Transforming the House into Our Home (with Chandelier Update!)

The move has happened!! It was weeks of taking small loads in our minivan and then a long and hard 4 days of “real” moving with a moving truck (and a few very excellent friends), but we managed to clear out our rental house and move to our new home.

Our house looks like Boxlandia rather than the Carlson Household, but we are starting to win the battle on the boxes. With my Mom’s help I got the kitchen tackled first. Then we moved into the dining room and got the bedrooms sorted out.

I even got my youngest’s room finished! He’d picked out a Marrakesh stencil pattern he wanted done on one wall in yellow and grey. Stenciling is trickier – and slower – than it seems. You can only do so many repeats at a time until you have to stop and let the stencil dry out. If you don’t, you risk having wet paint smeared across the lovely grey surface that you’d just gotten all nice and pristine.

Considering I could only do about 3 or 4 stencils in a session, it took me over a week to get his wall done. But it is spectacular! He is so pleased. “It turned out better than I imagined it could.” The boy sure knows how to get me willing to commit to more fussy projects.

The unpacking is a constant chore. Just this week I finally got the boxes unpacked in the living room. Now it is clean! And I feel calm – or at least a lack of stress – when I sit in the room.

Today I went down to the basement and got some entertainment gear out and put away – dishes, glasses, grilling equipment, etc. And now we can see most of the bar top. The likelihood of having a housewarming is looking better and better.

I also got a new TV stand delivered! And it was brought as an actual piece of furniture. Not a flat box with pieces of MDF that I had to put together myself. The boys were delighted to help get the television set up on top and then, with the unerring accuracy of a bloodhound on the trail of an unwashed convict, they found the Wii in the bottom of some random box and got it set up to play in record time.

This inspired Mark to get his stereo equipment out and set up as a unit with the TV as well. We are almost ready to start having family movie nights again!

And then there is the CHANDELIER!! We have a winner and it isn’t anything that we thought we’d get. But that’s what happens when you walk into a lighting store to check out a your two favorites in person and end up hating them. This is (a) round and with (b) gold tones. Two things that would never, ever be in my Boolean search parameters. But I ended up really liking it.

What we have left are the rooms that are easy to avoid. Like the office and a section of the basement family space where I avert my eyes as I pass by to get the laundry. Many of the boxes are full of mementos. Or things that we shoved in there in moments of desperation during any one of our last 3 moves that would should now really and painstakingly go through and purge.

And on top of that there is the decorating aspect of making this house into a home. Pictures to hang. Mirrors to position. Furniture to nest (and purchase). The foyer needs painting, too. There was a great hanging shelf in there that the previous owners took with them. I filled the holes and I need to repaint the wall to cover some other incidental scratches and dings. And I would LOVE to find a shelf like it again.

And clearly I need to buy another orchid. And a basket.

But we are far enough along that I can look forward to an actual house warming party! The plans are in the works and we would love to have you all over to see the house once we are finished unpacking. xoxo

Let’s Play a Game! Which Chandelier?? UPDATE – New Contestant!

We have 7 weeks before we can even begin to move into our new house. And that, I guess, is sort of odd. I guess that people usually buy a house and move right in. That has never been our experience.

In our first house the owners needed a rent back for 2 or 3 months. We were in an apartment renting month-to-month so it wasn’t a problem. Then in Switzerland our apartment wasn’t ready and we had to live in temporary housing for a month. Now we are still 7 weeks out until we can finally settle down. And so it continues….

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still busy with house stuff. There is some purging going on. Right now it’s kind of half-hearted purging. I have some boxes and bags of stuff ready to go, but I want just a little bit more before I drive to somewhere and drop it off.  Or maybe the Lupus Foundation will ask us for donations. The have a truck that makes house calls. And that is brilliant. That is called knowing your (lazy) audience.

But in the meantime, there are things that need to be considered for the NEW HOUSE!

Like, which chandelier should we buy!

As a reminder this is our new dining room. The current chandelier is going along with the previous owners. For real. It’s kind of a shame because it is a real “wow” piece. Well, I think it’s a shame. Mark thinks we’ve dodged a bullet. But the point is moot as they stipulated that it didn’t convey and so we are left with a quest for a new dining room light.

The table is vaguely the same as ours so that should help with your imaginations. Our chairs are wooden, though. I like to be able to see them and not stub my toe on Wonder Woman’s invisible jet chairs.

And now, armed with this information, …. let’s all play a game!

Help us pick a new chandelier!

The pictures below are real. The participants are not actors. Although if one should be sold out, we would try and find a close facsimile.

Let’s meet our contestants. (In no particular order…)

Chandelier #1

Chandelier #2

Chandelier #3

Chandelier #4

Chandelier #5

Chandelier #6

Chandelier #7

And last,  but not least, Chandelier #8

NEW CONTESTANT! Chandelier #9


Your votes matter, so please comment below.  Or, if none of our chandelier bachelors strike you as something that fits us be sure to suggest a different one.

We need to buy one before June 1st. Sooner is better. This puppy needs to get installed immediately upon occupation of the house. I have a thing for needing light to eat by.

I await your responses!

I am (becoming) a pest!

I’m obsessing. Just totally obsessing about our new house. Poor Mark. I am becoming such a pest about it!

The first thing we need is a new chandelier for the dining room. So I’m scouring Lamps Plus for some ideas and presenting said ideas to Mark.

Every night.

But then in a weird twist of fate and completely coldly calculated marketing, Lamps Plus leads me to Pottery Barn and I find more chandeliers there!

And then I remember all about Pinterest!

Pinterest has so many good ideas and the pictures can be guides for achieving an actual style or look. A skill that has seemed to elude me in my 40+ years on the planet.

Dear, God. I’m back on Pinterest.  Like 5 times a day.

I currently have 5 browsing pages open of ideas for various items and projects that will make our household worth living in. Including a page giving step-by-step instructions on painting a kitchen cart I bought from Ikea and details of how to use chalk paint on a faux wood Ikea corner buffet that we bought 8 years ago and are now tired of looking at. Well, I’m tired of looking at it. Mark doesn’t seem to express any dissatisfaction about it. But he will.

And then in the check out line at the grocery store was an issue of Cottage Style flirting with me. It now resides beside me at the computer with different pages dog-eared down. Sometimes it is left strategically open next to the coffee pot so Mark might just *happen* to see it as he is refilling his cup in the morning.

It’s a good thing I don’t have cable and access to Fixer Upper and Rehab Addict. I’d never be able to leave the house!

I will admit, and probably terrify Mark by admitting, that I am actually holding back a bit because we haven’t signed the title yet.

I’m not only searching for projects. My eyes are also examining what else I can purge from our house and, therefore, not move on moving day.

For example, this weekend while Mark was out running the boys to their various activities I stayed home and sorted out the boys’ bookshelves. I now have a bag of Magic Tree House books going to a friend, small box of books to donate to the library, a medium pile to keep for nostalgia (I mean, we can’t possibly give away Goodnight, Gorilla!!), and a large pile that will go to the preschool I work at for parents to pick through.

Mark is going to go through his suits and shirts and will discard the ones that are looking worn. I’m going to pretend to weed through my cooking pots and pans. I might actually weed through some fabrics. Maybe. Plus there are some toys that need to find a new home – and not my new home.

But all this still leaves me giddy with excitement! There is nothing like a to-do list of things you actually WANT to do!

Don’t worry. Updates will be constant.