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I’ve been feeling a little bit obsessed lately with planning how to decorate the nursery.  I’ve been saving all of my inspiration images to my Pinterest page, but I wanted to write up a blog post as well since this way I get to really describe it all.  Did I mention I’m supposed to be writing a research paper right now?

The following image from here is my favorite in terms of colors to use in the nursery.  I just love that shade of green.  So I’m thinking I’d like to have a mainly white/neutral colored room with this pale green as an accent color, and possibly some pale pink as well.

Here is an inspiration image from Pottery Barn Kids that shows the neutral look I like.  We have a dark wood crib like this, and I think it looks nice in the neutral room with other white furniture.  The white slip-covered chair looks lovely as well, and I am planning to have a white chair as well, which I will describe in a bit.

Here’s another example of a pretty neutral colored nursery with a white slip-covered chair.  This one’s from Restoration Hardware.  Again, our crib is brown wood… but I could always paint it white if I felt like I really needed to.  But I like dark wood, so I’ll probably keep it like it is.  This one also illustrates how pretty it looks with all white furniture in the room.  Very calm and sweet and lovely I think.

The next picture shows some curtains that I like – goes with the green accent color idea.  And also shows some white built-ins that I’d like to possibly do as well.  This picture is from a blog, Centsational Girl, and those are her notes about painting the back of the cabinets and chairs – not mine.

Now, speaking of built-ins, those in the picture above were created using Ikea bookcases, and attaching them to the walls and adding trim and molding to make them look like built-ins.  I love that idea!  So, what I would like to do is to create some sort of similar built-in look on either side of the window with a DIY built-in window seat in between them, sort of like this, which I found here:

Isn’t that just lovely?  And functional!  Fun seating plus lots of storage!

And, people have used Ikea furniture to create window seats, too!  Here’s someone who made a DIY window seat using a cheap Ikea shelving unit, turned on its side, and created a cushion to go on top:

Pretty cute and simple!  Ikea sells inserts for this that you can use to change the box openings into cabinets with doors or double drawers.

And here‘s one more example of someone who used a slightly different set of Ikea shelves for the same idea, except they also added legs to theirs:

I am considering painting my barrister bookshelves white and putting them in the nursery, although if we did the built-ins on either side of the window, then that would be shelving over-kill.  So in that case I might still paint them white but put them in the sunroom or office or something instead… or maybe even the dining room, and put glasses and stuff in them?  Possibilities…  Anyway, wouldn’t they look pretty painted white?  Here’s a picture of some similar to mine, found here:

Finley Home Bradshaw 4 Tier Barrister Bookcase - Creamy White modern bookcases cabinets and computer armoires
I also would like to do some closet organization system as well, to make it more functional.  Functional closets are great.  Here‘s an inspiration image that I like a lot.  This closet just looks so neat and organized, which is what I like.  Plus this has the dark wood crib again, and it looks lovely.
And here‘s one more nicely organized closet:
Of course it helps to have all your clothes in the same colors!  Ha!  But still, even with multi-colored clothes, I can see how this could be great.  I could have labeled bins with clothes for all different size ranges to keep them organized.
And, finally, the white slip-covered chair!  My mom has a brown corduroy chair that I really not pretty at all.  It’s a big comfy easy chair that rocks and swivels, and has a matching foot stool, but it is ugly.  (Brown corduroy).  BUT, I came up with the idea of re-covering it!  We’ve had this chair in our family as long as I can remember, and it’s always been sooooo comfortable, so I asked my mom if I could have it, and she said yes!  So I plan to create a white slip-cover for the chair and ottoman, and put it in the nursery.  Plus if it’s slip-covered then hopefully I can just take the cover off and throw it in the laundry if it gets dirty!
I found some tutorials online about how to slip cover chairs, and it doesn’t look too hard.  Here‘s a picture of one that is sort of similar to how mine would look:
And another from here:
And, here‘s a tutorial I found on how to do it, and they used an inexpensive painter’s drop cloth!  What a neat idea!  Here’s a picture of the chair that they slip-covered using the painter’s drop cloth:
Pretty fantastic, huh?
I don’t think I’d bother trying to make pleats.  I think I’d like to keep it simple, and that seems complicated.  But I’m excited about doing this!
So that’s my plans for the nursery right now.  One other thing I’m loving is this super fluffy flokati rug from Ikea.  So soft!  Would be nice in the center of the room.  The picture of it doesn’t look very pretty, but just imagine the lush softness under your feet!
Well, that’s it for now.  We just need to get this house so I can start decorating!!

