This New (to me) House!

It’s I’ve-got-the-keys-in-my-hand official!  I am a home owner!!!

Okay, I’ll admit it.  That would have been a much more exciting sentence if this was being posted in June when I closed on the house.  Oh well.  LIFE HAPPENS.

Buying a house was easily the biggest commitment I’ve ever made in my entire life but I’m actually excited instead of scared.  Guess that’s what happens when you bide your time and wait for the right one.

Here it is… the reveal you’ve all been waiting for… unless of course:

    1. I already forced you multiple times to look at the pictures from my first showing
    2. I’ve already enticed you over with promises of food and frivolity
    3. I’ve made you work at my house in order to consume said food
    4. You helped take care of me after my foot surgery
    5. You haven’t been waiting at all because you know me too well and you guessed it would take at least 6 months to get pictures online…

Take that Es! I’ve got you beat by two months!  

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So that’s pretty much the at-a-glance tour of the place! More to come as I start digging into the decoration process.  I’ll leave you with a few favorite “moments” I love (or find hilarious). 

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This Old House


The big news is that, after nearly 13 years of renting, I’ll soon be moving into the realm of home ownership.  How soon, well, it’s up to a bank but very soon I hope.  And in an effort to embrace the live-like-it’s-already-true attitude, I’ve embarked on the great packing expedition.  A few reflections:

1) How is it that the contents of a closet expand by 400% when removed from said closet?

2) I have WAAAAAAAY to much stuff.

3) A lot of the things I’ve saved for years because “when I have my own house, I’ll want/need this” I really don’t want or need anymore.

4) Holy cow!  I have no photos of my current house!

Before moving on to the highlights of the packing ramp up, I thought I should take an hour to frantically clean a second to snap a few shots for posterity and, of course, to share on this here blog.  The packing progress shots will be sort of a decoration project in reverse.

Here’s the grand tour!

Welcome to mi casa!  This is what you see when you come in the front door… you basically walk straight into my ginormous couch. (It’s like a Where’s Waldo–how many animals can you find?)

And looking back you can scope out the removable stained glass that provided some much needed privacy after the house was broken into and I was paranoid.  My mom painted those flowers and I looooove them!

This is what you see when you sit on the couch…(don’t let Sherry over at Young House Love see my white ceramic bull–I might be guilted into handing it over).  The pots have morphed into storage for the dog toys.  Don’t judge me.

Here’s the general view of the kitchen (yes it’s reeeeally that yellow).  Pretty standard except for maybe the abundance of empty bottles.  Again, don’t judge me.  I’ve been saving them for one of those “when I have my own house” projects that I hope to actually do.  Stay tuned 🙂

The garage is, well, a garage  and one of the bedrooms and a bathroom is empty already since the roomie moved out so I’ll spare you those shots.

And I’ve shared the office/craft room before HERE so this is pretty much what it looks like although is more often then not in a state of shambles (hence the reference to the old yet tidy picture).

This is one of the biggest decorating challenges because of the wallpaper border.  As you can probably tell, I sort of just gave up.

Last but not least is the bedroom.

Yes, that wardrobe does, in fact, lead to Narnia.  I’ll be selling annual passes on Ebay shortly.

And the backyard view… beautiful and relaxing but also a vortex of thorns.  Bougainvilleas, I will NOT miss you.

So that’s the tour in fast forward.  This has been a great house for the last few years, a true blessing really, but I’m more than ready to move on to having a casa that is truly mine.  Will I go “coastal cottage”?  Will I change the paint as often as I change my nail color?  All I know is that it will be all me and all mine… weeds and all. 🙂

Friday Finishline: My Me Cave


Almost two months ago I wrote an enthusiastic post (read it HERE) confessing my undying love for Young House Love and showing you the cluttered ridiculousness that is my office/craft room/gym… basically my Me Cave.  I was inspired and had high hopes for a quick weekend revamp and, well, it DID only take a weekend. 

I suppose I should have specified WHICH weekend. 

As a little recap, my goal was to whip my current dumping ground into a functioning office, craft area, and gym all-in-one. 

Now for the obligatory disclaimer: My intent was not a complete redesign.  My main goal was to streamline and create a functional space.  Perhaps a complete decor revamp is in the future but I’m okay with good enough for now. 

Here’s a reminder of the before: As you walked in, you were greeted by a messy, yet necessary bit of storage…


And the rest of the room was, well, a mess.  The desk had become a catch-all and an inefficient closet meant lots of supplies left everywhere.


