#favoritethings from our #firsthouse.

This post is just mostly for me.  We’ve put a lot into our first house.  And, our new house is not the same style at all.  Which is good.  I’m ready for a change.  And the new house will allow us to incorporate some pieces and spaces we couldn’t at our first house.  But, I wanted to walk down memory lane and take a little snapshot of some of my favorite things at Hadley.  Things that will be staying with the house; so, these things will no longer be ours.

#10 – The kitchen light. I have a thing with light fixtures, I guess.  I looked and looked for a good light fixture for our small, 1-light kitchen.  It took months, and then when I found it, it took another couple of months to pull the trigger because I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the money.  The kitchen light is the most expensive light fixture in our house.  But, I have to say, it was worth it.  I still love it every time I look at it.  I would have definitely taken it with us if I had anywhere to install it at the new house.  It really fits in with the Hadley house, and hopefully someone else will love it too.  (And, even though this is #10 on this list, it is my favorite light in the house … and these are in no real order …)


#9 – The final Dining Room light. I looked for a long time for this light.  I really wanted a big drum light, but it just wasn’t going to fit with the style/décor of the house.  So, I looked and looked and looked.  (I’m also someone who just can’t spend the money that some lights cost.  For real.  I mean, building a light fixture doesn’t cost that much money?  So, it cannot legitimately cost $750+ for that very basic, not real gold, probably plastic light.  I just can’t do it.)  So, I look and look and look and eventually, I find one.  And, it’s exactly what I want and perfect. 😊


#8 – Our original front door. It’s almost 100 years old.  It has imperfections and knicks and scratches and character.  And stripping it was one of the best decisions and projects I did at our first house.  (Although, not without it’s troubles … you can read all about that here, under Project #2.)


#7 – I guess … the white lilac bush out the side door. In fairness, I actually hate this bush.  But, when we moved in, it was horrible.  A dwindling, sad, 3 stick bush that got like, maybe, 5 flowers on it in a season?  I wanted to just cut it down. Patrick wanted to keep it.  We kept it.  And, I still don’t love it … but I do love what it represents.  We started taking care of the lawn.  We got rid of the weeds.  We fertilized and planted grass around it.  We cut the grass regularly.  And it grew.  It grew bigger, and new branches and trunks grew, and it flowered in big bushels.  It blossomed and bloomed, in all definitions of those words.  And, while I didn’t like the bush … once it survived and grew healthy … I loved seeing it because it always reminded me of how all of our work was paying off.


#6 – The dining room wallpaper. I found this well before we had a house. And, when we bought this house, it was too expensive to justify the purchase.  So, I just bought it and didn’t justify it.  And, you know what?  I still love that wallpaper.  And, so did the buyer, and her realtor, and our realtor.  And, I would use it again.  I am still happy with my decision to throw rationalization out the window and just buy the damn wallpaper because I loved it.  It was the right decision.


#5 – Our bathroom tiles. I seriously love this bathroom.  I would do it all over again at our new house.  I’ve looked.  I can’t find the tiles anymore.  I love the over-sized square and rectangle shapes.  I love the glossy finish (although, the black floor tiles do immediately show water spots … but when they are clean, they are swoon-worthy).  I love the colors – the shiny black floor with the not-quite-white shower tile color.  I just really like the whole room.  (Our contractors here were amazing; and although we picked every single design aspect, they did a stellar job bringing it all together.)


#4 – The shutters in the living room. Seriously, the previous owners had them sitting in a pile of filth in the basement, and in their place hung really horrible café curtains and valances.  We pulled them out, cleaned them up, and Patrick painted them with the sprayer … and they look amazing.  I love them.


#3 – The wavy window panes. The windows are all original to the house.  And, most of our windows face east, so we get morning sun … and these windows look amazing in it … waving those beams of sun on our stellar floors.


