Friday, June 19, 2009

House Adventure 1b

The house hunt continues!

I stated in a previous post , which has initial search details at the bottom, that we had always said we would never move, but I didn't expand on that. We're in a tiny space, but we get along really well - we like being cozy - and we've had fun being creative with it. For instance my office, where I spend MOST - seriously - MOST - of my time at home is the four-foot by four-and-a-half foot former master closet pictured below. This 18 square-foot space houses not only my office but most of our game storage (and we have a lot of games), our CD collection, two short file cabinets, and storage for our card table among other things. I even have some family pictures and some artwork hanging up in there. All that in 18 square feet!! And this is an office for a teacher/student/author! (The binders you can see on the top shelf scrape the ceiling.)

I kinda like being surrounded by my games while I'm working, and it's kinda fun to be forced to be creative with our space. Unfortunately we haven't been able to get as creative with bathroom space. Here is the main bathroom that our family and guests use - no counter space whatsoever! It's a good thing we have 3 boys and not 3 girls!!Why are we thinking of moving after 18 years here thinking we'd stay put? The reason the idea came up at all is that we'd like to have a slightly larger and more open living and eating area so that we can have people over more easily and so that we have enough space to accommodate our boys and their (future) families for holiday meals and other family gatherings. The dining and kitchen area you see below just aren't going to work for that purpose - nor is the living area pictured below that . . .
. . . so, while our current space keeps us close and cozy and creative, the desire to have the space to be more hospitable is a real draw. We'd like basically what we have now but a BIT more living, dining, and (we now realize) gaming space.

The search has been quite an adventure so far. I'll probably sound naive as I write, but David and I have only shopped for a house once before, and that was 18 years ago and before we had kids. The one pictured in my previous post was pretty close to perfect, and I sure wish someone hadn't beaten us to it. We looked at 6 homes today. I only took pictures of 2 of them. Of the 4 others one was on a busy street and was also too small to justify moving, one had an INSANE layout, and three were really trashed (as well as not being quite right in other ways). Both homes I liked enough to take pictures of are more than twice the size of our current home (so much for a "bit" bigger). The yards are smaller, though, which is a loss we would really feel.

Compre the picture directly below with our living area above - quite a contrast, huh?
I fell in love with the curved staircase immediately, but the home is very impractical for us - a lot of space to pay for that's not really possible for us to use well. Ah well, it's fun to dream about having something PRETTY! And this house IS pretty!!!Speaking of pretty - check out the master bath - the door with the full length mirror is the door to the large master closet with a window in it! Across from the tub is a LARGE very nicely tiled shower. It also has two sinks AND counter space!!!! The "curb appeal" (below) is GREAT too! Pretty, pretty, pretty!I found it very hard to walk back out of the front door and drive away from this house, but I know in my heart it isn't right for us.

This next had one item that had serious potential for us in the form of a loft upstairs that we could use for gaming - potentially big enough for David to set up his ping-pong table and have room for Wii and a table or two for other games or puzzles, but it also has THREE AND A HALF BATHROOMS - good if the entire family comes down with some sort of intestinal distress (four toilets!), but who wants to clean that many bathrooms?!?! (I already HAVE a full time job!) I often hear people talking about how boring it is when houses are painted all white. I have always thought white was fine and am becoming more and more partial to it, especially after seeing the following which had in adjoining rooms dark orange, lavender, blue and pink - YIKES! At least paint can be covered! These two rooms connect directly to the dark orange below. (There is also dark orange between the doorways here, but you can't really see it.)Were we to buy this house we would even take out a wall between the loft and one bedroom to make it an even bigger play area. Since it has SIX bedrooms, this would not be a sacrifice!! (Six bedrooms?!?! You could house a village here! All 5 of us, including me and David separately could have our own individual bedroom, and there would still be an extra, empty one!!)This is a view of the loft (left) and bedroom and the wall between them that we would remove - kinda cool that the window styles match between the rooms - has some character too. I tried to capture a bit more of the loft in the pictures below. You can kind of put it together if you realize you can see the same railings in the two following pictures (from above and below). The door on the right below is the door pictured above. The door to the right of that is to a bathroom. David and Caleb are pictured heading down a hall towards the front of the upstairs where there are two more bedrooms. The pink and blue bedrooms, which round out the total of 5 bedrooms upstairs, and ANOTHER full bath are in the direction where I was standing with the camera taking the picture. The master bedroom is downstairs, which is nice. In the first place we never imagined buying another house. In the second place we never imagined looked at something this big. Not only are these houses big - therefore pricey even in this market - but both need the flooring and painting totally redone and need a backyard put in )i.e. more money). Right now neither one has anything but dirt in the back yard - not even a cement slab for a patio, not a blade of grass, not a tree, nothing. So, as much as I LOVE many things about the first one - including the BEAUTIFUL curvy staircase and as much as I also LOVE the potential MONSTROUS gaming/gathering area in the other (gaming being our passion), it ain't happenin.' For now I'm sticking with my 18-square-foot office :-)AFTERTHOUGHT: It has been really eye-opening to go into other homes - some that were rentals - some that were foreclosures that had former residents who were not happy to leave. Before I revised this post I had a lot of words in this "afterhought" - especially about rentals that people had been living in and had not trashed in anger on the way out but rather were living in what we saw. Suffice it to say I am no housekeeper, and I know it, but after looking at some places we've been in I feel like Suzy-Q Homemaker!


Anonymous said...

Your office is amazing! I just wouldn't want to be in it in during an earth quake....I have been meaning to clean my office for sometime now, and seeing your's inspired me. I think I took out as much stuff as fits in your entire office, that was just "junk", see having more space isn't always a good thing.

I like "some" color on walls, "contractor white" is boring and can't even wipe the walls without paint coming off. However with that said the photos you posted must have been a house of a family that watches way too much HGTV...a little too much color, and too bold. I'm an earth tone gal myself, but I do like white ceilings/trim....oh and a crisp white kitchen sometimes in nice too.

Heidi said...

Our realtor keeps speaking of people who "shouldn't be allowed in Home Depot!"

I think that's part of what happened with that one house.

I do agree with you about color. I'm fine with all white or beige, but we painted our halway a light yet rich brown a few years back, with white ceiling and trim, and it looks so much nicer. I love the color scheme of your home and also your taste in decor in general.

I have no vision for it ahead of time, but I know what I like when I see it! (I may need to hire you to help me decorate!)

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I "cheated" and hired a decorator to help me. I just needed someone to give me the backup I needed to make the decisions I made. (I'm usually brave picking out my own paint color), but with the size and height of my walls, I didn't want to have to think of repainting anytime soon if I disliked the color once it was on the walls. My only "mistake" was carrying the wall color from my bedroom into the master bath. I love the color in the bedroom (a spanish muster yellow) but it just doesn't go with the tile or counter tops in the bath. The bath should be painted an earthy tan. I was planning to repaint this summer, but not now since I'm pregnant, I don't want to be breathing all the paint fumes. Oh well, very few people see it but the family, so it will wait until next spring.