Oh gracious are we excited over at the Ivey house these days! We started looking at houses about 2 months ago, and let me tell you that process is not fun to me. With each house you start to figure out all the things, “Could I see my family living here?”, “Does this space add to our family life, or make it harder?”, “Do I like the fact that we'll never have a gas stove?” (Yes that right there was a REAL conversation we had numerous times … remember my husband loves to cook!), plus so many more conversations.
We found a property early on that we loved. Well, we loved most of it. The studio space was ah-mazing and had so much potential. The house for us was just okay, but we were willing in our minds to settle for just okay when the studio opportunities were so wonderful. In the end we knew this house wouldn't work because we were almost to Wimberly, and there's just something about being in Austin that we still wanted.
On to the next house. We finally found one that we LOVED. Beautiful backyard with a beautiful pool. Pool = happy kids and happy mommy! The house was great, didn't need much updated, and I had an office. We were in love. Put an offer on the house, they accepted it and we were moving. Then something came back back with the appraisal and we decided to let it go. We felt that it was best, but we were indeed sad.
Back to the drawing board.
We went out the next week and looked at four houses. Of course at house #3 we thought we couldn't find anything better. That house was the biggest house we had ever looked at in our budget, all kids would have their own room (which is not a priority of ours but was looking good for them!) plus a gameroom, plus an office for mom, plus a pool, plus a gigantic shed for the studio. We hated the kitchen, but there were so many positives we would overlook it.
Then we went to the fourth house of the day.
I had seen this house on the market for a while, but never gave it any thought because it is literally a log cabin. Not just logs on the outside to make it look that way, but the house has log cabins on the inside. The entire bottom floor is built out of logs.
We drove up and as we got out of the car Aaron and I both knew that this place was special. It was the most beautiful property we had looked at on our entire search. Peaceful, beautiful, and a creek on the back on the property.
We went inside and it was hard for me. The house needed so much work to be something we would want to move into right away. New floors, new paint, new kitchen, new bathroom. All these things needed to be done before we could move in. I also have a hard time seeing the bigger picture. Looking past the blue carpet, the outdated curtains, weird ceiling fans, etc. We couldn't get past the property, which is 3.5 acres and includes a garage that will be converted to the studio, the house, a huge back deck, plus an amazing barn that one day could be converted to my office plus an apartment for guests. SO MUCH POTENTIAL on this place.
We left that day and decided we'd sleep on it and go back the next day to visit the two houses we loved. The one with the pool, office for me, great studio place, but awful kitchen and the log cabin. Two completely different houses, both up for sale, and both very much livable for the Ivey's.
The next day our first stop was the log cabin and I had invited my friend Catherine to join us. She's a designer and can see through things that I can't see through. We all toured the outside first and were in love. When we took Catherine inside we all talked about what we would do to the place to make it ours. It was finally starting to make sense and look like this was a place we could live forever.
After two hours at that house we decided we didn't even need to go back to the other house. Although it has a pool, an office for me, plus bedrooms for all the kids, we knew that the log cabin was where the Ivey's were going to raise our kids. It just felt right.
So lots of days, paperwork, phone calls, lender meetings, etc we closed on this house yesterday and we have not been this excited about something in a long time. I have so many “before” photos to show you, but for now here are a few:
We love this back deck! I can imagine all the parties that will happen back here. The table above is ready for water and the other side has gas. Can we say outdoor kitchen?!?! One day. We brought our table over there last night, set it up with the benches and it looks amazing. I imagine many family dinners out here.
Here is part of the backyard. The garage will be converted to the studio, which I can't wait to tell you more about. The brick area is our carport. Not a big deal to you, but every house we looked at we were going to convert the garage to a studio, and this house has a garage and a carport for our family. It's the little things.
Yes we have logs in our dining room. How awesome is this?!? This actually was my least favorite room when we were looking at the house, but I think I'm going to love it. Imagine our table plus new floors, new lighting and the ceiling painted white. I just can not wait.
This is the living room. Blue carpet throughout the whole house. We couldn't decide on whether to keep it or get new floors. Just kidding! We went with a great laminate (wood looking) throughout most of the house, with carpet in our bedroom + stairs.
Here is a view of the living room looking towards the kitchen. The front door is to the right and the hall leads to bedrooms + upstairs. Imagine the blue carpet gone and half of that wall knocked out plus a counter top with chairs added. You will be able to see straight into the kitchen. We wanted to open up the area.
