Monday, May 19, 2014

Year One of being a Homeowner: My Favorite Things

Last Sunday, Mother's Day, marked the one year anniversary of the day that Jon and I moved our little family into our home. The year has truly flown by, and I think that we are just now hitting our stride with getting this place looking more like us.
The day we got our keys, May 8th, 2013
Truth be told, the first nine months we kind of...sort of...pretty much...hated the house. We wondered whether we had made a bad choice.  The more hours during the winter months that we spent hibernating inside, the more we had time to look at things. Stare at things. Despise things. It wasn't until February, when painting was in full swing and some solid demo had begun, that we really started to believe in the house a bit more.  
At times, it was certainly hard to see beyond the mess and disaster, to what could be.
Now that it's spring, transformations are in motion, and we're feeling a bit more house proud. I think there are even a few things that we can say that we like about this house. I thought I would share:

1) Our mature yard:
The previous owners had a passion and gift for gardening, and they put in many years of work to create a beautiful yard. We are surrounded by a variety of mature trees, providing lots of comfortable shade in the warmer months and loads of privacy. They terraced the yard, and nurtured flowers that come back year after year. From our windows the greenery of the tree tops is refreshing and provides movement and life, even in the dreary months of winter. Now that temps are in the seventies, our backyard, and the "big lawn" as Nolan calls it is becoming our favorite place to be.
The view from our small front deck.

It was the perfect setting for an impromptu boys camp out last summer.
2) Privacy:
The mature gardening that was handed down to us certainly lends greatly to this, but the space between all neighboring homes helps to. Sure, you can see the neighboring homes to the left, right, and rear of us, but none of them are close. There is lots of breathing room, and the trees really help to camouflage them from our view. Across the street from our home is a large lot, with a home tucked back, so our front view is very private as well.
The property and home across the street from us.
3) Neighbors:
We have some amazingly friendly neighbors. It. is. so. awesome. There are several families with small kids in both directions from our home, not to mention a nearby court where we spend many an evening watching Nolan ride his bike (with several other small kids). Kids have taken to knocking on our door after school to see if Nolan can come out, and you can find them running through our house and yard (I thought a three year old boy was hard, watching 6 & 8 year old boys sprint through my house is dizzying). In warmer months, most evenings you can find us standing in the street talking to a neighbor. 
A photo I snapped of Nolan and his bike gang the other evening.
4) The size of our living room:
Now, bear with me. If you live in a more affordable area than us (ie, most of the country), our square footage is probably laughable. I get it. While I don't believe the builder did a great job with everything, I do think that he did a good job with the amount of space he allotted for our living room. In many a home we toured, so little space was allotted for the family living room. Odd right? It's where most of our time is spent, and because it flows easily to the dining room and kitchens its valuable for us that it is large, and we can have ample seating. When it arrives, that is.

5) Our deck space:
I'm working on a post regarding my plans for the decks, so you'll have to wait for the full post for all the deets, but to put it short and sweet, we have 3 decks, and the potential for 1-2 great patios. When the kids are napping, you can usually find us lounging in the shade on deck 1, 2 or 3.
Our small front deck.
Our lower rear deck with a sneak at some patio furniture 
we purchased a couple of weeks ago.
I'm secretly dying to style this space out with a rug, side tables, lighting and plants,
but the living room remains our priority.
Who knows, maybe by next year, something inside the house will top my list of favorites. Tomorrow I'm sharing all the small things about this place that drive me nuts!

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