I’ve been trying to hold off, but I think I’m going to go ahead and get excited about my new house now. I was pretentious enough to call it “mid-century modern” the other day and Marc choked. “Honey, that’s not mid-century anything. It’s a pile of bricks.” Pfft. Think what you like, but it’s a pile of awesome.
When we started looking for a house I was automatically thinking bigger and better, somewhere nicely in the $200,000 range. It was my mother who found this house and insisted I go look at it. I looked it up on Realtor.com and was like, “You’re kidding me Mom.” Marc only consented to drive by it because we were in the neighborhood. And lo and behold, it looked just like it did in the picture. Maybe uglier. Fortunately, a realtor was there and the house was open, otherwise I doubt we would have scheduled a showing. As it was, Boy barely let me hop out of the car to peak my head through the door. But the moment I walked inside and saw the wood paneled wall, it hit me. We could live here. I waved out the door for Boy to come see and we did a quick run through. As we were pulling away in the rain, I turned to him and said, “You know, this is where people like us live.” I don’t where we were getting those other ideas but these ones were certainly more comfortable. Like peeling off an uncomfortable pair of jeans and slipping into something with an elastic waist. I don’t think we would even have to mow the lawn.
At first I was skeptical this house could work for our large family, but it has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. It’s 1700 square feet (only 150 more that what I have now) but it’s on a half acre and packs a punch. The bedrooms and bathrooms are tiny. I can’t abide master closets and master suites taking up space anyways. Just give me somewhere I can park a 12′ table. Then we’ll talk. The heft of the square footage of this house is in living spaces centered around the kitchen. It’s all one level with each area open to the adjoining spaces. So when I invite 32 people over for Christmas Eve dinner – they will actually fit. What really seals the deal however is the double garage, accessed directly from the family room. I call dibs.
I want to lay down an epoxy floor in the garage (sort of like the picture), semi-finish the space, and call it the “recess room.” Because every house needs one. The garage is around 600 square feet. My drawing is not to scale, but I think I only fit half of the hearth room and garage before I ran out of paper. The hearth room itself is 12’x30′. Which will be my school room. Then there will be a glass door opening into the baby cage. As close as you can get to a padded cell. I am in love with the idea of not having a single toy in my house and Grandma has already sent the boys money for a ping pong table. In the end it’s the garage that makes the house. But I couldn’t get away with stealing the garage if the property didn’t already come with a double bay shop. Boo-ya! Even cooler is that half the shop is a semi-finished man cave with a separate entrance. It took me a while to think what I would even do with that space. But then I realized that I wouldn’t mind a guest house and Jael would love her own crafting/sewing studio. She could lay out quilts and leave beads strewn about and no nefarious Noodle would come lay waste. I think it will be wonderful to have places for the older children to get away and make things. And I wouldn’t have to get their messes off the table before dinner or sweep up their glitter and roll up their string. The studio would only be available to people who don’t roll out thread by the mile and stuff perler beads up their noses.
The more I think about this house, the more I find it has everything I wanted. One of the things I was particularly hoping for was a house that could carry a stripped down modern look. I’m ready to paint everything white, hang practically nothing on the walls, and have lots of room for little feet to tromp around without trailing a debris cloud behind them. Every time I check the blog 44socksontheline I am inspired by absence of detritus. Where does it all come from anyways? I also wanted a house where a mountain of Corelle wouldn’t be out of place. Corelle seems like such a cop out in most cupboards. But in this house, it’s meant to be.
I’m also excited about the prospect of “containment” in the new house. There is a separate entry into the garage where I will redirect the children past the front door. The garage will have a boot and coat rack, leaving the front door and front room clean for guests. No one will walk in and throw their stuff in the middle of the floor. The living room will be for relaxing, reading, and music. It’s kind of off the beaten path. The dining room will be used for breakfast and lunch, leaving the big table open for school and dinner. And the garage will house every single toy except for the Legos, which will be in the boys’ room under lock and key. And all summer Jael will be allowed to comb yard sales for craft supplies because she now has a place to put them. I am also kind of excited to have my laundry in the garage. I want to get one of the giant wheely bins for clean clothes. I could wash forever and never be compelled to fold anything.
I also plan on trading in my Pottery Barn couch for a slew of PB beanbags. One for each kid in a rainbow of colors. You can see them floating around in my floor plan. The 30′ hearth room also has a giant empty wall for a floor to ceiling bookcase to something of the tune of 20′ long. Yes, be still my beating heart. But what really makes me happy is the parquet wall in the living room. You really cant see but it wraps all the way around the corner and there is a little built in coat closet. Which, oddly enough, isn’t deep enough to hang coats. It took me a second but then I was like, “This is a purse closet!” Huzzah! I am going to outfit it with shelves and set out all my vintage purses for quick changes when I’m heading out the door. Right now all my purses are pretty much smashed on the floor of my closet. Also, the wood wall will showcase so much better once I put in a glass paneled door.
I know how people are all excited up about open kitchens but I am so glad no one will be able to see mine from the front door. I can keep up all manner of pretenses with this convenient floor plan. No one will see a thing.
Except for a glimpse of the amazing sputnik chandelier I’m going to hang above the table. That’s going to be my prize for selling half of my earthly possessions on Craigslist. Then on the far wall I’m going to set up a few floating shelves above a credenza to display my milk glass collection. Because I’m keeping those. As we all know, milk glass still counts as minimalist because it’s white. That’s right, I can have as many as I want.
See, I told you it’s going to be fun. Only we don’t close until the end of February, which is about the same time we get evicted. Sooo…that leaves about a week to renovate the whole thing? It’s going to be a rough landing. If I were you I would buckle up.