Making A House A Home (DIY and more)

Renovation Plans For Our First House

Oh I can’t contain my excitement with this one. So in case you missed it, Onno and I bought a house. We just got the keys and we have big plans to make it our perfect home. I figured why not share some of those plans and ideas. I mentioned in the post where I announced the news that we’re going to do a lot of DIY projects around the house. I will definitely share those on here too but for now I’m just going to throw my ideas out there. There is still a few places we have no idea what to do just yet but hey we will figure it out once we’re in the house.

I’m going to start downstairs from the entry way all the way to the back of the house and garden before I take you upstairs. It sounds horrible but I want to keep pictures of our house limited to the public. It just feels unsafe to go through the entire layout out here. Don’t get me wrong we will have before and afters but for now I’m just going to test my skills as a writer and describe the house.

When you enter the house you have the stairs right in front of you and then on the left side you have the door leading to the living area. This little area is very bland at the moment. I’m definitely going to do something fun in this area but we are limited as the little hall or entry way is a bit narrow. We have a storage space under the stairs and then stairs leading down to the creepy and small basement. Onno is going to hide my candy down there because I’m never going down there. That is a promise my friends. Anyway I’m not completely sure what we’re going to store under the stairs, maybe food (pasta, rice and etc.) but that’s something we will probably figure out. The wall if you can call it that, that covers the stairs on the side is very bland and just sad. I really want to something fun there but I haven’t thought of anything yet. It will probably turn into a big DIY project so if I end up doing something cool with it I will definitely let you know.

Alright now we’re finally going to enter the living area. On the left side at the window facing our driveway is our kitchen. Our kitchen at the moment is going for that old vibe if you catch my drift. It’s yellow and the appliances are outdated. It has a dark stone counter top and a white porcelain sink. We’re not completely in love with the kitchen. I like the layout but it needs to be upgraded. The plan is to replace the appliances with new up to date ones (the dishwasher is still new so it’s going to stay. We’re very excited to have a dishwasher. The only downfall is the front doesn’t have a cupboard so you can see the silver of the dishwasher. Here they hide appliances behind cupboards. If that makes sense. Anyway I’m thinking of sticking a marble or something pretty like that paper on it. I will definitely let you know what I end up doing) and we’re going to repaint the cupboards because the shade of yellow is just horrid. Last but not least we’re going to replace the tiles against the wall (well on the floor too but I will get to that part) and we’re going to build or buy a table slash counter top for the side. You can never have enough work and storage space. Something that I really like is, the previous owners has a school black board up in the kitchen. It’s long and thin and doesn’t stand out in a bad way. We decided to keep it because I just love the idea of writing notes for Onno and it’s great to write down the groceries. I figured the kids one day will love it too.

Now we’re moving onto the lounge and dining room area. Everything is open in case you we’re wondering. So this area is quite large in length so let me just rethink how I’m going to explain this. In the one corner we’re going to have our TV and couch and on the other corner we’re going to have our dining table. We have a fireplace (a gas or electric one I’m not sure) that doesn’t work (we will fix it eventually) in the dining room area. Originally we wanted to put our TV above the fireplace but the wall above it is weak and we don’t want to risk it. We have a large window overlooking our garden right next to the dining table which I really like. Oh so I mentioned that I want to replace the floor tiles in the kitchen. Here they have wood in the living area and tiles in the kitchen but because it’s a open floor plan they cut the two off quite unattractively. I don’t like the look of it so we’re going to put new floors in. I want the same floor all throughout the house (well not the bathroom but you get the idea). I just like the look of it.

Alright now we’re almost walking out. At the door as you’re about to go outside you have an area for the washing machine and then two steps forward you have the bathroom. We have a shower and a corner bath which is something straight from my dreams and a toilet separate. Yes the bathroom is downstairs but it’s one amazing bathroom. I’m counting down the days till I get to climb into the bath and spend hours in it. Magical.

And we’re finally going outside. At the moment we have pavement all the way through and a little storage space at the back. We’re not completely sure what we want to do with the garden or how it will turn out to look but we want a fire pit and a vegetable and fruit garden. I also want a lot of grass and space to be outside. Not much to ask from our garden…I think. We originally liked the idea or replacing our wood fence with a hedge but after watching a garden TV show the entire day two weeks ago we liked the idea of making a living wall and well make a living wall of herbs and whatever fruit and vegetables we can grow like that. We don’t know what can survive here in the Netherlands yet or any of that. When I’m writing this I haven’t gone to a garden center yet but I’m hoping after I’ve gone I will have a better idea or what will work. I also just found out that my neighbors might complain about the fire pit and smoke so we will have to look into it. I know I only get to use the fire pit a few weeks in the year but I’m from South Africa. Cooking on the fire is a massive part of our culture.

Okay now we’re moving up stairs. Finally. We have four bedrooms and one toilet up stairs. The room facing the road with the toilet is going to be our office. For our office I’m not going to go super crazy. We’re just going to paint two walls yellow, get a storage system and get a nice brown board to stick notes on. That’s about it.

The two other rooms are going to be empty for awhile if you catch my drift. Onno and I wanted to get a house we could grow into. When I told this to my parents they both were like so when is the baby coming? It was quite funny. For now I think one of them will be a workout area and the other will just stay empty. The one needs more work than the other one though but it’s not high on the list for us. Maybe we will set up a room for guests but then again we never have guests that actually stay over. The last room is our bedroom. Onno and I was really looking for a house with a big main bedroom. It was important to us. We wanted space for a massive closet and I want a makeup area. I have big and I mean big plans for our bedroom. Behind our bed I want to set up a fairy light feature. I want to try painting a geometric design on the one wall and I want to try my hand in turning out TV stand into a seating place in front of the bed. I have so many great ideas and I just can’t wait to share them.

