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A Home Enthusiast was Born

January 28, 2022

January has become a natural time of reflection for me, I’m sure that’s true for many of you out there. During this time, I’ve felt more and more compelled to write and share in a way that wasn’t overbearing or in your face like so many of the social media crazes are these days (tik tok I’m looking at you). So here is my attempt at sharing in a ‘come as you please’ sort of way – by starting a blog. I do keep wondering if blogs are almost archaic, or maybe just delightfully retro? I’ll choose the latter for now.

This blog will highlight my organizing business and all the unshared nuggets of wisdom from my experience, but I am also going to be sharing a lot of my personal life in a way I have never done before. I’m not sure why I’m more comfortable opening up now, maybe it’s the fact that in my almost mid-forties I realize that everyone is more similar than we are different and being vulnerable is not opening yourself up to judgement but opening yourself up to receiving more love and acceptance.

One thing I will be sharing a lot about is how I try to make our home more comfortable for our family. You see, we own a very old and outdated home. It is and has always been what I consider a disaster. When we bought the house, it had a huge hole in the roof and a large portion of the ceiling was on the living area floor. The exterior was a confusing and horrifying mix of mustard yellow, brown and pink brick. The kitchen was complete with original cabinetry from the 1960’s AND original Westinghouse stove and cook top (I know these are having a revival amongst the MCM lovers but until you try to keep temp in a stove that is 60 plus years old – don’t judge me too harshly) and if you don’t make mention of the yellow tile countertops and I will appreciate you forever.

The list of downfalls to this home is long, so why in the world would I be so ecstatic to live here? One word, location. This mess of a house is in a sleepy old neighborhood high atop a bluff and below us, as far as the eye can see is the Washington Salish Sea and the Olympic Peninsula. When I look out the windows, I only think in cliches: beyond dreamy, heaven sent, into the mystic…it really inspires the tritest of song verses and I can’t even be mad. It is what it is – lol.

The sun setting with clouds over water.
A recent sunset from the bluff house

When we moved in, we painted the exterior gray on gray and that was it, the one and only upgrade (We did patch the hole in the roof and ceiling but I’m not counting that as an upgrade, only an essential task). The plan was that we would live in the house as-is and then tear it down to build our dream house. It’s a great plan, and it was going well until the rebuilding kept getting pushed farther and farther to the back burner. The old house in the great location was fine for years and years while we travelled (Europe, Mexico, the DR, Belize, Hawaii, Alaska, Costa Rica, Adventure was ours!), bought a boat, restored said boat, got married (finally!), had a baby, bought another boat, and started a business. Life moved and the old bluff house did not.

Suddenly though, life stopped moving. For everyone. March 2020 life stopped going forward and we were stuck at home. I was stuck in the old and ugly Bluff house, with nothing to look at but cheap wood paneling and peel & stick tile floors.

The first thing to go was the wood paneling. MCM purists may feel pangs of rage reading that I painted over the oppressive paneling, but I assure you that this house was never what anyone would call a custom or luxury home and the existing paneling the builders installed was cheap, as cheap as possible. I was giddy at the first paint stroke and finished in under two days.

The living area of a home, with newly painted walls.
The morning after the first coat of primer

It was amazing to live in a space that wasn’t screaming its ugliness at me every time I looked around and I couldn’t wait to see what else I could improve upon so easily.

And just like that, a home enthusiast was born.

Be sure to follow along as I continue my pandemic home upgrade saga, with all the failures and all the highlights!

XOXO - Jamie

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