Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Accessorizing Your Exterior: Paint Makes a World of Difference

New home?!? I can't believe the entire deal is solidified and my honey and I have our own little love den.  We share it with our sweet pups and couldn't be happier with our choice.

Sure, it was scary.  I mean, big decisions, the unknown, being an adult is scary business.  I had owned my little condo since the age of 27, but owning a home was a much different kind of commitment.  It is also an amazing adventure that I can share with my husband.  We are building a lovely life together, piece by piece, day by day.  I am married to my best friend and we get to decide the direction our lives will go.

It's amazing.

Back to the house.  I am not one of those people who moves into a space and has boxes for months or weeks.  We closed on the 26th and we have already unpacked every box, organized every room, painted the inside of the rooms we wanted to paint, and decorated for Christmas.

We had a little money left over from our budget for the home thanks to a low appraisal, so we splurged and made some changes to the home ASAP.  You can read all about our preliminary plans here.  Ultimately, we decided to have the deck painted and sealed, to have a new privacy fence built, and to have the entire exterior painted.  We are waiting on making changes to the front because we are not sure exactly what we want to do by way of landscaping and the front porch.

Ready for some before and afters?  Let me tell ya; in my opinion, as I mentioned here, paint can change everything.  Take a look:


and after!  We chose dark grey paint with a kind of Tiffany blue accent.  Sergio suggested painting some new house numbers lime green and I love it!  We are also going to paint our sad little mailbox dark grey and lime green.  I will snap some before and afters to share with you!

I forgot to take these photos before they started and didn't get the best angle, so here is a kind of before...

and here's the after!!!  We can't wait to landscape the front yard come spring.  I think we will still leave the potted plants in this little are. They're welcoming and a little reminder of the patio at the condo. 


and after!  Our contractors were awesome.  They had the best attitudes about everything they did.

The deck before...

and after.  I love the way this came out.  We also had them build some stairs in that far left corner.  Before, it just dropped off with no way to get to the backyard.

A different angle shot of the deck...

And the same angle after.  Also, our Saturday mornings now have a "raking hour."  It's a thing.

We still plan on landscaping the front a little bit and paving a walkway next to the deck leading to the backyard.  We love what we were able to do so far.  It made such a huge impact for our little home!  Can't wait to give you a tour of the inside once we snap some photos!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's What's Outside That Matters: Condo to Casa

Now that we have a closing date, Sergio and I are busy making a list of items we need to complete and figuring out the dates that we are going to accomplish those things.  We want to be moved in by December 14 and, for simplicity's sake, there are a few things that we want to have completed by the time we move in.  We definitely want the deck sealed.  We definitely want a little pathway from the front gate to the backyard. We would love to have the privacy fence built and the exterior painted, but those things can wait depending on the weather or our neighbors.  We are going to try and get them to split the fence down the middle cost-wise, but if they won't do it, we have to do it for the safety of our pups.

Lots of things that we need to do.  We also want a little deck/ pergola situation in the front yard to act as a mini front porch, but that can wait.  We are going to paint a wall in the master bedroom (that they painted as an accent wall) ourselves and also paint the dining room walls white.

The thing that I think is going to make the biggest impact, aesthetically-speaking?  The exterior paint job.

I was perusing Apartment Therapy the other day and came across this wonderful article about how an exterior paint job can make a difference.  Read it here.  Check out these photos I snatched from the site:




Isn't that an amazing transformation?

We plan on using a version of the dark gray for the majority of our exterior.  We MIGHT use an ivory for the trim, but we may just use the dark gray all over.  We will paint the front door Tiffany blue and will also paint the pergola the same blue once it is built.

Our little casa.  That reddish-brown has got to go!  We are going to plant English Ivy on the mound in front of the house and we will build a little deck with pergola  in front of the window next to the front door.  The garage door will probably stay ivory, though it may go dark gray as well.  Haven't decided on that yet.

Here are some examples of grays and ivories and Tiffany blues used together:

I just love the way that blue pops.

The lighter color does not make as big of an impact, but it still illustrates the look.

Not really dark gray, but the door color looks lovely nonetheless.

The solid wood front door we have is less than lackluster, so my next project is tracking down some ideas to spruce it up.  I don't want to get rid of it, but I am open to replacing the hardware in addition to the inevitable paint job.

See ya'll soon!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Great Outdoors: Condo to Casa

Ya'll!  I know that it has only been a little over a month since we decided to buy a home.  It's one of those things where it feels like we have been searching for a year.  We both love that we have this opportunity and acknowledge that life is good.

The search has been nice.  Life is in the search.

We become excited and full of hope as we plan out our backyard and the life we will have at our new place.

When we went to Marfa back in September, we didn't know that we would decide to buy a home in mid-October.  Somehow, we still managed to snap this photo that is kind of an inspiration of sorts for our deck.  Sergio wants some corrugated tin.  I want twinkle lights and a picnic table.  Those colorful stools wouldn't hurt, either.

That said, we are over the moon to be able to officially say that we have a closing date.  We are closing on November 26!  Also, the appraisal came back a little lower than our agreed upon price, so we also get to enjoy a little discount on the home, which translates to a monthly discount on our mortgage.  Yays for days!

We'd love to have space for a trailer or two, but our space is tiny.  We're going to focus on a lovely little walking path from the front gate to the backyard.

