Making our House a Home

Woo! Buying a house with a toddler is probably one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done! It seems your to-do list’s are never ending and getting on a schedule seems nearly impossible. So many things had to happen in order for us to make this space functional for us. First, we moved from a 3,500 square foot home into a 900 sq. ft home! Gotta love Imperial Beach. This means that many of the furniture pieces we had in the previous home became obsolete. Second, we have so many renovations planned for this home! The home came with an attached 12 by 21 garage with beautiful vaulted cielings that we plan on converting into a kitchen. However, in order to stay within code and get all necessary permits, we need to build another garage prior to the kitchen renovation. Not a problem! …if Andrew weren’t in a busy work schedule. So for now, we need to make the space work for us until we have enough down time to get started on the addition. 

Once that becomes a reality, everything else can be done! We plan on turning the existing kitchen into a bathroom and closet.  It just so happens that one of the kitchen walls connects to the master bedroom. We’ll knock it down and split the kitchen down the middle for a comfortable sized walk-in closet and master bath. The home will have such a better flow and the space will become so much more functional for our family.

Before all the decorative, aesthetically pleasing projects can be done (like wainscoting and crown molding, ah! can’t wait!) we really had to prioritize and start on the little projects that were necessary. Like the fence! The home has a giant lot and came with a not so pretty chain link fence. That was one of the first things to go! It also needed to be done because Mr. Sheriff has the leaping power of  a deer and can clear pretty much anything under 6 feet. If it’s a security issue, it’s a priority! Second, the home is very old and doesn’t have many of the basic upgrades that we millennials are used to, like a garbage disposal. Man! I would rather go without a dishwasher than a garbage disposal. How did we live before?! Also, one of the first appliances we bought for our home was a giant and pretty amazing refrigerator. This thing is a mammoth and the crown jewel of the kitchen, but there was no water line so that we could have drinking water out of it. All the little projects really do add up! 

One of the design issues we had right away was all the brown! We have some beautiful dark brown hardwoods in the new home but were bringing over our dark brown trestle table and leather couch into the new space, both of which are large pieces. I decided to break up the brown with beige and gold tones, using decorative pillows, tabletop accessories, and accent throws. We will be purchasing a beige rug to fit in this space too! Finding one that will hide dirt and inevitable toddler (and husband?) stains will be the challenge.

As for the space, coffee tables were nearly out of the question. Space is so limited I had almost given up hope until I considered nesting tables as an alternative. I love that these have come into style lately, they are just so functional and really enable you to have the comfort of a side table without taking up tons of space. I scored these at HomeGoods and they fit perfectly under the lip of your couch and just over the arm rest. Excuse the un-hung pictures and sticky table! Living with a toddler much?

I bought two of these nesting tables for each end of the couch. I love the way they add visual interest without taking up too much space in that narrow walk-way! Because the couch is L-shaped, it allows for some separation in the room. Our plan is to put a little bar area in the space behind the couch where our wine fridge now sits. Great for entertaining! Oh, and the little cushion under the coffee table is Sheriff and Ellie’s favorite spot to lounge. Space saving win!

We love that we’re adding so much value to our home. I once heard that bathrooms and kitchens sell homes, and once the renovations are complete we’ll be adding just that! It’s been a dream for Andrew and I to own our home for such a long time, and when Isla came into our lives that dream quickly took on a sense of urgency. I can’t wait to share our adventures and renovations along the way!


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  1. Congratulations on the new home! So exciting. We bought a home in La Mesa a couple years ago, and one of the first improvements we had to do was add a garbage disposal too (seriously, why didn’t the previous owner add one?!?) It’s been an adventure fixing up our home, and the reason I started a blog, to share it. I’m following your blog now, and I can’t wait to see all of the improvements you have planned.

  2. Woah 3500 to 900?! I look forward to seeing all the renovations. We have a small place too since 3 years ago. Nothing has been done as the hubby works soooo much! And I don’t have a garbage disposal/compactor. I guess I need one? I don’t even know what that is!

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