It’s been a long 3 months filled with drama, a handful of moving trucks and plenty of sleepless nights worrying if everything was going to work out, but we are finally and officially in our new house in North Carolina. We closed on May 31, but we had a month left on our apartment lease, so we spent the time cleaning the house and getting it ready for all of our belongings. I had grand plans to get some painting and other little odd jobs crossed off the list, but a fall down the decks stairs a few days after our closing left me with a broken foot and two sprained ankles, which put a halt to all of my plans. Not the best start but we are in our house and that’s all that matters.

So, in my last post I shared a video tour of our new house and today I thought I’d share some of the plans we have to make it ours.

Moving into a new house is exciting but can be overwhelming. Making a list of projects and focusing on just a few priorities makes the transition easier.

The first time I walked into the house, when it was for sale, I immediately saw us living there. I could picture where my furniture would go, how the bathroom would look when we redid it and how new paint would change the look of every room. After moving in though, reality quickly set in and I realized how much there is to do to make it into the home of our dreams. As the hubs likes to remind me, at least once a day, “we have the rest of our lives to fix it up”, but it’s hard to remember that in all of the chaos and boxes. Sigh…

My fall has slowed me down to a crawl so I haven’t done any big projects but, besides unpacking boxes, I have worked on a small painting project and I’ve also started on a little something for the front porch, so I’ll be sharing those soon.

 Spray paint project for the front porch.

The hubs has been busy getting gas lines hooked up to the house. We brought our gas dryer with us from Illinois and we’ll be getting a gas furnace, to replace the ancient oil burner, and since the house has never been hooked up to gas, it was something that needed to be done right away. We’re doing all of the work ourselves, as usual, and, although it’s a big job, we’re saving a lot of money by doing it ourselves.

New house, new plans for the kitchen.

So, now that I’ve caught you up on what we’re working on right now, I thought I’d fill you in on some of the grand plans we have for our stone cottage.

Let’s start in the bedrooms.

All 3 rooms will all get new paint and crown molding, and, since the switches and outlets need work (in the whole house) they will likely get replaced. We’ll add new lighting/ceiling fans in each room and new window treatments for the master (the blinds will likely stay in the guest bedrooms for now).

New house, new plans for the master bedroom. chatfiedcourt.comThe poorly built bookcase will be removed in the blue guest room .

New house, new plans for the blue guest bedroom. chatfiedcourt.comAll of the original door knobs and hinges need some major work. They have been painted over so many times and not one door will close properly.

New house, new plans to fix all of the original doorknobs. chatfiedcourt.comOur tiny hallway needs to be patched in several places and painted. A new light is also on the list.

This space seemed like something I could tackle right now so this is where I’m starting.

New house, new plans for the small hallway. chatfiedcourt.comThe bathroom will be completely redone…new tile, new vanity, new lighting, new mirror, some shelving and new paint. The vanity, mirror and lighting will be done soon, because the sink is awful, but the rest is not a priority.

New house, new plans for the small bathroom. chatfiedcourt.comThe living room will, of course, get new paint and a new beefier mantle that will hold our tv. We will replace the door that goes into the basement and the front door. I have been scouring thrift shops and ReStores looking for old doors (and I’ve accumulated quite the collection) and I’m hoping that the front door can get done sooner rather than later. We also need to create an entryway with coat hooks and shoe storage.

New house, new plans for the living room.

The dining area, which is connected to the kitchen, will get a new light (that I bought on our trip to the beach), new paint and a window treatment for the old casement window. Some former owner was crazy for ceiling hooks, and every room has at least one, so they all need to go and every ceiling will have to be patched and painted. Who said that owning a house isn’t fun?!?

New house, new plans for the dining area. chatfiedcourt.comThe kitchen will get a total remodel with new cabinets, countertops, flooring, sink lighting and appliances. Everything in this space is old and was never taken care of. The only thing that will stay in here is the island, but it will get a little makeover.

New house, new plans for the kitchen. chatfiedcourt.comThe sunroom, which was an addition on the house 10 years ago, will get a redo as well. The plan right now is to eventually turn this space into a bathroom, laundry room and mudroom. Things may change, of course, but we really need a second bathroom and this is the only space.

For now, it will get a good cleaning, new paint and all of the blinds will be removed. A new dutch door will also be hung, from my growing door collection. 😉

New house, new plans for the sunroom.

We also need to replace the oil burning furnace and 25-year-old air conditioner. Two huge projects, with big price tags, but we knew all of that coming into the house.

