Projects For A New House {What We’ve Been Up To, part 1}

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Hello! Since moving into The Green House we have been so, so industrious. Our list of jobs to complete is long. We envelop larger-scale projects into our everyday life, and the result is very busy yet very satisfying {exhausting!} days. πŸ™‚

Our zeal to knock items off the list is partlyβ€”okay, mostlyβ€”due to my current ridiculous nesting drive. (Just a couple weeks out, ish!) It is also part we-just-moved-into-a-new-house-and-can’t-wait-to-get-settled. You know Caveman loves projects; he’s not complaining. πŸ˜‰

Today I’m excited to share pictures of our recent projects. (At least a few of the finished jobs. There will be another project post part 2!) My purpose in letting you all in on these little updates isn’t to brag or show offβ€”oh, no. You’ll see that many of these jobs merely serve to highlight the additional projects for a new house that still need to be completed. I want to share what our transition looks like from living tiny to living small, in a slightly larger home. It’s a lot of work at this point, a lot of decisions.

We are being intentional about watching our budget (next month will get a big spending crack-down!).

We are intentional about how we spend our time and which projects take priority over others.

We are intentional about decisions we make about what our home needs and doesn’t need.

I want to share what our transition looks like from living tiny to living small, in a slightly larger home.

So come on in to The Green House.

Join me in a little glimpse into what intentionally living small looks like right now, the “projects for a new house” version. Here and now, as we settle into a new house and also prepare to welcome another tiny human into our family. πŸ™‚

Entry

My first major nesting need was an entry station. The front door opens right up into the living room, and we desperately missed a place to land/take shoes off/for guests to place their belongings, etc. I pinned some overall, clean looks that I liked and then started shopping for a bench or some sort of shoe storage unit. Then I got discouraged because I couldn’t find anything that I loved for the price we could pay.

entry

One night I desperately pointed to a picture on Etsy and asked Caveman, “Can you build me that? Like RIGHT.NOW?” He said yes. Then he built me this beauty from scratch:

FinishedBench_watermark

entry bench

He did all the distressing by hand (the boys helped). The hardware is simple metal piping from the plumbing department, spray painted black. The stain on the wood is normal Tetley’s black tea with a polyurethane coat.

I. Love. It. Eventually I’ll paint the baskets white, but for now it’s functional. And gorgeous. And our shoes our contained and the bench provides extra seating/climbing space. Simple white hooks provide a home for Caveman’s backpack and guests’ items. Someday we might hang a little shelf above the hooks, but for now I’m crossing entry station off the list. It works!

Here is usually what this area looks like during the day:

kids on bench

Murphy Bed

My next fixation was a Murphy bed (or a “wall bed”). We had predetermined that we would want to use a Murphy bed in the study/home school room to allow the area to easily transition to a guest room. We ran a couple searches online and were unsatisfied with the yieldβ€”Murphy beds don’t come up often on Craigslist, and when they do they are often still pretty expensive even used. So I prayed for one to come up soon within our price range. God provided even my silly, small request. This one was even cheaper than we were prepared to pay and included storage shelves on each side!

Murphy Bed
I spent my evenings for two weeks priming and painting the entire piece the same color as our walls (Sherwin Williams Divine White) to achieve the built-in look I desired. It was a ton of work, but I am thrilled with the result. Caveman and I are surprised at how often we actually use this bed. We pull it down at least once every other day to watch a movie or provide an alternate napping place for a child. So far, our verdict is that a Murphy bed is WELL worth the investment and such a great use of space for a small home. We’re fans.

 

Garage Cleaning

Another ongoing project that is keeping us busy is cleaning out the garage. It is currently 60% full of STUFF. Most of the boxes hail from the storage unit. They must be sorted through, decisions made about what to keep and toss. We are committed to opening that space up for further Caveman projects, so free hours are often spent opening boxes and discovering treasures or not-treasures.

stuff in garage

And that’s what our house transition currently looks like. We are trying to get as much of the list finished as possible before our new boy comes, so those early weeks can be spent relaxing and fully soaking in that fresh family development.

Thanks so much for joining us on our journey of intentionally living small, friends. We are so grateful to have you here!

 

 

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26 Comments
  • Kim
    June 2, 2015

    I love the things that you have done. I appreciate the wide view you gave of the front entry. Without the bench and hooks, incoming items would go on the floor and be draped across the sofa, if it were my house. Your additions will add to your contentment and the feeling of hospitality that your family and guests feel as they go in and out the door. I love the Murphy bed – nice to have the bed when you need it, and nice to have floor space when you don’t need the bed or want it to serve as a table (which would be fine, but things tend to pile up.) Best of wishes to you with your ongoing and upcoming labors. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Evelyn
      June 2, 2015

      Thank you for your sweet comment, Kim! You’re right– our entry was a MESS before we had an official “landing” station. Entries are important places!

      • Kim
        June 9, 2015

        I didn’t mean to imply that yours was a mess. God bless you and your family during this very special time.

