The Craziest Year Yet : A Review

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March 6, 2015
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April 20, 2015

The Craziest Year Yet : A Review

making a house a home | happily curated chaos | |

Hi friends, this is a long one. About 1,500 words long of no crafts, DIY projects, or how-to’s. Just a good ‘ol update on our first year in Nashville, and what’s to come.

To be honest, I kind of expected to still be in New York at this very moment. We didn’t think we would sell our first home in four day. The average days on market for our area was about 120 days and it was winter. I figured it would be about now that we would be moving into our Nashville digs.


We have been in Nashville a whole year, March 1st to be exact, and it’s been quite the journey. Getting here was a nightmare, but being here is a dream.

Being it’s our one year anniversary,  I figured I would spill the beans about the drama to get out of New York, what we are up to here, and what the plan is.

The main question we get pretty much weekly, still, is; “Do you miss your old house?”. The answer is kind of complicated. Do we miss how pretty she was an how much space she offered, “yes”. Do we miss being responsible for a 1930 tudor with no AC downstairs, the inability to open windows, the $1,000 a month heating bill the $25,000 (!!!) a year property/school taxes, laundry in the basement, constant-ongoing renovations to every corner of 6,000 square feet, “no”.

I start with this question to express that us leaving New York wasn’t us throwing our hands up in failure because we couldn’t handle it. After me being there 15 years, and Joey 10, we kind of just had enough. It was really that simple. It’s very expensive and beyond maintaining the $10,000 a month house expense you have tolls no matter where you go, and everything is so expensive and the weather kills half the year. We didn’t want to raise a child under this amount of stress.  We absolutely do not regret buying this home. We were very connected to her from the moment we saw her. She was a beast to tackle, but after five years we were simply tired. I was ready to leave New York before the ten extra years I stayed for Joey to grow in his industry and am so grateful we got to take the time and explore and move someplace great.


Enter, our 1,900 square foot cottage in Nashville. This was not the plan. If you remember, we were building a lodge out in the country. We had the plans, we just needed the land. Then we got scared frightened. We were moving to a new town, a 12 hour drive from anyone and anything we knew, and were were planning to isolate ourselves.

So we made a new plan after realizing this may not be the best decision for Joey’s growing music career and me opening a storefront for Rich Hippies. We looked at 30+ houses. We lost eight of them. We fell deeply in love with a cabin in the city, and thought we had that for two weeks. We would hop in the car in New York and drive to Nashville randomly to house hunt until the buyers from our house were handed the keys. We still had no plan, or anything that looked like a plan. It seemed like everything was against us moving to Nashville. We had an infant, two dogs, our life in storage, and no home for five weeks. We AirBNB hopped in the middle of winter and it was all very very very stressful.

After caving and looking at a neighborhood our realtors kept suggesting, we four our house. Of course. We wound up in the equivalent of Williamsburg Brooklyn, but this time everyone was married with kids and home owners. We four our home at midnight, peeking through windows after realized the home was staged. Actually, Joey went alone and we had the realtors draw up the contract before the open house the next day. We viewed the house for six minutes and made an offer. Not because it was our dream house, but because we were desperate and tired.

So, how do you cram 6,000 square foot of furniture in a 1,900 square foot house? I would love to know the answer to this because we still haven’t figured it out after a year. Our dining set is still in storage, but we were able to use our couch. Our bed is inappropriately placed in a too-small master bedroom, but other than that, we have grown to really love our new home and neighborhood. A lot.



We decided to make the edits to this home that would make it not just “work” but work well. We are making the living room bigger, twice the size actually. Turning the two tiny bedrooms into one larger one and then adding a master suite upstairs so it will still be a three bedroom.

We will make a huge wrap around porch to greet the driveway. We also plan to add square footage to the back of the house, and maybe add additional square footage upstairs. That part is going to be a surprise.


And if you pay really close attention, you know about our AirBNB across the street. We are lucky enough to turn this duplex into a two unit AirBNB and a work space for me and a work space for Joey and we will be adding a greenhouse. It’s not pretty, but it will be one day.

As for the next major question “What are you doing in Nashville?”. I am no longer a marketing director or in artist development. I actually have been working for myself for two years now and it’s been the most favorite thing I have ever done for myself. I just don’t like long term work relationships. I like new-and-fresh and what I am doing now fills all the needs with newness and creativity daily.

I am a Nashville interior designer and stylist. I mostly work with brands and home owners, and I am so happy I went out on my own. I was in a partnership for a year between New York and Los Angeles before officially launch Rich Hippies, but owning my own is more my speed. I also have a shop in East Nashville, by the same name, Rich Hippies. The shop is a tiny lifestyle shop of lovingly curated kids clothes and home goods. We teach maker classes, and host events, and it’s pretty much my dream come true. I have finally begun to hire employees because after opening shop in November because things have grown rapidly. Also, being an AirBNB host is a bit more time consuming than one may think. Of all my new jobs, blogger has become a main priority with the move and we have been making efforts to create a new schedule with posts, and with new help being hired, I am confident we can get the weekly posts to daily sooner than later. It’s been over five years since we started this blog, and it was our first baby, and we plan to nurture it and have it grow with us, always.

Joey is still co-producing blog efforts, in addition to his full time job as composer and song writer. Nashville has been so good to him, and he couldn’t have picked a better spot to be and grow.





Atlas had his first year of life with Joey and I taking off work and focusing on being new parents and discovering were we were going to move. Now that he’s two (how did that happen?!), he’s in an educational program and we are looking for breakdancing or drumming classes for him. He loves to dance, and he loves music so very much. He’s cooler than both of us, and has been seen rolling his eyes at his lame Mama or Dada. It goes without saying, he’s the center of our universe and it just so much fun. Owing our own things has also opened up so much extra time to parent and make special moments and memories.





The plan is pretty simple and exciting. We have planted our seeds and are growing our roots, and so happy with all of our decisions. It kept us up many nights, and we had many many discussions before making this major life change, but it was the right move for us. We still want the lodge in the woods, and we are still taking steps to find acres of land and build a vacation lodge. It’s just become part of the five-year plan. We want to continue to create more AirBNB’s as well.



East Nashville has become our home so quickly. It’s this nook of amazing and creative neighbors who act like neighbors and strangers quickly become friends. It is crazy to be surrounded by so many creative people who have learned to make a life creating and sharing. This corner of Nashville is so special to us and was worth every ounce of chaos to get here.

xo, lana katsaros I


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    The Craziest Year Yet : A Review

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