How We Fell for Our Home

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Hooray, February is here. This is the month of love (and chocolate!!! But, I digress.)

I have a funny story to tell you about our home. We actually fell in love with our house before we owned it.

This story starts during a torrential downpour in 2001. We were driving around with our realtor looking at homes in Raleigh. The rainstorm turned ugly and our realtor pulled into the first neighborhood he could find. As he drove carefully down the tree lined streets, we saw a For Sale sign ahead.  As we drove closer, we saw a handsome two story home on a hill.

The landscaping was well manicured and there was an adorable little side porch.

Our realtor called the office to find out the details on the home. It turns out that the owners were asking 5K over our maximum search. The interior was equally well cared for, so the next day we put an offer on the house and moved in within 2 months.

We didn’t realize how lucky we were to have found this house on a perfect little cul-de-sac. As the months progressed, we got to know all our neighbors on the street. Each and every one of them were warm and welcoming and oozed southern charm.

As the years went by we welcomed our first son into our house and then a second.

The home office, that we had renovated and installed built-in cabinets and a window seat into, became the nursery.

Feeling the pinch of squeezing all four of us, a dog and a home business into a three bedroom house, we began to look at other homes in the neighborhood, but dreaded having to move away from our location (did I mention how much we love our street?)

None of the other houses lived up to our picky needs (again, loved our street!)

Pretty Handsome Guy and I talked between ourselves about the one house on the street that we would love to live in. It was the charming dutch colonial house across the street.

He said, “Heaven forbid that our neighbors would ever move, but if they did we’d have to buy their house.”

And one day that is exactly what happened. It was such a bittersweet moment because we really adored our neighbors and their children. And we didn’t want them to move away. But, we basically said, “Tell us how much you want for your house.”

Three months later, we literally backed out of our old driveway and straight into our new one! (Sadly we didn’t win the Guiness Book’s shortest move on record.)

Our new home needed some updating and a little TLC, but we still loved it! It fits our style (old, casual, comfortable.)

We have slowly transformed one room at a time to fit our personality and allow us to “love” the inside of our house as much as we love the outside.

Office Before

Office After

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Guest Room Before

Living Room After

This month I’ll be sharing some ideas for turning your house into your dream home. Plus, I have a special giveaway announcement as well. But, you’ll just have to be patient.

I hope you’ll come back for some a-moré.
40 replies
  1. Courtney {a thoughtful place}
    Courtney {a thoughtful place} says:

    I love this story. I am picturing you carrying armfuls of things across the street. Both such beautiful homes. I love watching you make it your own.

    [email protected] TALES FEATS says:

    Great story. You have a great sense of style . I love you taste. When we moved into our current home, it was just across a small field. I hated moving even that far, but will probably move once more into our retirement home.

  3. Amanda@The Hand Me Down House
    [email protected] Hand Me Down House says:

    I love your story, Brittany! Both your homes are ADORABLE — love the character and charm they both have! And the updates you guys have made are just perfect! Can't wait to see more!!

  4. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    Thank you for sharing both your beautiful story and your beautiful home. Isn't it fun watching our houses become our homes as we lovingly add our own personal touches?

  5. EFY
    EFY says:

    I am here from Today's Creative Blog…I love what I see. We are in the middle of "Falling in Love with our Home." As I type, I have a master bath that is fully gutted with new tile. There's also a large hole in the wall overlooking the steps… Always a process. I'm getting your blog via email, now.


  6. Hana
    Hana says:

    I too have found your blog through Today's Creative Blog and I am sooooo impressed. I feel like I found a kindred spirit. I am always in a middle of some project. Right now I am refinishing a table, painting a room, and sewing some curtains.
    I can't wait to read more and get some inspirations! Thanks.

  7. Paige (Final Clothes-Out)
    Paige (Final Clothes-Out) says:

    That's seriously adorable. We're stuck living in a condo we can't sell (thanks to the market for crashing and burning!) but I'm finally starting to love it. It's a grudging sort of love, but it's there.

    Can't wait to see your ideas for loving a house more!

  8. Mamma Llamma
    Mamma Llamma says:

    So glad I found your blog through Today's Creative Blog! Holy toledo, your ideas and creativity amaze me! I can't wait to find more ideas to make my house more mine!! Thank you!

  9. Irina@CanDoGal
    [email protected] says:

    Oh, man that was a short move indeed. Sounds like both houses were meant to be. Our shortest move was going from a one-bedroom apartment to a 2 bedroom right around the corner. We borrowed the building's dolly and started wheeling our stuff over days earlier.

