School begins next week, and it feels that we were only just ending the school year. While we didn't do any big vacations this year, we had a lot of time making memories as a family. We hit up the pool, visited family, welcomed new babies (NOT MINE), tended our surprise garden, and ate a lot of popsicles and ice cream.
Part of the reason for the at-home summer is the fact that we bought a house in May. Something that, not surprisingly, is not so kind on your bank accounts. So we've taken it easy, but it's been so, so good. There is something amazing about letting your kids out the front door and telling them to go play in the yard. Our yard. They have space to run around, ride bikes, dig in the dirt and get into plenty of sisterly squabbles. Sometimes I just sit in a lawn chair at the top of the driveway, sip on coffee, relax and watch.
I've told you all about buying my childhood home, but I thought maybe I'd give it some context and show you a small peek into our world. It's simultaneously familiar and new, strange and wonderful. It's weird to look at every part of this house and have memories dating back for as long as I can remember. There are moments when I sit on the couch and look out on a room, unable to decide if the snapshot of my view is new or old. Is this present or a memory?
Yet, there is a strangeness with my mom not living in this house. Her her stuff no longer lines the walls. At times that still weighs on me. My mom isn't a big "processor," and I worry that she misses living here, that I'm impeding on the place she made memories for 35 years. In a role reversal, I constantly wonder if she's okay in her new place, if she feels like she's made it "home."
In the meantime, I'm learning what it means to make this place our home. I have enjoyed putting our touches in rooms, adding our own style. Interior design is not my forte - so I'm relying heavily on Pinterest for ideas. But I'm liking some of the things we've done so far. We have a long way to go, and I have a few spaces I may ask for your ideas and recommendations on in the near future!
Here are a few things I love about our new/old place:
I love how the light shines into the dining room each morning.
This is the living room which you walk into upon entering in the front door. I'm not a big fan of "formal living rooms," although when this house was built in the 1950's, it was a popular thing. So I had this idea that this would be a casual gathering area - not really a family room, per se, although we do hang out in there. Rather, more a space to come sit and read a book or stand and chat during parties. Part of this vision was to have some shelving to make one wall a mini-library. In early July, Hubby created this wall of built-ins. AND I AM IN LOVE WITH IT. We have an old couch my mom left (not pictured) and a few informal sitting options (we'll work on better ones in the future). We also recently added a piano!
This. This haven is the Master Bedroom. And while I still have a lot I want (er, NEED) to do to get this room in to shape, it's really come a long way. This room had gone unused the last few years my mom lived here. It was a housing area for stuff, like a big closet. The paint was in bad shape and the floors were hurting. We decided to hold off any revisions to the floor (which we covered with a VERY comfy and large carpet remnant), and paint the off-white walls gray with accents of yellow around the room. Gray is my new obsession right now. I have no idea why. If I'm not careful, I'll paint every room in the house gray. Which could be awesome. Or very Eeyore.
I digress. Anyway, I changed the arrangement of the furniture, choosing to put the bed in a different area of the room than where my mom had hers. Our new spin on an old thing.
Being a split-level house from the '50's, some of the rooms have interesting angles and shapes. Our bedroom is long, with sloping ceilings. Since we put the bed on the far side of the room, we have all this open space on the other. We fixed that by putting our old Ikea futon under the windows and creating an impromptu sitting area. (Or, on most days, laundry staging area.) When it's free of clothes, this is one of my favorite spaces in the house. There is a great view and, as you can see, copious amounts of sunlight. I'd like to finish this space off with an oversized yellow-patterned ottoman.
So if you see one, help a sister out and let me know.
The last space I'll share with you today is our enclosed porch. It's not insulated or climate-controlled (i.e.: no heat or air-conditioning), but it's absolutely lovely 3 seasons of the year. It had become another staging area for stuff the past few years, and somewhat unusable. I'm glad to be able to sit in here again! We got a cheap table from Ikea and enjoy the 180 view of the yard many evenings (behind me in this picture is another wall of windows). It's definitely older, and we may work to make it more insulated and modernized in the coming years. But for now, it's a nice place to enjoy the great outdoors while being indoors. If that makes sense.
The thing that has struck me most about living here so far: it's amazing how quickly a familiar place, even when it's new to you, can feel like home.
I'll keep you updated on renovations and hopefully give you more sneak peeks into other rooms of the house.
When I clean them to state that is presentable to the public eye, of course.
Have a great weekend!