As of November 5th, we’ve lived in our house for a full year. It’s kinda mind-blowing, you know? On one hand, it feels like we’ve lived here forever and Brooklyn was another life completely, and on the other hand, it feels like we left NYC last week. We’ve done so much, come so far (both figuratively and literally…5.5 hours from our Brooklyn apartment!), and it’s a strange sense of accomplishment, knowing we haven’t yet burned the house down or seriously injured ourselves or cats (and now Jimmy!)
Being first-time homeowners in a digital age feels like a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s great for figuring out how to do things without having to rely on our family (especially since mine is in Florida and Steve’s is not handy in the least), instead heading over to YouTube for a few videos to help us get through. However, having access to all of these ideas turns our modest-but-felt-ambitious plans into this feeling of urgency and need to do ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW, OMG. The main thing I’ve had to learn…okay well maybe not the main thing (hi, compound miter saw that I both love and fear), is to learn how to run our renovations at a slow, intentional pace, and to not feel like our house isn’t beautiful if it’s not done.
What I’ve learned
Owning a home means learning things you didn’t know you didn’t know. I never realized how much we relied on a Super to handle little things. We’ve learned so many little things we never had to think about before: small stuff like snaking toilets, patching holes, installing light fixtures, all the way to large things like negotiating $10k+ deck and fence renovations, installing sump pumps, popping off siding, and worrying about water levels in relation to our furnace.
Major House Accomplishments
- New deck and fence
- Overhauling the oak kitchen cabinets, working towards the industrial kitchen of my dreams
- Fixing the ductwork
- Fixing what feels like a million plumbing problems
- Overhauling a kids room (that had no heat! See accomplishment #3) and turning it into my office
- Insulating crawl spaces
- Foaming basement eaves
- Painting doors black (which sounds like a weird accomplishment, but it hides so much of the dirt and crayon drawings we couldn’t clean off)
- Copper door creation (one of my favorites)
- My succulent wall (more on that later)
- Trying to spray paint brass door handles…they just end up rubbing off and looking half-assed
- Guessing at paint color matching, hence all of the spots in our living room and kitchen that get edited out
- Repaint living room and kitchen to hide the patchwork we’ve done
- Redo door handles downstairs
- Redo kitchen cabinet knobs
- New kitchen backsplash
- Install range hood
- New entryway on side door
- Screen door on side door
- Install peep hole on front door
- Expand upstairs bathroom
- Replacing damaged carpet from former owners (and now teething dog)
- Fix a few pieces of siding on the side and back of house
- New windows someday
- okay, I need to stop or I’ll start getting antsy!
I started this blog in July of 2016 because I knew our home purchasing was imminent. The first few months, I would post my web stats and I completely dropped the ball on that, but The Beige House has grown by leaps and bounds. Here are our stats now vs. August 2016 (my first full month posting):
We grew TWENTY-SEVEN THOUSAND PERCENT since our first month on this blog. How is that even a number?! Insane.
I know a lot of folks wonder about the monetary side of blogging, and I wish I could tell you we’re rolling in dough, but that’s not the case. Being only a year old means we’ve gotten over the hump of outlasting the majority of blogs (stats say many blogs fizzle out after 6 months), but I haven’t been great at monetizing this site. I’ve done the usual google ads and sponsored posts for brands or projects I think are cool, but I’ve turned down more things than accepted because so many of them just seemed out of left field, and that’s hurt the short-term bottom line, but whaddyagonnado. I’m not in this for money, I’m in it to make my beautiful life a reality, damn it!
We’ve gone through three (I think?) layouts of the blog, and I really think this one will be sticking around for the time being (famous last words, right?).
I went to my first ever blogger conference this year and met so many like-minded amazing people and connected with brands I completely nerd out about (RYOBI, Dremel, Quikrete, Home Depot), it blows me away that I’ve been given opportunities to work with them and that they’ve all been SO nice. It’s one of those things that I would’ve never believed was even a possibility five years ago (well, you know, and that moving from NYC to buy a house in a town I’ve never been to before. That, too).
Lastly and most importantly: Thank you to Dannica for being the one who gets posts up when I don’t feel like it (keeping it real here), Jane for making sure our social media and stats are always updated, Goodwill for pretty much furnishing our house ($10 dining room table = BFF), and thank you to all of YOU for being around, reading my weird ideas, and commenting!