As we get ready to move away from our Connecticut home, it’s fun to take a walk down memory lane. It’s pretty crazy the changes and transformations that took place here. We’ve been getting lots of questions on if we regret anything, or “would we buy it again or do it again?” Let’s find out!
IKEA Kitchen Cabinets with Semihandmade Fronts
The fun of a new kitchen space can quickly be sucked up by the fear of doing it wrong or regretting your choices. Do we regret our choice?! NO! We got the look of custom cabinets for more than HALF the price of actual custom made cabinets. Plus we would not have gotten $20k more out of the sale of our home for “custom cabinets”. Our home appraisal came in right at what we were selling it for.
You’re going to have to put in some work, but you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it for your budget. Biggest tip is to go into IKEA to have their cabinet specialist help you, we did it all online…which led to several trips back and forth to IKEA. You can read all about the process here.
Traeger, Blackstone and Air Fryer
There’s one thing you can expect to find Kevin doing, and it’s cooking! Kevin is an amazing cook and he really enjoys creating delicious and healthy meals for his family and friends. No complaints here! That being said, Kevin will have to weigh in heavily on this one! Would we (he) buy the Treager and Blackstone again? YES!!!!!!!! They each serve very different purposes (but getting the same yummy food result!) and here is what he has to say about them-
Why the Traeger? The Traeger is different than a normal grill, a little more fool proof from burning or charring your food. The Traeger uses indirect heat to cook food (no direct heat or flame-to-food cooking). You can grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise and BBQ. Traeger grills are built-to-last. You can find our grill and a few more of our outdoor favorite items here.
Remember when Kevin made an onion volcano? Same night he was tossing shrimp at us to catch in our mouth. Yes, we definitely have loved the Blackstone! Totally different from a grill. He love’s how you can cook numerous things on it at the same time! Bacon is the best to cook on it. You can read more about it here and see our favorite tools to use with it.
Do we use our Air Fryer? I think we both would put this in the “you don’t NEED, but want category”. We don’t have a microwave so we use this in its place. It just tastes better than heating up in the oven. Love heating up fries, pot stickers…anything you would normally use oil to fry. If you have the space we say YES get it! Some yummy recipes and all the details of our favorite Air Fryer.
The first place I used Beddy’s Bedding was in my girls shared room! The convenience of this bedding will have me coming back time and time again! I would use them again and I do think they are worth it. I just don’t have them on my kids beds currently. Finn is still little so his bedding basically stays in place when he sleeps, or I would have done Beddy’s on his bunks, plus the top bunk gets used only when we have guests. (You can see how the girls room was originally styled here).
Pebble Ice Maker
Yes! A millions times yes! this was an anniversary gift, BEST GIFT EVER!!!! If you love ice, you will love this. We have it in our island, which isn’t the best spot for it because it doesn’t have ventilation (which the ice maker needs to work correctly). We could easily cut out ventilation in the back of the island (if we weren’t moving we would).
The stars aligned last year and we got a fiberglass pool ! Kevin and I had always wanted a pool for our family. It really was perfect timing, to have an activity our family could enjoy together during lock downs and quarantines. We spent so much time TOGETHER and I will never regret that! So, would we buy it again? WE ARE!! If that doesn’t prove how much we loved it, I don’t know what will!
There are a few things we will do different for our home in Utah, it is the same style, just a little longer (because we have the space). We are also getting an automatic cover for our new pool. The pool salesman talked us out of it on this home, he said they break often and didn’t act like we needed it, which it was really a non-issue (plus it was an extra $15k for just the automatic cover….it seemed crazy at the time to spend that). Our kids can all swim, I had a swim instructor come give Finn lessons to make sure hew was a confident swimmer (he is 4). The main reason we will add an automatic cover on the new house is there are A LOT of trees in our yard, help with keeping it clean.
Serena & Lily Hanging Chairs
Are they worth the price?! The burning question many who have been eyeing the Serena & Lily hanging chair want to know. Before I had even gotten my first hanging chair, I did lots of searching and dreaming, find my post here. I was actually talking to my friend about a hanging chair, she was deciding what one to get. She felt other hanging chairs looked cheaper, I agree. If you are already spending x, just save up or wait for a sale to get the one you want.
We are taking both these hanging chairs with us to our new home. Lola already said she wants the single one in her bedroom.