There are so many more pictures and I'm certain during the next month I'll be showing you more, but for now that's our new abode. We literally have cried tears of joy and amazement at the fact that we get to live here. Seriously we are beyond grateful to God for providing this for us, and we can't wait to see all he does through this house. More albums will be made, more marriages cried over, more babies celebrated, more weddings, more engagements, more celebrations …. just more of all the things we love!
It’s perfect!!! Can’t wait to see the Ivey stamp on it… And hopefully do a cannonball into your pool. ( only when you aren’t home ) congratulations!!
Congratulations! Looks like a beautiful home and property. I am sure it will be just what you need and love once you get it all done.
YAS!!! Im jealously happy for you and can’t wait for more pictures so i can cheer you on while I wait for my turn to have a home. We sold ours over ten years ago to help someone else, a decade is a while to live and raise a family in a few rooms. This makes my heart happy for you while i wait on the Lord.
So thrilled for you all & can’t wait to come visit! Love the deck & yard!
This “Big Family Renovation” sounds like you need to have your own TV show on HGTV….! Congratulations, Ivey fam!
Congrats Ivey family!! How exciting, can’t wait to see how you transform it!
OMG! I cannot wait to see the process!!!!!!!! this is so exciting!
I can’t even tell you the excitement in reading this post! So many goosebumps as it reminds me so much of my family just last year. After a disappointing fall through in escrow on a house just a year prior, we got the keys to our dream home…in the country…on 2 acres. Just outside of the busyness downtown Sacramento, we live in a quiet oasis with enough space for our four kids and all the smaller animals that our hearts desire. We will grow old here. I’ve learned that the wall paper doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. And with time that too can be changed. The space we have and the memories our kids are making as they explore and live outside is more than my mommy heart can handle.
So excited for you!!! We are moving next month, and it is fun to think of being on similar paths, doing new things ‘together’ with your family.
Oh, how I wish you were doing a renovation show on HGTV with this house! I would love to see all the progress you’ll make along the way…but this is going to be so fun to “watch” through your blog!
CONGRATS! This is super exciting! I know you don’t know me from Adam (or Eve) but I am here in Austin too. I am in ministry and am a Realtor and I also do design and decorating work. I love your blog and podcast and would be happy to donate 2 hours to come over and help you figure out how to really make the space work for your family as my way of saying THANK YOU for all you do! Sounds like you have a good designer friend that can help with the larger scale stuff, but if you just want someone to help you figure out where to put things/hang things/organize things and how to decorate once all the other is done, that is my THANG. I can send you a list of friends/clients so you know I am legit. 🙂 Lemme know!
My husband and I have been house-hunting the past few months and finally made an offer yesterday – fingers crossed! I’m with you. The process was NOT FUN. It’s such a huge investment in every single house you look at, just trying to imagine your life in that space. Anyway, you had me at “log cabin.” I can’t wait to see the after pics!
When I heard the most recent Ivey-Ivey podcast, I was grinning ear-to-ear. Your house story was so like our house story. Looking for a place that had room for our business without totally invading our family space, we looked at no less than 20 homes, many move-in ready. Then we found the most beautiful property with a creek (yes, and oak trees), and a house–of sorts. Six weeks later we moved in. Contractors were working around us converting the garage to office space replacing the ceilings, new floors, replacing toilets/sinks that looked like they hadn’t ever been cleaned, and more. Now, 26 years later, it’s been our home, home to our business, home to 40+ international students, home to weekly dinners for our college ministry and other random college kids, outdoor movie nights and much more.
When I heard you say “wedding” and I felt like it WAS our story! I’ve lost count of the number of weddings we’ve hosted on our property–the very first one being a Brasilian/American wedding in 1999.
Crazy story of how we were ‘guided’ to this property. We knew it was where God wanted us to be, but at the time we didn’t know why. Now, looking back, I get it and love the way we’ve been able to bless people using our home, and the way we’ve been blessed in return. It’s been an amazing ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m SO EXCITED for your family to start their memory-making!
PS–I’ve listened to Podcast #70 twice now. Always love your podcasts, but I particularly love the insight to your marriage and relationship, and the way you and Aaron honor each other while still being real and honest about everyday life. Keep it up!