        • Evelyn
          June 9, 2015

          πŸ™‚ You didn’t imply it–I was simply sharing the truth! πŸ™‚

  • Joy
    June 2, 2015

    Ooo, I love that entry storage unit, Evelyn! What a handy-man husband you have there! Good luck on the final stretch!

    • Evelyn
      June 2, 2015

      Thanks Joy! Yes, he IS super handy. πŸ™‚ I’m in a constant state of awe of him these days. πŸ˜‰

  • Jane
    June 2, 2015

    The Murphy bed looks so good! As always, I am so impressed with what you and Dan do. πŸ™‚

    • Evelyn
      June 2, 2015

      Thanks Jane. You’re sweet. πŸ™‚

  • Beth
    June 2, 2015

    Thanks for updates. We love murphys and have been without one and looking for 14ish years andddd stilllll misssss ourrrr oldddd oneeeeee. Green Rubbermaid tub in garage looks a little distressed, poor thing, but it’s a roughneck it will keep goinggggg. Have a good summer.

    • Evelyn
      June 2, 2015

      Haha! Thanks for the comment Beth. Yeah those tubs will mostly be unpacked and repurposed. And yes! Murphys are impossible to find used, nice, for decent prices… which is why ours was a total gift. πŸ˜‰ I’m so smitted. Sometimes I just go stare at it… I mean, no that would be weird. But seriously. πŸ˜‰

      • Beth
        June 17, 2015

        Ooopppsss, I have come back several times to drool over The Murphy Bed and have shown to others too……I admit to staring and drooling, I do understand and I would dance before the Lord in the floor space too.

        • Evelyn
          June 17, 2015

          Good to know I’m not too crazy. πŸ˜‰ Thanks Beth!

  • Jesse May
    June 2, 2015

    I am so impressed with your progress and creativity! I’m also inspired to start asking my husband to build things for me! Haha! πŸ™‚

    • Evelyn
      June 2, 2015

      Thanks Jesse May! It took me like 6 years into marriage to finally trust him to start building things. Now I always seem to have a project lined up for him! πŸ˜‰

  • Bethany @ Online Therapy and Coaching
    June 8, 2015

    Such efficient usage of space! I love the Murphy bed! πŸ™‚

    • Evelyn
      June 8, 2015

      Hi Bethany! Yes, it’s turning out to be a wonderful addition. πŸ˜‰

  • Danielle
    June 11, 2015

    Thanks for sharing! I am always interested in how others make smaller homes work for them! It can be hard to find blogs like yours nowadays!

    • Evelyn
      June 11, 2015

      Hi Danielle! So fun to have you here. πŸ™‚ We love our kinda-small new home. πŸ™‚

  • Katie O'Brien
    June 17, 2015

    Evelyn! I found your blog via becomingminimalist and I’m so glad I did!! Our lives seem to be in similar seasons, too πŸ™‚ I’m pregnant with a 2yo and we’re in the process of moving to a slightly larger home, too… BUT with intentions to create more meaningful, purposeful space rather than fill the new home with more ‘stuff.’

    I’m really looking forward to staying connected and following your journey!!

    • Katie O'Brien
      June 17, 2015

      **I guess I should have said I’m pregnant and have a 2yo at home… Not pregnant with a 2yo hehe πŸ™‚

      • Evelyn
        June 17, 2015

        Bahahaahaha. I am so glad you just clarified that. πŸ˜‰ No seriously. TODAY is my due date with #4, and I swear it feels like I am pregnant with an actual two year old. Will I be pregnant forever?!

    • Evelyn
      June 17, 2015

      Hi Katie! Thanks for commenting and saying “hi”. So glad to have you here and looking forward to getting to know you!

  • Meryl @ Simple Family Home
    June 19, 2015

    Wow, I love that bench/ storage stand. Well done hubby! I found you via Becoming Minimalist too and will be following your posts πŸ™‚ I’m curious to know how big your new house is?
    -Meryl

    • Evelyn
      June 20, 2015

      Hello Meryl! I’m so glad you popped over. πŸ™‚ Our Green House is pretty much right at 1,000 sq. ft. It’s a pretty simple ranch-style without a basement. We love the simplicity.

  • Jen
    June 8, 2016

    You are doing great in knocking off the project list of your new home. We have been in our new home for three plus years now and have yet launched on any major project besides the furnace replacement (out of safety concern). I am currently finishing up the school room but due to two graduations and a wedding this summer, I have to wait to finish it. Love your down to earth blogging. Finding Bloggers to blog about real life without selling something in every post is rare these days. You are one of the handful blogs I am currently reading. Blog on! πŸ™‚

    • Evelyn
      June 10, 2016

      Hi Jen! Thanks so much for your encouragement. I really appreciate your kind words! πŸ™‚ It’s hard when life gets in the way of house projects. But then… life IS more important than house projects. πŸ˜‰ I have to remind myself that I’m so blessed to even live here, in this home regardless of whether it feels “finished” to me. πŸ™‚ Thanks again for commenting!

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