in the laundry room and the kitchen, and prettying up the guest bedroom a bit, all in due time. This is a season in my life for small projects done one at a time. I was thinking this morning about how Nick goes to visit friends in Texas one weekend in April every year. Last year, I tackled the front porch while he was gone (scroll up to see where I linked to that whole project). I worked the whole time and it looked completely different by the time he came back. This weekend he’s off to Texas again and I’ll be thrilled if I can just get Jack’s dresser prepped for painting (the actual painting will probably have to wait for another weekend)! The rest of my time will be spent resting and trying to soothe my aching ribs. I know from the last two years of working on this house that things turn out best when I take my time, so taking things slow for these next few months is a-okay with me.