Getting Settled In Our New Home

It's hard to believe, but not only was May our eight year wedding anniversary, but it was also our six month anniversary since moving from Arizona to here in North Carolina! I can't express in words how thrilled both the hubs and I are to be back east - except to start sharing some of what we've been up to transforming the house into our home, especially outside, and hopefully inspire you along the way. One of the joys we had missed the most when we moved from Miami to AZ was outdoor living. Slowly but surely, we've been able to bring that way of living back into our lifestyle -- after waiting for the snow and freezing temps from winter to pass. Although it had started to warm up a bit in April, it rained often, and I was attending High Point Market - but afterwards, we have been spending every Sunday outside - rain or shine (I even had gotten sick, but thankfully after a week, it passed). Jeff is happy he is able to grill on the deck, without having to walk down stairs and through the garage to get to the yard (like he had to do in AZ). Even Sephora isn't as frightened as she was in AZ to be outside - here on the deck only - and she especially loves watching all the birds in the trees, and occasional squirrel...

With Summer approaching, the deck space has been wonderful, especially to watch the fireflies light up the forest behind us!

There is so much we would like to do to the house, both inside and out, but we have to pace ourselves - to avoid burnout (and burning through our budget). We've gotten a great deal done inside though we've paused a bit on the inside, now that the weather has been so beautiful. Since outdoor living now has a shorter time frame (vs. FL or AZ), we've focused our energy & time outside. (I'll share inside shortly - stay tuned!!) Between watching local plant sales, cleaning up - pulling weeds, changing out mulch, fertilizer, watering, seeding, plus adding a few new plants, small changes are helping to make a big difference. And Monday, the shutters getting painted, should also help to make for a more crisp looking curb appeal out front. For the back yard, the (double) deck is scheduled to be getting repaired and stained (charcoal grey) later in June - but just cleaning it up last November and adding some plants now for Spring has made a big difference from the day we closed...

 Sneak Peek at lower deck (before it gets stained next month)... 

And what the deck was, the day we closed back in November...

It was actually MUCH worse the day before we closed - I don't know how they cleared it, but they did (more car parts, an old bike, and a Nautilus weight lifting machine (NOT a bench) got cleared... This is the loveliness left behind...

Thankfully, I was able to schedule a donation pick-up from Goodwill to come haul this "stuff" away...

One of the big clean-ups first happened before the movers arrived with our truck, back on November 22 - We had to clear-out the junk-yard left behind from the previous owners (which was actually worse the day before we closed - thankfully, they cleared out most of their belongings, but still left behind remnants of their auto repairs they used to do here (and from what we've heard, the neighbors just loved - insert sarcasm here). But that's in the past, and we're moving forward...

Outdoor Shed Organizing

Outdoor Shed Organizing

Winter came and so did snow (Jeff's first!!) So we really couldn't do much outside, except get the now Potting Shed organized with gardening tools, containers, and outdoor decor  I've collected from gardening in Florida -- plus baskets I collected in Arizona. It's a great storage space, giving  more space to the garage (for Jeff's truck), and I couldn't wait to start pulling out pots from the shed after the winter passed to start planting... 

First Day of Spring - Lowe's - 38 degrees and raining!!

In mid-March, my mom came to visit which prompted me to start sourcing the local Lowe's and Home Depot nurseries for some Spring greens + flowering plants. I started with two large Boston ferns for the deck and two potted flowering plants for the front door, to pair with two small arborvitae (conifer) I had picked up back in December. While my mom was visiting in March, I also lucked out and found triple tier topiaries at Home Depot, but since another cold front was coming, they needed to stay inside. 

Topiaries from Home Depot - High Point

Orchid Pavilion - Inspiration from the Greensboro Ideal Home Show

After mom's visit, Jeff and I attended a Home Show in Greensboro, where we were able to get information and promotion specials on deck refinishing, pest control, and lawn care (treatment). Thankfully, our neighbor was also able to give us the name of a reliable / affordable lawn cutting service to hire. The places we've lived before were maintained by the community - the lawn care (cutting) is new for us. And to invest in all the right tools to care for ourselves takes time to learn, so at least for this first year, someone else is cutting & edging the lawn. Jeff did find a good Spring deal on an edger / weed-whacker, so he has been able to help in between cuttings (especially on the grade change sloped in the back) - and it fits great in the shed along with bags of garden soil,  potting soil, fertilizer, a spade, rakes - and eventually: a lawn mower!