Well, I think we have found our dream house.  We LOVE it.  It’s a fantastic house.  Bryan and I agreed it’s the most awesome house we’ve seen in the entire year that we’ve been looking at houses – and it’s IN OUR PRICE RANGE, which is a miracle.

BUT.  The reason it’s in our price range is because it’s a short sale.  Meaning, a potentially long, difficult, and stressful sale that may take a long time, and we may not know for a long time if the bank will accept our offer, even though we offered the asking price.

So we can use all the good thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes toward us getting this house, as soon as possible preferably.

The house is everything we wanted.  It’s in Fuquay-Varina, but seeing this house makes me not care about living way out in the country.  It’s beautiful.  I really hope we get it.

Here she is! This is the MLS photo - this morning when I saw the house in person the weather was grey and overcast so you'll see a definite difference in the pictures that I grabbed from the MLS listing versus the ones I took this morning with my iPhone. Plus the house was furnished in the MLS photos, and now it is vacant. Good to see the comparisons though I think.

Here she is, taken with my iPhone this morning. Still a pretty house, even on an overcast morning.

Nice little front porch area that wraps around the side of the house a bit.

Left side yard of house

Right side yard of house

Looking down the street to the left

View from front of house - the house is right at an intersection in the neighborhood. Probably not ideal, but... we love the house anyway. And there's nice sidewalks along the road so still safe to go for walks and ride a bike and whatever.

Foyer entryway. Pretty stairs! Hall coat closet under the stairs.

Dining room - when you walk into the house, the dining room is immediately on your right, open to the foyer

dining room

Family room!! Check out this awesomely open floor plan! You can see to the right the dining room, and to the left, the gas fireplace (which is TWO SIDED, open to both the kitchen and the family room!!)

The small hallway between the family room and dining room leads to the left to the kitchen and half bath, and on the right where you can see the edge of our agent is the hall closet.

Here's a picture standing in front of the hall closet, looking down the hall toward the half bath with the dining room on the right

Half bath

Standing in half bath looking back down towards hall closet

hall coat closet - not the biggest closet, but it's ok

The family room

View from family room towards kitchen

View of the other side of the fireplace - from kitchen looking into family room

View of family room with fireplace on left side, you can see the doorway with the hall coat closet door leading to the entry foyer

The KITCHEN!!! 🙂

Left side of kitchen

Right side of kitchen

View from eat-in kitchen looking towards sun room!

Sun room! On the right side of the sun room are the doors leading out to the patio and back yard

Sun room now - vacant

Looking from kitchen to doorway that leads to garage. Through that doorway is the laundry room on the right, the pantry on the left, and the garage straight ahead. Pretty transom above the door!

Laundry room

Big pantry! Probably 3-4 times larger than the one we have now!

2-car garage - has some room on either side where we could store things and add some kind of shelving or something probably

Garage, looking back towards inside house

Now we're upstairs. Looking out over the foyer from the landing at the top of the stairs

Looking down to the foyer

Standing in upstairs hallway, looking back towards stairs, master bedroom door is on the right

Master bedroom

Door to master bathroom

View from master bedroom windows

Bathroom door on left, door to hallway on right

Master bathroom - notice the vaulted up ceiling! Fancy! Immediately to left is shower, then tub, then toilet. On the right is closet then dual sink vanity

Really nice size walk-in closet - currently totally under-utilized by a lack of efficient shelving, but with a closet renovation and added shelving, this closet would probably hold twice the capacity of our current master closet

Back in the hallway at the top of the stairs. The doorway on the left is to the master bedroom. Farther down the hall on the right is the nursery. Next to the nursery is the guest bathroom. Immediately across from the bathroom is the linen closet. The door you can see at the end of the hall goes to the office/guest room (bonus room), and if you turn left at the end of the hall, that leads to Talan's room.

The nursery as the previous home-owners had it set up

The nursery, vacant

Closet in the nursery - the only closet that isn't a walk-in. Still a pretty decent size though.

