What Happens Living in a New Build Home for a Week

Hoang-Kim and Johnny in their new build home with a quartz waterfall island, custom range hood, open shelving and gold finishes in their kitchen
[outfit_details]ON HER: Floral Romper, White Nike Sneakers, Kendra Scott Earrings
ON HIM: Chambray Shirt (similar), Khaki Pants, Slip-On Shoes[/outfit_details]

We made it a week y’all! Moving has definitely been exhausting, emotional, frustrating and stressful. I wouldn’t change it for the world, though. It’s so wild to think one week ago, Johnny and I were signing closing papers on our first home, ever. I’m so excited to share some of our musings of what happens living in a new build home for a week, along with some progress photos! There have definitely been some things we really depend on and some we didn’t really need. I hope you find this post useful and if anything, somewhat entertaining.

Blogger Hoang-Kim and her fiance Johnny in front of their new build home in Dallas that's a one-story home with white painted brick and black trim wearing a floral romper and chambray shirt

1. Out From One Home, Into Another

Even though this was the most exhausting part of our move, we completely moved out of our apartment and into the new house in one weekend. This meant even though boxes were all labeled by room and with what items were inside, we were still looking for items we thought we would never find. One question we kept asking each other, “Have you seen the scissors?” If you’re moving, make sure to give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.

Items We Needed Right Away

  • Paper Shades: We got these and put them up the very first day we moved in to give us some privacy. Super easy to install and you trim the width yourself. This is a temporary placeholder for us until we get our window treatments, which won’t be done for a few weeks. I’ve heard from a few folks they can be hard to take down, but hopefully, that won’t be the case. I’m quite impressed with the quality and they are indeed blackout.
  • Shelf Liner: You cannot buy enough shelf liner and it’s incredibly frustrating to run out. I got both 12″ and 18″ width and also wish I got 24″ but that’s another conversation for another day. I like the kind that’s ribbed since it’s easier to cut and I feel like it gives the items something to grip to.
  • Bona Spray Mop for Hardwood Floors: In the spirit of full disclosure, we did not get the spray mop but wish we did. Oh well. We have hardwood floors and this is what was recommended to us. In a new build home, it takes months for the dust to “settle” so we’ve been mopping every two days.
  • Dyson Cordless Vacuum: If you don’t already have a cordless vacuum, you need one. A gamechanger and honestly makes everything so easy. We’ve been using it at least five times a day. The smaller nozzle is super handy for cleaning cabinets and picking up wood chips from when Johnny installed our hardware.
  • Bar Mop Towels: Super absorbent, plush and so easy to clean. These really cut down on using paper towels and I love how I can just throw them in the washing machine to make them as good as new.

Asian couple who are first time homebuyers in their vaulted ceiling living room with lots of big windows for natural light and maple floors

No Rugs? No Room

One thing I’ve learned while moving is to get any new rugs in ASAP because you don’t want to put down a bunch of heavy furniture beforehand. I remember Johnny expressing so much unhappiness when our new living room rug and rug pad arrived in our old apartment. However, the living room ended up being the first livable space because it had all the pieces necessary.

Johnny says having just re-oriented the 9×12 rug in the apartment a month before the move, he still feel the sweats from that. So we’re “camping” right now with our mattress laying on the floor. The rest of the room is in shambles, but hey, it’s a work in progress! Once it’s done, our room will have all the items below! We’re super stoked about our new rug, by the way and can’t wait for it arrive!

Staying on the Master Suite topic, our closet is a horror show. The issue with putting the large closet boxes in the closet when moving everything in…it’s pretty difficult to actually unbox them since they’re in all the usual foot traffic space. On the plus side, once it’s done it feels like a giant exhale. Johnny is so excited for this. Also, if you’re wondering where our dresser is…it is inside the closet. Yupp.

Asian couple who are first time homebuyers in their vaulted ceiling living room with lots of big windows for natural light and maple floors

A Tale of Two Phases

We love this house during the day. Lighting is excellent. We don’t have our shades in yet, so at night it feels a little like living in a glass cage. Sitting in the office where anyone can see us and we can’t see outside is a little weird, but it’ll be resolved soon. Nighttime gives Johnny some minor anxiety as someone who likes his privacy. A big victory that’s helped is figuring out our security system!

A two-part project is halfway done. We installed two pendant lights above our island and they look exquisite. There’s nothing more fulfilling than installing lights and seeing them turn on. Ready for the fail? While moving a sputnik chandelier around the house before install, Johnny broke one of the glass casings. One thing about modern lighting…especially a sputnik light…is it’s not meant to be moved. On the bright side, Johnny got some super glue and pieced the light casing back together successfully! Install coming next week.

Speaking of install…we can’t install the second light fixture we planned on. No ladder, no love. We have a 3 ft ladder. Good enough for most things, but without a taller ladder, there’s no way Johnny installing the new entryway light with these 10 ft ceilings. He was able to do the pendants because he put a stepstool on the island. Which brings us to this point: are you really a homeowner if you don’t have a ladder handy?

Serena & Lily white dipped jar with a floral arrangement by Something Pretty Floral in a cozy and elegant living room

Love Where You Live Now

I’ve loved every single place I’ve called home. Regardless of whether it was a tiny apartment my family of five squeezed into, my first apartment in the middle of Nebraska, a tiny studio in New York City Johnny and I shared… I think it’s so important to love where you call home. Yes, our new house is beautiful but I would love it all just the same. We love this home because we poured our hearts into it and we’re enjoying the process of making this house a home. We both believe in being fiscally responsible. As much as I’d love to have the whole house decorated and done right now, that’s just not possible. We can’t afford to do that and we also want to be extremely thoughtful about what we bring into our home. When you live in a space you really see what needs arise and can buy items serving a purpose, rather than something to just fill the space. Here are some progress photos of what we’ve set up so far and little moments in our home.

Living room with cedar mantel, Samsung Frame TV, eucalyptus garland, fireplace, fiddle leaf fig plant, lift up storage coffee table and wood wick candle in a new build home in Dallas

Our living room is one of my pride and joys right now. It’s not finished but it’s functional, cozy and a place for us all to gather. We got this vintage-looking 9×12 rug to ground the space and add a bit of color. Our floors are Shaw Floors Maple in the most beautiful grayish brown. Almost everything else, we already had including the sectional, coffee table, etc. A few new additions include the most incredible wood-wick candle from Sunday Club hand-poured by the founder Alice in San Francisco. You can use code HK20 for 20% off. Another gorgeous addition are the fresh florals Something Pretty Floral dropped off. I love the rich colors and you can use HK10 for $10 off. Scroll through the items below to shop our current living room.

Custom appliance garage with sliding doors, pot and pan drawers and more to hide all those big bulky appliances in a kitchen. Finished with brass Rejuvenation West Slope drawer pulls

One of our first home projects was installing our cabinet hardware. We got soft-close hinges on everything, which makes opening and closing a bit difficult without proper grip. Learning from a previous mistake, we ordered this cabinet hardware template to help us mark holes for drilling. It made a world of a difference. I’ll have a full blog post up later this week on the process! We’re still waiting on our bathroom hardware to arrive, but Johnny went ahead and drilled almost all of the holes so all we have to do is screw in the knobs.

Layered door mat look with a Studio McGee Target Threshold nay plaid rug, doormat to remind guests to take off their shoes and a floral arrangement from Something Pretty Floral

I’m a sucker for a good doormat. I love this layered look because it adds a bit of personality. Plus, my doormat is a friendly reminder to new guests to take their shoes off before coming into our home. We still need to sweep and clean our patio, but that’s a bit lower on the priority list.

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