I’m so glad to finally say that we found a new house! Or, my sister-in-law found it for us (she has a voracious appetite for real estate listings). It is a 1900-square foot Dutch Colonial Revival (similar to the one below — I will share photos soon — follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks!) built in 1920. The house felt immediately welcoming to me. It is set on a generous two-acre plot running back to acres of woods, so it feels like a real country house, which is just what we were looking for. While it is much smaller than our old house, it still feels spacious for us. Our old house was sprawling and open, but this one is cozy and feels, in some ways, more like an old house, with sectioned off rooms and higher ceilings (just 9 feet – we gained one foot!).
During our house search I really wanted to find a house that we could open up, for the convenient open floor plan so many families look for these days. But the houses that were available in our price range really fell short of the kind of character we were looking for in a more modern house. I wished so many times that we lived someplace without such a dichotomy between either really old houses or bland new builds (West Coast-ers don’t know how lucky they are to have such a wide choice of midcentury houses!). Everyone who has ever searched for a house knows that you can’t get everything you want. So, we chose character and beauty and open land (and a great school district!) over open floor plans and the elusive midcentury modern designs.
Perhaps because we were so young when we bought our first house, or because it was our first home purchase, but we both remember just feeling really nervous about the huge project we had gotten ourselves into (and the huge responsibility of owning our own (rather large) house). Of course, we had nothing to worry about. We made the renovating while working and then renovating while training a puppy and then renovating while having babies thing work, and we learned how to be a great team together in really stressful situations. Plus, we learned how to renovate a home to work for our family and created a beautiful place to live. Like I said before, we never thought that we would be moving from that house. And, I do miss it — partly because it was designed exactly to our tastes and had all the organizational systems that worked for us by the time that we put it on the market. Since closing on this house on December 9, though, Steve and I have both felt an overwhelming sense of “rightness”. We really know we made the right decision this time and chose this house based on what our family needs. It is small enough to feel manageable, big enough for our family to grow up in, with enough character to inspire me, enough land and possibilities to inspire Steve, and enough space for the babies to roam and explore. The house search felt never-ending sometimes (we are so lucky that our realtor is Steve’s mom, or she probably would have fired us as clients — we had so many criteria and saw SO many houses), but now I’m really glad we were forced to take our time and really hone what we needed and wanted from a home.
One of the greatest things about this new house is that there weren’t a lot of huge projects looming (minus a new roof this spring — let’s not talk about that). Of course, it all needs to be painted, and new curtains, and some trim work (and someday a new kitchen, but ours is not so bad for now), but the hardwood floors throughout and wallpaper-less walls (although the 90’s borders in every room are calling my name) make it so much less of a project than the last house. Steve and I are already dreaming up projects we can do (picture frame molding in the dining room, a terraced raised patio in the back, a pole barn workshop for Steve, wallpaper in the entryway), but those projects sound like so much fun compared to projects that NEED to be done. I can’t wait to share progress photos as we delve into our little projects and slowly make this house fit our family!