In April, the Home Improvement centers were all having their Black Friday sales, which Jeff and I both took full advantage of - from new black mulch, soil and rocks, to ground cover, small shrubs, and flowering plants. One of the best gardening tips I ever learned was from HGTV's Paul the Gardening Guy who shared how much of a savings it is to buy smaller plants of the larger species you're wanting -- Since this planting zone is new to me (as is gardening with these seasonal changes), I thought this was wise advice. I only bought smaller shrubs plus I also kept an eye out for the 4 for $10 specials (again, a huge help when you're trying to do a lot with a little). Eventually, I'd like to change the front walk-way, and line it with a low sculpted boxwood leading to the door, but right now, we need to get the grass growth, weeds, and even a pesky mole under control. Sadly, the previous owners didn't really care for the property, and the little bit of TLC we've been giving it has already been appreciated by the neighbors.

 Our deck in early March (left), the day we returned from Atlanta (Design Bloggers Conference) - and the deck now in May, before getting repaired + stained this coming June. (And a sneak peek at a former water garden we transformed into a rock garden).

These two wicker chairs I had scored at Goodwill back in AZ (they were white), and I refreshed them here with a new coat of matte black. The peek at the Greek Key rug (5x7) you see here is a NC score I made at a local consignment shop.

When I was first learning about where to shop thrift and consignment shops back in December, I had found 2 small Greek Key concrete planters. Later in Spring, we attended the Liberty Antiques Show and I found two more, medium sized planters, for the deck. Inside it is a plant called a Hot Head (another arborvitae).

 Our back yard view - When we moved in Fall, November 2014 and now for Spring May 2015

This Memorial Weekend, we were able too actually enjoy some of the fruits, or rather herbs, of our labor. Jeff started his first vegetable / herb garden in a raised bed, just off an underused side of our deck. No tomatoes (yet!) but with the parsley and basil Jeff picked yesterday, I was able to make us a delicious pesto sauce we've used as a spread, and I'd like to use to make my mom's tortellini salad...

Jeff's first garden - Raised bed from Home Depot.

Homemade pesto from homegrown basil & parsley.

As I mentioned, I'll share more of the projects we've done together and some refinishing projects I've done too, but while the weather is great outside, I'll be sharing some of our outdoor living projects, and also hopefully getting back my 'blog voice' that seems have gotten a little lost lately. 

Here is a sneak peek at the foyer, plus a list of projects we've done over the past 6 months, I'll be writing about...

During painting process (dining room already painted here) - November 2014

 Foyer - After painted, styled, and builder basic light fixture changed.

Although this isn't a new house (since it was built in 2005), some of the interior projects we've been able to complete since moving in six months ago have included:

Picking Paint Colors
Move-in & Closet Organizing
Installing Window Treatments
Refinishing & Updating Brass Hardware
Painting All Interior Doors Black
Painting Master Bedroom Doors Charcoal
Refinishing 2 Oak Bathroom Cabinets to Grey
Setting up a New Home Office
Refinishing a L-Shaped Consignment Desk
Creating A Stairway Gallery
Creating a Welcoming Small Foyer 
Updating Builder Light Fixtures
Setting a Guest Den
Decorating A Master Bedroom
Restyling the Dining Room
Refinishing Chairs & Tables
Secondhand Style Sourcing Furniture Finds 

Another sneak peek, here at the master bedroom...

Master Bedroom BEFORE

 Master Bedroom After

The only project we hired someone to complete, (besides painting the common areas & bathrooms when we moved in) was having someone install a pair of wood French Doors I refinished, to create a new accessory walk-in closet in the master bedroom, which I'm sure the next homeowner will greatly appreciate!

 This house was built in 2005, so it's already 10 years old - but it is a terrific layout + location for us. I love the symmetrical and classic look of the exterior front, we both love the relaxed outdoor deck space, overlooking a (now) rich green forest, plus the house is  comfortable for guests (according to mom!) and the neighborhood is quiet and friendly too. The deck will be great for entertaining with a few more tweaks - but again, we're pacing ourselves, doing a little at a time.

Happy 6 Month Anniversary of Harmon House and Happy 8 years (married, but 12 together!) of The Davids!

 Bye for now from Harmon House!

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for easy home project updates!


  1. Happy Anniversary! Many more, too.

  2. happy anniversary. enjoy those "afters".

  3. Hello Lynda...your home is so beautiful and glad to hear you will be enjoying the outdoors at tolerable temperatures again. Love your garden...I am really big on gardening these days though i have lost 50% of this year due to rain...Austin Tx has received much needed rain. I wanted to ask the name if you know of the print in your Master. The black and white is so perfect. I always look to you for organization, reuse and expert decorating. Cheers to 6 mos back east and Happy 8th Anniversary...have a beautiful weekend!!!

    1. Thank you so much Monica!! xo So sorry you're having to deal with the rains Texas has been having. Hopefully, things will be better soon. About the b&w print - I'll have to check and see if it has any markings. Thanks again!

  4. Happy Anniversary!! My husband and I will make 12 years this Fall :-).



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