Phew, did you make it through? It’s all a bit overwhelming but I try not to focus on the long list and just do what I can each day. That’s all you can ask for, right? What about you…what projects have you worked on lately?

If you missed my last post and want to see the video of the new house, you can check it out you can check it out, here.



Well, we’ve officially moved into the new house! All of our belongings are out of the storage unit and the apartment that we’ve been renting the past three months and it’s the first time since March that everything is under one roof. It’s a huge relief to have all of the craziness of this move from Chicago to North Carolina behind us. Now the real fun begins, which means finding a place for all of our stuff and turning our new house into the comfortable home that we envisioned when we first saw it.

We are finally moved into our little stone cottage in North Carolina. chatfieldcourt.comPlans for the living room in our new house.

We, well I, have a ton of ideas already and, once my two sprained ankles and broken foot heals I’ll get to work. I took a fall down our deck stairs a few days after we closed and hurt myself pretty good. It’s not the best time to get hurt but I’m just thankful that it wasn’t worse.

Plans for the guest bedroom in our new house.

Foot issues aside, there is so much I want to fill you in on. I want to share our project plans for each room as well as inspiration for all of the ideas I have for the house both inside and out, because there’s a lot to do outside, too.

Plans for the kitchen in our new house.

Because you need one pretty spot among all of the chaos…

Decorating with orchids in the new kitchen. chatfieldcourt.comBefore we get into all of that, though, I thought I’d share a quick little (unedited) video of the house just a few days after we moved in. There’s no decorating done but our large pieces are in place…for now. And it may look like all of my boxes are unpacked but no such luck. They are in the basement, which is a total disaster area. Anyway, here’s our little stone cottage on day 5 after the big move. Enjoy!


Hey there! Well, I’m back. I know…long time, no see. I didn’t plan on being away for so long, but we got busy with this house buying stuff and getting settled in our new city, so I decided that, instead of posting just to post, I’d wait until I had something worthwhile to share after we closed on the house.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a little, stone cottage that was built in 1946.

It’s a done deal and she’s all ours! We finally closed last week but our lease on the apartment doesn’t end until July 1, so we’ve been spending our time cleaning, packing up the apartment and doing a few small projects before we move at the end of June. Oh, and there was the little spill I took down the deck stairs last weekend. Instead of packing and working on the house, we spent half the night in the emergency room. I hurt my foot and I’m pretty bruised and battered, but I’ll be ok. It could have been so much worse. It’s not an ideal time to be sidelined with an injured foot but what are you going to do…right?

Anyway, since we don’t have any projects to share just yet, it’s the perfect time to bring you in and give you a tour of our new digs.

Our little stone cottage was built in 1946 and has 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom in almost 1400 square feet, just a bit bigger than our house in Illinois. There’s a basement with a garage (the hubs is giddy with excitement) and a beautiful lot with tons of room for Finn to run around. Oh, and did I mention that I have a covered front porch? The biggest front porch I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to decorate it.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comI’ll show you the rest of the outside another time. Let’s go in and have a look around.

Coming in through the front door you see the living room. It’s not a huge room, and it’ll be a challenge placing our furniture, but it does have a fireplace.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comA tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comFrom the living room, you walk into one of the guest bedrooms. It has tons of light and an original casement window with a built-in seat. Bed placement will be a challenge in here but it’s such a great room.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comOn the other side of the house we have the master bedroom, bathroom, and another guest bedroom. The blue guest bedroom has the biggest closet in the whole house (there are only 3) and it has a bookcase. The bookcase isn’t made very well and takes up valuable real estate so it will have to go.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comA tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comAfter living with 1 bedroom in our Illinois house, we swore we would never do it again but here we are…1 small bathroom. It was recently redone but I have big plans to redo it again to fit the era of the house. The first thing that we’ll do is install a new vanity so that we have a little extra storage.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comA tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comThe master bedroom is in the back of the house, overlooking the backyard. It’s small but I think we can fit the necessities. This room is the first on the to-do list. Very soon it will have new paint, window treatments and ceiling fixture.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comA tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comBack out to the living room and we’ll head into the kitchen and dining room, aka our favorite space in the house.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comWe have plans to redo this space, too. The cabinets are old and not the best quality so they will go, along with the countertops. It’s ok for now but eventually, we’ll redo it all. For now, though, we’re going to replace the stove and dishwasher. We’ll be having gas hooked up to the house so the electric stove will be replaced with a new gas stove (again, the hubs is giddy with excitement). It’s the little things with him.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comI love the two original casement windows in this room. The one over the sink looks out onto a wooded lot next door and the one in the dining area looks out over the backyard. We are in the city but can’t see any of our neighbors. Love that!

