I Bought A House!

Hooray!

The news is out and it’s officially official, ya girl is a homeowner.

I didn’t share anything about it until everything was set in stone because I knew, from every home buying resource/website/blog/expert, that things can turn real quick, shit can hit the fan, and that home you have your eye on can be ripped away from you in what feels like a blink of an eye! And I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious, so I didn’t want to jinx anything.

But now I can talk about it because the papers are signed, the keys are in my hands, and I am officially the bank’s bitch. Yay!

All in all, I had a really positive first time home buying experience. Though it’s all a whirl because everything happened SO fast. The week of Halloween, my dad drove to Raleigh to help me start my search with a realtor. We saw a few places, only finding one really great space that checked most of my boxes and where I experienced my first real estate heartbreak when we learned that the sellers had accepted an offer an hour before I arrived (and 11 hours after the house went on the market). A couple of weeks with a whole lot of nothing went by, then finally my realtor flagged a super charming townhouse and made an appointment for us to see it at 8:30 a.m on November 14th (a Saturday) just 12 hours after it went on the market. I walked in and got the feeling, I just knew it had to be mine! We made an offer at 11:30, and at 7 p.m I got the call that my offer was accepted. Next came the whole whirlwind of getting my loan approved, acquiring home insurance, doing home inspections, due diligence, and planning for my move (most of which I was doing without a computer, since my laptop was away for repair). I closed on December 11th. Blink of an eye, I’m telling you!

So, now I’ve got this gorgeous 3-story townhouse with a big kitchen, hardwood floors, and a ton of natural light, and I’m just so excited to get in there and start making it home after Christmas. I’m also excited to become a handy homeowner, because you all know I’m all about the DIY. I’ve already caulked some trim, painted the walls in the dining & living room, and next I’m refreshing the kitchen. I’ll be documenting everything here, duh, but for now I thought it would be fun to share some of my inspiration I’ve gathered from my Pinterest boards!

So much fun. I can’t wait!

How to Decorate Like You’re At Hogwarts (& Keep it Stylish!)

Ever watch any of the Harry Potter movies and desperately wish you could snap your fingers (or wave your wand) and find yourself in one of those magnificent rooms in that medieval castle?! Yeah, me too. If it were up to me I’d live in Hogwarts indefinitely.

Here’s the problem: I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to decorating than most people, the interior designers of Hogwarts probably included. I can’t stand a lot of clutter, too many patterns, or clashing colors. I detest primary colors. Guys, there are so many primary colors in Harry Potter. Talk about my personal nightmare. But there are also a ton of ornate golds, delicate designs, warm wood tones, cozy textures…all of which I can get behind! If you choose & pair wisely, it’s actually possible to add in some Hogwarts-inspired flair to your home decor without being too obvious or looking like you just cleaned out the gift shop at Universal Studios Harry Potter Wizarding World. I threw together a few of my favorite items that I thought fit the bill, and now I’m kiiind of considering a living room re-design. 😉

 

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You know Hogwarts was probably covered in old Persian & Turkish rugs. This soft piece from Anthropologie adds texture and is just patterned enough without being too busy. Plus, the colors simply belong in Gryffindor tower (but again, aren’t so primary). 

Read any passage about (or watch any scene in) Gryffindor common room and you’ll know just how important cozy cushioning is for when you need a comfy place to work or just lounge with your friends. Add vintage throw pillows to armchairs and sofas, lay down some floor pillows for extra seating (hello, movie nights!), and throw in a Moroccan pouf so you can put your feet up (preferably by a roaring fire). 

Speaking of staying warm (sans fire… #apartmentlife), how good would it feel to curl up with a good book under this giant faux fur blanket?!

Every single mirror I own in my apartment is gold. If there’s any decor trend I am truly and 100% behind, it’s that one.  This mirror has a vaguely similar shape to the Mirror of Erised, just with more modern, rounded edges. It’s similar enough to make the association, but isn’t too obvious that it’s cheesy.

