Take a look at our new digs, two months in!
I’m a firm believer that wherever you live, you should make it home. As a military family, we move quite often, and it can be easy to just find a place, live in it, and move on. But it’s important to create stability in this lifestyle. To give my children a sense of home, something many take for granted. So when we decided to invest in the market here in Florida, I knew I wanted to make it something special. I have lived on base/post and off, and in all my houses, I’ve strived the make it as much of a home as possible. I enjoy decorating for all seasons, planting seeds in our flower beds, painting the walls, and arranging gallery walls. To make whatever house the Army sees fit to give us, a place of solitude and peace, comfort and safety. And to take whatever outdated fixtures, or crazy layout in those houses, and update them to reflect the fun personalities of the people who live there. So without further ado, here is Casa Davis, two months in.
In May 2022, about four months after signing a new build contract and about seven months after relocating to Florida, we closed on our house. The experience was very different than our first time buying a house. This house is a new build and as custom for new homes nowadays, the open layout is what is most sought after. Granted the open layout allows for a variety of unique possibilities for design. It’s definitely a plus if you love to entertain. But the open layout can also present a unique conundrum… just which room is for what purpose? The kitchen is easy because, well, that’s where all the appliances are for the most part, but what about the rest of the area, especially since now people use chandeliers in just about any room they can, it can be hard to tell where the dining room even is, if there is even one, to begin with. Most homes, like mine, have an open kitchen that has enough room to fit a kitchen table and chairs within the general vicinity of where the food is prepared but not a formal dedicated dining room. Most bigger new homes have a bonus room that could be used as a dining room but I’ve seen them most often be used for offices or studies.
In our six-bedroom home, we have just close to 2600 sq feet of living space. The downstairs is mostly one open area except for a sixth bedroom and an adjacent full bathroom. The front door opens up to a long foyer which then opens up to that large open area, with the open kitchen set to the left and the dining and living space set over to the right. The biggest challenge here was to find a way to create a separation of spaces while not jeopardizing the openness of the space. Besides, that was what made the space feel so big. Upon entering the house, you will see stairs to the immediate right, something that I’m not really a fan of. After a few stairs, there is a landing which then opens to the rest of the stairway. Our loft is on the smaller side which leads to our primary bedroom and to the hallway where the other four bedrooms, the main bathroom, and the laundry room areas are.
While I wanted to have a general theme for our home, I also wanted each room to have a unique character to it. The trick here was not to have everything feel so disjointed while still giving each part of the house its own personality. Keep in mind the house is not 100% done. But I’m very excited about where the house is and where my ideas will take it.
My dream was always to have a big front porch. A place where family and friends were always welcomed and where neighbors became friends. Now, here, we don’t have a big front porch, but I wanted to create a warm, welcoming feeling with the little bit of space we were given. A touch of green brings life to the space, and as you will see throughout the house, a bit of nerd, starts us off on this house tour. Welcome in!
Our home opens to a small, yet long-ish foyer. I wanted the space to be useable and stylish. Homes here do not come with coat closets, so I added a hall tree with another bench since this is a shoe-free household. I also put a console table closer to the main living idea as a place to display knick-knacks, as well as place mail that has not been opened. There is a lot of gray in this area, between the fixtures, floors, and walls and I wanted to add a pop of color to separate all the boring. I found this 5ft hall rug from Amazon which tied in some of the colors from the art on the wall. Instead of putting up a sign that says “Home is Where the Army Sends Us,” I wanted to display the places we’ve lived uniquely. I got these vintage travel posters from Etsy for the places where either the hubs, myself, or our family have lived throughout our lives. I really love the way it turned out!
The Kitchen/Dining Area
This is where most of the improvements in the house were made. We decided early on that we would add a backsplash to the walls in the kitchen as that gives the space a cleaner look, and its easy-to-cleanness is always a plus. We went back and forth on color for a while, with Norman wanting a grayer, darker look and I opting for a smooth white finish. I won after I pointed out that our cabinets and our dining room table were both dark and the white would help brighten up the space. We also added two pendant lights over our oversized island. Our dining space is opposite the kitchen and we decided to bring in some boho flair with a cute rattan light fixture. We have an amazingly large pantry which I still haven’t organized just yet, but it is on my to-do list. In fact, it’s so large that I haven’t even filled it yet!