We already have a plumber booked for a small project here and there on December 2.  We are in the process of scheduling a roofer for a small project and another guy to seal/ paint our deck, build a new privacy fence, and build a small pergola and deck in the front of the home.  We might even have him paint the exterior while he's at it.  We were originally going to wait on the exterior painting project, but we are kind of excited about having our little casa up to par ASAP.  In the end, we may just choose between a front yard mini deck/ pergola or painting the exterior.  An exterior paint job will probably win.  I'll write more about that tomorrow.

We definitely want the backyard to have little spaces and areas that are kind of separate from others.  It's a tiny backyard, but it has the potential to be cute and feel homey.

It's been cold and rainy in San Antonio, so many of the projects may have to be on hold until the weather is dry and a little warmer.  Hoping that we have a warm spell over the next two weeks, though!

Hope your next few months hold hope and joy!  The holidays are my favorite time of year.  They just are.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Filling a Vintage Home with Vintage Goodies: Condo to Casa

Sergio and I are moving from an 827 square foot condo to a 1530 square foot home.  That's the biggest I care to go, though I think Sergio would prefer a touch bigger.  To me, the 1530 is great.  (Even though I prefer a tiny home, I like the idea of having a little more space, which will allow me to be a little more organized instead of having things stacked on things stacked on things.  I am short.  I need easier access to our goodies.)  Our new home has all the space we need and has an additional Florida room and a large deck.  Entertaining and the outdoors is what this home is about for us.  It's perfect as far as I'm concerned.

Doubling the size of our home means we need a few more goodies to fill.  Truthfully, a FEW more is perfectly accurate.  We have quite a bit of furniture and lovely pieces in our current casa, so we only need a few extra things here and there to make it cozy.

Whenever possible, I would prefer not to have "new."  This home was built in 1981 and I would prefer for many of the items in it to be at least that old.  This weekend, we found some lovely little things that we can't wait to unpack in our new love nest.

Our weekend scores...

We were going to buy a really lovely plastic chandelier that we found at Home Depot, but I just couldn't get into it, ya know?  We were at a little local antique shop and came across that multi-tiered brass piece.  It has little hooks all the way around each tier and each hook has a little glass piece that goes hanging on it.  I can't wait to have it all assembled and hanging in our dining room.  It has a very sleek seventies' feel, so I think I will have to balance out the room with some feminine touches and "lush" pieces to really make it feel full and cozy.  It's not exactly what I had in mind, but it's a great compromise for what Sergio and I each like.

The brasso is there because I have been shining that little chandelier a little bit each day to get it to sparkle a little more.  It's brass, so all it needs is a little elbow grease to make it shine.

The other light fixture, the one with the three tulip shades, is actually a sixties' lamp.  We are going to hang it over the little eat-in space in our kitchen.  I think it will be a nice touch of quirkiness.  (Not that the rest of our Anthropologie and Mackenzie-Childs kitchen accessories aren't quirky on their own.)

We will eventually put some flooring down in our Florida room.  I know I am going to paint the walls ivory as soon as we move in, but the flooring has to wait until we feel comfortable spending money on them.  For now, we have a cool seventies' wool rug.  It's an 8x10, so it's the perfect size to fill up the little Florida room.  I liked the rug enough that I changed the direction I was going in the Florida room.  I think it will be perfect in there.

Lastly, there is a tiny little rug rolled up at the end of the table.  I am not exactly sure where I am going to use it yet, but I really liked it for layering with another small rug I already own.  We will see where I decide to use it.

Aside from those things, I bought a couple of things at Anthropologie and TJ Maxx.  I don't want to wind up having to buy many little small things all at once after we buy the house, so I am trying to buy them a little at a time.  It eases the pain of spending on not-so-fun things a little bit. (Not-so-fun things are things like shower curtain liners, towel rods, and bath mats.  Nothing from Anthropologie would fall into that category.  Anthropologie is all fun spending in my book.)

Hopefully, we find some great garage sales and estate sales this weekend.  Any place we can save money and get things we love for our new home is a great spot.  I am off to consult craigslist.

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Closing Dates: Condo to Casa

Well, chickadees, it's almost Friday and I can't wait for the weekend.  That used to be because I couldn't wait to dance on tables, have a shot or two, and have a blast with friends.  Why do I look forward to the weekend now?  Sleep.  Sleeping in.  Resting.  Relaxing.  The last few weekends have been a blur of hanging out with friends, Halloween parties, and house hunting.

I was a puppy.  He was my vet.  I made my ears and my tail out of felt and stuffing about an hour before the Halloween party.  I liked them enough that I will probably be a puppy next year.  (Sorry for the grainy Iphone photo.)

I can't wait to just stay in this weekend.

I really can't.

Watch some Netflix.  Funny stuff.  Sad stuff.  A movie or two that scares the pants off me and makes me walk around turning all the lights on.  Netflix.  Make some popcorn.  Cuddle with the pups.  Make a michelada or two.

Take it easy.

In other news, we *think* we have a closing date.  We are supposed to close on November 25, which would be perfect since that would mean we'd have all day Thanksgiving Day to do a thing or two to our new casa.  Like the entire buying process, this, of course, has a hitch.  The seller will be out of the country on November 25, so we are trying to figure out how he will be able to sign the documents.  There is a chance we won't be able to close until after Thanksgiving, which is a bummer.  The only thing we are pretty certain of?  We will be cuddled around our new fireplace on Christmas morning.  Hopefully, that is a dream we can count on happening.

Whatever happens, I know everything is playing out like it should.

It sure is hard to be patient, though!

Have a great weekend, whatever you do.  Hope it's restful and everything you need it to be.