We’ve been in the new house for nearly two weeks which, for the record, is enough time to start settling in but not nearly enough time to actually have everything unpacked and put away into its new location. I’d planned to knock out several items this past weekend, but that plan got thrown out the window when Emma came down with a nasty stomach bug on Saturday morning. Instead of unpacking, we spent the weekend cleaning up vomit, washing a lot of sheets and blankets, watching a lot of TV, and attempting to keep Charlotte away from her big sister as much as possible (which is not as easy as one would think).
Anyway. After a very long weekend spent mostly housebound, I offer the following random observations about our new house and neighborhood:
- None of the floors in the new place are exactly level. By far the worst room is my sewing room/office, where you can feel the dip in the floor as you walk across it. This doesn’t seem like a huge deal, until you try to set up a bookcase and find that it wobbles rather precariously even when pushed back against the wall! We’ve been anchoring all of our tall bookshelves to the walls, but before you put in the anchor the shelves really need to be pretty stable. Fortunately we have a LOT of cardboard and felt furniture feet pads, and those have made effective shims. (We also had to shim the refrigerator. So many shims.)
- I really like a lot of the house features — everything from molding to baseboards to lighting to wood floors. But the previous homeowner had a different decorating style and I basically want to repaint every single room. The living room/foyer is yellow, which I might like against darker floors, but when combined with the light floors is just too much yellow. The kitchen is a pale green/blue that I would probably like if it had warmer undertones, but as is it feels off against all the wood cabinets and trim. The half bath is maroon, which I just generally don’t like as a wall color. The master bathroom has a faux finish in a pale pink which feels super dated. I look forward to a couple years from now when we’ve finally managed to repaint everything
- We have a convection wall oven/microwave unit. I had to google more info about it but so far it seems pretty cool. You can set it to either conventional or convection mode. In convection mode, a fan blows the hot air all around the oven to improve cooking. The general rules seem to be either cook at the same temperature for less time, or the same time at lower temperature.
- On the flip side, our dishwasher is super annoying. First, it feels weirdly small. Second, despite almost 2 weeks of use I still haven’t been able to figure out the optimal way to load our dishes since it just doesn’t seem to hold very much. Third, it doesn’t seem to get everything really dry — everything always comes out a bit wet. And fourth, it beeps incessantly when the cycle is done and continues to beep periodically until you open it. (This makes it impossible to run it as we go to bed unless we want it to beep all night.)
- On the positive side, I love love LOOOOOVE our new location. It takes less than 10 minutes to get from my door to my desk. (Or less than 15 if I’m doing daycare dropoff.) We have big awesome trees all around us. We’ve already met several of the neighbors and they’ve all been really nice. Hooray!
- When we first moved in, my mom kept looking outside in the morning in an attempt to figure out our trash days, but we never saw any trash cans sitting by the street. I was stumped so I posted on NextDoor. It turns out that our new neighborhood pays for “driveway service,” which means the trash guys will walk all the way up the driveway and pick up the trash from right in front of our garage (which is back and to the side of the house). I feel fancy now.
- Our breakfast room is surrounded by windows and doesn’t have any blinds or curtains. I love how much light gets in, but it feels weirdly exposed at night. (Granted you’d have to walk all the way up our driveway to look inside, but still.) I haven’t decided what to do about this yet. Perhaps some shades that can be pulled all the way up during the day?
- The previous owners left behind two wall-mounted TVs, one in the study and one in the master bedroom. We haven’t gotten around to installing our own TV yet (planned for above the mantel) and in the meantime Emma thinks it’s a special treat to watch TV in our room. We’ve also watched less TV overall since there’s not one in the living room. I’m not really a huge fan of TV in the bedroom…but I guess it’s there to stay. I do want to take down and get rid of the one in the study. We’ll see.
- There are so many animals and “wildlife” around our house now, which I guess is because of all the mature trees? Whatever the reason, our yard is full of squirrels, birds and OMG the lizards — I can literally spot 3-4 lizards at any given moment when I look out the window. I’m also 99% sure some hawks have a nest at the top of a pine tree one street over that I can see from my driveway because I’ve seen a hawk sitting up there every single morning thus far.
- The house has really good lighting, and by that I mean both from outside and from within. There are can lights and spotlights in several places that help keep the rooms bright at night. There’s under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, which I also love. A lot of the actual light fixtures are dated and need updating, but the locations and lighting options are great.