Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Reno Inspo and Why I Don't Care About "Resale Value" Anymore


So y'all know the seemingly never ending saga of the "pre-reno" before the reno with having the ceilings smoothed.  You may be wondering what the heck the actual reno is anyway.  Ya see kids, I have loved the English countryside long before cottage core ever became a thing.  I love the cobblestone streets of Sussex, the thatched roofs and over-grouted stone of the Cotswolds and all of the texture that comes along with them like rustic beams, stone and plaster textured walls, book nooks, etc. etc. etc.  The first 20 years we owned this place, I was scared to do more than paint.  Hell, we didn't even have ART on the walls the first five years!  Why?  Because the generations before me drilled it into my head that "you have to think of resale value."  This home was supposed to be temporary; a stepping stone onto bigger and better houses where we would one day take over hosting of holidays and be the hub.  We even had it on the market three years after we got it and let me tell you, thank God it didn't sell.  The only bite we got then was someone wanting a showing the day after Christmas.  We smelled a rat and said no and they never called to schedule another one.  Mmm hmm.  Then we went to get our taxes done that year after we'd done some adjustments on our dependents and such as a bit of a "forced" savings plan and got $5000 back.  (I don't need to hear "you're giving the government a loan interest free!" because everyone said it but the interest back at the time would've been $10 and would be less now so  I'll take forced savings of money we never see to come back at tax time.)  Well, like many people, we had debt we came into the marriage with and seeing that opened our eyes to actually being able to pay it off and what the hell were we thinking looking at other houses we would just barely be able to afford and be even more in debt!?  

At year twenty, I said screw it and we were going to start decorating for US because obviously we weren't going anywhere.  I was tired of living under the black cloud of "resale value" that had been shoved down my throat and never feeling like our home truly represented what we (I) wanted to project.  (The Mr doesn't really care and I always give him the out but he hasn't turned an idea down yet.)   Besides in the past five years, I have seen that truly anything sells.  If people don't like my style, don't buy the house.  I'm one of those people who searches Zillow at least twice a month in our state and others that we'd like to move to and if it's one thing I know, there is literally NO HOUSE out there that I wouldn't have to do at minimum $30K of upgrading to and that includes multi-million dollar homes.  (Money does not equal taste, that's for sure!)

In 2020, we had a pre-planned kitchen reno and guess when it hit?  Yep.  The day they started TP hoarding and wiping the shelves clean at the grocery store.  Guess when the majority of it ended?  The day they were implementing lockdown.  Now it may have been 90% finished by just past mid-March 2020 but due to the cabinet company consistently not quality control checking their replacement doors, it wasn't "done done" until July that year.  You can see if you click the link above that we weren't screwing around with letting what we wanted finally shine through.

Like many people, I fell into a deeper depression than my normal throughout the first two years of the pandemic.  The bedroom became a dumping ground and since the closet didn't have any extra room and under the bed storage wasn't really an option, it felt like nothing had a home.  So just clean stuff out!  Well, easier said than done when everything is overwhelming and you don't know where to start.  That felt like every day for every project.  I'll cover that topic in the future but there was one show that saved my brain in the early years of the pandemic and that was Escape to the Chateau.  While Angel's style on some of her decorating is certainly nothing I'd choose, I loved all of the textures and treasures found as they rooted through the 150 year old chateau.  The Mr and I made it our Sunday tradition (still do) to watch it as a way to wind down the weekend though sadly we're on the current final season so I'll have to find YouTube channels of people who have been on Chateau DIY and see what they're into.  I longed to have a chateau-like or English countryside escape from life since we don't feel comfortable with flying and the only way to get it was to make one ourselves.

One day, I'm scrolling along and this picture stopped me in my tracks.


Kathryn from Life at the Mews in Yorkshire, England made my heart skip a beat with her bedroom remodel and I'd only gasped like that one other time and that was with the kitchen ceilings I borrowed for inspiration for our new kitchen.  I knew I couldn't do what I wanted with the beams like Kathryn did on the ceiling since I didn't have the room but that wall?  Must. have. it.  My brain swirled with ideas but I knew I couldn't (and honestly didn't want to) use real stone up there because I needed the option to remove it in the future if I wanted to.  

Another IG scroll showed me this gem from Cottage on Main Street:


Those are stone panels and she said they were easy to put up.  I threw the line out to the Mr to see if he'd move the bobber and sure enough after looking at Barron Designs website and watching some videos of similar products (not that exact one though) he said it looked easy enough.  


The only thing I knew is that I would want an over-grouted look but figured I could get that with some joint compound initially and then go over top of it with their colored grout.  A little while later, I saw that Mickie changed her stone appearance.


