Lighting Upgrades

When we moved into this house, we knew pretty quickly that there were some things that were going to need to be changed fast. We both have a pretty modern style, and some of the ’80′s style fixtures and details just weren’t doing it for us.

Take, for example, the lighting.

There isn’t a single light in this entire house that we think is actually worth keeping, and most of them are bad enough to actively annoy us. There were even a few that we disliked enough to replace within about 24 hours of moving in.

Both of those are in our kitchen and both were taken the day we moved in, which is why it’s so messy. The light above our kitchen table was easily the second most offensive light in the house (the worst is in the dining room and is yet to be replaced), and the one above the sink wasn’t horrible – just boring. We figured we both spend quite a good chunk of our time in the kitchen, and it’s already pretty outdated, so if we could take a few small steps to make it more tolerable, it would totally be worth it.

So, before we had really even begun unpacking we headed out to Ikea to see what we could do about those kitchen lights. A few hours and less than $75 later, we came home with two new lights that are much more our style.

The one in the bay window looks a bit silly with out current table, but we have plans to replace that table eventually so it’ll fit in a little better.

Now that the lighting situation in our kitchen is improved (minus the giant florescent light that we can’t wait to get rid of), this little giant monstrosity in the dining room stands out even more.

Ew. It’s much larger than it looks in this photo, and there are no words to describe how much we hate it. Unfortunately we have to put replacing that one on the back burner for a little while longer, so we get to stare at it for a few more months.

There is one more light we replaced soon after moving in, and to be honest it was probably one of the least offensive ones in the house. It was, however, in a room where we spend a lot of time, and there was a very good reason that we decided to replace it.

That would be the fan in our bedroom. The problem? There wasn’t a separate switch for the fan and light, so if we wanted to turn the light on or off, we had to use the cord on the light itself. (Remember, we live in Texas and with 105 degree heat every day, there is no way we’re turning the fan off for any reason!)

So say, for example, that I was walking into the bedroom one evening and wanted to turn the light on. The fan is already running because we never turn it off, so I have to walk into the (pitch black) room, climb up on the bed, and stand up to turn on the light. I’m not exactly the most graceful person around, so on my way to the bed I ran into about seven different things and probably fell over at least once.

It didn’t take long for me to get sick of doing that.

It would have been expensive to add a second switch to the wall, so we simply bought a fan that came with a remote, which we keep hung on the wall next to the light switch. Problem solved!

And, I have to say, it doesn’t hurt that this fan is much more attractive than the other one was!

There are still a good seven or eight lights we need to replace in the house (including the spotlight in our master bathroom that shines directly on the toilet… ??) but we feel pretty good about the progress we’ve made so far!

Are there any features of your house that you’d love to get rid of?

 

The Little Things

There have been a ton of things that we’ve found about the new house so far that we absolutely love. It’s wonderful not to share a wall with anyone, we love having the extra space, and we don’t have bugs roaming the house.

But, there are just a few things that many people would probably take for granted that we are exceptionally excited about.

Like having a garage.

Of course, right now the garage is packed full of boxes and various trash, but someday (soon) it will be empty and ready for storage. It’s so nice to have that extra space to toss things that don’t get used often, and it’s especially exciting to me because I’ve actually never lived in a home with a garage before.

An extra perk of the garage?

That’s right, we have two refrigerators! We were psyched that the previous owners left this extra fridge in the garage, but we haven’t quite figured out how we’re going to utilize it yet. Currently, we have all of our soft drinks and beer out here, but someday I’d like to figure out a few other things that we can store in here to free up our main fridge.

Another little thing that we’re very happy to have is this guy:

None of the places that Corey and I lived in College Station had a sink sprayer, and almost every time I cleaned I wished I had one. Everyone who I’ve told about this laughs at me for being so excited, but sometimes it’s the things you take for granted that are really important! I haven’t trained myself to actually remember that this thing is here yet, so I haven’t used it much, but I’m very happy to have the option to use it.

Speaking of something that can be taken for granted…

Words cannot even begin to describe how much of a luxury it is for us to have an ice maker. For the past four years we have been getting all of our ice out of ice cube trays, and we were both about to lose our minds because of it. We used to ration out our ice because neither of us ever wanted to be the one to fill up the trays, and I lost count of how many times we would need ice only to realize we were out and would have to wait several hours before some more was frozen.

Of course, the day we moved in we realized that the ice maker in our fridge wasn’t working (it was working when we came up the weekend before to paint, so we’re not sure what the problem is) but thanks to our home warranty we had someone come out to fix it and we’re back in ice-making business!

And the last little thing that Corey and I have been particularly happy about in this house is our glorious gas stove.

Before living here, I had never cooked on a gas stove, so it’s taking me some time to get used to it, but so far I am in love. When I used to have to wait ten minutes to get a pot of water to boil, it now takes about five. The cleanup is easier, it cooks more evenly, and it’s just all-around wonderful. I’ll never go back to an electric stove again!

Every day Corey and I are still finding new little things about this house that make us smile. We’re head over heels in love with it, and we feel so spoiled to have all of these little luxuries that we aren’t used to having!

What are some little things in your house that make you happy?

