Lately I’ve been posting lots of photos on Facebook of some reno work we’re doing in the new (old) house. A lot of friends have messaged me with style ideas, suggestions for improvements, or with remarks about how great it’s going to look when we’re done.
I’m here to clear things up – it’s really not going to look that great when we’re done!
While I would love to have a kitchen straight outta the “farmhouse decor” search results on Pinterest, that’s not going to happen. The changes we’re making are done to maximize function and frugality.
Our new place is ancient, in poor repair and needed some quick and dirty fixes to make it more liveable for five people. We don’t have the extra cash to create something lovely.
We made the decision to upend our life and live more authentically. We wanted to raise our kids somewhere where they could go run in the woods and on the beach – right in the backyard. Where Keith could be his own boss and build and create at will.
The trade-off for this lovely new life (and we love it so, so hard) is a massive decrease in income – six figures a year less. Yes, our mortgage is much lower here, but many other costs (home insurance, property tax, groceries, gas, income tax) are the same or more. And the kids still need braces and school supplies and the usual kid stuff.
So the fridge doesn’t match the stove. The cabinets won’t be redone for years (if ever). The ugly green countertops are here to stay. The pantry is being built with cast off shelves and old wooden doors. The island was reclaimed from the barn and touched up with paint and polyurethane.
We just don’t have the cash to build a business, live and spend the coin needed to make this place lovely. Luckily, we love it so much that it’s lovely to us anyway.