Life in the dream home

Monthly Archives: May 2012

Our backyard is not huge at all. In fact the entire size of our lot is under 6000 sq ft. But, when we first saw it, we were more than impressed at how beautifully it could serve all the three functions we had in mind for it.

A deck or a patio where we could sit, relax, eat, play, work and sleep ( on clear starry summer nights).

A  dedicated place to grow fruits, veggies and herbs.

And most importantly, a decent sized lawn for the kids to run and play.

But, as you can see from the above pictures, it was an over grown, unkempt mess. There were brown spots on the lawn when we toured the home ( when the above picture was taken), which by the time we moved in, had weeds and crabgrass all over. The lights broken and in need of updating

The hedge and trees needed trimming. There were  also dead and dying plants.

The sprinkler and drip irrigation system were not working and needed replacement, and finally a deck that needed a thorough scrubbing and a new coat of paint.

We started our backyard with a clean up of what we thought were dead plants and also cleaned up the yard a bit, by cleaning I mean trying to trim the crabgrass with shears. So that the kids could run and play on the grass when we couldn’t take them to the park.

Then we pruned a  couple of limbs from the tree next to the deck. The limbs that we pruned were directly over our roof and posed a “significant” safety hazard should they fall or get damaged during a storm. This was recommended by both the roof and the home inspector. To do this we called  landscapers and asked for their suggestions on how to limb up the tree without damaging it. Then we got a tree cutting service to take care of the job. It’s the tree on the right in the picture below.

Did you guys notice the arrow on the left pointing to the tree on the other side on the  fence. This tree though not technically ours, covers a part of our deck and side yard with its canopy. At first we were glad to have the canopy extend to our deck, since our deck was uncovered and the apple tree did not have any leaves and offered no shade, but  two weeks into moving in we realized that the fruit that was falling from this Pomelo tree was rotting and damaging the deck.  The dark area directly under the canopy that you see in the above picture is not  its shadow, but the damage done to the deck, by rotting fruit from this tree.

So at first, I bought a pair of shears and tried to trim some of the offending limbs seen in the below picture, but it did not make much of a difference.

So I borrowed a  handsaw and  a ladder from my sister and carefully trimmed the branches of the tree that were hanging over the deck. I took care to leave the limbs intact and just take out the leaves and fruit that were directly over the deck.

Next on the list the lawn and veggie patch. I’ll be back with updates about them  in the next post.


One of the first things I did after our move in was to set up my son’s room. Although he was excited about the new home and couldn’t wait to live in it, I knew that he was upset about having to leave his school and his best friend behind. I wanted to make the transition from the old home to the new house, old school to the new school, going from playing with your best friend for hours every day to seeing him once in two weeks, as easy as possible.  So, I unpacked all of his stuff before anything else and this is how we set up the space.

A place to sleep and do homework,

and a place to play with the trains he loves so much or to relax with a book.

The room is still very basic, almost spartan, but it serves it’s purpose as a place for him to go to when he needs to sleep, study, play or just a place to get away from it all and unwind.  I did not buy any new furniture or decor items for his room,  everything in there is stuff that we already own. The bed is part of a bunk bed that we bought for him last year when he turned five, but had to dismantle and use as two twin beds when his sister figured a way to get on the top bunk. The table and chair were originally in my sewing corner at our apartment, but I felt that they coordinated really well with the blue Thomas & friends bedding and his toy storage system. The soccer ball chair was purchased along with the bunk bed, the night light was  purchased few months ago, the blue rug from our apartment and the lamp a gift from a friend. The closet does not contain any of his stuff and hides my fabric stash and sewing supplies.

Here is another view of his room,

and another,

and one more.

Did you notice the amount of sunlight this room gets.  It’s one of the brightest rooms in the home. Although I love the bright and airy feel of the room, the blinds don’t block out all of the light when it’s time for bed but still not dark outside, so we have to work on kid friendly curtains or some other way to block out the light when we want to.

Also did you guys notice that he does not have his clothes in his room, they are in a dresser in the master bedroom and will stay there until we figure out what to do with the closet or have some kind of storage for them here. So that’s all for now, but I can’t wait to start working on his room again and share the updates.

We’ve lived in our home for 100 days now and are completely loving it.

The floor plan is working perfectly for us, the school is good and a 5 minute walk through the park literally, the park is 2 doors down the street and a complete hit with the kids.

When the husband needs to work from home which is 3 days a week sometimes, there is enough room for him to work undisturbed without me having to ask the kids to keep the noise level down the entire time. The kids in turn have enough room to run, play, roll, jump, scream in short have fun.

