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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#FEARNOMESS - our patio makeover with method

First of all! I'm partnering with method on this post, and though I am being compensated, all thoughts and ideas are our own. Thanks for supporting the people who support us!

We've been in our rental house for a few months now. I LOVE our rental house. Who says that about a rental? It might be because our landlords are so chill about changes we want to make, or the layout, or all of the windows and natural light, or everything all together. When we moved in we immediately made each room our own. The only weird thing about our house is that we don't really have a back yard - we have a weird side yard patio thing, and it's all concrete. Yep. No grass - all concrete / rock / block wall fence. Gray 4 dayz. Sad city. For awhile it's just housed toys and our grill, but everything gets pretty dusty (it turns out we live in the DESERT) so I never really thought we would use it for much more than that.

Josh had been playing around with the idea of making a table for the side yard, and so after method challenged us to #fearnomess, I got over myself and my weird aversion to our dirty concrete box yard, and we got excited planning our new outdoor space - dust or no dust! We planned a dinner party as our deadline (which is a great motivator. We usually invite people over when our house is a wreck so we'll be forced to clean it. Does anybody else do that!?) and got to work.

I can't tell you how he does it, but Josh makes the dopest things. He MADE this table and two benches (they are so sturdy, too!) and the cost of materials ended up being about $150. Good thing he had Imogen around to keep an eye on things. She's so interested in building and how things are put together - very much like her papa.

I decided to make some lil' pillows for delicate butts. I had all of this white canvas fabric leftover from a previous project, as well as some textile paints. (I love textile paints! Acrylic paints on fabric end up feeling too stiff but textile paints are made to feel so much softer.) I think I made 5 pillows in one afternoon, so it was a great simple project to knock out if you have a few hours on your hands.

Since we also dream on a budget, we don't just go buy plants for every new space. I've been learning as I go but I love propagating new plants from existing plants. A couple of weeks prior to our party, I took my very large pencil cactus plant (these things grow like crrrrraaazy) and replanted a bunch of cuttings into smaller vases. SPOILER ALERT: they're still alive! I also grabbed this paddle cactus off of a larger cactus and stuck it in a pot. They're that easy to grow. This one is already starting to bloom after being in its new home for a couple of weeks! If you're also on a budget and happen to live around Phoenix, Craigslist is a GREAT resource for cheap or free cacti cuttings. We definitely have scored over the past couple of months as we're trying to build up more greenery in the patio area!

We were able to update our outdoor lighting for about $50 at Costco. These are such a great deal - I think everyone we know has grabbed these lights, too! They really make such a cozy ambiance.

One of my favorite things about the surface spray is that method sprays actually smell NATURAL. They're not chemical-y. You spray the French lavender, it smells like actual lavender. I'll never get tired of it. We are also really big on recycling, so naturally I love that all of the method products are biodegradable, made FROM recycled materials, and are 100% recyclable. I'm happy to partner with a company that does so much environmental good, but also makes a dang good product on top of it. Because Josh sealed our outdoor table, it's so easy to spray and clean before guests arrive, and bonus: smells amazing! (Clementine!)

Time to use our space for the first time. So much fun! Thanks to our friends Anthony + Jamie (and crew!), Scott + Chelsea, and Robert + Christina for joining us (and loving on our kids!).

I'm so glad we decided to go for it with this outdoor space. Fear no mess, you guys! Make it happen and you'll be so glad you took a risk! If you haven't tried method products then head over to their site (if you sign up for their email newsletter you'll get 15% off and promos and stuff, you know the deal!). I've never bought a method product I didn't like. Which scent should I try next?!