Saturday, August 21, 2010

Our First Home

We finally bought our first home! It is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1100 square foot condo in the South Bay. We had been looking for a number of months, and we were so thankful the timing worked out. We closed about a month before our wedding. Before moving in, we repainted the interior walls, replaced the carpet in the bedrooms, and upgraded the living room and hallway carpet to laminate flooring. It was pretty hectic because we coordinated the renovations while finishing up wedding planning at the same time. The renovations were completed 5 days before we got married. Talk about cutting it close!

Here are the details...

We went with the painter our agent recommended and were very pleased with the timeliness, quality of service, and reasonable/competitive cost. They repainted all interior walls, doors, inside closets, and baseboards.

Selecting the colors took the most time for us. It was difficult because there were so many colors and shades to choose from, and the swatch sample cards did not look the same as the actual paint color on the wall. After narrowing down our selections and going back and forth, we went with the following colors for each room:

Living room, hallway, breakfast nook, kitchen: Wise Owl (beige)
Master bedroom: Plymouth Gray (blue-grayish)
Master bathroom: Sierra White (white with a hint of blue)
2nd bedroom: Sycamore Green (sage)
2nd bathroom: Navajo White (off-white/cream)

We replaced the carpet in the living room with laminate, and also put in new carpet in the bedrooms.

Getting HOA approval to put in laminate flooring took the longest time. Once we got approval, carpet was done in a day, and laminate was done in 2 days.

The carpet we chose was Shaw New Idol, Balsa color. Surprisingly, it was very similar to the original carpet color (light gray).
For the laminate flooring, we selected True Timber Premium Laminate, Steinway Cherry color.

In the end, we were satisfied with the results of both.

For window coverings, we bought white faux wood blinds from and installed them ourselves. The very first blind we put up ended up being a good 4" too low. We used a manual screwdriver to put up our blinds which made it much harder than it needed to be. So we went to Target, bought a motorized screwdriver, and used it to re-position the first blind we put up.

Before and After
Here are a couple of pre- and post-renovation shots of our new home.

Before: Carpeted Living Room with original paint
After: Living Room with new paint and laminate floor
Before: Breakfast Nook with original paint
After: Breakfast Nook & Main Entrance with new paint

After countless trips to many, many furniture stores and outlets, we finally made the following purchases:

Henriksdal bar stools with backrest from IKEA
Bjursta brown dining table from IKEA with Ann Glenn side chairs from Scandinavian Design
Kensington bisque sofa and chair from Macys
Now that we have the main items taken care of, we will move on to the smaller things like an ottoman, accent pillows, curtains or vertical blinds for the living room sliding door, and perhaps a few other detailed touches over time. In the meantime, we are so grateful for and are fully enjoying our new home.