But we know that there is a lot more that needs to be done to convert this dream house into our dream home.  So I made a list of all the things that I thought we needed to do. Some of those improvements are both important and urgent, some can wait and some are purely for style and comfort.

Here is a list of things that we came up with.

  1. Termite treatment. DONE ( Completed on move in day).
  2. Get a new roof.
  3. Paint- interior and exterior.
  4. Remove popcorn ceilings and texture from interior walls.
  5. Add recessed lights in the  living room, family room and kitchen.
  6. TV wall and media storage in family room.
  7. Replace carpet.
  8. New microwave  and trim for the built in cabinet.
  9. Remove the plants and shrubs under front window
  10. Remove weeds in the driveway and side yard
  11. Backyard landscaping ( new lawn, sprinklers, lights)
  12. Paint deck and fence
  13. Plant flowers in front yard
  14. Build  wooden platform to cover pipes in the front porch
  15. Clean and paint fireplace
  16. Change glass doors of the built-ins
  17. Refinish all fixtures from brass to bronze
  18. Install curtain rods
  19. Install new microwave and trim
  20. Create new office space.
  21. Plant a couple of fruit trees in the back yard.
  22. Convert the wall in sitting room into an office for the husband.
  23. Sew curtains.
  24. Organize garage and set up zones for work and play.
  25. Changing all bulbs to energy efficient
  26. Shelving in the garage
  27. Change light fixtures
  28. Remove shower door in upstairs hall bath and install shower curtain instead.
  29. Add shelving in the downstairs hall closet to make it into pantry/coat closet.
  30. Convert walk-in closet in the master bedroom sitting room to a sewing space.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and I will add to and update it as we go along.

Picking up from where we left off yesterday, here’s a tour of the second floor of our home comprising of the master suite and two bedrooms. One is ahared by the kids and the other is used as a guest room.

This is our master suite.

This is the sitting room attached to the master bedroom.

The sitting room was originally a bedroom, but the previous owners, took the wall out and converted it to its present state.  Here is another view  of the sitting room. The doors that you see is where the entrance to the room was before.

This is the master bath.

The hall bath.

This is the 2nd bedroom, which we use as the kids room now.

This third bedroom is currently used as a guest bedroom but I am planning to convert it into either my daughter’s bedroom or my sewing studio.

I do have a few more pictures of the rooms, but need to edit them first. So this concludes the tour of our home. I will be back with a to-do list next time.

We are going to hit the 100 day mark of living in this home in a week and I realized that I hadn’t even downloaded pictures of the home from the camera. So yesterday I sat down and did just that and then some more. I always organized pictures by occasion earlier, but then keeping track of them became a pain so I categorized them by month and year and its much much easier now. Now getting back to what this post is actually about a tour of our “makaan” as promised.

This folks is the Makaan of Roti Kapda aur Makaan.

Here’s another angle, please forgive the shadows.

This is our front porch. Our front door opens to a foyer and rooms branch off from it.

The living room and garage are to the right and left, they are both not visible in the picture. The door that you see to the left leads to the family room and the door straight ahead is the downstairs hall bath.

This is a picture of the living room.

Living room from foyer

Another view of the living room, this time from the kitchen looking towards the front window and foyer.

Living room from kitchen

One more view, this time  looking towards the wall opposite to the window wall.

The kitchen/dining area is beyond the living room and can be accessed via the hallway that runs through the foyer too. Here is the kitchen and dining room.

Here’s a view of the kitchen from the dining area.

The built in pantry

A close up of the dining room built-ins.

This is the family room.

Here’s a picture of the built-ins in the family room. They are on the wall opposite to the fire place.

View from Family room looking towards the kitchen.

Here’s another view from the family room, this time looking towards the foyer.

This is a picture of  the first floor hall bath, the door next to the shower leads to the laundry room.

This is a picture of my the backyard and it has my most favorite feature in the entire home, the deck.

This part of the backyard was  set up by the previous owners as a veggie and fruit growing area and we are going to keep it that way.

The only edible thing going on right there is a dwarf lemon tree ( on the left), and the whole area is an overgrown mess right now, but one of the first projects that we will take on.

BTW did you guys notice an explosion of gold? There are so many gold fixtures in the home that I sometimes wonder if I need sunglasses just to avoid the glare, but not to worry they are on my to do list to either change them or refinish them to bronze.

So, this concludes a tour of the first level of our home. I will be back next time with pictures of the second floor.