Moving and Getting Settled

Happy Labor Day weekend to you all!  It’s been a week since we officially moved into the new house and even though there’s not a lot of pretty to share with you yet, I figured you all would like to see the process we are in getting this house organized and ready to live in.  As you all know, since most of us have moved a time or two (or for some dozens of times), it’s definitely a process to get a house unpacked and organized.  It’s always a challenge to move in a new space, get to know your surroundings, and figure out how to organize everything in the best possible way. Not to mention figuring out furniture arrangements and making things work that you already have.  That’s turning out to be a challenge for us, more than I initially thought!

I know it will take awhile and things may move around a few times before we settle into the best thing for us and it’s going to take living here awhile before we figure all that out, I’m sure.  One of the first things I’ve noticed since we moved in is just how small the hall closets are.  I had big deep closets in my 70’s house and this house, even though it’s bigger in square footage has smaller closets overall, so I’ll have to figure those things out too.  Where to put the vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies.  Where to put all the towels and sheets.  The upstairs hall linen closet is about 12″ deep, so that’s pretty small.   Where to put my hanging dresses, since the master closet has sloped ceilings and I can’t hang dresses in there without them dragging the floor. All of those are trivial things in the long run, but it’s those small things that we have to figure out and make the best of.

So, with all that in mind, I’ll show you where we are so far this first week. We really are loving our new house and just looking forward to getting all of the initial projects done, furniture in place, and feeling more organized and settled.  All of those things take a little while after a move, but I’m sure in a month or two we will be feeling like this really is home for us.

Mark is working on the dining room right now, so all the dining room and living room furniture is crammed in the small living room for now.

He’s almost finished with the dining room and I’ll share that soon, so hopefully we can move this furniture in place this week.

One of the best things we have in this house is that full, unfinished clean and dry basement, so thank goodness that most everything is out of the way for now.  I know that’s where the overflow of storage will end up when we finally get unpacked and go through everything.  We will unpack, do more decluttering and then finally get organized in the basement and elsewhere.  I’m determined that I’m not going to keep a lot of extra stuff in this house.  If it’s not getting used (within reason, seasonal decor accessories), then I’m getting rid of it!  This move really made me get over the “stuff” I have accumulated and I just do not want to keep it all.  Maybe getting older has something to do with that, but for sure packing and moving “stuff” around just about did me in this time.

Right before I moved, I painted the media cabinet that I got a few years ago from Homegoods.  Mark doesn’t love really chippy furniture and I don’t have a lot of it anyway, but this piece wasn’t his fave, so I painted it. I’ll share that later too, but I love the color and how it turned out. In fact, I love it even better now too and it’s perfect for this wall in the family room.  Real life here, see the Angel Soft on there! Ugh, I can’t wait to get organized!

The den space isn’t huge, so I have to figure out this layout too.  It made sense to put the curved sofa in the bay window. Love all those windows, by the way, this house has so much light streaming in and I love that! These two large chairs are really too big in here and I want to do something else in this space.  I saw some swivel rockers at Scott’s that I would love to get in here, so maybe that will happen soon.  I’m not sure where I’ll put these chairs, but they just overpower this room.  This room will no doubt evolve as we go along, but I got lamps in place to make it cozy.  It will be awhile before the decorating really begins.

Just getting furniture in the house with a place to sit and watch TV was so nice and we are loving our small family room space off the kitchen.  But, again it’s way smaller than my living room and den space was at my old house, so all the furniture doesn’t fit the same.  There are a few things I left behind in my old house for my step daughter to use, first my large French armoire with mirror that was in my master bedroom.  There’s no place to put it here.

All my bedroom furniture that I had in my master will now go in our guest room here and it’s a very small room, so the king bed, nightstands and chest of drawers is all that will fit in there.

Mark and I are staying in the guest room for now since our new master bedroom furniture hasn’t arrived yet and we still have to paint and do some things in the master before we move in there. It will probably be a few more weeks before we move in, but at least we have a comfy bed in the guest room and it’s great to be in here. That rug from Shaw Floors will go in Mark’s man cave space.  The master bedroom is still being figured out. We’ve got new furniture coming, but I’m still figuring out what all we want in here as far as colors, linens, drapes and more.  So much to figure out!

Looks like I’ll be painting that green vanity a new color that was in my old living room.  It definitely won’t go with the master bedroom stuff now and I’m going to use it as my new vanity table in here. My old vanity stayed at my house in that nook.  With the mirror on it, it’s a bigger piece that wouldn’t fit in here so well, so I left it for now. See what I mean about furniture not fitting the same?  Several pieces didn’t make the cut.

My French antique cupboard ended up in the kitchen space. There’s a nook here by the fridge and it fits there perfectly so it will come in handy for extra storage in the kitchen.

I mulled over adding built in cabinets or kitchen drawers here in this space and who knows, I may do that eventually, since the kitchen is so much smaller than my Ikea kitchen was.  But, for now the antique piece can hold quite a bit of overflow and I’ll use it for kitchen storage for serving pieces.  I’ve got a Ballard Designs shelf that will go above it eventually and I can decorate that.  We hate that the fridge sticks out so far, so on the list is a counter depth refrigerator in the future. We’ll put this one in the garage for extra things. So grateful that the previous owners left it though, it’s a nice GE Profile fridge, but it just sticks out into the room too far.

