This house was not my first choice. Sometimes I wonder if it knows that.
My first choice was unassuming from the curb—a simple white cape cod circa 1950 set sideways on its narrow lot. Full of architectural charm from its arched doorways and dormer windows to its built-in bathroom cupboards. Every last inch had been meticulously refinished—hardwood floors, blank white walls, tile, new cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and French country doors with black hardware. I fell in love.
Unfortunately that house already had a contract and ours was too late. It was just after visiting that house, that I first met the one I’m in now. A standard, two-story colonial, with too many paint colors and even more DIY mishaps. When visited so immediately after the other, this house was lackluster and needy. And I especially wasn’t thrilled about needy.
It was only after the other house became a definite no, that we began to revisit some others. The second time around this house was still needy. That didn’t change, of course. It had been vacant for a while. Weeds stood nearly as tall as me and as we entered minuscule spiders scurried across the foyer. Everything had a gray tinge to it—evidence of previous dwellers. Just outside the bedroom window hung a cantaloupe-sized hive—evidence of current unwelcome dwellers. It was pretty much a hostile environment.
I tried my best to look with fresh eyes and as I padded through the choppy rooms, I saw something I hadn’t noticed the first time: potential. The house appeared sturdy. The layout, though confusing, flowed unexpectedly well. The living room was bright. The deck was spacious. With a little landscape clean-up, it would have great curb-appeal. In fact, there was already a beautiful wildflower garden tucked behind a white-picket fence. Plus the location was quite good (which in real estate is the primary rule).
That’s how this house came to me—abandoned, slightly-battered, and being swallowed by nature. Perhaps it was wishing for someone to come along and love it.
Good thing we did.
Throughout October, I will be continuing this story of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.