Door # 3

If I haven’t told you, or if you’re just really behind, we live in Alaska.

It’s cold and it’s actually been snowing all day today! It’s beautiful and I’m in love with their Target. We moved here 3 weeks ago ( I think- my calendar is in storage) and have been staying in someone’s house. It’s nice and free and a huge gigantic blessing.
But you know, I want my own house!
We made an offer on house #1.
No. They took another offer.
House #2. No. (?) It’s been 36 hours and we haven’t heard from them. No yes or no, not even a counter offer. Makes a lot of sense, right? Good communication skills here. Updated- They just made an offer. But I don’t like it.
House # 3. Still Waiting…. I can feel it in my bones though. If we don’t get this house I am taking it as a sign that buying a house right now just ain’t happening.
It would probably be wise, if you believed in “jinxing” things, to not post this until I know we got the house. But I can’t help it. Just like the previous two places, I have decorated it in my head. First purchase will be a baby gate for the stairs. So exciting. Then I will work on hanging the television from the wall and having a corner for Lucas’ toys and books and getting some cute matching nightsands for the master bedroom.
My question for you, dear sweet readers, is are any of you HGTV savvy? Are you good at decorating, seeing “old” things in a “new” light and putting pieces together? If so- I think you might be able to help me with my new house and I think it might be fun!
We are moving into a place with no (big) furniture except for our bed, our TV, our couches and Lucas’ crib. Because remember, we moved to the North Pole. And my feet are cold. Most of our rooms are going to need new decorations, paint, furniture and such! Would you like to help me decorate? I thought it might be fun to post pictures and get your ideas and suggestions as to what I could do with the space, what furniture would look good there, etc. What do you think? Who here is good at that stuff? Do you have any ideas for how we could do this?
I won’t do every room because this is the internet and I don’t want my house on the internet. But, for example, little parts of rooms maybe. The pantry in the kitchen needs work and I need to figure out how to store everything and be organized with it. There is a weird “thingy” in the bathroom that I’m not sure what to do with. When I post these things you could leave me comments with ideas or, what if I put up Mr Linky and let you do what you wanted with it on your own blog?! Then everyone could see and get ideas as well.
We could also do a “decorating blues” thing where we post common decorating/house problems, such as how to make room out of a small space, or what to do with a blank large wall, or things like that. Then we could all post our own ideas and get ideas from others on common issues!
Thoughts? I also need a fancy name for this project/idea.
I would obviously post before and after pictures!
My first project is Lucas’ room. If we make it this far, we’ll go from there and I’ll ask for some inspiration! I have to figure out what colors I want to paint the walls and I’d like to something fun besides just solid colors on all walls. Color’s I’d like in his room: orange, blue, brown, green, red.. not all of those obviously, those are just some I like!
HGTV if you’re reading the answer is yes. You may come into my house and decorate it for me. You don’t have to beg, really.
A final thought, what is your #1 deal breaker when buying/renting a house? What’s the most important thing to you? Monthly payments, square footage, number of bedrooms, garage.. I would really love to hear your thoughts!

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

14 thoughts on “Door # 3

  1. My husband and I moved across the country for a new job (WA to IL) when our daughter was just 1. We'd both only rented and this was our first mortgage, etc. When we first started looking at homes, I really focused on the decor and how the house looked right then. As I started seeing more homes, though, I learned to look at the “bones” of a home – things that really give it value – and realized I could always take care of or live with aesthetic issues. We had to purchase quickly and we ultimately went with a home that hand't been redecorated – literally – for 40 yrs. We budgeted in carpeting and had tons of plans to fix things. Ultimately, we bought carpet, furniture, a bed, and we've painted a little. The budget hasn't stretched any further. But I honestly don't mind. We have bedrooms for everyone, space to play, a tv free room, a garage (a must in the cold), and a wonderful neighborhood! That old adage “Buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood” has some real value to it. So, my biggest advice: Look at the bones of a house and recognize that you can change lighting, carpet, paint for a little, but other things might be harder to change. :0) Best wishes!

  2. We rent. We have chosen where we live based on where I work and price. We keep spending more on rent and I always regret it. I fantasize about much lower payments as it would free our budget and us. When we buy, it'd be for as much house as we could get for as little as possible.

    And the contradictory requirement would be that it wouldn't be a fixer-up-er because my husband's not into it.

  3. I LOVE fixing stuff up (stripped & repainted book case & dresser one weekend for my step-son) and I WANTED a fixer-upper home. Hubby, on the other hand, did not. I mostly wanted that because it would allow us to get more house for less. Hubs works @ Lowe's so he doesn't want to touch a hammer when he gets off.

