This is our house.

Our House

It has been well-maintained and well-loved by it’s previous owners.

However… Previous owner, lovely as she is, had much different taste in paint colors than I did.

I work in chaos. I want to come home to serenity and peacefulness. You know, as much as is possible when raising a teenager and a bossy corgi.

Here is a composite of the original colors.

  • Living Room: Purple-ish grey with darker grey-ish purple trim (extremely had to photograph – trust me, it was purple).
  • Laundry/Mud Room: Bright yellow. The longer you looked at it the, yellower it got.
  • Hall: Flat white.
  • Bedroom: Brown.
  • Kitchen: Glow-worm. Electric, radioactive glow-worm.
  • Bathroom: PURPLE.
  • Master Bedroom: Also brown.
  • Dining Room: Light yellow.

Fun fact: I hate purple and brown. I don’t like yellow very much. And while Kelly Green is my favorite color ever, I rarely like other shades of green. So… We had to paint the whole of the upstairs.

Thankfully, I had some help picking paint samples.

There is one color in the photo that we didn’t use (upper left corner) as we later decided to use the same trim color in all of the rooms. They’re laid out  like the house.

  • Top Row
    • Kitchen: Dutch Boy Grey-cious and Dutch Boy Waimea White (trim)
  • Second Row
    • Front Door: Dutch Boy Lapis Enamel (the small patch of dark blue to the left – we haven’t painted it yet, sadly.)
    • Living Room: Dutch Boy Fantasy Grey
    • Dining Room: Dutch Boy Silk Lace
    • Laundry/Mud Room: Dutch Boy Peach Froth
  • Third Row
    • Bedroom: Dutch Boy Fanciful Blue
    • Hall: Dutch Boy Bay Fog
    • Master Bedroom: Dutch Boy Edge of Night
  • Bottom Row
    • Bathroom: Dutch Boy Edge of Night

You can probably guess which one is the kid’s room.

We used Dutch Boy Platinum for all of the walls and Dutch Boy Cabinet and Trim for the trim (and someday for the kitchen cabinets). I also used the Cabinet and Trim to cover some tile in our fireplace, which I will show in a future post.

This paint was wonderful. Nearly always done in one coat. Big transitions, of course, were the ones that needed some touching up (seriously – that glow-worm  did not want to die). I looked at paint samples/chips from a large number of brands. I didn’t even realize until making this post that ALL of the colors we chose were from Dutch Boy.

We bought our paint at Menard’s when they had an 11% rebate going on. We used the rebates to buy things we wanted but didn’t really need, like a chainsaw.

Here are photos of our rooms after painting.

  • Living Room
  • Dining Rom
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Hallway
  • Master Bedroom
  • Bedroom
  • Laundry/Mud Room

Much better!

Edit: I just realized that we did use a Valspar color on the ceiling of the Laundry/Mud Room. Basically, we just needed to paint it and I was tired and didn’t want to drive far, so I went to our local Ace (which is amazing) and picked a color they had. It is called Moonbeam and it went on wonderfully as well. We’ve also used this color to paint a cabinet and legs of a countertop/table we built for the room.


Belated Update

It’s been a year since I last posted.

We closed on our house at the end of April.

We painted every room over the next three weeks.

We moved in mid-May, and it rained the entire month. It was the wettest month on record for the 48 continuous US states (2nd wettest ever for our Kansas). We managed to get all of our belongings out of the basement only a few hours before it flooded for the first time since we lived in that house. I think I’m still a bit damp.

Two weeks later, a friend of mine was murdered. And before I could really grieve and process another good friend died of complications from MD. And the next month, another friend completed suicide. I deal with sadness, depression, grief, homicidal and suicidal ideation all-day-every-day at work.

It goes without saying that I didn’t feel like doing much. I was just barely keeping my head above water. I’m still not quite sure how I made it through. Actually, that’s not exactly true. My husband and daughter were phenomenal. My co-workers were there for me every minute and took over when I couldn’t handle a client. I went to therapy. I snuggled my dog. I cried. I’m still grieving but committed to taking each day as it comes.