The Living Room
Our living room is probably one of the larger ones we’ve had in our marriage! At first, I really wanted a cream sofa, since the walls and the floors are grey. But being on a budget, I couldn’t afford the ones that have the slipcovers that can come off to wash, so we compromised on getting a light grey one. The sofa is huge, with plenty of space for all of us to sit down and enjoy a movie. I brought in some warmer tones to balance the coolness of the room in the large fluffy area rug that our dog loves to just roll around on. I think he sleeps on that more than his own bed! I added a touch of nerd to the space with art depicting places in the Marvel Universe. And I continued the boho theme with touches of greenery wherever I could find a place. Most of the art around the TV is older, but I love how the large clock makes everything more cohesive. Finally, I found the perfect spot for our little record player… Now, all I need are the records.
The Office/Nerd Den
This room was the number one priority for me to finish first. One of the main reasons we moved was so I could have a quiet, productive, and inspiring space for not only doing my day job but also a place for me to blog and write with very limited interruption. And so I knew that getting this room in order as soon as possible was going to help me better focus on not only my responsibilities at work, but would also help provide inspiration for all the writing plans I have. I was so excited to also have a space to display my POP collection as well as all the nerd art that I had collected from expos and comic cons. And now all my stuff has a home without intruding upon my bedroom retreat upstairs. I also decided that because across from the room was a full bath, this space would also serve as a guest room. I don’t believe in dedicating one room just for guests unless you have them often. We do not, so we decided to put our sofa bed in this room so that we could preserve the space and use it for other things when guests weren’t here. I opted to place my desk facing toward the room as opposed to the wall. I love sunlight and I wanted to have a bit of a view from my desk during the day. Plus it allows me to better see my awesome art. I also finally got a place for my growing book collection! This room is truly my escape from the realities of #momlife.
I decided almost last minute to do a Harry Potter theme in the downstairs bath. Because the corresponding room has a nerdy theme, I wanted to extend that to the bath as well. I opted for a darker color which turned out more purple than blue but I still think it looks good. I found some fun pieces from Etsy to make it feel like you are entering the Ravenclaw Common Room, in the Astronomy Tower at Hogwarts, well aside from the picture of Bellatrix LeStrange that is!
We wanted this space to scream kids, but maybe not so loudly. Aside from Hermione’s cat tree, everything in this room is for entertaining children. We moved the tv stand we used to have in the living room up here and bought a new television. The Nintendo Switch and the Playstation 4 also make their home here as well as all our board games and puzzles. I added a small cube storage unit to house the reference books which are set next to the computer desk. The idea here is that this will not only be used to play Roblox but also be a place of study and research. Our small loveseat keeps the kids comfortable while they play Mario Kart and we added a couple bean bag chairs for extra seating should they have friends over. The art on the wall is a little more hodgepodge. We got the Mario Kart-inspired vintage art and the Stranger Things poster from Etsy and added some inspirational posters above the workstation.
Primary Bedroom Suite
I wanted this space to be a retreat for my husband and me. After spending two years working from home and sharing my bedroom with my office, I needed an area that would be just for relaxing and decompressing from the day. We went with neutrals here, with a very faint splash of color in some of the accents in the art and on the bed. This is the biggest bedroom we have had so it was nice to be able to add an accent chair and light for reading or for late-night writing. We get great lighting in this room as our window faces West. I opted to put my plants toward that side of the room so they could have a similar light situation as they did in the previous house and in DC. We also chose not to put a television in our bedroom. We found that when we had one, we spent most of that time watching tv and not enough time together. We’ve found that without the TV there is more time and focus for us to reconnect. We kept the bathroom pretty plain, just adding some pictures here and there. We opted for neutrals in the rug and towels to enhance the feeling of relaxation and calm. So far, we have had such an easy time going to sleep at night.
