3-year homeaversary!!!

3-year Homeaversary | RedBarberry.com

…or shall I say mortgage-aversary? Either way we’ve been in our house for three years now! Four more years and we either have to refinance or move (we have 7 ARM mortgage). For some it may seem like far away, but I like to plan ahead (you can’t spell mortgage without “gag”).

Also, we thought we would be much further on our house projects than we are today, but Dmitry started his MBA and my work has changed a bit over the last year and now requires more availability on the weekends and evenings. So when I do get some time off,  I try to enjoy it by being outdoors and sometimes by laying flat on the couch (probably more second than the first, but I’d like to think I’m more active)… In fact we haven’t done any major updates to the house since our office update.

But in honor of the three years, I’d like to do an update.

Living Room

I never did post an official “reveal” of our living room after the speculated design ideas. I have now corrected that problem, and an updated Living Room page under the Home Tour is now live! It has definitely come a long way from that 2014 post.

Living Room | RedBarberry.com

Dining Room | RedBarberry.com

I am very happy with the arch lamp I got from Overstock and the dining table from Pier 1. The chairs are from World Market and I loved them when I first got them, but now I am itching to replace them with lower back, gray, microfiber chairs. However, that’s not in the budget. 🙂 My beef with the current chairs is that the wood scratches the walls and the fabric collects a lot of fur (I finally laid a fake sheepskin on top of two chairs to hopefully catch some of that fur).

Living Room | RedBarberry.com

The couch… we got for free. Originally I disliked it… it’s faux leather, big, brown… very masculine. I dreamed of a beautiful gray fabric mid-century couch with gorgeous wooden legs instead. But over the three years, I am glad we saved that $1.5K and gave this couch a chance. This couch is big, welcomes lots of people, it’s comfy, and most importantly – it’s easy to keep clean!!! I just wipe it with leather cleaner once every two weeks, and it’s fresh and shiny like new! It really made me appreciate leather and faux leather couches more. So what that it looks a bit masculine? I’d rather it be clean.

Dining Room | RedBarberry.com

And yes, my bike is inside. If you’ve been following me, you know that I just learned to ride this year. So it’s handy and visible if I want to take it out for a ride. 🙂


I also finally created the long overdue Patio page under the Home Tour with before and after pictures.

Patio | RedBarberry.com

Nothing has really changed on the patio since the Patio is done! (for now…) post, except it’s starting to show some weathering signs. The red chair I painted is starting to chip a bit, but still has some life left in it before it needs to be repainted. The blue chair from 2-year update went “bye-bye.” Jasmine has been growing like crazy, can’t trim it fast enough, and the peach tree disappointed with no peaches this summer (right after it bloomed we had a cold freeze and the flowers didn’t survive).

Our friend got us a fire pit for Christmas, which has still not been used because we have not had enough cold winter days this year. I am hoping this winter will be chillier! (Just because it’s mid-October, and the weather forecast says it feels like 97F, one can still hope.)

Patio | RedBarberry.com

The Ikea Applaro is still holding up. There are a couple of spots that are starting to look a bit rough, but not rough enough to motivate me to sand it and re-stain :). Perhaps that’s a project for next summer.


Also realized that I’ve never completed the Kitchen page on the Home Tour (slacker)! Well, there are no real “after” photos since no major changes have been made (although, I really really love our first ever “fancy” refrigerator). I didn’t take any kitchen photos when we moved in, so the “before” photos are of the current state of the kitchen. I actually love our kitchen, I think it’s the perfect size and the perfect layout. But I wouldn’t mind a refreshed, more polished look: new floors, new cabinets, new backsplash, new countertops… wait, that would make a whole new kitchen. 🙂 Well, one can dream, but the cost of repairs and my checking account balance are keeping me in check.

Kitchen | RedBarberry.com

Kitchen | RedBarberry.com

My little touch of fall, even though it’s still 90 degrees in mid-October.

