After seeing the first photo you might have thought “Did I accidentally click over to a Craigslist ad for this old mini van?”, but nope! This is ACTUALLY our house (for the summer).
I’m the youngest sister, I just graduated from college, and my husband and I are camping out in this van for the next four months. We are moving to Stanley, Idaho to work for a rafting company and hopefully have an awesome summer adventure! There’s tons of outdoor activities to do in Stanley so I don’t imagine we will spend lots of time in the van, but we have made some sweet customizations to use every inch of the space.
We didn’t have to worry about any food, kitchen, or bathroom storage as we will have a place to bathe and cook. This van is just for sleeping, including a spot for our dog, and storing my ever growing closet.
Finding a comfy, somewhat large bed was my biggest concern after deciding to make the van our home. After much debating if it would fit, we ordered a full size foam mattress off Amazon. The mattress was a little large and had to squeeze in two inches on each side in the back to accommodate the wheel wells, but I’m happy to say it fits!
My husband is working on custom shelves for the van as we speak I type, but that will have to be another post. We have planned and engineered lots of storage solutions that I’m excited to show you soon!
Welcome to My House (5 points if you know that song!)
I am the third sister and as my mom would say “The Salt Lake Connection”. My husband and I live in the greater Salt Lake City area. We moved here for a job of mine and have stayed while my husband attended graduate school at the University of Utah, where he now works.
Most of my projects/ dreams/ ideas revolve around our house, so here is a little background. We bought our current and first house in September of 2015. It is the epitome of a fixer upper (and Joanna hasn’t come to rescue us yet). We had big plans (and still do), but we have come to realize that our dreams may take longer than we originally thought. Our house has basically taken a beating! The poorly hung drywall is covered in varying textures and patch jobs. The basement smelt like animals and the furnace, though it turned on during the home inspection, was deemed “unsafe”. So we spent the first year getting a new furnace, completely gutting the basement, adding air conditioning (my non-negotiable), and replacing the dishwasher and stove. We have also almost completed our three-year-old son’s bedroom (custom closet update coming soon) and my husband just gutted the spare bedroom (lots of updates coming soon).
This is the only “before” picture I could find to document the weeds. This is our side yard looking out at the street and believe it or not, this is “looking better”.
But, the really exciting thing happening soon is SOD! When we moved in the yard was literally all puncture weeds. You probably think I am exaggerating, but I really am not. The yard was COVERED! We did some work that first fall and a lot of work last summer to get rid of/ sweep up/ burn-up all of the thorns. Our yard also needed lots of help in the get rid of that huge pile of trash department. The previous owners had literally created a miniature landfill in their backyard. Anyway, it is looking so much better! And we have a few weeks of final preparations left, but the sod is being delivered May 19. Also in the next few weeks, we will lay out our garden plan and begin planting.
The current weather forecast says it will be 70 this week! I am so ready for the rain to stop and to get outside.
So I’m the oldest sister and (for now) the most far-flung. I am married and live with my husband and four children in Seattle. We moved here in 2008 for a job with Amazon and have never left. We chose to live in the city limits to keep his commute as short as possible; however, having a yard was a non-negotiable, as I wasn’t willing to try condo life with kids. So we live in a less dense part of the city with a smaller, older house and yard that we would have in the suburbs. This has been a tricky choice at times because there are a lot of projects this house needs that I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen on their own. But I do enjoy a challenge, and making this house work for us has been a good one!
So far we have changed the yard the most by pulling down some rotting fence and putting in garden beds in the back (and removing lots of weeds, a very prickly tree, a wild juniper bush, and a bee’s nest). We planted an apple tree in back and decorative border beds and blueberry bushes in the front. I dug a fire pit last summer and found some logs to use as seating. There was a large group of flag irises that needed dividing under our large silver maple tree in the front yardwhen we moved in, so I have spread them out over the whole border of the yard. They have been such a delight to me every year and require no care at all (or a small amount if you count planting them as care). They bloom at the end of spring/beginning of summer so as I see them coming up all spring I feel happy anticipation of their beauty even before blooming is upon us. One of the lovely things that living in the Seattle climate has done for me is to heighten my awareness of the plants that bloom in the various seasons. I have become a bit of an amateur botanist and I love noticing that it is ‘crocus season’ or ‘magnolia season’. Right now the dogwoods and lilacs are blooming—some of my favorites! It gives meaning and differentiation to some of the monotony of my chosen profession (homeschool mom).
On the house we have been a bit more practical with projects by getting a dishwaher & new faucet, a new roof and some custom black out shades in the upstairs bedrooms (a must for northern summer evenings that stay bright for so. long.)
On our list for this year is new decking for the existing deck because the boards have a significant amount of rot and are past re-painting. The boys are campaigning for a tree house, swing set, trampoline, or all three. It has yet to be determined if any of those are going to materialize. 😉 I also got myself into a kitchen remodel and bit off way more than I could chew. So this summer I want to either tie up loose ends and call it good, or just spend the time (and money) and be done with it. It will feel great to not be living in a half-done project. Eventually I would like to have the basement floor concrete polished as well, but that is a very big undertaking, so I am waiting for the timing to be right. My husband has a vision for a new (larger) dining table and chairs to accommodate the fact that we do almost everything at that table. (I homeschool our kids and it is the gathering place for everything from art to legos to games to laptop use to reading to actually eating.)
So as you can see the list is fairly endless. Part of the creative endeavor of ‘fixing up’ a house is lending the project enough energy to make decisions and say no to about 90% of the projects. Decisions take a lot of energy!
Many of my projects will not revolve around the house per se, but smaller decorating vignettes or learning-related ideas for the kids. I also take pictures of flowers and will update the blog about my garden adventures too.
We are four sisters who have an eye for design; working away to create more functional and beautiful things around us. We are always working on some kind of project for our home or family. This blog is a way to record all that we do and figure out along the way.
Our name came from a combination of the phrases, “one and the same” and “no two the same.” As sisters we are very similar (not to mention the identical red hair) and yet we definitely have our own unique talents and style. Often projects also fit as a combination of being a replication of something seen on-line and not ever going exactly how it did for someone else.
Thanks for stopping by, we hope to see you back again soon!