We moved into a brownstone the week after Christmas in 2013. It was a very crazy time even though we were only moving two blocks from our condo (on the same street). I had just started a new job in mid-October and had used up all of my PTO for Thanksgiving and Christmas so I left DH to supervise the movers and went off to work the morning of the move.
The house was built in 1871. It's about 5500 square feet (but I'm not sure I really trust that number so stay tuned as I double check our documents).
It's one story down at the garden level which we rent out as a single bedroom apartment plus four floors up, but the top floor is a "semi-finished" attic. The main residence is (I actually don't know how to categorize it) 4 beds and 3.5 baths. I mean "maybe" some of the other rooms could be bedrooms. You'll see as I describe each room.
I'm going to start with the interior and then add a new post for each room/area. It will likely take me a while to organize this post so bear with me as I edit!
Here is the front exterior from the listing:
This was how we came upon the front steps on the day of our walk through. Thanks for nothing, Sotheby's International - the seller's agent actually never showed up once throughout the whole process. We shoveled them ourselves. Also one time we went to go look at the house and the alarm went off and the police came but at least we know it works!
We just recently got some planters on the steps now but we also want to do some in our little front concrete patch too:
Here's some sad pictures of the concrete patch before closing. I wish there was an after picture but just picture that same scene minus some trash and leaves:
(the lower entrance is to a garden apartment)
I want to tear out that shrub but lately H has taken a liking to it. We eventually want to get wrought iron bars put over the lower windows which is consistent with the neighborhood.
Here's a shot of the back exterior from before closing. We intend to buy a new fence that's higher for more privacy:
These flowers popped up recently, which is nice since we haven't done much out here:
and I made a backyard toy area for when we're too lazy to walk to the park:
First floor - this is the first floor of our house (so not the lowest floor which I'll call the garden level where our rental is).
Front hallways pre-closing:
and one of my tiny baby!
There's no "after" shot of this yet. Picture this hallway, minus the art and add in a bunch of strollers and shoes.
This is the formal living room with the seller's stuff. He had SO much stuff:
Empty first floor:
and the dining room - we found a set we really like but it's just not a high priority right now (maybe after we pay off the bedroom set):
All of the furniture on the first floor is a hodge podge of stuff we had in storage and got passed down from relatives. I do love the rug my parents gave us though so we will keep that here for now:
The armoire has to stay too, as it's an "heirloom."
This was my shining achievement the week we moved in - finding the Xmas decorations and setting some up - over my husband's cries of unpacking priorities:
Having spent years in small apartments one of our "requirements" when buying a house was a nice big eat in kitchen. Unfortunately love is blind sometimes and we got another small utilitarian kitchen. Here's a picture from the listing:
We thought that they would leave the butcher block since it was the perfect size for the counter but nope. The counters are laminate I think. It's okay, functional. We have big plans for the kitchen's future but we're not big cooks and our son goes to bed so soon after getting home from school that we rarely sit down to a big meal together. Outside this door is where we keep our charcoal grill.
The kitchen leads into the dining room and at the end of the dining room is a set of pocket doors which leads into what I call the bar room. Here is a picture from before we moved in:
The second floor is where most of our "living" happens, as it contains our tv room and playroom. It also has my husband's home office and a bathroom.
The playroom is my shining achievement of home ownership. I love it. We've rearranged it a bunch but here are some pics:
I blocked off the fireplace with a piece of plywood which I tried to paint with magnetic primer and chalkboard paint a la Pinterest. This DIY ended up being way more work then it seemed to be and in the end I ended up just using chalkboard decals on top of the plywood instead. Then I realized toddlers really shouldn't use chalk. So now the kitchen is in front of the fireplace and I put a magnetic whiteboard on another wall which I feel like is more fun to play with anyhow.
Update: The room continues to adapt as our son ages. I just cleaned so here is a picture taken April 2015:
The room leads to our TV room through a closet type hallway between the two rooms. We like that we can shut the doors to the room so our son can't get out but still give him access to both rooms. Here's a picture of the hallway between rooms.
Third floor - I may take better photos eventually and edit these out.
This is the guest room. It may become our second son's room but we are keeping the bed in it for now until we make a more permanent decision. The (queen sized) bed takes up most of the room and becomes my laundry folding station reguarly but it's the only private guest sleeping accomodations so we aren't ready to give it up.
Ben's room. These pictures are a few months old. I've since moved his bed away from the window and over to where the bean bag is because of the cold but I may move it back to where it was now that it's warmer because I want him further away from hallway noise.
There's also a bookshelf in the cut out area by the door in the last picture and a few more toys you can't see all the way to the right. We only keep quiet toys and books in his room so if he wakes up he can play without waking us up (which doesn't actually happen because I'm a light sleeper but at least I can lay in bed for a few more minutes).
Since it's a big sized room I predict the boys will share at some point.
Update 1/2016: Ben is 2.5 years old now. I was really good about not allowing anything other than soft toys in his room to promote a peaceful sleeping atmosphere but every night he would beg to take something upstairs with him so now there's more toys in his bedroom. We also moved his smaller train table into his room too. And my parents gave us an old bookcase so I stuck it in the cut out spot and anchored it to the wall. He loves picking out his own books.
Garden apartment - we rent this out to the tune of $875 a month so it (mostly) pays for our property taxes. Our first tenant was with us for about a year so this is a recent listing picture featuring her stuff (and a cheesy wall quote!).
Long hallway between rooms (painted since this picture but we desperately need to add some sort of molding to the floor to dress it up):
Kitchen (it's an awkward narrow shape so hard to photograph):
Third floor bathroom. This is from when we first moved in and before we put up a mirror and a shelf.
We don't have a Master so this bathroom will be shared with the kids but we will keep most of the kid stuff in the second floor bathroom so I can at least pretend this bathroom is just for my H and I. To the immediate right is the toilet area and the bathtub is behind the wall:
B gets most of his nighttime baths on the second floor but if he wakes up and is dirty we use our bath. Or sometimes he just climbs in with all his clothes on:
This room is my husband's office. He works from home. Sadly it doesn't look like this anymore as this is the listing picture. He has his desk in the window and a bunch of boxes and crap all over the floor. Maybe he will organize some day but for now I don't go in there.
You can't really tell but there's a door on the right side by the window that leads into the TV room.
This is the hallway of the third floor and a view of my arch nemesis - the stairs. There's 40 stairs from the front door to the third floor!
We only have carpet on this stairwell, hallway and our son's room so of course that's where our cats spend all of their time.
The first door on the right is my son's room. The second door in the middle is the entrance to the attic. There is a third door at the end of the hall leading to our bedroom. At the very end of the hall is the third bedroom/guestroom. Where this photo was taken is the doorway to the third floor bath.
I only have two tiny pictures of my bedroom but they will do for now. I love love our bed. DH and I looked for a new mattress forever and then while shopping for a dining room set fell in love with this canopy bed and finally agreed on a mattress we both liked.
I was sick of staring at this huge empty wall so I started buying inexpensive art and hanging it up. We are calling it my "elephant wall." This is just one corner but I hope to add more and break up the monotony of the off-white.
Mini-updates. We needed a room for Ethan so we moved all the beds around. Now the queen bed is in the playroom which is really nice for lounging around. We've only had one set of guests since the move but they loved it.
We also got a rug and it's really nice for my soon-to-be crawler to roll around on.
And basically it's toy chaos but it's real life. (hot)