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

Holiday Home Decor 2018

I’m so excited to finally share some more shots of my home and details on this years Christmas decorations in todays holiday home tour!

Decorating this apartment by myself has been a pretty big undertaking, one that I’ve worked hard not to rush so that I can be really happy with the end result. But I’m relieved to say I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. All that’s left is an entry way set up, an accent chair in the living room, and some more pictures & personal touches here and there, and we’ll be done. I’m waiting to finish all of that until Mark comes ;)!

I’m hosting the festivities this year, so I really wanted the space to look company-ready and have the obvious Christmas vibes. But, since it’s not the biggest space I also wanted to avoid that over-the-top, cluttered feeling. I tried to keep things bright, airy, and festive. Mission accomplished, I think?

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I like to keep things pretty minimal in the kitchen, since I’m always in there working on something and making a mess. My favorite Santa Clause mugs are on display, and I placed lots of fresh tree trimmings around the perimeter of the counter. Copper canisters are a good way to bring in some Christmas coziness as well.

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I’m unabashedly obsessed with my dining area. I love the bright rug with the white table & chairs. And I’ve wanted those open shelves so I could have some fun with my prop & decoration displays forEVER. I dressed the table up by doing a simple, rustic centerpiece  with a wooden platter, some fresh pine garland, modern candles, and real clementines. I looove how it turned out.  I swapped all of the normal shelf occupants for holiday dishes, some Christmas village figurines + bottle brush trees, and other festive touches. How cute is that stocking I found at Target?! I freak out over anything with that kind of snow village print on it, so I honestly couldn’t resist.

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I got unreasonably excited about changing my living area throw pillow covers to my favorite plaid ones. Other than that, I made sure to load up on the cozy greenery on top of the mirror, in front of the TV, over the doorway, etc. Little details like hung stockings, bottle brush trees, a book of old Christmas stories, and a bowl filled with ornaments on the coffee table made the space feel complete (well, until the tree shows up).

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And finally, my cozy little bedroom! The flannel Santa sheets I found at Target sent me into a real life fit of giddiness because they are SO CUTE. And how pretty is that homemade wreath I made hanging over my gold mirror? holiday hack: pick up free tree trimmings from Home Depot and make garlands and wreaths yourself, it’s so cost effective and much more fun!

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On the 13th day of Christmas, I finally got my tree! I can’t wait to share some details on how I’m decorating it. Thanks for staying tuned.