Blogging was the last thing on my mind. I thought about it from time to time and have even kept taking photos of the changes we’ve been making.

Life is leveling out. The days come, and close, and come again. It’s Spring. A time for growth.

I’m hoping to start posting some updates. And we’ve got a lot of projects planned now that the sun is warming us once again.

Finding THE House

Finding the right house was a process for us. I am a planner. I like information. I do my research (a skill I honed doing dozens? hundreds? MILLIONS? of papers in grad school).

Last fall we met with our credit union to find out what we would need to do to buy a house. We talked about what we would want our monthly payment to be, what our credit looked like, and what kind of downpayment we were looking at.

Then we started saving.

Since we were renting at the top end of our budget already, it wasn’t the easiest to do, but we were determined. We got rid of cable television (we only had basic to begin with), changed our mobile phone carrier (Virgin saved us about 1/3 and we’ve had no issues with them), and we limited our personal discretionary budgets. Less yarn is sad. New house is happy.

While we saved, we would go to open houses. Since the two of us had only lived together about a year, and we rent from a friend (so we chose our current rental from those he had available), we hadn’t thought a lot about what we wanted. I knew what neighborhood I wanted to be in, which was different from where he wanted to live. Thankfully, each of our second choices was the others’ first choice. I cared about having space to have people over. He cared about the spacing of electrical outlets. I cared about whether the yard was big enough for the dog, and he cared if we had a dishwasher. We both really wanted a space for a “library”.

Open houses really gave us an idea of what we could expect in our price range regarding quality, features, neighborhoods, size.

Once we were close to having our down payment, we decided to find a realtor. We asked around, got a couple names. I’m pretty picky about who I want to do business with. I think my exact requirements were a “hippie, liberal, feminist realtor”. I called the first one. We met with her, she seemed great. She wasn’t. She cancelled regularly, never got back to us when she said she would check on things. After about six weeks and catching her in at least one lie, we decided to go in another direction. We called the other name that friends kept mentioning. Fewer than 48 hours later we were looking at houses. The next day, he showed us a listing that wasn’t yet on the market. It was just two doors down from his own home. And that was that. I actually made him take us back a second time after we saw a couple others that day.

It really felt like it was meant to be.

We saw the house on Sunday. We were scheduled to meet with the credit union on Monday to get our pre-approval done (having not expected to find THE house yet). And I was scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday. So, on Monday we went to the bank. On Tuesday we scrambled to turn in a bunch of paperwork. And on Wednesday I had my uterus out and while I recovered in the hospital, my husband left and met with the Realtor to put in an official offer on the house.

We are currently waiting for the appraiser to turn in his report and for a few relatively minor repairs to be done. We should close before the end of the month.

I’m now in extreme planning mode. I have a dedicated Moleskine for sketches for each room and lists of projects and items we need to purchase. I’ve spent a lot of my recovery time at hardware stores. They’re great for post-surgery walks! Walk a while, rest for a bit in the outdoor furniture display.

How long did it take you to find THE house?

Obligatory Introduction Post

I used to blog. It’s been half a decade or so since I quit. Life carries on…

I like documenting changes. I enjoy being able to look back and see where we came from.

There have been some big events in my life in the last year. I finished graduate school. Married the man I love (the father of my 13 year old daughter). Adopted a dog. And now we’re buying a house. And I’m changing jobs. And I had hysterectomy the same day we put our offer on the house.

Change. Constant.

I am a social worker by profession. A social change agent by passion. I’m a feminist, philanthropist-wanna-be, partner, mother, rabble-rouser, volunteer, fiber artist, friend, and Wichitan.

I love this city. I love this state. I am proud of where I come from. Current state and local administration not included.

As we go on the journey of turning a house we buy into a home, I wish to document the changes we make, but I know this blog will end up being about more than that. I tend to over-share. It’s my way. I believe in the power of the personal narrative to affect hearts and minds.

Who are you?