Monday, July 20, 2009

a lot on my mind

some of you already know that we are in the process of buying a new house. something we have never done before. always been renters, you see. we spent the entire day driving around with our agent looking at houses. (the reason for no monday color combo, sorry) an exhausting task. we saw 11 homes. most of them sucked. while this one below isn't much to look it in terms of style (not mine AT all) it is our favorite. why? first and foremost it is in one of THE best school districts in the southeast. it is within our budget. it is inside the perimeter (if you live in the A.T.L. you know what that means and how important it is). it has new windows throughout, a new roof and has been very, very well taken care of. OH! and it has a nice deck and a large, private yard. when you live in a big, expensive city like atlanta you don't exactly get much for your money. this one offers much for the money. it is not our dream house but i don't think it is realistic to imagine your first home as your dream home. right? so that said, we are looking at a few more houses this week but this one so far is a strong contender. on to the critiques and ideas..first of all i am not a fan of brick houses especially on el rancho el sucko's. can you get anymore grandma than iron railings? i am either going to have to replace or grow some serious vines all up and down them. the previous owners have some morning glory growing already, but i am thinking grape or something that grows hardy and fast and aplenty. any ideas??? this is a nice sized family room with great light...

the kitchen is...umm...odd. it is very small but offers good cabinet storage. but i am not at all a fan of how they built up these cabinet "walls" on both sides of this little area when they could have gone farther left (towards you) and made it more galley style.

at least they under mounted the sink! hate the tiles but it is such a small area i think i could get something pretty fancy! and painting the cabinets are a definite.
nice backyard.

nice deck and that is a cute little storage shed/outbuilding. i am envisioning something like this.
not too many pictures of the bathrooms or bedrooms, but the bedrooms (3) are a great size for a house this old and small. the bathrooms on the other hand are terribly small. the master is the size of your average hall bath and the hall bath is your average hall bath. it will be cramped, especially coming from our 2 bathrooms that are huge! so any thoughts? comments? advice? again, this is not our new house, yet...but it might be.
i have loads of ideas and feel stressed about them all, in fact i was up all night thinking about paint colors and how our now furniture will do in there..
but i will say that i pulled off fiona's new bed and wall configuration based on her new zig zag pillow cases from lulu and nat in about 10 minutes (that includes the bedding, the daybed style, hanging the wall art and changing the whole room around).

my skillz know no bounds!


jean said...

Ooh, I'm a fan of "brick houses especially on el rancho el sucko". No exterior painting except trim. Woohoo! And el ranchos are about the most flexible kind of house to mess with. You can go anywhere from slightly Japanese to arts and crafts to modern. The worst thing I see: those shutters. Take 'em off--immediately. Replacing the rails wouldn't be a big deal.

Good luck with the chase!

Anonymous said...

Oooh I can relate to this! We actually had a bid in on our dream house... it was huge, airy, amazing... thank GOD it was a short sale so we had pleeenty of time to rethink, and realized it was silly of us to get our dream house for our first house. Especially for just the two of us, no plans for children anytime soon. We want to travel! Have nice things! LIVE!

So with a tad bit of sadness we withdrew our bid and now we are buying something much more reasonable for where we are in life :]

You know what I found? Once I made the final decision to NOT get our dream house, the reasonable house started becoming better and better in my mind and now I am so excited! It's all a mental thing :]

Kimberly Julie said...

Thank your lucky stars that you live in Atlanta! It may not seem to be the case, but we have an incredibly cheap housing market compared to most large cities! Go check out housing prices in DC or Boston or San Fran. You'll be singing a different tune very quickly...

And I think that you'd be surprised what new railings and shutters could do for this cutie! I think you'll make it wonderful! :)

Haven and Home said...

Oh I feel your pain. We looked for homes FOREVER. FOR-EV-ER. Sucky. I like our home but it would take me 3 hours to list everything I don't like about it. But it has come a long way since we bought and it and my point is I know you could definitely fix many of the things you don't like. A big plus is new windows and the nice deck. Our terrible old windows cost us so much in energy bills that we are probably going to have to replace them- a huge chunk of change that I would rather use on decorating. Sooooo, if the house doesn't have a lot of "un-fun" things to be taken care of like windows and the roof I say that is a big plus.

PS- I love painted brick, that would help a lot!

The Townhouselady said...

I like this house because it holds a TON of possibilities. I wouldn't paint the brick because it will definitely hurt the resale value. The only thing I would do for now is replace the iron railing with wood columns and railing then paint both them and the shutters a nice color.

I'm with you I'd prefer a galley style. However, the kitchen and everything else go (baths), they look to be clean and new not gross, grungy and old. Leave them for now. Live with it for a year (which will FLY by) while you decided what you really want to do. Kitchens are EXPENSIVE to revamp/reno. We've had our house for a year and a half and it feels like we moved in yesterday.

Much more important to make sure it's insulated properly (windows), plumbing is sound, boiler is new and efficient, etc.

Love the hardwood floors (I'm guessing since the house seems old and they don't look laminate).

