Friday, August 3, 2012

I really love my cute little house!

Every day I'm so pleased that I found this little gem of white cottage cuteness for me to live in. Not to mention the bills are small too, which is another thing I love about living here. Downsizing was the hard part, but even that wasn't too bad.

I had to buy smaller furniture to quite literally fit in the living room, and thankfully all my clothes and shoes really do fit into the walk in closet and big dressers. But the hardest thing for me to be without was my makeup table. I've had a nice well-lit place to sit down and do my makeup for decades now.

It's not ideal, but I've given myself some desk organizers in the bathroom cupboard. Everything is still right there for me to go through and fuss over when looking for just the right colors for this outfit. My bathroom mirror has three lights, so there's that too. I just don't get to sit down.

It's close enough.

I bought the house because I loved the bathroom, so it didn't take me much convincing to spend more time in there. Also it's the only place I've got a full length mirror, so this really is the logical place to get ready to go out. Most people I think do that in the bathroom. I just always had another room for that.

I don't really miss it. Mostly it was a place where laundry collected that always needed cleaning, but I never got around to it because I didn't even go in the room unless I was changing clothes.

When I looked at the house, there was a vanilla scented plugin working its magic. I bought one the other day, remembering how nice I thought the vanilla house was when I looked at it empty. I plugged it in and it smelled like empty house to me. Brought back memories of cluelessness and indecision. I unplugged it.

Since then I've added a few little touches to make the bathroom mine. It really didn't need much. Just some hot pink things like the other rooms have.

The house is so cottage, it screams out for flowers, but I like modern so I'm doing my best to fuse the two styles and also put some shiny things around for my own amusement.

My friend gave me a housewarming present that she thought I'd like, having no idea that it was just the right colors or that it would fit perfectly in that one spot in my bathroom.

She also didn't know that I'm ridiculously particular about colors (I may have to paint the frame pink or white) or that I requested no housewarming gifts because I don't want to get stuck with extra things I have no place for.

Not sure if this was just a stroke of luck that she picked up the perfect thing for me, or she knows me well enough to know I'd find a place for it.

My bathroom is chock full o'cabinets and there's not only room for everything in there, but the tub even has drawers which are great for stashing those things you forget you need until you're already in the water like razors and scrubbies.

I knew myself well enough that when I walked into the Real Estate guy's office the first time, I pretty much told him that I'm easily swayed by pretty colors and cute bathrooms. It makes perfect sense how much I love my house every time I go in this room.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Digging up my cute little front lawn

The other day, I was notified by the city that I had 6 days to fix a sewer leak I didn't know I had. They were out randomly checking and found that I had a big problem right there on my cute little front lawn.

The repair was costly and lawn-intrusive. Also blogworthy.

I took to the internet to tell the story of my first major unscheduled expense at my cute little house.

I hate that I don't know enough about houses and foundations and plumbing and home repair, but I guess this is how you learn. After spending the day with the crew working on my house, I'm much better informed than I was before.

It seems that a repair had been done previously that either failed, or perhaps when I had plumbing problems earlier in the year, the guys who came with the big-ass rooter machine thingy damaged that repaired area.

Not so cute little front lawn
But whichever. We went all in and put in all new copper pipes and I should never have to ever do this ever again. A lot of things in my house were fixed quick and dirty. When they break, it seems the best idea to use it as an opportunity to fix it right.

My real estate guy advised me not to put any more money into the house, because I can't sell it for any more regardless since the house is tricked out with all kinds of stuff already, but it's my feeling that since I live here, I can put some money into making myself comfortable here.

I had no choice but to do this repair and to do it within 6 days. I didn't get a lot of time to shop around or learn much, but I have to believe I got it fixed right, and I think that will pay off in the long run.

Looks pretty good after!
They saved the grass best they could and put it back on top when they filled in the hole. The lawn doesn't even look too bad considering.

I would have preferred to spend the money on a hot tub than this but the guys assured me that people get hot tubs and use them once or twice and then never again after that, so this was a better way to spend my money.

Also because the new clean pipes mean a more consistent water volume and pressure, and cleaner water. That's a noticeable upgrade that's worth paying for.