Mulling this over, but I’m still trying to decide what I want to do in the breakfast nook.  It’s not a large space at all, so I just don’t know what will work best here, still thinking it over. I’m trying out my 2 wood chairs that I’ve had forever along with a small round end table that works with it, although the table could be bigger.  I think I like it here and I know it looks smallish, but I don’t want to put anything too large in this space, so I may leave this for now.  Again, trying to use what we have.  If you have any ideas, throw them my way!  I’m adding 2 barstools to the bar over to the right.  My sister suggested a tall bistro table with 2 chairs. I’m just not sure yet what we want to do here.  We probably won’t use this for eating, it’s more for looks, but the ceiling fan will be staying.  We like being cool and there are fans all over the house, so we will probably leave it even though a pretty light fixture would be look better. I know it’s not popular in blogland to leave ceiling fans, but we are more about being comfortable rather than having a magazine worthy space.  But, don’t get me wrong, I want this house to be pretty too!

What to do, what to do??

I did get the kitchen mostly organized and cleaned up. We have been working out of the kitchen and it was just a mess, but at least I got it looking better and the counters mostly cleaned off.  With a small kitchen, I want to be careful about how much I put on the counters, but I use this stuff all the time, so it will stay out, the coffee pot/coffee station, bowl for fresh fruit, knife block, and kitchen spoons/utensils in a large pitcher.

I will definitely miss my old kitchen. That Ikea kitchen I put in had so much storage and was so versatile and just overall a great kitchen.  The cabinets in an Ikea kitchen are much more open, the drawers are deeper and longer and the thing I’ll miss the most is those 4 large pullout drawers that I stored so many things in, along with the huge pantry with large pullout drawers.  But, I am sure I’ll adjust to this smaller one and it will force me to pare down to what I use all the time.  This kitchen is just a basic one with no bells and whistles, but I’ve got some ideas on organizing this kitchen better with adding some pull out drawers to the pantry, so that will come later.  The layout of the kitchen isn’t bad, it has a great triangle work space area, with the fridge, sink and stove all within steps of each other, which is supposed to be the ideal working space for a kitchen.  You can see the painted cabinets we had the painter spray and I’ll do another post on the kitchen when I get it even prettier and talk more about that process. We are so glad we did all of that before moving in!  I have plans to get new countertops, sink and faucet later on.  I miss my big single sink!

The other piece that won’t move to this house is my china cabinet that was in my old den space.  My foyer table and large antique mirror won’t fit in this house anywhere either (that we’ve figured out anyway), so I’m leaving it there too.  The corner cabinet in the dining room stayed there too.  I’ll have my dining room table and buffet in the dining room here and that’s about all that will fit in that space. This house has lots more open space and less walls, so there are less places to put furniture.  All of that we are figuring out now that we’re in here.  The leather loveseat that I had in my den was going in Mark’s man cave, but right now we haven’t figured out a way to get it through the door, so that’s to be determined too.  My grandma’s sewing table that was in the den won’t have a good spot here, so I’m leaving it there for now.

My office is changing up some and I’m using the same furniture with some different pieces that I had in the den.  Some new looks using what I have.  We can’t go out and get all new stuff, so we are trying to make things work with what we have and then will fill in some pieces along the way as it all comes together.  You know how that is.  I was very fortunate in my old house that everything fit in there so well, I had a place for all  my furniture, but it’s not the same with this house, so we’ll just have to see how it evolves. Whew, that was long, but I wanted to tell you how that all is working out with placing furniture and all of that.

I really don’t want to put too much furniture in this house, we would rather keep it open and less cluttered, so I’m keeping that in mind too.  I don’t have built in bookcases to display things or a foyer table yet, so I’ll have less room for accessories and boy, do I have a lot of accessories!  I’m not even going to show you the basement yet, with all the rest of my things moved in there, but it’s crazy how much I had to move. But I really am determined to use only what I need to use in this house to make it pretty and livable and I’ll get rid of the rest. It’s going to be much more streamlined and less cluttered because it’s more open.  So, I’m excited to take this on and figure out where we want to go with everything.

Mark has been working on the dining room and I can’t wait to show you all of that too.  He added Cape Cod style beadboard panels in here with a pretty top molding treatment.

Here’s how it’s looking with one coat of paint. We’ll get the dining room furniture moved in this week, so I can’t wait to see it all in place.  I’m going to put grasscloth above the wainscot and I think it will be such an elegant space. I’ve got to find just the right one to add in here.

All of my patio furniture was moved over too, so it will be nice to get this space organized and ready to use for Fall this year.  The leaves are already starting to turn here just a bit and I’m feeling that Fallish feel in the air already and love it!  This will be our outdoor space for now until we can figure out the screened porch.  I’m going to get someone out here to see about doing a screened porch next spring/summer and see  how much it will cost, plus we have those bay windows on the back to deal with so we need a professional opinion on all of that.

In the meantime, we’ll get the patio space together and will be sitting out here enjoying our backyard space. We have all those woods back there that will be a nice backdrop. We’ve already seen deer coming in the yard next door, so I’m sure there are plenty in these woods.  We also have a new wood fence going in very soon, as soon as they can get to us.  We are fencing in the backyard for Mark’s dog, Hollie and she will be here with us soon. We’ll get her settled in before too long. Right now, she’s with his parents in the country.

We have lots of exploring to do in our new little town of Acworth and we can’t wait to get caught up on house stuff and start to enjoy living here.

We ate downtown over the weekend at Henry’s, the Louisiana restaurant that’s so popular here and really enjoyed it.  I had heard it was really good for a long time and it was, we loved it and will definitely be going back often!

That’s where we are this week!  It feels so good to get in here and now we can breathe and work on everything a little at a time. It will be a process decorating this house and making it look the way we want it to look, but we are so excited to have this house and make it our own!