Okay, so if for some reason I didn't like the panel, this let me know that you could paint over it which was good to know.  (Obviously, the goal is to do the least amount of work as possible but given my track record and like the Hunger Games, I knew the odds of me having to do more are always in my favor.)  

We ordered samples of some colors and patterns that I was interested in and given the time frame they gave, I figured I'd better just order them.  I told the Mr I regretted it before I even ordered them because there is just that decades long mental beat down about resale value that kept ringing in my head.  What if I got tired of this look despite drooling over the style since I was 10 and feeling like I grew up and lived in the wrong place my whole life?  Would people look at it if I proudly posted pictures of my new space and immediately crap all over it as people like to do and would it then change my opinion of the space?  I hit "order" before I could change my mind.  Then suddenly we were talking about how it would make sense for us to replace the 26 year old carpet upstairs but we didn't want to have a crew of people in the house again and honestly couldn't afford it with labor.  Eh, screw it, we'll do it ourselves despite never having installed wood floors before.  Our friend's ex installed the laminate on the first floor and did it completely WRONG and he's 'in the business' so I felt like we couldn't do too much worse.  Well, if we're going to put down wood floors, we should probably have the ceilings on the 2nd floor smoothed to match the first floor when we added that to the kitchen reno because we wouldn't want a crew ruining the wood floors we worked so hard to lay.

And that is how we got here.

Oh and then another account that popped up was Haddon Hall not too far from Sheffield England and one scroll of their account tells you where I got inspiration for the other accent wall.  But given I have seen ZERO tutorials online that are doing what I'm doing, I won't reveal that just yet in case it craps the bed and I have to pivot.

So all of that to say I no longer care about resale value especially seeing the interior freakshows people are buying these days.  Our town is unfortunately booming and you could smear poop on the walls and it would still sell.  Luckily I'll only be smearing joint compound and grout on ours!  😝  Even at our most basic of decorating, I'm sure there are people who would've come in and said "eww, I don't like the color of the kitchen cabinets/countertops and the floors have to be changed and I don't like this trim so we have to paint all of that" yada yada yada.  So if they choose our house, they'll just have a little more to complain about other than paint color.

But those pics above give you an idea of where we're going with this.  Early in it's inception, I dubbed the project Chateau Pucker Butt since I was initially inspired by Escape to the Chateau set in France but traditional French design can be a little bougie for me to want to be in all of the time.  But English countryside homes or traditional English manors?  Yes please!  All day long.  So I shall re-dub thee Pucker Butt Manor in honor of all of the times our butts puckered at the scope creep of the project.  (We'll discuss how the scope creep will have us going outside of the boundaries of the bedroom another time because I'd like to forget about those looming projects.)  We're in the soup now with multiple projects started but some can't be finished until the floors are put in.  If you think that moving entire rooms to clear the space to lay down said floors should be easy, then you obviously don't live in a shoebox.  All of this with trying to establish new lifestyle and cleaning habits and not backslide on those so life has been quite a ride the past two months and hoping to trudge forward with some real progress sooner than later.

Do you/have you decorated with resale value in mind or say "someone else's problem?"

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  1. I do recall being concerned with resale value especially early on. I was okay with the minimalist approach back then but then as we added things I realized that in some cases more on the walls can actually make a difference in how a space feels in terms of the personalization and I like that. Anyone who comes in and sees the stone on the walls and doesn't want it maybe just isn't meant for this place and that is fine by me.

    1. There's a lid for every pot so someone will love this place one day!

  2. Good morning! I do whatever I want. Houses sell no matter what.
    I'm excited to see some sneak peeks.

  3. I don't care about resale value and have never really worried about it. I'm not much of a decorator and that bothered me for a long time because I'd get people saying, "Oh, but I bet you could create whatever you wanted if you just tried. Just think of the things that interest you and go from there." I felt a lot of pressure that because I was a female I was supposed to have this innate desire to have this beautiful home for other people to admire. Well, plain and simple I don't have that gene and I'm finally comfortable in my own skin to realize that's perfectly okay. The people who are invited into our home are people who don't judge and don't care and are there to spend the time with us and not gossip about our home when they leave. That being said, I truly enjoy other people's decorating, both in the friends' homes I've been in and at various vacation homes we've stayed in. And I like all forms of decorating because it fits with either the environment of the area (like a cabin) or because it's someone's personal touch that they are passionate about it. But for me, I'm a plain jane and I'm good with that. When we sell the house it'll have neutral paint throughout and probably new carpet/hardwood floors by then and that's about it.

  4. Do you watch "Escape to the country" on dabl? My mom LOVES that show!


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