If you’ve noticed me being kind of vague the past month, a little busier/unavailable, or if something felt weird it’s because I moved! Joe and I had been looking for a place together for months and when we found the perfect house, I decided that I didn’t want to announce it. Yes, it might have been cool to Instagram Story every moment of my move and share the packing, unloading, decorating, struggles, stress, etc. of this transition of my life, but to be honest when you have a blog and make the general decision to share so much of your life with everyone all of the time, the idea of having a little temporary secret from the world was actually really exciting. It was super fun for it to just be my and Joe’s thing for a while, but now it’s gotten to the point where I feel like I can’t be open with you guys because what’s truly become my home hasn’t been introduced to you all and I want to get on the same page!
So I had Maura come over and take pictures of our place as it is now. The idea is that it would have been fully furnished and decorated by now, but holy crap is having your own place a whole thing! I’ve lived with parents my whole life (by choice, to be fair) and I definitely don’t think I could have been 100% prepared for this transition no matter how much research and prep work I did. Joe’s lived on his own for 15 years and he’s lived with partners before, too, so this isn’t new territory for him necessarily, but it’s still new for us.
It’s crazy because the months leading up to our move were honestly stressful on our relationship because our schedules were so out of sync. It felt like we never got to see each other, and with us both requiring so much quality time to feel connected, it started to drain and eat at us. It seems like such a sitcom-y thing to say, “Once we live together things will get better“. I immediately picture Jack Donaghy wearing the feathered top hat Jennifer Aniston’s guest character made him on “30 Rock” and saying, “Maybe Claire is right, maybe if we have a baby together things will calm down.”How absurd is that logic?! But for us it really was the medicine we needed. (Not the baby, the overall logic, haha.) Being able to see each other so much more often, work on projects together, share new things/ideas/space/memories, and ultimately create a home has been so sublime. I may be in some sort of honeymoon bubble right now, but honestly if I’m half as happy as I am five years from now, I’ll consider myself lucky. I feel cherished, adored, and on top of all that able to spread myself out not just creatively but in a starfish shape on our new comfy queen sized bed.
On paper, we realized we didn’t look like the ideal candidates for tenants to rent a house. The first place we found that actually seemed like we could live there rejected us with no explanation and it was a humongous bummer. I was so sad and disheartened. I felt like I was never going to be able to get to start this new chapter and I didn’t know how to fix the problem. Then, the cosmos aligned and I happened to be the first person to respond to a not very specific listing on Craigslist (after dozens of hours searching on specific sites like HotPads). I instantly fell in love with our landlord because he feels like a character from a TV show. I’ve really only let my late grandmother call me “Mar”, but he did it right out the gate and I just found it so charming I didn’t have any feelings to ask him to stop. He’s completely relaxed about everything, genuinely wants us to have a good experience and a lovely home, and just wants to preserve his grandfather’s original home that he built back in the 30’s.
And did I mention that this is the house I manifested from my dreams? If you don’t believe there’s any power in thoughts becoming things, this is a pretty big Exhibit A to file into evidence, your honor. When Joe and I first started talking about moving out over a year ago people would ask me what kind of place I’d ideally want and I immediately said that I wanted a row home (super common in Baltimore) in the city with a car port/driveway. I wanted three bedrooms so I could have an office and a guest room, plus a furnished basement. Guess what I found? That. Exactly that. The place we got rejected from was the same price and half the size as the place we’re in now. If I would have been accepted there, I never would have found this amazing place I now call home. I can’t express how grateful I am for that vague as hell rejection e-mail from the people on William Street. You guys gave us such a gift.
Our official move in day was June 27th and that night we slept here for the first time, despite the complete crazy state of the house. Since then, things have slowly been unpacked and turned from piles into furnishings and decisions. There’s still plenty to work on, specifically the guest bedroom which you won’t see featured here, but we’re really happy with our place and I’m so excited to officially reveal it to you and not have to word things weirdly when I’m talking about “home”.
I miss Bug terribly. He and my dad have a bond that would have been extremely selfish to break, but I go for visits and I have phone calls with him at night a couple times a week where he listens to me and meows into the receiver. Other than that and a brief issue with our air conditioning unit, things have been great, and Joe has made it very easy to adjust to this new life and location. I’m very happy with this new chapter, and I’m learning a lot every day!