- Rhoda


  1. Thanks for sharing! I loved this post. I will enjoy your decision making process as you go. It’s real life! It’s problem solving. We all have that and it is inspiring to me to follow along. Enjoy the journey.

  2. Sofia Bouras says:

    Dear Rhonda,

    I wish all the best from sunny Athens, Greece!

    About your breakfast nook : what if you use the nice round table you have from your screened porch from you previous house? (maybe painted the base of the same as the lower kitchen cabinets?)


    • HI, Sofia, that’s a great idea and that glass table would fit. We will think about that option too. I do like these 2 bigger chairs instead of 4, so a bigger table with those 2 chairs could still work.

      • I was going to suggest that too. But instead of painting, you could choose a floor length table cover to bring in color. The two chairs are perfect.

  3. Your move is such an exciting one. It is going to be a beautiful home. Enjoy the process of making choices with a final comfort in mind. As I am thinking of moving to a newer home your insights are important. By the way, Mark is very talented in his woodworking skills–seems to be a perfect match for you!

  4. Perhaps,the breakfast nook could function as a keeping room. People always like to be near the cook!

    • Hi, Tara, I thought about that too and do have an extra comfy chair that could fit in there. We are going to think on it and decide what we really need the most. I’m not even sure a small breakfast table will be used much at all. I’m a sit on the sofa and have breakfast person.

      • If you are not going to use a breakfast table, I am all in on the keeping room idea, especially since the adjacent room is smaller than you had before.

        • I like the keeping room idea as well.

          • Why not put the porch table and chairs and use it for dining area for dinner for two at night – the small table looks awkward
            Or if using as keeping room red leather sofa that you can’t get in cave two side tables with lamp and coffee table. A good place for morning coffee and watch wildlife outside.

  5. Looking good ! I love the sofa in the bay area. That is exactly where mine is too. Also for a little tidbit of suggestion……in this house when it was only one linen closet in the hall and narrow plus not deep. I bought an armoire for my craftroom that is right thru the master vanity area & bathroom doorway. Bought from Purposely Imperfect in Brandon here.& wasn’t real expensive but cute. I store towels & washcloths in this , curling irons, jewelry……we chicken wired the insides of the cutouts on the inside of doors for hanging earrings, Sensational nail stuff are in there in a box with pretty bow on top & put pegboard on two of the walls and hung hairbrushes , & necklaces. Freed up space under the vanity top and best of all you don’t have to go back to the hall to get a towel if you are in the tub in the master bathroom. This one even has a rod in it for hanging clothes that I just left in. I also put my fancy French armoire in the breakfast nook for kitchen storage here. Good luck !

    • Thanks, Bonnie, all good ideas on storing things in an armoire. I’m not sure I even have room for another armoire anywhere, but I’m sure we will get this thing figured out. Love your storage idea on that.

  6. Will your back porch table work in your kitchen? When we down-sized six years ago, we got rid of a lot of stuff. It was do liberating. Enjoy this journey. You will definitely create a beautiful, cozy home for the two of you.

  7. Congratulations on your wedding and this beautiful new home! We went through a move last Fall so this post brought back memories and emotions. Excitement, exhaustion, disorganization, frustration, satisfaction and pride… we are so happy in our new “retirement” home. Once you have everything settled, you will be be able to relax. Enjoy the process together!!

    • Thank you so much, Zenda, we are looking forward to the relaxing part. Right now, we are still in work mode, but at least can pace ourselves since we live here now.

  8. Gloria Mcentyre says:

    Maybe consider using your antique cupboard for a coffee station?..With some open shelving above for cups, baskets for supplies and decorative pieces. Seems like a perfect spot and would free up more counter space.
    Love the house!!

    • HI, Gloria, thanks for the idea, but the buffett is tall and I’d be reaching up to pour coffee, so it wouldn’t be comfortable to set up a coffee station there. The top of the buffet is chest high on me.

  9. Wow! What progress you’ve made…such a huge and mentally/emotionally challenging job to work out new arrangements and deal with furniture you love that doesn’t fit, let alone, marrying two sets of furniture and design inclinations! Looking forward to traveling along with you on your new house journey!

    Two suggestions:
    1-Do you know that there are adjustable wooden floor vents? I got some when I installed my hardwood floors and it made such a + difference. Not all that expensive – $22 or so a vent if I recall. The installers hadn’t heard of them, so with a little searching I found a source here in Louisville. No doubt, the Atlanta area will have a source somewhere, too. Likely, they’ll need to be stained to match your floor; but, what a difference…really “finishes” the flooring.

    2-Know you feel limited space-wise for your kitchenette table; however, what you are using just seems way too small to me. Have you considered a 30-36″ square table or round table with fold down (or fold under) edges? (9-12″ edges, not huge ones). Then, you can open 2 or four edges when you’ve company. Or, if you wish to place the table in a corner, you can open two tangential edges if you wish to enlarge the table somewhat. I’ve a small condo with a combined dining area/living room. Got a small square table years ago and with the 9″ edges up, it becomes a round table fit for entertaining. The small table set-up would be perfect for Mark and you. Can’t suggest a source, as mine came from the now defunct line “Southern Living by Lexington”. Besides working so well for a small space, there are no leaves to store/get dinged. Other brands of tables like this can be found on the internet. I’d overlooked this type of option for years and then, a light went off and my table problem was solved. May be an option for your consideration? PS know that tall bistro tables are in, but as we age, getting up on a higher level chair can be challenging/potentially dangerous. A small antique (or copy) regular table height tavern table (in size noted above) might work, too.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys do with your beautiful new place!

