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

How To: A Statement-Making Entryway for Under $150

A big lesson I’ve learned in decorating (especially as a twenty-something on a budget!) is that sometimes putting in the work to do a simple DIY makes all the difference.

Think about how many times you’ve come across the perfect piece of furniture that just speaks to your soul, and then had your heart broken when you saw the price tag. Or, how many times you’ve seen something and thought, “that is so close to exactly what I want, but it’s just not the color”.

It’s happened to me a lot.

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Here’s the thing. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars or settle for something that isn’t perfect. If you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty, you can have the aesthetic you want at the price point you want.

A prime example of this? Back in L.A, I happened upon a cabinet outside of our apartment one night. It was poorly painted a streaky white, but it had a great shape, was clearly functional, and most importantly? It was free. Almost without thinking, I picked it up and took it inside. I slapped some green paint on it, added some gold hardware, and voilà, I had myself a pretty espresso station + place to store random belongings (you can see it here). It added so much personality and aesthetic appeal to that space, and it broke my heart to leave it behind when I moved!

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Since moving into this apartment, I knew I wanted an established entryway area. Nothing drives me crazier than seeing random piles of mail, keys, headphones, etc. all over my home. The chaos needs to be corralled, and since the entry way is typically the first thing you see when you enter your home, it’s extra important to me and my peace of mind to have that particular space well designed & organized.

My entry way is a teeny tiny little space, but I knew with some creativity and patience, I could have exactly what I wanted! The order was a tall one. I needed a table that fit the actual dimensions of the natural entryway, it had to be tall (not short like typical end tables), it needed drawers so I could hide unsightly items like lint rollers and earphones, and ideally it had to have some design appeal.

After scouring for months, I finally happened upon the almost perfect piece at Homegoods. It was under $90 (unheard of!) and fit all the above specs. Also, it had cute vintage details that I loved. Again, I took it home without thinking twice. The only issue? The color.

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So boring! Luckily, I’m now an old pro at the DIY now. As a little homage to my old coffee cabinet, I used the same green paint, spray painted the pulls the same gold, and suddenly I had a unique, eye-catching, and beautifully clutter-free entryway table. For this project, a sample container in matte finish from my local Home Depot was more than enough (it cost about $10 with the paintbrush, and I already had the spray paint I needed!) The painting project took under 24 hours. So worth it!

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To dress the area up a bit more, I added some neutral-colored books, a candle, a small dish to place my keys (all of which I already owned!), and a vase of fresh flowers. I bought an adorable little mirror and rug from H&M home, linked here and here, and that was it! So cute, no?!

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These kinds of posts are so fun to do. I hope you guys like them! Hopefully it inspires some of you who are designing your own spaces with budgets in mind!