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Now that we’ve been in our newly renovated house a few months, here are a few new home surprises we’ve discovered along the way!
Whenever I’ve bought a new home, or imagine people buying a home, I always think “What if the XX is bad and you don’t know it until you move in?!”
Perfect example: the water pressure! You usually don’t take a shower in a house before buying it, and while your inspector might call out oddly low water pressure, he/she might not make note of anything that’s just a little bit bad.
When you’re building or renovating a home, you try to think of everything you want/need/desire, but then there are things that pop up that still don’t work quite right. On the flip side, there are bound to be a few pleasant surprises!
Having lived in our newly renovated home for two months now, I’m sharing a few of those pros and cons that we have learned about our newly designed space.
How we thought it would go: beautiful but dirty
How it’s going: GREAT!
We knew we wanted lighter floors for an aesthetic feel, so there was really no going back and forth on should we go dark or light. I was a little worried that the lighter wood would show all kinds of stains and dirt, but in fact, I think they show FEWER stains and dirt than our previous floors! I cannot figure out why. The only stain that shows worse is coffee drips. Everything else (smudges, ice cream drips, dirt) seems to blend in really well.
And one really really awesome discovery: the floors match Gus’s hair!! He sheds like crazy but we just can’t see it as much. Also having a robot vacuum has been a totally life changing addition to the amount of dog hair that accumulates on a daily basis.
How we thought it would go: all the appliances in there
How it’s going: it’s the new coffee station!
I already wrote about this change in this post, but this swap was one we didn’t plan for but turned out to be amazing! Thomas loves all of his coffee supplies together and handy next to his newly installed coffee sink with water filter; I love that all the coffee mess (grinds on the counter, drips from the lids, sprinkles of sugar) are behind closed doors that I never have to see!
Coffee Sink Faucet Confusion
How we thought it would go: we don’t need as fancy of a faucet for the secondary sink
How it’s going: my brain is so confused
Let me explain this as best as I can: our primary kitchen sink faucet is hands free and you wave your arm through the neck to turn it on and off. I am so used to doing this motion that I go to other houses and do it there too. It’s hard to unlearn! Our coffee sink is the same brand, but it’s a tap on and off, so you have to touch it with your finger or the back of your hand to turn it on. So half the time I am tapping our main faucet and waving my arm through our coffee faucet. In hindsight, we should have just gotten the same faucet in both. It’s driving me a little bit nuts!
Not Having A Real Garage
How we thought it would go: chaos for stuff
How it’s going: no big deal
Since building our hidden trash can storage and moving a lot of the things we used to store in the garage into our bigger kitchen / utility closet / storage rooms, we really don’t miss having a garage at all. I don’t miss AT ALL wondering if there are spiders in the cooler bags or beach chairs that we used to store in the buggy garage. We still have plans to purchase a small shed for the backyard, but for the time being, we don’t regret losing our garage at all.
The Parking Lot
How we thought it would go: we’d need to seriously troubleshoot our parking spots
How it’s going: my two-point turn is now a four-point turn
When we started to plan our our renovation, we knew adding the side porch would mean Thomas’s truck’s parking spot got pushed back a few feet, which cuts off my ability to turn around in the driveway. It was already tight, but losing 3-4 feet would make it even tighter. We debating parking on the street, parking in the back, making a new, wider driveway. None of these alternatives seemed like good ideas, so we decided to cross that bridge when we get there.
I used to be able to do a two-point turn to get out, and now I need 3-5 points to make the turn, but I CAN DO IT! Thomas tries to tell me just to back straight out, but we live on a busy street and driving is not in my talent stack, so I continue to do silly Austin Powers-style turns. There are worse things, haha.
The Dining Room
How we thought it would go: family dinners in the dining room, breakfast at the island
How it’s going: we now have a puzzle table!
Prior to our renovation, the dining room was the prime eating spot. We didn’t have an island or kitchen table, so we did almost all breakfast, lunches, and dinners here. Everyone said we would start to eat all meals at the island. I didn’t really believe them, but it’s true!! We eat most of our meals at the island, or out on the screened in porch while it still warm. But this has led to an amazing discovery of using the dining table as a puzzle table! We borrowed this puzzle from Thomas’s friend Anna and immediately got a second one of the national parks to start. It’s been so relaxing to put on spa music and puzzle in the evenings.
New Primary Bathroom
How we thought it would go: a serene space for the adults
How it’s going: the whole gang’s here!
Our bathroom is the place to be. Everyone prefers to shower in there, and the tub is big and large, so the boys love to bathe in there too. The only problem I’m solving now is whose towel is whose!? It’s kind of nice that I can do my skincare or fold laundry during bath time now vs. being cooped in the smaller boys bathroom, so I’m calling this a win-win.
Shower Cleaner Bar
How we thought it would go: install a shower bar that you can use to clean the shower
How it’s going: I have a neck-down shower for non-hair washing days!
This was one of those “the first time you shower here” discoveries. I didn’t realize that our hand-held shower sprayer that we installed for cleaning is actually an adjustable shower HEAD too! I can use it if I’m taking a neck-down shower and not washing my hair instead of holding my head sideways to keep my hair dry under the rainshower. #itsthelittlethings
The Open Mudroom
How we thought it would go: looking messy at the time
How it’s going: 1,000% better than it was
I think I have mentioned that our mudroom started as a more closed off room, and we decided to open it up. And we also debating having doors on the lockers and drawers for shoes to contain the open clutter, but we didn’t have quite enough depth for those. So everything is open…..and it’s going great! While we we will never have enough hooks for coats or shelves for shoes, the percentage improvement from what it was before is so dramatically improved that I couldn’t care less that it’s open and sometimes a little cluttered. It’s awesome!!!