I mentioned earlier this year that we took the scary but thrilling leap of buying a house for the first time. What an adventure that was. We saw what felt like every house for sale in LA, spent what felt like half our summer driving to open houses, and just when we were convinced we were never going to find a house we wanted and that we could afford, we walked into this one on a mild, rainy Thursday morning in June.
Like all houses, this one isn’t without its quirks, and we’re still trying to figure out the typical growing pains of homeownership, i.e. wondering whether that popping sound in the water heater is normal, or whether that whoosh means the AC is working. But it already feels like home to us. At the risk of sounding terribly corny (but what else is new!) it’s like a person you meet and feel you’ve known forever, and already it feels like the only place we’ve ever lived in as a family.
That said, the biggest question when we moved in was how much work we wanted to do to the house. Our house is a little bungalow that’s somewhere between midcentury and traditional, and it was in pretty good condition except that the kitchen and bathrooms were on the older side and needed a few repairs. We talked a lot about how long we could see ourselves staying here: whether we thought we’d resell in a few years and just put in the minimum to update it, or whether we should treat it like our “forever home,” and put in the time and expense to really make it ours.
Well, if the picture up top of that bare room-that-used-to-be-a-kitchen didn’t tip you off, we decided to take the leap! B2, who could very happily make do with any roof over his head, is going along with it all for my sake, and handling everything, including taking care of a toddler and baby while living in a house during renovations, like the trooper that he is. We’re working with Jess and Jonathan of Taylor + Taylor, who are such design geniuses that I’m so glad every day that I didn’t try to do this by myself. On top of having an aesthetic eye for things that I couldn’t even begin to see, they have the best twin boys who are just a few weeks older than Luke–so they’re also the first ones to tell us the things that aren’t practical for kids or what’s best to design for a growing family.
So here are a few pictures of where we are right now: exposed studs, tile shipments, lots of samples, aggressively neutral everything. The kitchen is getting a makeover from top to bottom; we’re keeping a few things here and there in the bathrooms but redoing much of them, too. After years of rentals new and old, it feels truly surreal to look at paint swatches and sample tiles and actually have some say in what my home–and especially my kitchen–might look like.
On top of that, I’m super excited to be partnering with a couple of dream brands as part of the renovations. I’ll share more about them in the coming months, but I’ll be collaborating with KitchenAid, with whom I’ve wanted to work since just about the beginning of this little blog, and with Fireclay Tile, which is a brand that is much newer to this design-rube but that I’ve fallen in love with instantly for their stunning tile.
I’ll be back with more stories about our progress here (and the glamour of cooking out of your living room) very soon, but in the meantime, if you have any advice from your own renovations, I’m all ears!