We’re Buying a House!

Mandi Makes a New Home

You guys! Something absolutely crazy is happening in my life. On Saturday, April 1st (yes, April Fool’s Day), I asked Phil if he wanted to go to an open house for an amazing 1970s house I found on Zillow that had a CONVERSATION PIT in the living room! He said, “Sure!” We talked about how fun it would be to move, how ready we were, and how we should probably start getting our house ready to sell. Not that this ’70s house would be “the one.” But you know, this was a fun idea, and it made us realize we should probably gear up to sell our house and move on to the next adventure.

Fast forward to the next day, we attended the open house and fell in love. Should’ve seen it comin’. We wanted to put an offer in, and we were even pre-approved for a mortgage to do so. But we decided this was financially stupid, seeing as how we weren’t even close to being ready to put our house on the market. Two mortgages? Yeah, no.

So, I got on Instagram, shared the day through live videos, and then ended the day telling you all that we were going to put our house on the market in two weeks. Maybe we could get it on the market in time to put an offer in on that amazing ’70s house! Crazy, right?! But something even crazier happened the next day.

A friend of mine texted me to tell me he knew someone interested in our house. I let her see it that evening, and she was very interested. And Phil and I were very excited. That week, I barely slept. I worked on our house night and day, preparing it to sell. I wanted to move, and I wanted to move badly. Well, six days later we entered into contract with the absolute perfect buyer for our home, and had been crushed to find out our dream home was already in contract as well. Wow, what a whirlwind! I had been emotionally to the moon and back (and then back to the moon?) and while I was sad to have missed out on what I knew would’ve been an amazing house, I was excited about taking our time to find a new house, as we saved money while living with our parents while we waited. How many months would it take? We didn’t know. The thought of waiting and not knowing if or when to settle made me very stir crazy. Would we ever find what we wanted and in our budget?!

Mandi Makes a New Home

But then I found the above images on Zillow for a house I had scrolled past countless times— its lead image showed a boring looking home which lacked curb appeal— nothing about its exterior photos that would lead me to think this could be “the one.” I remember (because it wasn’t that long ago— ha!) clicking through the photos thinking, “Hmmm… I could work with that!” And Phil said, “You could work with that, but do you really love it? Is it really ‘the one’?” I said, “No, probably not.” But I made an appointment to see it the next day anyway. And wow— it was so perfect for us!

We had made a list of qualifications for our dream home, but figured we’d not be able to find a place that met all the criteria. At least, not in our price point. Still, we needed to start somewhere. So here’s what we put on our list:

An entryway separate from the rest of the house, a large kitchen open to a dining area big enough for my heirloom farmhouse table, a private office for Phil big enough for a sofa and chairs for his mentoring and Bible studies, an office for me that was big enough to work on all of my crafts and projects, a large great room with high ceilings, a basement with potential for finishing down the road, a room the kids could call their own (to house most of their toys), three bedrooms, two baths, a two car garage, a decent yard, not on a busy road, in a nice neighborhood, and a house that was asking for cosmetic upgrades, but didn’t need big renovation done. WHEW! What a list, right? And did I mention, our budget was around 175k? Ha!

Well, what would you know, we sold our house and found that exact house (that met all of our criteria and then some— partially finished basement, 3 and a half baths, and a three car garage) and got it for the exact price we were hoping for! We are basically in shock. So much is changing so quickly, and my far off house dreams are coming true in such a short amount of time. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and find out this was all a really fun dream. (Please don’t pinch me.)

