I wanted to do a house tour for you guys after we bought our townhouse a few years ago, but never got around to it. This spring when we put it on the market to sell, it finally looked how I wanted it to look (ironic). I took a bunch of photos, was about to put together a blog post, then I thought better of it. I felt like it would have been too easy to compare the photos with local real estate listings and pinpoint exactly where we live. Having my address on my blog didn’t feel like the safest plan! I wouldn’t describe myself as paranoid, but I’m definitely cautious. Especially with anything regarding my kids. So I shelved the idea.
Well guess, what?! My townhouse just sold!! Literally, we signed the paperwork today. And we are MOVING to a single-family home!!! But we have more than a month between the closings of the two properties so we are going to be a bit nomadic in the meanwhile. That means we have put everything we own into storage (even most of our clothes!) and we will be staying with friends and family along the way. I set up a temporary work station at my husband’s office so I can have access to a little more of my closet and a dedicated space for blog-writing.
It also a safe spot for my plants, check out that light!
Back to the townhouse. When we bought it a few years ago, we thought we might be able to make it work for about five years before we outgrew it. However after 2+ years of our three kids sharing a room, we decided it was time to move on!
Before I get too far, a little back story.
We moved to Portland in January 2015 from Salem, a much smaller town about 50 miles away. We had been there for 6.5 years, had our three kids there, and were raising them in a home we bought before they were born. A home we thought we’d live in for their entire lives. It was a beautiful 1900’s home, lovingly kept and maintained, in a fun, transitional neighborhood in the heart of town.
After contently living in Salem for a handful of years, my husband decided to transition out of his full-time military job back to private-sector work. It was a much needed change for him professionally, and for our family, but it proved harder than either of us anticipated. Eventually in the summer of 2013 he secured a job with a marketing firm in Portland. We were so thankful. But it also came with a hefty commute or high-cost of living. To make things harder, we took a 50% pay cut when we went from full time military work to private sector. But we both felt it was a necessary sacrifice to transition his career in the direction he wanted it to go.
After a year and a half of commuting, we realized Portland was the hub for this career shift and we needed to move to have less drive time and more family time. This meant selling our Salem home and moving from a low-priced real estate market to a high-priced, fast-moving big city market. We couldn’t afford to buy and ended up renting a tiny apartment in the heart of the city.
That was four years and seven months ago. In those years we’ve lived in a few different apartments, and then finally our townhouse, which is lovely, but small and yard-less. This time has made me realize how many things I used to take for granted: space to host friends and family, a backyard, a driveway, parking near my front door, parking for my guests, non-shared walls, etc.
It’s been hard, humbling and endurance-building. We have learned to live well in small spaces and to let go of unnecessary possessions and stop buying so darn much.
So what’s next? Are we finally getting our single-family home that we’ve worked so hard for? That’s the hope. We’re under contract on a house not too far from where we used to live, but the closing date is still more than a month out and we are still working through the details. Fingers crossed!
Now that’s you’ve had the update, let’s take a little home tour, shall we??
Plants make my heart happy! From L to R: Rubber Plant from Trader Joe’s, Prayer Plant from Pistils Nursery (on an Eric Trine plant stand), Snake Plant from Home Depot (these are VERY hearty, this was my first plant I bought a few years back), hanging Pothos from Portland Nursery, and I’m not sure of the last one, it’s from a cutting of one of my mom’s houseplants!
Cactus, inherited when a friend moved away. Fiddle Leaf Fig from Fred Meyer (it was much smaller when I bought it) and Pilea from Trader Joe’s. (Don’t mind my cuties on the couch! I needed a TV babysitter while taking these photos.) This couch is the first item of furniture we will replace when it’s financially in the cards. We’ve had it for more than a decade and it shows. Not to mention our taste has changed a lot. The chest is something my husband had when I met him. He bought it from Goodwill for $5. We’ve always used it as our coffee table and it holds board games inside! The rug is from West Elm, but it sheds like a full-sized dog! It’s pretty to look at but I would never recommend it. Pillows are from Ikea and Room & Board.
I worked so hard to style those shelves, how’d I do?! If you look closely you can see the crystal door knob from our very first home. (It was leftover after a home repair.) I love decor that is both beautiful and has a story. The bins on the bottom are from the Container Store and they (sort of) hide my kids’ craft supplies.
You might recognize this area, I take a lot of my blog photos here. Shelves are from Ikea and the art is c/o Spacey Studios.
Two-different angles of the dining area and a look at my beautiful Monstera plant. A friend gave that to me when she moved to NY, and he’s one of my favorites! When we listed our house we downsized our dining table to showcase the space better. I found this cute table on Offer Up, and the chairs are from Target. While they look cute, they show every fingerprint from my kids and I am constantly wiping them down. The pictures on the wall are from trips Mr. Seasons and I took abroad before kids.
You might recognize this spot too, I used to take photos in here. The lighting is good, but the context always felt off to me. Last spring we put in these slab quartz counter tops and we love them! Though the light color does make us a little paranoid about stains.
Our humble music corner. My husband has a very musical background, he played piano and trombone for years and his dad was a band teacher. Sometimes my hubby will sit at the keyboard and play pop tunes by ear. My oldest daughter has been taking piano lessons for the last four years and I love listening to her play. My hope is to someday upgrade to a real piano! In my dream life I’d have a living room big enough for a baby grand!
Next up is my kiddos’ room. Our daughters are aged: 10 and 7, and our son is 5. We did everything we could to make this space functional and inviting for all three of them. Most of the time it works. However, bedtime has always been tricky.
Note the vintage Star Wars poster from my husband’s childhood.
You can spy Raggedy Ann and Andy from my childhood in the upper right corner. Bookshelves are from Ikea, and the anchor is from Etsy. I wish I could remember the name of this paint color. It’s my favorite color I’ve ever painted a room. It’s a light, warm-ish, neutral blue. It adds depth to the room without taking over.
Down the hall is our room, which we painted a soft, warm white. You can see my makeshift desk by my side of the bed, which is flanked by ancient, Ikea lamps. Since taking these pictures we upgraded to a white, linen duvet c/o Parachute. I love it so much for the texture and breathability, but I’m always a little afraid of getting it dirty!
These clothing shelves are one of my favorite space hacks of all time. They’re functional and serve as decor.
Hi! Dresser is from Ikea, the wooden bottle is a piece that was in my house growing up, the little wicker stand is thrifted and the alarm clock is from Target.
Can you tell Stella likes to follow me around the house? She’s such a good doggie. Off our bedroom we have access to the jack-and-jill bathroom we shared with the kids. There is a door on the same wall as the sink. In this photo you can see another functional decor item I made – a piece of driftwood with tiny gold hooks for my necklaces and earrings. It’s hung on a nail with a long piece of kitchen twine.
Last shot! This is the powder room downstairs and it came with this fun wallpaper. It kind of makes the bathroom feel like you’re in an infinity room!
If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading. I’ve been feeling a little disconnected from this space over the summer, and that makes me a bit sad. It’s been one heck of a summer, and not in a good way. Between the stress of selling and (hopefully) buying a house and the lack of sunshine, I’ve been a little bummed out.
School starts in two weeks from today, and I look forward to once again having the time to dedicate more of my heart and mind to the blog. It’s one of my very favorite places to hang out. Cheers for now!
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