New Home Surprises • Kath Eats

Now that we’re a few months into our newly renovated home, here are some surprises we’ve discovered along the way!

Every time I buy a new house, or imagine people buying a house, I always think, “What if XX is bad and you don’t realize it until you move in?”

Perfect example: water pressure! You usually don’t shower in a house before you buy it, and while your inspector may point out strangely low water pressure, he may not take note of anything that’s even a little off.

When you’re building or renovating a house, you try to think of everything you want/need/desire, but then things come along that still don’t work quite right. On the other hand, there are bound to be some pleasant surprises!

Having lived in our newly renovated home for two months, I’m sharing some of the pros and cons we’ve learned about our newly designed space.

new floors

How we thought it would go: beautiful but dirty

How’s it going: EXCELLENT!

We knew we wanted lighter floors for an aesthetic feel, so there really wasn’t any back and forth between whether we should darken or lighten. I was a little worried that the lighter wood would show all kinds of stains and dirt, but in fact, I think they show LESS stains and dirt than our previous floors! I can’t understand why. The only stain that shows up worse is the coffee drips. Everything else (stains, ice cream drips, dirt) seems to blend in nicely.

And a truly amazing discovery: the flats match Gus’s hair!! He moves around like crazy but we don’t get to see him as much. Furthermore, having a robot vacuum cleaner has been a total life change, apart from the amount of dog hair that accumulates daily.

Appliance garage

How we thought it would go: all appliances there

How’s it going: It’s the new coffee station!

I already wrote about this change in this post, but we didn’t plan this exchange but it turned out to be amazing. Thomas loves all his coffee supplies together and on hand next to his newly installed coffee sink with water filter; I love that all the coffee mess (the coffee grounds on the counter, the drips from the lids, the sprinkles of sugar) is behind closed doors that I will never have to see!

Coffee Sink Faucet Confusion

How we think it would be: We don’t need such a fancy faucet for the secondary sink.

How’s it going: my brain is so confused

Let me explain this to you as best I can: Our main kitchen sink faucet is hands-free and you move your arm around the neck to turn it on and off. I am so used to doing this movement that I go to other houses and do it there too. It’s hard to unlearn! Our coffee sink is the same brand, but it is an on-off faucet, so you have to touch it with your finger or the back of your hand to turn it on. So half the time I’m touching the main tap and moving my arm across the coffee tap. In retrospect, we should have had the same faucet on both. It’s driving me a little crazy!

Not having a real garage

How we thought it would go: chaos for things

How’s it going: it is not a big thing

Since we built our hidden dumpster and moved a lot of the stuff we used to store in the garage into our larger kitchen/utility closet/storage rooms, we really don’t miss having a garage at all. I don’t forget to wonder if there are spiders in the cooler bags or beach chairs we used to keep in the stroller garage. We still have plans to buy a small shed for the backyard, but so far we don’t regret losing our garage at all.

The parking lot

How we thought it would go: we would need to seriously solve the problems with our parking spaces

How’s it going: my two point turn is now a four point turn

When we started planning our renovation, we knew that adding the side porch would mean that the parking spot for Thomas’ truck would be set back a few feet, preventing me from turning into the driveway. It was already tight, but losing 3 or 4 feet would make it even tighter. We are debating street parking, rear parking, making a new, wider driveway. None of these alternatives seemed like a good idea to us, so we decided to cross that bridge when we got there.

I used to be able to do a two point turn to get out, and now I need 3 to 5 points to do the turn, but I CAN DO IT! Thomas tries to tell me to back up, but we live on a busy street and driving isn’t in my skill set, so I just keep doing silly Austin Powers-style turns. There are worse things, haha.

Dining room

How we think it would be: family dinners in the dining room, breakfasts on the island

How’s it going: Now we have a puzzle table!

Before our renovation, the dining room was the main place to eat. We didn’t have an island or kitchen table, so we had almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners here. Everyone said we would start eating all the meals on the island. I didn’t really believe them, but it’s true!! We eat most of our meals on the island or on the porch while it’s still warm. But this has led to a surprising discovery about how to use the dining room table as a puzzle table! we borrow this puzzle from Thomas’s friend Anna, and immediately got a second one the National Parks to start. It has been very relaxing to play spa music and do puzzles at night.

New master bathroom

How we thought it would go: a serene space for adults

How’s it going:The whole gang is here!

Our bathroom is the place to be. Everyone prefers to shower there, and the bathtub is big and big, so kids love bathing there too. The only problem I’m solving now is whose towel is whose!? It’s nice to be able to take care of my skin or fold laundry during bath time now instead of being cooped up in the younger kids’ bathroom, so I consider it a win-win.

Shower Cleaning Bar

How we thought it would go– Install a shower bar that you can use to clean the shower

How’s it going: I take a shower with my neck down for the days I don’t wash my hair!

This was one of those “first time you shower here” discoveries. I didn’t realize that our handheld shower sprayer that we installed for cleaning is actually an adjustable shower HEAD as well! I can use it if I shower with my neck down and not wash my hair instead of holding my head sideways to keep my hair dry in the rain shower. #it’s the little things

The open lobby

How we think it would be: looking messy at the time

How’s it going: 1,000% better than it was

I think I mentioned that our hallway started out as a more closed room and we decided to open it up. And we also discussed having doors on the locker and shoe drawers to contain open clutter, but we didn’t have enough depth for that. So everything is open… and going great! While we will never have enough coat hooks or shoe shelves, the percentage improvement from what it was before has improved so drastically that I couldn’t care less that it’s open and sometimes a little messy. Is awesome!!!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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