Plans, plans, plans

Moving with Cats
When Justin and I were walking through this house, we had grandiose ideas of what we would do with the place.

Replace the carpet!

Have it painted!
Get quartz countertops!
Do a built-in in the mudroom!
Do a built-in next to the fire place!
Put grass in the “backyard” (which is about 15 feet, by 8 feet. It’s a townhouse)
Buy new appliances!
Rip out the island and build a larger, flatter island!
Put in a farmhouse sink!
Install storage in the garage!
Refinish the garage floor!
Plant new shrubs/flowers near the front door!
Install granite/quartz in the master bathroom!
Rip out the master bathtub and build a massive greek shower!

And then, once you get started with just a few of these projects you realize it’s so much more of an undertaking than you realize. Sure, it’s financially more than you think, but it also takes up so much mental space.

It’s been funny to learn about one of the biggest differences between my mom and I during this process. She thrives doing home-related projects. She loves to paint, decorate, plan out a room, etc. She can visualize how the room will look finished before she even starts.

I simply can’t. I stare at walls and think. . .”my house will never look put togthether. I don’t even know where to begin.”

She walks into Home Goods and hears the voices of a thousand angels singing “hallelujah”!

I walk into Home Goods and think, for just a minute, “Oh this is fun!” and then about 10 minutes later, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL WORK.”

I walk into Sephora and hear the angels. Every time.

Thankfully, my mom is pretty great and came down the weekend before we moved to help me pick paint colors and pick both large pieces of furniture as well as smaller things (like art, accessories). She made it so much easier.

Prior to her visit, I would invite her to view my Pinterest boards so she could get “my vision”. I described my style as “Target-y”. Clean, simple, not modern, warm, home-y, clutter-less, etc.

I think she was starting to worry that I was going to be a nightmare to work with. She’d send me rug options and since I can’t visualize anything I’d tell her no way.

“Kate, you have to trust me. I know what you want for the look. This rug will work.”

“Nope. No. No way. Hate it. Won’t work.”

I’m sure she laid her head down on the pillow at night and expressed her fears to my dad.

“Kate is pretty much being a nightmare about this new house.”

My dad would say something along the lines of, “Oh, you know Katie. She’ll let-cha do what you need to do when you get down there.” (it is a requirement that you read that in your most northern Wisconsin accent. . . my dad is a cheese head.)

Sure enough, once she was here we had a great time shopping together and she was able to get my vision completely.

The house isn’t finished yet, but the major furniture has been bought (besides the nursery) and I’m thrilled with how it’s coming together. 

As far as the projects go, we did have the entire interior of the home painted (walls and ceilings) and we replaced the carpet. Both of those projects went a long way in making this place feel like it’s ours.

And all the little things that need to be touched up or fixed will go onto a list like one of these and we’ll slowly make our way through it as we live here.

click here to get these FREE printables from

Overall, it’s fun to own a home. It feels different than renting. It feels like we can really settle in here and make it ours.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eatgreatbegreat says · 08.29.13

I totally get what you’re say! We first moved into our home, I was so overwhelmed. We had so many different things we wanted to do, and when I walked into Home Goods, I was completely overwhelmed. It’s just not one room to decorate…it’s many. At least your mom has a good eye for those things. I was lucky enough to have some family members who were good at that too. It makes a big difference!

Gabriela says · 08.29.13

I have one word for you:

You are most welcome. 🙂

Holly M. says · 08.29.13

I can relate to every part of this post! My husband and I just bought our first house in June and the project list keeps on growing and growing! Thanks for the link to the free printables!

Katherine says · 08.29.13

I was totally going to recommend iHeartOrganizing for you to check out – guess you’re already ahead of me on that one! Have you looked at the blog YoungHouseLove ?? They’re AMAZING. Also have a book which looks fab.
Good luck with the new house! Love your blog and your belly is giving me the fever… so thanks for that 😉

Nicole Marica says · 08.29.13

I’m terrible at home decorating too. That feeling you get at Home Goods? Gets me every time! I could go in with an idea of what I want and then I see EVERYTHING there and it just overwhelms me. My house is a current mish mash, I need to get someone like your mom to come save me!

