I was in love with this house the second we drove by, it was in the perfect little neighborhood for raising a family and it seemed like a feasible project. In fact, nearly every day after we found the house I drove by it on my way home... I was smitten, large bushes and peeling paint did nothing to deter me.
But we couldn't afford it (don't you hate it when that happens?). My mom told me about friends who had written a note to the seller and ended up getting a great deal on their home. So I wrote one to give to the seller with the offer (I took out her name in certain places):
We have been looking at your house on the real estate website nearly every day since it was put on the market. We couldn’t afford your asking price so we never scheduled a showing… although we haven’t been able get your house out of our mind. The reason we came to look at the house, and have proceeded to make an offer is because it is exactly the type of house and neighborhood in which we want to raise a family. We got married about four months ago and work in the community. AJ is a seventh grade history teacher and cross-country coach at Manchester-Essex Middle School and Jen works at Gordon College as the event planner for the Development and Alumni office. We would like to start a family within the next year and a half and see ourselves staying in this house and community for a long time.
We sincerely hope we didn’t offend you with this offer, and if we did we are so sorry, we just can’t afford more than the current offer. Thank you for considering and we wish you well no matter what you decide.
AJ and Jen Migonis
Our offer was accepted the next day with the only contingency being that she wouldn't lower the price if things were found in the home inspection. This is what we had prayed would happen...we saw it as a miracle because we offered $45k less than the asking price!
Once we moved in on February 1, 2010 we took down the bushes because they were blocking all sorts of natural light. This photo was taken this summer before we put our front porch on...
Here it is with our front porch... it's desperately needing a new coat of paint now!
I just love the detail of the porch's ceiling:
We plan to put shutters on the windows, redo the window boxes and add a window in the center of the house.
We added pea gravel over our existing very beat up driveway pavement for a more coastal and charming feel and then dug up some awful grass in the backyard to create a patio.
AJ is the gardener in the family and planted all these gorgeous flowers here... my job is to weed, mow the lawn and trim the bushes. :)
Here is the view from our driveway leading into our back patio:
1600 square feet
2 good size bedrooms, one very tiny bedroom (our nursery)
1 very small bath (about 5 ft x 5 ft)
a living room and a kitchen
We scheduled our House Warming Party three weeks after we moved in to make ourselves get a few projects done quickly. Here are some before and in-progress photos:
BATHROOM IN PROGRESS
BATHROOM SOURCE LIST:
Paint: Benjamin Moore's Harbor Gray | Curtain:made here with HGTV Color Study Berry Fabric| Bath mat: Marshalls | Shower curtain: Nautica | Penny tile: Overstock.com | Sink and Toilet: Kohler from Home Depot | Floor Tile: Home Depot | Bathroom Shelf: made here out of a floor joist board, towels from Tahari (from Marshalls) on it | Bathroom Mirror: Home Goods | Curtain rod, toilet paper holder: Home Goods
KITCHEN IN PROGRESS
The kitchen is nearly complete. We need to finish up some molding, make the island feel more substantial, add curtains and a chandelier (and probably replace the pendent lights) but we have made great progress in here...
KITCHEN SOURCE LIST
Cabinets: Home Depot, Thomasville line
Countertops: Bianca Cararra but we picked it out through Doyans Appliance in Gloucester. I went to a marble / granite warehouse in Woburn to pick it out.
Knobs and Pulls: Home Depot | Oven and Microwave: GE from Home Depot | Fridge: Maytag from Home Depot | Sink: Franke from Home Depot | Faucet: Moen from Home Depot | Stovetop: Maytag from Home Depot | Floors: Dark Walnut hardwood by Joe Floors (based around the Manchester area) | Kitchen table: Craigslist | Chairs: IKEA | Barstools: Christmas Tree Shops | Blue rugs: Pottery Barn, Malika rug | Paint: Kitchen: Martha Stewart's Driftwood Gray and Hallway: MS's Sandpiper
LIVING ROOM BEFORE
while previous owner lived there
LIVING ROOM IN PROGRESS
It's amazing what a few changes will do! We painted the dark wall Benjamin Moore's Vanilla Ice-Cream and added a door to improve the flow of the downstairs to one end of the living room. Our own furniture and light accessories definitely have helped make the space feel more beachy although we haven't done any major changes to this room yet.
new photos coming this week (March 11)
LIVING ROOM SOURCE LIST:
Couch: out of business store
Coffee Table: Side of the road find that I restained
Rug: West Elm via Craigslist
Tan chairs: Overstock.com
Mirror: Savers thrift store
Console: AJ built it
DREW'S ROOM BEFORE
With the 1800s wallpaper:
DREW'S BIG BOY ROOM IN PROGRESS
I made a map of the United States out of super thin plywood and AJ and I hung it on Drew's wall:
His closet organization project has made organizing his clothes a dream come true for me...
The "before" was taken from the listing website before we purchased the house.
DREW'S NURSERY AFTER
I have this incredible mobile that my Dad made for Drew but Drew, in one of his excitable moments, ripped it down. You can check it out here until I can fix it and hang it up again.
NURSERY SOURCE LIST:
Bedding and Rug: Pottery Barn | Chair: IKEA | Curtains: Target | Curtain Rod: Job Lot | Crib and changing table: Bedrooms store on Rt. 1 |
Ships Wheel: Christmas Tree Shops | Mobile: My dad made it
ELLE'S NURSERY STAGE TWO: IN PROGRESS
We are in the process of making one of my favorite spaces in the house a little more feminine. The room is lavender, white and gray... with a big pop of color from the pillow you see below. Above the crib I framed portions of my favorite children's story, Miss Rumphius. I have plans to reupholster the chair in the blue you see in the pillow below.
MASTER BEDROOM BEFORE
Picture a linoleum floor in yellow. Yellow walls. Yellow trim. And then picture all of it incredibly dirty. This photo sort of does it justice.
MASTER BEDROOM IN PROGRESS
We still need to finish boxing in the beams on the ceiling, add built-ins to the closet and design nightstands but the room now is a far cry from what it used to be thanks to completely new drywall, paint, decor, windows and flooring... not to mention utilizing the under the eves area and making them into two closets that are incredibly useful now!
Bed frame: made by AJ and myself here
Headboard: made by myself here
Mirrors: Christmas Tree Shops
Pink Pillow: IKEA
Shams: West Elm Shower curtains (post here)
Key: Swank: home store in Hamilton, NY
Curtains: West Elm shower curtains (post here)
Frames: AC Moore (post here on the photographs)
Silver Frames: Linen and Things
Fireplace: Home Depot (we painted it)
Thanks for joining me on a tour of our home! I'm so glad you have stopped by!
Please, send me an email and introduce yourself... you have no idea how much your emails make my day... and maybe it's because I'm at home with a toddler and a baby and I want adult conversation. :)