I have been reminiscing lately about our first house because of an initiative by Urban Compass who has been asking bloggers about their first homes...ours was quite the humble start when you consider the large home we live in today. It was a 14 x 70 single wide mobile home that was built in the 70's. 910 square foot of pure bliss (because 5 foot of that 70 was hitch) with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms that was my first place away from my parents. I was 18 and he was 22 and we thought we had life under control.
It was quite the home for the North Texas Panhandle area we lived in at that time. When the wind blew, the curtains blew too and that was when the windows were closed. You could also feel the wind blow through the electrical outlets. Another great feature was the cold winter morning feature. When we woke up on a cold snowy winter morning there would be frost around the top of the walls near the ceiling.
The appliances, the sinks, tubs, and even the toilets were all olive green . It was quite mod and vintage but not really considered cool at the time we lived in it during the early 80's. Even the curtains were striped colors of lime and olive green (they would probably be considered cool nowadays). Thankfully my dear cousin gave us money to purchase new curtains for a wedding gift.
When we purchased the home we installed brown shag carpet through the entire home except the kitchen which had those peel and stick tile squares. Later, I would do one of my first projects and remove all the tiles and replace them with new ones...woohoo! It was quite the project for me at the time and began my journey as someone who loves to do home diy projects.
I had learned how to wallpaper over paneling in my home with my parents and so that is what I did for our nursery. Bright rainbows over a white background. The rainbows would go well with the CareBears crib bedding I would make. Oh how I wish I had painted the paneling that wasn't wallpapered because it could have been even better. Now I know how charming painted paneling looks but at the time I was oblivious to such things.
The subfloors in our home were made of pressed wood. At that time, pressed wood was not so good as it is these days. If it became wet then it disintegrated. We had several areas over time that for one reason or another had been wet and the floor began to break in spots. We would have areas that only the carpet kept us from falling through. I don't know what we were thinking because even our toilet rocked. If you weren't careful it would actually buck you off. We were young and silly and it took us a while before we decided that we needed to repair these areas. My hubby wasn't keen on putting any money into the house because it was "only temporary". I finally had to put my foot down and repair the places in our floor before my foot went through the floor. LOL. It is a good thing because we ended up living in that home 7 years...temporary indeed!
My next project was considered quite bold at that time and you can see the results in the picture above. When we purchased the home in 1982, the outside was white metal siding with yellow trim. I did something unheard of and dared to paint that metal siding. You wouldn't believe how many people questioned me over that. I had broken some unwritten rule it seemed. I explained that I used a very good paint and there was no reason for it to peel off. It turned out quite nice and soon others were painting their metal siding too. That paint looked good till the day we sold it 7 years later. That project also began my many years of breaking the rules and making my own with paint.
I wish I would have had the ideas then that I can come up with now because I could have done so much more with that little home for so little money (shaking my head laughing). It wasn't much but it was ours and when we first moved in we were so excited to be living anywhere on our own that we really thought it was great. If my children moved into anything similar I would be quite horrified especially if it had aluminum wiring like that home did. Anytime we smelled something like wires burning we would go around and feel all the outlets. Any that were warm would promptly get replaced. I thank the Lord that He was taking care of us despite our foolishness (why oh why did we not just replace all of them?)
I have happy memories from that first home despite it's condition. That is where we lived when we were first married, that is where we lived when we had our first 2 children. That is where we formed our family and began our journey and I wouldn't give those memories up for any amount of money.
If you are newly married, in a home that you aren't so happy with, let me just say, take some chances. Try some diy projects. I had plenty of failures but even those turned out because I figured out a way to make them work. I learned so much with every project. Paint can fix just about anything and it doesn't cost tons to paint things. Let me also encourage you to not become depressed about your home because life rarely stays the same. At the time we lived in our first house, I couldn't even have imagined the home I would have now. Enjoy where you are now, fix it up if needed and try to make it as beautiful as you can within your means. It isn't the perfection of the home that makes it a home. It is the family inside that home that does that and that is the most important part to remember.
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This was not a paid blog post...It was inspired by The Urban Compass Neighborhood Guides Initiative.