I love it when bloggers get real.
I’m all about some super crafty blow-your-mind genius project or a drool-worthy room makeover, but I think what I love most about mommy DIY blogs is when they show us they’re human. As in “Yo watup. Here’s my messed up house in all its glory. See? I’m not a Stepford Wife robot!” (Rejoice! I feel normal after all!)
Right this second, my living room floor is covered in toys, my kitchen counters still have remnants of this morning’s breakfast (or maybe last night’s dinner…ew), and I can hear my two year-old through the monitor jumping around in her crib and laughing hysterically as she fights her nap with every ounce of energy she can muster.
I’m not giving you a messy house tour in this post, but you can probably relate (please please tell me you can relate). For the past few months, I’ve learned some things about our house that, in hindsight, I realize I could have prepared for the things that often don’t go exactly how we envisioned them. Things that I could have made better decisions about when we first moved in back in December.
So here ya go.
3 Move In Mistakes I Made (and How to Avoid Them)
1. Choose Durable Furniture
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s been a while since I’ve said it- We moved into our house with hardly any furniture. We had a crib and dresser for our daughter’s room, a small entertainment center from our apartment days, and that was about it.
So when we went to pick out our living room furniture, my first stop was to check out the Ikea Ektorp sofa. As bad luck would have it, they were sold out that day (it must have been a super busy day at that store) and my hubby didn’t like the white slipcovered look. We chose the Ashley Aleyna Sofa and Loveseat instead.
After seeing the Ektorp everywhere and reading all kinds of rave reviews about its durability and washability by moms with small children, I wish I’d gone with my gut instinct instead of being impatient.
When our sofa and loveseat first arrived, I realized it was the exact same color as our wall paint color and our carpet. Oops! I usually love monochromatics, so I figured I would get used to it. Never did.
I shot this photo back in February when we first got our furniture. And this is where it all began. Adorable little mess-makers, aren’t they? Our back cushions are now sunken (even though we tried training our furbaby, then gave up) and the bottom cushions are now stained despite my tempting to protect them with ScotchGuard and cleaning up accidents with upholstery cleaner. I’m pretty sure my mother warned me. (Don’t tell her I admitted that.)
The plus side: I learned a valuable lesson when it comes to the combination of furniture purchasing and motherhood.
Moral of the story: Buy slipcovered or easy-to-care-for fabric. Do your research. Use upholstery swatches alongside paint samples to decide on your color choice. Purchase couch cushions with removable backs, if you can.
2. Test sample paint colors in your new home.
I was so excited about moving in the day we closed on our house and getting everything looking “homey” that I chose our paint color from a swatch. No sample paints. No looking at the colors in various places in our house with different lighting at different times of the day. I did a simple point and pick like I was ordering something off of a Cheesecake Factory menu (which is always the most decision-making challenging menu, am I right?)
I chose Sherwin Williams Perfect Greige, and I do really like our paint color in direct sunlight, which is about 20% of the day. So what about the other 80%? Well, it turns out our downstairs hallway gets zero natural light, which isn’t a problem if you like dark rooms. But for the fanatic of airy, light spaces, it’s not ideal. Of course, I didn’t think of this about our house until we started living in it.
When my husband and father-in-law first started the painting process, I remember my mother-in-law saying “Hmm…it’s rather dark, don’t you think?” (Why do moms know everything?!)
The paint job itself is awesome. I just wish I’d been more sure in my color decision. But I refuse to change it right now. They worked way too hard painting everything. It would cost more than we could spend to change it right now. And it would be a big ordeal. C’est la vie.
The plus side: Maybe it will motivate us to install some board and batten to brighten things up.
The moral of the story: Buy paint samples, paint them on a piece of poster board, and look at it in various parts of your house at different hours of the day before making a final decision. Every house’s lighting is different and paint swatches cannot be trusted.
3. Have room measurements on hand while choosing furniture.
Remember how I said we had hardly any furniture 9 months ago? I feel so blessed that we have been able to furnish most of our home this first year without going into any debt thanks to shopping sales and refinishing thrift finds. But we sort of goofed when it came to our master bed.
Do you have a full or queen sized bed at home and whenever you stay in a hotel with a king size you feel AMAZING? The hubby and I felt the same way, and since we knew we would most likely have a kid or two snuggling in with us in the future and a dog who has entitled herself to the spot between us, we wanted a king.
We walked into our new master bedroom and said, “This is huge!” And that was that. Our glorious bed arrived, and while it fit, we have run into the challenge of finding nightstands that will fit on either side. The ones that are skinny enough are too short. The ones that are tall enough are too wide. When those magically perfect nightstands appear on our radar, I’m snatching them right up. Being nearly legally blind and not having a nightstand to set your glasses on is a tricky combination.
The plus side: I still lurv our super roomy bed! That’s right. It deserves a “lurv”.
The moral of the story: Always measure your rooms and keep the measurements with you. Factor in your furniture measurements when planning a room’s design.
I hope this helped any of you out there about to embark on a journey into a new home! I think my newbie homeowner roots are showing. 😉
I would love to hear about any lessons you have learned in your own house.
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