Minnesota Photographer // Goodbye, Margaret

Today, we move.

It's not always like me to be emotional, but when it comes to the houses I have lived in and made a home in, I tend to get a little teary eyed when it's time to leave. This home holds a special piece of my heart because it was where Darin and I spent our first 2 years of marriage. But, we are very thrilled to see where God takes us next. We know and trust that our future will be nothing but amazing! There's a stellar house out there waiting for us :) 

Before I start, take note: I am a bit of an over-sharer, especially with photos! So bare with me as I take you through the years and updates Darin and I have done. Darin and his dad purchased the house a few years before I met him and he worked on it for an entire year -- so it looked completely different before I saw it the first time. 

After getting engaged Darin and I explored our home options and decided it would be smartest to move into the rental home on Margaret. And so, we begin our photo quest . . . in the early winter of 2013, Darin his Dad and I took a drive on over and checked it out.

The tenant that was living there had moved out a few days before so there were some things left behind, but in my eyes it was in pretty good shape! I was especially impressed with the TALL ceilings on the main floor, and the can lights Darin had installed before it was a rental property ( top right ).  

After we made the decision to move Darin into Margaret ( I moved in with him after we married in August ) he had to bid farewell to the house he'd been renting out with 6 close man-friends and 2 dogs called "The Family Crankzone". His friend group always comes up with interesting nicknames for the houses they share. 

After getting all of his stuff settled, Darin didn't waste any time -- he got to painting the trim, the front door and the entire basement.
 

We decided on a really nice grey color for the bathroom, and a few rolls onto the wall we realized it was really Easter PURPLE. It grew on us, but it was a surprise! 

The living room walls were painted a light grey -- my favorite. The light color throughout the living room and hallway helped make it look bigger and much cleaner.

Darin picked out the warm kitchen colors -- which turned out fantastic! We did two tones, one lighter beige for most of the kitchen, and a darker for under the cabinets. He installed a nice coat rack by the back door which was greatly needed since we didn't have a closet.

 

 

 

Then I had Darin over to my house up in Isanti for some good ol' teeny tiny gas stove s'mores! 

 

 

We were married in August and I moved in immediately after! Then came the winter of 2013

I couldn't leave all my oddball decor behind, so I got busy decorating and hanging stuff up while looking for a job. Moving from Isanti to St. Paul was a huge change for me being a small-town girl. I'll admit, I was afraid to go to the store alone ( at 24 years old! ) but after a few weeks I adapted to the city and since then have learned to love being so close to everything. It's a convenient life.

Then came the garage -- from an old gross green, to beautiful grey, of course! We painted the garage gray because the house was done with maintenance free grey siding. Darin took a chunk of extra siding in and had Menards match the paint color. We had a little trouble in the beginning -- the color wasn't exact to the house and looked a lot darker, so we added some white until it looked just right. And man, what a HUGE different it made! Especially the white trim too! 

A little paint goes a LONG way folks.

Darin didn't sit still as you can see -- he made bunches of exterior repairs that made a big difference.

As if what he was working on wasn't enough, he decided to build a shed off the back of the garage. 

It turned out pretty awesome.

Of course life wouldn't be complete without good ol' truck problems. Darin has been driving his red truck since high school -- He's trying to juice as much life out of it as possible doing diligent upkeep and repairs. It's still kickin! 

Christmas 2014 came, along with a new fancy beer bottle opener from Santa, and new-to-us stainless steel appliances. It took us literally 6 hours to clean them, but we think it was worth it for the sale of the house. The bottom left image is of the old kitchen faucet -- we loved it, but soon after installation it started leaking! 

Up until Spring of 2015 we had planned on keeping the house and renting it out after finding another home. We watched the market all winter hoping for something under $30,000.00 that we could buy and fix up to sell -- but nothing seemed promising as the months passed by. 

When Spring hit, we saw the drastic change in the market -- prices raised and houses were moving FAST. Thanks to my fancy new job I started in March shooting Real Estate, I felt I had the upper hand at how to make the house look in order to sell. Sooo, since I married a wise man with a wise father who bought the house together with cash years ago to rent out . . . after our wedding Darin and I bought the house from his dad and lived in it ( aka homesteaded within ) for 2 years freeing us from paying Capitol Gains Tax upon selling, we jumped on the option to sell and got busy! 

First came scraping ALL of the walls, patching, sanding, caulking and fresh paint. Before painting we took a trip to Menards to scope out flooring and ended up loading up my ( Kia ) Soul with some beautiful Bamboo we fell in love with. Then we proceeded to rip out all the carpet and decided to re-trim the entire first floor including a few windows and doors. 

There was tile underneath the hallway carpet, complete with black glue EVERYWHERE -- which took 5 hours to remove with a scraper. Darin did an AMAZING job re-creating the windowsills to match the original ones in the living room. 

Before laying the Bamboo we had to do a little leveling with the floor -- near the front door we found what looked like what used to be a hatch door. 

Finally, we began our Bamboo laying quest! We laid 4-5 rows and I was so excited I started walking up and down the hall on the fresh bamboo. It wasn't until then that we realized we'd made a huge mistake. Every step I took in the hallway there were huge sticking/noisy sounds and we instantly were terrified. After brainstorming I realized that the floor was sticking to the darn glue from the tiles in the hallway! 

After stressing about having to buy expensive cushy underlayment, my dad who had just laid wood floors in his kitchen told us about this thin paper that he put down before the wood. We scoped it out at Menards and decided to pull the trigger on it -- after all, it was either the paper for $29.99, or the cushy underlayment for a few hundred dollars. We ripped up what we could, laid the paper down, re-laid the wood and prayed it didn't make a sound when we walked on it . . . 

It was perfectly silent! 

Then came the trim!

Then my first solo project -- the bathroom faucet! I made Darin let me do the entire thing myself, minus him holding a wrench in place while I tightened things up. I love how it turned out! 

We moved onto the dining room after -- ripped up the carpet, tore the trim off the door and windows, and ripped up the carpet.

Repainted, laid the Bamboo, and trimmed.

Then the kitchen: sanded, patched, re-trimmed, repainted and Darin meticulously re-grouted between all the tiles on the floor. 

And lastly, the finishing touches: a fresh coat of black tar, wood chips, flowers, a new storm door, paint for the front steps, and a good ol' slice of lawn mowing. 

Then, we listed it. 

 

Without further a-do, here is our lovely Margaret House . . .

I simplified my decor to make the house more of an empty palette for the buyer -- it was tough getting used to hardly anything on the walls, but in the long run I'd say it was worth it. Less holes to fill! 

I wasn't so sure how much I'd like fixing up a house or even if I'd like it at all. The thought of things being out of place, messy and finding sawdust everywhere made me itch. But now that we went through it, I can't wait to do it again. The only thing I regret doing, was using the table saw on the kitchen floor -- literally sawdust EVERYWHERE. Just, don't do it. 

 

That's all folks. Can't wait to get started on our next adventure together. Until next time . . .

 

Come back again sometime soon and stay awhile!

 

Blessings,

Amber