Ahhhhh. Built ins. I’ve been looking forward to doing a project like this. It’s the perfect way to make your home look more customized and also increase the value. I’ve been dreaming of built ins in our living room since we moved in. I knew it would be the perfect thing to add to the long, empty wall in the family room once the wall came down.
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In our post around the holidays, I talked a little bit about how we took a trip down to Charleston, and I stopped by our old house! I was so curious about how they’re living there now after all of the work we did to it, but unfortunately, I chickened out and didn’t knock on the door or anything.
WELL, my dreams just came true. Thanks to our old neighbor and friend (hi Jess!) who alerted us that our house was up for sale again! I also ended up getting a “listing report” email from Zillow, as I’m still the “claimed owner” for that address, as in, I can go in there and make changes to the details of the property. I have no idea why the new owners haven’t claimed it yet. Oh well, more of a scoop for me 🙂
To give you a little bit of background, my job was moving us down to South Carolina in 2013, and we were looking for a bit of a project house. We were pretty sure at the time that we weren’t going to stay there long term, so we figured why not buy a project house, get some more renovation experience under our belts, and maybe make some money while we were at it. The cost of living in SC is a bit lower than DE, so we decided to look really low on our budget. We wanted to buy a house that we could put a 20% down payment on, to make life a bit easier.
Well, we ended up with this beauty?
You saw our master bedroom in our last blog post a few weeks ago, and how we haven’t really touched it in 2 years since we bought the furniture.
The wall behind the bed has been looking pretty empty, especially since it’s still “white” from the last owners. I was eyeing up things to hang above the bed for awhile, but could never really decide on anything. Art maybe? A mirror? I decided to look back on my Master Bedroom board on Pinterest and remembered that I liked a lot of looks that had windows or mirrors behind the lamps.
In our first two homes, the master bedroom was always close to the last room done on the list. It was always because no one sees our room when they came to the house, so it always just fell on the back burner. (This is also my reason for never making the bed! I really don’t care how they say that your day starts off so much better if you make your bed. Ain’t nobody got time for that.) Unfortunately, it was the room that we spend the most time in, other than the kitchen, so we really should have made it a priority.
So when we moved into our Delaware home, I didn’t want to ignore it. We have always wanted a king size bed, and decided to finally take the leap. We started off with the queen sized bed that we’ve been moving around with us everywhere since it was David’s first big purchase for his apartment in New Jersey after he graduated college. We moved it to the Maryland house after we bought it, and then I made a DIY headboard for it (maybe I’ll do a post about that one day) to make it look less like a floating mattress pushed up against the wall. With some hand me down dressers from my parents, and some IKEA night stands, we made it work in both the Maryland house and the South Carolina house.
We went over a month without blogging, which was definitely not the plan. Life got in the way, we were having so much holiday fun, visiting friends and family, and even taking a trip back down to Charleston, SC (I even stopped by our old house!… yes, the door was still yellow!) Here’s a beautiful shot from before we moved out because the one I sneaked and posted on Instagram of it when we were there was total CRAP. BUT, it did spark an interesting little conversation about whether or not you would go inside one of your old houses, whether asking to go in yourself, or being invited. What would you do? I was too scared!
You know, since we have an art gallery now, it’s only fitting that we continue our hobby of art collecting. 😉
But, really, when it comes to real art, we never have cared too much about it. We’re engineers. We don’t really have the eye to appreciate it like others do. We went on a few cruises after we graduated college and would go to the art auctions on the ship just for the free glass of champagne. 😀
As life moved on, and redoing our homes became more important to us, I always considered buying something for one of our rooms to give it a personal, unique touch, that’s not a family photo. I just never could justify the price for a decorative object. So, while I wasn’t really looking, I found it, and under charitable circumstances… our first piece of art.
Well, we finally feel like we’re at a point where we don’t think we’ll be changing much more in the office/playroom. Dare I say this room is “done”? Well, it’s done… for now.
Here is what we were looking at when we moved in:
And here’s what we have now:
David and I have become avid art collectors, if you didn’t know. Fine art in particular:
And we feel the need to put it on display for the world to see, just so we can brag about it. 😉
How cute is that? The room that we chose for the office/playroom has a ton of wall space, so I thought it would be the perfect place to put it.
So I just realized that David and I pretty much forgot about this pretty sizable project. While there was little effort involved on our side (this was not a DIY job!), there was a considerable dent in our wallet afterwards. We’ve had so much craziness going on with the wall lately, that there wasn’t enough space in our minds to think about this.
Earlier in the year, we wrote THIS POST about discovering some wet drywall in the ceiling of one of our guest bedrooms, and how we identified where the moisture came from.
Long story short, the roofer we had come out to look at the roof and identified that the chimney was the culprit, not the roof:
Since the load bearing wall removal is finally complete and now we’re just working on the furnishing and room design, I figured I’d do a post summarizing all of the posts and work we’ve done over the past few months. Plus, I like being organized and having things in one place, much to the annoyance of my husband, but who still reaps the benefits of this trait anyway.
We started with this mess of a never used room:
And are now here, to a beautiful, open, family room: