This year has been funny when it comes to our living situation. We’ve been living in our house for going on four years, and although we are totally happy where we are, we seriously considered moving twice. The first time we were just bored and decided to look into utilizing our equity to move to a county with better school systems — we eventually deemed that totally unnecessary and counterproductive to our goals (get closer to paying off house + incentivize ourselves to move to a new state or country later on down the road when the girls enter middle school age and schools seriously suck where we are). Then we had a brief lapse in judgement when we were sick of mowing the yard and having to deal with basic homeowner maintenance and thought we might rent an apartment or downsize to a condo with a pool. Our trip to Mexico showed us our overall contentment isn’t that different in different environments and opened our eyes to putting in a little of the money we would potentially spend to buy a more expensive house (inevitable in the Nashville market right now!) into the things that would make us like our house more with us IN it. That’s the thing that kind of drives me batty about staging / home selling… you do so much work to make the new owners happy but you would enjoy those things just as much (if not even more), so why not do that work early on?

All this is to say, we’re staying put and have been working on doing some updates to make our current home even better. Things we already love about it:  hardwood in every single room (no carpet!), beautiful natural light, pretty neutral colors (light baseboards and crown moulding downstairs, dark stained wood upstairs), a fuchsia crepe myrtle in the front yard, our yellow painted front door and a beautiful covered front porch. Literally when we went house hunting the first time we wrote out an exhaustive list of all our requirements/requests and this one fit EVERY SINGLE item — down to the garden tub and granite counters! It was totally a Godsend (literally).

Things we’re doing to improve it:

  • All the little repairs / tiny things we would need to do to make it sellable:  switch out burnt-out lightbulbs, patch holes, repaint chipped trim, etc
  • Paint the “neutral” beige living room and kitchen a super pale white-grey
  • Update all hardware to stainless steel rather than brass
  • Update some of the outdated builder-grade light fixtures
  • Create some built-in bookshelves with picture lighting in the living room
  • Switch up the layout of our living room (which had so much wasted space forever!) and replace some of the furniture pieces for better flow and space utilization
  • Swap darker curtains for light and airy white ones and hang rods high and wide
  • Create a built-in breakfast nook in the window corner of our living room
  • Get some live plants and put them out (all our summer flowers died!)

Thus far, we have a contingent offer on our too-big-for-the-space gray sofa (it was also a huge money suck when we first got married and immediately got ruined by our clawed cats… so much regret over that piece!), got a genuine leather loveseat for a SONG (thank you Facebook Marketplace!), have a big ikea order underway, took a large dresser that belonged to Drew’s late mother and purposed it as a console behind the loveseat (they’re exactly the same size!), and swapped up the layout of furniture in our super long narrow living room. It feels much cozier already! We’re getting paint chips tonight and intend to roll the living room this weekend.

I would ideally love to hang a big beautiful chandelier of sorts in the living room, some pendant lights above the breakfast nook, and have a much better lit kitchen (we currently have one of those awful rectangular industrial lights in there right now and it’s so bad… greasy, bug-laden, so unflattering). We also definitely need to replace the entrance ceiling fixture, the upstairs hallway fixture, and my walk-in closet light.

Excited to see where we end up in a few months of work!