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Big News // Flipping Crazy

28 Jan

I have BIG NEWS!!! I’ve been absolutely dying to share this news with you, but I needed all the pieces to fall into place first.  Nope, not preggo- I’m not drinking that water just yet…

For years I’ve said that I studied interior design because the idea of sitting behind a desk all day made my skin crawl.  After 6+ years of doing just that, the effect is still the same.  I had a great job with great people and I love design, but finally admitted to myself that the corporate side of design is not what makes my heart sing.  Way to trust your instincts, Karen.

So I quit my job to start flipping houses.  (Holy cow, actually typing that sentence is surreal…)

inhale exhale

I just gave my 2 weeks notice at the 9to5 to start our new venture.  Hubby and I are flipping crazy (pun intended) and I think we’re just crazy enough to make it work.  We’ve been talking for years about how we’d love to get into house flipping, well, now’s the time!  We close on our first flip house on Valentine’s Day!!!!

Hubby’s staying at his job so we can fund this project and I’ll be doing the day-to-day project managing and as much manual labor I can handle.  As funny as it sounds, the scariest part of this for me isn’t the second house that we’re about to own, or the pressure to fix it fast, it was actually quitting my job.  Change is scary, and this one’s a BIG matza ball.  A very good and exciting matza ball!

those who do

So excited to get this adventure started!

 images via 1/2

Hidden History

15 Feb

I’ve been burying my head so much in house organization that I’ve neglected you.  Will you forgive me?

I am pleased to say the house now looks like a house and not a pile of stuff and is no longer making me twitch!  I’m still trying to organize the basement, but that’s slow and steady.

The more I exist in the house, the more I’m growing to appreciate it and its history.  For a 100+ year old house, most people would never guess its age.  It has been updated fully (a bit too much for my taste), but I keep finding vintage gems that make me smile.

Part of what made me fall in love with the house.

Who needs 90 degree angles?? I embrace and love the fact that none of my floors or ceilings or window casings are level. It even makes me giggle that the bathroom floors are so slanted that guys have to hold the seat up so it won't fall on them. Watch out guys, my house bites!

Only one original HVAC return survived over the years. Hopefully it won't be lonely for long and I can find others to put throughout the house.

Most random- the doorstop in the bedroom. It could use some love with stripper and new paint.

An original beam peaking out as we head down to the basement.

Leading out the basement door to the bulkhead I found the most charming door plate.

Charming doorplate meets utilitarian dead bolt.

I plan to have a house that exudes vintage charm with all the modern amenities.  For the first time since moving, I can see past the disorganization and envision the perfect balance of modern and old world in the decor and art.  Once I finish my organization projects, it will be full steam ahead!

Meandering Dreams

18 Oct

Let me begin today’s post with a back story.  It will end up relevant, I promise!

When it came to finding a wedding dress, I tried on more than I will ever admit.  I began with a clear picture in my head: Old Hollywood Glamour, special details, no ballgown, no strapless, no lace-up.  Everywhere I went I came across strapless ballgowns and very few for me to try on since I was apparently the only girl who didn’t want to look like a fairy tale princess on her wedding.  Along my search I found other dresses that intrigued me- drop-waisted, bubble hem, etc.  They were unique, had special details, and weren’t ballgowns, but they didn’t have the glamour I originally dreamed of.  I became convinced that I wasn’t going to get what I originally was searching for so I decided that Hollywood Glamour was no longer a priority.   I put aside the pictures I had been drooling over for months and I went to the next bridal shop with a new collection of pictures that fit what I’d decided was what I now wanted.  I showed the consultant my pictures and she started bringing out dresses.  Hideous dresses. Dresses with pink tulle or frosting-like details.  Until she came out with a simple sheath with modest beading at an empire waist and lace cap-sleeves that lead to a lace-framed open back.  No Tulle, no ballgown, no lace-up and so glamorous.  I went into this shop looking for the dress I’d convinced myself I wanted, and left with the dress I had wanted all along.  I accessorized the dress with antique jewelry, a birdcage veil for the ceremony and a purple feather in my hair for the reception.  Perfect.

Here’s where this story becomes relevant.

When I was in college, I had subscriptions to all the magazines I found inspiring: Interior Design, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, etc.  I had a clear plan of what I wanted to do with interior design career-wise.  I was to be a high-end residential and restaurant designer for high-end clients and celebrities.  In the years since school, however my vision has faded.  I stopped getting all the design magazines because instead of inspiring me, they now taunted me with the designs I felt I’d never have the opportunity to do.  I convinced myself I no longer wanted to be that designer because I felt it was unattainable.  Much like my wedding dress search, I had assured myself that my desires had changed because it was easier than admitting that the dress, or career that I wanted wasn’t available.  In college, I told myself the path to design greatness was to get a good job at a large Boston design firm and make a name for myself.  Little did I realize then, at large firms, individuals become anonymous.  If I really wanted the dream job, I was going to have to work for it and forge a path, there was no clear-cut approach.  I don’t regret the path I took- thanks to my job as an anonymous design employee, I have gained friendships that will last a lifetime and learned a great deal.  I do, however lament the fact that it took me 4 years to realize just how far I’ve strayed from my original dreams.  I have so much fun creating the ideal living space for myself, I would love to work one-on-one with the client and help them create the space of their dreams.  I am, though, more than just someone to pick out colors….. but that’s a rant for another day.

I am very pleased to say I have subscriptions on their way for House Beautiful and Elle Decor (thanks to credit card points), and plan to get a subscription to Interior Design again soon (just need a few more points!).

Step One to figuring out who I want to be: expose myself to as much good design as possible, be inspired, and let myself DREAM again.