Tag Archives: Apartment Therapy

One More Vote

I’m a finalist so now I have the chance to win the whole thing. Go vote here!

It’s official. This week rules (and my life is going to be so boring after all of this). I won my division in Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool contest. A huge thank you to all of you who voted, shared and tweeted my entry. It obviously was a HUGE help! There’s one more round to go…

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I knew the finalists would be announced yesterday so the refresh button and I became fast friends. The rules this year were a little different. The top 5 entries (by number of votes) went to a judges’ panel for the final ruling. So yea, even though I had the most votes in my division, it was completely possible that I still wouldn’t win. I don’t know what the judges’ criteria was, but this pretty much made my day:

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Amy is a fancy pants senior digital editor for House Beautiful, Elle Decor and more. Amy, you don’t know me and I don’t know you but I’d totally be up for a super awkward phone call where I basically just stutter and babble about my throw pillow addiction and other ridiculous things. :)

And the art she loves so much is 100% attributed to our close friend Benjamin Rogers. All of our artwork that’s featured are originals done by him. Ben, you rock.

I don’t think I have a good chance of winning and to be totally honest—yes, while a 900 square foot is relatively small compared to homes in my area, it’s nothing in comparison to the 250, 300 and 500 square foot AMAZING homes I’m up against. They are the true small, cool homes. I’m happy to just be included at the top. And a little sad, because I think I’m not allowed to participate next year!

Thanks for bearing with me. The voting ends at 3 pm EDT today so this will all be over soon enough. I have a lot of content waiting to share… some kitchen posts, a bunch of DIY I did for the shoot and more. Hold tight!

Here’s the voting page. I am so appreciative!

xo,

emily

 

 

Vote For My Small Cool Home

If you don’t want to read and just want to vote, here is my contest entry page. You “favorite” it to vote for it. (Thank you. SO. MUCH.)

Small Cool is an annual contest on Apartment Therapy that celebrates small spaces. It’s been going on for 10 years and I’ve participated in 2011, 2012 (got close with 4th place), took a break in 2013 to get married and am back in action for the 2014 edition.

2014 Small Cool Contest Entry

Click to see the full entry on ApartmentTherapy.com

Guys, I actually have a chance at winning my division this year. I am in first place and have been for about a week. I have been holding off talking it here because schilling for votes is right up there with painting cabinets for me—awkward and painful. *takes deep breath and keeps typing*

I am honest when I say I am indifferent about the prize (I don’t really have any room for new furniture…) but what I do care about is getting some recognition for my kick-ass minuscule (relatively speaking) house. My house, which stood vacant and disgusting for a decade, may now be winning an Internet contest. I think that would be an awesome 100th birthday gift for my 1914 home. Although I’m guessing my house doesn’t know what the Internet is…

I need your help to keep me at #1. You have to register to vote but I promise it’s 2 or 3 clicks and then done. Here is my contest entry page where you can “favorite” it aka vote for it.

I’ve learned a thing or two in my third year of competition. I thought it would be fun to look back at previous years’ entries. Dear house, you’ve come a long way. (And I think we can go further together, just don’t tell Aaron I said that.)

Bedroom – 2011, 2012 and Today In 2011, this was still the living room. I don’t own any of the furniture in this room anymore. The sofa, now in a grey tweed cover, lives with my sister in Illinois.

2011 Contest Entry

In 2012, it became the bedroom. This was prior to Aaron officially moving in so I’m still rocking the mattress-on-the-floor look. This layout is essentially how it is today. I actually like that dresser on the right better than what we have going on now. There’s a big chair there currently but while it works just great, I like the symmetry of the double dresser more.

2012 Contest Entry

And I’ve shared this photo a million times but here is where this room is today. This bed is actually broken at the moment so Aaron and I sleep squished to the left, because the right side is collapsed. I may or may not have used this bed as a step stool / jump landing one too many times. Classy!

2014 Contest Entry

Living Room – 2011, 2012 and Today In 2011, the space planning side of my brain was obviously on vacation because this space was made into a weird sitting room / front room of some sorts.

2011 Contest Entry

In 2012 it became the living room, which is what it is today. This is where my painting-black-walls-back-to-white experience began. I still find black here or there. And this is a different angle. The bedroom is to the right, the kitchen (you can see the wallpaper poking out) to the left.