In our Illinois house, our dining area was in the living room. It’ll be nice to eat and not look at the tv.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comThe last room, which is off of the kitchen, is the sunroom. It was added on several years ago and, although it’s pretty, it doesn’t really fit with the style of the rest of the house.

We have big plans for this room but I’m running long, so I’ll share all the details another time.

A tour of our new house in North Carolina, a stone cottage that was built in 1946. chatfieldcourt.comThere you have it…our little stone cottage. We have so much to do and our heads are spinning, but we’re excited about this next chapter. Stay tuned for all of our projects, which will resume the minute my foot heals.

You can read the strange but true story about how we found our new house, here.


To say I miss DIY and doing projects in my own home is an understatement. We’ve been in North Carolina for three weeks now, in our apartment for two, but it seems like it’s been much longer. I’ve decorated our temporary digs a bit but I’ve been so busy house hunting and doing the basics to get settled that I still have a few boxes with decor sitting in the kitchen waiting for me to get to them. I love to decorate but getting our own house is all I’m worried about right now.

I expected to come to North Carolina and there’d be a ton of homes to look at but there’s really not a lot on the market right now, especially ones that fit our criteria and are in our price range. We’ve still been out there looking at whatever we can, though, just so we can check out different areas.

Finding the perfect house in the best neighborhood and lessons learned while house hunting. |

This was the first house we looked at and we both loved it. It needed a ton of work but it was in a great neighborhood, the price was right and it had good bones. We hesitated to put an offer on it right away because I hadn’t looked at any other houses but when we did, a day later, there was another offer on the table and we ended up losing it. The moral of this particular house story? Don’t wait if you love it.

I was totally bummed but with our realtor’s encouragement, we kept at it. This gorgeous craftsman was the second house we looked at. Those stone pillars…that awesome porch… Sadly, it wasn’t the right house for us.

Finding the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood and lessons learned while house hunting. |

The next 2 houses were in our preferred neighborhood and, although they were beautiful, they weren’t what we were looking for.

How to find the perfect house in the best neighborhood and lessons learned while house hunting. |

It was good that we kept looking though because we were zeroing in on neighborhoods, price range and wants versus needs. Besides, who doesn’t like to look at houses?

How to find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood and lessons learned while house hunting. |

Looking for a new house, even if you’ve done it many times before, is fun but can be stressful. It’s the biggest purchase you’ll ever make so you want to be smart. We’ve done this 9 times before and we always go for location first. Houses can be fixed up if the price is right, but the location is something that can never be changed.

How to find your perfect house in the best neighborhood and lessons learned while house hunting. |

Nothing beats living in “your” perfect neighborhood. Add a beautiful stone house and a rocking chair front porch and you have your dream house. Well…my dream house.

Finding the perfect house in the best neighborhood and lessons learned while house hunting. |

Yup, this is the one…and the story of how we found it is amazing, if not a little weird.

We had been in town only two days when our house hunt started. Our realtor texted me about a house that had just gone on the market in a beautiful old neighborhood. After looking it up online, I talked the hubs into going for a drive after work to take a look at the area. We drove down the road that the new listing was on and I oohed and aahed at every house we passed. It was a charming street with beautiful brick bungalows and it was just the kind of area I was looking for. As we got closer to the new listing I spotted this beautiful stone house on a beautiful wooded lot. I gasped and pointed it out to the hubs. He joked with me and told me that he would drop me off so I could go and ask if they wanted to sell. We laughed and continued on to look at the new listing.

Finding the perfect house and lessons learned while house hunting. |

A few days later, the realtor happened to take me down the very same street. I pointed out the pretty stone house to her, told her how much I loved it and about my conversation with the hubs. Again, it was quickly forgotten.

Ten days later, we would talk about “that stone house” again. The realtor and I had been out all morning looking at houses. I had only been home for about an hour when I got a text from my realtor telling me that a house was going on the market the next day and that I should look at it. The address she gave me was the same road that the stone house was on but I never gave it a thought when she told me. I mean…what are the chances it would be the one I picked out?

Finding our perfect house and lessons learned while house hunting. |

I drove down the road looking at addresses and drove by the pretty stone house knowing that it couldn’t be the one she was talking about. I turned around, having gone past the address, drove back down the road and there stood my realtor, in the front yard of that beautiful stone house, waving me in. I couldn’t believe it was the house. The one I had picked out the first time we drove down the street, the one I had gasped at the first and the second time I saw it.