Onto the photos! I know that’s what you want to see… PS – I’ll be doing a LIVE walk-through of the house on Monday, July 31st at 7:30 PM EST on my Instagram. Tune in live to ask questions and see things as-is! Can’t wait to see you there. 🙂
Okay so the front stoop is pretty classic Baltimore with the cement steps that I’ve decorated with plants and pinwheels. I also made sure we had fun custom keys for all the doors in the house. We honestly rarely use the front door because it’s more convenient to enter through the carport/driveway area, but you get the idea. And we are directly across the street from a park so I get to see dogs on happy walks all. the. time.
The living room is set up a little weird in terms of outlets, etc. but we’re making it work. Joe hangs out here more than I do, but it’s fun to get take-out and watch movies together on the sofas. I can’t wait to add more color and art to the walls.
The dining room is also home to our shelving units for our DVD’s (which have been officially merged — big step, babes), and a selection of books I thought are the best for sharing, AKA coffee table books. There’s also a piece of furniture called a “wet bar” (apparently) that I’ve basically turned into a party center. Joe has tons of liquor gadgets we’re going to hook up here in the future for parties, but it’s a nice little fun spot for now. And I know the tablecloth is way too big and the wrong shape. I can’t find anything I like and this is the closest thing that I don’t hate so just deal with it for now. 😉
The kitchen was the first thing we decorated because it was the thing we both basically had to start from square one with. I know next to nothing about anything dealing with food, cooking, etc. and Joe is a trained chef, so while most of the shopping was done by me it consisted of my face-timing him and shoving the phone at boxes and saying “is this good or naw?” before I threw things in my cart haphazardly. There’s so many cute things you can get for kitchens, even if I don’t know what they’re for and I’ll never use them. We’re both pretty into the rainbow knives.
The master bedroom is pretty much just our bed, dressers, and my wardrobes — which I am in love with. I was really worried about fitting all our clothes in the space we had, but the PAX centers you can customize at IKEA were totally the best solution ever. Everything is so neat and it keeps me motivated to stay organized. Also, we don’t bother to use one blanket. We just know we’re both bed/blanket hogs and get our own bed stuff to make it easier. Joe makes the bed in this half and half way which I think is cute, although he definitely laid the white one really far to the ground this time, hahah. Good job, babe. And the stuffed animals are Blorg (orange) and Walt (black).
My studio, ahem… office (Joe insists I differentiate that my office is upstairs and the studio is downstairs) is amazing. It’s so fantastic to have everything all in one space, organized as hell, including my altar, books, trinkets, products, mail, journals. Man oh man, I’m so happy with it. This is another place I can’t wait to hang more art up in, but I don’t want to hang shit just to hang it; I want it to go up organically as it comes into my life. I can fill it up with office furniture, decorations, supplies. I’m so excited!
Our upstairs bathroom is cute and colorful, and midnight bubble baths have become my new favorite hobby. I’m obsessed with Witch Baby Soap products (highly recommend), and my skin is like 20 degrees softer after just a month of a weekly bubble bath. That’s a scientific estimation. Our downstairs bathroom is Batman themed.
Speaking of downstairs, we’ve turned the more furnished side of it into a giant cuddle puddle/hang out area. There’s a mattress and floor pad plus numerous throw pillows and stuffed animals to snuggle up with. We’ve also got some great LED lighting hanging from the ceiling and way more to come!
On the unfurnished side, Maura and I will be taking photos! We decided to stop paying rent at the studio we were using. We had a great run with that studio, but we feel our time with it was over and we got what we could out of it. I’m excited to get professional lights and turn this into a real studio where we can take awesome pictures! Uncustomary Headquarters at your service! Right now I’m really enjoying having all my costumes all laid out. It feels so nice to not be so cramped up!
So yeah! That’s pretty much it. We’re so happy to finally share the news with you. If you’re available, come on over to my Instagram tonight (Monday, 7/31) at 7:30 EST for a live walk-through of the house and I’ll do a live Q&A! Can’t wait to see you there!
A few more pictures for you:
Photos: Maura Housley
Congrats, Mary and Joe! I love how bright and colorful your new home is. What fun to see the magic carpet rugs on the floor, old friends like Stitch and a Popple turning up here and there, and rainbows in your kitchen and even on your keyboard! Wishing you much joy together, and the kind of home that helps both of you relax and have fun while dreaming up future projects and endeavors.