There's a lot of things, given the choice, I'd have spent my money on sooner, but dwelling on that right now is pointless since it's over and done with. I still need to have what's left of the hole filled in and new grass planted, but the time for planting grass is later in the year.

In the meantime, I spend my spare time daydreaming and surfing the www for things I could have tricked out the backyard with instead.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My neighbors are selling their cute little house.

Most of the ones over here are pretty small, which means that most of my neighbors are either retirees or newlyweds. There's not a lot of kids but there are a lot of cats and small dogs.

The police patrol here constantly and the neighbors are all outside all the time talking with each other, so if anything or anyone is out of place it's pretty obvious right away. Makes things safe and peaceful. Works for me.

The girl who's trying to buy the next door house just had the inspection done this afternoon. I talked with her a little bit on one of her visits. She's young and I think she may be a college student. Buying a little house is cheaper than renting an apartment these days, so it's a good value if you're gonna stick around for four years.

That's the story on my house too. The previous owner was a young girl going to college. Her folks bought her the house to live in because it was cheaper. Smart girl fell in love with a landscaper/handyman who moved in and added some cool stuff to the property which made it attractive for me to buy.

I loved the house because it had it's own personality and style. I knew as soon as I saw this little white cottage that most of the furniture must be light/white. When I saw the hilarious basement bathroom, I knew I had a place to dye my hair. That was my only concern about living in a light colored house.

I mean sure it will get dirty, but you can clean up most everything. Except for hair dye which gets everywhere and never comes out. I figure it keeps me cleaner in general, because I can't let things go in this house. It's too small and too white for anything to stay dirty too long. They say, "Out of sight, Out of mind." In this house, there's none of that. So I clean most stuff often. Probably the cleanest I've ever been in my life.

My new potential neighbor was asking all sorts of questions about how safe and quiet the neighborhood is. That's a good sign I'm getting a safe quiet neighbor. All the ones I've got pretty much are.

I like it here a lot. I love my house, especially now that everything's decorated. I suppose deep down I'm a graphic designer because I really do enjoy my house so much more now that everything is color coordinated and all the furniture is in the right spots. I know I've got it right because I haven't tried to change it in months now.

When I first moved in I obsessed on every piece of furniture that was the wrong color or size or shape. I thought I'd move in with what I had and sort it out one thing at a time later, but it turned out that every day, I'd wake up stressed out that the house didn't look like my vision of how I wanted it to be.

I know no one but me cared. But I still obsessed over it anyway.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

It is nice having a yard.

Flowers that matched sprung up the other day!
The house I bought was generally in good shape with most stuff upgraded or replaced within the last five years.

I got a great deal and didn't have to fix up hardly anything at all. Rumor has it that the guy living here was a landscaper, which explains all the fantastic flowerbeds and the little patio out back.

I had no idea what, if anything would or wouldn't grow so I was really pleased to see flowers in my preferred color scheme pop up at the side of the house. I had no idea this house could get any cuter until flowers happened.

Out back is a different story. My lumpy driveway grows weeds, my yard has holes that look like Bugs Bunny was out there looking for Amsterdam. I don't know jack about things that grow so I hired some people to do it for me, but I've had a lot of trouble for some reason with folks being consistent about coming over and taking care of these things for me.

My yard is tiny and there's not a lot to do, so hiring a service is pretty affordable. I've got it on the schedule for them to do a few things back there to make it look flat and grassy one day. So far its a lumpy weed patch, but it entertains the cat.

I was letting The Flash outside to roam around on his own when I first moved here but he scales the fence, jumps on top of the shed and antagonizes the yard full of dogs across the way.

I shudder to think what might happen if he made it out of the yard, which it seems like he could do at will at any moment. So we taught him to walk on a leash. He pretty much hates the harness but he wants to go outside badly enough that he tolerates it.

He needs to be watched at every moment, so I go out with him. Sometimes I leave him on a tie-out like you with a dog. Only you're not supposed to do that with cats because they can back right out of pretty much any harness. I only do it cause hes boring to walk around with, because he doesn't walk around.

