Home, Sweet Home

Really it began 23 years ago when Ev’s parent’s bought their small farm in a tiny German town in northern Virginia. It continued when they bought the farm across the street a few years ago and gave each of the four Owlett boyos a two-and-smidge acre chunk. With the Belle, my studio and the number of resident kitties getting bigger every day there is simply no two ways about it; we need more room. So with any luck our chunk will soon be sporting a brand spanking new chateau which we will design and build. From scratch. On our own.

Well, not totally on our own. Ev works for his dad who is an excellent builder and we can’t really build a house all by our two little lonesomes. But Ev, his dad and their crew will do the majority of the heavy lifting leaving Ev and I to do what we can on the weekends. Like painting, laying tile, wood flooring and carpets, perhaps even some furniture building (Notice how Ev is featured prominently in both? Yeah, I did too. Poor kid).

They say the toughest thing you can put a marriage through (besides kids, though we did that, too) is renovating your house. I thought a blog would be a good way to keep friends and family updated on the process and hold us accountable for how we think and talk about the house, knowing that others might be reading. Besides, we can always use a sounding board for ideas and problems, and help celebrating  victories.

So wish us luck and please pray for domestic peace as we embark on this journey one step at a time.

I leave you with one question: what is the one thing you wish your house had?


7 Comments to “Home, Sweet Home”

  1. Good luck! I wish our house had a real library along the lines of Mr. Bennet’s from Pride and Prejudice.

  2. I have a few answers from different perspectives:

    From a child’s perspective, I always wanted secret rooms or hidden spaces. Whether it was a simple as a crawl space under the stairs or in the eves or something more elaborate like a bookshelf at the end of the hall that could swing open to reveal a hidden study; I always imagined that I would create a hidden space if I were to ever build my own house. Since we never had anything like that I always improvised with forts and tree houses in the woods or the solitude of roof tops and ramparts around our home in San Juan that were only accessible to the nimble.

    As an adult I want two things. First, a workable kitchen. It doesn’t really matter how big it is as long as it had enough usable space to allow at least two people to work. The question is how much space do you each need to work without hindering each other. Second, I need place indoors or, at least, sheltered to hang a hammock. When we were small, we had hammocks in the den instead of couches. In San Juan we had them on the porch under a couple ceiling fans. These days I have one in my den/office were i t can easily be moved aside to make space for work or hung up for a place to read, relax, or provide a spare bed for company.

  3. I wish my house had…hmmm…pocket door baby gates. If there is such a thing. Wouldn’t that be nice? And built in bookshelves.

  4. I LOVE what Drew wrote about the hidden rooms. For MANY years (into my 30s) I had dreams about houses I had lived in and finding hidden doors which led to these amazing rooms. I always woke up so excited and so happy. I wish I would still have those dreams.

    I really like our house right now. It has lots of things my last house didn’t that I really wanted… a foyer, a pantry, open space, large windows, deck, a decent kitchen, etc. The one thing that I really wish it had but it doesn’t is a laundry room on the bedroom level. That’s soooo boring, but I hate bringing the laundry up and down the stairs. If that’s not doable a laundry shoot would be sweet.

  5. I have designed my dream house in my head over and over for years. Many things change, but what always stays is a library- cozy, sunlit, with a fireplace and built in bookshelves. And the hidden spaces are awesome too :). OH! And in an upstairs nook, a sink area for tooth brushing….with 5 boys, I would LOVE to have just a sink that held the toothbrushes, combs, etc!

  6. First off, sweet blog idea. I love reading about home design and building.

    Over the years I have acquired many ideas for what I want my home to be like.
    One of my top concerns, after being in multiple houses without adequate closet space, is built in storage. I like things to be put away and out of sight. I would also like minimal furniture so the more things that are built in, the better. Dan and I both want to live in a chalet style house with high ceilings and a great room. We want to live in the most efficient house we can possibly design. A central vacuum system would be nice. Lots of big windows to bring the outside in is really important to me. I could go on about the layout itself but you only asked for one thing;) Closet space-that is my one thing.

    I look forward to seeing your design come to life. Such an exciting time.

  7. If you can possibly do it, I would put in double ovens … and the larger ones, not the small ones. I’ve had one large, two large, and one small and believe me when I say, two is so very handy when cooking for a large Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday, etc… Also, go as big as possible with your sink. Being able to soak a full size roasting pan in the sink is so worth it.

    Pella windows!

    Think about adding another shower upstairs so you have two full baths for kids. Cora could end up being the only girl … just saying! And a mud room from outside leading to the laundry room which has a utility sink.

    But the absolute best thing, you already have … proximity to family. No matter what the inside is like, it will be filled with family and filled with love, which is all you really need to make your new house a home.

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