Aug 25, 2011

house #5.5

the last three years have been achingly difficult for me.
in addition to losing our business, AND every penny that we earned during the previous 10 years, we also left our newly remodeled house in tennessee, and moved into a dated rental house in utah.
(pretty much a recipe for insanity...especially for an interior designer).
like a lot of design-lovers, i have always been VERY sensitive to my surroundings. when i am in a place that i FEEL is unattractive, i get depressed.
a little crazy-in-the head. 

throw in a leaky basement, toilets that rarely flush, a totally rusted out mailbox, an oven that won't fit a regular size sheet pan, bad 1970's light fixtures, squeaky floors, doors that stick, ugly wallpaper, and a floor plan that just doesn't work for our family, and you can see why i have been a "little grumpy" for the last three years.

two weeks ago, we discovered a "new" leak in the basement. it was literally the. last. straw.
with two weeks left before school started, we began a search for another place to live.
and guess what?
we found something.
yep. we are moving. to another rental house.
so, why another rental? why not just buy?

1. the housing market continues to decline. sad, but true.
2. we are unwilling to buy something that we don't love.
3. we are unwilling to buy something that we don't know is a great investment.
4. we are not interested in a long commute for my husband, so that really narrows down the area where we would consider buying a house.
5. we are *pretty sure that in order to get what we want, we are going to have to build. we have looked at hundreds of houses over the last three years, and have only seen two houses that we even liked "a little". not very promising.
6. the new rental house is right next to a development we are considering buying a lot and, that means no school changes when/if we do build.
7. our oldest daughter is going into 7th grade, which here, means junior high school. we figured it was best to switch schools now than wait until she is in 8th or 9th grade and is more established and hates us even more for moving her than she does now...

the good news is that the rental house is much more "makeover" friendly than our current house.
the entire main floor (minus the kitchen and baths) has hardwood floors. they are natural maple (i'm more of a walnut or medium-dark stained red oak gal), but HEY, i'll take maple over what we have now ANY day! ( two kinds of cheap, dated vinyl, three different carpets, and some really hideous marble--and that's just the main floor! the downstairs has three MORE kinds of carpet! it's insane.)
there are obviously things about the new house that as a designer make me cringe, but overall, i am really excited to move and to make "house 5.5" feel like home.
i hope you will join me!

i am going to do my best to make the house feel like MY HOME.

i have three years worth of ideas about "my next house", and i am SUPER excited to get started on some of them.

now, pardon me while i pack a few hundred boxes....
(and be patient over the next few weeks with my posting. i am packing and preparing for our move next week, and then the week after that, we are going to hawaii for our 15 year anniversary. 
i am SO going to need that vacation after the next two weeks...)


  1. Thank you for being so honest. That makes me feel so much better! Explains why dingy carpet can ruin my day literally but not even effect my husband. Even little improvements make a big difference sometimes.

  2. I love your candidness and I understand the importance of staying focused when things are unraveling around you. (I'm experiencing a similar scenario).
    So happy that you are at least changing the venue for a while. I'm sure you will make it fabulous even as you continue to dream!

    'Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.' (PS 13:12)

  3. I can only imagine how trying the last three years have been for you and your family - but what a great adventure lies ahead! Good for you for sticking it out and sacrificing today to get your dream house in the future. Can't wait to see what you do with your new rental.

    And I just saw your feature on design*sponge. Congrats again! It was a great transformation.

  4. Good luck with your move Autumn! Sounds like it's going to be a good one.

    I thought about you the other night when a HGTV show kept referring to VCT flooring as Linoleum. Oh, I was so annoyed. I think you and I had a discussion about that a while back!

    Looking forward to seeing what you do to the new house - I'm sure it will be amazing!

  5. Oh Autumn I feel your pain. We were a part of all the recession craziness too. Though we did not loose out house, things have been very difficult. It will get all better and at least our families are healthy. Can't wait to see what you do with the new place!

