Sunday, July 31, 2011

Home in Progress

The house was basically move-in ready when we bought it.
It needed paint in a few places (keep reading!),
but that was essentially it.
That's amazing in itself because it was a HUD home,
and usually those are disasters that need lots of TLC.
And Dan & I just aren't fixer-upper kind of people.

So to find a home like this at this price with no major improvements needed....
truly a blessing from the Lord!
We decided to change a few other little things to make it "ours."
We wanted to change the door knobs, cabinet pulls, light fixtures, etc.

We closed on our home Thursday morning, July 21.  
By Thursday after lunchtime, our home was filled with people
and it stayed that way long into the night Friday night.

Dan spent most of the day under cabinets!
Can I just say that I'm thankful he did plumbing work through college?

All of these people worked so hard for hours on end,
and several of them were here for several days in a row!
What a gift of love to us.
We can't ever repay it, but we won't ever forget it.

And thanks so all their hard work,
our home is cozy and perfect and just what we wanted!

Here are some before shots, alongside some in-progress ones. 
We're of course not done yet, but you can see the improvement!
You can click on any picture to make it larger.

When you come in the front door, immediately to your left is the dining area:
We're so happy that we managed to snag that table off of Craigslist in Raleigh before the move.  It seats 6 now, and if we can find a matching bench or two chairs, it will comfortably seat 8!
Dan's mom & sister are working on curtains for this window.

OK, straight through the front door is the main living room.  It's all very open.

You walk through the living area and enter the kitchen, which I adore.
I'm not sure if you can tell in this picture,
but the only little things we did were change the pulls from brass to brushed nickel
and we replaced the sink faucet, which didn't work.
This is easily one of my favorite rooms in the house.

I can't get over the awesome pantry we have, in addition to all those cabinets:

The kitchen has a very tiny breakfast nook that we chose to use as a kitchen play area for the kids:

And at the back of the house is one of its major selling points: 
a large media room.

The previous owner added this on, and it's so well done!
It will eventually be a game room/media room for our kids when they're teenagers,
but for now, it's the perfect playroom.
 I'll use those empty white frames to display the kids' artwork.

At first, I was alarmed at the number of "toys" we have.
And while we do have a lot of them,
this room also contains all of my art supplies,
learning games, puzzles, and teacher-stuff that I'm accumulated through the years.
You teachers understand how awesome it is to have a room to store this!

If you look at that last picture on the right, you can see there's an open door.
That leads to the master bedroom and bathroom.

The master bedroom was painted in a not-so-bad brown color.
It was textured and covered in glitter.
Yep - glitter.  The kind I use in preschool craft projects.
Lana thought it was awesome, but I did not.
The "before" picture of this just doesn't adequately show the horror.
I'm very pleased with the "after!"

The master bathroom is the star of the house:

You can see from the "before" pictures above, that it was great to start with.
But (quite a bit of) paint and new fixtures and getting rid of the brass
made it absolutely fabulous.

And now the his-and-her closets.
This is how they looked before:

While the rest of us painted and changed knobs,
Dan's dad, the family master engineer,
did amazing things with these closets.
Here are Mr. Neal and Dan's Grandaddy Ruddy, hard at work:

And after:
My closet is the two pictures on the left, and Dan's is the one on the right.
Don't feel sorry for him.  He has all the drawers in the dresser and chest of drawers, too.

It's ok to be jealous of my closet and my father-in-law. :)

On the other side of the house, there's the hallway with 3 bedrooms.
The back two are the kids' rooms.
Again, pictures don't do justice to the painting in these bedrooms.

At the very back is Tucker's room.

His room got great paint thanks to my friends,
but it's the most unfinished room in the house.
I'm going to wait until we move him to his big-boy bed to really decorate it.
He loves his crib, so I have no plans to move him anytime soon,
but we went ahead and put his big bed there so he can get used to it.

The middle room in the hallways is the butterfly room.
I immediately wanted to repaint it,
but when Lana saw it, she fell in love.
What could I do but make the best of it?!

 I actually really love how it turned out, and so does she!

We've converted the front bedroom to a reading room,
which we all love!  
Lana especially thinks it's cool that we have a "library."
The color wasn't terrible before, but it was fo SHO sponge painted, so 
we did some painting in here, too.
There's still some work to be done in this room, too.
You can see the box by the window - 
it's a child's table that we'll set up there so that they can sit and read or color.
Dan's mom is making black and white drapes to hang in here, too.

 I turned the closet of this room into my gift closet/office supply storage,
and LOVE that these things have a place!
I make a habit of picking up items that are on clearance to have on hand for birthdays, showers, and just little happy gifts - this is the perfect place to store them, along with my wrapping supplies.

We still have quite a bit of work to do outside, 
but we are already making great use of the amazing shed!

As you can see,
I think we've found the home we'll spend the rest of our lives in.
God has graciously given us more than we could ever have hoped for.
You wouldn't believe what we paid for this house even if we told you.
And even more than that,
the love from our family and friends that has gone into taking this from a house into a home is more precious to us than we can say.