Our New Home

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Ahhh guess what. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! I have to chuckle saying that out loud on here because it feels like one minute I was going about my business and posting about my diaper bag, and the next minute I live in a completely different place. A house. That we own. It’s a crazy, wonderful, scary, adult feeling! It all happened SO fast and the escrow process was super stressful (as everyone said it would be), which is why I didn’t mention it until now. Let me back up. So we’ve been talking about buying a house for a little while, since before we had moved to West Hollywood two years ago. But at that time, we weren’t ready yet and were excited about living in the center of LA for a little bit. I got pregnant pretty much immediately after we moved, and from there it started to feel like we probably wouldn’t be in that apartment for very long. We LOVED living there, but the neighborhood and apartment itself weren’t the most ideal for raising a little one. Fast forward to this July, and we suddenly felt ready to start taking our search from websites to in-person with an actual realtor. We had our neighborhood pretty much settled on for awhile, but were willing to consider others. It’s in the suburbs, which trust me, I was very resistant to for several years. But after much coaxing, Ian finally convinced me to consider it and I eventually came to a place of, “if the house is the right house (aka, I can make it cute) and I can still easily go all the places I want to go, I’m good with it.” And that’s where we ended up. The best part? The neighborhood is quiet, kid friendly (safe as can be), great public school system, and the houses are somewhat affordable – GASP!

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When we bought the house, there was no shrubbery on this eyesore of an arch. Just plain ol’ stucco staring you in the face when you approach the property. So for me, planting some vines on the arch was first on the list! I wanted bougainvillea, but the landscaper advised against it saying it will get pretty brown in the winter in our hood. So we went with tecoma which is similar but the flowers are more of a coral red. Now we just have to wait for them to grow and fill the space!

The actual finding of our house was not at all like most experiences we’ve heard about in LA. We found it the first weekend of looking (I know!) which was crazy fast but we did do our research before settling on it. It was far and away better than all the other houses we had seen in person and online (and trust me – we looked at every single house that had sold in this neighborhood for the past couple years to make extra sure we weren’t jumping the gun). But why look further? It had everything we wanted – new hardwood floors throughout most of the house, not too big, not too small, open layout that flows nicely, tons of natural light, big backyard (with a pool!), great street, close to the schools we want, big garage, a closet room just for me (SOLD), and just the right amount of projects left for us to do on our own. We weren’t looking for a complete fixer, but we did want to be able to add some value to the house, and our own special touch.

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The master bedroom is empty except for the bed and one side table. Not even a curtain in sight. Hi neighbors!

And there’s plenty of room for value to be added. The pool needs a complete resurfacing (cha-ching), the kitchen is 90’s like whoa (think oak cabinets and sandy granite) with a too-small counter layout, and the bathrooms all need to be redone on some level, to name a few. But we love it.

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One of the first corners that started to look somewhat organized in the family room, even though it’s a temporary setup.

We got the keys at the end of September, and had one week to come in and start work before we had to move in. So we did two major things: painting and floors. The walls were all sorts of rustic shades – tan, cream, beige, gray… but I wanted everything crisp white (surprise surprise). So my wonderful DIY painter of a mom got to work, made best friends with the guys at the local paint store, and eventually got some extra hands to paint as much as they could, which was almost every single ceiling and wall in the house! I wanted to paint too, but unlike our previous painting projects, this time there was a baby in the mix and someone had to hang with her while packing up the apartment. We just have to do two bathrooms and the entry/hallway but MAN did that make a huge difference right off the bat. So fresh! Then the floor guys came in and ripped up that gross carpet upstairs to finish everything off with the wood the previous owners started with. And that’s all we did before we moved in.

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This spot is going to need some extra special attention since it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. And eh hem – notice something missing? Yeah there’s no stair rail. Just air. We’re trying to remedy this STAT so we can baby proof. In the meantime, Sailor is THIS CLOSE to figuring out how to climb the stairs and we’re freaking out.

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The living room leads right into the dining room, which leads right to the back patio – fun for entertaining a small group. We just need to switch out the light fixture, get a new dining table, and jazz up that corner.

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We didn’t realize when we bought the house that it has a pomegranate tree in the backyard! Ian loves pulling them down for us to have with breakfast every morning. 

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The guest room was a catchall until this weekend, when we finally made the bed and cleared it out for Ian’s parents who are coming this week. Another room in need of side tables, curtains… and fresh bedding.

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The current state of the office. Clearly it’s done. ;)

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The doorway into the nursery. It’s smaller than it was in our apartment, but I love that it’s cozy and babies don’t need much room. At least this time, my closet doesn’t have to be in here! 

We’ve been in the house for exactly two weeks today and it’s finally starting to feel like home. Every time I move, I somehow forget how stressful moving is (and now, it’s extra stressful with a baby). But I’m thrilled that we’re past the most painful part. Boxes are mostly unpacked and out of site, things are at least somewhat put away in the correct room, and now we just get to focus on organizing and decorating. We haven’t bought ANY fun decor for the house yet. Just a sage stick (first and foremost), a Nest thermostat, some blackout curtains for Sailor’s room (which aren’t helping her sleep a minute later than 5:30am), a $60 fire pit, and a coffee grinder. Baby steps! It’ll be a very slow process, but I can’t wait to share it all with you guys along the way!

 

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  1. Congratulations! I adore your new home, the floors, white walls and natural light. Great find!

  2. I love your house already! I can’t wait to see how you decorate it. Those floors are killer!

  3. CONGRATS! I’m so happy for you and your home is absolutely gorgeous. When can I come visit?!

  4. Yeaaaa!!! It’s already looking so good!

  5. Even your mess is gorgeous! Seriously, what a find! I l actually love that arch at the entry too and those round paver stairs — so cool! Can’t wait to see what you do with it all! Congrats!!

    p.s. My in-laws did an acrylic railing for their stairs to keep the open feeling but be up tp code. Maybe that could work?

  6. I love the part about Sailor not sleeping a minute past 5:30am, ha! Ace is the exact same. Little stinkers! Beautiful house Catherine, love it!

  7. Jean Wakely 10/17/2016 Reply

    Congratulations Sheppard Family! You are now living the American Dream!! (or nightmare – whichever). But, you must immediately TEACH SAILOR how to sit on her bum and get down the stairs – even if you have a gate. It is up to you to train her to come down safely on her little padded behind. You’ll be happy that you did. Happy Home makers you three!

  8. It’s soooooo good!!! Congratulations, can’t wait to visit❤️

  9. Solveig 10/19/2016 Reply

    OMG your new home is absolutely dreamy!!!! Sooooo happy for you all, and can’t wait to see all the ways you continue to make it your own. XOXO

  10. Siobhan Malone 11/07/2016 Reply

    Absolutely love the new house, congrats! Also where did you get that awesome dog bed, the union jack one? I love it :)