Melissa says · 08.29.13

My husband and I just sold our first home this summer. When we bought it, it desperately needed a lot of TLC. I like to joke that we should get pictures of the former owners and fax them to every home improvement store in the state with a note saying “Do NOT sell anything to these people! They ruin houses!” LOL

We had a long list of projects we wanted to do “over time” before we sold the house. Oh what sweet innocent first-time homeowners we were! “Over time” is still A LOT of time. And A LOT of money. Add kids into the mix and it got even more complicated. We completed…one project in three years. Then we decided to list the house, and BAM, we lit our hair on fire to get it all done very quickly. We actually ended up hiring out most of the work. It ate into our profits on the house but bottom line, we simply did not have time to do projects of that magnitude ourselves (we stayed up until like one in the morning three nights in a row just painting a stupid stair railing because we had to do it while the kids were sleeping). Or the skills. I think it is VERY important as a homeowner to know your limits when it comes to home improvement projects. Just because it looks easy on HGTV does not mean it’s easy in real life. There is absolutely no shame in hiring someone to make sure it gets done right. (“Do it right!” – Mike Holmes, my absolute favorite HGTV personality!)

Maggie B. says · 08.29.13

I hear the angels every time I walk into Target. Home Goods overwhelms me every time and I leave there a hot mess and in tears. Every. Time.

hkschulte says · 08.29.13

I’m with you on the whole “have visions but no idea how to accomplish it” thing! Maybe your mom can come down and decorate my house when I get one 😀

R2P2 says · 08.29.13

Oh my I know exactly what you mean. I love all the little details I find in Home Goods, but I can’t put them all together. I am so jealous of people who can.

Good luck with the house! What I’ve learned & had to remind myself numerous times over the course of new-home-ownership (3 years) is that it takes TIME. I cannot compare my house to the beautifully decorated homes of my parents & parents’ friends who lived in a home for 10+ years and their decorations represent YEARS of purchases. In short, I’ve tried to learn PATIENCE!

Melanie says · 08.29.13

I can absolutely relate to this post. It’s so stressful picking out paint colors, furniture etc for your place. My bf and I moved into our 2nd house, and all the stuff we bought for our first house, doesn’t go now… 🙁

I Pink i Love You

Your Friendly Blogger says · 08.29.13

If I can recommend one awesome website for anything home related, it is http://www.younghouselove. It is the most inspiring and motivating website I know. I will get tons of ideas from them. Give it a shot!

Dana says · 08.29.13

We’ve been homeowners for 13 years; in fact, we just marked our 6th anniversary in our second house. It takes FOREVER to do all the things you want to in a house. In our first house, a 1925 colonial we had projects galore in the the 7+ years we lived there. We replaced the carpet, we painted every room, we installed tile in the basement, we installed a brick patio terrace, we refaced the kitchen cabinets and installed tile floors and counters in the kitchen, we gutted and updated the powder room and remodeled all the closets. And then we sold it. And started all over in a different house! I think it’s in my genes, though, because my parents have been doing the same thing their whole lives. I guess it’s a good thing to keep investing in your most important asset and the place where you spend the most time! Congrats to you on your new home and may you have many happy memories there!! And projects that go smoothly, too. 😉

Andrea Worley says · 08.29.13

I feel ya there lady! I too have a hard time knowing where to start with our home. 🙂 We’ve lived in our home 8 months already and it’s barely decorated. But I’ve come to realize that IT WILL come together and I’m ok taking my time to make it really the way we want it, and find the right pieces to put it together.

Katie says · 08.29.13

I went through the same thing when we bought our house. We bought it 2 years ago and there are still projects and decorating that need to be done. Graduate school kind of put some of them on the backburner..

Jaime GVC says · 08.29.13

Home renovations/ projects ALWAYS takes way more energy/ money/ effort/ time than you think- believe me, we just completely gutted and renovated our second home. Was supposed to take 3 months, ended up taking 7. An we weren’t even living there or doing most the work ourselves.

My advice would be to be very realistic about what you can accomplish, especially with a baby on the way- ability-wise and financially- it always costs about twice what you think it will, and takes twice as long. And you don’t want to find yourself without a fully functional kitchen/ bathroom/ relaxing space with a newborn. nightmare.

But on the flip side, it can be so much fun and rewarding to renovate/ update your home, as well as a good investment! Good luck and congrats on the new house!

Ashley says · 08.29.13

It’s definitely stressful that’s for sure!!