Guest bathroom

Nice counter space

Linen closet across from guest bathroom

Another hallway view: linen closet on left, bathroom on right, office straight ahead, Talan's room to the left down the small hall

The office/guest room as it was set up with the previous owners

Office/guest room, vacant

To the left as soon as you enter the office/guest room, the door on the left to the closet

Walk-in closet in office/guest room

Office/guest room as it was furnished by previous owners

These little "bonus" storage places are weird and I don't know what we would store in them because the eves are open to the elements - see the sunshine coming through the cracks under the eves? What could you store in a small space like this that you wouldn't mind being exposed to hot, cold, moisture, and possibly animals?? Nothing I can think of. Apparently the previous owners thought books were good to store in here.

View looking back towards entrance to room(s)

View from the windows in office/guest room looking out at neighborhood

Talan's room, basically across the hall from the office/guest room

Talan's room as it was furnished by previous owners

Talan's walk-in closet

Access to attic in Talan's room

Area of attic with flooring is approximately the same size as our attic now, so we could basically store holiday decorations up there.

View out the windows of Talan's room

Here's a view of the green space behind the house - basically where our yard ends, it drops down into a woodsy area with a ravine below. Not sure how far back our property line goes, but we know there won't be any development right in our backyard due to the drop off and the ravine below. Unfortunately beyond that they'll probably cut the trees down and put in more houses. But in the meantime our plan would probably be to plant more trees along our yard to define our property and provide some privacy.

Back yard

Back of house

What the yard actually looks like now - it's clearly been neglected!

Back of the yard - you can sort of see how it drops down on the left. The neighbor's fence is in the back of this photo.

Back yard - sun room poking out there on the right of this photo

Area to the right side of the sun room (those three windows go to the family room)

To the left of the sunroom is the patio. We'd want to expand it eventually, possibly put in a nice deck instead. Eventually 🙂 You can also see the 2 air conditioning units on the side of the house - one for upstairs, one for downstairs. Nice!

View of side yard looking back towards the street. There's a police car parked out there - looks like maybe the next door neighbor is a cop since the car was parked out there the whole time.

So, there you have it!  The longest post with the most pictures EVER!  We love this house.  I can’t imagine a better house.  Our agent submitted our offer today, so now we wait…  I really hope we hear something soon.  But with short sales, you just never know.  I’ve heard they can take a long time, so Bryan and I are prepared to put most of the rest of our stuff into a storage unit, and rent a 2-bedroom apartment month-to-month while we wait.  But I hope a miracle happens, and the bank accepts our offer, and some how we can close in a month, and we won’t have to do that.

We had our 18 1/2 week ultrasound this morning, and found out we are having a girl 🙂

Here is the progression of ultrasound pictures we’ve gotten.

At 8 1/2 weeks we got the first ultrasound to basically confirm that I was indeed pregnant:

Then at 12 weeks we had another ultrasound done because they hadn’t been able to detect a heartbeat with the doppler and they wanted to be sure everything was OK.  And everything was ok!

Here’s a little illustration of how the baby is sort of looking at those stages – this shows what a baby looks like around 5 weeks, 8 weeks, and 13 weeks:

So then today we had our (probably last) ultrasound where they make sure everything is developing normally – they could see the heart beating and the spinal cord was developed, and the brain was developing.  She said our baby is about 10 inches long now, if stretched from head to toes!  Here’s an illustration of 18 weeks along:

We were able to see a profile of the baby:

And here she is waving her hand at us (we were able to count 5 fingers!):

And we could see her feet moving around, here’s a shot of a foot:

So they said she looks good!  Everything looks good.  And I’m happy to find out it’s a girl!  So now we can start thinking about names!

Here we are outside of the birth center, documenting this occasion:

And a profile shot.  Some days I look more pregnant than others, and today seems to be one of the less-pregnant looking days.  At least so far… usually by the end of the day my stomach seems to be bigger than it is in the mornings.

These are my new maternity jeans from Old Navy, and I really like them!  They are SO much more comfortable for me than the first pair I had.  The first pair had a stretchy panel that came up over my whole stomach, and it just made me feel so sick having that pressure of fabric pressing on my stomach all the time!  So these jeans just come up to the normal height, and they have a stretchy elastic waistband, which feels so much better.  Yay!

And a big YAY for getting to buy little girl clothes now!!!!!! 😀

First off, here’s how I’m looking today at 18 1/2 weeks.  I don’t look too big, I think because my shirt was puffy so it didn’t show much:

Today I looked at another house.  This house is a definite possibility.  The main drawback of this house is its location.  It’s in the heart of Fuquay-Varina!  Way further out in the country than we had ever wanted to go.  Not that it’s in the country – it’s in the town of Fuquay.  But it’s far away from Raleigh.  It’s about 25 minutes from Cary.  About 10 minutes further away from civilization-as-we’ve-known-it than Holly Springs is.

