I didn't expect 11 months to pass between posts. Our one year house anniversary is today so it seems like a good time to get back to the blog and document all that has happened in our new(ish) home.
This past year in our new home has been better than I could have ever imagined. Both Scott and I still can't believe that selling our old house and buying this one worked out so well. After walking through our old neighborhood (less than 1.5 miles away), we are so thankful we did not have to live through the two-year road construction project.
One-sort recycling finally!
Believe me, this is a highlight of the past year. Shortly after we moved in our beautiful blue container was delivered to our alley driveway.
We try to recycle everything that Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis will accept and this makes it a lot more efficient.
There is an organics recycling pilot happening now in select neighborhoods of Minneapolis. I am hopeful that it is a success and we can expand our recycling. In the meantime, we're considering a compost in our backyard.
Furnishing and decorating our new home
After moving in, we settled into our new digs pretty quickly and started investing in quality furniture since we have decided to make this our "forever home". I am so glad we have a Room and Board in Minneapolis (headquartered here!) and their delivery truck was parked in front of our home several times this year.
While living in our old house, we bought an orange Boden chair and ottoman, the Sinclair media console which we kept in the living room and the Metro sofa with chaise which we moved to the basement. With the help of an awesome Room and Board designer, we added several pieces to the living room: Jasper sofa, Gibson cocktail table, Parsons end table, Echo floor lamp, Echo table lamp, Brazo Floor lamp and case study planter and cable wool rug.
I have added several houseplants to the living room which makes me so happy since all of the plants I had in my old house died no matter what I tried. Mantle decorating is surprisingly difficult for me and since I didn't have a fireplace in our first house, I am still trying to figure out what to do. There is a lack of wall art in our entire house but it is most obvious in our living room. We have several options of framed art and we have a picture rail so it's just a matter of taking the time to make it happen. Hopefully this winter.
We have a small dining area off the living room and right outside the kitchen. Selecting our dining table and chairs was one of the hardest decorating decision we have made. I originally wanted a large rectangle table with a bench and chairs or upholstered chairs. Since our room is so small, it made more sense to get a table with leaves. We ended up getting the Ventura extension table and Jansen chairs. I decided to pass on having a rug under the table since I hate vacuuming.
To add texture and color, I added an Otomi textile to the wall. It was purchased by the owner of Zinnia Folk Arts for me while she was in Mexico. I also potted some colorful cacti and am making Erlenmeyer flask salt and pepper shakers.
It is so great to have a dedicated room on our main level for an office and den. We chose the Elke convertible sofa so the room can accommodate overnight guests. I wanted bright colors against the neutral paint so I purchased or was gifted pillows from Anthropologie, Jonathan Adler and Zinna Folk Arts. I have always wanted to create a "places we've been" map and the Essential Geography of the USA map from IMUS Geographic is perfect. I had it mounted on foam core and framed without glass at FrameUPs.
The desk was a tough choice and I pinned several options on my "office pin board" but ended up with the Rustic Storage Desk from West Elm. I also wanted a side table for the sofa but it is such a small space that I chose the Peekaboo C Table from CB2. I'm also working on organizing my home office and will add shelves to the small closet for binders, files, craft and gift supplies and a wireless printer.
I honestly think that this house has boosted my mood significantly and my attraction to bright colors is one of the side effects. When we decided to add a TV to our office/den, I chose slim bookshelves and a media console in ocean. I'm still adding books and items that make me happy to the shelves. One of my favorite recent purchases is the phrenology head which doubles as a place to store things (marbles!?).
We started using our sunroom quite a bit after we traded in our old dining room and chairs for comfy furniture. Because the windows and door are not particularly insulated, I played it safe and purchased outdoor furniture. Scott likes the green recliner that was originally my grandparent's so we've kept it. We recently added a curtain rod that goes around the room and I'll be adding white curtains to add a bit of privacy. I will also string lights including the paper lantern lights that I temporarily hung from a hook that was left from the previous owner.
We never purchased "adult furniture" for our bedroom in our previous home. After furnishing the living and dining room, we worked with the same Room and Board designer to select our bedroom furniture. We chose the Webster bed, and two dressers and side tables from the Hudson collection. The lighting is pretty terrible so I added the large glass jug table lamp on one of the dressers. Now we need to add wall art and other decorative/functional items to the dressers.
Our upstairs is one big room with a half wall separating the space where our bed is from the bathroom. The bathroom has shelves but the pedestal sink lacks storage above, below or on the side. I am hoping to add a medicine cabinet but in the meantime, I use the vanity I purchased from West Elm (discontinued, apparently).
The backyard landscaping had been abandoned by the previous owner so we wanted to clean it up. There was a rain garden/pond to the east of the sunroom that was disgusting so we hired Earthworm Lawncare to remove the railroad ties and use the small boulder rock as a border around our gardens.
I've always wanted a flowering tree so they added a dwarf Eastern Redbud tree. Our backyard is shady thanks to the HUGE cottonwood and our neighbor's Oak so we added shade loving plants and made the western half of our backyard into one big mulched perennial garden.
Earthworm also moved the perennials around in the front, removed the arborvitae evergreen from the western corner of the front of our house and dug up the buried stepping stones on the eastern side of our home and added mulch.
Next steps: Creating a master plan
We haven't made any significant changes to the guest room, main floor bath, kitchen or basement. I'm holding off any major projects because I will be working with Margaret, a designer from Building Arts to create a master plan. I originally met Margaret at home on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour. She had designed a half story owner's bedroom/bathroom suite that has features I wish ours had. It was clear she pays attention to details which is something I value in making home improvement decisions. We are beginning our work together this month and the first step is that Margaret is going to take detailed measurements of our home and creating a CAD design of the home as it exists. I'm excited to document this process since I've always wanted to work with a designer and an architecture firm.
Getting ready to hibernate
I am proud of what Scott and I have been able to do this past year. I am now ready to pause and enjoy our happy, warm home just in time for the impending snow. At least I think our neighborhood is gorgeous in the winter thanks to the Minnehaha Creek/Parkway, pedestrian bridge and trails being so close.
The Nivens Family