Of houses and homes and painting


View from the back deck

The house, the house . . . our house is coming along!

And by “coming along,” I mean we’re several Big Foot-sized steps closer to calling it home.

And moving all of our worldly possessions. But that’s another matter entirely.

We had our home inspection on Saturday, which was just the sort of heavenly spring day that makes you believe anything can be possible. Everything went well — nothing major found — and we’re very relieved. Everything is on track to head to the settlement table in a few weeks.

Though I’ve spent hours pouring through photos of the property we took over the last few months, being there in person again — with a notepad, measuring tape, paint samples, a Sharpie for assigning said paint samples — made a huge difference in being able to picture this space for us. Like so many, I’m a visual person. It took standing in each room to really picture it a different color, filled with our treasures, for everything to click.

While Spencer walked with the inspector, my dad — also our Realtor! — got to work on yard work. What a guy! He took his leaf blower to clear out the flower beds covered in leaves and mulch, also known as a hotbed for spiders, while I had the surreal experience of looking at the house as our soon-to-be home instead of a cold, bank-owned foreclosure.

The power has been turned on. The lights work. The home has been de-winterized, so we can actually turn on the water — which works, too! — and run the faucets, flush the toilets. The fact that it was a temperate 75 degrees outside certainly helped. We opened the windows to push out the damp and let the sun stream in.

It was fantastic.

And the house isn’t quite so scuffed up anymore. Though in great shape overall, it definitely needs some cosmetic fixes. Many of the walls had long gashes where furniture must have been moved, and we were worried about the time and expense of needing to paint nearly every room in the house. Thanks to the magic of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, though, I have one less item on our scary to-do list!

That sounded like a product plug . . . and I guess it was. But Mr. Clean isn’t paying me to say that. We simply found a Magic Eraser beneath the sink at our apartment and brought it over to see if we could clean the walls rather than paint them (unless we want to, of course), and . . . we could!

I was super impressed with myself, I have to say.

My thighs are screaming today from being half-crouched scrubbing the upstairs, but I was able to get many of the marks off without needing to go through the paint-sampling process. Because friends? I don’t know much about decorating. I’m learning — and quickly — but . . . it’s a work in progress.

Thanks to Mr. Clean, we’ve pared down our “must paint” list to four rooms . . .

The master bedroom (no more blue, no more dream):

Master bedroom

The upstairs guest room (they painted around furniture):

Guest room

The library (!):


The main floor half bath (hard to see here, but it’s bright green):

Half bath

I’m tired just thinking about it.

But it’s going to be fun, too!

After our inspection, we popped over to Lowe’s — our new home away from home — to finally choose paint samples. I narrowed down our choices and forced myself to make a decision both Spence and I could live with, and we bought tiny pots of several colors.

There’s also new flooring, artwork, whatever furniture we can afford . . . many changes we’ll be making to transform this house into our home over, you know, many years. I’m trying to keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we’re going to put it in a lot of elbow grease and imagination to transform our new place.

That’s part of the adventure, though. To whip a house into immediate “show-ready” shape would be . . . well, exhausting, for one, and also very expensive. Expensive in a way I can’t afford. But less exciting, too. I’m looking forward to scouring yard sales and flea markets and HomeGoods for the “perfect” chair or vase or painting. It’s the thrill of the hunt.

And anyway, what our place will really need? Right now, right this second? A good scrubbing.

And come May, we’ll be ready.

P.S. If you have any favorite websites for home inspiration or shops to find cool pieces, please feel free to drop them in the comments! I’m all ears.