Yum Sweet Home: Homebuying Moments + Pictures

Man and woman standing by a moving truck.

Hey guys! Today I am blogging on behalf of Trulia, but the views expressed here are ours, the stories are ours, the photos of my house are… obviously, ours. To learn more, visit the Trulia website.

So let’s start from the beginning – in November, we bought a house!

When we decided to buy this charming little 1940s house, we took a lot of things into consideration. For example, the neighborhood (adorable). The price (low). The amount of money we’d have left to do some projects (comfortable). The character (charming). The space (small). The structural condition of the home (sturdy). The FURNACE (new). The possibility that we could make this house into our very own yum sweet home through renovating, redecorating, and making memories here. Yep, embracing the cheesy.

We had done our homework and scoured the real estate websites. I was obsessed with the real estate apps on my phone, and I would drive around neighborhoods I liked with my Trulia app open, looking for homes for sale. We actually found the home we bought through this exact process. Go figure. But for all our research, one thing we did not consider: the amount of TIME it takes to make a house your home. Along with that, the reality that that time is at the bottom of our priority lists, right under Teaching, Food Blog, eCookbook, Family, Birthdays, New Baby Nephew, Spring Break, Working Out, Watching The Voice, Re-Watching the Bachelor Finale to Critique, and Eating Salted Dark Chocolate Almonds.

We’ve been here for almost four months now, and this about sums it up:

Homebuying moment.

I mean, when do people have time to do all of this stuff? Get new curtains? Paint your trim? Sort through millions of kitchen appliance options and try to figure out how to sand something? We have dreamed big small-house dreams, and I’m going to be totally honest: while some of the more urgent things have been taken care of right away (anything involving pipes, locks, or furnaces), most of our DIY dreams are still sitting in some corner of our brains, or in our actual house, gathering dust while still in the packaging.

But you know what? Who the heck cares. The moving in and getting settled is all part of the homebuying process, and it all takes a long time.

So come on in, you guys. Here’s a glimpse at what the house looks like now and some thoughts on where we’d like to take it sometime in the next 100 years.

Entryway

Front door entryway.

First up, the entryway slash front door area! First on the list: replace the lock on the front door so it’s not padlocked shut anymore. Thankfully, we did this already so we can actually open the front door like normal people instead of running around the side of the house whenever someone knocked.

I’d also like to repaint the front door. Is that a red? Or pink? Or, dare I say, magenta? Not for long it’s not.

And how about adding a fun entryway light fixture? I’m on it.

Living Room

Living room.

Our living room is probably our most finished room, even though it’s not finished. I’m super excited to get the matching loveseat to complete the seating in the room. Ordered – check. We also had the walls painted a nice soft grey. Been there, done that, two thumbs up. The last detail thing that would make this room for me: the window trim painted white to match the baseboard. Add it to the list of ridiculous little things that probably won’t happen for the next 8 years.

As far as décor goes, I’m on the hunt for new glass for some of these frames to keep these sweet faces looking their best. ❤ I’m also on the hunt for something, ANYTHING, to put on those bookshelves. The goal right now is some cool arrangement of books, but you can see how far we’ve gotten with that. Three contributed by him, three contributed by her. Teamwork?

Frames with photos of children.

The living room does need a few minor fixes and adds – like fixing the crooked curtain bar that’s been almost falling down for three months, and possibly buying new, more colorful curtains. Or maybe we’ll just live in a mellow zen state of relaxing neutrals forever. Don’t know don’t care.

I’d also love to put something else on the wall by the front door. Preferably something … uhh, cool. Ideas?

Yum Sweet Home: Homebuying Moments

Bathroom

Bathroom.

Like many old house bathrooms, this one is a trip. It’s the one and only bathroom in the house and it will let you know that it’s in charge with its colorful patterns. First order of business here is changing the pink circus bathroom floor into something that fits the rest of the house. And WHY have we not gotten a white toilet seat yet?! I specifically remember when we moved in that we talked about how we would definitely for surely absolutely want to do that right away. Riiight.

I’d also like to get a mini wall clock that works. It’s so cute, but it hasn’t worked (even with new batteries) since the day I put it up. The eternal 10:30. And again with the window trim. Check back in 8 years. And are we going to do something cute with the sink and mirror? Yes. Maybe. I have some big five-year dreams.

Bedroom

Bedroom.

The bedroom is one of my favorite spaces. Mostly because I sleep there and I LOVE SLEEP. Some of the things we need to do for this room would be refinishing the wood floors. Or maybe just finishing? I don’t really know. They’re in kinda rough shape. Also, finding curtains to cover the blinds. Bonus if they’re super pretty and sleep-inducing.