I’m happy to say that we put an offer in and it was accepted. We know that it’s not a done deal until we close and anything could happen, but we are so excited that we found the perfect house, with tons of projects to do, in the perfect neighborhood.

How we found the perfect house and lessons learned while house hunting. |

So the final lesson we learned? Be patient because the right house will always come along and when you find it, you’ll know that it’s the one.

I can hardly wait to get through this process and get settled in our new home so that the real fun can begin…lots of projects and DIY. I’m so ready.

What do you think about house hunting? Do you love the process or loathe it?

Check out why we moved from Illinois to North Carolina…


Change of Plans

…and tips I shared on getting your home ready to sell.

Get your home ready to sell quickly and for the most money. |

How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell



Hey, ya’ll. We are in North Carolina and I’m so excited to be back. It’s been a crazy few weeks but we are finally in our temporary digs, a one bedroom apartment, so I thought it was time to give you an update on what’s been going on and where we’re headed.

Selling our house in Illinois and moving to North Carolina. | chatfieldcourt.comNorth Carolina, Here We Come!

In case you’re new to Chatfield Court, I’ll give a quick rundown on the big move. In February, the hubs was offered a job in North Carolina and, after a whirlwind trip and some soul searching, we decided to take the plunge and move. I shared more about it here.

Selling our house in Illinois and packing up the movng truck to go North Carolina. |

We had 6 weeks to get everything done before his job start date, and by everything I mean we had to get the house ready to sell, put it on the market and sell it, pack all of our belongings, find a temporary place to live in North Carolina and plan our 2-day trip down, which included moving trucks and hotels for the 10 days prior to moving into an apartment. Sounds reasonable, right? 😉 Luckily, the house sold in less than a day and, although it was difficult, we got all the packing and plans made before our move out date.

Selling our house in Illinois and packing up the living room to move to North Carolina. |

We looked into having a moving company come and do everything for us, packing, loading the truck and driving our stuff down, but after working the numbers decided to do it all ourselves. Paying a moving company to move out of state is expensive…very, very expensive, so there was no question that we would have to do it all ourselves. Well, not all by ourselves, we had a few awesome friends come to help us load the big yellow truck.

The kitchen…my newly remodeled kitchen. Sigh…It was hard to leave it after all of the work we put into it.

Selling our house in Illinois and packing up the kitchen to move to North Carolina. |

Unfortunately, we ran out of room in the moving truck, so the hubs will be going back to Illinois next weekend to load up another truck to drive back down. I know…what a pain, but we saved thousands by doing it all ourselves (that’s what we keep telling ourselves anyway).

Selling our house in Illinois and filling up the truck to move to North Carolina. |

We’re Here!

It took two long days to drive down and, once we were here, we headed straight to our storage unit to unload the truck. Because we couldn’t move into our apartment before April 1st, which I rented sight unseen, we had to stay in a hotel for a week. We had no time to rest though because hubs started his new job the day after we arrived in town and I hit the ground running with our awesome realtor.

Selling our house in Illinois and packing the truck to move to North Carolina. |

On April 1 we were ready to give up living out of boxes and suitcases and move into our apartment, so it was back to rent another moving truck, load up the necessary belongings from the storage unit, and head to our temporary digs. Are you dizzy yet? We weren’t dizzy but definitely sore, bruised and thoroughly exhausted.

Selling our house in Illinois to move to North Carolina for a new job. |

It took a few days, and lots of trips back and forth to the storage unit, but we are settling in. We haven’t lived in an apartment in 30 years and it’s taking me some time to adjust. It’s not ideal, but I know that it’s only temporary.

Where We’re Headed

I’ve looked at a few homes since we arrived but the inventory is pretty low. We’re working on it every day and I know that the right house will come along, I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Our big move to North Carolina for a new job. |

So that’s where we stand as of today. In case you’re keeping score, we’ve rented 2 moving trucks (with 2 more in our immediate future), stayed in 2 hotels and drove 600+ miles over two days (with one more 600+ mile trip to go). The good news, though, is that the hubs’ job is going well, it’s springtime in North Carolina and we’re excited about finding the perfect home. I think we are going to like it here.

Springtime and wisteria in North Carolina. | chatfieldcourt.comI’ll be sharing a post or two on what you need to do when you’re getting ready to move, and our house hunt journey, so stay tuned. Happy weekend!

I shared some tips on getting your home ready to sell if you want to check it out.

How to get your home ready to sell, quickly and for the most money. |

How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell