2012: The Year I Fell In Love With A House

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I’m writing on the final day of 2012, a year which surely will be remembered for events both joyful and notorious. But for me in my personal history, it will go down as the year when for the first time, I bought a house. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will remember what a fraught process that was. But I’ve been living here seven months now, and I’ve had scarcely a moment of buyer’s remorse. Although the house was mostly in good condition, the to-do lists have been long and the process of making this house my home has taken most of my spare time, money and creative energy.  I’ve been so absorbed with my house, as you may have noticed, I’ve neglected this blog almost entirely. My resolution for 2013 is to strike a better balance between my house and my other creative endeavors, and with many of my house projects completed, that seems possible.

As for this blog, while it has never been exclusively about food, I do hope to write about an even greater variety of topics in the coming year. In the meantime, take a look at these photos to see what I’ve been up to for the past seven months.  It’s been a lot of fun, and my ideas for beautifying my home are far from exhausted!  I promise to keep you posted.

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Photos:  It may be a small house, but it’s not lacking in style. Above: my friend and co-conspirator in home decoration, Frank Melanson, peers from the front porch. Shortly after moving in, I had the house’s exterior painted. And with the help of friends, we’ve painted most of the interior as well. Below: my living room.  I’m particularly proud of the faux paint job I did on the fireplace. Tour the rest of my home: there are ten more photos after the jump… Continue reading

With Escrow Closed, And Keys In Hand, This House Is Mine

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Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know that I’ve been on a sometimes excruciating eight month journey to find and buy a house. I’m happy–no, make that overjoyed–to report that my quest has come to a happy conclusion. Today I got the keys, and took a walk through what I hope will be my home for many years to come. And looking back to the want list which I initially gave my realtor, I’m pleased to say that this house ticks every box. It’s a vintage 1930 Spanish revival in a neighborhood of similar houses. At 1200 square feet, it’s a modest house indeed, but the perfect size for me. And at just over 100K, the price was nearly perfect as well. The back yard, large enough to be useful and small enough to be intimate, is already charming.

Of course, when you buy an 8o-year-old house, you’d better be prepared to have a long to-do list. And I am, but nothing about it seems overwhelming or likely to be very costly (I hope). It is clean and freshly painted and would be ready to move into if you really loved the institutional beige every room is painted. I really don’t, so add painting to the list. The experience of owning a home and making it my own is new to me, and thrilling, and I’m brimming over with ideas. Consider the photos in this post to be the “before” shots.  In six months or so I’ll post “after” photos to let you in on the transformation. Wish me well, and note that there are more photos after the jump.

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Photos: Top–the facade is a bit stark, but I have ideas for warming it up. My thought is to replace the lawn and box hedge with drought-tolerant Mediterranean plants.  The house next door is nearly identical and likely built by the same contractor. Above: the living room as viewed from the foyer.

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