The kids got to pick their own room colors and decor. Most of it was items they already had. They also played a big part in deciding the layout of their furniture and where to put what wall decor. We recently added a chore chart in their rooms that they wrote out. We sat down and decided who would do what on which day and planned it so that all three kids could divide and conquer their individual and shared responsibilities. We wanted them to have more input on how their rooms look so that they might in turn care more about how their rooms are kept. One can only hope that this doesn’t backfire fiercely on me.
Imma get in trouble for putting this on the interweb but if don’t tell, I won’t! I was so happy and relieved that this man finally got a room of his own. Because, baybay when I tell you I was so tired of seeing Optimus Prime every morning when I got up…
He finally has a place to display his many collectibles with pride as well as all his military stuff. His room is the smallest of the bedrooms but has the largest closet, aside from the primary bedroom closet. There he stores all his Army gear and uniforms as well as his out-of-season clothing. The recliner he got for Christmas a few years back is probably the only piece of furniture he will need as he is only in there to watch TV and play video games. This is also the space that finally got the video games out of the main living room. As much as I get his need to escape into virtual reality to escape the actual reality of working parenthood and Army political bull shit, I did not appreciate having my living room taken over every night by the sounds of samurai fighting or pretend basketball games. Now everything that belongs to him has its own spot with a door that can hide it all. Our old bedroom television went into his room and he got the tv stand second-hand. He’s yet to hang up his nerdy art but he has plenty from the comic cons we’ve gone to as well.
As much as I’ve tried to help with some of the specific layout aspects of the room, the hubs has been adamant about doing everything himself. And as much as I’d love to work on this kind of project with him, I’m still thrilled that he’s taken a bit of interest in interior design, however simplistic it might be. It’s a long cry from the man who said that decorating one’s home is a waste of money not even ten years ago. I wish all of us were capable of such change.
Yes, Hermione has her own room. The biggest thing we needed before getting a cat was a guaranteed space for the litter box. That space had to have a door. It was a bonus getting this room because it was upstairs away from the dog and allows her a spot where she can eat and drink and use the bathroom in peace. There’s also a spot for a small storage cabinet. Here is where I store the laundry detergents and cleaning supplies. I’m a small person, as are the kiddos, so it’s helpful to have everything where we all can easily get to it. The washer and dryer came with the place so we opted to keep them installed. We did keep our other set and will move those when we relocate to our next duty station. These will stay with the house when we rent it out.
The one thing our middle child asked for when looking for a new home was a big yard. And boy, did we deliver! We lucked up on our lot size. I mean seriously. We didn’t even pick it. We were looking for this model and this was the one that was available for reservation when we signed our contract. It’s so nice to have a corner lot because it gives us so much more space to play and run around. Levi doesn’t even know what to do with himself because this is the biggest yard he’s had in a while. We added pavers to extend our patio so that we could fit our grill and patio furniture, and we just recently put up a trampoline so the kids have somewhere to get out their energy. Future plans include adding a fire pit with some chairs so that hopefully one day as the weather cools, we can do some backyard camping. I also found a cute projector and a portable screen on Amazon so we can indulge in one of our favorite family activities- watching movies!
My goal with this garage is to finally use it for its intended purpose- storage for a car. We’ve done some organization in the meantime. The hubs has his gym on one side. We also put my dad’s old dresser out here. A future project is to refinish the dresser and turn it into a tool chest. We also have our outdoor sporting goods and toys out there, including bikes. And we have a deep freezer for extra food storage.
So that’s all she wrote or hung, for now. While it’s been only two months since we closed on this beautiful home, it feels like we’ve been here much longer. And while the Army will for sure have more tricks up its sleeve in the coming years, we wanted to find a way to make this house feel like a place we’d love to come back to someday. So we will continue to personalize it here and there when the mood or opportunity strikes and who knows, maybe in another four months or so, they’ll be something new to update y’all on. Here’s to whatever phase you are in your home journey. May it be a place that brings you respite, joy, and peace for many weeks, months, or years that you are there.
Until next time, stay Earthbound, friends.