    When looking @ houses last year our requirements were: @ least 1300 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, space for 2 dogs, at least 1.5 bath, window over kitchen sink, fireplace, porch, dining area.

    We ended up with: 1059 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, space for 2 dogs, 1 bath, window over kitchen sink, dining area.

    Honestly, I don't love my house. Some days I down-right don't like it (several melt-downs when I was preggers) BUT our monthly payment is less than rent. It's within 10 miles from where we work (diff directions), 5 miles from my mom, huge already fenced in back yard, just enough room, and in a quiet neighborhood.

    Sometimes you just have to compromise. We put offers in on tons of houses. We finally got the 5th one.

    I still decorate the house I LOVED in my mind. I've told hubby if we ever build it will be based on that house (it's still on the market, btw, owner refuses to come down on $$, even after almost 2 yrs)

    *whew* sorry for that mini-book. That being said, I LOVE to re-do & decorate & find new uses for things (got it from my mom) so I can't wait to see posts on your house!

    Oh, & M's room is tan, chocolate, & orange. I'll have to share pix!

  4. When we bought our house last year, we literally painted every single wall in it! If you're looking for a fun, unique thing to do in the baby's room, have you considered using wall quotes? We have a wall quote over one of the windows in our son's room from the book of 1 Samuel. It really adds something personal to the room. is where we got ours, but I've heard good things about Uppercase Living too. I have photos if you're interested!

  5. The main things we look for are size, number of rooms, and layout. And the yard for the kids. Oh, and structural soundness of course! If repairs are needed, cost and urgency of those come into play.

    Things we don't worry so much about are flooring, wall color, etc. Even kitchen countertops and appliances are not total deal breakers (though it would depend on the price of the house and if we'd have room in the budget for replacements).

    I really hope #3 works out for you and that you can close and move in quickly!! 🙂

  6. What I'm looking for in a house: good bones. Good layout, right # of rooms. I figure all the cosmetic stuff is just that – cosmetic – and can be changed eventually. I rarely do anything immediately to a house. I like to live with the space for a while to figure out how it will actually be used before I start deciding on changes to make.

    And to take from SarahK's comment… I painted panda bears on the walls of my dd's nursery and regretted it because we couldn't take them with us when we moved. Her next room, we got canvasas and custom made simple artwork to go with her quilt and she was old enough to help.

    Good luck!

  7. I didn't want a “fixer-upper”, even though my husband is handy…I have a 7 month old and can't stand the thought of living in construction.
    So, we bought an essentially move-in ready townhome. It meant we settle for a little less in the square footage, but it had the must-haves:
    -3 bedrooms
    -2 1/2 bathrooms

    We live in a big and expensive city, so we overpaid, but it is worth it…to me

  8. I think your idea sounds totally fun! I would love to get ideas for my house as well and it would be fun to help you decorate and stuff. hope you get it, keep us update!

  9. I love redoing something old to make it new. I haven't had much chance lately, but we painted Boo's bed and night stand and did Hunter's book shelf. It was fabulous.

    We looked for rooms, price and garage (for Hubby :)). We knew we wanted 4 bedrooms, and it had to have decent sized garage for all his tools. House size wasn't a huge deal, but it had to be bigger than our townhome.

    I would so join in on this! How fun would that be!!!

  10. When we moved this summer (to a larger rental), our dream list included a washer/dryer (for me), a garage (for James), a yard (for Titus-the dog), and a second bedroom (for Clara). The second bedroom and the washer/ dryer were the two we were NOT compromising on. We were blessed to find a place in our price range that had all four of those things! I'm stuck with another hole-in-the-wall kitchen, and, of course, I can't decorate much, but we are very thankful to have so many needs met in our warm and cozy home.

    Oh, and if you find some good bed side tables at a good price somewhere, let me know. We barely had room for them in our last house and used rubbermaid stacking drawers instead. They work but are UGLY! Thanks. 🙂

  11. Oh my gosh! This sounds really fun! If you have read my blog (which you have) you know I'm really into decorating and stuff… I have always wanted to make a mood board for someone (i think that's what they're called…)

    Also, I will be thinking of a clever name for your project. I really like things like this : )

  12. #1 deal breaker
    In the city or suburbs.
    I need to breathe fresh country aaair! But like easy access to the city 🙂

    Love the idea! Love to upcycle old items with a fresh look!

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