  10. Parnuuna
    Parnuuna says:

    Wow, You have really made something out of the rooms – I love the before and after pictures. 🙂
    And a sweet atory as well.
    Right now, I'm unfortunately not loving my home, because me and my boyfriend have a dream of moving to a house outside the city we live in now. But we're both studying, so it'll have to wait at least a year until we're finished..
    But I'll definitely be doing some handy work when the time comes. 🙂
    Awesome blog by the way – I also came from Today's creative blog. 🙂

  11. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    I got your link through Today's Creative Blog and I love it! It's inpsiring me to get going on some of the projects around the house I've been wanting to do! Love your story!

  12. Richella
    Richella says:

    "Fall in love with your home." What a great way to think of it!

    I love the story of how you found your house. And it's fun to read about how you're making it your own. Obviously you're doing a great job!

    Hope you're enjoying this week back at home with your fellows! 🙂

  13. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    Aww, that's great that y'all had such a short move! We did that in 2007 – we have an old 100+-year-old Victorian that was renovated (before we bought it) into a 6-plex; we lived there (with tenants) until the house next door came up for sale, then moved right next door and rented out the entire 6-plex.

    Our ultimate goal, once a big box of money falls from the sky, is to kick out all the tenants and fix up the original house into its original form, then use our current house (the original Mother-in-law house to the Victorian) as a guest house. Meanwhile, I am trying to "fall in love" with the tiny house we're currently in until that happens, so I'm getting lots of great ideas from your blog! Love it!

    Next big project: installing a half-bath in the closet under our stairs!

  14. Daisy
    Daisy says:

    wow wow wow – just found your blog today through "todayscreativeblog.net" – and your blog title says it all – you are soooo handy – and as Kim says, wish you were my neighbour ! thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Miranda
    Miranda says:

    I found your blog tonight through Today's Creative Blog and love your projects–esp the mousetrap note holder and the dandelion wall art. I saw pics of Topsail Beach in one post–is that Topsail Beach, NC? My parents lived in Jacksonville for over 30 years.

  16. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish
    Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says:

    Love this! When the hubby and I first got married we moved from my one bedroom apartment to the two bedroom that it shared a wall with! Literally walked in an out with handfuls of stuff!! I think both of your homes are just beautiful – and you know what it is all about location, location, location!

  17. laurie
    laurie says:

    What a great story to share! I hope that I am able to find a home that I/we love as easily as you did, but so far no luck. I love both of your homes but your current home is just to die for. I love everything about the curb appeal…it just tells us to “come on in”.

  18. Erika
    Erika says:

    4 years ago, after months of looking at horrible houses in my price range, my realtor showed the house that I now own on a whim. Since it was so out of my price range, my mom stopped me on the porch and said ‘don’t fall in love with it’. Six feet in the door, as I stood spellbound, she said ‘you’re in love with it, aren’t you’. It is a psuedo-storybook built in 1932 and had been in the same family since it was built. All the woodwork, tile, wood floors, picture rail, crown molding, and ceiling fixtures were original and in great shape, if dirty. Also original, unfortunately, was all the peeling and stained wallpaper, lead paint, decaying shades and drapes, overgrown yard, the detritus of three generations, and the chimney was falling down. A new, high efficiency furnance had been installed and was vented through the old chimney, causing a condensation problem and damage in the master closets. But I didn’t see any of that, all I could think of was how I was going to be able to afford it, if it was possible to do most of the humongous amount of work needed myself, and how amazing it would all look when it was done. After pulling and using every ace I could find, the house was mine for almost half what the owner was originally asking. Still working on it, four years later, but I still love it. 🙂

      • Erika
        Erika says:

        Thanks, Brittany! If I could figure out how to send pictures of the rooms I’m nearly complete on, I would. I just do a room at a time, and a bit of yard from time to time. I always say I’m on the 5-year plan with the inside and the 10-year plan with the outside, although I got side-tracked this year with the horrid heat, and doing stuff for other people. But I think I’m getting back on track; I’m painting the sewing/comptuer room closet (which was also damaged a little by the condensation) this weekend, and hoping I can get a little plaster patching done in the other two damaged closets soon, if the efflorescence is quite finished in there. 🙂
        I really like what you’ve done with your house, too. I’d kill for your laundry room; I have to use the icky basement.

  19. Judi
    Judi says:

    I am so in love with your “guest room after” quilt. I think quilts just add a certain charm. I doubt the quilt is still available from wherever you acquired it from?

  20. Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
    Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) says:


    Thank you so much for the compliment about my guest room quilt. I bought it in a quilt shop in Ashville, NC. That was years ago and they were all one-of-a-kind so the answer is most certainly that you can’t find one. However, it is a very simple block pattern that can be reproduced. 😉



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  5. […] Intro: A brief little story about how we fell in love with our home before we lived in it. […]

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