Don't forget to join Annie today for the start of the Ablaze series. Her thoughts on pursuing God in singlehood are spot-on.
We think we may have found a house.
I started this hunt for a rental home back in May (okay, I'm an over-planner; it was more like April), and I've now seen enough terrible, no-good, really bad houses to be pretty cautious about exuding any unnecessary excitement over what might be "the one." We haven't submitted a security deposit or finalized a move-in date -- all that is still in the works and very much up-in-the-air -- but we're hopeful our jobs and combined income and very apparent excitement over this house will be enough to put things in our favor.
If all goes well, we could be moving in August, just as we'd originally planned. Our fingers are crossed, and our prayers are innumberable.
So I've been cautious for a week now, trying not to get too excited based on the disappointments of the past few weeks. I'm trying to keep my expectations low, but yesterday? Well, yesterday I got a little overzealous and started picking out paint chips and -- in a fit of inspiration and happiness -- created an intentional home list.
Jules has long been one of my favorite bloggers, so this year when she officially launched her William Morris Project, I was eager to follow along. I'm a big believer in making your home a happy, welcoming, intentional place, no matter how permanent or temporary it may be, so her weekly posts on establishing beauty and order in her home have been inspiring. They've also, though, become increasingly difficult to read, since I've begun to look at our current rental as something in the past (forgetting, of course, that it's still very much a part of our present). With a potential move scheduled for later this summer, I've kind of let our house go a bit; I'm not really interested in pursuing house projects or making this place any more of a home than it already is. I'm beginning to think in terms of the next step instead of the current one, and while I'm not entirely proud of that, I am a little bit proud of the result: An intentional home list for our new place.
We may not wind up in this house; I know that, and, believe it or not, I am prepared for disappointment. (It wouldn't be the first house we've lost this go around.) But I've decided to embrace the high expectations portion of my personality, and I'm planning ahead just in case things go in our favor.
I want our next home to be similar to our current one; I want it to reflect our personalities and serve as a welcome retreat for our friends and family. I want it to be cozy and calm, and I want it to look loved and well cared for.
Without further ado, our intentional home list for rental house 2012, complete with ideas and projects specific to the house we've found that we'd like to make ours (temporarily speaking, of course). This post is intended to serve as a guide for us, should everything fall into place in the next few weeks, so no worries about reading every portion of the list in its entirety. This is just me, doing what I do best: planning, with a little over-thinking thrown in.
Front yard: A fun, inviting, well-manicured space welcoming neighbors and friends home.
1. Clean up landscaping.
2. Define walking path for visitors.
3. Spray paint Adirondack chairs and place for neighbor-greeting and lemonade-drinking.
Living Room: A calm, cozy entry point establishing a welcoming atmosphere for friends and family. This room will inspire relaxation and conversation, with space to visit, watch television, and gather around the piano.
1. Purchase new sleeper sofa, to be used by guests when they come to visit.
2. Hang family photos and inspirational artwork that represents "us."
3. Purchase a large, comfortable, patterned rug.
4. Lighten up the dark, wood paneled walls with well-placed lighting and bright art.
5. Move piano into this space and make the time to play together.
6. Create a seating area perfect for conversation and Netflix-watching.
Sunroom: A cozy nook perfect for naps and reading a good book.
1. Utilize the built-in bookshelves, making sure not to clutter or overcrowd.
2. Create well-lit atmosphere, emphasizing great windows and potential for book-reading.
3. Allow natural light to shine through.
4. Create potential for mixing and mingling between living room and sunroom; avoid creating an entirely different feel or space.
5. Hang artwork and family photographs, again avoiding clutter.
6. New window treatments, probably sheer panels.
Dining room: A place for conversation and a nurturing spot for meals that mean something.
1. Utilize current dining table and painted chairs.
2. Update table with fresh flowers on a weekly or biweekly basis, since table is seen from front door.
3. Let in natural light.
4. Replace light fixture to brighten up dark paneled walls.
5. Hang artwork and family photographs.
6. Use window treatments from current living room to bring in color.
Kitchen: An inviting, light, airy space, perfect for creativity and meals made together. A fun, no-stress zone.
1. Paint walls mint green.
2. Paint bottom cabinets white.
3. Black or bronzed hardware.
4. Buy cute dishdrainer, making sure to keep dishes cleaned and washed regularly.
5. Display only kitchen-useful items, avoiding clutter.
6. Grow herbs utilizing Ikea system.
7. Leave counter space empty to provide for cooking meals.
8. Hang fun, cheerful artwork.
9. Purchase fun, colorful rug to tie in home's colors.
10. Establish an entry point at back patio door since this will function as our entry into the house.
11. Hang large chalkboard.
Pantry: A well-organized, well-lit zone to aid in cooking and cleaning.
1. Paint walls mint green.
2. Hang curtain to separate from kitchen.
3. Store party dishes, centerpieces, and serving trays.
4. Store cleaning and ironing supplies.
5. Hang fun piece of artwork to make workspace personal.
Back patio: A welcoming retreat, perfect for an outdoor meal for two or a party with friends.
1. Purchase or utilize current outdoor table, making room for at least four.
2. Cover A/C unit with fencing.
3. String outdoor lights on picket fence and in surrounding shrubs and trees.
4. Pot useful, pretty plants in colorful, unique pots.
5. Find space for current potting bench.
6. Store grill where it will be usable.
Master bedroom: A calm, stress-free getaway from life's distractions.
1. Paint walls light grey.
2. Keep big, bulky furniture to a minimum.
3. Utilize closet space.
4. Get rid of outdated, unworn clothes prior to move.
5. Let in natural light.
6. Purchase private but airy window coverings.
7. Purchase small flat screen TV to minimize bulk.
8. Create corner for Junie.
9. Purchase a pretty laundry bin.
Office: A clean, clutter-free zone for paying bills, managing home, and tackling creative projects. A well-organized space where everything has a function and place, where guests can come and go without disturbing the peace.
1. Paint walls light grey.
2. Purchase new, smaller desk for Jordan.
3. Update filing system and place in closet.
4. Organize crafts.
5. Leave open space for guests' suitcases and belongings, as well as for an air mattress. (Though ideally guests will be using the sleeper sofa, they will need a comfortable place for their belongings.)
6. Hang Jordan's artwork.
7. Store Junie's crate for when we're gone for the day.
Bathroom: A clean, well-lit space for our use and guest use.
1. Paint top-half of walls white, embracing yellow tile.
2. Hang white shower curtain.
3. Replace toilet seat.
4. Install shelving for toiletries and towels.
5. Cover washer/dryer space with curtain.
6. Purchase bathroom rug.
7. Purchase new soap dishes and toothbrush holders.
* image from April edition of House Beautiful