One year recap

We’ve officially had our house for one year, readers!  We got possession on June 27, 2013, and that was when we started making changes, so it totally counts as our starting date.  This post is all about taking a stroll down memory lane, so let’s start with the happy homeowners on the day we got our keys:

945320_586802767665_1676446915_nWe didn’t waste any time in whipping the house into shape, which started with an unexpected leak in the basement while Dan was away.  We got keys, Dan left the next day, and I made a point of coming by the house each day with Oscar to clean and get him used to the place.  The wet carpet was discovered that first day I came to the house by myself, and it lead to removing all the carpet in the whole house.

Basement before, during our final walk-through:

Basement living room DSC03602
And basement with carpet pulled up and a crack in the foundation being repaired.  This was not the only cracked repaired in our first 12 months here, oh no.  More on that later.

DSC03637While Simon, the world’s handiest uncle, was repairing a crack in the basement, he also took a stab at removing a pesky wall upstairs that was holding back the true potential of our dining room.  Here is that wall, picture here next to the previous owner’s boxes.  I especially enjoy the dramatic uplighting on the wall, because this was the wall’s last picture.

DSC03598And in the three short weeks from when we got our keys to when we moved in, everything was knocked down, cleaned up, and ready for our new dining room table and chairs.

DSC03640View from the dining roomBefore we moved in, I also ripped all of the awful, ugly, very very ’80s cupboard liner paper out.  It was a satisfying afternoon, although the sticky back residue from the paper still hasn’t entirely left…

DSC03655We packed up our worldly possessions from our old place, and said goodbye to the rental place where we lived for three years.  On our last evening in the old house, we enjoyed celebratory Starbucks and soaked in all the memories of a home with no air conditioning.

DSC03688Moving day went a lot faster than any of us expected, with all of our things into the new house just shortly after lunch time.

And by that night, we had a lot unpacked and things were already looking like a home.

After removing the basement rec room carpet, the faint odour of cat stink still wafted around our house (and hit you like a ton of bricks when you walked through the door), so we set out to remove the rest of the carpet.  Buh-bye carpeted stairs!

DSC03729 DSC03731This was a long hard slog to pick all of the staples of the wood from two, count ’em, TWO different styles of carpet used on them over the years.  Once the carpet was up, Dan painted all of the floors in the basement rooms with Kilz stain and odour covering paint, and the cat stink was gone!

Our next big adventure was an epic trip to Ikea, during which we forked over a lot of our hard-earned cash, and gained some much needed pieces in our home.

We were working on creating an entrance area by the front door, but Ikea could only help us out on this trip with a bench and some shelves.  The shoe storage cupboard we wanted was not in stock.  Sad face.

DSC03757We ditched out ghetto “bedside tables” from the old house, and upgraded with sleek black ones with drawers, for a nice neat look in the bedroom.

DSC03756And we created a cozy book nook with our good friend the Billy bookcase.

DSC03751An eternity later, after visiting THREE different Ikea locations to find it, we finished our main entrance in the kitchen with the shoe cupboard, and put up the shelves that almost ended our relationship.

DSC03771Next, we occupied our days and nights choosing paint colours, so that one room at a time, we could make our house feel like ours.

DSC03785The dining room was first:DSC03677
DSC03797Followed by the living room:

DSC03701DSC03800The basement rec room:

DSC03715DSC03801And the front door:

DSC03808Mailbox = boringWe took a break from painting to put up the world’s shortest section of fence across our driveway so that Oscar could roam free in the yard.  It nearly murdered us, and then we just paid Simon to do it for us.

ten feet across the drivewayDONE!Then we kept trucking with our painting project with the bedroom:

bye bye beigeFossil Grey and it feels so goodWe got restless in early September to get moving with our basement.  It sat as a big empty room for two months and then we got down to business and put down a laminate floor.

Flooring bits and pieces love it.My crafting supplies finally had a place to live!

Craft corner!The rest of the room wasn’t empty for long, and we bought a large sectional couch to fill the other side of the room.  Our TV watching area officially moved to the basement.

Dan is playing peekaboo Homer has a home nowWe changed out our mailbox for a new stylish alternative:

Slim and trim profile
And kept right on painting.  The hallway:

Hallway progress Colour comparisonThe bathroom:

Bathroom, before we bought the house Finished!The entrance way and kitchen:

Shelves stayed put Country Green in actionOur pantry cupboard got a functional makeover:

Useless. This makes us so happy
We added a decorative mantle to the living room wall:

DSC04072 Mantle in the daylightAnd picked up paintbrushes one more time to paint the office:

DSC04082 Office space doneWe celebrated our first Christmas in our new house, which included a whole bunch of new spaces to decorate:

My pride and joy Icicle lights, garland, and red ribbon on the porch New chairs! Christmas tree in the front windowThen things got sad, as a winter thaw resulted in flooding in our basement, and our beautiful rec room was torn apart to solve the problem:

Bye-bye floor The TV is upstairs, it feels weird Insulation, craft table, and craft shelvesIt was five long months before we were able to put it back together.  But on a positive note, we used it as an excuse to get rid of the ugly in our basement.

Dan took great pleasure in tearing down the wood paneling in the workout room.

Oscar, photo-bomber More cracks were discovered and repaired:

Cracks are ready to be filledWe used the opportunity to turn our basement bathroom plumbing rough-in into something more closely resembling a bathroom:

Future bathroom Bathroom!That awful cupboard at the bottom of the stairs is GONE, and our under the stairs cupboard received an update and more structural support:

Basement closet final look Tool storageWhile Dan ate egg salad sandwiches from 7-11 in Japan, I took on a few projects of my own around the house.  I painted our kitchen cart and step stool:

Bare wood, waiting patiently Done!And I refinished the bathroom vanity:

The BEFORE FinishedWe put our basement floor back together (it’s way easier the second time, you guys!):

Future couch place Craft corner at last! Everything in its placeAnd played around with some new, less-intensive projects:

My materials Japan fabric I'm doing it! garden planI’m still working on the steamer trunk.  It’s been a while since I did anything with it, but we’ve been enjoying our no-pressure weekends where it’s not all HOUSE PROJECTS all the time.

Up next, we’ll be getting Simon back in to finish the foundation wall cracks (he still has to dig down the side of the house and repair them from the outside), replacing the dining room light fixture, doing something with the office closet, making curtains for the basement windows, and finding a reading chair for the office book nook.  I’m sure lots of other things will come up too, and I bet my list will get rearranged and new priorities will pop up.

Also, only 21 years and 4 months only our mortgage is paid off.


About joeyandjanice

Two crazy kids trying to make sense of the jumble surrounding making the jump from renting to owning our first home. Join us here as we stumble towards the biggest purchase of our lives.
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