Small Updates While I Wait Patiently

2016 has been pretty slow when it comes to home improvements. We’re in super-saving mode in preparing for a new kitchen and bathroom which is why we aren’t going to Europe this year (…boohoo, I know). This also means, no other décor changes should happen until we at least have our plans in place.

These are times when I wish I had a patient bone in my body. Is just one too much to ask for?

One thing that couldn’t wait though, was a change to the area just inside the front door. Every single day this was a disaster. We used the coat tree I bought at Ikea when I first moved to DC, combined with a side table we didn’t know where else to put, in an attempt to organize the area that should be a closet.

As you can see, even if it was at its cleanest, it would have been a mess. Coat trees, while cute in theory are just an eyesore. Kyle was out of town for a weekend this spring, giving me the opportunity to at least start changing things up – since he wouldn’t be around to tell me no…

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The wood carving is from my grandparent’s house, and until I started playing around didn’t know where to put it. The two images are small pieces of art Grandma and Grandpa had picked up in Paris on one of their travels. Putting them right where I’ll see them each day, reminds me of my grandparents and our shared love to travel.

Keeping the Roof Over Our Heads … For Now

Going into the Zeller #EruoTrip2k15 (note: I have never used that hashtag) we were saying this was the last “big” trip we’ll take in a while. We’re homeowners now, we have a mortgage, a new roof to buy and one day we’ll update the kitchen (and by “update” I mean tear it to shreds and put in something completely new). People who literally need a roof over their heads shouldn’t be spending their money on overseas travel!

And, we were totally okay with that plan. Seriously, we love being homeowners and happy that this is where our money and time is going… but about halfway through this trip we realized that we’re just as much in love with travel. I’ve been struggling ever since this moment to figure out why and how we could love so much these two very different things – the Zellers can’t be homebodies AND world travelers, can they?

Then it hit me why we love both so much. We aren’t really in love with travel or homeownership; we’re in love with solving problems.  And that’s just it, international travel is full of problem solving, it requires figuring out situations that back home require no thought at all (what on earth did I just order? Is that a sign for the bathroom or the kitchen? Is this stranger being nice to me, or insulting me?)

The above quote is true, however we literally need a roof over our heads. So, we’ll just have to live off of the 1,000 or so photos we took on our latest trip and continue the massive ongoing problem solving necessary for our house.

Where are the Zellers?

Right here in DC! We don’t travel much in the wintertime. We’ve spent this past winter watching a lot of college basketball, working long days at the office, and hibernating. Our slower pace also afforded us enough time to check another item off our to-do list: buy a house!

As first-time homebuyers we were quite overwhelmed by this process. On top of the normal stresses of buying a house (such as, spending what feels like ALL of your money at once) the DC market is  ruthlessly competitive.  You have to know right on the spot whether you’re going to put in an offer or walk, with no time to think. Thankfully, we had only a few times where we thought a house was “the one” and wanted to put in an offer.

Not to get all romantic about it, but walking into the actual “one” was so different. We stopped by what is now OUR house because we were already in the neighborhood and there was an open house.  VERY unlike us, we nothing about the place beforehand. Walking in through the front gate though, we knew this place was different – in a good way.

The house felt taken care of, while still having much of the original charm of a house built in the 1930s (glass doorknobs!).  The house had nearly every item from the wish list we had given our agent: porch, basement and wood floors were all musts. A yard, deck and off-street parking were also wishes but we could live without them if necessary. These “stretch” wishes we ended up getting – big time! You can see by the photo below the size of our yard (thankfully the sellers left their lawn mower for us), and there is a large detached garage out back too – which is a big win for Kyle.


What doesn’t the house have, you ask? A working kitchen, an updated bathroom, air conditioning and laundry. Before we moved in we were thinking “oh, no big deal – all things we’d love to tackle ourselves and make it our style!” … now that we’ve experienced what that really means we’re singing a slightly different tune, however incredibly excited for all of the projects ahead.

Okay, I am incredibly excited, Kyle is just putting together countless lists and plans…

I’ll post more photos soon, all of the “before” shots, from before we moved in, and hopefully a few “after” shots now that I have a couple rooms put together.