Mandi Makes a New Home

If all goes according to plan (we trust God that it will), we’ll be  closing on our new house at the beginning of June and will be starting renovations on the first floor immediately. We are ripping out all of the flooring material, removing much of the cabinetry in the kitchen, rearranging the cabinetry to move the oven to a different wall, and oh, so much more! Check out my video tour of the house on my Facebook page here, and see my inspiration images for the house below. So excited to share this entire crazy journey with you guys!

click images to see where I found each one

white living room earthy accents

Floating shelving around floor to ceiling fireplace

Open Pantry System

california modern

velvet banquette

gray lower cabinets, white and gray subway tile

neutral kitchen with floating shelves

Home for the Holidays

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

Welcome to my home during our favorite time of year— Christmastime! Turns out, decorating for Christmas this year was more challenging than in the past, because of all my houseplants! Ahhh! I have trees and greenery everywhere, so I had to relocate some babies in order to make space for things like our Christmas tree, as well as a vignette on our dining room cabinet. Things get a little more maximalist this time of year, and then come January, things will feel a little empty and sad. But let’s not talk about January! Let’s just pretend it’s never going to happen. And in the meantime, I’d love for you to come on in and take a look around at our home, slightly transformed for this special time of year.

Artificial Christmas Tree in a Pot

This year we purchased a white tree to replace the larger artificial pine my parents had given to us. We just needed the floor space. On that floor-space saving note, I decided to try potting our artificial tree rather than using a tree skirt or leaving the white metal stand exposed. I was excited about the prospect of a pot for the tree base, but a little worried it wouldn’t look right. Maybe I’m just a worry wart, because it turned out beautifully, and I’m so glad I took the time to do it!

All I did was use pour half of a bag of Quickcrete into a plastic pot with a 1.25″ PVC pip segment in the middle. I poured the concrete around the pipe rather than plunging the pipe into the concrete, because I needed the height to insert the metal rod of the tree base. I did end having to trim the PVC pipe down a bit after it was in the pot (which I did using a Dremel tool), but I figured it’s better to have it too long than too short, because cutting it wasn’t too difficult.

If you want to try potting your artificial tree, here are my two main tips of caution:

  1. Make sure you pipe is the proper diameter to fit snugly around your metal base before cementing the pipe.
  2. Drill a hole through the side of a pipe for a large eyelet screw to tightly screw into the pipe to secure the tree base once the base is in place inside the pipe.
  3. Make the potted base before assembling your tree. It’s just so much easier to make sure things fit and whatnot. :) I didn’t do this. In fact, my tree was decorated and I broke a couple of cherished ornaments moving the tree into the pot! Sad face!

Artificial Christmas Tree in a Pot

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

I also did more subtle decorations in the living room with greenery on the TV stand, a cute little sign, and white bottle brush trees. The former coffee table vase contents of eucalyptus was swapped out for white wintery looking branches. And I hung a star marquee light beside the sofa artwork as well. Not too much, but just enough, in my opinion.

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

The dining room is a bit more festive than the living room. Because I don’t have a fireplace mantel, I decorate the dining room cabinet as though it were one huge mantel. I got the silver tinsel trees here, the deer from Target, and the other elements I’ve had around for a while. Except for our little winter scene in the cloche jar! That was a fun, easy project I did with Lucy. The jar is from JoAnn.

winter cloche jar scene

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We also got new stockings for the girls (from Target) and I made an advent calendar that our whole family is obsessed with! Check out the full DIY at A Beautiful Mess here.

We also added some decorations to the girls’ new bedroom, but I’ll share more about that room soon! What are your favorite Christmas decorations? Mine, hands down, has got to be the tree.

Vintage Modern Christmas Decorating

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Our Home at Design Mom + A Beautiful Mess

Making Nice in the Midwest home

Well I didn’t quite expect the emotional whirlwind that hit me when I read my own words today. A friend texted me about my Living With Kids interview that went up on Design Mom today, and I though, Oh yeah! I forget what I even said in that interview… so I went over, read it all, and cried. I felt immense appreciation for my life and struggles, but also the lack of struggles we’ve faced as well. Most of all it made me feel afresh the deep gratitude I feel for our family and home.

Check out the deeply personal interview and tour of our home on Design Mom today!

And also, on a much more superficial note, check out my recent post at A Beautiful Mess about Easy Tips for a Living Room Refresh. You’ll find some fun before and after pics of our home as well as every little thing I considered in our recent living room facelift. See ya there!

Making Nice in the Midwest home

Making Nice in the Midwest home

Making Nice in the Midwest home

Making Nice in the Midwest home

Making Nice in the Midwest home

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