Setting up house

It’s official — we’ve moved! Cleaning and packing/unpacking and selling excess furniture on Craigslist have taken up most of my free time this past month. But now, two weeks after moving day, the house is finally becoming liveable. Here I’ll share details from before we moved in (even though some of you have already seen these via my constant emails and texts!). Soon I’ll show you how things are looking now that it’s ours.

So goodbye downtown high-rise condo (still with unrepaired water damage)…


We’ll miss living in this neighborhood, but it’s only two miles away. We’ll be back to visit.


Hello Hillcrest house! It’s an authentic 1923 Craftsman bungalow with two bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and 1250 square feet. It’s on a corner lot but feels super private with trees and shrubs plus fencing. Most of the windows aren’t very visible from the street and the backyard is entirely invisible.


The front porch was glassed in long ago to create an extra room/sunroom.


The light-filled living room…


…is open to the dining room. (Remember, all these photos are with the previous tenants’ decor.)


Original wood floors, built-in bookcases and sideboard, wood-burning fireplace, and windows.


Two pretty spacious bedrooms — master (left) with windows onto back and side yards, and guest/office (right) with windows onto front yard.


Unusual bathroom setup with two half baths (one off hall, one off master) connected by shower room. The landlady retiled the shower for us before we moved.


The kitchen is not my style and the cabinets are very tired… but at least it’s got a nice layout and a dishwasher. I might be allowed to make superficial improvements like changing the color of the yellow laminate counters. Check out that 1940s vintage gas stove. We love the breakfast nook with its built-in table and benches. On the other side is a laundry closet with stackable washer/dryer.


Sliding doors there open onto a lovely back patio and yard. There’s a sunny garden bed available for vegetables. A detached one-car garage has a manual door so we’ll use it for storage; there’s ample street parking.


A canyon half a block from our front door is full of nicely maintained trails that lead into the Balboa Park network of trails.


The location is perfect. By walking 10 minutes we can reach the zoo and museums in Balboa Park, or the Hillcrest shops and restaurants on University Ave. Best of all, we are a bit closer to most of our friends’ places now — and since parking is so easy compared to downtown, they’ve been visiting us all the time! It’s really nice to have more casual drop-in company. Like impromptu game night this past Friday.


We got all the boxes emptied and collapsed this weekend (though not much is organized/put away yet). We set them outside the garage with a “free” sign, and with the help of a Craigslist curb alert, they were gone within 30 minutes.

2013-11-03-boxes copy

I’ll close this long update with a sneak peek of our first home improvement project…



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