August 20, 2018
When we built our new home a couple of years ago, our little cottage in the big woods, we knew we'd love to build at least one more time in our lifetime. This current house was really meant to be just for the two of us once our children all left home. But life took a bit of a curve when the marriage of our eldest daughter did not continue after the birth of their first and only child. She came home, baby in arms and we didn't skip a beat in welcoming her to be with us. While she went back to school to become a nurse, we built a house that would accommodate her tiny family and give us space to move and live. It's been worth every moment so far and after sharing a much smaller house, without all the options we have here, we have truly cherished our little cottage. Truly cherished.
I think we did really well to create a unique home with such a limited budget. The key was finding a builder who could give us almost everything we hoped for without a huge premium price. We also had a side budget to do a bit of extra shopping for a few perks, like our dream range (our AGA from England), the stone fireplaces (all the way from New York), an art studio, theatre room, extra big kitchen island and pretty wood floors. We still came within our budget. We are such great treasure hunters that we found each of these at decent prices, though each of these looks like they cost a million bucks! Well, not quite but you get the idea. Truly a ton of fun.
Now that we've settled in and are concentrating on our landscaping, we have had a couple of conversations around how long we'll all live together. I don't think this will be a short term situation as our dd does need us to care for little guy when she works her 12 hour night shifts. And help out when she works a day shift and we need to take him to school. We enjoy this and know until he's a teen, she'll need our support. In time, we might build again, and that makes me a bit excited, though I would be very sad to leave here. A bit closer to town might be appealing, especially in the Winter. But not too close as we love the quiet in our little forest. No noise, except the wind. The sound of cars, people, city life is just not appealing to us at all. But a bit closer would be. We're only 8 minutes from town, but in the Winter, on a snowy, icy day, those few minutes can feel like a lifetime. In order to move, it would have to be just the right piece of land, close enough for a shorter drive but then far enough for the quiet. Sometimes we come across listings of land and we peek, but then we say "not yet" and close the link or newspaper. One day, it will fall in to place, just like this did when we were ready to build the first time. It will take patience and energy. For now, we stay.
But this decision hasn't stopped us from gathering new ideas just like we did for years before this house. I was in a waiting room the other day and started looking at a home style magazine and found these shots. The first is an iron tub. A very different look but one that intrigued me. Next house, I truly would love to have a claw foot tub. This one is just too neat but I suspect, likely out of our budget. Unless we find a similar look within our budget! Next picture is my favorite. I'd love more of a "chunky" look for our AGA range and this is just what I'd have in mind. Finding a builder who could do this might be challenging. But then he'd (or she) would have to create this fireplace too! Again, similar to what we have now but in a larger scale. And probably a larger budget then. But this house, right from the moment we took possession, has gained some lovely equity. In the end, it will likely be relevant to the building process at the time. Equity is a good thing!
Until then, we'll keep loving this house and work on the landscape design, which feels like it will take forever. I know one day we'll stand back and say "we did it!!" For now, we plug along, trying to fit life, theatre, work and play in between all the dirt and lifting, moving rocks and creating paths. Such fun. But tiring too! I look forward to the next house and can't wait to build again. Hopefully next time, we'll have another great experience. We lucked out and our hard work paid off.
I'm off to our Centre today ~ it's my day off from work so I'm using it to meet with my Summer Students and paint our walls and trim. A bit of a refresh before preschool starts on September 4th. Can't believe that Fall is just around the corner. I need more Summer so I can finish up my task list. Just a bit more please! I want to enjoy Fall instead of working away.
Is your Summer task list almost done?
Are you looking forward to Fall?