And here is after a Saturday’s work and $33:

A $3 tension rod and a curtain I already had (made by my fabulous sister) solved the ugly entrance issue.

 the entrance

 A $30 shelving unit from Sam’s Club provided some much-needed closet storage where there was previously only the upper shelf.

Taking down the folding table I was using as a desk and transferring my “office” to the old sewing desk created a lot more floor space and also reduced the surface area for the junk my old desk seemed to accumulate.  I was able to hide the router and modem in the cubby shelf of the desk and got the computer off the floor by sliding it onto a shelf of the printer cart.

the office 

This area will soon occupy a “new” craft desk… stay tuned.

what will be the craft area
Here is my “gym”; pretty much the same but now with a much better angle to the monitor so I can watch Hulu and Netflix while I workout.  Trust me, this is a big incentive. 🙂

 the gym
And, although this was in the room before, I thought I would share my postcard mobile that I picked up at the Urban Outfitters in Chicago for some ridiculously discounted price.  Now that the room feels airy and streamlined, this seems to be much more prominent and I like to stare at it when I should be focused on the novel or whatever else I’m working on writing. 

postcard mobile

 There you have it folks!  (I know you were holding your breath so you are officially out of your misery.)  Hopefully there will be many more household refresh projects coming soon… and knowing how much I clean when “novel-procratinating”, I’m sure I’ll be blogging about them soon!

Addicted to YHL

Hi. My name is Mariah… and I’m addicted to YHL.

For those not you NOT in the know, YHL stands for Young House Love. I can’t remember exactly when I got my first fix but I vaguely remember it being as a result of a shared link from a Facebook friend. I just HAD to click… didn’t I?

Anyways, I’ve been following [Read: stalking] this fine couple of bloggers for a couple months now and have been completely engrossed by their most recent DIY undertaking: the 3-in-1 office/playroom/guest room. They asked about our own multi-function spaces and it set me thinking… always a dangerous thing.

I’ve been plagued with Renter’s Syndrome. Since I moved on from my parents’ nest over 12 years ago, I have lived in at least as many places. Each move meant new views, possibilities and challenges. With each new space, the same questions came up:

  • What function does this area need to serve? (plan)
  • What do I really need? (declutter)
  • Where do I store the stuff? (organize)
  • How do I make this feel like me? (decorate!)
  • In the end, I do my best but I come up to the same wall. It’s a rental… what can I really change? So I adapt to the space and make the most out of it but things like navy blue carpet and puce green refridgerators… well, I just had to suck it up.  Luckily, I live in a house I like that is owned by awesome friends so the hideous misfortunes don’t befall me here but there have certainly been some doozies over the years.

    Wondering how my home has become so stagnant, I realized, it’s because I’ve managed to say in the same place for a couple years now. For the last year I’ve been flying solo in my 3/2 and I got used to filling up the entire empty place with, well, stuff. My old roomie’s empty echo-y room became the guest room with two picture hung oddly on nails that were already there and a forever-inflated air mattress. Not exactly the Martha Stewart welcoming but it was a place to crash. The office, well, it’s an explosion of art supplies, junk, books, games, computer, junk, exercise bike, things that need to go to other people and junk.

    YHL has inspired me to take a new look at my space and use my four questions above and I think I’ll tackle the office first. Here is my office in all its ridiculous clutter when I got home from work today:


    I decided to begin the de-cluttering process while thinking through the question, “What function does this area need to serve?”

  • I need a place to work out
  • I need a place to sew and an open surface (or easy to clear area) to work on craft projects
  • I need a place for all the paperwork, office-y duties and storage
  • Above all, I need a writing space
  • So, there’s the multi-function need: office/gym/art studio/writing cave


    I’m pretty organized so, believe it or not, all the junk will be gone after a quick hotspot fire drill (thanks FlyLady!).

    There is something that just has never jelled in this room though. Probably has to do with it being the dumping ground of all out of place things for the entire house. I need a clean, flowing, clutter free space where my mind can wander and not think, “Geez, I really need to file last month’s bills.”

    All décor aside, the first issue is the closet. It’s really ineffective for the type of storage I need. Some shelves (using this YHL tutorial) should do the trick.


    The only other built-in storage area is this ventilated shelving slathered niche that greets you as you walk in the door.


    It’s just, well, untidy and unattractive. Solutions? I’m not sure just yet. So, here are the befores… stay tuned to see what a weekend’s progress will look like!

    So here’s to the beginning of a project! John and Sherry, I love you guys! (And of course Clara and Burger too!) Hopefully I’ll have some awesome Reader Redesign pics to send your way soon! All you Readers, check out these wonderful folks and their extensive list of “How To”s HERE

    Share the love 🙂