20-something miseries

The 4 Things We Did Before Moving In to Make Our House Feel Like a Home

At the end of March 2019, my husband and I bought an adorable house in a cute neighborhood within walking distance to the nearest Dairy Queen. It’s seriously perfect. But before we moved in, we took a month to prepare our house and make it our own, so that when we finally lived there, it wouldn’t just feel like a house, it would be our home. Here are the four things that went the furthest in terms of giving our house a homey vibe.

1. All the paint!

Before moving in, my husband and I painted every single room in our new house, except for the bathroom and the garage. Mostly this was because I am obsessed with color and couldn’t live with all the bland beiges and grays that were in most of the rooms when we bought the place, but it has gone a long way in making this house feel unique to us. This is definitely our house now, with the gloriously bright yellow kitchen, the bold orange accent wall in the office, and the soft green in the future nursery, picked out just a few weeks after finding out we were going to have a baby. The expense for paint can add up, but overall it’s a relatively cheap home improvement, and if you have the funds, I highly recommend painting before moving in.

2. Soft new carpet.

The carpet that came with our house was…fine, but not great. It was worn thin in a few places and definitely wasn’t overly soft. After looking at our budget and getting some cost estimates, we decided that our big moving expense would be brand new carpet. Tearing up the old stuff was a pain, and it ended up being more expensive than we’d hoped, but my husband and I both agree that this was one of the best decisions we’ve made as homeowners. We get compliments from literally everyone who comes to our house about how lovely and soft our carpet is. My grandma is actually looking at getting her carpet replaced now, because she was so jealous of ours! If you can afford it, this is an excellent way to make your house feel just a little more luxurious.

3. Updated baseboards.

This might sound silly, but replacing our baseboards made our house look 300% better. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. When we bought the house, it still had the original baseboards from when it was built in the 1960s, and over the last 60 years, they had gotten pretty beat up, not to mention they were much shorter and plainer than most modern baseboards. So we did our measuring and bought some new ones. This project was time-consuming, but unlike the carpet, it was relatively inexpensive. If you’re looking for a cheap way to spruce up your home, and the baseboards are looking rough, I highly recommend getting new ones.

4. One fun decoration.

My husband and I did our best not to buy anything for the house before we got all moved in. We wanted to unpack first, see what we really needed instead of just impulse-buying everything from Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market line. In general, I think this is good advice, but we did make one exception and I would recommend you do the same.

While wandering through the hallowed halls of our local Lowe’s, we stumbled upon a beautiful rug that was on clearance. My husband looked at me hopefully, and reminded me that we did in fact need a rug for our living room. I almost shut it down, reminded him that we weren’t buying anything pretty until we were moved in, but it was on clearance, and it was so cute…so I caved. We ended up matching our living room wall colors to the rug, and now it looks totally awesome. Plus, any time we started growing weary of all the home improvements, we could look at the rug leaning against the wall in the corner, and remember that soon this place would be a real home, with a kickass clearance rug. And now it is.

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