This post has been a long time coming, as we moved into our new home back at the end of September. With the fresh new year, it’s just beginning to feel like things are slowing down. After the hurry of Fall, and then the enjoyments of the holidays, I’ve finally arrived for a brief moment of reflection.
Many folks were very surprised to hear that we were moving out to the suburbs. About leaving the city, one of my friends said to me, “I thought you were a lifer!” Although when we moved into our rowhome in 2018, we had expected to stay in the city indefinitely, this has been a wonderful change for all of us. We worked for this and waited to make this happen, and we definitely recognize the privilege of being able to do this (especially after I lost my full-time gig and began staying home with Joey). Like we’ve talked about before, rowhome is still staying in the family, and we have done some updating so that we can rent it out. And I’m excited to share some details about that journey too!
When we initially found our new home and knew it would be ours, Ed and I separately started working on a new name for it. We named our rowhome when we were moved in there as well, but I don’t share that name as it includes the street name. 😉 For this home, I landed on “The Rose Lodge” (for the shape and materials of the home and the roses throughout the garden), while Ed thought “Stonevale” would fit (for the valley we live in, and the home’s exterior) – hence “Rosevale.” If you’ve not named your home, whether you rent or own, I highly recommend it. Giving your home a name lends even more character, and allows you to see it as a member of the family. It’s fun and adds a bit of magic to the experience of caring for your home. If you need any more convincing – take a look at this story on Apartment Therapy (via The Grit and Polish).
So onto the specifics about our new home. It was built in 1940, using local stone. The home sits up a bit, with the lot sloping down from the south-facing rear exposure northward to the front. We are on about .20 acres, with around 1600 square feet of interior space, plus a partially finished basement. We have 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a two-car garage, and a galley-style kitchen.
I would say Ed’s favorite features are his garage and the (eventually) working stone fireplace. My favorites are the big kitchen with a dishwasher (I could cry) and all the space outside for my garden. Joey is loving all the space, the kids next door, and the creek at the park near us.
Our last home was much more minimal, monochromatic, and Scandinavian in design and approach. We are taking quite a departure here, and moving away from the all-white, light wood, and black/modern accents. I still absolutely love that design style, but I’m embracing a less stark and high contrast style in this phase of my life.
For the interior, we are going for a traditional but informal look. Adding a lot of color and pattern. Edward loves color, and I can see that adding color can bring a lot of warmth to this home, and pay homage to the exterior style and history. My love for gardening and jewelry is a huge inspiration for me in this home, and both outside and in, I’m looking at saturated jewel tones to bring life and (dare I say) whimsy into our space. I want our home to be warm, cozy, relaxing, and feel a bit magical. Trips to Big Sur, and English country interiors, 70’s block prints, and naturalistic gardens are all big inspirations here – and will get blended with our collection of art from the American West and motorcycle photography from the ’50s and early ’60s.
I’ve not been able to find any exact reference images that exactly evoke what I can see in my mind – and that makes me feel like I’m on the right path in creating a home that is uniquely for us. So many of our interior choices so far have begun with pieces that came with us: a giant Mark Maggiori print, my Aunt’s secretary desk, a vintage globe, my collection of ceramics.
I’m hoping I can learn a bit of patience, and focus on antiques, vintage, and second-hand for most if not all of our furnishings. Going slow is not my strong suit. I always want to make a plan and execute it immediately (fire sign probs). After having a child, becoming an accidental homemaker, and starting (and pausing) a business, I’ve learned that I simply need to focus on incomplete, imperfect, and consistent effort – and enjoy a very gradual payoff in our already happy home.
I don’t plan on ever being “done” – and starting with that mindset changes the tempo. As with a garden, each season requires a new vision, and adaptation to the climate.
So for now, that looks like unpacking a box or two at a time. Saved shopping carts that sit for a long time. Visiting my favorite thrift spots regularly. And enjoying this very beloved home exactly as it is, while letting our plans percolate and unfold.