We recently moved from our tiny 1 bedroom 1 bathroom 927 square foot Brooklyn co-op to a "huge" 1800 square foot 4 bed 2 bath home in NY's Hudson River Valley (the Town of Cornwall, to be exact). The move has brought with it MANY challenges (you can watch them documented in our "moving from city to suburbs" playlist on YouTube) but also many fun and exciting changes! We find ourselves with way more space, including a yard and a driveaway, and a LONG list of things we've needed (or wanted) to purchase for our new space. I'll give you a kind of mini tour through photos below and link to some of the new (and a few old) items we're loving in case you need inspiration for your own home! Full video home tour will come a bit later to YouTube (and I'll embed it here) - after we put pictures and decor up, if that's ever going to happen! Unpacking and organizing is my first priority and I'm still working on it...
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Our new kitchen is bigger than our previous tiny galley kitchen, but it didn't have a built in microwave. We don't really have all that much counter space to give up so opted to buy a microwave cart, and LOVE the Casual Home kitchen island we bought! It was pretty easy to put together, and looks great in the kitchen! I'm also loving the rack I bought for our pots and pans, no more pulling out everything from a cabinet each time I needed one, no more layering with towels so they don't scratch each other! Why didn't I get this thing years ago!?!?! Some things we kept from our old home because we love them so much include our Nutri Ninja blender and old dish drain because we loooooove it, clear and easy to clean!
Our kitchen window is very old and gross, and looks into our garage (WTF, am I right!? I won't even go into how hot it gets in there while coking) so I bought these curtains and artificial succulents to add some color and cuteness. Love standing in front of the sink now!! Speaking of sink, I was nervous about the quality of our drinking water coming through this home's old pipes so got this Tap Score water test to check for lead and 100 different nasties, stay tuned for the results (on YouTube)!
PRIVACY / BLACKOUT CURTAINS:
These aren't 100% blackout if the sun is streaming directly at them, but they do a great job of providing privacy (you can't see anything from outside at night when inside lights are on) and also provide very good room darkening to allow for better morning sleep in! We have some odd shaped windows, some with shelves or baseboard heating below them, so didn't want floor length, and found sizes that work perfectly (though I know they're not the best length for design alone).
We got this GE High Efficiency Energy Star set washer and dryer from Home Depot. It was the first time shopping for a washer and dryer so I asked around and did some research. In the end my requirements were top loading, steel drum, high efficiency, energy star. Using those, I shopped around for the best deal. It was around Memorial Day so I was able to score something like 30% off at Home Depot, woohoo!! I've used them a few times already and am IN LOVE! Having my own set, in my own home, not having to go down to a communal laundry room with the kids in masks, it's a game changer!
I can't find the exact desk on Amazon that I bought, so a similar one is linked below, but this is Safco desk I got on Walmart. It's not super sturdy (I've had to ban my kids from climbing on it LOL) but perfectly good as a desk and I love how easy it was to assemble and how sleek and modern it looks. Nice and lightweight if I have to move it, too. No drawers, so I may have to add something next to it, and I'm not sure how it'll do with water stains and wear and tear, trying to treat it carefully! The rolling leatherette office chair is a nice addition as well, since I've been using a folding Ikea wooden chair for the last few years. I know, I know. Don't laugh!! Oh, and can't forget my cute "Boss Lady" mousepad!!
Did you know, radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. A natural byproduct of uranium breaking down in soil, it's a radioactive gas that seeps from the ground and can accumulate in dangerous levels in the home, especially in the basement... which is where our master bedroom is!! So, the Airthings Radon Detector was one of our first purchases and thankfully the first week of monitoring has been reporting back with a very low and safe level, and it will continue to monitor over time to make sure the average levels are healthy and it doesn't spike. It also monitors humidity and temperature, and if you upgrade to a slightly more expensive one (voted one of TIME Magazine's 2019 best inventions), it also monitors VOCs! Healthy home and peace of mind is SO important!! Of course we also got a Ring video doorbell with Chime which helps me keep track of when kids are coming in and out of the door, and when we get a delivery (several times a day, I've been online shopping like a fiend).
The first orders for outdoors, other than garbage/recycling bins and hose/nozzle/sprinkler, were our dome climber and disc swing. The kids have been OBSESSED with these, they're AMAZING!!! The only issue is that the grass in the middle of the dome is nearly gone, it only took like 3 days to destroy it with their swinging. Oops! Not sure if we should keep it there and totally destroy it or try to move the dome a bit every couple of days to give grass a chance to revive?
A couple of things we recently ordered but haven't received yet: We got a 6-person round wooden picnic table and these bungee folding outdoor chairs that got great reviews, hope they're comfy!! We just needed something to sit on while the kids play outside, or to bring camping or to the beach. Didn't want to invest in beautiful $2K outdoor dining/lounging set for this rental home where we'll probably be only 2 years, but hopefully in our next purchased place, our "forever home"??, we'll build a deck and go all out!
I want to emphasize how amazing the over the door shoe organizers are... not just for shoes, but for everything!!! We have one hanging in my closet with my makeup, hair accessories etc. We have one hanging in the kids' bathroom with their toiletries and hair ties, nail clippers, bandaids etc. I've seen others use in laundry room and pantry, for arts and crafts, you name it!! They fit over standard doors and may end up scratching the paint at the top but are well worth it!!
We also don't have any built in towel racks in the bathrooms, so the over-the-door racks below are very helpful. And I bought the hyper tough wire shelving to create a pantry in this random nook we have just half a flight of stairs down from the kitchen. Has been working out nicely!
So, what do you think? Do you have and love any of these? Have other great must have home items to recommend!? Sharing is caring!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)