Making A House A Home

I remember as a young child dreaming about my own home. While all the other girls were dreaming about their weddings and having children I was dreaming about a house I could be creative in, paint murals, and make it my own little humble abode. I would rearrange my bedroom constantly and by my senior year of high school I had painted mermaids and a sunset beach on my bedroom walls.

Fast forward 14 years and here I am now in my own home, painting murals on walls, decorating, rearranging furniture, and creating that humble abode I had always wanted. In those 14 years I have rented several homes and a few apartments and with that comes pro’s and con’s. You can’t paint, some places you can’t even put holes in the wall to hang pictures, you can’t change much about anything so you are forced to work around what is available. All of these put a damper on my “wannabe” designer self! However, I always managed to work with what I had and it was a fun challenge.

Renting…
This was always a challenge. We would get online and search all the property management sites in our area to see what has been listed. I would stock those sites daily because when living in a city where renting is high in demand they go quick. We preferred renting through a real estate/ property management company because they always seemed to be less trouble than renting from an owner. They had maintenance men on call, always took care of the problems that needed to be addressed, and you didn’t have to deal with nosey owners coming to check the place out whenever they wanted. : )

 Here is how I had designed around our last rental before buying our own home. I used a lot of color and texture because the walls were a drab white.

When the time came to purchase a home I was so excited! I new that I would finally be able to find the home I had always dreamt of. However, house hunting is not as easy as it sounds. In our case we had a time limit to find a home. The real estate market was at the top of it’s game and houses were being bought as soon as they were put on the market. Our price range of course was the most popular so when we found our dream home and put an offer in we were to late. They had already accepted the first offer they got. That feeling of not getting the house you fell in love with kind of makes you lose hope. We searched online, and called our realtor we saw about a dozen homes and they all were  under contract or already sold. It was a tough market. We finally found one that had been on the market for awhile. The sellers were picky and wanted nothing under the asking price. It wasn’t our “dream home” but it was a good “starter home” and I think that when going in buying a house the biggest misconceptions first time home buyers have is that they will indeed find that “dream home.” What I have learned is that you could find a home that has a beautiful exterior and the inside needs updating, or you can find the perfect interior but the bathrooms are small, there’s no master bath, or the kitchen doesn’t have those “granite countertops” everyone lusts after. I’ve learned that with buying a house compromise is your new best friend and the realization that there is no “perfect house” unless you have a million dollars and can afford to build that one of a kind home will make it a little less stressful. Even the first house we fell in love with had it’s flaws that I would have wanted to change.
 
Since moving in a year ago we have made quite a bit of changes and still are. We painted walls, added our own style and are currently remodeling the basement. Are we stopping there? No, the kitchen needs updating as well as the bathrooms and staircase. I’ve learned through all my renting over the years that once you put your touch on it, whether it be photographs or some of your favorite collections displayed it makes the entire house feel like a home
 
 
Here are a few photos of our home before and after some of the updates…
 
This is the entryway. As you can see the trim and staircase still needs to be done but as everything is when buying a home that needs updating… it’s a work in progress.

 
This is what the living room looked like when we first moved in. When you have rented for so many years and have a mismatch of different items to fit each home you kind of just throw it all together. It has much evolved and still continues to  since this photo was taken a year ago.
 
Before… 
Here’s what it looked like a few months ago. I have since bought new furniture and can’t wait to share the new updated version.
 
After…

                                                                        Before…

 
After… 

    
                                                                          

                                                                  Dining room before…

                                                                            After…

           The basement is our big project right now. We have added beams downstairs and a wall. Right now it’s just waiting on a paint color, carpet and some pretty d├ęcor. ; ) I have a pretty good idea of what I want so I will be thrilled to share with you when it gets put together.

Buying your first home, apartment, or town house can be one of the most stressful yet exciting steps of life. I can guarantee if I had a place like Urban Compass to go to as a source for buying a home or apartment we would have been very happy home owners. This site is amazing if you are looking to shop for real estate in New York.  Whether it’s in down to earth Brooklyn Heights, the trendy Fashion District or the Bohemian life of SoHo Urban Compass gives you the personality of each neighborhood along with what to expect and not expect, and beautiful photographs! What a fantastic way to sell real estate!!! If you are in the market to buy in New York you must check out the agents of Urban Compass.
                                                                            
                                                                            Peace and Love,