And it would be great if we could paint the bedroom my favorite shade of slate blue. Oh wait, already did. *fist bump*

Anyone know of small closet organization seminars in Minnesota? Sign me up twice.

Closet.

Upstairs

Stairway entry.

Oh, you guys. The upstairs. It’s a lot of fun.

But at some point we do need to remove of the pink stuff behind the door – except not yet because right now that’s the only thing keeping us from losing all our heat to the uninsulated upstairs. We also need to fix the door handle so there actually is one. That latches.

Thankfully, tech-boy already took care of getting us a Nest and a Nest Protect. It’s a tech lover’s form of house work, obvi.

Empty attic.

So you walk up the stairs and you find yourself here: in the completely unfinished, cedar-smelling beautiful bright attic. Half floor. Whatever.

Finishing this beauty into a master bedroom is definitely on the home project list. It could be a while, like, really a while, but the dream is there.

And the most important of the project is insulating this space IMMEDIATELY so we don’t die in winter.

This was a major selling point of the house for us, even though we know we won’t be able to get to finish the space for a while. Having the potential to do something more and make this house even more wonderful and charming is really exciting to think about (me, from a romantic and fun standpoint; him, from a practical resale value standpoint).

Empty attic,

Kitchen

Kitchen.

Welcome to my kitchen! There’s a lot I could say here, since the kitchen is my household domain. As you might remember, we had initially planned to do a complete kitchen remodel. We had one of those classic moments before we bought the house where we said something genius like, “Okay, so we’ll just knock down this wall and it will totally open up the space!” This was really going to be a real thing – we met with a builder, we had people come out to take measurements and draw up 3D plans, I pinned a whole board full of nice kitchen remodel ideas. Cyuuute!

And then we saw the price tag and thought about what that really meant, and whether or not that was really a good use of money, and experienced the discomfort of the heart-deep always-present war of wants vs. needs vs. spending a large amount of money in good conscience. In the end, for a number of reasons, we decided that the little regular kitchen will do us beautifully for now. And it really will. I like this little space.

I would love some kind of color change. All these wood tones are making me loopy. But as soon as we figure out how to change the cabinets without actually changing the cabinets, we’ll be golden. Or hopefully not golden. You know what I mean.

Since we decided not to do the full kitchen remodel, we are compensating with new kitchen appliances which have yet to be picked out and purchased, because all the options available are enough to make you want to stick your face in a tub of ice cream and never come out. Can I tell you a little secret? These…

Kitchen.

are appliances we found in the basement. That’s right, folks. We (that’s a ‘we’ that doesn’t include me) FOUND them and dragged them up the stairs knowing nothing about their quality or functionality and wiped of all those cobwebs and now we eat our food out of them. We’re those people.

Food-blog-basement-found-appliances people. It sort of works.

Kitchen.

PS. I just want to acknowledge that little curvy piece of wood above the sink. And I want you to come and knock it down with me. It will feel so good.

Office

Doorways to a living room and a kitchen.

Ha! Office = 3 feet x 3 feet of small space that my desk occupies where all Pinch of Yum work happens. My desk used to be in the living room, but then I got kicked out by a new big rectangular electronic with a remote control that is now in its place!!! But we already talked about that.

So this is the current home for my desk. It’s right by the kitchen which is delicious. I mean, gluttonous. I mean, convenient.

Dining Room

Dining room.

This is the dining room where we haven’t done much of anything yet. Note the empty walls and the clock that’s been sitting on the floor for an obscene number of days, waiting to be hung by the husband who does the hanging. No further comment on that, Bjork. XO

Also To Be Replaced: the light fixture. I shopped around, compared prices, bought a new one, it came in the mail, and now I can’t decide if I like it so it’s sitting in the box in the Random Room. I need to give myself a time out for being so fickle.

Basement

Basement.

The basement is our future in-home food blog studio/workshop/man cave. Depends on who gets there first.

PS. The fact that there are things on shelves is in and of itself a small DIY miracle. Applause is very appropriate.

Random Room

Bedroom with furniture and boxes.

This is a room where applause is not appropriate, because we put boxes and random treasures in here, look away, and shut the door. We also chose a horrible, pinky tan paint color because we are not capable of making good paint color decisions at 11pm during move-in week.

Truly, my goal is that this room would be sleep-able and mostly cute within a month. Cross your fingers for me, and for our friends from out of state who are arriving around the same time.

