On Saturday morning we packed up a few small items still at the house and walked out the front door for the last time. It was a strange feeling. I didn't get emotional like I thought I might, but I tried to soak it all in one last time and remember the best of times there. Here we are on the front porch (my camera was balancing on the SOLD sign as I sprinted to the steps to beat the 10 second timer!).
The front room was easily my favorite room because of the natural light and hearth. It was beautiful at all hours of the day. It often reminds me of one of my favorite books while in school studying Interior Design called Patterns of Home. Pattern Four was titled Capturing Light. Here's a quick passage from it -
A sheltering roof is primarily a defense against weather, but a home must also open itself to the light and warmth of the sun. Arrange interior spaces to gather light, each according to its needs, over the course of a day and over the course of the seasons. Important rooms deserve balanced light from at least two sides. And try to let light surprise you somewhere: a drop of light on a landing, a wash of light on a north wall. Above all, use natural light and the forms employed to collect it - windows, dormers, skylights, monitors, and wells - to reinforce the order of the plan: The important centers, edges, paths, and gols are all revealed by Capturing Light.
The dramatic entry will always be a favorite feature of the house as well...
One last shot of the hottest crystal chandelier in the tri-county area. The previous owner told me this was custom made for the house in Washington, DC. Love that!
And here's the most dapper man in the tri-county area, shutting off the water in the upstairs bath for the last time. I'll miss that hexagonal floor tile. Next house.. maybe a penny floor?? I think so!
One last shot of the back gardens from the sunroom... note the $15,000 roof that needs replaced by winter on the house and garage (by the new owner). And the kitchen that needs done for an estimated $25,000 (by the new owner). We thank the good Lord everday for getting us out of there in a timely manner. All I can say to the new owner is God bless you. We're tired. Thanks for taking it off our hands. Time for you to finish the job up. We've done enough. Peace out!
This photo below describes the house really well... so much beauty and character there, but as I mentioned in the last blog post, we never felt truly safe, so unfortunately it never really felt like home to us.
We're not in the new house yet, but I'm getting more and more excited to make it ours.
I should mention one of the top must-haves (behind 'safe community') while we were house searching was a full basement (first and foremost for our safety, and second for storage and extra living space in general). This narrowed our options dramatically. Our realtor told us that 90% of the homes in our future location are built without a basement because of extremely thick bedrock. Apparently, home builders have to bring in rock crushers in order for a basement to be dug for a new home. We were both a little thrown off by this because we grew up in homes with full basements and didn't think it was such a production in other areas. However, we didn't let this change our minds. Who wants to chop up concrete slab in the bathroom when your plumbing backs up? Not me. You know a basement is a rare find when there's a banner on the For Sale sign that says "BASEMENT!" where it otherwise says "Four Bedrooms" or "Remodeled Kitchen." When we saw this place come up for sale, we jumped on it immediately. It went on the market on a Tuesday, we toured it on Wednesday, made an offer on Thursday, and on Friday our offer was accepted.
It was custom built by the previous owner, but it needs some love and personality geared towards our style. It was built in the 1990s and boy does it look like a '90s house. There's lots of blue paint and bad brass fixtures that overwhelmed me when I walked in the door. People, there's even blue 90s shutters (it's ok to scream). I saw them and wanted to curl up in a ball and start rocking back and forth in a corner somewhere. I will survive... once all things blue on the exterior are turned to classic black.
Luckily, the kind of improvements we're looking at are cosmetic, much different than the first house where we replaced all of the guts of the house AND did the cosmetic work like painting and modernizing fixtures. The biggest difference is the age of the home. We're talking about nearly a 100 year age gap from our first home. A dishwasher?! An on-suite bath?? An attached garage? Get outta town. Needless to say, I cannot wait for the modern conveniences and efficiencies of the new place. One doesn't realize how great they are until they're gone.
I've had some time to start collecting inspiration images and consider the next home's pallet. It has all white trim, which is something I don't want to change. Talk about a 180 from all the heavy dark woodwork in the last Craftsman home! While I directed the color scheme of the last place to traditional color pallets used in Craftsman homes, I'm excited to explore more neutral schemes that work well with the new white trim... and lately I've loved exactly that - different tones of the color WHITE. I've collected lots of art at the last home, and nothing sets off a piece of artwork like a sleek white wall. Maybe I've spent a little too much time in art galleries. Nah, no such thing. I like colored walls for a split second, but then I find myself tiring of the color over time. Painting is exciting at the beginning, but it's pretty tedious work and I would much rather change out the accessories in a room to switch things up, versus re-paint every few years or so. I find nothing more classic than black and white interiors, which really lends itself to modern Scandinavian design.
Here are a few images that inspire me. Special props go to Michelle Halford at The Design Chaser. Many of these images link to her site, The Design Chaser, which you should follow. Follow the image's link for destination sources.
Ps. Our temporary neighbor during this in-between-houses time is a new member of the local 5th grade pep band. He got his new trumpet last week. So we went from entertaining Elvis impersonations at the old place to daily 3:30pm trumpet practice on the porch next door. Keep it comin, world! You never cease to make me laugh!