Our New House Progress

I would be lying if I said this was a nice relaxing summer, free of projects.  This has been a rough summer.  And I feel exhausted.  I have barely blogged because I don’t have the energy to.  However, I thought I’d check in with you guys and share with you some of the progress being made on our house.

(To see our floor plan, see this post.)

They dug our basement, and that was fun to watch.

Digging a basement

Dug out basement

Then they poured the footings and the foundation.

footings

finished foundation

From here, the framing went really quickly.

second floor

framed house

My favorite feature during framing was seeing the grocery pass through door from the garage to the pantry.  We call it the Costco Door.

Grocery pass through

grocery pass through door

We’re a lot farther along in the construction process than this post suggests.  I just didn’t want to dump it all in one post, because that would be a lot!  There have definitely been hiccups along the way.  Up til this point things went relatively smooth.  The next post I’ll talk more about builder issues we faced.

For those of you who have asked, our house is said to be done on October 15th.

Also, in case you missed it: I had another contributor post on All Things Thrifty last week.  Check it out!

diy memo_board

 

Vintage Trailer Photo Shoot & Headshots

A few months ago when I found out I was going to be a DIY contributor to All Things Thrifty, I was asked for my headshot.  Um… yeah, about that…  Apparently selfies don’t count.

I reached out to my friend Valery from Valery Bunnell Photography.  She normally specializes in maternity, birth, and newborn photography (did you see Evelyn’s newborn pictures?!).  But with a little bit of arm twisting I was able to convince her to do a special photoshoot with our vintage trailer that I made over.

I’m sure you noticed my updated picture in the top corner of my blog awhile ago, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the other images from the shoot.  She really captured the beauty of my lil Myrtle!

The location is 5 minutes away from where we’re building our new house.  I’m in love with this area.  The beauty is breathtaking.

Mekenzie Crowder

Headshot Kenz

Vintage Trailer Photo Prop

Vintage Trailer

Vintage Trailer

Kenz Headshot

 

There you have it.  I promise I have a few blog posts in store.  I need to catch you up on Evelyn’s monthly photo project.  I need to show you how our house is coming along.

Since there have obviously been no house-projects, it’s been nice to take a little break from blogging during the summer.  I love blogging and the community, but I also love unplugging.  It has been really nice to recharge my battery.  Hopefully I’ll have some creative projects for you to see soon :)

Our New House

We are building.  However, this is going to be slightly different than a “custom build” that you might be used to.

Most people when they build a house are doing it so it will be perfect, move-in ready, project-free, and good-to-go.

Not us.  We already have a project list started.  (More on that another day…)  So why are we building?

There are projects we like doing, and projects we don’t.  And honestly, we are tired of tearing down walls.  We wanted a blank canvas with great bone structure.

There are things we put on a must-have list for our new house:
-Formal living room
-Formal dining room
-Front porch
-Master bathroom

You guys, formal living rooms and dining rooms are a thing of the past!  They are SO hard to find (in Utah, at least)!  But it’s really important to me to have a place for the piano, a place for conversation when people come to visit, a place for Thanksgiving dinner.  You could say I’m traditional.

As our own real estate agent, I did a TON of house hunting, and could not find a house that checked every box, within our price range.  Then, we stumbled on a builder with a house plan that met literally our exact needs and wants.  And of course, the name of the plan is The Traditional.

Total square feet: 3864
Finished square feet: 2478
Finished bedrooms: 4
Finished bathrooms: 2.5

I’m in love with the elevation.  It has all the curb appeal I fancy.  I’m dreaming of sitting on a porch swing eating a popsicle with Evelyn, of a porch with carved pumpkins and flickering candles, and gables covered in Christmas lights.

New Construction Elevation

My all time favorite feature on the main floor is a trap door from the walk in pantry into the garage for grocery pass-through.  It’s going to revolutionize shopping trips in unimaginable ways haha!  I love that the main level has the traditional elements I wanted (formal living and dining) as well as a modern open concept family room and kitchen.  In my opinion, it’s the best of both worlds.

House plans-main level

Things I love about the upstairs: bedroom-level laundry baby!  I enjoy all the closet space too; something that was definitely lacking in our old house.  You guys, in my WHOLE LIFE I have never had a walk in closet.  This is a first for me, and I’m dying with excitement.

House plans-upper level

This is the basement floor plan.  We aren’t having the builder finishing the basement for us.  This is something we plan on doing in the future.  4 bedrooms is more than enough for us right now.

House plans-basement

This is our house.  These are our rules.  We can’t stop.  We won’t stop.