We want to be smart with our money because well obviously the more we can do with our money the better. There is some things that needs to be done on the house NOW so we plan to do quite a bit by ourselves or call in favours. Hey we found out I have to get a massive dental procedure done that ate quite a bit into the house budget. I had a small rant slash cry about it on my socials but let me quickly catch you up. To remove to teeth and implant the fake stuff is the same amount of money for a nice car. Yes that’s right. we could’ve bought a car with that money but no we’re going to buy teeth. It wasn’t the best news and it knocked the air out of our lunges but there is nothing we can do about it now. Dental hygiene is so important I mean we just lost a car because as a child I didn’t know what a dentist was nor did I brush my teeth. I’m paying quite literally for that mistake now. Also how did house plans turn into a brush your teeth children speech?

I’m so excited to share more about the house. I will definitely share all of our DIY projects around the house with some exciting before and after pictures I’m sure. This year was a rough one but there is definitely some good going around. It feels so good to finally share about the house, I’ve been keeping it under the wraps for so long. Now I can finally tell you about something else…but that’s going to be another post! Probably going to be up somewhere in the next three weeks but for now, guess? I will give you a hint…Speculoos is…nope. I’m not going to give you’re a hint. Go wild with your guesses.

Also before I go here is some pictures of the renovations. I will share more soon!

 

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Making A House A Home (DIY and more), Story Time

We Bought Our First House

I’m squealing from happiness and giggling from excitement as I’m writing this. Onno and I are buying a house! Pretty soon I can say we bought a house! Well when this blog goes up it would be: WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! It’s so surreal that I’m not even sure where to start or how to put what I’m feeling into words.

I guess let me start at the very and I mean very beginning. Onno and I discussed getting a new place once I’m here for real for a very long time. When I got here we started looking around for a new place to rent. The thought of buying didn’t even occur to us. After going to a few different places we decided that we should wait a bit because well nothing was catching our attention. A few months went by, Onno got his permanent work contract and a few events took place in the city that reminded us why we wanted to move in the first place. Around Christmas we started talking about finding a new place. It was around then when we started talking about possibly buying a place. Once we confirmed that it’s possible, we started the search.

It was quite a busy period. Searching online for hours for a house that could possibly tick all of our boxes, calling the realtors, finding out which houses is sold or when we could make an appointment, traveling to the new place, being disappointed in the place before even entering the house and so much more.

The first few places was disappointing to say the least. We knew walking into the neighborhood that we wouldn’t like the house. We found a few nice places but it wasn’t nice enough. It did teach us what we really wanted. What was important to us and what we would really like. The day we drove out to see the house we ended up buying was quite interesting. We made the appointment two weeks ago and after visiting so many houses and being disappointed at every one we were very tempted to stop and take a break. We were running out of options and it was quite exhausting. We figured well even though at first glance (two houses) we don’t like this town, these houses are in different areas. Let’s give it one more try. We had two houses on the schedule. The first house was modern and all done up. The garden was on the smaller side but it was one of those houses where we would barely have to do any work to make it move in ready. I didn’t really love the idea. The neighborhood wasn’t as nice and it just didn’t feel like the right fit for us. So we went to the second house feeling a little eh about everything. The realtor was stuck in traffic so we had some time to browse the neighborhood and check the house out from outside. I fell in love with the back garden. It was big and the house had so much potential to grow in, which was and well is important to us. Once the realtor arrived I was for once very excited to view the house. The neighborhood was perfect and so far just from the outside I could already tell this house was a top contender.

Two minutes into the house viewing I knew. This is the house. It’s a old house and needs some work but it was just everything we were looking for and then some. I fell in love and hard. It just ticked off all our boxes and well it was our perfect house. Onno and I wanted a house that needed some work. We wanted to be proud of the transformation and really make the house our own. The entire way back home in the car we talked about what we can do with the house and what needs to be done to make it move in ready and etc. By the time we got to Onno’s parents we were sold. After showing the house to them and talking about the house they too were pretty much on board. That night we came up with the agreement. We had to wait the weekend but by Monday the realtor came with a counter offer which we accepted. It was a done deal. I cried. It was going to be our house! Yay!

We made arrangements to have the building inspection done and Onno’s parents came over to view the house on the same day. I finally had a moment to make a video of the entire house for my parents. The inspection went well and we were very pleased with the result. A few weeks later we signed the agreement and then we just had to wait for the mortgage. We got the mortgage on the 7th of March and month before we will get the keys. After that everything went quite smoothly. We got the keys on Friday (you might’ve seen the post on Instagram) and we’re so beyond happy! I’m pinching myself because I just can’t believe it.

It doesn’t feel completely real to us. I mean this is going to be our very first house. It’s going to be ours. We can do anything we want with it. It’s been a very long time since I had the opportunity to choose what color I want to paint a wall or to hang something up. It’s something so small but to me, this is huge. I’m really so happy and grateful that we’re able to buy a house as such a young couple. It’s amazing!

I asked Onno to write a blog about all the technical stuff about buying a house here in the Netherlands. It will probably go up at the end of the month. We also have so many ideas and plans for the house that I just can’t wait to share with you all. I have many DIY projects that I plan to do in the house, all of it I will most definitely share. But before that here is some picture(s) we took on Friday! I can’t contain my happiness right now.

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Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS: You have no idea how hard it was to keep the news to ourselves. I nearly slipped up on my socials so many times. It felt weird to hide something so big but now I can talk about the house all I want. Bless your souls.