Friday, May 25, 2012

Why we hate to love our house

I hate to love our house. I also love to hate the house. Flip flop, flip flop. Snip snap, snip snap.

It's both good and bad (like life). The reason we hate to love the house is because parts are so wonderful while other parts are so terrible. Sounds familiar? Oh probably because this could apply to any anyone. Who hasn't liked and disliked where they live?

Everyone can relate: If you've ever lived in a college dorm or rented an apartment. If you're middle, or upper middle, or lower upper middle, or middle lower class, or anyone who's married to someone in grad school, anyone who's in their 20's still finding what they want to do in life, anyone who's working to pay off those student loans/debt/car/etc nonsense, if you've in a fixer upper, or anyone who's living in an apartment, or house, or their parents house, or with a roommate, or sibling, or anyone who's ever been in any of those circumstances. Anyone. Anyone can be president.

Not that we expect to live in perfect conditions with zero problems. Some problems are minor, others are bigger. Some things are just pretty nice about our place, others are superb. Some things we can change and others we just have to live with since we're renters. Onward to photos.

Yikes. what a great 1st photo Robin! Ants. We have them, you may too. The house is old and we have original windows with cracks and crevices where they enter (see below). We get ants in a lot of places except the kitchen. We find them in our office and in one of the bathrooms. You'd think the ants would be smarter! We use this and it works great! Hate the ants, hate the old parts of the house that let ants in.

We have a brand new dishwasher. Yay! Love this. Remember when we moved it and it was full of mold? Boo Hiss. Hated that. Good thing is that now it works pretty well and we're grateful for that.

The house architecture. Most parts are just so easy to love. Seriously the house has some great pretty parts about it. See those super high ceilings? We have seriously amazing designed hardwood floors, some hardwood is original (not shown), some is new. Actually one room with original hardwood is poorly patched and pieces chip away (yikes). The paint in the house is nice; not plain boring white or crazy colors either. There is big, chunky, bright white crown molding, baseboards, & even a thick chair rail in the hallway & living room. We have decorative trim around the windows and doorways. Our doorknobs are those antique class and brass plate ones you see at Anthropologie. We even have a working skeleton key for them (ahem.. sometimes works, noIdidn'tlockTonyinaroom).

Love to hate the foyer really. It's easy to love and hate this area. There is a beautiful new chandelier hanging, but it's not wired to anything (we think!). Also there's a porch light. Also not hooked up. So as beautiful as this is - not so pretty in pitch blackness at night. The vent must go to nothing since it's always stifling hot in the summer and freezing in the winter.

Last thing to brag about - the fireplace. Oh but it's a love hate as well. Love: so pretty! Beautiful new black marble, antique mantle, new gas fireplace installed (not shown). Hate: no good chimney cap (we get hail in our living room sometimes) and it actually sucks heat from the house - hence the white foam board covering the opening. If we use fireplace in the winter it actually make the living room colder. Pointless.

The kitchen. We love the kitchen. It's just so darn nice. We are the first renters to live in the house since the big renovations. The kitchen is entirely brand new (we think) with very nice amenities. Top quality cabinets, lots of cabinets, decorative cabinets, brand new stainless steel appliances, amazing granite counter top, nice new hardwood floor, accent lighting & huge pantry. We have a very cool antique brick accent wall (old fireplace?) and an eat in area with bar off to the side by the back door. We have a fancy faucet (installed 99% correctly) and a neat custom tile backsplash. Nothing about this says 'renter kitchen' or 'builder basic'. Jealous? I am and I live here (wish I owned it).

It's just so hard to hate this beautiful kitchen. We even have a window in the kitchen - and it opens (see below)! One thing to hate: they used the wrong grout on the backsplash tiles so it's slowly crumbling off.

The windows. A big reason I love to hate the house. The house is old, the windows are original. Ours are at least - the upstairs neighbors got all new windows replaced in their apartment. With screens! Jealous.

We have 10 windows in our apartment. Yes that's a lot - a reason to hate to love the apartment! Two of them are tall brand new non opening windows. They're great - see below for plant lovin. With the remaining 8 windows only 2 open. Yes the remaining 6 are painted/sealed and/or nailed shut. Talk about fire hazard. We've checked and yes this is a code violation. We've complained and griped. It is what it is right now. We've tried to open them ourselves but I can only do so much with lead painted shut windows inside and out. Oh and all the windows are so tall (hate to love tall windows) than I can't find blinds that fit them without custom ordering; not happening. I hate to hate the windows.

The basement. We love to hate the basement. If it were up to us we'd lock up the basement and never go down there again - if it weren't for the washer/dryer jerry rigged system that is laundry. It's got mold, has a low ceiling, is gross, and oh it's gross. Maintenance workers come and work on it every once in a while but it's still gross. Those workers always come unannounced on a Saturday morning - seriously?! Oh and we use the pit of a basement for the kitty's litter box. That is the only upside of the basement. I hate to love the basement as well.

Our washer drains to our sump pump (what??) and our dryer vents to the utility back basement room. If you've notice I haven't blogged in a while it's probably because we died in a house fire. Almost not kidding

I love that we have a big window in the back of our kitchen that lets in a ton of light. We have this ledge/bar table (type thing (that used to be the original flooring we thinks)) that is huge. We can grow lots of plants in the area. It's where we take a lot of the blog photos since it always gets the best light. The windows are tall and wrap around so it gets morning and evening light. The windows even come down low to the floor so it's perfect for kitty to sit and watch the birds. It's easy to love.

Last reason we love to hate the house: the neighbors. No hard feelings but they live upstairs which is a separate apartment and the floor/ceiling is THIN. So thin. If people are upstairs and they're talking at a normal to loud tone and we're being quiet, we can hear them. If they're walking around in dress shoes or heels we can hear them. If they throw a party we can hear them. If they run their dishwasher, washing machine, or garbage disposal and we're quiet we can hear it. If they cheer loudly at the TV we can hear them.

Things have gotten much better since we both moved in this past summer. They no longer throw parties and we're all cool. They have all hardwood floors too and apparently no rugs. In reality they're pretty quiet and don't talk/hang around/play music at all (anymore). While things are great now we worry about what will happen if they move out and we get new neighbors. What if those people are homebodies, have a big sound system, loud dog, or even a baby?

What's your favorite or least favorite part of your place?

I haven't even touched on lots of other good and bad parts of the house - yard, location, the roof, our parking situation, bedrooms, bathrooms & more!


  1. Your apartment is amazing! In my townhouse, I hate the lack of storage and the foyer. It's cramped and dark. We have a light, but it doesn't actually light anything up. A little like your chandelier, but different!

    1. Oh I didn't even get into the storage at our place - pretty decent for an old home. And well we have even more lighting issues than described! Happy Friday!

  2. I love to love my house, which means I hate to hate it. And I do hate it sometimes. The bizzaro track lighting in the bathroom, the grout coming out of our (extensively) tiled floor, the windows that don't open (only windows on the south and east side of the house budge), and the AC vent in the living room that makes a TON of racket but seems to not put out any air whatsoever.

    So, I guess what I'm saying, is that I'm totally on board with you on this. Since we're renting, it's hard to justify sinking lots of money into fixing these problems... the good news is that other minor (cheaper) stuff has been fixed and it really is quite a wonderful place to live.

  3. I do love your kitchen! Monika.


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