2012 Contest Entry

And here is the living room today. The pillows have since changed and the brass peacock is on top of the bookcase, but you get the idea.

2014 Contest Entry

If you want to dig deeper, here are the full 2011, 2012 and 2014 entries.

So yea, PLEASE go “favorite” my 2014 entry over on ApartmentTherapy.com. My house and I are SO APPRECIATIVE. Do it for the house!!!

(But seriously, thank you.)

xo,

emily

p/s: I am totally aware that for this year, the person with the most votes does not necessarily win (the top 5 in each divison go to a judge’s choice to select a finalist) but I don’t have any control over that so I’m just erasing it from my memory for the time being. :)

All of the “before” pics.

This past Saturday, April 23, marked the 3-year anniversary of me being a homeowner. April 23, 2008 was my closing day with the bank. I was a single, naive, just-turned-24-year old and I thought I had it all figured out. I’m not sure why I even decided to be a homeowner – it wasn’t about the “numbers” or that I needed a place to settle down. At the time, it was all about attaining that feeling of independence. What’s more independent than a single, young, professional woman buying real estate in a state she’s never lived? I also had a few “pushers” like Louise from work who purchased a house young, and from my perspective, it worked out great for her. Honestly, it was 80% an impulse buy, which defines most of my life decisions (ask to see some of my tattoos, for example).

I think I had $700 to my name when I decided to make an offer on my house, most of which was used for a good faith payment, an appraisal and some lawyer fees. It is scary to recall that – I was such a dope. The City of Covington (Housing Authority) put the down payment on my house for me, for which I’ve always been so thankful, as a part of their Community Development program. See, they want people like me to move in and help make things a little nicer and attractive to other interested buyers, and they’re willing to “show you the money” in the form of a small grant to achieve that situation. I’m not sure if the city still has the program, but it was great. I really could not have done it without the City of Covington. They even provided me with a “closing coach” whom I met with prior to the closing date and helped me navigate the process and read any warning signs. (If anyone needs information on the program, I am happy to help and provide info.) And then of course because my house was purchased in the correct time frame, I also got the big fancy “first time home buyer” check from the government, which I am happy to say I still have in the bank (a miracle in itself).

I guess in 300+ words what I’m trying to say is I really, really like being a homeowner and overall, it has worked out pretty well for me. It has forced me to learn things I otherwise would not have bothered with (like how to correctly clean a dryer vent, or how to attach things to plaster vs. dry wall) and most importantly, it has allowed me to be creative. Before, I would paint a wall black (I used to live in these horrid apartments out in Eastgate where I decorated my bedroom with black walls, pink comforter and a John Cena poster… swear) and then 12 months later the situation would change and I’d have to prime the walls for the next renter. And by I, I mean my Dad would come do it while I was at work… I am so thankful for him and Kilz.

I will stop yapping. Here is what my house looked like in those first few days of home ownership – it was so vanilla at the time. It was a blank slate and it had that good mix of old home (built in 1914) features with the finish of a builder home. Most of the other homes I toured (22 to be exact) had that Picasso effect (analogy stolen from Clueless) – beautiful from far away but a big ‘ole mess up close. And yes, I did have the feeling that this one was “the one.”

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Living Room… now the “White Room”:

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Bathroom:

Emily Snuffer

Bedroom:

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Kitchen, looking from “Black Room” to back door:

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Laundry Room:

Emily Snuffer

Emily Snuffer

Eventually, these will go under the “Tour My House” page on my blog, next to the “progress” photos to show you the evolution of each space. Honestly, it’s fun to document even for my own memory.

Also, if you’re dying to see some “afters” you could either browse my other pages OR head to ApartmentTherapy.com and vote for my house. The contest is still on and my photos are here. Update: the contest is over! But you can still click to see the pics. I did pretty well for my first contest.

– emily

Update: Yes, City of Covington’s Community Development Department still has the program, thanks to funds continued to be provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). To learn more, go to MakeCovingtonHome.com. While you’re on the site, check out the Covington homes they’ve recently rehabbed / reconstructed. Jeremy Wallace is my hero (and also the one who helped me get funds for my home).