Where We Are, Together

In a sweet, and weird, and serendipitous turn of events, we actually signed the papers, said goodbye, and officially sold our old house today.

Man with a cart of paint and woman in the kitchen.

This morning Bjork had to go over and drop off the keys in the empty house. We didn’t plan it out in advance, and so even though I’ve said goodbye to that old place a million and one times during our many trips back and forth during the move, I was at work and I didn’t get to go with him for the final farewell today. I hardly even thought about it. I was at school when I got a text message from him – it was a video, him walking through each of the rooms, talking about his favorite memories from each of the spaces. I watched him retell stories about his memories from our first little home together, and I cried. And I have tears in my eyes again now thinking about it again.

The walls and ceiling that he stayed up so late to paint just a few days before our wedding. The patio and grill where he learned to grill a mean, juicy pork chop. Our cozy fireplace where I would sit for most of the winter with hot chocolate and that thick blue blanket. The big windows in the living room where I learned how to be a food photographer. The kitchen where I cooked, and we ate, and I cooked, and we ate. And the office where we dreamed big dreams and unknowingly made life-changing decisions, like starting a blog and going to the Philippines.

The funny thing about these heart-happy memories is that the LAST thing I think about is the warped floor in the kitchen where the dishwasher leaked, the drafty windows, and the faux wood floor carpet (no, seriously) that I disliked so much. I just think about us, and what we did together, and how that little house played a big role in that precious first-five-years-together chapter of our lives. And now suddenly I have a small heartache.

Dear Pinterest Loving, Overly Ambitious, Wanna Havva Perfect House Lindsay: remember this feeling as you unpack, settle, remodel, decorate, DIY, and generally start this chapter of life in your new home. Home is home because it’s where we are, together. ❤

What a funny thing, houses.

Psst! Are you a fellow home-buyer and home-decorator? And do you have great ideas for simple ways to make a house look nice? Specifically, do you know how to deal with orange-ish cabinets without spending 900 million dollars? I covet your brilliant comments. Thank you, thank you.

Also, the best part of this whole buying-a-home process is knowing that you’re not alone in the overwhelmingness! Maybe it’s even worth a laugh amidst the craziness. If you want to see the other Trulia postcards and feel like the world understands your home buying journey, check these out.

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160 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Becky

    You’d have to look up on pinterest what I’m soft of talking about. My bro and sister-in-law just bought a house and put in a new wood floor ($$$) that looked way different in the light of their home than in the showroom. So to make their cabinets coordinate with no money leftover they used gel stain I think. no sanding, priming, just wiping it on and off.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Wow! First Congratulations on the new house. I actually started to cry too a little at the end there . But it is so true that when you are saying goodbye to a home or looking back on the memories you had there, you don’t think about all those things that bugged you so much when you lived there, it all just fades away into sentiment and memory. I am not much for moving because of this, I want to be one of those families that lives in the same house forever. Not sure if that will be how it goes though, but a home really does become an extension of your soul I think. That being said, we just bought our first home almost 3 years ago. It took us 12 years before we were ready and I always thought I would just jump head first into creating this “perfectly” decorated place. Ugh, the reality was that it took me the first 2 years to just repaint. But I learned something, I think you can’t force it. It takes awhile to get to know your home and as you do, things begin to just fall into place a bit. 3 years later I am just now really feeling like “I get” my house and how to get the most out of it. Pinterest helps though ; ) One more thing, I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around “faux wood floor carpet”.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Faux wood floor carpet is a real thing. It’s nasty flat carpet that is indented with lines to look like it’s a wood floor. TRUE STORY. But we loved that old place anyways. 🙂 Thanks for the nice comment Crystal! Love the part about the house becoming an extension of your soul.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Dude, all you have to do is paint those cabinets! Paint is not a 5-figure investment at ALL. The guys at Young House Love have done lots of this type of thing, so that might be a good resource to check out.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Okay, I definitely need to check this out because everyone I talk to says DON’T paint your cabinets. Young House Love, teach me!!

