Atrium House: State of the Flip, Vol. 2

It's been about a month since my last post, so I figured I would put in a little bit of an update on our Atrium House flip! Ok, here we go.

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The days that I get to work on the house are few and far between, as we end up having to pay for double childcare on the days that I can work (Imogen's school + a babysitter!) but we've been trying to squeeze it into the budget because I really love getting to put my time into the house, too. I'm not remotely as handy as Josh is, but I do love painting, staining, sanding, etc.

To be honest I think a month ago, we both thought the house would be nearly done right now! A month sounds like a long time but when you think about all the small things that need to get done that take up extra time, and factoring in unexpected things you find (Josh found a beam that he had to replace that was rotten, and just added a couple of extra days to the timeline, for example), you really start to see why renovating a home can take so long. And I probably mentioned this before, but we had no clue how much time it adds to bring in subcontractors (like electricians, plumbers, drywallers, etc). Because you think, "Oh drywall - that'll take a couple of days, right?" But you don't think about the time it takes to call drywallers, leave messages, wait for someone to call you back, wait for that person to be available to come give you an estimate, wait for that person to actually put together and send that estimate, wait for that person to be available to come and work on your house once the estimate is approved... It adds a couple of extra weeks onto what you thought was going to be a quick job! There's a lot we knew we would have to learn the hard way on our first flip, but this is the thing that is my most significant takeaway thus far. Allow lots of extra time.

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So the most significant changes this past month have been to the exterior! Josh has been working tirelessly in 110 degree temps- repairing the woodwork on the overhang / trim, sanding and painting it (we went with a dark gray and I'm loving it! Can you believe it was ever brown!?), replacing the rotten beams, and adding these KILLER BEAUTIFUL slats. We decided to stain them with Behr Cordova Brown (sorry Josh - I made him go back to the hardware store like a few times to find that perfect shade. In the end I think it was worth it but it was touch and go there for a minute, haha).

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Okay - why the slats? Well besides the fact that they look really beautiful and add an interesting element to the atrium area, they provide the master bedroom with tons more privacy (especially once we add the plants to the area). See those sliding doors? Yep - Master Bedroom. My first thought when we walked through the house was "Wow, that's awkward" because you could see straight out to the street and beyond. But the slats allow for loads more privacy while still allowing a lot of light in!

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A view from the front - we're getting our new glass front door / side window panes in soon, I think maybe this week? Still trying to decide what color to paint the frame! Leaning towards peach still, but we'll see.

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The back porch! It's really happening (and even more has happened since Josh took this photo - he's added a small privacy wall on the side of the covered porch area with some matching slats, too). Originally, this was all covered in (badly done - faux brick fireplace, wood paneling, duct taped windows, and all). We tore the walls all down, and the roof and beams were all painted a dark brown, so Josh spruced it up with this beautiful shade of white. I forget what it was called, something about a flower or lace or Jasmine or something. I'll figure it out. But basically, after he painted the back porch and the back of the house, we realized that it looked so nice that I think we'll be re-painting the entire house this same white, too. It just looks so nice and fresh. And we want the best for you, House!!

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Okay, back to the inside! Like I said, the most noticeable differences have happened on the outside, but here you might be able to tell that now we have all of our updated can lighting in (as well as places for our new hanging pendants to go), and the drywall has been repaired. Just trying to find someone now who can tape and mud the drywall to give it that nice finished look!

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Just a shot of my dumb feet and these poor neglected cactus cuttings that I still haven't planted (we just rotate them in the water). Hah! I hope they don't die.

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So let's talk a little about staging! This has been one of my favorite things I've ever done. I originally started off thinking I wanted to buy EVERYTHING second hand to stage with. But as my collection grew, I think it started feeling very thrift-store-ish and less clean, sleek, modern. What I'm looking for is something between the two, that feels new and fresh, but still retains the storytelling and charm of pieces that you've had forever. So I'm doing a great mix of both. I've had the best luck so far with the app Let Go, (where I scored the hanging chair above!) but also good ol' Craigslist has still got it (the rug below is one of my best finds - it's an 8x10' 1960's wool flokati rug! Scored for about $180 I think?).

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And then this bassinet, it nearly moved me to tears. I can't remember how much it was - it may have been around $50. But I probably would have paid double that. I'm so excited to set up a little nursery as one of our bedrooms!