Our Ultra-Industrial Basement Apartment

Do you like that fancy title?

You’re probably imaging something like this.  And that would be nice.  But you are absolutely wrong.

Industrial Basement Apartment

If you’re a new reader, here’s the skinny:
We sold our house.  I was really emotional about it being empty (with the help of the Von Trappes).

Then I kindly left you hanging.  For a few weeks, might I add.

I’d be lying if I said this summer hasn’t been a struggle.

Our house sold a great deal faster than we planned.  In one day to be exact.  As a Realtor, I know what a blessing that is.  Many times people are in the opposite situation, and that is incredibly stressful to NEED your house to sell and be stuck waiting.

We anticipated it taking a month- 2 months to sell our house.  But that wasn’t the case, and we needed to adapt.

I helped my brother in law buy a house earlier this year, and he was kind enough to let us stay in his unfinished basement during our provisional homelessness.

It is not ideal, but we are very very grateful to have a place to live right now.  We are making it work the best way we know how.

Unfinished basement Interiors By Kenz

 

I would very much love to argue with anyone who says my life is glamorous.

Unfinished Basement Bedroom

 

I suppose you could call this “revolutionary open concept design.”

Unfinished basement living

Unfinished basement apartment

 

I wouldn’t say I’m a “very organized person” however, clutter makes me itchy.  I need things to have a place, and I need to know where that place is.  Living out of boxes, and having things EVERYWHERE is challenging.  But I try really hard to let my gratitude take the place of my anxiety.

Also, if you look hard enough, you can see a napping baby in that bundle of blankets.

Unfinished Basement Storage

Unfinished basement Nursery

I know it’s only temporary.  I know we are very blessed that my brother in law is willing to let us be here.  And I KNOW that our new house is going to be worth it.  I have a feeling we’ll look back on this time and have a lot of “Remember when we lived in the basement…” stories to tell.

Your DIY Wingback Rocking Chairs

One of my all time favorite projects is my DIY Wingback Rocker.

One year later it’s holding up like a champion of all chairs!  In fact, I’m writing this post sitting in this chair right now.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours rocking precious Evelyn Faye in this chair.

DIY Wingback Rocker

What I didn’t expect was how many people would follow my tutorial and make their own.  Some have blogs, and some don’t.  But the emails have poured in of your beautiful rockers, and I’m going to show them off!

This nursery is from a reader named Daniel.

DIY Rocking Chair

This is Chelsie’s nursery.

DIY Wingback Rocker

DIY Wingback Rocker

Cute mama-to-be!DIY Wingback Rocker

This rocker comes from nursery at The Shaker House.  They used a different chair than the Strandmon, and I think it looks awesome in the Marine Corps inspired room.

DIY Rocker - The Shaker House

DIY Wingback Rocker - The Shaker House

This rocker is from the outdoorsy nursery for Fletcher at 100layercakelet

DIY Rocker - 100layercakelet

DIY Wingback Rocker - 100 layer cakelet

This rocker is in the Modern Marine nursery at Newlyweds North.

DIY Rocker - Newlyweds North

rocker collage

And this last rocker is in the feminine travelesque nursery at Explore Dream Discover.

DIY Rocker - Explore Dream Discover

Nursery5

 

I love that even though these nurseries all have different themes and styles (I hope you clicked the links to check out the full rooms!!!) the rockers all fit in their element perfectly.

(If you pin these images, please click through and pin from the actual source.  Thanks!)

 

 

 

 

Contributor Post- All Things Thrifty!

Friends.  Something wonderful has happened.  I have been picked up as a regular DIY contributor on All Things Thrifty!

Today is my first post, and I’d love it if you stopped over to check it out.

This is what I made:

DIY-Utensil-Holder

 

And if you are a new reader visiting from ATT, howdy!  I’m glad you came over.  Let’s make a beautiful friendship.

Navy Blue Painted Basket

I have a quick little post for you this afternoon.  An afternoon delight, if you will.

We’re a little bit temporarily homeless right now (more on that later).  One of our big problems with that is proximity to a changing table.  I needed a spot to keep changing supplies close by.

A basket seemed like an easy enough solution.  Except, have you priced out baskets lately?!  If you do to those nice home stores, baskets can be $10+

I guess I wouldn’t mind paying that much for a super rad basket, but I’m feeling pretty cheap right now.  So I bought this sucker for $0.99 at the thrift store.