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          I agree with painting the cabinets. We painted ours white and the walls a darker color. I am getting ready to change the wall color again LOL You can see the cabinets here https://craftsbyamanda.com/kitchen-bake-sign-epsom-salt-on-canvas/ The second picture is a good shot of them. I painted the hardware with Rustoleum Hammered spray paint. It was 3 or 4 years ago they are still holding up great. There’s a link there too that will take you to the “before” pictures, mine were way worse than yours! Congratulations on the new house, and THANK YOU for the studio/attic inspiration. I have a huge attic and NEVER thought about setting it up for photos! However, I don’t have stairs like you lucky ducks, I have one of those folding staircase type ladders that fold up into the ceiling, so it’s a little more of a hassle to get up in there. But it could probably be a great photo space if there were heat and air conditioning up there!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        You absolutely can paint them. My sister-in-law painted hers to get her through the few years until her complete remodel and they looked quite good. She applied some product first (sorry don’t know what but it was just from the hardware store) to help the paint adhere better but a quick paint, new handles and they looked completely different.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo
          CJ

          Absolutely paint – they would look great! I painted my kitchen cabinets myself (without the help of my hubby and with two little kiddos) and it was not that bad. Sand, prime and paint. Not that hard, very inexpensive and as long as you go with a good primer and a good paint they will look good for a long time. Also adding some nice new hardware really helped – a total new look to our kitchen.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Actually got a little teary thinking about how many memories you can make in a home and not even realise it until it is gone. Having travelled the last 2 years, I haven’t had a place to call home for a while, but I’m hoping to change that this year. It’s so nice to be able to put your own stamp on a place.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love this post so much, mostly for the part at the end, and for your honesty in the whole needs vs. wants internal debate. I admire your choice to stick it out in the small kitchen for a while! I recently went on a service trip to Eastern Panama, and it totally put our whole “gotta have more” culture in perspective for me. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jennifer

    Congrats on the house! I love your zen-like neutral colors. 🙂 Simplicity is a wonderful thing.

    Don’t listen to naysayers–paint (or re-stain) those cabinets! If done correctly, they will turn out beautifully. It’s no different than painting or refinishing furniture. It looks like other readers have already offered some tips or links about this. Really, the kitchen is adorable and has great bones–changing out the appliances and redoing the cabinets will make all the difference without the expense of a complete remodel.

    Hanging open shelving in the kitchen has also sort of become a thing. We despise our current cabinets and have had the whole want vs. need debate on replacing them (and our kitchen floor… and counter tops… and sink…). We’ve considered removing our cabinets in favor of open shelving. Not sure how I feel about it yet, though.

    Regarding the curvy thing over the sink, I wonder if you could take that out and put a little shelf in that space over the window?

    Shortly before we got married, my husband redid our bathroom, which is similar in size and layout to yours. An old home, it had tacky tile, a hideous vanity, about seven layers of wallpaper… We kept the floors simple with some white/gray/beige ceramic tile. Being such a small space, it wasn’t a great expense. Someone built a small vanity for us, and we found a framed mirror at Target to hang over it. We found an inexpensive light fixture at Menards to go over the mirror. (They have the best inexpensive light fixtures.) For extra storage, we got a small black shelving unit that is to the right of the sink.

    My husband also painted all of our trim and interior doors white. He just did a little bit after work each evening until it was all complete, and it wasn’t that bad.

    Best wishes!!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh! I am loving how everything is falling into place with the new house! My Pinterest has actively been collecting DIY home makeovers since beta stages. I laugh at some of my older ones. The house I live in now was a house my husband purchased long before he met me. I can’t wait for later this year (he finally graduates in May) when we get to pick out a house of our own!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ashley

    Loved this post! For the kitchen cabinets, I saw a stain product at Home Depot that you can use to change the color of cabinets and it looked fairly easy! I also have seen a few blog posts about the process too (I too have the oak cabinets in my house and have been dreaming of a different color).

    http://lifeofthefarmerswife.com/?p=22

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Your new home is so cute! I’m in total envy of your dining room. We don’t even have enough chairs right now for our whole family let alone space for a bigger table. I can see you having a lot of wonderful dinners there. My husband and I have done a video walk through of each of our houses when we move out. It is fun but super sad. I love how you made me look at my own house with new eyes, appreciating the things I would miss if I were to move again!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Molly V

    I just really like this post and really like you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your funny and heart-warming house stories! Miss you in the old neighborhood! We may need to have you over again soon… 😉

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Aw, Mols. We were talking about you and your main man (P, although W is a main man in his own way) at dinner last night. We just really like you guys!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    It was so refreshing (and relieving) to read this post. It’s easy to get carried away by home dec/diy blogs where all the homes look ah-mazing and then question your abilities to have a perfectly decorated home. My husband and I have been in our new home since the end of August and we still haven’t put up anything on the walls. Only last weekend did we finally organize our photos by room, so perhaps by 2015 we’ll have them all hung up.

