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Monday, March 12, 2018

2 Months in the New House

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fixer upper victorian house maine


Remember last month when I said that I was sore, exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling beaten down? Well, I'm still all those things, but much more so. We've had so much going on, started so many projects, and we've spent a ton of money. All this combined with eager family members repeatedly asking if they can come visit in a couple months is brewing quite an anxiety storm.

There's no way we'll be ready to host guests in a couple months, but I very rarely get to see my family, saying no just sucks and makes me feel like a huge jerk. I'm trying to power through and get as much done as I can, but I am straight up pooped, y'all. 

I feel bad for always using these posts to complain but this is my reality right now and this is my blog. Plus, I'm merely scratching the surface! I know that we've gotten a lot of work done, but it's difficult to see that sometimes since I'm always here. I've also been forgetting to take progress pictures. I just can't be bothered when there's so much to do and the house is so messy, I don't really want to flaunt it. 

fixer upper victorian house maine
Just a couple months ago


But since you probably didn't come here to read my complaints, here's the progress we've made since last month: 

• Started filling up the house
We finally started getting more furniture in here, so now it's starting to look like people actually live here! We got a new TV stand, dining table, dining chairs, trundle bed, storage for my office, and Spencer and I each got a KALLAX shelf unit from IKEA, which sadly haven't arrived yet. His shelf is for his office and my shelf is going in the dining room, because I'm using it to house my record player and records. 

All my records have just been sitting in a corner since we moved in because I don't have a place for them yet and it's driving me crazy. I can't wait to get my records set up, especially because my new Kate Nash album is arriving in a few weeks! *cue internal scream*

We're also waiting for our new sectional couch to arrive, which I'm a little nervous about since we bought it online. Fingers crossed that it doesn't totally suck! 

• Installed a new range hood
The old one was probably 30 years old and grimey would be an understatement. We chose this simple, sleek, stainless steel one to match our new appliances. It's really not that exciting but it made the kitchen look so much better. 

• Painted the kitchen & the cabinets 
Okay, this is exciting. We primed the cabinets with STIX primer, because while most of our cabinets are solid wood, a few are laminate and we needed something heavy duty. At first we tried using the same Zinsser primer  that worked so well on our walls, but it wasn't doing well on the cabinets. 

We painted the cabinets Alabaster by Benjamin Moore using the Benjamin Moore Advance formula. To be honest though, we're still not quite done. I still have to paint the cabinet doors and drawers and I keep putting it off, and because of that the kitchen is an absolute wreck right now.  

We painted the kitchen walls Misty Lavender by Behr, but using the Benjamin Moore Scuff-X formula. The lavender walls, white cabinets, and all the lush green plants we keep in the kitchen look so great together and I love it so much.

The kitchen still isn't done though-- next on our list is to replace the dingey white linoleum floors with a more modern, slate-inspired linoleum (because our floors are sloped, tile isn't really an option), replace the dinky sink, and eventually get a new countertop...because y'all...this countertop is cringeworthy. It's red, leather-textured for some strange reason, it never feels clean no matter how much I scrub it, and it just looks horrible with my beautiful lavender walls.

• Installed new (smart) lighting
Last month I showed Spencer knocking out the cabinet above the fridge, which really helped open up the space and made more room for plants, but there was a small seam left exposed between the wall and new gypsum board. We got a strip of Philips Hue LED lights and placed them over the seam to hide it, but also give our kitchen some more light-- and the best part is that we can do any color we want and control it from our phones!

We also put the IKEA SINNERLIG pendant lamp (which was on my home wishlist) in both the living room and the dining room. I was worried it would be too big at first, but I absolutely love it and think it's perfect. We also installed color-changing Philips Hue bulbs in those lamps-- it's so nice to control lights from my phone. 

Spencer chose all the Philips Hue lights and I can't remember which specific ones we have for the life of me, sorry!

• Got to work on the second guest room
Guest room #1 is beautiful and doesn't really need any work other than a fresh coat of paint, but guest room #2 is another story. When we moved in the room was dark, had a wallpaper border, stained turquoise carpet, a broken mirrored sliding closet door, and barfy-pink blinds. 

We finally removed the wallpaper border, which was easy thank goodness, and we started ripping up the carpet. Under the nasty carpet was the original wood floor, though painted brown and covered in carpet glue, but other than that it's in great condition. We're planning on painting it black and painting the walls white, since that room doesn't get much sunlight and we don't want it to be too dark. 

I'm really excited for this room to come together, especially since it started out looking so gross. We bought a trundle day bed from Wayfair for only $214 and got a couple mattresses from IKEA when they were having a sale. From Urban Outfitters' home sale I got a cute daisy print duvet and matching pillowcases, plus some nice shams to add a different texture.

I'm thinking the main purpose of the second guest room will be for our younger siblings who often get stuck sleeping on the couch. I think they'll be thrilled to have a real place to sleep when they visit and I'm having fun planning out a cute, cozy room for them to stay.

• Got a new washer and dryer
Finally, y'all! I nearly published a whole separate post on this because it was such a freakin' ordeal, but I'll try to summarize here instead. 

I had been going to our old rental house to do laundry for almost 2 months because we ordered a w/d that was backordered. The day before ours were supposed to arrive, we got a call saying they would be delayed another 2 weeks. The local store offered to send us the floor models, which we accepted because we were desperate and frustrated. 

The delivery guys were careless when bringing it inside-- they scratched the appliances and they scratched the heck out of our walls and door frames. They told us it was hooked up and ready to go-- so we turned on the washer and what happened? The laundry room flooded. The washer was indeed not hooked up and ready to go. 

So, um...we're currently in talks with insurance companies for the damages done. But at least I can do laundry at my own house now. 

• Discovered a rotten sill plate
While we were having some pest control done (more on that here) the guys discovered a sill plate, which helps hold up our house, was rotted. It's made of wood and they were able to stick their finger right through it. It's going to be a pretty expensive fix and it was not the news we wanted, especially after having to unexpectedly spend so much money on pest control. But I suppose the pest issue was a blessing in disguise. We probably wouldn't have discovered the rotted sill till it was a much more dire situation if it weren't for the vermin. Silver lining? 



victorian fixer upper house

Despite all the bad things, I'm still thrilled to own this house. I can't believe that I own a house, and in such a cool place. I absolutely love Belfast, which I've said numerous times before, I know. And now that I own a house I've started putting down some roots and getting more involved locally, and it's been great. It's given me a sense of stability and home, which is something that has been missing for quite a long time. 



Check out some things I've bought for the house recently, plus some similar items.
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