#2 – Our original hardwood floors. We bought the house with old, stained, blue carpet throughout the front LR, DR, and bedrooms.  We knew there was hardwood, but the overall condition was a mystery.  Pulling back that carpet was LITERALLY the first thing we did after closing.  And we hit the jackpot.  There were just a couple of areas we had to get repairs done, and we had it all refinished, but it was amazing.  Truly amazing, original, oak & pine hardwood floors.  (I hated that the previous owners hid them with the old carpet, and SO MANY other things they did to this house … but I have to thank them for protecting these floors from themselves over the years they lived there by always having that old blue carpet.)


#1 – And, finally … It’s perfect, manageable size, chock-full of character. It really was a great little house.  And, while it’s nice to have more space and live so much closer to work, I cannot say enough how perfect this house and community was for these 7 years of our lives.


Honorable mentions.

  • The original DR light. I love the new DR light so much more than the first DR light … but the 1st light was completely free. And we kept it up for 4+ years, so that was a win.  We bought the light and it came with one little panel broken.  I tried to return the item.  The company gave us a full refund, and said that if UPS did not return to pick up the package in 3 days, to dispose of it ourselves.  So, I packaged it up and set it out on the front porch.  UPS never picked it up.  And, the light was new (and free at this point) … so, we stuck a piece of electrical tape over the broken ½”x1½” window (black, and less noticeable), faced that towards the inside wall, and hung that light fixture up.   We pointed it out to a few people, but seriously, no one could have ever found it on their own.  Free light.


  • The kitchen faucet – almost the same story.  I couldn’t find a faucet I liked at all; so I resorted to ordering the ones I wanted from Amazon.  We received the biggest box ever.  I ordered 9 faucets, and they shipped all 9 faucets in 1 huge box.  It was ridiculous.  However, I did find one that I really liked.  But, after the counters, sink, and faucet were all installed, and water was flowing again, we noticed some play in the up and down movement of the faucet while the water pressure was on.  It wasn’t the most expensive faucet, but I just wasn’t sure if this would become an issue over time.  So, I tried to return this faucet and get a new one.  The company issued a full refund and said to dispose of the faucet ourselves.  WHAT??    So, I figured it might fail over time … but for now it was the best free faucet ever.  And, I really, really like the faucet … so we’ve kept it all this time and we barely notice it now.  Most people wouldn’t.  And it still works great and looks good.


  • The bi-fold doors on the back bedroom closet. This one took forever to do, but we should have done it much sooner.  The sliding doors were so horrible and fell off the tracks ALL THE TIME.  We finally replaced them, and of course, it did not go smoothly.  The opening was a weird size and I had to add trim pieces around the edges to make everything work – it was a bit of a fiasco.  Our new house has ALL sliding closet doors on ALL 7 of the 2-door closets.  Replacement may happen in the future …


  • The flowering vine.  The one that I had to rip down for the buyer because her inspector thought it was ivy.  It’s not.  I have no idea what it is … but it is hardy and it’ll grow back for sure.  It grows bigger every year and looks so pretty in September/October when it flowers.  I’m going to cut some and see if I can take it with me … but who knows if I’ll get it to grow.  (My landscaping skills are less than stellar.)  [Note, this never happened.  With the events of closing, by the time we got around to leaving for good, cutting a section of this plant and trying to regrow it was at the very bottom of my list; so it never happened.  It would have died anyway, let’s be honest.]

I don’t have a picture of it … and couldn’t find one in the old blog. 😦 

  • The built-in bookshelves in the master bedroom. These could have been better built.  I didn’t do that great of a job.  And, the paint job was not great either (the paint had gotten old, and sat in the winter cold … but I was lazy and didn’t feel like buying new, so I just used it).  But, once they were filled with books, etc, I *loved* the look.  And, then everything had a place and they opened up the room by not having anything sit on the floor over there.  I really liked the look and the shelves.


There are other things I could mention … like the cork flooring in the kitchen, or the huge, deep bathtub in the guest bathroom, or the front porch … but eventually I’d just be listing the whole house, so I’ll stop here.

We really liked the restoration and finish we ended up with at the Hadley house.  The whole thing really was fantastic (in our opinion).  🙂

[So, we patted ourselves on the back, and decided to try doing it again … because we’re nuts … and also we forget how much work it took us to get to this point at Hadley.  We should have re-read our own dang blog before we bought the new house. 😉 ]


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