Month : February 2014

the next one.

I’ve had a few questions about where our search for House 2.0 might lead us. Would we build again? Would we renovate something older? Are we staying in Des Moines? The answer to all of the above, for now, is YES.

Staying in Des Moines
After some back-and-forth over the past several months about relocating outside of Iowa, for our life right now, it makes the most sense to stay put for the time being. That decision to stay put, along with other life decisions (family, work, other goals) changed our perspective on what we would like in our next Des Moines home. We will stay on the west side of Des Moines for proximity to both of our jobs, but we aren’t tied to only Waukee, going forward.

Building again
In our area, you are hard-pressed to find lots where you can build that include any amount of trees. Location would be our main reason should we choose NOT to build again, as we would likely remain further out and with less foliage. We had a good experience overall with our first build, but given all that we learned, we feel even better prepared this time around for the process and you certainly can’t beat the ability to customize when starting from the ground up.

Updating something existing
Even if my dream home turned up on the listings around us, I’d be dying to make changes to make it feel like “ours”, so I’m prepared for SOME amount of updating no matter where we go. It is appealing to us that we could get something in a more established neighborhood for our money by taking on something that might be a bit outdated or in need of some TLC. We also are realistic about our work/life balance and making time for big projects. We would be very open to putting some sweat equity in for the RIGHT house, but with each of us working a full-time and an additional freelance job, we are continuously weighing the cost of our time and whether or not we want to spend the little free time we have on house projects.

If you’ve been reading LIY for a while, you might recall this post where I channeled the kids at Young House Love and gave some hints about homes we were interested in. Here are a couple this time around, to give you the mix of flavors that is appealing to us as of late:



laundry room…check!

updated laundry |

Don’t get the wrong impression…just because this project has taken two years to complete does NOT mean you will be overwhelmed with the results. But, it’s a definite improvement over what we had, and I actually enjoy opening the laundry room door now!

laundry before

To begin, we started with this laundry room. Standard wire shelving, organized enough, functional.

Next, the game plan hit some bumps. First, the rug I ordered (and was basing my whole idea to stylize this space) didn’t fit quite right and had to be sent back. This translated into an entirely different wall color pick for the room. I think this worked out for the best, though, as “Soft Mint” by Glidden made this room feel SO much lighter/brighter (and dare I say, bigger).

Next, we built and painted a pedestal to go under the washer/dryer and house three laundry baskets. Cue the forehead slap…we literally couldn’t angle the room-width creation enough to get them INTO PLACE! So we took them apart and kept one section as a sort of riser to line up with our baseboards. I do feel the difference in bending over a few less inches to get clothes in and out, so the project wasn’t a total waste.

laundry in progress

Since that debacle, we focused time and energy on the basement, and the laundry room was “good enough” – meaning there were a couple improvements checked off, but all of the laundry/cleaning supplies collected in here, and without a storage system for keeping it all organized, making it not too easy on the eyes.

updated laundry |

Finally, I feel like this is a space we can mark off as done. I’m glad to see the cheapo 12″ wire shelving gone. In its place, we added a 16-inch deep piece of pine, primed and painted to match our trim, for a bit more custom/built-in look. We had a plethora of leftover trim in the same finish from our basement, so we re-purposed a piece of that along the edge to take it up one more notch. The two white bins keep supplies sorted into one of two categories…

WASH: detergent, softener, bleach, OxyClean, stain stick, Color Catchers, etc

DRY: starch, lint roller, dryer balls, defuzzing comb, etc

updated laundry |

…and a roll of paper towels is close on hand, in the corner where we stash a small waste basket for lint, and our mop. I like that this corner is out of sight, when looking in from the hallway.

updated laundry |

We finally have a place to store our laundry baskets that is NOT on the floor, blocking the machines, or on top of the machines to vibrate noisily while they’re running.

updated laundry |

This was a big check off the list of house projects, and gets us one step closer to being ready to list the house! Stay tuned for details on THAT story in the coming weeks!