Before I jump into the story of our move, here’s a quick update on our living situation for those of you who may not be familiar with it. Seth and I moved to Santa Cruz at the end of 2013. It wasn’t something planned, but something he suggested rather spontaneously when we couldn’t find any places in San Jose or the surrounding areas. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of our lives – we absolutely love it over here. We moved into a 2 bedroom, 1 bath duplex. This place was the first place that really felt like our own home. It had a garage, a laundry room, a yard, and a patio over the garage off the bedroom – all little luxuries we’d never had before.
Our original plan when we moved in was to stay there for a few years – not move after a single year! My grandparents own a house here in Santa Cruz that they’ve always rented out. The opportunity came up for us to move in so we said yes for multiple reasons – we were stoked to live in a house owned by my grandparents; it’s a single level, single family home that has old charm (it was built in 1905!); and it will help us save a lot of money. Sometimes the universe just has better plans in store for you!
So here we are. There is something about this home that feels different than before. Our other place felt like home, but this feels like more of a permanent home. There’s something about the old school charm, the single level, and the more separated rooms (our other place felt kind of more like a loft) that makes it feel like a family home. I can see us starting a family here (not right now, Roxie/Meg/Emmy/Mom!). Not to mention, the neighborhood is absolutely amazing. Our neighbors are the nicest people ever and apparently the neighborhood even has block parties, which is something I didn’t grow up with, but have always dreamed of.
As much as we love it here, we had our hands full the week before we moved in. You never really quite realize how much work you have to do until you get in a place and see it empty…
The majority of the house is in great condition. One of my favorite things about it is the natural light and all the windows.
Originally, we thought the house was painted white to begin with. We were wrong. When we got to the paint store, I noticed how dingy the color looked. We updated the paint to Swiss Coffee and when we started painting the trim, we noticed how much of a difference there was. We ended up giving the entire house (minus the kitchen) and all the ceilings, which are the worst things ever to paint, two coats of paint. It brightened everything up so much. It’s amazing what a little (or a lot) of paint can do! (And how exhausting it is to paint!)
The kitchen. Check out that wallpaper and those countertops! That’s what happens when you move into a house that was built in 1905. One of my upcoming projects is to sand and paint the cabinets and eventually we’ll replace the countertops, but for now, it’s not a top priority.
That gorgeous wallpaper just had to come down. Knowing how disastrous removing wallpaper could potentially be, we thought about just painting over it. But when we did a small sample (left), it looked awful so we got a steamer to see how it would come off and thankfully, it peeled off no problem. We also found the vent for what was probably a wood burning stove at one time, which is awesome because we don’t have a fan above the stove so once we get a fan in there we’ll have some kind of ventilation at least.
This was the progression of the kitchen walls from left to right. Under the wallpaper were bright yellow walls! And a patch job gone bad. Our kitchen walls are still currently yellow and have a big hole in them. Our next project is to put up dry wall rather than trying to patch the existing wall and then texture or mud and paint ‘em! Or something like that. My dad’s the boss when it comes to this stuff.
Thanks to my amazing father, we didn’t just line our kitchen drawers with paper. No, we lined them with rubber flooring. It’s heavy duty stuff. I get my perfectionism from my dad. ;)
The floors! Before we moved in, the kitchen, hallway, and dining room had vinyl tile that looks like hardwood that my dad and his guys installed five or so years ago. The living room and two bedrooms had carpet. We ripped the carpet out of the living room and master bedroom and put down the same stuff that was in the rest of the house, which thankfully Seth and I both happened to love. When we pulled up the carpet, of course we found original hardwood floors! They had some termite damage and would have been too much money and work to refinish so we continued with the plan to lay the vinyl, which will be much easier to take care of.
The expert flooring man. So thankful for a dad that knows how to pretty much do anything and is willing to help us out. We couldn’t have done all of this without him and my mom hustlin’ their buns off right beside us.
Carpet out, floor ready to be prepped.
Floor prepped. Ready to be laid!
And the floor is in! So much better, no?
By the time we moved in, we all looked like Bailey above. Exhausted and covered in paint.
It was a ton of work. I haven’t done that much physical labor for that many days straight in I don’t know how long…maybe ever. I still need a massage. But it was so worth it. We’re in and are getting settled, but have plenty of projects on our plate to keep us busy in the coming months. This whole process really made me thankful for the team of people we have in our life that are willing to jump in and help us out. It also made me thankful for the work ethic my parents gave me and growing up in a family of do-it-yourselfers. Because of my dad’s depth of knowledge and what he’s taught us and my mom’s gung ho let’s-do-this attitude, we were able to do a ton of work in just a week and save a lot of money in the process. I will forever be paying them back for the time and energy they leant us. ;)
So there you have it. After lots of sweat, aching muscles, and hair full of paint, we’re in our new home. I’m so excited to decorate, make it our own, and share the process with you guys!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Ours will be filled with cleaning out the boxes in the garage. ;)