Thursday, May 4, 2017

10 Things I Love About Our House

As I mentioned yesterday, our house is currently in a bit of a state.  A messy state.  A super messy state.  Turns out wanting to refinish your original, 80 year old, hard wood floors is nice, but the process of actually doing it is a bit (a lot) of a pain.  A "we have to fit all the furniture from roughly 500 square feet of our house into approximately 200 square feet and, oh yeah, we are also in the middle of repainting our master bedroom" pain.  Suffice it to say, right now I could use a little reminder of what I like about our house because it's hard to see through the mess at the moment.

I was reading a book a few weeks ago titled Love the House You're In and one of her suggestions was to make a list of 10 things you like about your home.  Now, we already love our house a pretty good amount (current mess excluded) but I'm always looking for ways to love it more, which might be where some of our current mess of projects come in.  The messes certainly makes this a great time to remember what we love about our house and what we'll love about our house when we get it all back.

(None of these pictures are current because the aforementioned mess doesn't make things pretty right now.)

1) The Porch
The thing I didn't know I needed in a house.  Fully enclosed with windows (to the outside) on 3 sides, fantastic natural light (I take almost all my non-location specific blog pictures out there), great breezes.  It's my favorite reading spot about 8 months of the year.  And if you've been here awhile you know I like to read.  And need somewhere to do it a lot.  I spend a lot of time out there, especially this time of year.

2) My Office

I feel a bit spoiled having my own office, in our 1200 square foot house, especially because this one can't be a bedroom and thus can't be taken away from me! (It has no door.)  I get to fill it with my books, flamingos, travel pictures, and lots of blue.  I do 99% of my blogging here, my internet shopping, pay bills, make photobooks, sort pictures, and file everything.  It's MY space.  And that makes me happy.

3) Our Closet
We have a massive walk-in closet, floor square foot wise, not so much in cubic feet since it's under the eaves and you have to tilt your head to walk in there (and we are short-ish).  But it offers plenty of space to store our clothes as well as other things like suitcases, sleeping bags, sheets, and at least 5 future Lego sets for Luke (he's found 3 of them...).  Huge closets are not a given in old houses and I feel we lucked out!

4) The Neighborhood
This was one of our preferred neighborhoods given it's proximity to our planned church and our parents but now we like it even more than we did back then.  Namely, it's easy access to downtown, especially via bike.  We ride downtown often: for baseball games, to visit the main library branch, to ride through parks, take pictures of spring flowers and fall foliage, for 4th of July fireworks, for our city festival, for the race I run in the fall, and even for some hospital visits.  I think every single person I've talked to about biking downtown has said "Wow, that's really cool." or something to the effect.  It's awesome.

And besides that we have a very walkable neighborhood with our church, Luke's future school, a park, a public school playground, our library, a meat market/grocer, a branch of our bank, liquor store, bakery, and multiple bars and restaurants all within a mile.  When Matt needs gas for the mower he walks two blocks away.  When we went to the bar after both of the weddings in his family last year, we walked about 3 blocks away with quite a few family members.  We walk to the church festival every year and walk to the library all. the. time.  I could go on and on.  We didn't plan to stay in this neighborhood for our next house but now I think I'll have a hard time leaving.  It's a fantastic place to live.

5) The Bathroom

I might mention this often but I think we fully earned the pride we have in our remodeled bathroom.  It's a HUGE improvement and it still amazes me, almost 3 years later.  Maybe it's strange to list our 34 square foot (that's less than 6' x 6') only bathroom as one of the things I like about our house.  Sure we'd love to have another one, especially when it's 2am and I'm lying in bed needing it, but when you see where we started...this bathroom is pretty fantastic. 

6) Giant Garage

Our garage is technically a two-car garage BUT when you can fit in two cars, 3 jet skis, 2 kayaks, and all the normal garage stuff (bikes, lawn mower, rakes, shovels, etc.), that's a pretty good sized two-car garage.  We did not own jet skis when we bought the house so we weren't that concerned with garage size (besides that I was insistent on having one), yet another surprise that worked out really well for us!  Also, really glad the "store 3 jet skis and 2 cars in the garage" stage was short lived.  It was really tight!

7) White Trim
Given the current state of our house, I cannot tell you how much I miss this view right now.
Our house is some 80 years old with original wood trim.  VERY LUCKY for me, it was almost all painted white when we moved in which means I did not have to convince Matt we should paint the wood-toned trim white AND have to do all the work.  I personally prefer white trim in my house although I'm not sure I could have told you that at 22.  And the one room that had wood-toned trim when we moved in no longer does!  Woo-hoo!  I find it SUPER exciting even if it was a lot of work (5 coats of primer/paint later) to get there.

8) A Basement

My parents' house (where I grew up) does not have a basement.  Matt and I actually win "best basement" on my side of the family, mainly because my parents and 4 of my sisters don't even have one.  I don't know where you store stuff without a basement.  We have our laundry down there, workout area, Matt's work bench, so much storage, plenty of play things for Luke (even a swing at the moment!).  I was pretty indifferent to having one originally but now I think they are pretty crucial, even if ours does have organization problems.

9) Fenced-In Yard
  Another thing I wasn't really thinking about (alternative title for this post: "things Diana didn't know she wanted in a house but turns out to really like") but is SO useful with a kid.  Luke's now at an age that I can let him play in the backyard while I am working in the house, unpacking groceries, whatever, and I feel pretty safe about it with the fence.  He knows how to open them but is very good about not doing so.  I am a huge fan of having fences, especially because they came with the house.

10) The Old-House Charm
 In new(er) construction you don't get the happy surprises of pulling up carpet and finding original hardwood floors underneath.  Or the gorgeous, chunky, old trim (at least, not without added work or expense).   There's a lot to like about old houses (there is a reason we live in one!).  They might have more work (maybe) but we also really like fixing up our house and I don't know what we would do with all our time if we weren't always in the middle of some DIY project!  It's hard to see the light at the end of the floor refinishing tunnel (or the pretty house through the complete mess) but soon enough, I hope, we'll appreciate all these old details again.   

I already get really sad just thinking about leaving our lovely house and it's (hopefully, planned) years away!  I guess we knew a little more about home buying than I thought we did at 22. 

Tell me what you love about your house!

*And kudos to you if you noticed that the porch pictures that start and end this list have different floors...when the house is unphotographable, gotta pull what you have saved!

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