Over the past few weeks our house went from this...
to this! Ta-da!
I am continually amazed at the power of paint. Last summer, when we had the interior of our house painted, I felt like we suddenly lived in a whole new house, one I liked a lot more than our "old" house. The house felt more like ours and I felt more myself in it.
Having the exterior painted has brought the same sense of transformation. Even though we made a surficial change it feels significant. Now someone's first impression of our home reflects colors and details (garage lights and modern address numbers*) that we like, and that feels good. Our home looks like we live there. I've spent an embarrassing amount of time at the corner across the street just staring at our house.
We also had our backyard block wall painted a bold orange. When the paint first went up I had a mini panic attack. "What was I thinking?" I thought, "Why didn't we just paint ONE wall orange, why all of them?!" Change is hard and orange is a big change.
It took me about two days and then I saw what my intuition had already known: the orange is awesome. It's bright and warm. It draws your eye outside and makes the succulents and vines pop. It's happy and unique and our yard feels like ours.
We still plan to paint a quote on the back wall in big, white text and I think we've decided on the phrase "Today is the day!" It captures the sentiment of not waiting to start something; there is no better time than now. It also means that we shouldn't wait for better times ahead; life is great right now. Designing and then painting the quote is on our summer to-do list (any mural painting tips for us?).
A few years ago, before we had kids, I remember having lots of conversations with Chris while we walked our dog Drew in the evening about our home and where we wanted to live "eventually." We knew that our house didn't feel like our ideal house with it's suburban sameness and so we thought that by the time I was 40 we would aim to be in a house we truly loved.
Then last year we decided to get serious about living debt free and the mortgage that comes with a $200,000 house was part of that equation. And so thought I could sacrifice my dream of living in my ideal house for the bigger goal of being debt free.
Do you know where this is going? It's straight from a children's book plot: with the most recent changes I'm starting to feel like maybe our current home could be our ideal home. Making our house look and feel the way we want is a big part of that, but so is the community we've found in our neighborhood and all the cool developments happening in Gilbert. There are still many things on my mega wish list for the house but as we cross each one off the list we might be turning this suburban sameness house into a home we truly love, and that feels really good.
*not pictured for privacy, but they are from ModernHouseNumbers.com