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  • Writer's pictureThe DEN Collaborative

Manifesting Our Dream Home

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

The house where I spent a big chunk of my childhood was on 19th Street SW in Naples, Florida. After we moved, we always referred to it as "19th". My parents bought it for $100 down in 1996 and we spent the majority of my youth renovating it, one project at a time. We had acreage and horses and lots of neighborhood cats and I was very fond of it. Fast forward 20 something years and all of my home remodeling dreams are coming true in the house Hendrik and I recently purchased on (you guessed it!)19th Ave.

I'm not sure if you believe in manifestation, or "imagining the life you want" - but I believe in it more now than I ever have. My big dreams as a kid have been realized, and the details I've pictured as an adult have come to fruition! We've rented so many apartments, lofts, mothers-in-law suites and homes in the duration of our relationship, so buying was the next natural step. We knew where we wanted to live and that we were willing to put in a bit of elbow grease, especially under the watchful eye of our keen TLC Consultant. However, we weren't willing to buy unless the home checked a lot of BIG asks, including but not limited to: a decent-sized yard, cathedral ceilings, good bones, and room for an Accessory Dwelling Unit (aka the Dad Suite). Plus, I fell hard for wood tongue-and-groove ceilings when we toured this beautiful home and afterward I dreamt about them, wrote about them in my yearly goals worksheet (shout out to Being Boss), and talked about them to my family at a level of borderline obsession. And hey, while we're listing the manifestation list, I had my heart set on a Sunroom/Wintergarten for years. I just don't know how to do Winter without windows full of sunshine... Well, folks, all I can say is - don't sell yourself short of your mother f*ckin' dreams.

I present:

Pinterest Perfect vs. Our Real Life

Remember that elbow grease I was talking about? Let's talk timeline of how exactly we turned my wild dreams into reality. We closed on September 7th (two days after my late mother's birthday*ding ding ding*) and moved in on Halloween weekend. I joked that during those 7 weeks we all had a second full-time job, but it really was. Dad pulled his back out and is now in recovery mode while the real work begins - unpacking!

There are so many small details I won't bore you with (like vacuuming and then washing the walls before painting them) but here's a general breakdown of "Project Facelift":

  1. Hire out the tree trimmers, plumber, and exterminator

  2. Sort and remove all of the leftover items left in the home (per specifics in our contract)

  3. Plan and execute a massive, weekend-long, hoe-driven Estate sale

  4. Celebrate earnings (lol just kidding)

  5. Paint the shit out of all of the walls, closets, ceilings, doors, trim, radiator covers & cabinets

  6. Pull up the carpet, then the padding, then the staples

  7. Screw the floors down to stop the squeaks, putty the divets, sand and paint the plywood

  8. Swap the washer and dryer from the main bathroom to the sunroom/Wintergarten

  9. Clean everything, including the pink toilet

  10. Drywall a new entry into the main bedroom suite

  11. Install new electrical outlets and switches and install GFCI in kitchen and baths

  12. Move-In!!!



We've still got big projects left, and plenty of dreams to accompany them. We'll need to get a jump on the outdoor projects now that we're settling inside. The guest bathroom has seen the majority of its facelift and is just waiting on a couple of finishing touches like the installation of one of my mom's old mirrors and a few black accessories from our dear friends Aaron and Phil!

The kitchen is currently brandishing the same sh*t orange paint it had when we bought the house, a nice drywall patch in the wall, and boxes quite literally everywhere. One day we'll take down the wall that's blocking out the living room and update the cabinets, but in the meantime, it's just waiting for the drywall mud, paint, and a much-needed floor update.

The main bath will eventually be made of dreams and sparkles and there will probably be a unicorn. I envision a mid-modern-inspired five-piece bath with a couple of bright skylights in what is now a dreadfully dark dungeon. Since we swapped the laundry room out of the main bath and into the sunroom, we gained an extra 15sqft of bathroom! I'm open to inspiration from your ideal bath, as I now have many years to design the upgrade. In the meantime, it's also waiting for its facelift of paint and floors, a weekend project soon to come.


This process has been thrilling, exhausting, humbling, gratifying and emotional and I've realized that despite the future luxury of a double vanity, part of me hopes Hendrik and I never stop dancing together while brushing our teeth over the same tiny sink.



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