On the first of July, we got the keys to our very first place together. We have been living in the same house for about a year and a half prior to this, but we had separate rooms and resided with two other housemates at a four bedroom house. While it has been great living with our closest friends, I felt like this moment really marks the start of “the-rest-of-forever”. It was this milestone that inspired me to begin this blog. I mean, this is a HUGE step! This new place is actually the first space that is truly our own. And I take pride in making sure it was representative of us.
When we first started talking about finding our first REAL place together, Mike did not seem too excited about buying a cookie-cutter home with multiple bedrooms in a suburban area. I grew up with people telling me that the ideal home has white walls, two floors, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a formal dining room, a backyard and a patio, a family room and a living room, a kitchen with an island, and located in a great neighborhood surrounded by other families. But Mike was just so disinterested in it all.
So I stepped back and tried to really think and analyze what was more representative of us. I mean, we get along so well because we have a lot of similar likes and dislikes. I revisited every restaurant, hotel, city, and home we have ever been to and I realized that the house I was envisioning was actually not for us at all. The places we were drawn to included coffee houses with hipster vibes, breweries in industrial warehouses, and spaces in grey, black, and white. We love clean lines and structure, Edison light bulbs, and re-purposed pieces. So we started looking into industrial loft-like spaces, and I was surprised (and extremely happy) to see how interested he became in researching a place for us! I loved walking into his room and seeing him searching the web for lofts for sale and for rent in the Orange County area. We started watching HGTV and took mental notes of items from couples’ wishlists in House Hunters, or ways to renovate the space like in Fixer Upper (Joanna Gaines is my life-goal, by the way).
But finding a loft in Orange County was no easy feat! Industrial vibes are seemingly everywhere in large cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego, but they were almost impossible to find in Orange County. After months and months of browsing the web, we learned that lofts were few and far between, and were usually snagged within a week. We began looking for realsies right after I graduated USC. One weekend, we decided to look at a few “lofts”, and had lined up to visit three in one day. The first two were called lofts, but they really felt like apartment homes with 9 foot ceilings. Although they were new and had an industrial feel to the appliances, we were pretty disappointed to say the least. And all of the lofts and apartments we were looking for had no garages, which was one of Mike’s key items on our wishlist. The third house was almost $1000/mo above our price range but we said we would check it out, “just to see what it was like”. Well, so much for that! I was so excited the minute we walked in, and I could also tell that Mike was too. He kept saying “This is pretty nice…” and I kept squealing “OMGilovethis”. The real estate agent couldn’t help but grin at the both of us, and I don’t really blame him. We were pretty doggone ridiculous!
It had a lot of the things we were talking about and just the right amount of space for a couple. The exposed lam beams and wooden beams on the ceiling, exposed vents over the kitchen, and metal railings on the stairs are just some of the things we loved!
And this light fixture, I mean, c’mon!
The vaulted ceiling in the living room made it feel even more spacious, but the best feature about the space is that glass door in the living room! We are talking a glass door that literally has a chain pulley system and raises the door up the entire 25 feet.
Plus Mikey and I had different ideas about the best type of flooring and we got a compromising solution. The first floor has a cool stained brown cement, perfect for an office space. His computer chair just glides across the floor so easily! The second floor has dark stained hardwood floors which are gorgeous to look at but easy to clean when we host future parties. The third floor grants him his carpet in the bedroom, the soft and fluffy heaven he always dreamed of!
And the best part for him (besides his own personal video game room/office, the carpet, and the large glass door) is the two car garage included with the space! (I was honestly more excited about the six range gas stove and upgraded appliances…)
The rest was history! We put an offer that day, we were the first to look at the space and within the next few days, other offers were already coming in. We had to make a decision quick. So I pretty much poured my heart and soul to our agent telling him how much we would love to live in this space. It seemed like forever (it was only one week) before we got the confirmation e-mail. I was sitting at my parent’s house (where recent graduates without jobs are forced to reside), and I get a text from Mike saying, “Check your inbox.” I just knew! I freaked out and texted him back, “WHAT DO WE DO NOW OMG!” Apparently, I have no idea how to adult.
The first day we were there together, all we had was a record player, a handful of Mike’s favorite vinyls, a laptop and wifi, and each other. But it was absolutely perfect. Day two, in comes my dining table and living room coffee table from college, the couch I bought from my old college roommate, and some outdoor chairs I borrowed from my parents. Our proudest pieces were delivered, which included a Restoration Hardware desk and chair, and a Restoration Hardware bed frame and matching, brand new California King mattress, ordered with extra-firm support for Mikey. Gone are the days when he has to sleep diagonally in order to fit on the bed. I mean, this is some SERIOUS upgrade guys! Oh, and off course, the bed is surrounded by two Restoration Hardware nightstands. Can you figure out my favorite furniture store yet? Yeah, if I could, I would fill this place top to bottom with Restoration Hardware stuff, I totally would (future blog to come).
Oh, and then our friends came to shower us with love on our move-in day! If this is a sneak-peak into our future, I CANNOT WAIT for the rest of our lives.