Painted-basket

It wasn’t too bad looking on its own, and to be honest, I could have left it as is.  But I’m feeling really creatively frustrated.  I didn’t realize how not having a house or big projects to work on would make me feel.  I NEEDED to smell some spray paint.  As soon as possible.  So little basket, you’re time has come.

painted-basket-stripe

navy-blue-painted-basket

navy-blue-painted-basket

 

And what makes a cute basket even cuter?  Fill it with Honest Co diapers!

navy-blue-painted-basket

We’re keeping it right by our Luna chairs, and it doesn’t look half bad.

navy-blue-painted-basket

And there you have it, your crafternoon delight.

navy-blue-painted-basket

 

Empty House Tour

Last post I shared with you some details on why we decided to sell our house.  Something I didn’t touch on was how fast everything happened.  I know this is unusual, and we weren’t expecting it ourselves, but we got an offer after only 1 day on the market.

We had to pack and move so fast.

Interiors By Kenz Moves

We had a little goodbye party for our beloved Green Meadow Manor at the end of moving day.  The opposite of a house warming party?  A house cooling party?  That just sounds so heartless.  Sparklers and bonfires were involved.  There is no other way to say a proper goodbye is there?

Goodbye House Party

Goodbye House Party

Goodbye House Party

I decided that a real live moving house tour was finally in order.  I collaborated with The Von Trapp Family Singers for this one.  Enjoy the next 2 mins and 44 seconds of your life, and sing along if you must.  (I’ll even wave to you at 0:46 if you do.  And you’ll probably see a sleeping baby at 0:55 if you don’t blink!)

If you haven’t caught on by now, I am overly sentimental, especially to the close of a chapter.  I let myself feel every emotion.  Aaron and I decided on the day we were locking the door for the final time, we would sit in each room and say our favorite memories and projects we did in that space.  It was actually really fun to remember all the changes and events that took place.  We started in the basement, and worked our way upstairs.

We laughed about Karl’s “chastity bed” in this room…

Workout Room

 

We recalled how this was our very first DIY project and also our very last DIY project in our house.

Basement Family Room

 

I sat in the widow seat and took this picture and thought about every single party and shower that took place here.  Also about how I laid most of this flooring while 5 months pregnant.

Living Room

Living Room

Dining Room Kitchen

 

Together we decided that we’re never go a month without a kitchen sink again.

Kitchen

 

The place where I sat on the floor holding several positive pregnancy tests in shock, horrified and scared out of my mind to walk into the kitchen and tell Aaron that we were actually going to have a baby.

Hall Bathroom

 

Our humble sanctuary.

Master Bedroom

 

But I lost it when we got to the nursery.  I knew I would.  I cried when I was packing up everything from Evelyn’s room.  I cried taking things off the wall.  This is a room I thought I would never get to make, but against all odds, I DID!  Out of everything in our house, I put the most love and thought into this room.  Everything, down to the color selection was symbolic.  (Purple & gold for royalty, fit for the daughter of a King.)

Nursery

 

As much as looking at these pictures hurts my heart, I know that it’s just a room.  I still have my real treasure with me :)  And she really is such a treasure, that Evelyn Faye.

Nursery

 

This house was more than just a house.  We didn’t know that when we moved in.

We bought our house at a time when I didn’t feel like I had a place in the world.  This house gave me something to blog about.  And this blog has given me real life friendships that I cherish more than I have words to describe.  It gave me confidence and allowed me to grow creatively.

All the tears I cried were happy ones.  I feel so much gratitude because I know this house was a blessing in so many ways.

I’m excited thinking about all the new memories and projects and life that will be lived in our new house!

Why We Sold.

This post is a little on the word-heavy side.  So go pop a bag of pop corn, pour a Dr Pepper and get comfy.  You’re about to take a trip inside my head and my heart.

After we announced that our house was for sale we got the same question over and over.  It came from our friends, our family, our neighbors, and random people.  I know most people were thinking “You guys are LOCO CRAZY!”  But they nicely said:

“Why are you selling your house?!  AFTER ALL THE WORK YOU DID ON IT?!”

Living Room Design

Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time we were asked that during our selling process we wouldn’t need a mortgage on our new house.

Our intention was never to flip the house.  We made every upgrade because it was what we wanted.  Although, we were always mindful of resale value.  You HAVE to be when renovating.  We knew it wasn’t our forever home.

A quick little backstory on how we ended up with that house in the first place is an important part of the story.  We had only been married 4 months, when the company I had been working for was bought out and I was laid off.  During that time, I was able to cash out my 401K with no penalty.  I was also given a generous severance package.  As a newly married couple, we had barely any savings.  This was in the summer of 2011, the low of the housing market in Salt Lake City.  I had a very strong gut instinct that we needed to use that money as a down payment on a house.  We stumbled onto the house, and knew it was something we could live in and fix up.  I don’t feel comfortable disclosing the purchase price, but it was less than what you could even buy a condo for now.  We were so grateful to just HAVE a house!  It was surreal to us that we were home owners.  We put our hearts and souls into every little thing we did to our house.

The past 3 years, my day job had been in real estate, and I became a Realtor.  I watched the market very closely, especially in our neighborhood.  After Evelyn was born, I just knew it was time.  We tried to put it off.  But that nagging feeling was there, stronger than ever.

There were things that we compromised on when we bought our house.
-Front porch
(No where to put a swing or rocking chairs- a life long dream of mine!)
Outside of house

-Master bathroom
(Just one bathroom for the whole main level)
Main level bathroom
-Walk-in master closet
(We have shared THIS for 2.5 years… and we’re still happily married.  I know!)

Master Closet
-Formal living room
-2 car garage

Now, I understand that nothing is impossible.  And we actually toyed very seriously with the idea of combining the back two bedrooms to make a master suit.  But when it comes to a renovation, you have to look at the numbers and figures.  The return wasn’t there.  The renovation would make it nice to live in, but we would never get that money back in the sale of the house.

It was time to sell, and capitalize on our investment and find a home with the things we had compromised on.

It was a very emotional decision to make.  I’ve cried more tears than I’d like to admit.  I kept telling myself, “It’s just a house, stop crying.” But to me, those weren’t just walls and a room.  Our house was very much a character in our lives.  Those walls box up the memories of significant events in our lives.

We always knew Green Meadow Manor was a stepping stone.  She made it possible for us to have our dream home.  We were able to more than double our investment, allowing us to have the down payment we need for our next home.

It’s still hard.  It’s not just a money game.  I’ve always been a blue personality, and I definitely felt a lot of raw emotions during the process.  I meant to write this post awhile ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it until now.  And even now, I feel a twinge in my heart.  I miss my house.  I feel very homesick for a place that is no longer mine.  I wonder what the new homeowner is doing to her.

I’ve never done well with big changes.  This was a huge leap of faith for me.  I heard a quote that said, “Making a big life change is scary.  But do you want to know what is even scarier? Regret.”  I knew if we didn’t do this now, we would lose our window, and I would regret it.  Sometimes you just have to hold your head up high, try not to cry, and say goodbye.

As cheesy as it is… they say you never forget your first love… and that’s how I feel about our first house.

first house love.jpg

 

And as a little postscript, I’d like to add this for my blogging friends:
I am SO sorry for how behind I am on reading your blogs!  I promise I do care.  I want to catch up, and I will.  Real life is so busy.  I have a very demanding baby who I love with all my heart and needs my attention.  Selling the house was busy.  Selling other peoples’ houses is busy.  Going to Disneyland is busy :)  My blog isn’t a business.  It’s just a glimpse of my life, my talents, and the things I like to do in my free time.  I love you all, and I love the internet friendships that I have.  Thank you for being patient with me. High fives all around.

 

 

Mini Bar // Big News

If you follow me on Facebook (if you don’t, YOU SHOULD so you don’t get left out!) then you heard the big news.

Interiors By Kenz First House Sold

We sold our house!  It has been an immensely emotional process to close this chapter.  I’m going to write a more detailed post on our selling mind-set and process.  But that’s not this post.  The reason I brought it up, is because selling played a big factor in decisions made about the mini bar project.

When we recently replaced our water heater, we learned that the drain was buried under the carpet, right outside the utility room.  This is majorly against code.  In the event you need to drain the water heater, it’s going to be a problem if the drain is on the other side of the wall.

Water heater drain misplaced

We knew that wether we stayed in our house or sold it, we would need to correct this problem.

Water heater drain misplaced

Built in mini bar

After Aaron extended the utility room to include the drain, we were left with a much smaller “nook” in the wall.  We were faced with a couple of options.  We narrowed it down to a wet bar with a sink, or a mini bar sans sink.  The idea of a sink seemed pretty good, but then we realized with plumbing, we wouldn’t be able to fit a mini fridge below.  We also had to consider resale value.  Since I’m a real estate agent, I’m pretty in-tune with the market surrounding our area.  I knew that we would not get back the money we would invest in having plumbing ran to a sink.  So we settled on making it a dry mini bar.

Built in mini bar

Built in mini bar

I think the new homeowners are going to have some pretty good parties using this area!

DSC_0473