Kitchen | RedBarberry.com

Office / Guest Room

This is, by far, my favorite room in the house! We kept it super minimalistic and clean. It was a big push during Thanksgiving break last year to finish the walls in this room. Thanksgiving 2015 will forever be associated with plastering and sanding but bad memories fade and a peaceful creative space with smoothest walls remains.

Home Office / Guest Room | RedBarberry.com

The only updates made are: the shelf has been moved to the other side of the room, which made a huge difference at the entrance of the room (eventually that shelf will be moved into a closet or leave completely); I bought sheepskins for our Ikea Tobias acrylic chairs; I finally bought frames for the prints I mentioned in my home office update in March. Now for the prints… I don’t have them. It’s only been 7 months, give me a break! Oh, and I did get a small rug from World Market for the couch area. I don’t know, perhaps it is redundant to have a rug on top of a carpet, but I like it for now, and Doggies doesn’t seem to mind it either.

Home Office / Guest Room | RedBarberry.com

We have not had any overnight guests in the past year, so I do not have any third-party reviews of the Friheten Ikea couch, but I have spent a few nights on it myself. It’s not the most comfortable couch, the fabric is rough and the structure is tough, but with a mattress topper I have comfortably spent a week on it. We got this couch mainly for its functionality. I just love how easy it was to assemble; it’s the perfect size, it is easy to unfold, and the storage underneath is super convenient.

Home Office / Guest Room | RedBarberry.com

I still love my Urban Outfitters wire lamp.

Front Door

No, it is still not painted. And the fact that it is primed, makes all the dirt stick to it even more. I just can’t decide on the color. The front door is such an important part of the house, it’s like a book cover, if you don’t like the cover, you’re not going to buy the book; if you don’t like the front door, you will dismiss the whole house. Shallow? Perhaps so, but it’s true. So for now the door remains neutral… white.

And something new for me, for the first time I decorated it for Halloween.

Front Door (After) | RedBarberry.com

I live in a constant battle with myself, I love decorating, but I hate buying decorations. I find the whole process frivolous and wasteful. I mean, why should I spend $100, $200, $300 on decorations that will only be put up for a month? The other 11 months they are hidden in the closet, or worse, the attic, collecting dust and becoming a potential fire hazard. Only to pull them out the following year to find out that these decorations are  ugly and un-tasteful, how could I have chosen them to grace my house in the first place?

Front Door | Halloween | RedBarberry.com

And so all of this to say that I went with a $10 minimalistic vinyl display of spiders, a $3 web, and a $2 black lamp. Another $15 were spent on chocolates for that 1 family that came trick or treating 2 years ago. Perhaps this year my spiders will attract more children and I will not be forced to eat all the candy by myself (and I get the good stuff, like Twix, KitKats, Milky Way, Snickers…)

I know, I’m missing the pumpkins… again, waste of money and product. Could I sound anymore realistic? Obviously I have a hard time making friends.

Bedroom and Bathrooms

Nothing changed, except maybe for a few toilet paper rolls and the floor mats needed to be replaced because some kitties cannot control their food intake and then the excess comes out along with hairballs and the old mats could not withstand another wash. Nothing worthy of a picture here and I am sorry for that image you may now have in your head. I’ll just leave you with this peaceful image of a burning candle light. Now pour yourself a cup of tea and take a nap. If you made it through all my blabber, you deserve it!

Bathroom Candle | RedBarberry.com


  1. by Katya Vassilyeva on October 19, 2016  8:01 am Reply

    The patio is my favorite :D

  2. by Love Z. on October 19, 2016  4:55 pm Reply

    Looking great. Would love to see it in person some day!!! :-)

    I need to find new chairs for our kitchen at some point. Would love your opinion and advice since you clearly are an expert at this home decoration thing!!!! You are my idol.

    • by Iryna on October 22, 2016  11:25 am Reply

      Anytime you're in Houston (or Texas for that matter) :)

      Thank you for the sweet complement! :)

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