    My brother just painted his kitchen cabinets, so it’s definitely do-able. He hired someone to do it, so maybe if you’re skeptical of the process you can find someone who has successfully done it before. I love some of those doorknobs! Such great character and your house looks to have great bones. Can’t wait to see what happens with the attic and basement. So much potential!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Judy

    Lovely blog. Lovely house.
    The colour of the door looks cerisey to me.
    You could hang s mirror in the hall. People/you can check yourselves coming in and out of the house.
    You could change the cabinet doors in the kitchen.
    What fou people have zgsindty wooden cabinets?
    How wonderful to find the stove etc in the basement. The oven looks wider than normal. Is it?
    I wish the both of you happiness and health in your new home. 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thank you Judy! I don’t know what it is but something about the gold colored oak just doesn’t do it for me. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Loving the home tour, Lindsay! And I totally understand your feelings in saying goodbye to your old place, I too get so attached to living spaces and think of all the memories made in each and every room. Good luck on all of the upcoming house projects!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Sand and repaint those cabinets!! You can do it yourself if you have the spare time (I dont, for sure), but it’s fairly inexpensive to have someone do it for you. You can just take down the squiggly wood and never put it back up again. Also, kitchen cabinets aren’t very expensive if you aren’t super picky. I actually just replaced my bathroom vanity with 3 kitchen cabinets (because apparently I want to always feel like I’m in a kitchen). It was around $350 for 6 feet of brand new cabinet (not yet painted, though)– it’s much easier to paint new cabinets yourself than to sand off the old varnish/clear coat so that new pretty paint will stick. I recommend white, they’re adorable.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kel

    What a lovely post! For the cabinets — try looking at the decorating that Layla does (lettered cottage — https://theletteredcottage.net/ You can whitewash the cabinets. Or you could stain them a darker color. She even has a feature where you can send in your dilemma and she may give you ideas for how to deal with it.

    Best wishes on making lots of new fun memories!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    congrats again! absolutely enjoyed your home tour..not that I am buying house anytime soon but i do go to Trulias website a lot!!!! you guys have a really charming place…although its not there yet but i feel like house is an ongoing project. i am sure it will come together soon…

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thank you Dixya! We are obsessed with real estate websites (perusing them for deals is kind of hobby bordering on obsession) so we are big Trulia fans as well.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Caitlin

    Such a cute house! Do you know what paint brand/color gray you used in your living room? That is exactly the color I have been looking for.

    And that attic. So much potential!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      It was a part of a grey color family (living room, dining room and kitchen are all shades in the same family) and the only ones I remember were the one grey that was called Big Spender and one that was called Lichten, or maybe it was Lichen? Paint from Hirschfields. 🙂

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        AmyA

        Another paint question! 🙂 I have been searching for that perfect blue-gray paint for our bedroom, too…do you happen to know what you used in there as well? It’s gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing your photos; what a sweet, homey place – the perfect setting for years of memories ahead 🙂

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Shelley

    1. I thought I had closet space challenges when I lived in DC. That is a small closet. I added a second bar of clothes below the normal one and that helped a lot.

    2. I have the same clock in my living room and we’ve been meaning to center it on the wall for 2 years now. We struggle, too.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Joy

    Congrats! And from one girl to another-put empty wine bottles in your boots to keep them upright in your closet.

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You have such a beautiful home!
    We’ve just bought a second property to move into in a few months once all the work has been completed on it. It needs a lot of work doing but will hopefully look great, be more practical and worth more when we’re done. Unfortunately though when you own a house you are never ‘done’!

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Love the house. Look adorable. In the living room, on the wall that you’re looking for something for? Why not a world map? Whether you have it painted, find one, etc – you can fill the space and find ways to mark all of the places you’ve traveled to together. That’s what I’d do!

  22. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sarah

    We actually just moved a few months ago as well and are STILL buying/taking back/buying/rearranging furniture… Fortunately, we’re in a small space and have only a few rooms to deal with (I’m fairly certain my husband would kill me in my sleep if I ask him to drag another large piece of furniture through the garage and up the elevator…)
    But we did go through a complete kitchen remodel for just under $12000 – all new cabinets, appliances, countertops. A wall completely gone and an open island in its place. It was a 2 month process and involved a lot of blood, sweat, and tears but we LOVE the result.
    Our timing was perfect and we caught the kitchen sale at IKEA, so just about everything in our kitchen is courtesy of design- and build-your-own boxes. My dad served as the contractor and my husband was his construction assistant.
    While it was exhausting, the result is fantastic and I would highly recommend looking into the possibility of using IKEA! Especially if you’re trying to budget.
    Good luck!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      We’ve been really thinking about using Ikea for our studio space, if we end up getting a space and needing to create a new little studio kitchen. Glad to hear you liked their stuff! 🙂