Rachel’s home: before

front view

My name is Rachel, and I am a home enthusiast.

What is a “home enthusiast”? I thought you would ask, so I made up this official definition:

home en·thu·si·ast

hōm/  inˈTH(y)o͞ozēˌast,enˈTH(y)o͞ozēˌast/
1. A person who likes being a home more than any place else. synonyms: home body
2. A person who wants nothing more than to see what the inside of every house looks like. synonyms: creep
3. A person who believes that homes should be a direct expression of the people who live in them, regardless of what is “socially acceptable”. synonyms: messy, mis-matched
4. A person who reads design blogs and checks Apartment Therapy multiple times a day. synonyms: procrastinator
5. A person who never stops thinking about ways to make their home the best, most awesomely livable and lovable place it could possibly be through constant updates, improvements, and design changes. synonyms: bad at saving money.


My husband and I purchased our first home in December 2015. We got this huge life task in right under the buzzer, closing in on New Year’s Eve. Before buying a home, I thought it was something that I would never be interested in. My thought was this: The only reason I wanted to buy a home was to decorate it. That simply isn’t an “adult enough” reason to own a home, therefore, I should not own a home. My husband also wan’t very interested in it, so we rarely even discussed the option. We had a great rental that we loved. So what happened?

Enter Casamatic, a site that matches millennial homebuyers with their perfect homes. I started getting the emails, and I started clicking through. I fell into the vast black hole of possibility that is the real estate market. I was hooked. I was obsessed. I was done for. PSA: stop what you’re doing now and make an account. Well, wait until you’re done reading this and THEN make an account.

We ended up purchasing a small, recently “flipped” home built in 1895 located in Cincinnati’s most eclectic neighborhood, Northside. It had everything most of the things we wanted, most of which were aesthetic for me and practical for my husband. Those of you that are design obsessed and have a relatively small budget (like me), I sincerely hope that you have a practical, hopeful yin to your yang like I did throughout this process. For awhile, everything we could afford was either ugly (deal breaker for me) or needed tons of work (deal breaker for Reid). With Reid’s laid back positivity, we were patient and the perfect right home found us!

Over the course of looking for homes to closing on our home, something changed in me. I went from someone generally interested in homes and home decor trends to a full blown, absolutely obsessed home enthusiast. I haven’t looked back, and I probably never will. We’re *almost* finished designing and outfitting every room of our little house (just need a few more pieces of art! I’m looking at you, EBTH), and I’m already thinking of the addition I want to put on the back of our kitchen- see definition #5 above.

Overall, the process of falling in love with, designing, and decorating our home has been one of my favorite life tasks to date. I love it and am more proud of it than most of my other major life accomplishments. Home ownership is hard, and the “#adulting” part of it SERIOUSLY sucks. Maybe I’ll talk about that here some day, but probably not, because I want everyone to be excited and empowered about buying and filling their home with creative love. The good outweighs the bad significantly, and the bad stuff really all translates to spending money. Spending money on home ownership things that suck isn’t fun by any means, but it’s also not very important in the long run. I don’t think I’ll look back on my first year as a home owner and remember the air conditioner repairs we paid for. I know I will remember the magic of building our first home together as a couple.

I’m excited to share how I brought creativity home into making this little house our own, but for now, I’ll leave you with the photos of the house exactly how we found it.

living room
living room to dining roomdining room dining room2For a home enthusiast, I know very little about architectural styles. I call our house a “row house”, but I know that’s not right (it’s free standing). What you see above is the living and dining rooms, stacked right after one another from the front entrance.
kitchen1 kitchen3 kitchen2
guest bath stair
Little downstairs bathroom, creepy dark staircase. Spoiler alert- the staircase is still creepy and dark. That’s a future update!
front bedroom back bedroom
Two of the “three” bedrooms. I use quotations because I think they were a bit liberal in thinking one of the three tiny rooms upstairs has enough space for a human to sleep. Because our house is long, narrow, and close to the houses on either side of it, light can be an issue- which is obvious above! The brighter room is at the front of the house, which is really the only side that gets good light. Design challenge accepted!
Last but not least: the wonder that is our backyard. We have grass now, a few plants, and some outdoor rugs with patio furniture as a placeholder. I have big plans for this space, but I’ll have to report back once I get my husband on board. Estimated time: one year to never.

Thanks for letting me ramble about my home obsession enthusiasm. I’ll be back soon with some updates and show you how the rooms have turned out, thanks to creativity, DIY, internet addiction shopping, and a LOT of effort!

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