Thursday, June 16, 2011

home sweet home. living room.

Design is defined by light and shade, 
and appropriate lighting is enormously important.
Albert Hadley, The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer

our theme was "comfortable". the house has a lofty, light feel to it--high ceilings, old archways, original moulding. we didn't want to cram in furniture--but wanted to make efficient use of our space. thankfully, the furniture we already had worked fabulously

first the wallpaper had to come down. OH MY GOSH was that a nightmare.
we even discovered a window behind the wallpaper. YES A WINDOW. they'd just screwed up plywood & glued over the top of it. my dad spent a weekend here & was kind enough to mud the entire wall for us. 

come to find out, this little home was one of the first in the neighborhood. and that window gave the tenants a fabulous view of the neighbors living room when building picked up. 

we chose a light gray for the living room--and the contrast between cool colors & warm wood was just what we wanted. i still change our couch pillow covers & shelf arrangements about every 4 months--so we decided to let the color rotate throughout the year in the form of new photos & accessories.

so we went from this:

to this:

and finally to this:
{ehem...i might have gone dumpster diving after a local college got out...OH MY GOSH i'm doing it every year. totally another post for a different time.}

we went from this:
living-entry before

to this:

and finally to this:

the entry way was another entity entirely. we wanted it to be a distinct space--but blend in well. as a matter of fact, in taking down the wallpaper, we discovered that the entry way used to be the front porch! the front door used to go straight into the dining room. 

 we chose a slightly darker grey for the walls...& it has since just evolved into a functional, perhaps even fashionable space that actually gets used.

you can see a little peek of it in this photo:
living-entry before

and another (ack!) peek in this one: 

we already had these shelves...

this was the fall set-up:

and with a little picture hanging, here it is now:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

home sweet home. part III.

we'd found it: THE ONE. {well, the one for now, at least}. we were SO EXCITED. and i spent the rest of my unemployed-don't-have-a-car summer browsing blogs & reading about projects. i made a ridiculously long list of "to do's" that i'm too embarrassed to share with anyone. lets just say that it was longer than 6 pages.

and like all first-timers, we had lofty plans. lofty & large--which turned to humble & small after we found out how much home improvements cost. 

it was a long wait to move in. paperwork, signatures, more paperwork, meetings...and then finally one day when our Realtor & official-signing-lady kindly came to the hospital with jon so i could sign the paperwork....

we were home owners. 

the army delivered our stuff a couple of weeks later. 

and then the projects began....after all, this is what we were dealing with:
{photos w/ little grandma's stuff in them....}

Sunday, June 12, 2011

home sweet home. part deux.

so after three agonizing days of searching through houses & coming up empty, i was beginning to lose steam. jon arrived on Wednesday & we didn't waste any time getting geared up for our house hunting safari, part deux.

poor jon didn't know what we'd been through--bullet holes, cat poop, completely dysfunctional layouts. we tried to warn him, but honestly. its kind of like warning myself i might gain a pound for every donut i eat. just doesn't work.

our realtor started off the morning with good news: he had a friend, an old acquaintence, who was planning on putting her house on the market. it was our second stop of the morning. i was excited.

after what seemed like a billion disgusting, poorly planned, poorly cleaned, poorly thought-out houses, we pulled up to a quaint (albeit overgrown) yellow house on a quiet, tree-lined street right near an elementary school.
i almost peed my pants.

and when a cute little grandma waved to us from her car (she was leaving so we could tour her home), i almost melted.

and then we walked in.

jon gagged.
i started crying. literally.

like a big goon in the middle of the dining room, i looked around, did the potty dance & starting crying.

mostly because i LOVED IT. and i finally believed those crazies who told me that i'd just know.

because i did.

things happened fast after that. i was in love with the house. it took jon a few more (okay, a lot more) houses to figure out that the cute yellow one--aptly named the "grandma house" wasn't so bad after all.

that night we made an offer.
that night that cute little grandma accepted.

it didn't take us long to celebrate.
it was well within our budget.
the location was perfect.
the house made sense.
it had character and history and needed a lot of work.
the coolest part? God's hand was totally in the middle of it. come to find out, christian couples have lived in this house since it was built. we'd discover later once we started demolition that God was literally built into the walls of the house.

He's still here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

striving to simple.

I’ve been journeying toward simplicity.

And I’ve failed miserably at it.

I’ve been drawn to the dirt, the lonely, the ruins. I’ve been drawn to run fast, bend low, find a sailors sunset—and I haven’t made it there yet. It is such a stark irony—a juxtaposition of sorts, the love of pretty & the drive toward simple.

house.oct-nov.2010 (13 of 26)

I sort through boxes, things I didn’t know we had & hadn’t used & really didn’t need in the first place. I package scrapbook paper & crafting supplies & notes & cards &hobby things. And I think of the waste, the reallocation, the reinvestment of means that could have grown something wonderful, saved a soul, even.

But it didn’t. And that was my fault, our fault.

I found myself outside today. My to do list sat waiting in the living room, neglected by the need for air. For more reasons than can be expressed with typeface, I’ve felt suffocated lately. By the rules, the work, the residency. By the death, the medicine, the missing practicality that seems to have escaped our health-centered lives. The air I’m breathing isn’t clean—and perhaps that is why I wandered outside into the sunbeams. For clarity. For pure.

And now, even four hours after the sun has tucked itself behind the visible horizon, there is dirt under my fingernails. I pick out the particulates, the common thread of presence through all the centuries, our beginning & our end.

The mixed bag of blessings & wondering & struggles & air is surfacing. And I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’ve seen a lot of death lately—more death than life. My days in the ICU have been long, hard, &disappointing. I've had a few good cries, probably not enough though. And my enchantment with medicine is weaning, I fear.

Perhaps, though, instead of it approaching it with discipline, the type of reprimand that I’d deserve had I swayed out of my lane, I’m going to look at it as growth. Growth, with a bit of sunbeam when I’m lucky.

And so I’m going to keep longing for simple. Holding on to what I know & trust & love.

To him.
To Him.
To my words & The Word.
To purging & giving & saving responsibly.
And to experiencing LIFE—it is fleeting, afterall. 

more to come. promise.

Friday, June 10, 2011

home sweet home. part I.

so we bought a house. like, months ago. and i've been promising pictures...but one thing has lead to another & i've been sleeping & working & working &; sleeping. and well, it is JUNE, if you didn't know. and you still haven't seen pictures of this little big project we've (ehem...jon's) been busy with.

first, the story:
jon was gone, playing in the giant sandbox across the sea. i was busy applying to residency. and when a little birdie told us that this city would probably most likely chances were good be our home for the next three years, my mind went-a-racin'. let's just face it, world, I LIKE DECORATING. i like crafting and picture taking and creating and re-creating and well, decorating. we'd been talking about a house--a home, really--for year-or-so prior. and not knowing if it was a good decision, economically financially & emotionally, we were hesitant to invest in a long-term home.

fast forward a few months & jon came home. the chatter about a place to live in the then-confirmed location of residency increased. we prayed. we listened to Dave. we reviewed our bank accounts & budget. jlyn freaked out. jon reassured the freaked-out-jlyn. and then, in a fury of boldness, we cashed in our air miles & bought plane tickets for a house hunting adventure.

and adventure it was.

we connected with a good friend, who happened to be a fabulous realtor. he was amazing. like, totally amazing. he found us a loan officer. and suddenly, like the world plopped off its axis, we were approved for a home loan. we spent late nights talking about the logistics, the budget, the reality of it all. we'd been intentional about saving when jon was deployed...& were hoping to find something to invest in.

and then we started looking.

actually *I* started looking. jon had to work, so i went to do some prelim work & narrow down the giant pool of structures to one that was more manageable.
and OH. MY. GOSH. there were some crapshoots. and other excrement, actually, from cats & dogs & bullet holes in the windows. our budget was teeny-tiny--& we were committed to not exceeding it. and the house we thought we'd get for our money wasn't looking like much house at all....

we looked at houses. a LOT of houses.
a WHOLE lot of houses.
some were super. except they had no parking.
or the entire inside was purple. like the entire inside people--trim & all.
bullet holes?
cat poo?
a house the size of a closet?
we pretty much saw it all.
secret upstairs, finished with bedrooms, accessed only via ladder in the master bedroom.
we named each of them--mostly so when jon saw them could keep better track of them.
the bachelor house.
the view house.
the bug house.
the bullet hole house.
the cat poo house.
the kitchen house.
the list went on.
people told me finding the right house was a bit like finding a spouse--you'll just know.

well i DIDN'T just know. i hated each of the houses we saw. and quite frankly, i finished the first three days of house-hunting with a soured attitude & a hopeless outlook that we might have to rent after-all.

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