What makes you feel at home? Is it when you have keys in hand? When the boxes are unpacked? When the project lists are checked off?
For me, I think it was the first night we made homemade pizza. We danced around the kitchen taking turns piling toppings, peaking into the oven to see the cheese bubbling. We argued over the best spot on the couch and which movie we would watch. We ended the night snuggled together, as if it was any other Friday night, just us, our family, doing what we love to do.
That's when a place feels like home. When the people you love are together doing the things they love.
Because the things will still need help finding a place. The projects will just keep growing, even after you complete them one by one. Those things don't make a home. Not completely.
I'm learning to let that go. I'm learning to allow the rooms to pull together slowly and purposefully. I'm learning to love our home for all of its beautiful strengths and forgot the less than appealing parts, at least until we can make it our own.
Because we have already begun to turn this space into our space. The lists are still so long. But that just gives us something to look forward to. A home, like a person, is a constant growing process and the joy is in the middle of it, where the people are eating and snuggling and living life together.
Here are only pictures and words that highlight its strength. You will hear no complaints. Naturally, there are many, but I am practicing gratitude. You must love yourself, and love your home just as much.
Welcome to our home.
The bright red door opens invites you into our living room. This room still has all of the original woodwork and windows and light fixtures. It's one of the most charming rooms in the home. I wasn't sure how I would feel about having two living spaces, but I have grown to love this room for its peaceful, quiet and mature feeling.
Next we walk upstairs to the master suite. Mike's office is in the landing at the top of the stairs and the bedroom is just beyond that. Having our own space is even more perfect than I imagined it could be. With the combination of new furniture (A KING SIZE BED!! We are real grow ups now!) and thrift store finds, this room is he perfect escape. The light is beauiful. And check out that cute little writing nook for me!
The new blue color, Gentleman's Gray by Benjamin Moore, is just perfect in that space. It changes from deep and moody to bright and cheerful as the sun crosses the house. Such a great change from the original color. Shall we take a quick memory view?
Yum. Green. Speaking of color change, let's head to the kitchen.
What was once a dark space with red walls has been lighten up significantly with paint. I love red. But I never like it on the walls. For the age of the home, this kitchen is relatively updated. The double ovens is a dream. And after spending the last two years on an electric stove it is so great to be cooking with gas, as the old saying goes. Now turn around and we'll find another room that underwent a color change.
Painting this once orange/yellow room into a soft gray was the first project we tackled and it made a huge difference in the whole space. This is a dining room but it is more of an everything room. It's a space for family meals, a space for messy painting, a hub for after school chats, and so on and so on. I love a room that can do so much for a family. And this room centered between the kitchen, family room, and living room is perfectly located to access the best parts of the house.
And now for the reason we bought the house...
When you have little ones, a space to play is crucial. And having that space close by is even better. ANd having a space with such gorgeous windows is the final game changer. Where do we sign, we said.
The most exciting part of this space has pulled together just in the last couple of weeks. Its a vision turned to reality which is always stressful with always the best reward. This box of a room is a new addition and thus lacks the character the rest of the home demonstrates. So we added some of our own.
Here is the before:
And here is the after.
Ikea kitchen cabinets and shelves combined with thrifted mantel is giving me the built-in cozy feel I longed for. Believe it or not, our two homes in Texas were the only places we ever lived with a fireplace (not complaining, not complaining, not complaining), so we did the next best thing and filled the space with candles. I'm investing in Trader Joe's pillar candles and bringing the hygge.
Watching the snow fall outside our windows from the comforts of this room is pure heaven. Can you imagine when Christmas comes to town??!!
A quick stop into the bathroom next.
It's cozy and we have made the single bathroom work as hard as it can for our family and guests alike. You can already see some progress happening. Just like the other rooms, a bright coat of paint gave some much needed light to the room.
Finally, if you find yourself lucky enough to visit the great state of Minnesota, I hope you can feel at home right here in your own guest room. Believe it or not, this room is in the basement but it is cozy and bright and perfect for guests. I have even made the one side of the room that was a giant long closet space into a craft area. It feels so good to have a designated space for both guests and my own creative space after using an air mattress for the last two years.
I realized I took these pictures during nap time which means no pictures of the kids space. That will have to be another post for another time.
For now, I'm off to enjoy life with my family, cozy and happy at home.