Who knew that bathing vs. showering could bring out so many opinions! If you are not a bath person. You probably don’t get why I wanted this clawfoot tub. I LOVE a nice long, hot bath. My best ideas come from that tub! Ha! I will say, Kevin does not like to shower in here, just the way the shower head hits him, since he is 6’1″. And it can be tricky to get out of since it is 23″ in height compared to our other tubs that are 19″ in height. That all being said, I am doing this same tub again in our new house but we will have a separate shower. PS- I had SO many people say that a cast-iron tub gets cold, not the case at all. The water stayed warm and was perfect. Our tub is 5′ long.
Big Chill Kitchen Appliances
Would I buy my appliances again? I LOVE the look. And the matte white has actually been easy to clean. We have a gas oven and have loved that and the hood has a really powerful fan. The only complaint is the ice maker broke pretty soon after we got it and the freezer was freezing over. BUT I believe it was an installation issue, the fridge wasn’t titled back enough so the freezer drawer couldn’t seal properly. We have since had it fixed and no issues.
Inside our fridge and my favorite containers to keep it organized here.
Do we like our banquette seating?? Heck yes! Super cozy. It’s like having a giant sectional in our kitchen! We basically created a family room with our Frame TV on the brick wall (which yes, we love the Frame TV). The cushions are these from Urban Outfitters, they don’t have great reviews, but we have loved them and I would buy again. I can easily clean them with some water and thieves. No biggie. Love that we can pack in a lot of people around the table!
I wanted to do pink appliances or a fun color in this house. I chickened out. And went with white and thought some fun SMEG colorful small appliances would be a good replacement. I did the SMEG mixer, electric kettle, toaster and blender. We had a Kitchen Aid mixer and liked that, it was starting to fall apart (the top keep popping off). The SMEG seems a little more heavy duty. Love the electric kettle, never thought I would, but after almost burning down our kitchen (because I left the kettle on the stove). Electric was the way to go. The only appliance I didn’t love is the blender, I prefer the Vitamix.
There is no question, we would definitely do a stair runner again. For our safety, we need that runner for grip. Our stairs are steep! And I really love the look. We had some trial and error, learn from our mistakes, read all about it here. I LOVED the stripes and it stayed pretty clean, just used our carpet cleaner a couple times on it. When we remodeled we redid the floors, so we had to take out the stripe….
This is the stair runner we have now! I wasn’t here when the carpet installer put in the runners (I had to do two separate runners), and he matched them up kind-of weird, but it also feels eclectic….can you tell I am not a perfectionist? If I did this runner again, I would be available to instruct the installer. It has held up well, except for the spots the installer cut to match it up. Basically it was the installation issue.
One of my favorite DIY’s. It was like the fireplace was meant to be in that spot all along. I remember looking for a house in Connecticut and wished this home had a fireplace! No more wishing, just make it happen. Read all about why I chose the style, design and even the mantle placement here. This is a DIY that I think anyone can tackle. So many of YOU, friends and family already have! I would do this again! (We gave one to my parents here).
DIY Painted Front Steps and Tile Front Steps
We get asked often how the painted cement steps have held up. No complaints, but they aren’t perfect. They are better than before! We have painted the steps white before and that got dirty and worn down quickly. The light gray has been great. We do repaint them every spring. Takes less than an hour. No biggie.
Also, we did add tile to the front of the steps. SOOOOOO happy with this look. Occasionally one pops off because it gets bumped or was loose. We just mix up a little mortar and stick it back on, quick fix.
DIY Pavers with Grass
We took out the asphalt that was once our walkway and replaced it with these pavers with grass and installed at an angle. I will say it was a bigger project than we thought. The hardest part was cutting the cement pavers in half for the sides. Luckily we were working on this the same time we had professionals working on the pavers around our pool. They had a big cement saw, so they cut those for us. Also, sheets of grass that you cut to size works better than seeds or any type of fancy grass you might be tempted to try (like we did the first round). We would do this again! Love the look, it is a show stopper.
Hanging Lights in the Backyard
Anyone else want their backyard to look like a wedding is going on?? ME! Give me all the twinkle lights!!! I was worried this would look like a DIY sloppy fail. Thankfully it didn’t, because we used a wire system (you can read about that here). We will be doing this in our next yard!
Stacking Washer and Dryer
I heard A LOT of complaints about stacking washer and dryers, and a few who said they liked them. So I was hesitant to get them. After using a stacking washer and dryer for almost a year, we would 100% buy them again! We are leaving this set here, but plan on buying the same set for our new home. I want a washer and dryer in every closet now! ha!
Did I cover it all?? Anything else you want to know? PS- you can always find sources and shop our home here.