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Thursday, July 12, 2018

6 Months in the New House

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fixer upper victorian house maine
lamp - chairs - table - wall shelves - storge shelf - record player

Well, hi! It's been quite a while since I last gave a house update. We've been busy, so the progress has really slowed down, but we're still doin' things. I think Spencer and I finally realized that we couldn't possibly turn this house into everything that we wanted in only a few months and still keep our sanity. Plus, the snow is finally gone, we need to get out and explore while we can! So we're just going about our lives and working on the house when we have time. It's frustrating to not have the house all put together, yet relaxing at the same time. 

fixer upper victorian house maine
rug - couch - mirror

• Got a new couch
We desperately needed a new couch-- our old one was a thrift store find and didn't match our style, although it was super comfortable and durable. There aren't really any furniture stores nearby that have products that match our style and budget, so we started looking online, which was very daunting. Couches aren't cheap and returning a couch doesn't sound fun, so we wanted to make sure we did our research and got a great one. We've had our couch since March and I absolutely love it so far. Stay tuned because I'm going to write a whole post on purchasing a couch online since the hunt was such a process. 

• Finished painting the kitchen cabinets
This project took waaaay longer than it should have. We painted the cabinets themselves within one day, but not the doors and drawers. We took them off and because it was winter (spring in Maine is basically winter, too) didn't really have anywhere to paint them and let them dry. But with this warmer weather, we finally got it done and the kitchen is now put back together! All that's left to do in the kitchen is install a new sink, garbage disposal, and get new countertops. 

luxury vinyl tile floor


• Put a new floor in the kitchen
The linoleum floor in the kitchen was probably from the 80's, dirty beyond hope, and just looked horrible. We replaced it with some "luxury vinyl" that you peel and stick to the floor, and it's groutable to make it look more like real tile. It was a great, inexpensive option for us, especially since our floors are a bit uneven. The new floor looks great, I love it, and we're planning to put it in our bathrooms, too. 

• Continued working in the guest room
The progress in the guest rooms has been slow. When we moved in, guest room #2 had disgusting stained teal carpet, and I couldn't wait to rip it up. It also had flat paint on the walls and a wallpaper border, because man, the previous owners sure loved their wallpaper. We steamed the border off and painted the walls white, but in a satin finish, which instantly made the room look so much cleaner.
We ripped up the carpet a few months ago and found that the floors underneath were in great condition, though painted brown and covered in carpet glue. We got some black patio paint and painted the floors, which only took about an hour, minus drying time between painting the two coats. 

cheap easy window coverings


I took down the pukey-pink, dust-caked blinds and replaced them with some Redi Shade blinds, which you can get on Amazon for under $10. I've been using these for years. They took great, they're cheap, and they're easy. 

We also finally set up the trundle bed that we got on sale from Wayfair during their Presidents' Day sale. We bought 2 MORGEDAL foam mattresses from IKEA during their annual mattress sale (usually in January or February) for only $169 each (usually $199 each). I need to purchase some duvet inserts and sheets before those beds are ready, but that's just not a priority right now. 

• Started researching heating and cooling options
When we bought this house, we knew that the boiler would need to be replaced within a year-- the thing is probably 50 years old. I kinda forgot about that as soon as we got through the winter without it crapping out. A few weeks ago when Spencer was about to get in the shower, he noticed the water wasn't heating up. We had someone come out to look at the boiler and he was able to fix it, thank goodness, but he referred to it as a "Frankenstein boiler" and said we definitely needed a new one ASAP. 

We definitely need to figure out what to do well before cold weather arrives or we're screwed. We've been exploring options for new boilers and getting lots of quotes, but also heat pumps for heating and cooling. A heat pump would drastically cut our bills and having air conditioning definitely doesn't sound bad! This is all going to be a huge expense and I'm dreading it, but at least we'll have more efficient systems and peace of mind.
 
• Still dealing with the washer/dryer fiasco
In my last update, I briefly explained the washer/dryer fiasco-- they weren't going to be delivered on time, so we got a floor model, and the guys who brought them to our house seriously messed up. They scratched our walls, door frames, the appliances, and they caused the washer to flood our laundry room. Back then I reported that we were currently in talks with insurance companies for the damages done. Well, we're still talking to insurance companies and nothing has been fixed. In fact, there isn't much talking because people keep passing the buck, ignoring our calls and emails, claiming that they've filed our claim but then there is no record of our claim...it's been a nightmare. They are obviously trying to jerk us around so that we give up and they don't have to fix anything for us, but damn it, that is not going to happen. This ordeal has been absolutely maddening and I never want to buy a large appliance ever again. 

• Started some landscaping
We planted some trees! It doesn't sound that exciting, and the trees are basically twigs right now, but it's going to be so great when they start to mature. Our yard gets a lot of sunlight, which kills our grass, which makes our yard look sad. To eventually provide some more shade, we planted a weeping cherry tree in the front yard and a buffalo wing maple tree in the backyard. We're also mapping out some more landscaping, we really want a lush and private yard. I grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia (as in Colonial Williamsburg) so I have always adored colonial style gardens and I am definitely drawing inspiration from those. 

maine home design
The living and dining rooms back in January 
Progress has slowed, but this house sure has come a long way. It's definitely been more work than we anticipated, but worth it! 

You can see more behind the scenes stuff on my Instagram and follow the hashtag #thefawnhouse.
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