It's so stressful but it's worth it.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Omg I'm loving it! I'm also not a big fan of all brick homes, but I think with some paint you can make it all disappear. The railing doesn't look that big so it should be too bad to fit.

The kitchen is a bit odd, but again paint can do wonders and it should be the expensive to re-do the backsplash. We gutted our entire kitchen and put in new everything and it wasn't too pricey. Thank you IKEA!

I love that the bedrooms are a good size and that deck looks amazing plus the other perks like a great school district is so important.

Good luck on house hunting!

A French Cloud said...

if the house has good bones--you can do so much with it-and you're so talented! And as always in real estate- location,location,location, Best of luck in the house hunting.

bluehydrangea said...

I lived in Atlanta until four years ago, I feel your pain. we bought the ugliest house on the block than had a ball fixing it up. If you get the house it will be fun to see what you do. good luck!

Anonymous said...

I know you got the skillz but believe me when I say this isn't the house for you. I'm not a hater, and I dont' mind el ranchos or el brickos, but this is not your home. And deep inside you know that, don't you.

Look. You'll find it. Soon.

Tiina of LiviaConcept said...

i know, your skillz know no boundzz! i'm sure you'll find a lovely house for your family. but buying a complete hellhole has it's advantages as well, you can smash and break everything and just rebuild it all! takes time and effort but so much fun. btw, i was so inspired by your new hair that i had my friend to cut almost the same look for me. Yeyy! we blondes DO look good in our new bouncy short cuts don't we?? ;)

Anonymous said...

The house has a ton of potential. The fact that the school system is desirable and the roof and windows are new are a plus you can't deny. The yard is perfect for your family and those chickens will be right at home! No matter what, keep looking but don't drive yourself nuts, you have options. Your mom seems to have really good taste, what's her input? Kathi

my favorite and my best said...

you guys are all amazing! i love each and every one of you to bits and pieces.
and while this house is NOT my dream house it offers a lot at very little and the neighborhood and school district cannot be beat. that aspect is more important to us than the architecture or bad taste throughout.

Simply Mel said...

Listen are going to make this new home a stunning place! I've seen your taste for design and beauty and COLORS, I know you can do it.

My dad purchased a home SOOO similar to this inside the Perimeter...and he renovated it. The end result was stunning! I'll see if they have some before and after photos to share with you.

This is a big step, but it's so much fun being a homeowner...such a since of pride (or maybe you just feel really grown up!).

Perfectly Disgraceful said...

There is a lot to be said for a decent house with a great yard and a great school district. I bet you could do a lot of different things with that front porch to make it look better. We were in Seattle recently and a lot of the balconies had glass railings (if that's the right word?) which looked sleek and modern.

Tiny bathrooms are a pain, but there are different things you can do. We knocked down a wall and pushed the bathroom sink into the adjoining room (and then rebuilt the wall). So instead of having the sink practically on top of the toilet, there was a decent amount of space between the two. As it was only about a 2'x3' expansion, it barely made any difference in the adjoining room, but made a huge difference in the bathroom.

annechovie said...

I absolutely love the way you have done Fiona's room, Jenny! Absolutely adorable and hip at the same time - not easy to pull off with a kids room.

kim said...

They're having some issues because they recently changed blog names & are in the process of changing servers, but you should definitely check out when it's up & running again. They bought an old ranch that was not perfect & have transformed it beautifully. And they have give-aways & good pointers on the blog.
Good luck with the house-hunting & the decision!

vicki archer said...

Buying your first house is the best - you will love it and make it so beautiful. The first house is the one you remember the most - I think so anyway, xv.

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Lots 'o Po-TEN-tial! Gorg wood floors! I'm with ya on the kitchen "walls of cabinets" but think you could work that out, eventually.
Fantastic yard/deck, and that's A LOT when there's a kiddo to entertain.
You could work some serious magic - I know it!

Mama B said...

And think about your fantastic neighbors...

Jump!! You can make anything beautiful.

Penelope Bianchi said...

HI! I AM new to your blog.....and I haven''t read the other comments....but I have been a decorator (a real one) for 40 years; and I like you!

I do have some opinions: (always)

1)paint the brick. It will transform the house. people sandblast paint off brick all the time.....terrible mistake. never, never. Paint it! White; or pale won't believe what a difference it will make.
2) great idea...vine or two on the railing......grape and wisteria....and plant some virginia creeper on the house.....LOTS
3)google "Penny Bianchi" (need to use quotes) and you can see the new house we built in Montecito...... California (New york social diary,com 2002 will come up 1st or 2nd scroll will even see our pets!)

If you like......I will tell you more about the interior!

Great, great house!

I am a new fan!

ginger said...

I can relate, it took me two years to find the house I wanted. All I can say is hold on! It's out there, don't settle and go for something that really reflects you. We are in reno purgatory now but when we get out, I think we are going to have a fanTAStic house that has personality.

Have you thought about driving around where you want to live, picking out houses that you like and just writing to them? I tried that in my hunt and although I didn't get one of the houses I had dreamed about, I really made my real estate agent work her ass off AND I got closure on my "dream houses". Added benefit - my real estate agent realized the kind of space I wanted and found it for me.

I love my real estate agent.