I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and a friend had posted a wide-angle shot of her living room. “We’ve been in this house for 15 years,” she said, “and I can finally say that it’s just the way we want it.”
Her words struck me. Fifteen years.
I’m often guilty of those Pinterest-scrolling wanty feelings. The beautiful kitchens and uber-organized mudrooms, pristine bathrooms and peaceful bedrooms. When I would peel my eyes away from the computer and look around our house, I’d feel an urgency and discontent about my own home.
But the move to Waffle Hill has been different. Even before we moved one piece of furniture into this home, Dan and I decided that our approach to Waffle Hill was going to be different. We were going to take our time as we worked through the house, making improvements and changes and upgrades. We were going to do things well, not just do them to get them done.
I think a lot of this philosophy change has something to do with this place. For the first time our family is living in a place that actually feels like home. The temporal feeling is gone. We want to invest in this lovely old place.
But still, with any old home there are some things that require more immediate attention. There is always, always something that needs to be repaired or replaced. And Waffle Hill, like any old home, has her fair share of things on that list.
I learned a lot from the work we did at Woodlawn. And I’m using a lot of those experiences as we approach new projects here.
We’ve done a few things so far:
- built a new sheep barn and put up fencing
- painted the girls’ bedrooms and replaced a sagging ceiling
- replaced the refrigerator
- repaired plaster and drywall
- cleaned in basements, workshops, house, etc.
But we’re also preparing for some more major improvements in the near future. At the top of the list is to replace the kitchen flooring and stove. The upstairs master bathroom (which all four of my daughters have seem to have “moved into”) also needs to have the floor replaced, to be repainted and to have cabinetry replaced.
The sweet old back bathroom will also need attention at some point, too. When we moved in, Birdy made me promise I would never ever ever take down the wallpaper. (I did not promise, but I did say we would leave it up as long as we could. I mean come on, look at those sheep. It was meant for us.) And with four girls in this house who are growing up faster than I can handle, I’m thinking an extra functional bathroom with a shower and hopefully a double sink is going to be a sanity-saving necessity.
And another biggie on the list is the eventual replacement of the windows. They are beautiful and old but leaky and rattly and happily letting all our heat slip out of their casings.
Our approach to these projects is not to rush into them, but to approach them wisely and do them well. I think in the past we’ve been guilty of putting a band-aid on a home project telling ourselves we’d do a more upscale improvement when we could afford it or had more time. But those band-aids often turn into years of living with a mediocre replacement.
There has been something so freeing about this patient approach. I look around my home and appreciate the progress and the work that is to be done. I am falling in love with the process and I’m also finding a contentment and patience that I did not have before. Of course, there will always be fires to put out–that is one of the “joys” of old homes, but we can also plan and prepare for the more major renovations ahead.
Though we haven’t used their services yet, Capital One offers smart, simple tools for anyone preparing for a home renovation project or home purchase. They help you decide which options work best for your situation and provide you with all the information you need to move forward on your project. Through their website you can get a customized rate offer and estimated loan amount–without impacting your credit score, and you can even begin the application process without the burdensome fees. Whether you’re looking to get that new gourmet kitchen, upgrade your backyard patio or add an addition, with a home equity line of credit, you can start your “someday” project today.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.