5 Things about our New (Old) House

We’ve lived in this house for two months now and we love it more every day.

It just feels like the perfect house for our family.

I’m really excited to get to work on some house projects this year, but right now, we haven’t done much except hang a few things on the wall.

It’s been nice to feel like we have a little time to get to know this house before we start changing things up.

Here are five things about this house:

new old house

There were no blinds when we moved in

I was really surprised that a family would live in this house for more than fifty years without any blinds until a friend suggested that likely there WERE blinds but they would have been fifty-year-old blinds and in terrible condition and probably their relator suggested they just take them down when they listed the house.

The house gets a LOT of light, so without blinds it is basically like staring into the sun for several hours of the day. We’d been putting a couple of cardboard boxes in our bedroom window every night so that the streetlight doesn’t shine right on our bed all night long, and I put a bulletin board in my office window so that I’m not blinded when I try to work.

We ordered blinds in early December and they just went in and it’s SO nice. Especially to be able to get dressed in our room again.

The 70s carpet is brand-new

When we moved into the house, I was totally perplexed by the carpet. It was straight out of the 70s (kind of a rose-brown with a pattern) but it was PRISTINE. I didn’t know how a family with seven children could keep carpet that clean for 40 years, until a neighbor told me that 3 years ago, the owners managed to find a perfect match for the carpet they’d installed in the 70s and had it replaced. So we have VERY clean carpet that looks a good decade older than me.

This house doesn’t really feel smaller than our old house

This house is about 1200 square feet smaller than our previous house, but I don’t notice it very much because some of that square footage was in our formal living and dining room which we basically NEVER used. We also have one less bedroom and one less bathroom. Overall, it makes me think our last house was just too big for our family.

I miss having a garage

The thing about our old house I miss the most is having a garage. Especially in the winter, it would be so nice to be able to go in and out of the car without having to go outside.

I felt really good about a life where I never scraped off my car windows.

It needs less fixing up than I expected

When we bought this house, we anticipated pretty much gutting the house. But now that we’ve lived here a few months, we’ve REALLY scaled back our plans for renovations. We still plan to replace all the flooring (there are ELEVEN different floorings in this house at the moment, including five different styles of linoleum) and I’m sure there is a good amount of painting in our future, but we likely won’t rip out the whole kitchen and just make some improvements and update parts of it. Whether or not we’ll add a master bathroom is still up for debate.


Overall, I couldn’t be happier about this house and it feels so amazing to have our own space again. Wood paneled basement and all (and spoiler: I actually kind of like the wood paneling).

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  • Reply Amy January 7, 2019 at 7:11 am

    I honestly think more people should follow your example and just live in their houses first before doing a lot of expensive renovations. You’re so smart!

  • Reply Christine January 7, 2019 at 7:42 am

    I’m so excited for you! And hooray for their being less work than you expected! (This is giving me hope…we plan to buy a house in 2 years or so in a neighborhood that has mostly older homes. So now I’m more optimistic. :))

    Can’t wait to see some of the changes you make. 🙂

  • Reply Chelsea January 7, 2019 at 10:15 am

    That’s awesome. We’ve lived in our house for 4 years and are just doing our first renovations. It helped that the previous owners did a lot of great updates that I agreed with and so there was never any need to do anything except style changes that we are just getting around to. And if you painted the wood paneled basement, wouldn’t it basically just be vertical ship-lap? 😉 So stylish!

  • Reply Paige Cassandra Flamm January 7, 2019 at 11:03 am

    I feel so similar about the house we purchased! We downsized from 2100 square feet in our last two houses, to 1300 square feet in this one! The space is laid out so well that we hardly notice the difference, and it’s been the perfect size for us! We also had grand plans of ripping out and gutting a lot of our house, but after painting all the walls, we really feel content with how it is for right now and don’t have the same desire to gut all the things like we did in the beginning. It also helps that we plan on staying here forever, so it doesn’t feel like there is a huge rush to switch things out for resale value like we felt in the past!

  • Reply Rachel January 7, 2019 at 11:26 am

    No garage?! I lived in a house with no garage in Denver for 3 years and after a couple snowstorms I swore I would never live in a place where it snows without a garage ever again. When you get a foot of snow the car is completely buried! It took 20 minutes to get all the snow and ice off. Never again.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 7, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      We’re hoping to build a carport pretty soon, but have to get approval from the city for it.

  • Reply Brianna January 7, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I have always felt I could live in a fixer upper as long as the essentials were in tip-top shape. For me that’s plumbing and electrical and appliances that work well (i.e. my stove won’t blow up in the middle of the night). Anything else (flooring, paint, furniture, decor) can come when the money is there. I watch a lot of HGTV and it drives me nuts when people see a home that’s move in ready, but they won’t consider it because the walls are purple.

  • Reply Kristie January 7, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    So we wanted to add a garage to our house and the city said no. So the better solution is putting remote start on my car. My husband has it on his truck, and its so nice to push a button while your getting shoes and jackets on and turning off the lights. And then you head out to a warm car that doesn’t need to be scrapped. Same deal in the summer, you head out to a cool car. Especially nice when grocery shopping or out on errands. Best money to spend if a garage isn’t in the near future. 🙂
    I totally agree about making all the flooring the same. We had 11 different colors of carpet in our house when we moved in. I’m pretty sure we still about about 8 different colors. And someday it will all be one color. Someday. But until then, variety is the spice of life, right?

  • Reply Lauren January 7, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Always a good idea to live in it first if you can! We changed our flooring and painted before moving in (it had been a rental for a decade and it was GROSS), but waited almost a year before we did any major projects. In the end, we gutted our kitchen, but realized the layout was best as it was, so we saved hundreds (maybe thousands?) in just leaving the sink and appliances where they were.
    The comment about your super clean 70s carpet has me dying! I guess they liked what they picked out the first time, haha!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 8, 2019 at 9:14 am

      Isn’t that hilarious? I laughed so much when I found out!

  • Reply Sara January 7, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Our house didn’t have blinds when we moved in either (or hanging rods or anything in the closets)…I think they either painted or replaced all the trim in the house before listing so those things didn’t match. It was such a hassle when we first moved in!

  • Reply Monica January 7, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    I feel like wood paneling is not terrible with the right decorations and complimentary paint. I mean, if shiplap can have a moment, so can wood panels.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 8, 2019 at 9:13 am

      It’s also REAL wood paneling (not vinyl) and it’s not a super dark color, which I think makes a huge difference.

      • Reply shannon January 9, 2019 at 9:39 am

        Ooo real wood paneling in a basement looks good! It brings in a nice cozy vibe. I’d rip out or paint vinyl paneling in a second, but real wood is worth keeping!

  • Reply Rebecca January 8, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I live in a basement apartment that was built in the 70s and my landlady let me paint it all a creamy white. It was so much work (read: slight nightmare) but 100% worth it. It has such a cozy cottage-feel now!

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