Lynn in Missouri
Thanks Lynn! I’m obsessed with the Popple. I never had one, and Joe’s is older than me! It’s SO cute.
Congratulations! How exciting! So happy for you! Can’t wait to see more photos as your lovely home evolves with you! Wishing you happiness across the miles – Sara from Mexico.
Thank you so much! I’m having such fun with it!
Congrats to you both! Your house is so cute!!! I love all the rainbow colors including on your keyboard :). I hope you both have many happy times in your fabulous new home ❤️
Jacque in Arizona
Thanks Jacque! Rainbow keyboards make it exciting to work for sure! I totally recommend them. 🙂
Congratulations! I also recently moved Northwest of the city and it’s definitely been stressful. I also feel satisfied with the extra space and being able to spread out more. As a small business owner, I have struggled with maintaining my organization during the transition but things should get better soon as things are put in new places.
Oh man, we couldn’t get my desk moved for a whole week after we got the rest of the furniture in here and I was going NUTS not having an office for that long. It was SO hard on the Uncustomary side of things, so I totally relate, babe. I’m happy you got to move and spread your wings, too! Congrats!
You have a lovely home. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Two quick observations…
1. Have you noticed that the upside-down “Welcome” sign on the flower pot on your front stoop, due to the font it is written in appears to spell out, “Mercowe”–which I can only assume is an old-timey word for a creature who is half-mermaid, half-cow, like perhaps a manatee or just the standard mooing sort with a fishy tail-end, something that sounds entirely darling to me!
2. My favorite of all the photos is the one with the globe, candle, and flowers. Because of the way the globe is angled, it appears as if he is tilting his head closer to the other objects on the table, so as to lean into the group picture. 🙂 It doesn’t hurt that he’s got that big equatorial grin right across the center of his face, either! 😉
Thank you! Hahah, I totally didn’t realize all the plant decorations were backwards until it was way too late, but that’s an amazing mercowe observation. Well played. And that’s an adorable way to look at the globe photo. I’ll have to point that out to Maura. I love your worldview!!
Congrats on finding a new home. 😀 I know how stressful it can be moving (don’t even get me started on how I managed to stay somewhat sane moving between 6 and 8 times over 2 years).
IKEA is totally awesome and I do have my fair share of stuff from there (including a bright red office desk) as it’s relatively cheap and decent quality. Oh, if you are looking for some fun scented candles, feel free to check out the Sinnlig series as they have vibrant colours (one of my faves are the green one with apple scent).
Btw, I loved the block of kitchen knives and the idea of a Batman themed bathroom. 😀
Oh man, 6 times in almost as many years sounds way more stressful than I even want to imagine! I’ll have to check out that candle line, thanks for the tip! And thank you, those are probably Joe’s favorite parts of the house actually, haha.
Congratulations Mary and Joe! The house really represents you <3 I absolutely love your tiny colorful altar.
Aw, me too. Thanks Kal!!
Congratulations! This place is fabulous, and you look so happy. I am so happy for you!
I’m super happy! Thanks Ilona! I miss you. 🙂
Congrats on a new home. I know really well how stressful and never ending moving can be, I am in the middle of the moving process. I went for half IKEA half the old furniture somehow updated or renovated. I love your kitchen knives and also the wired baskets for the mail, those would totally fit within my style. 🙂 And the dvd/books corner is just so cute looking.
Thanks Dasha! I’m really into how the DVD/book corner turned out, too. Wishing you luck with your move! And definitely check out Home Goods — that’s where I found the mail basket thing!
Yay! Congratulations, guys!
Dan and I have separate bed linens, too. It’s so much easier to not be resentful in the middle of the night.
Also, you absolutely cannot drop a bomb like, “Our downstairs bathroom is Batman themed,” & not show us. RUDE.
Glad I’m not the only one! Hahahaha. I guess that’s true. If you check out my Instagram Live Story in the next 20 hours or so, you can see the Batman bathroom towards the end of the video! I did a house walk-through. 🙂
Honestly, GOALS. I love your new house!
Aw, thank you so much Sarah!!
I’m so proud of the two of you and the next chapter together!❤️ Life is like a bag of skittles ya never know what color is next🤣 Super cute home. We’re here if you need anything!
Can’t wait to have you over!! I’ve got your handmade mermaid tile on my bookcase and the teal mermaid Jen got me on the shelf right above that! Also happy early birthday to you! I hope we get to make it out to see you guys soon. It’s been too long!