September 4, 2015

Our New Place

So here we go again…  we closed this week on our new place and the demo and mayhem have begun!  We’ve got mattresses on the floor in our bedrooms and we’re loving our new location more than I can say.  We don’t have internet yet (which is what’s taken me so long to post!!) so I’m writing this from the studio.  Anyway, here’s  our new place:

{A 1970s Colonial Revival Cape Cod.  Trim is going white, shutters are going black and door is TBD (probably black)…  I’m hoping to plant hedges to do something similar to the house in the image below, and, when it’s time to replace the roof, we’ll go with cedar shingles, which so many of the other houses in the neighborhood have & I’m crazy about. }

{looooooooooooove.  not my house}

When my husband first found the house online, I wasn’t really open to the listing…  I loved the square footage, and I thought it had a really charming exterior (I LOOOVE Cape Cods)  but didn’t myself want to live in such a traditional/ normal place after living in such a quirky house.  I’ve been in more houses than I can count with a center hall and the dining room on one side, the living room on the other, with the kitchen and family room in the back.  And they’re great- they’re everywhere for a reason- but I love unexpected floor plans and houses in which you don’t really know what’s coming next.  But as we started talking about things and visited our house along with the Grey Gardens house, it became really clear to us that we wanted (more like need) easy right now.  In the end, we just felt like we cared more about convenience, number of bedrooms, and ease of life and getting our kids started in a school district they could stay in than we did about moving into something incredibly special like the Grey Gardens house.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have said yes to this house if I didn’t love it and think it could be incredibly special, because I do think it has major potential and some architectural interest.  (I’m getting so excited as I plan it all out!!!  It’s so different from our last house yet my personal style hasn’t changed so I’m really working to sort of blend my style with a Cape.)

 In only four days at our new place, I cannot describe how convenient life feels, even with a house under construction.  It’s like a huge weight I didn’t even know we were carrying was lifted.  So…  is this our forever house?  The only answer I have is never say never.  I can say it’s the perfect house for now.  It’s so easy here that I could see us never moving because we’re so comfortable, but I would also never pass up building something from the ground up if it were ever feasible in the future- be that three years or thirty.  Either way, we’ll roll with it.  

Anyway, you’re probably ready for my rambling to stop so you can see some pictures of the place.  Here’s the foyer:

{And…. lol, apparently we bought John & Sherry’s house (of Young House Love) as I learned when I posted a pic of our foyer on instagram!!!  (Not really, they’re just so similar 😉  It was one of the most commented on IG posts I’ve had and I’m pretty sure most of the comments were from people wondering if we’d bought their place. }

The foyer leads straight into a small family room with a fireplace.  I’m hoping to swap the family room windows with a wall of accordian doors that open completely to the back patio.  I LOVE that the kitchen and family room open to the patio/yard!!  (Having an accessible vegetable garden makes me happier than it should. 😉  Here’s a view of the family room from the kitchen, below:

The powder room juts out into the kitchen, blocking the family room from the kitchen a bit, so we’re pushing it back into the dining room and also recessing cabinetry into the dining room walls.  Here’s the view of the kitchen from the family room:

{The first door on the left is to the dining room and will be moving to be centered on the dining room wall.  The second door on the left is to the mudroom, which leads to the garage.  We’ve taken out the kitchen and I’m working on the kitchen design now…  Sadly, we had to take out the kitchen immediately because the new kitchen will be laid out differently and we needed to get the floors down.}

Below, you can see how the powder room juts three feet into the kitchen:

{The floors in the kitchen have come out and we’re adding in more of the same hardwood that’s in the rest of the house.  We’ve had to remove layers of the click and lock wood and old tile, along with a second subfloor to get the space level with the family room.  It will feel so much less disjointed.  To deal with the wood not matching- and because I’ve been dying to try it out and it’s not exactly something most clients will go for- I decided to paint our floors.   Farrow & Ball is giving us a few gallons of their floor paint (I could not be more excited!!) and I’ll be posting about the process next week!!   }

Here’s the kitchen dining area:

(I’ve got big plans for the back yard… I just don’t know what they are yet 😉

Here’s the living room which is to the right when you enter the front door:

{I love the light in the living room.  I’m a bit nervous about the light (or lack thereof) in the back of the house but paint will lighten it up considerably.  I’m adding beams and a very simple crown with curtains hanging from behind the crown.}

The living room opens to the office/library (below) but I’m planning to close the wall so we can have more privacy when we’re working from home, which for me, is almost every day I don’t have a client meeting.  The only thing I’m wrestling with is if I might be happier working from the living room, which is so much sunnier than the library.

We’ll have more space for books and work things when we close the wall because we’ll do built-ins along the entire thing:

The idea of working with a cozy fire makes me happy…

The library fireplace (above) is two-sided with the other side being the family room fireplace (below)

We’re adding more beams (which will all be painted white) to the family room and continuing them into the kitchen to unite the spaces.  I’m working on a redesign of the fireplace that’s a bit of a mix of 1700s + modern and fits our style better.  I’m also reworking the woodwork throughout the house in the same vein so that it feels more like an old Cape Cod (image below via Sutherland Period Homes) with a bit of modern mixed in.  It’ll be a bit simpler, cleaner, and more rustic than what we have now…  I’m not going 100% period appropriate, but what we’re doing is inspired by the original Cape Cods.  (More on that in a future post.)

{I’ll be using wide random width vertical paneling in areas of the house, but will go a tad cleaner than the originals, with straight boards instead of raised paneling.)

Upstairs, there is a long center hall with bedrooms off of it.  The plan is for each kid to eventually have his/her own bedroom…  but the boys are still sharing a room right now.  We love tucking them all in together, and I was shocked (and thrilled!!)when our oldest son asked if he could sleep in his brother’s room, along with our three year old.  They all keep their things in the other bedrooms’ closets but crashing in Justin’s (our middle guy, 5) room for now.

(The room at the end of the hall is the master bath…  The floorplan gets a little wonky up there.)

The master bedroom is actually an addition that you can only reach THROUGH the master bath, and below is a photo of the room that was once (before the addition) the master bedroom:

It’s a large room that we’ll line in bookshelves and use just like our old loft, with books and a few toys.  It opens to a balcony and we’ve already been loving seeing the deer in our back yard from it.

The seller’s realtor said most people didn’t want the house because of the master bath walk-through situation. The marble is a dark gray and bright pinkish-red, the fixtures are mauve, and it’s an intense, busy-feeling space.  I thank my lucky stars it exists exactly as it does because I think it’s why we were able to buy the house.  Eventually, we’ll rework the master entrance to fix it, but until then, we’re actually enjoying how big the bathroom is.

The bathroom-hall (yup, they exist) leads through to a hall with his and hers closets off of it and then opens to the master bedroom:

{our very glamorous bed situation right now.  The off-centered palladian window is going.  The walls and celing will be paneled once we finish up with our first floor projects. We’re not painting any of the bedroom floors right now because we need somewhere to stay, and will make the decision -on whether or not to paint them- later.}

Here’s a view towards the deck at the back of the house where there is another palladian window.  Tear.  I think this one is staying because I like the view too much.  (Don’t get me wrong, palladian windows can be good every now and then when in the appropriate setting, just RARELY in a cape cod!!!)

{I’ll do what I can here but do really love seeing all of the trees / the deer in person!!  The back decks will be painted white.}

Below is the view towards the front of the house and I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know I’m doing deep window seats in the dormers with drawers below.  I’m also flattening out that little niche with inset doors that will open to shelving.

Gisele’s nursery is one of my favorite rooms in the house.  I’ll do window seats in her dormers too:

{I’m thinking wallpaper in here 🙂 }

Her bedroom has its own bathroom.  I love the angled ceiling in her bathroom:

{A future project}

The boys’ bedrooms are at the other end of the hall and they’ll all share a large bathroom with double sinks.

Justin, our middle guy (5) has the biggest bedroom because he is a great “sharer” and we’re keeping two trundle beds in there for the other kids to do sleepovers in / for now to stay in every night.

Christian’s bedroom is in the front with dormers and we’re doing one window seat and one desk in the dormers.  Eventually we’ll do a queen in his room so it can double as  guest bedroom.  (We currently have an air mattress in there.)

And here is Louie’s bedroom:

{ANOTHER air mattress for now!!}

It’s been AMAZING with the kids each having his/her own closet!!! Seriously there’s so much storage in this house we don’t know what to do with it!!!!  I’d actually like to keep it that way.  The kids’ clothes don’t even make a dent in their closets and I already feel like we’re so much more organized. wohoo!!  (For anyone just reading now, we’re moving from a house with two bedrooms for the four kids.)

And my favorite part of the house might be this:

We opened this teensy door, expecting a linen closet and saw this:

We walked up the stairs to a MASSIVE (500 square feet!!) unfinished attic.  It currently has one window but we’ll add skylights and refinish it in time.  We really wanted to open it up to vaulted area of the original master bedroom with all of the bookshelves on the second floor, but it would be a pretty costly.  Would have been amazing though!!

I don’t yet have a basement pictures, but there’s a walk-out main room, a media room, a small family room with fireplace, a full bath, an unfinished laundry room and a TON of storage.  We have so many projects in front of us its not even funny, but we’re just going a bit at a time.

We’re loving our new neighborhood…  the houses are really charming.  It reminds me of the Village, where our design studio is:

It’s comical how similar our new house and our design studio are.  Though the studio’s interior is a bit more rustic, I think my personal style will translate similarly in our place.  This photo of the entry to our studio, below, pretty much sums up all of my loves in a picture- warm woods, natural textures, mixed metals, black, white/ivory & caramel browns, collected new + vintage pieces and fresh greens- and I want our house to feel close to this:

{I think these chairs are coming home with me}

Anyway, it’s time for me to head to our internetless house.  Have a great weekend!! We’ve got lots to do at the studio this weekend as we prep for our second One Kings Lane sale/ photoshoot next week but we’re attempting to start boxing things up at our old place!!  Also, I’ll be posting house updates here on the blog but also on Instagram as things are actually happening. My name on there is LaurenLiess.  Hope you enjoyed the peek into our new place!!

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