On the other hand, the house is about 5 minutes from where I’m probably going to be working once I graduate.  It’s the town where Talan goes to school.  It’s also very close to Wake Tech (about 15 minutes) where Bryan is going to be teaching a couple of classes this summer and fall and probably after that, too, and there’s a good chance I might do my internship there next Spring.

The biggest factor involved here is price though: this house is affordable, and it is within our acceptable price range, whereas the house that was next to the playground is asking $20,000 more than this one, which puts it $20k outside of our price range, and therefore even if we liked that house better, we probably couldn’t afford it.

So here is the house!

House next door on the right

House next door to the left

Down the street to the left

Down the street to the right (I hate the way they went through and clear-cut all these neighborhoods. I miss the big tall pretty trees!!!!)

Right side of house

Left side of house

Really nice, big, flat backyard that needs a TON of help with grass and landscaping

View looking out from the patio

View looking to the right towards the neighbor's yard on that side

View looking to the left towards neighbor's yard that way

The small patio - we'd definitely want to improve upon this by expanding it or making it into a nice deck eventually

Here we are back to the front. Let's go on in.

The foyer is 2-stories tall. I'm standing in the kitchen taking this. The wide doorway on the right side of this picture goes to the living room.

Standing in the living room, here's the view of the stairs. Past the stairs you can see the doorway that leads to the kitchen and family room.

The flooring leading from the foyer into the kitchen

View from foyer looking towards kitchen and family room. The open door on the right of this picture leads into the 2-car garage

The half bath is located right off of the foyer, actually about where you'd expect the coat closet to be, interestingly

The coat closet - located approximately across from the door to the garage - it's on your left as you're walking from the foyer into the kitchen

The garage - it's definitely big enough for 2 cars but doesn't have a whole lot of extra room besides that - so not too much space for additional storage.

The kitchen

View from kitchen looking towards family room

In the kitchen looking into the family room, which is sunken down one step below the kitchen for some reason

Wood burning fireplace - maybe we could convert it to gas

The kitchen's really about the same size as our current kitchen, and the pantry is about the same size as well

Dining room

Looking from dining room into the living room - we're thinking we'd probably put my desk in there along with a couch that folds out into a bed for additional guest space

Top of the stairs, looking towards master bedroom

Laundry room - located immediately to the left at the top of the stairs

The closet in the laundry room

The master bedroom is probably about the same size as our current bedroom

master bathroom

Pretty good sized walk-in closet through the master bath

Standing in master bedroom looking down the hallway - the laundry room is the first door on the left, stairs on the right. Top of stairs on the right is a linen closet

Looking down at the foyer from outside

The linen closet at the top of the stairs

The guest bathroom

One of the bedrooms

Decent sized walk-in closet

Really really tall vaulted ceilings in these 3 bedrooms - no ceiling fans in any of the bedrooms

Second bedroom

This bedroom also has a nice sized walk-in closet

The third bedroom - this is the largest and would be Bryan's office plus a guest room

Decent sized closet but not a walk-in, but it's fine for the office/guest room

View of the vaulted ceilings

So here I'm standing in the pink bedroom. The bathroom is immediately to the left. The purple room is straight ahead on the right, and the blue room (office) is straight ahead. Obviously these are the stairs leading up to the attic.

Not much attic space due to all the vaulted ceilings - it's probably about the same amount of storage space as we have currently in the townhouse attic - enough to put the Christmas tree and some boxes of holiday decorations and stuff. Not much else though.

So there you have it.

What do you think?  Bryan and I are undecided.  The house is big.  We can afford it.  It has a lot of potential to be fixed up really nice with re-painting, new carpet and new flooring, better furnishings obviously, and lots of landscaping in the yard.

Our main hesitation is the location in Fuquay-Varina which is just so foreign to where we’ve been living in Raleigh.  Sooooo different.  It would be culture shock for sure.

We went and looked at another house today.  We had planned to look at two houses today, but the first one apparently just went under contract and so they withdrew it from showings this morning.  So, we just looked at this one.  And unfortunately it’s not really going to work out for us.  But here it is anyway:

Here she is - pretty looking house with nice little front porch. Only 1-car garage though.