If I could walk him around the neighborhood, I would. He just wants to sit around and eat grass. So I take him out, tie him up on a 25 foot leash, have a seat, enjoy the sunshine and watch his every move in case he gets tangled up or starts to try to escape.

We go inside when he starts getting too adventurous and trying to go places I can't grab him quickly. He spends all his time indoors looking out the window.

I would like to get a patio umbrella now that we're spending so much more time out in the sunshine, but they're all crazy expensive and never in colors I like.

For some reason, on Craig's List it's always tables with holes in them for sale and the umbrellas are always gone. Then you also have to buy the stands separately and they cost as much as the umbrella in some cases. Of all the patio umbrellas I've ever sat under in my life, I never once considered that they are all outrageously priced.

People keep suggesting that I get a grill, because that's what you do in a backyard, I guess. But my house is tiny and my yard is tiny and the kitchen's only right there if you're hungry. As much as I'd like to invite all my friends over for a party, I don't want to have a cookout and get stuck with leftovers and have to clean the grill. There's a kickass BBQ joint at the top of my street that I'm sure will feed you much better.

I think I'd rather have a hot tub, but it seems like those are pricey things that people get and then end up not using.

Not sure what else you do in a backyard exactly. The neighbors asked me if I'm gonna get a dog.

"No, I'm just gonna walk the cat on a leash."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nine Months in My Cute Little House

Current state of the Living Room
I stopped updating My Cute Little House's blog because I didn't like my living room and I struggled to figure out how to make it work.

Who wants to read a blog about me moving things a few inches this way or that way and complaining that I should have known better than to buy a beige sofa?

I basically went to IKEA and replaced all the mismatched and black furniture with lovely white simple modern peices.

The whole thing cost more than I'd originally intended, but relatively speaking, IKEA is cheap. Since I didn't end up paying any other costs I hadn't considered before buying the little house, I'm calling it close enough.

I plucked off the table top, got a piece of wood cut to the appropriate size and tiled it with colors I like. Then painted some picture frames to match.

Originally, I wanted a disco ball in my living room but settled for these Chinese paper lanterns once I realized they were a lot cheaper, come in colors that match my new tabletop and they are a heck of a lot easier to hang.

I'm heavily considering getting crafty and making a pink slipcover for my sofa, but there's life to live and other things that require my time and money that are more urgent now that I generally like the living room.

As for the rest of the house, Everything is good and now that I've lived here awhile and put things where they are functional, it seems like this house is exactly the right size and I keep getting rid of more things that it turns out I don't really feel like I need at all.
IKEA Torsby Sideboard

The big issue for me was these floor vents taking up precious space that I don't have to spare. I solved the problem by getting a sideboard that's up on legs, which looks great, gives the cat a window seat, and serves a charging station as well.

I think I would have arranged everything in the living room completely differently if not for these vents.

I have the sofa, which is also up on legs, over one that blows hot air. I looked into getting a vent extender but all the reviews pretty much said that it was a waste of money because it is nothing more than a cheap peice of plastic and that you could fashion something yourself out of paint tray liners. So I fashioned something myself out of paint tray liners and clipped it to the carpet. Now the hot air blows out into the room from under the sofa. The cat likes to sit right in front of it on cold days.

Ottoman from Walmart
So my sofa is not exactly centered on that wall to accommodate the vent extender, but I put a little ottoman in the space, which also serves as storage for a TV watching blanket and pillow, and a step up to the couch for my elderly cat who can't climb so good anymore and it kinda looks like I meant to do that.

I love living with cats. They spend all their time in here, so I think it's important to make it a nice place for them to live too. The little one has high places to jump up to and hang out. The old one has low places to spend her time and steps to get her up on the couch and the bed.

It is these requirements, the small size limitations, and the floor vents which made decorating this room, and this whole house in a way that makes me happy so difficult. I need things to match and I need things to be functional. I've been in this house about nine months now and I'm only starting to feel like I'm getting it right now.

