Friday, March 13, 2015

Remembering our first home

Compass recently got in touch with me to ask about my first home- such a huge step in anyone's life. Compass makes it easy to find your perfect neighbourhood, something that is important when buying a house. They even have an app so you can search for a new place or sell your house when out and about!

I remember the hunt for our first home very well. We had escaped from a less than ideal rental property and were looking at some apartments- close to the city, not a lot of garden, two storied townhouses were our style. Then I suddenly found out I was pregnant and our priorities changed overnight. Now we wanted a nice neighbourhood to raise our child in, as well as some garden area, at least two bedrooms and lots of storage.

We were both still working in the city at that stage, so something close to the CBD but not too urban was also one of our must haves. A house close to bus routes, local shops and our families was also high on the list.

Amazingly, we found what we were looking for within a few weeks. It needed a bit of work but it was the right price, in the right area, and it was ours!

Our first job was a fresh coat of white paint to make the house brighter.

The kitchen was still original, with a small bench, not enough storage and very outdated cupboards. We called in the kitchen experts and we had a new kitchen put in when I was 35 weeks pregnant. We went from this small storage unit and stainless steel bench....

To modern cupboards, a tiled splashback and a dishwasher.

We also put in more storage space on the other side of the oven, and made units to fit in with our fridge and microwave.

The pride and joy was my walk in pantry- I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and so this pantry was my vision! Even more cupboards and bench area made this kitchen a dream to work in, and the wooden floor and large entry into the dining room meant that I could cook dinner and keep an eye on my son while he played.

Our poor house took a battering on September 4th, 2010, as the city was shaken by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake at 4:35am. Our home sustained some damage during this and the big earthquake on February 22nd 2011. We had paint peeling off the walls, parts of the roof coming down, and our items would fall onto the floor. We learnt to stick everything down and not have breakable items on shelves! We were very lucky, as some people lost their entire homes and others lost loved ones. Throughout these shakes, I was so glad to have a roof over my head and to be near my family.

Outside, we also made a few improvements to our home. My husband built this amazing vegetable planter box, and so we always had an abundance of fresh produce.

We also concreted the path up to the house, and built a new fence so that we could play outside with some privacy.

The new fence made a huge difference and kept our son secure in the front yard.

Our first house saw us through all seasons, including a huge dump of snow!

We were sad to leave our first house, but when we found out that we were expecting our second child it was time to upgrade to a larger property with more bedrooms. I look back fondly at our first house, as we put a lot of time and effort into making it our happy place.

If you are in search of your happy place, be sure to check out Compass!

We have been in our current house for two and a half years, and over the next month I will be bringing you a series of blog posts about the upgrades we have done to our existing house, starting on Monday. In the meantime, you can check out our nursery makeover and bookshelf makeover.


  1. What a gorgeous home. You did a fantastic job with the kitchen. I couldn't imagine what it's like to live with the constant threat of earthquakes.

  2. Wow, I had no idea your first home went through two earthquakes. I live in STL and we are prone for earthquakes, too... Luckily, nothing too bad, but you never know! I LOVE how you remodeled the kitchen and that walk in pantry looks nice!


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