    • Thank you, mdn, on those floor vents, yes we hate them and that’s on the list to change. We are looking at some more decorative metal ones right now, so we will definitely be changing them out. I like the wood ones too, so we’ll mull those ideas over. So many things on the list to do!
      I like your idea for the table too. Not sure how much that table will be used, but need something there and yes, my little table is way too small. But my glass table from my porch might work in there too. Your solution sounds like a good one with a drop leaf.

      • You go, girl! Forgot to mention that the wooden vents install flush with the floor; thus, much easier to keep clean than metal grates ( dirty around the edges). The fancy grates are nice, but add focus to floor grate as decor vs. the wood which makes a lovely backgrpimd “canvas” over which to build the remainder of your décor which is what you/guests would better focus upon. Anxious to see your progress! Hadn’t recalled that table from the porch; but, it’d be great. Advantage of the glass top will be that it’ll keep your space “open” and roomier feeling. Think you guys will end up having a lot more morning coffees (toast/croissants, etc.) there than you now anticipate.. Lovely space, great views, convenient to kitchen/clean-up! Hey, how ’bout some bird feeders out back? So calming & mesmerizing to watch. Is it too hot for hummingbirds down there?

        • HI, again! definitely still mulling over that space, but for now I think I’ll use a chair I already have, with a small side table and lamp. Trying to prioritize what we spend on right now and there are other areas that need it more. Definitely want to add bird feeders and hummingbird feeders out back. On those grates, I noticed that our cut out holes in the hardwoods aren’t totally smooth and square, so we will have to look at how they install, I think some wood would have to be cut out. I know they look great, just not sure we need another project to do.

  10. I love the idea of your former screened porch table, painted to match your cabinets, in the breakfast nook. Or a high Bistro table with chairs. We have a tall table in our breakfast area. We have breakfast there everyday and use the dining room for lunch and dinner.

    Also the comment about using the antique cupboard as a coffee station makes sense. Frees up counter space.

    Looks great so far!

  11. The broom next to the television is both a wonderful and horrible reminder to get back to work! I love how you are approaching the move with furniture selection. You will be rewarded for your slow and thoughtful method!

  12. The house is going to look beautiful! I’m surprised that as small as the kitchen is, that they didn’t extend the cabinets to the left of the fridge where the nook is located. It would give you so much more storage space and make the fridge look less like it’s floating.

    • Hey, Julia, I know those cabinets could definitely have been extended over. We may do something like that eventually, we’ll see. Or I may just get used to having less cabinets and make do with what I have. I honestly didn’t use half of what was in my old kitchen cabinets, so it was time to get rid of some stuff.

  13. Judy Yannello says:

    What a lovely new home! I think that table & two chairs in your kitchen would look charming centered under the bay window…just the perfect spot for coffee or breakfast.

  14. With Mark’s mad woodworking skills, what about window seats in the bay window nook in the kitchen? I tried a high bistro table but they are difficult for some folks to get up into, if you get my drift. A lovely built in bench/seat with pillows and a small round table would look lovely. That all being said, I’m a sofa breakfast eater too!

    • Hi, Laura, I thought about a small window seat so that’s a thought. Mark has a lot on his woodwork plate right now, so it wouldn’t happen anytime soon. But I love those built in seats, they look so cozy!

  15. Hi Rhoda! So exciting to see everything come together. Sometimes it gets overwhelming and frustrating, but hang in there…I think will be beautiful!

    I’m going in a different direction with your breakfast nook. If you doubt you’ll eat there, why waste precious space with a table. We turned a similar area in my sister’s new house into a keeping room with 2 comfortable wing back chairs. It’s the favorite spot in the house now. Quiet place with morning coffee, place to sit and browse cookbooks, nice place for someone to sit and visit while you’re in the kitchen. I vote no on those tall bistro tables and chairs.

    I’m living vicariously through your projects right now. I tripped an drew fell during the eclipse, breaking my wrist and tibia. Had surgery that night to put a plate in my wrist. Have to be I need a wheelchair for 8 weeks to let the leg bone heel without surgery. It’s been challenging, to say the least!

    • Roxanne, I saw on FB that you had something going on with your leg, so sorry about that! Right now, we are leaning towards the keeping room idea, but not sure the current chairs we have will work that well. One big one will fit, but not 2, so might have to find smaller scale chairs for in there if we do that. So much to figure out!

  16. Phew, lots to do! Two thoughts on breakfast nook. 1. Create a hidden (or not) coffee station in/on the French cabinet, a window seat with lift up top for storage (I believe Sarah at TDC had to deal with the air vent issue), and table with 2 cushy upholstered chairs. Or 2, just a couple of chairs with coffee table for comfy conversation, coffee, reading area.

    Progress posts are always appreciated!

  17. What about using the 2 chairs in the den in the breakfast room with the small round table? More of a keeping room. You could use the 2 wood chairs as well. Seating for 4.

    • Tina, it’s not big enough for all of that. I’m trying out one of the big chairs in there now to see how I like it. One will fit, but 2 would be really tight because of the door that goes out to the deck, that has to have a path to get out.

  18. I enjoyed reading about your progress and plans. But, I am worn out! It will all come together and be beautiful; after all you have Angel Soft and M & M’s what more do you need?

  19. Rhoda, I know it will all come together beautifully in the end! I am in the same predicament in our “new” house (been here a year & a half and still trying to figure it all out without breaking the bank–even more than we already are on our new kitchen and laundry room.–heh!) On that kitchen nook, I, too, can see a built-in banquette. Not sure whether a round table or rectangular would work best, but either way, that would really maximize the space and provide a cozy place to gather. Can’t wait to see what you do!!

  20. Oh my you have mad a lot of progress. I get you on the ikea kitchen. We just put in the gray one in our home with some pretty fantasy brown granit on them. Very pretty and yes I too love my drawers. You get to choose everything for a well organized kitchen. I chose mostly drawers. I would miss my ikea kitchen also. But you will get use to a smaller one. I have had to get use to a smaller space in our apartment in DC. And it was tiny. So I had to get creative with space. I grew to love it though. I too love the above idea of a window seat with round table in there that is a very pretty look. I know whatever you and mark decide on doing it will be well done. He is good with wood work and it appears you both are on the same page with good ideas for this new home. I look forward to seeing what y’all decide on in the meanwhile try to enjoy the endeavor of working it all and making sweet memories ?

  21. Oh Rhoda, I feel your pain!!! I was doing this exact same thing last year. We downsized from our home of 30 years to a condo!!!! I thought I would lose my mind before it was over! At 63, the move just about did me in. I know exactly what you are going through, especially trying to make furniture work and fit in a new space. We also now have a very open living space, but it really cuts out your wall space, etc. I know that I furnished at least 2 Goodwill stores with all my donations!!!?
    Now that I have survived and am somewhat settled in, I do love having less “stuff” and vow never to accumulate so much again.
    Hang on, it will get better for you and you will love your new life!!?

  22. Carol Ionata Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    I know every single space will have your stamp on it soon! Enjoy the process!

  23. It’s overwhelming isn’t it! Especially when we want our homes to look like a magazine overnight. Just take your time and it will be beautiful. That french cabinet would be a perfect place for your coffee bar and free up space in your kitchen. A cute chalkboard above with the coffee of the day! So happy for you!

  24. Shew, girl, I get tired just reading your post! : ) But I love that you’re keeping it real, and showing that everyday life goes on in spite of a big move and big life changes. We, your faithful followers, know that in the end, whatever you do will be beautiful. I remarried 5 years ago after 10 years of being single (was married before for 26 years). My former husband couldn’t have cared less how I decorated our home, and I had free reign. However, I moved into my current husband’s home when we married, and he thinks he has to have a say so about everything. It’s an on-going struggle and one I have to “pick my battles” in. Especially over his worn out BIG leather recliner in the living room and all the “junk” he keeps piled up on the end table beside his chair. Oy! Love the pink table in your office…are you going to use pink and black now or stick to the greens in your new office? And maybe sometime down the road you could get a pantry-style tall cabinet put at the end of the cabinets? Hope you have a good week…take time to smell the roses, eat some M&M’s and enjoy your blessings.

    • Thanks, Nanci, I figured you all would like to see it all, so that’s what I’m doing. I won’t have lots of pretty to blog for awhile, so why not share it all. I hear you on the clutter, we are going to have to work on all of that too. With this open house style, I’ve got to get a drop zone to help with that. I’m adding the pink in my office and not doing a lot of green. Using my floral drapes that I had in my old house so hope to get that space looking good.

    • Nanci, are we married to the same man…big, ugly leather recliner and pile of stuff he can’t possibly part with! I just have to turn a blind eye and decorate around him! lol

  25. Rhoda, thanks so much for being real and letting us see the process. It is a learning experience for all of us to watch as you sort things, try things, and settle in.
    Some of the best decorating advice I have ever received is to live in a space for a while, get to know it, before making a lot of big decisions, so take it slow. Breathe!!
    Here is what I have learned from moves and renovations:
    1.. First, get your kitchen and bedroom areas functional and clean. It does not have to be permanent, but set them up so that they are clean, temporarily decorated, functional, and PEACEFUL. I have found that I can put up with a lot if those two areas are livable and welcoming. I can’t sleep in a jarring, disorganized bedroom. Sparse, yes, chaotic, no!
    2. Then get some sort of living/relaxation area set up. Somewhere that you Mark can sit down and relax at night and enjoy each other’s company.
    3. Keep these three areas neat and free of misc. items. (I am looking at you, Angel soft! M&Ms, find a bowl!) Designate a room (on the main floor, if possible) to be a drop zone for all of those miscellaneous items. Not only does it help the rest of the house to feel uncluttered, but also when you do need one of those misc items, no searching around the house. You know where they are!
    4 Enjoy the process! Your gorgeous previous home took time, and this one will, too.

    • Good advice, Eleanor and that’s what we are doing. I got the kitchen mostly organized and we’re sleeping in the guest room for now, so it’s fine and we have the family room space sort of put together and we can watch TV in there, so it’s been nice to have some relaxing moments during all the chaos. Still have way more to do to declutter. I can see that bar area is going to be the dumping ground and it will be something I’ll constantly have to deal with. Got to get it under control! Definitely need a drop zone and I’m going to figure that one out too.

  26. Hi Rhoda, I went through the same process you are about 4 years ago. I just knew where everything was going before the move and guess what?? Yep, things didn’t fit and with the open house, not a lot of places for accessories. But now, we have moved things where you wouldn’t think of using them and it’s worked out perfect. What about using your little end table with a 36″ piece of glass on top of it? The table would show through but the glass would make it look less crowded. Love that table and the chairs and with a cute pitcher of flowers, it would be a welcome place but not crowded. Keep the posts coming……love seeing all the changes.

  27. Hi Rhoda-Your new house is lovely-mess and all. I too think a built-in banquette would be JUST the thing in your breakfast nook. It would look charming and maximize the space all the way to the window. This will leave plenty of space for extending the cabinets if you ever decide to go that route. (That air vent would need to be dealt with though…).
    We moved to a more “open concept” home 10 years ago-it took me a good year or two to really settle in and come to terms with the lack of wall space for both furniture placement and art work (we have many, over-sized Windows and fewer walls than our previous home). I have come to love all the light that floods the house-truly a totally different feel that you will come to love… and the lack of “stuff” just means less for you to clean/deal with! 🙂
    Im glad Marks’s dog is being cared for while your basement is full of overflow stuff-I was starting to wonder where she would fit! What a lovely backyard she’ll have for roaming too!
    Thanks for sharing the journey-it’s fun to watch!

  28. Iris McCloud says:

    Dear Rhoda, I can commiserate with you on the amount of work. Almost 2 years to the day I moved into my “new” old house. I had to order some furniture and therefore lived out of boxes for such a long time. I didn’t have to combine two houses and that has to double the amount of work . I am having a good time looking at the photos and saying that’s Rhoda’s and that must be Mark’s before I read the captions. I am glad that the two of you are working together to make it a home of your own.

  29. Iris McCloud says:

    I hope it is OK to comment twice but I just read all of the other comments. I have a couple of thoughts – many of us must be in the same boat. I, too, have so much less wall space in my current house and a kitchen with way less storage. Also, if you are considering making the breakfast nook a keeping room why don’t you move the 2 chairs closer to the windows with the table between them? Add a pillow to be used at the back of each chair for comfort. That is a free option as a tryout for a keeping area. If the keeping room idea works for you you can add more comfortable seating as the decorating budget allows. I used a breakfast area in my last house that way and company loved it. I had enough room to have 2 comfortable chairs and that space was used all of the time.

    • HI, Iris, we are moving things around and trying them out, so I’m sure we’ll figure it out. Both those big chairs won’t fit in the kitchen nook, so I’d have to get 2 smaller scale chairs in there. Trying to use what we have for now, so we will see where it lands. I do like the keeping room idea and that might be what we do. Mark has some furniture but I haven’t showed any of it yet. We haven’t put it all in place yet.

  30. Thanks for sharing the process. Moving is messy! We all know that. I appreciate the process of finding where to put things and setting up the rooms. Some people wait to have everything set up and perfect before they post anything. That is just not real life. I love to see how you decide what to put where. I am sure it can be overwhelming at times. But, you seem to have a good attitude about it. Can’t wait to see it come together- even if it is slow. Great progress so far!

    • THanks, Julie, I figured that you all would like to see progress and how things are moving along. It definitely won’t be picture perfect for some time, so why not share the process.

  31. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Rhoda, so glad you have everything in one place! Now you can just take your time and see what best fits where. No doubt, it will all come together nicely — with time! You are a great decorator and it’s wonderful that Mark has great ideas, too! Just take it day-by-day and enjoy the journey! Blessings!

  32. Janis Raines says:

    I am a new reader who has quickly become a fan of your blog. We moved two years ago after living in our previous house 38 years. Although the house was only 9 years old, we decided to have hardwood floors installed on the ground floor and new carpet upstairs (I have allergies, and the previous owners had a dog and a cat.) We lived for a month with my daughter and her family (2 houses down the street). Because I was still teaching, I had only a month to do everything before school started. As a result, I made a few mistakes. It is better to take your time rather than get in a huge hurry. I bought two couches that have back cushions that are attached. It never crossed my mind to check cushions, and it is an expensive mistake that I probably will live with for the rest of my life.
    I am with you on the de-cluttering. My present house is bigger than my previous one; I tried to get rid of everything that I did not use, and it is much easier to keep a neat home.

    • HI, Janis, thank you, I’m so glad to have you reading along. It is overwhelming to move especially after you’ve been in a house for so long. I do want to take my time and not get too much in a hurry and make mistakes. Definitely want to choose the right things and not make mistakes if I can help it. And the decluttering has got to happen, it’s driving me crazy right now.

  33. Barbara Courson says:

    Have you thought about enlarging the kitchen into the breakfast area space? You could put a built in window bench in the bay window.

    • Yes, we’ve thought about it, but there are lots more projects we’d like to do too, so we will see if it happens down the road.

  34. Re the fans. I’m a big fan of comfort so we have them. Try white instead of the brown blades. I painted mine, but you can get replacements. They blend into the cool! Also hate the light fixture part and took those off.

  35. I’d move everything (armoire, the lovely vanity, etc) out of the other house…I’d put it in the basement if I had to……..I”d put at armoire next to the fridge instead of that smaller piece…gosh, you have that basement. I just dread what might happen (accidents happen all the time) with other people living in the old house with those pieces…..I’m cringing!!! but I know what you mean about things not fitting…It happened to me and I’m still, after a year, in a mire

  36. Whew…moving is not for the faint of heart. We still need to finish packing up my in-laws home in MI. 60 years worth of “stuff”.
    You’ve already made great progress. But seeing how it will most likely be yours and Mark’s forever home, I think you are wise in taking your time and figuring out what works best in each space and for the both of you.
    After my youngest left for college, hubs and I rarely sat at our kitchen table so I get it. We do eat there now that she is back home for a bit and when both are here visiting for dinner (only because I have yet to convince him to open the kitchen up to the dining room and use that table 😉
    I love the idea of using it more as a keeping room. I have seen a similar space on Pinterest. Place your small table in the middle of the bay close to the window, chairs on either side and THEN add a round ottoman in front. You can then put your feet up while having coffee or place a tray on it to serve food. Fills the space without being too overwhelming. And ottomans can always be moved for extra seating nearby.

    • Thank you, Lauren, all good ideas. We are liking the keeping room feel more and more and really probably wouldn’t use the small table for eating. We tend to plop in front of the TV most of the time so far.

  37. Thanks for taking us on the journey!

  38. With your excellent taste I have no doubt you’ll figure it out! And I understand completely about the clutter driving you crazy. We had our kitchen painted today and what should have been a 4 hour job tops turned into a 7 hour job. All the kitchen things are in the dining room and it’s driving me crazy since it will be tomorrow before I can get to it. However, in your case I know you and Mark together will be able to figure it all out and it will be beautiful when you finish!!!

  39. For the most part, you just have to live in spaces for a while and get the feel for the room and then the ideas come flooding in…I know you will have great solutions to your new spaces….As far as the breakfast room is concerned….it is large enough to do a banquette? So exciting that we will be able to see all of your new projects!

  40. Goodness Gracious! u have been working hard on this move. pace urself and take breaks. im a planner on big projects. use a piece of notebook paper and make lists. just dont overdo it. i also note where i put things cuz i do forget. lol. take care and all the moving best!

  41. You are experiencing some of the same issues that we are. Open floor space = hardly any wall space. I feel like the few walls that we do have are very important and need to be stunning so the pressure is on! We gave away and sold several pieces of furniture that I loved because of very little wall space. We are trying to figure out the seating too. In just 9ish weeks we are getting close to settled though and I know you will too. Of course the fun projects never end. 🙂

    • Hey, Stacey, I know you can relate! The new layout is definitely more challenging than I first thought, but I know we will get it figured out. I’ll just have to let go of things and I can do that, I’m getting to the point where I don’t feel as attached to all this “stuff” as I once did. I’d rather it feel calming and not chaotic or cluttered.

  42. Love watching your progress! I’ve moved my fair share and find myself still moving furniture from room to room 5 years later after a final downsize!
    The breakfast nook could be a nice little solarium with no table or chairs and left open, or I do like the idea of a round table in front of the window with a tablecloth, lamp, a plant and few photos and perhaps one comfy chair to the left side of the table to balance the lovely antique French chest.

  43. A couple of ideas for the breakfast nook:
    1. A built in banquet with seating along the window.
    2. You could put a small round table up against the windows (the one you have may work perfect, you would just have to try it out) and then move those two bigger chairs from your living room and put those up against the window (at an angle) along either side of the table. Then you would have a nice cozy place for y’all to have coffee in the morning or a really casual dinner. Then if you need extra seating when people come over, you can pull those chairs into the den area. I’ve seen several breakfast areas with this approach and it looks cozy and inviting.

    • Thanks, Carrie, good ideas, but that area is not very big, hard to capture in photographs, but no way would both those big chairs fit in there. One yes, but both no. So I’m still thinking it over with one of the bigger chairs in there for now with a side table. I just don’t think we would use that space to actually sit and eat, so I hate to spend money on that if it’s not going to be used.

  44. Becky in 'Bama says:

    You are wise to de-clutter and edit your ‘stuff’ at this time in your life. I think as we age – it’s just too much trouble to sort and delete (and physically overwhelming) – so you see story after story of adult children trying to do a last minute sort and trash of their parents’ household items. Now four years past closing and selling our parents’ home – there are items I wished I had kept – but I know good and well that those things were only meaningful to me, and had I held onto them, it would mean having someone else throw it out in the future. It’s such a sad dilemma for us at the end of our parents’ lives. I’m trying to remember these facts as I enter that stage of my own life.

    Sorry for that downer of a topic – so I’ll end with BEAUTIFUL HOME. Looking forward to watching it bloom.

    • Hey, Becky, I hear you and have definitely had those same thoughts myself. At the end of life, it is only stuff and we can’t take it with us. Mark and I have talked about this and how we all have to face these things, with our parents and also with ourselves. A deep topic to ponder for sure!

  45. I love your breakfast nook. Maybe a Settee in the bay window! A small round or rectangular table would work and you still could use your chairs. Beautiful house!

    • It’s such fun to enjoy the transformation along with you…all of the real, everyday ‘stuff’ of moving, sorting, remodeling and decision making as you use/reuse the pieces and things that had another location and life in your previous home. So many good suggestions have been made. I’m looking forward to seeing how you and Mark make this small area beside the kitchen function in the best way for you in your new life together. Each space will end up reflecting your needs for life in your home. Love your progress so far!

  46. Good morning, Thanks for sharing how things are going with your new huse. I’m in the process of paring down and de-cluttering too. It’s going to be exciting to hear your decision process as you design and decorate your new space. I’m sure your step daughter really appreciates all the lovely furniture you left behind. Its great that you can keep your other house in the family right now. It’s interesting how this home is larger but being more open doesnt allow for certain furniture placement. I look forward each week to see what’s new at your huse. You always keep things real and interesting. How is your dad doing? Hope he”s getter better each day.

    • HI, Sandy, thank you so much! Keeping it read is about all I can do right now, with everything going on and heading into the Holiday season. Dad is doing well, just finished up round 3 of his antibiotics and we have an appointment with a gastro doctor tomorrow to find out next steps if this things keeps coming back. He’s eating well and getting around well and we are hopeful for more and more recovery.

  47. Jean Anderson says:

    I really, really want to know about you painting your doors black. You did it in the last house and I’m wondering what you think about that and whether you’ll do it here. We are slowly redoing our home and some of the doors were repainted white, but some were left stained. It’s been done in an interesting random pattern that I don’t understand.
    Would you do it again, how did it work, any issues etc.

    • HI, Jean, my old house doors were a deep chocolate brown, so not quite black. I liked it a lot in that house and didn’t regret it at all. The doors were flat and plain and the deep brown added interest to me that all white wouldn’t have done in that house. In this house, I do plan to paint the interior doors too, but I’ll probably go with a medium tone gray/taupe/brownish shade, to be determined. I won’t go as dark in this house, don’t ask me why, just don’t feel the dark here, but a deeper shade than is on the walls is what I’ll probably do. Need to find the right color, but it’s on the list!

  48. Jean Anderson says:

    I also forgot to mention that I had a real moment this morning. We have two regular closets and one walk in closet in our master. We share the walkin and I put the “stuff” that I’m not using in the regular closet. It’s the few work suits that I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid and a ton of shoes and then boxes of other stuff. Since we are only here halftime and in Az the other half of the year, I don’t use a lot of stuff. We’ve been remodeling our master bathroom and the attic access is through my closet so today we
    decided to move everything out of my closet for the contractor and so we could switch closets.
    We have a new coral quilt in there and I’ve been making myself crazy trying to find something to tie it in, like a bedspread to put on the foot or pillows to pull the room together. My husband pulled out a roll of fabric rom the back of that closet that I’d ordered from Calico corners and that I absolutely LOVE. It’s got the right color……Oh happy day! I got it just a few years ago and I cannot remember if it was for the old house or for this one but I don’t know what I planned.
    I mention this because those are the fun moments after you get sort of settled in.

  49. Hi Rhoda,

    First Congrats again on everything, new house and wedding. I only have one suggestion right now, the small round table should move closer to the middle window in your breakfast nook and angle the two wood chairs on each side of the the table in front of the windows, I’m thinking this is a bank of 3 windows. It will give the table and chairs more presence and help it to not appear too tiny. Of course this is my “non professional” suggestion and you always arrange things so beautifully that I’m sure you really don’t need my suggestion. But then again maybe since you have so much going on this might come in handy. Enjoy decorating and designing your new space and of course your new life as Mr & Mrs.

    Long time blog follower, Laura

  50. Dee Chitester says:

    I love the touch of the peanut M & M’s. Every home should be fortified with them and I am sure thisy made the move a lot easier! On a more seriousness note the house is looking great. We moved to Knoxville from Indianapolis almost 3 years ago and it about killed us! Our place is about the same size here a small our home in Knoxville but nothing fitbthe same. I understand your frustration. We pared down considerably and t was a wonderful feeling. We sold a lot of our furniture and replaced it so this house has an entirely different look. All neutrals, and I live being to change my decor with the season ans it always looks nice with the neutral pallet. Good luck and just have fun with it!

    • Yep, Peanut M&M’s helped a lot. Those are my husband’s fave! Thanks for chiming in, sounds like you and others have gone through this down sizing and getting rid of things and I am sure we will survive this too. I’m ready for less stuff!

  51. Hi Rhoda, my sister had a similar spot in her kitchen. She used two French upholstered chairs (if you search ATL Craiglist for “Pair of French” you will see options …. with an ottoman. They weren’t big, but very comfy. In between she used a lamp height metal round table. That was the most sought after spot in the house. A great place to read the paper or chat with the cook. I don’t think you will use a small bistro table as much! Especially once you get a screened porch.

    • HI, Mary, I really like that idea and am leaning towards the keeping room idea. I have one large upholstered chair that I’m trying there now with a little side table and lamp and I like it, but 2 smaller scale chairs later on would be nice. I’ll have to be on the lookout and start shopping Craigslist!

  52. Karen Baumgardner says:

    I, too, have a very small amount of counter space in my kitchen. The best change I made was getting rid of my knife block and using an IKEA magnetic knife wall strip – easy to install, and the best surprise was the “gourmet” touch it imparted to my space! lol. Losing that bulky block freed up a lot of counter area, visually too, making the whole stretch of counter look more open.
    Also am just starting to get rid of “stuff” that is just cluttering up my life. It’s quite tough to know where to start when thinking about a move in the near future, but you have reinforced my thought that I should definitely do it before we move.
    Can’t wait to see your progress, thanks for sharing it with all of us.

    • HI, Karen, thanks for mentioning the knife wall strip, that sounds like a good idea. I’ll check out Ikea next time I’m there. I could definitely stand to free up some counter space since mine is limited. And yes, I can’t wait to get through this move and only keep my very favorite things and get rid of excess clutter. It just feels awful to have this much stuff hanging around and I’m over it!

  53. I love what you’re doing in your new home! Y’all are working it all out. It will be gorgeous! I’m looking forward to all the posts you’ll share on how you’ll get there! I’ll be the first customer at your garage sale! Plus your basement will look so good when you finish out your basement! Can’t wait❣️

  54. Rebecca Hopkins says:

    Rhoda, I have followed you for several years, from your big house with my favorite green, white and bunny laundry room to the little house you and your dad “re”-created to your new home. I must say your commentary on this one shows more excitement than any of the previous ones, and it is so contagious! It’s what I call feeling “BRIDELY”. I’m so happy for you and Mark. Can’t wait to watch the decorating unfold.

    • Hi, Rebecca, oh that makes me smile, how sweet! Yes, we are so excited and happy with our new house and life together. I love being able to share it with all of you, especially those who have been with me for so long.

  55. The whole moving process is a lot to take in, but you seem to be taking it pretty well and I admire that! Your home seems like it’s going to be beautiful, I’m excited to see your progress!

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