Saturday, February 6, 2010

away we go

we are moving! to austin texas!

after months of searching through countless pages of listings, we have found the perfect place for us! it is very centrally located, 4 miles from justin's work and right in between his two employer's homes in an area that they verified is safe and fun.

we went through lots of places that offered carpet only and little lighting and noisy neighbors and lots of other unpleasantness. everyone told us we had too high of standards and would never find what we were looking for within our price range.

praise the Lord! we found it! we found it! it needs a lot of work, but anyone who knows me knows that i cannot stand living anywhere and not making my mark.

the owner is very sweet and we are looking forward to getting to know her better.
she owns several other properties and so far she seems to be very easy to work with.
you can see more of her properties in austin if you look her up
- julieta yamakawa.

julieta has agreed to let me do as i please with the minor adjustments and repairs.
i will have to consult her about major renovations, but i am hoping that we may convince her to let us do some renovations and just cut the cost off our rent. then she could easily charge several hundred dollars more for the space after we leave with all the work we put into it.
but we will see.

the property is on the top floor of a "garage apartment" of sorts.
there are no cars in the floor below us but it was clearly built with those intentions. currently, a portion of it is used as storage space for the owner and another portion is devoted to us with a washer and dryer unit and shelving units. the house was built in 1954. it has all genuine hard wood throughout and has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. we are thrilled.

the lease is only for a year, but if we renovate and just fall in love, we may try to stay longer...

it is not perfect, but after reading all the design blogs and magazines i do, and seeing people utilizing and refreshing places with much less space, i am confident and EXCITED to turn this into our home. small spaces mean keeping everything clean and orderly at all times. which will be a challenge, but we are up to it.
small spaces also mean that every nook and cranny will have to carefully planned and constructed for optimum efficiency.

i'm going to take you through the transformation. one project at a time.

here are some shots taken by our real estate agent-
.jessee smith at urban squared realty.
she was a dream to work with and such a doll. we highly recommend her to anyone in the market in austin.
we were living all the way in kansas and trying desperately to find what we were looking for. jessee answered all of our questions and took some amazing footage of the property that really made us feel we knew exactly what we were getting into like we had seen the place in person.

in the area of our place... one of the streets on the way there. filled with little shops and such...

"room service-" an inexpensive vintage home furnishings and accessories store on a street within close walking distance. i could definitely get into trouble with that one...

a sweet little hub within walking distance from our place.
(our house got a 75% on
that means on a scale of 100, your chances to make it without a car in this area are really good. there are grocery stores, restaurants, etc. all very close by.)

"epoch coffee" a little coffee shop in the plaza just a few blocks from us. they also serve yummy food.

"blue velvet" a popular vintage clothing and accessories chain in austin. in the plaza just a few blocks from our place.

the view pulling into our place... these are the houses across the street from us.

that's us to the left, behind the house with the tree in front. just drive past it down the gravel pathway...

there she is! this is what you see pulling into the driveway and behind the house in front. all that is parking space for us and our many lovely visitors! we share the parking with the person in front of us in the bigger house, but it's huge! plenty of room on the lot for everyone!

this was the first and only shot we really saw when we first approached the owner about the property. i just love the color of the paint and the little white trim. so cute. so retro. so austin.

this is what you see when you open the gate and enter the property. the stairs lead up to our front door and the stone slabs lead to the "backyard" area. the ground is gravelled. we will get this entry a little more pointed and orderly... not sure exactly how yet though. at some point, the steps will need to be repainted as the bottom three have obviously been replaced recently. i am thinking about doing some kind of print on each step somehow... maybe stencils... i'll have to do some research...

this is the view standing at the top of the steps looking down where you entered from.

this is our adorable porch area when you come round the corner, leading to our front door near the end. i just love this porch. i really dont have any solid plans for it yet... lots of possibilities.

this is the immediate view when you walk in to the property- the living area.
there are 2 windows in this area.
we will have an "L" shaped ikea couch that folds out to provide a guest double bed. it will sit in a position just like the couch and chair pictured.
the first project i will do when we move in is to paint the walls throughout the property. we want a SUPER bright, clean white color. the whitest of the white.
there is a wall not shown in the photo (in front of the couch) and to the right. it will most likely be where we will house the tv unless we can think of a more creative layout. it is also the side that leads to the bathroom and bedrooms through a small hallway.
at some point we will be replace the ceiling fans with updated lighting fixtures.

this is the view standing in the middle of the living area looking towards the kitchen. the chair in the middle under an INCREDIBLY small table like thing is what the owner has called the "breakfast nook." this is totally understandable for the single tenants that have occupied the space before us, but laughable for a family of four that likes to entertain.

this is the kitchen area. not much.. and definitely the space most in need of immediate update. while the whole place needs new paint, it's most dier in here.

this is the view from the kitchen looking into the living area. you can see the front door and the hallway to the left of the front door that leads to the bathroom and bedrooms.

this is a cute and handy little office nook between the pantry and the entrance to the hallway.

this is the first bedroom which is the larger of the two. it has two double windows with views of surrounding trees in the neighboring yards. we will probably use this as the kids room to provide more play space.

this is the second and smaller of the two bedrooms. it has one double window and another smaller window.

this is the little bathroom with a lot of potential.

this is the view looking up from the "backyard" at some of our porch and front door.

this is the "backyard," below our porch behind the property. it has a nice patch of slabs we will use to put outside seating on.

this is the laundry area down below the living area on the ground floor. i think i will also try and make this little space cozy by rearranging with some lighting and a rug and things for the kids to do if they have to join us while doing laundry. why waste good footage?