I've got so much more to share. My staging collection is nearly done, and I'm going to start planning the rooms out pretty soon once everything else I've ordered arrives! Mostly I'm so excited to share sources of cool things I've found online (I've had some surprising sources for lighting, like a copper and wood pendant light from Nordstrom Rack sale on the Haute Look app!? It was crazy). I'd also love to talk about items that I think are okay to splurge on and items that I think you shouldn't (obviously just one lady's opinion though) and maybe the struggles of reeling yourself in when you just wanna put the best things in the home - this is a constant thing that Josh and I are talking about. Because we both want to build this incredible home full of good-quality things, but the reality is that whoever buys the home might not like exactly our tastes, so maybe don't spend $1000 on a front door, but don't get the cheap $200 front door, and spending $500 front door is a great middle ground. That kind of thing. (those are just random numbers, too. I actually don't know how much our front door ended up costing, hah!) Does that make sense? We are just figuring out which things to find the balance in. And some things really matter to us that quality work is invested in the house, but those things are things you can't see usually (good reliable plumbing and electricity. A good roof that will last 15 more years.). 

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Anyway! Hope you guys are enjoying following along. It feels a little surreal to be doing this, but mostly, it feels like the most natural thing in the world. I am overjoyed every day that this is our life and our venture. It's stressful at times, and hard work, and it feels risky, but already there is so much reward in taking a step out into the unknown and loving it. I am just so grateful! Thank you everyone for your kind words and emails, and let me know what you'd like to see more of in this process! <3

Atrium House: State of the Flip, Vol. 1

So, here I sit writing our very first, very belated house update. It's been nearly a month since we closed, so in retrospect, it was pretty adorable that we thought this could be done in two months. Although Josh has been working tirelessly to demo the dang thing, there were things we didn't anticipate (just like on TV! wow!) and so here we are! I would say that the demo is almost all the way complete now, and we are starting to get the pros in there to give us estimates and lining up our budget.

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I would say that so far, I'm not able to be as involved as I wanted to be, and Josh might tell you he's doing more work than he thought he was going to be doing. With two little ones, it's easy to be optimistic about your time / getting a babysitter, but it's not always the most realistic thing, and when "budget" is in your top 5 most used words in a given week, a babysitter isn't always doable. One solution we have made is to put Imogen into summer preschool 3 days a week, which besides being helpful to me in having more time to get work done (both on the house and doing my Dad's social media management), Imogen being in preschool is the best thing for her own needs! We are all super excited about this... her especially. She literally didn't care when I left this morning. I was being all needy mom, and she definitely didn't even say bye to me even though I said it like 5 times. How embarrassing for me.

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The other complication in the process was juggling all of our ventures / life / kids and being a one-car-family. We are all VERY HAPPY TO REPORT that Josh is finally getting a truck tomorrow. VERY, VERY HAPPY.

Okay, so here's the actual flip progress! Are you ready?

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We started with demolishing the back porch. It definitely was not built to code, and not even built well, at that (Basically, it was just pieces of faux wood panel that were glued together all hodge-podge, with a faux brick veneer fireplace stuck in the middle of it). The square footage wasn't included in the total, so we decided to lose it and create a larger outdoor space. Additionally, having those walls down would mean a lot more light into the living / dining area, and I'll NEVER turn down an opportunity for more natural light!

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Somewhere in the process, I became determined to put an actual vintage malm fireplace on the back porch, too. But our budget for extra things is sooo tight so I put myself on about a $300 budget (which is CRAZY. You can't find a malm for that cheap!). BUT!! We found this one locally for $150. I hope you are properly shocked. Now we are just trying to figure out if we should keep it this green color, or have it sand blasted and powder coated a really bright red or orange color (or white!?).

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Josh was able to expose the beam that separates the open living space from the dining space, and you guys, it's freaking so beautiful. The color of it is amazing! I'm so excited - it looks crazy good.

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So our initial plan with the kitchen was to tile the walls of the kitchen area, floor to ceiling. When Josh was pulling out the cabinets (and that weird spacer box that they used to put above cabinets in the 50's and 60's - who knows why they did that?! I'm legitimately curious), he discovered that a) the cement brick behind the drywall is beautiful, and b) it continues into the dining room, and c) although the house is extremely well-insulated (it barely felt warm in there one day when it was 117 degrees!), there was no insulation between the brick and the drywall. Meaning.... why not just expose the brick? (Sadly, that means we WOULD have to get rid of this beautiful tree decal. Doubtful anything could replace its effortless elegance.)

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So, that's what Josh did. I LOVE it. it brings a lot more character into the home and it's definitely something you don't see every day. There's a little bit of creative configuring we will have to do with it but it'll be worth it.

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As far as my input goes, I've basically been at work planning the look of the space, and finding good fixtures for our budget, and decided what to go budget-friendly on, and what to splurge on! I initially drew up this budget for the master bath and I'm already laughing at it. LAUGHING, I TELL YOU.

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So that's where we are right now! More to come. :)

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