guest post : things I've learned as a homeowner

Hey you guys!! Ten points if you can name that movie. Anyway...today I am excited to have Nikki guesting here today on olive & a! Nikki does double blog time blogging at Que sera sera and Perpetually Engaged, she never fails to make me laugh and she's super sweet. Please give her a warm welcome!

We're on the verge of moving out of our house and I'm feeling a little guilt about leaving my first house behind. I'm anxious to move on, but we've learned so much from our little home. I wish we could take it with us...and tear down some walls and add on ;)

Last weekend while I was cleaning house and doing yard work I was thinking of a few things I've learned as a first time home owner. I had never decorated a whole house before, unless you count Sky Vodka posters in our college apartment. Then we skipped growing pots (not pot) on our balcony and jumped right into a yard. A bit overwhelming for someone like me.

I imagine you're pretty stylish folks and probably not as much of a mess as me, but I thought I would put together a few mistakes I made so you wouldn't have to...

{photo via Country Living}

1. Pick your furniture and fabric before you pick out paint. It's so much harder to find fabric you love than to pick paint to coordinate.

I learned this one the hard way. Everything in our house was brown, brown, brown when we moved in. So we picked paint colors and went at it. Then I had the hardest time falling in love with throw pillow patterns and chair covers. 5 years later, I want to paint everything white.

Which brings me to...

2. Just go for it. It seems the longer you hum and ho about a project the faster you'll want something else when it's finally through. Trends change so don't sit there and think about it too long. Go for it, if you hate it you can change it, but you won't know unless you actually do it.

My backyard has been through so many changes in the years we've lived there. We tore out beds the old owners had, planted grass where we wanted it. Tried to make it the backyard we'd always thought we wanted. Planted veggies in one corner, moved them to another, put them in pots.

Which brings me to...

3. Don't fight nature. Sure you want that exact backyard in Sunset magazine, I do too. But the sun doesn't shine in that corner that is perfect for raised beds. And that area where lush grass would be perfect for your bare foot babes to play gets swampy in the winter. Then the dogs do their Nascar routine through it and you no longer have grass at all.

Work with it, not against it. Sit with your yard one year before making any major changes. You'll find it's secret spots which will keep you from building raised beds over here, and putting grass over there, when you really should have put the gravel and a sitting area in that corner for privacy. Phew! Do you see all the mistakes I've made?

Which brings me to..

4. By the time you think you've finished every project in your house, you'll start redoing them.

Whether it's repainting, replanting or redoing your floors for the 3rd time because your hot water heater exploded in the kitchen (what the heck is the hot water heater doing in the kitchen anyway?). Just when you think you have it all under control, you want to change something, add something or just plain maintenance work.

Which brings me to...

5. Love your house. No matter the shape or size or color.

It might not be your forever home or perfect but this is where today's memories are made. So instead of dreaming of the next one (like I do) with more space, relish in the fact that it only takes 1 hour to clean the entire thing. Or that you have no garage for your Husband to hide in.

Think of it like your first baby. You're going to make some mistakes and possibly mess them up a bit, but on the next round you'll be that much more prepared.

Willing to share any of your mistakes that we can learn from?


The enchanted home said...

My number one mistake/regret..waiting to do things. I kept saying next month, tomorrow, next fall, and before I knew it we were in our house almost 7 years and the entire thing wasn't done..all those parties I wanted to have didn't happen, all the great big get togethers that I was planning, nada....all becuase I was waiting to fully decorate my house. Next house....full steam ahead. Move forward don't look back, live like today is your last day, take full advantage of every opportunity, and by all means be resourceful...carpe diem!

brianne @ the ravenna girls said...

Love this! Found you from Nikki's blog. These are GREAT tips - we're into year 2 in our first house and I have to say they are spot on, especially about the yard. We are architects so we designed our yard to look good, but now things won't grow in the places we put them because of light or drainage. woops - next time!

Nikki said...

Thanks for having me Heather! I'm printing my own advice so I can remember. Since I'm the worst at taking my own advice ;)

Gloria said...

really great tips! we bought our condo over a year ago and we STILL haven't finished getting the place in order because of indecisiveness. it's time to bite the bullet and just do all the projects we have planned!

Cherine said...

Very good list. I am inspired to finish all my painting jobs because the hubby with be done with med school before I know it and then we will be adios muchachitos :)

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