New House, New Furniture

Corey and I have known for a long time that there were several pieces of furniture we wanted to replace once we moved here. A lot of our furniture pieces were sized for a tiny little duplex, and they look a bit silly now that we have a much larger house.

We have plans to replace pieces and buy new things over the next several years, but there were a couple of pieces we wanted to replace right away.

First up? Our couch.

Corey bought this couch/seat-and-a-half set when he first moved into his own apartment. It was insanely comfortable, but not at all easy to maintain. The white microsuede latched onto Ranger’s fur and wouldn’t let go, and every little piece of dirt was highly visible.

So, on our way to the new house Corey and my dad pulled the UHaul into Ikea to pick up our brand new Karlstad couch.

And we’re in love.

The scale of this couch fits this room much better than the old couch would have, and we love how much space there is for us to spread out. The dark color is perfect for hiding dog hair and dirt, and the material doesn’t hold onto things quite as much as the microsuede did. Of course, with such a large couch we’re now in desperate need of a few more throw pillows so it doesn’t look quite so empty, but we’ll get there eventually. For now, we’re just happy that the whole family can all fit on the couch at once without feeling like we’re all on top of each other.

And even though Corey says it’s not as comfortable as the old couch and Cullen is annoyed that he can’t lay on the back of it like he used to, I’m pretty sure they both think it’s good enough.

The other piece of furniture that we’ve recently replaced is our dresser. The old dresser we had in our room was an Ikea dresser that I bought when I first moved out of my parents house, and even though we both loved it, the style and color just weren’t going to cut it in our new, peacock blue bedroom.

We managed to snag a gorgeous, mid-century modern dresser set on Craigslist (where else?!) for an incredible price, and now we each have our own dresser that fits in perfectly with our room!

We still need to hang the mirror above the long dresser, but we’re incredibly happy with these dressers that we found, and I love how the color of the wood looks against our blue walls.

I have a feeling that these two new pieces are going to be enough to satisfy our furniture-replacing urges for quite a while. We feel like we chose pieces that we aren’t going to get tired of anytime soon, and I can see those dressers being handed down in our family someday! They’re already over 50 years old, so I think they’d make for a great family heirloom.

Do you have any pieces of furniture in your house that you’d love to replace? Or, do you have any that you want to see stay in your family for a long, long time?

We’re HERE!

Hello, friends!

You have no idea how much I’ve missed y’all over the last week or so as I’ve been moving, unpacking, and settling in to our new home. I have so many things I want to share, and I’m so excited to be back and blogging again.

I’ll be honest and say that it still feels very weird to actually be living in Austin. Corey and I have been talking and dreaming about it for so long, it’s very surreal to actually be doing it. But, we’re here and we’re here for good so I guess we’d better get used to it! It’s still kind of hard to believe that it was just over a week ago that Corey and I packed up everything we own into a moving van, took a few last minute photos of the empty house, and headed out of College Station for good.

Our last photo in front of our little duplex

Corey and my dad loading up the UHaul

Our sad, empty duplex

For the first few days we lived here, it was absolute chaos. There were people all over the place, installing things, spraying for bugs, and for the first week or so my house kind of felt more like a train station than an actual home. It wasn’t until this past Thursday or Friday that Corey and I actually had a full day in our house without anyone else being there – and it was glorious.

After having our duplex be so incredibly messy for the last couple of weeks we lived there, it was kind of sad to realize that there aren’t any magical moving fairies that come and make your new house look perfect from day one. Instead, I had to deal with this for the first few days:

Oh, the joys of moving.

But thankfully, we’re almost completely unpacked, organized, and settled, and it’s starting to feel a little bit like home.

The dogs have definitely settled in, and they’re loving their huge new backyard. Of course, when we first moved in the yard was practically a jungle because it hadn’t been mowed in a good two or three weeks and we didn’t own a lawnmower. Oops.

You probably can’t tell, but Cullen is actually in that photo, underneath Ranger. He was pretty much completely invisible in the grass.

Thankfully, we have since invested in a lawnmower and the grass is a much more manageable length – and I can actually see Cullen when he’s outside!

I have an insane amount of stuff to share with you, and I can’t wait to get started. But first, tell me what’s new with you – anything new in your lives in the past week? Also, if you’ve made the move from renting to owning, did you forget that you’d need a few basic things (like, um, a lawnmower!) like we did?

Time to Move!

In just a couple of hours, Corey and I will be heading out to pick up our (gigantic) UHaul truck. We’re going to spend today loading up, cleaning, and saying goodbye to College Station.

Then, in the morning, we are out of here.

Things are going to be really crazy for us over the next few days as we get settled and start unpacking – I’m going to try to get as much as possible done over the next week, because I start work the second week of August. So, because of all of the insanity that is about to descend on my life, I’m taking a week-long blogging break. I’m going to spend my time unpacking, enjoying my new house, and possibly (probably?) even adding a new addition to our family (more on that later)!

I’ll be back next Monday, but be sure to still check in on the blog, because I’m not leaving you guys totally neglected! I called upon my wonderful friends, and I have some super awesome guest posts coming your way. So, get excited, and send me lots of good thoughts over this next week – I’m going to be one busy lady!

How long does it usually take you to get settled when you move?