Sincerely Miss Ash

Hannah says · 08.29.13

I wish I was like your mom! I look at a room and have no idea how to put it together and make it look like I want to, how to make it look nice. It sounds like we have the same problem. Lucky for you you have a great mom who is awesome at “seeing” a room before it’s done 🙂

Andrea Schreiber says · 08.29.13

Home Goods freaks me out. But then, so does Sephora. Put me in the kitchen section in a Bed Bath and Beyond and then the angels sing! My boyfriend and I, despite our artistic and bohemian appearances and lifestyles totally and completely bought our living room from an Ikea display. We have since managed to rough it up to our hippie PNW standards, but we were so surprised at ourselves being overwhelmed entirely by home decor.

caitlinmfrost says · 08.29.13

We moved into our home/condo/townhouse like thing last October, and it was a disaster. We had to completely renovate it while we lived in it. (Okay, not completely, because we didn’t do costly things like kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity, mostly floors and paint.) But I have a million things I still have to do after almost a year of living here!

It’s definitely teaching me patience. We can actually grow a family here, not leave in 12 months, so I don’t have to have everything perfect right now. I have time to make it mine.

Mod Commonplace says · 08.29.13

I know exactly what you mean! I am in the process of decorating our new office and I am SO overwhelmed! I would love to know if your mom has any awesome Home Goods tips!


Jules says · 08.29.13

Kate you will get there, don’t worry! The best homes are the ones that are decorated over time, the longer you live there the more you will feel what fits (and you’ll get better at decorating!) One tip – decorate your bedroom! Everyone leaves it till last, as they think it doesn’t matter as much as the public areas, but it makes such a difference to go into a space that feels like yours at the end of the day! Good luck decorating!

Tangi from Kentucky says · 08.29.13

Yay! Someone with the same issue as me! HAHA! I know what I like and I know what I would love for my house to look like. But I don’t know how to make it come into fruition.

Carrie says · 08.29.13

So, did you end up with or without the rug your Mom suggested?

Reply says · 08.29.13

Wow, it sounds like we have identical style when it comes to decorating! I have never been good or creative when it comes to that stuff…in fact, I had to hire a color consultant to help me pick out wall colors for our interior (which was a lifesaver!) It seems like there is always something that can be done when it comes to being a homeowner!

Gwen says · 08.29.13

I am the same way! When we move it’s my husband that does the unpacking (except for the kitchen) and the decorating/placement of furniture. It just wouldn’t get done otherwise and I like that I don’t have to think about it. Whatever he does is good enough for me, I just don’t want to deal with it!

ahagerla says · 08.29.13

Sounds like my mom and I! I always need her to come visit me to come help me decorate. Surprisingly my husband was a pretty good decorator after our most recent move! He really had a vision for our place and I had to trust him and it looks amazing!

Abby says · 08.29.13

Your relationship with your mom sounds similar to mine… I’m more into the makeup while she’s more into the home… although I’m happy to say that as I’ve gotten older I’ve rubbed off on her and she’s equally rubbed off on me so it’s a nice give and take.
The printables are really cute… I love having nifty stationary to help make to-do lists and the like more fun! 🙂

xo, Abby @ Always, Abby

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) says · 08.29.13

Haha I am the EXACT same way with my mom 🙂 I can’t visualize anything and usually don’t want to. A lot of the decorating in my house has been thanks to her!

Gypsy Heart says · 08.29.13

It’s going to look beautiful! My daughter is the one that has the vision…I just know what I like. Fun times, huh? 🙂


Lexie says · 08.30.13 Reply
Becky Spengler says · 08.30.13

Congratulations! Enjoy your new home. Soon it will feel like HOME in every way!

LaDawn S says · 08.30.13

I’m the same way as you! I cannot imagine how a room will look. Luckily a close family friend is an interior decorator and she helped us pick out paint colours and accessories.

Judy says · 08.30.13

I think you mean a Roman shower. I googled Greek Shower…Don’t. It’s not pretty. Mainly it’s washing only the stinky parts by hand…and that’s according to most of the google entries. However Roman Shower is lovely, all tile with glass and the water coming down, but no tub, and sometimes no glass/curtain either. Really nice.