Looking a little to the right of the house

Looking to the left of the house down the street - it's a side street, not a main street, which means it's short and has a culdesac, which is nice. The house down at the end of this street with the trashcan in front of the garage was the first house we ever looked at last year, and still remains a possibility although it's been withdrawn from the market and our agent has had no luck contacting anyone about it.

Entryway - front entry door is the door on the right. I'm standing in the living room, looking towards dining room, where Bryan is coming from.

Dining room

Standing in dining room, looking out, to the left takes you either out the front door or straight into the living room. To the right is a small hall with the half bath on its left and stairs on the right with a coat closet, leading into the kitchen.

Looking down the small hall into the kitchen: half bath is on left, stairs on the right, with coat closet next to the stairs

Now we're looking into the living room. I'm standing by the front door. It's nice enough. Kind of an odd shape - long and narrow.

Another shot of living room, looking towards kitchen and you can see the doors leading outside to the back deck and back yard

Another view of living room - I should have taken a shot from the kitchen side looking back towards the front of the house, but I didn't think to do that.

Gas fireplace is always a nice feature

Standing in kitchen, looking back towards living room

Standing in living room, looking into kitchen - it's a decent kitchen. Not very big though.

Talk about a steep backyard! This one apparently someone terraced it at some point, but it's really over-grown and it is a mess.

Pretty nice sized deck

One car garage - the door to the garage is through the kitchen

Going upstairs now

Getting to top of stairs - immediately ahead is the laundry closet which has curtains instead of doors. The door back to the right is the master bedroom. To the left past the laundry is a bedroom with clouds in it.

Taking a peak behind the curtain at the washer and dryer

Small, shallow linen closet directly across from laundry closet

And here is the small bedroom with clouds in it. View of the left side of the room with the tiny bed

View of room from the doorway

View of right side of room - closet is right behind the door into the room.

SMALL CLOSET!!

Master bedroom - probably about the same size as the bedroom we currently have in the townhouse. Decent. No "extra" space though for sure.

Master bedroom closet - Nice size. Probably about the same as the one we have now though in terms of size/storage capacity.

Standing in closet, another view of master bedroom

Master bathroom. Oh dear. Small. Small. Small. Only one sink.

Things are going downhill from here. No separate tub and shower either - not that I really care, but it's much better for re-sale to have the separate tub and shower along with TWO sinks in the master. (I DO care about the 2 sinks.)

Standing in master bedroom looking out, to the left is the guest bathroom, followed by a small bedroom, and at the end of the hall is the fourth bedroom.

Guest bathroom. Small.

Guest bathroom.

Here we have another small "bedroom." Although according to the agent showing us this house, this room actually cannot technically be counted as a bedroom. Why you ask? .....

More of the small "bedroom"

More of the small "bedroom." Notice anything missing? Hmmm. There's no closet. That makes this NOT functional in my opinion. And remember, the other cloudy bedroom was also small and had a very SMALL closet so it's not like you can make up for the lack of storage in other rooms.

Here we go into the final fourth bedroom - which I would call the "bonus" since it's over the garage. But it's not very big either.

this is definitely the largest of the 3 secondary bedrooms, but I definitely would not call it "large." If this was our house, this would have to be the office/guest room. The cloud room would probably be Talan's, and the daybed room would be the nursery. I mean, I guess, really you don't need a closet in a nursery. The problem is that we just need closets period - because we have a lot of stuff.

And here is the closet in the largest of the secondary bedrooms. NOT VERY BIG. So there you have it.

I mean, I guess there’s always the possibility of investing in more storage furniture pieces – shelving, dressers, etc.  But just for re-sale alone, the extreme lack of closet space in this house is a big concern to me, and pretty much makes it NOT an option at all.

The downstairs is nice enough.  But the small bedrooms with little to no closet space just really does me in.  Why would someone even build a house with so little closet space?!  Bizarre.

I am really hoping and praying that the right house for us is going to come on the market any day now.  Like, maybe Tuesday night it will come on the market, we can go look at it Wednesday, and make an offer that day.  That would be ideal.  Because our agent is out of town for a funeral this weekend in Seattle, and is going to get back in town on Tuesday.  And it would be really tricky to write an offer without her here!

So what I’d like to see happen is this: our perfect house gets listed on Tuesday evening.  It’s a fantastic price.  We look on Wednesday and snatch it up before anyone else gets a chance.