This ceramic white stag mount is so cute, plus it’s a decorative item that’s actually pretty popular so it won’t raise too many eyebrows! How could you not look at it and think the words “expecto patronum” every single time?!

Sport your Gryffindor pride with a vase decorated with lions. (Full disclosure: I’m a Slytherin, but unfortunately there aren’t a ton of cute decorative pieces with snakes…)

Is there anything better than the Harry Potter score?! It still gives me goosebumps and brings me to tears. Listening to it on vinyl would be unreal. Especially on this record player that looks like it would be found in a Divination class (that ethereal pattern though…)

Displaying an impressive library is a pretty Hermione-ish move (in the best way!). Your Harry Potter books deserve to be displayed. This neutral (but still thematic!) book cover set makes it so you can display your collection without clashing with your other belongings.

Finally, this golden snitch clock is just too adorable to pass up. It’s the most obvious item on this list, but it’s so cute that I simply don’t care.

Other ideas:

Not ready for a full re-design of your living room? I get it, we can’t all be crazy. There are other easy and inconspicuous ways of showcasing your HP love. Frame a print of a favorite quote (or one of your favorite chapter pages). Display your wand(s) in your pencil cup. Collect themed mugs. Display pretty little trinkets (like a music box that plays Hedwig’s Theme) here & there in tasteful ways! Whatever you do, make sure you have some fun with it. 😉

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Thanks for reading! xx

Renters Refresh: The Balcony

When I moved into this apartment, I had big visions for how I would personalize every square inch of it into a space that was cozy, cute, inspiring, and functional. It’s been a total blast bringing those visions to life and I’ve loved sharing my process with friends & followers along the way, so I thought it would be fun to delve a little deeper into how one area in particular came together!

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When I started decorating, I obviously started with the big spots. The living and dining area, the kitchen, the bedroom, all of which are just about finished. Now, I’m shifting focus to the smaller spaces. On the top of my list was the balcony. With the summer months and the warmer weather finally here, all I want to do is be out there drinking iced coffee in the sunshine and enjoying dinners al fresco in the evening! So I knew the time had finally come.

Balconies, in my experience, tend to be the least loved area of the home for us twenty-somethings. More often than not they’re a mess of mismatched furniture and dead leaves/dirt. It makes me so sad. Our old one was like a plant graveyard that also happened to store Mark’s bike and a camp grill. It wasn’t cozy or coordinated, so spending any time out there just wasn’t pleasant. This time had to be different.

My first step in planning was determining what I wanted to use my balcony for. While I love a good lounge chair or low sitting chair/coffee table set up, I knew that wasn’t right for my needs. What I really wanted was somewhere I could drink coffee, eat a snack, and either read a book or do computer work while occasionally looking out onto the bustling street and neighboring shops. Images of coffee shops and cafes came to mind, and then it was abundantly clear – I needed a bistro set!

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Finding the style I wanted was also easy. I’ve been really into European decorating styles lately (namely French countryside) meaning I was looking for some bright colors, natural materials, curved shapes, Chinoiserie prints, pottery, and lots of greenery and flowers. 

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Finally came sourcing everything, from the bistro set to the flowers. I took it nice and slow, and really didn’t settle for anything I didn’t love. I started with the bistro chairs and twinkle lights, both of which I’ve actually had since I first moved in. The next step was the flower boxes and the table, those came from Amazon. I went to a local gardening shop to pick out supplies, pottery, and flowers. Finally, I found just the right rug and trellis to finish everything off. My little oasis!

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So, there you have it. A relatively inexpensive renter’s refresh! My tips to anyone looking to do something similar are: 1. honestly evaluate your needs and desires for the space in question. 2. scour Pinterest and decorating blogs/books/resources for different aesthetics and what they entail. 3. source things slowly and deliberately, and don’t buy everything from just one store (or it will probably look like that store’s catalogue).

Finally, here are some links for ya: bistro chairs // bistro table // trellis // planter boxes // rug // twinkle lights // chinoiserie pot // watering can