Sally HP says · 08.30.13

It’s a relief to hear you say that. It would be really unfair if you looked insanely cute and put together every day AND had a keen eye for home decor execution 😉 we bought our first house three years ago and I’ve gone through a room at a time; Pinterest board for about six months pulling items from different stores and then attack it all at once. I love iHeartOrganizing, Young House Love and Our Humble Abode in addition to Pinterest for ideas. It’s awesome that you have a mama who gets you! Can’t wait to see some photos of what you do!

Everwys says · 08.30.13

As a fellow midwesterner I read your dad’s statement in the correct accent even before your instruction to do so! then I reread and laughed again. 🙂

Lisa says · 08.30.13

Kate, we just completely finished our basement and sometimes I feel the same way when doing home reno! I was actually surprised how nice it turned out but I am sure our contractor (and good neighbour!) thought I was quite difficult to work with. Having said that, he did get my vision and since then I’ve been able to add many personal touches. I should really show you my office and laundry room. They are bright, clean, fresh and very inviting. I have to say the laundry room is one of my favourite spaces now.

Courtney D. says · 08.31.13

In our first home, we only had one bathroom and gutted it down to studs, sub flooring, a toilet and the tub/shower. We wanted to keep it semi functional since it was our only one. Not long after starting this, we found out we were pregnant. I spent the entire pregnancy with a bathroom in various stages of remodel. I even had to drive to the local gas station to use the bathroom when my husband and his brother-in-law has to take the toilet out to work! The three days my husband and I were at the hospital after I delivered our son, my brother-in-law spent his evenings after work at our house installing the new toilet, sink, beadboard and trim.

kristinwithani says · 09.01.13

So so so true!

I’m in my second home. My list wasn’t too long since it is not that old.
New carpet? Didn’t do it and have regretted it.
Painted the downstairs but still haven’t gotten around to upstairs. Three years later.
My “creative room” (AKA third bedroom) is still full of boxes and suitcases and my clothes drying rack.
Every time my mom visits she tackles a huge job I didn’t know needed doing. She’s extended the mantel above my fireplace, added crown molding in the entire downstairs, painted upstairs bathroom, framed two bathroom mirrors, added shelving in places I didn’t know I needed it.
This week she wants to get my kitchen counters replaced (she wants granite and I want quartz) but it won’t happen cuz we just signed papers to get the master bath world’s tiniest shower replaced. That broke the bank for the next year and I’m in line to get it done. Late October!
I have three bathrooms and 1 1/2 working toilets.
The A/C is close to its end. So is the heat.
Ah, homeownership. It’s great but so stressful for me sometimes as a single woman. Stuff happens and it is expensive. But I’m thankful.

Off to assemble an IKEA desk. To put in the “creative room”. As soon as it’s cleaned out.

kristinwithani says · 09.01.13

Whoa, that was the world’s longest blog comment. Sorry ’bout that.

Courtney says · 09.01.13

Your dad’s accent makes me homesick!

Rachel says · 09.01.13

Your dad and I are apparently best friends. Cheeseheads 4 lyfe!

Pink Elephant Blog says · 09.01.13

Ooooh, I’m a bit of a list fanatic… Love a good to-do list 🙂

Paigeemoe says · 09.02.13

i love that you hear the angels singing in Sephora too 🙂

Two Broke Wives says · 09.02.13

First, I love your blog and just thought you should know! Second, my husband and I are going thru the renovating process now along with another couple who are also doing their house. If you need any advice or want some ideas, you can check out our blog at don’t let it stress you out…the finished product is so worth it!!!

Sisterino says · 09.10.13

I laughed when I read your “to-do” home list. We bought our first house a couple of years ago. I had huge expectations and a list to match. I wanted to paint, re-carpet, tear up carpet in rooms, re-do, re-do,re-do. What have I done so far? Well, nothing. But hey, it’s home and I’m happy here. =)

Estelle Sacre says · 09.30.13

I was thinking to rip out the carpet from my staircase as I can’t maintain it clean every time. I prefer having wooden floor there that I can easily vacuum and mop. It is also in my plans which hopefully will realise soon.

Estelle Sacre says · 09.30.13

I was thinking to rip out the carpet from my staircase as I can’t maintain it clean every time. I prefer having wooden floor there that I can easily vacuum and mop. It is also in my plans which hopefully will realise soon.

Emon ahmed says · 02.10.14

I look forward to reading your posts in the future……………………