Garbage Pedestal/Shoe Shelf
The kitchen has floor vent where I least need one too. I like to have two trash cans. One for garbage and one for recycling. I also need a place to feed cats and a place for a litter box. With such limited space in the kitchen, that floor vent was really a problem.

I was at a KMart going out of business sale when I found the solution. It's a closet organizer which now serves as my garbage pedestal. Lets the floor vent have it's space while allowing me to put the trash cans in that spot I want them in. Also a handy place to keep a couple of pairs of shoes for slipping on to go out real quick just for a second. Like when it's time to take the trash out.

Every morning
I've solved most of the issues of furniture placement. Although I've not stopped the cat from jumping on my head in bed to try to get to the windows. But I've mostly become used to that. I had considered getting a headboard which he can jump onto instead, but I've come to enjoy waking up with him beside me on the pillow. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Living in my cute little house

I expected this blog would be a great place to chronicle my adventures and experiences living in my cute little house, but so far it's all gone pretty smoothly.

There wasn't a lot in the way of mishaps and misadventures once I got moved in. I sold my old furniture and got some that fit this space and now it seems exactly right.

With all the built in cabinets, there is a place for everything and my battle has really been about getting rid of even more furniture. The more stuff I take out, the better it looks.

The other battle I've been having is the color scheme, which I have not gotten quite right just yet. All my previously black furniture needs to be painted white, which is not as simple a task as I'd imagined.

I've tried a few different techniques and not quite got it right to my satisfaction yet. I may have to buy new stuff one day, but I'm still trying to paint what I've already got. I think I'll get another weekend of warm temperatures to try again tomorrow, but soon it will be winter and I'm starting to come to grips with the reality that living with mis-matched furniture is not the worst thing that could happen.

Other than painting furniture white, there isn't a lot that still needs to be done and I've been spending my time living in my cute little house.

My kitchen is probably the most functional place I've ever tried to cook, because it is compact. Everything's right where you need it, and no mess is ever too big to clean up right now. I'm much neater in general living in a smaller space.

Turned out I fit just fine in here and it all feels just the right size.

Friday, October 21, 2011

If the sofa is beige, Then what color is the carpet?

Armed only with a floor plan of my little house before I moved over here, I knew I'd need to buy new furniture that fit in the room. I set about looking at every sofa in every store both in town and on the internet.

And I came up empty.

I was willing to pay for some nice furniture, just wanted it to be something spectacular and comfortable since I'll likely be sitting on it for the next 15 years. And it had to be pink. or white. or something totally crazy maybe. And it has to be cottage. And modern. all at the same time.

I entertained the notion of futons, loveseats, daybeds, foam furniture, used ones, vintage ones, leather ones, new ones, custom ones and even parts of sectionals. Nothing seemed quite like the right fit.

As moving day got closer and closer, I started really stressing out over it. Because the color of the sofa had to work with the color of the carpet I was about to get installed for more money than I could just do-over if it turned out it wasn't quite right.

Of all the sofas I'd seen, and there were a lot, it was really only this off-white one that spoke to me because of its styling. Totally modern but with enough tufting to make it sort of cottagey. I had no idea how I would make that color work and then all of a sudden I found a pink area rug with beige stripes which pulled all the colors together.

"That's how i make it work!" I thought and ordered the sofa and chair right after I ordered the rug. Turned out the sofa looks awesome with the rug, as I'd expected... but the coffee table was another story. Totally wrong size and shape.

I started looking on craigslist for coffee tables and I got lucky. Within a few days, I managed to somehow find one that was the perfect size and shape and also somehow in-between modern and shabby chic and also grey and beige. The two colors I would have sworn don't work together before I saw 'em doing it in my living room.

The coffee table is spectacular. It is also busy enough, and matches enough that I didn't need the area rug at all. In fact it just seemed to be clutter. The rest of the living room is still a work in progress but it seems the more I take away, the better looking the room is.

I've halted plans to paint all or part of the table white. It seems to be the star of the room and everything else should be adjusted to match it.

That sofa and chair are really comfortable. Also scotchguarded and guaranteed for stains as well as structure for 7 years. I imagine it will become important. I have two cats, an off-white sofa and no dining room.