Hi there! I’m Sarah.
I guess you could say that I like tearing my house apart and putting it back together again. I am living in (and remodeling) my home that I purchased from a little old lady just before New Years Day 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.
I began this blog — named The Ugly Duckling House in hopes of turning into something more swan-like — just a few short months after moving into a house that seemed to have endless inspiration for storytelling – ceilings that had yellowed to the point of turning orange, counters so dirty I had to use oven cleaner, press-on fingernails found in the fridge, and cats having an all-out war in my front yard at four in the morning. Originally built in 1982, it’s been neglected for about 20 years and needs some serious help, which means I regularly have paint in my hair, bruises on my shins, and caulk under my fingernails.
Thanks to the suggestion and support of friends, I’ve continued posting along the way to keep everyone updated about my DIY misadventures. When I first began, my then-boyfriend and I learned how to do saw underneath a stone fireplace, rip out carpet so old the padding turned to dust, and ponder the absurdity of switches that did not turn on a single overhead light. Then, we broke up. He and his adorable dog moved out, and I began DIYing alone. Progress was slower, but I was learning more. And loving it.
With each new project (and a healthy amount of humor), I’ve been using this site to keep a running log of knowledge I’ve picked up in the hopes that it will someday help someone else. Looking back on these milestones, no matter how frustrating they are at the time, teach me to be more grateful for what I get to do every day (like when I realized that the suspected water leak on my new bathroom floor was in fact just a guest missing the toilet – not a leaking wax ring, which would have meant pulling the toilet back out and fixing something rather than just mopping it up and plotting the death of my friend). Admittedly, I am also an idea moocher, so I post sources of inspiration, create mood boards, and share new terminology that ultimately (I hope) will lead me to a beautiful house I can be proud of. Maybe, they’ll help you too!
One important thing to remember about this blog is that this is NOT the online journal of someone who thinks she’s Mrs. Bob Vila. I sometimes get it wrong (but in my defense, I’ll argue that I’m still half-right). This isn’t HGTV, projects aren’t Before and Afters overnight, and there is still plenty of work to do when the sun goes down and rises again the next morning.
I just recently graduated with an MBA while working full time, which means that for the last two years, I have gotten used to coming home to a giant mess. And lately, it’s to only one functioning bathroom. But that hasn’t stopped me from getting to do some pretty cool things—even a little “DIY tv” work! I do most of the work by myself, ask for help from family, Google how-tos like there’s no tomorrow, and cross my fingers that projects don’t take three times as long or cost three times as much as I originally intended. I often think I embarrass myself in front of my neighbors and hope that they will still have patience with the newbie homeowner who prefers not to get business cards taped all over her mailbox.
With that said, here’s what you’ll get out of this site: brutal honesty about first-time home ownership from someone who is just like you – busy, feeling clueless, but determined. If I can do it – hell, anyone can.