  6. I can totally relate to you how your surrounding has an effect on your mood! It absolutely effects me when my home is "incomplete" or when projects are moving way too s-l-o-w. Best of luck to you in your move and transitioning the kids to a new school. The recession has not been easy on anyone and many families have had to make sacrifices. Great thinking to move the kids sooner than later! High school is a tough time to begin over. All the best, Jean

  7. I always feel that I can do almost anything as long as I have hardwood floors (any type, really) and neutral walls as a base. With your amazing talent, you can turn the rental into nearly a dream home, Autumn! You GO girl! :)

  8. How wonderful to be moving to a house that you can work with and where everything works too. I know you will make it stunning. Enjoy the trip to Hawaii. Hugs, Marty

  9. Glad you are moving somewhere you can start to put some of that talent to use! Hope everything goes smoothly!!

  10. I have been reading for a while and feel so sorry to hear what you have been going through the past few years. We have experienced some of ups and downs this year which have repeatedly taught me the need to let go and trust. Please know that you have a lot of people rooting for you!

  11. thank you SO MUCH for all the support! i sometimes hesitate to put negative or "heavy" things like this on my blog, but *hey*, that's LIFE, right? there are ups and downs, disappointments and triumphs.
    *thanks for the encouragement!!! i can't wait to decorate this next house!
    BIG smiles,

  12. I understand your pain, it's reassuring to know I'm not the only nutty decorator, emotionally affected by my surrounds. I look forward to following you on your new adventures. Remember, children are resilient, and they need some real life hurdles to deal with so they will learn to cope with them when they too are adults.

    Suzy xxx

  13. I so sympathize with you. It's not the end of the world but having your house feel like it's decorated and it's "you" just makes you feel better. Can I get an AMEN?

  14. So glad that things are looking up for you! Maybe your landlord would let you restain the floors or make some changes. Home ownership is Not always the best investment. But, the outlook for homes might be so different than the past. You might be able to buy a nice house for a reasonable price that won't double in value in ten years. You might be able to buy a house for a reasonable price that needs some renovation. Building a house opens up a huge financial commitment. Good luck. The past few years have been humbling, haven't they? Sharing your life on the net is good for everyone I think. Ann

  15. hang in there, april.

    can't wait to see what you turn the new place into. i'm sure it will be loaded with inspiration!!!

  16. Congratulations! I am so excited for you! and I can't wait to see what you do!


  17. Good luck packing, I know you will make it look fantastic. Your style is amazing. Can't wait to follow along! M.

  18. May not be the perfect place, but at least you're moving toward it. Congrats and good luck!

  19. Wow, I am going to be your newest follower. We were lucky enough to have sold our house and get a little something out of it, but we are also currently in a rental. I am not a decorator, but LOVE to change, renovate etc and am also very down about my current surroundings...harvest gold tubs anyone? I started accessorizing and hanging pictures yesterday and that has helped a little. I am going to share my favorite on my blog this week. Hugs to you and know that you are not the only one. You are amazingly talented and you will come out on top...eventually.

  20. Sounds like a good move for your family on the road to getting where you need/want to be. Good luck with your move and settling in. ENJOY that much earned vacation and thanks for sharing so candidly!

    Cathy @ Room Rx

  21. I am so sorry to hear that you have lost everything, but now you have moved to Utah to start over. I am sure you will enjoy your new rental home. I really like that you are not going to settle for just any old house. I am sure that you will find a great lot and build a beautiful home.

  22. It must be difficult to go from a home where you chose every detail to a rental, one with problems to boot. It must be even harder to deal with because you have the experience and know how to get the look you want-if you could make the changes. I think holding out until you're ready to build is such a smart choice. After building our home I don't think I could ever be satisfied with moving into a home where someone else had made all the decisions.

    Best of luck with the move.

  23. What you went through is tough, so it's understandable that you bought a place that may not have been at par with expectations. I say your decision was a wise move. It's difficult to risk money these days.