Tuesday, May 28, 2013


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I'm the first to say that I love apartment living—small, simple spaces that are easy to maintain, don't allow you to indulge in clutter and excess, and come with supers that will fix things for you. Sometimes I even love it, and cocooning myself within its walls, a little too much.

But as much as I love apartments, I can't stop day dreaming about a proper house. Not a McMansion-type deal, but something quaint and cozy—maybe a stone cottage or a brick colonial—with land (but not too much). Enough to grow a flowering garden and a vegetable garden, enough to have plenty of blades of grass to wiggle my toes in and lay a blanket down on top of to gulp in some fresh air and ground myself. Enough that it wouldn't be out-of-the-realm-of-possibility that I'd need to spend a Saturday morning weeding and pruning and transplanting cuttings. My mom had long, tapered nails when I was growing up and I remember her never missing a chance to burrow them into the soil of our flower beds, even though she attracted mosquitoes like honey and had a million other things to do. I'd like that to be me someday.

I loved the house I grew up in in Virginia, but I'd want a different style for myself. At that time the format-du-decade was to have very distinct living spaces, so I grew up with a den (informal), living room (formal, guests only, and lots of breakables!), a dining room, a breakfast nook, a kitchen, a pantry, a laundry room, a downstairs bathroom, a sunroom, a deck, an over-the-garage-gigantic-room (that became my brother's when he was a teenager), a walk-in-closet on the upstairs hallway for my dad's collection of fancy suits), my bedroom, my bathroom, my mom's crafting/sewing room (which was previously my brother's bedroom), and my parents' master bedroom (with another walk-in-closet for my mom and a double-vanity bathroom with jacuzzi and separate shower). All sitting on almost an acre of land, on a cul-de-sac, that stretched into the woods, which made running around like hooligans exceptionally fun (and very safe—no traffic!).

But for me some day? Much as I fantasize about the Walker compound, all I really want are a handful of comfortably-sized bedrooms upstairs (or at least separated by a few steps up or a hallway for a one-level house), a proper entryway (obsessed with this—so many apartments in NYC open up directly into the living room which freaks me out, luckily ours has a separate entrance, and most houses do, too), a kitchen that opens into a great room with a fireplace and lots of cozy seating options. Some windowboxes. A porch or a deck. At least two bathrooms. And that's it.

Definitely no need for a formal dining room or living room for us, though. But, hardwood floors, a fireplace or two and high ceilings are a must. And, maybe a terrazzo-lined outdoor space with a brick oven. I wouldn't mind that at all.

The problem is that with everything so "who-the-heck-knows" with our future plans, we have no idea where this home will be. Just off the extensive subway line of Stockholm proper? In the hills above R's Sicilian hometown? In, or near, a charming, American university town like Providence, RI or Charlottesville, VA? Somewhere I haven't even dreamed of yet?

To be determined.
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{ ...Or slightly less so [via] }


  1. J this is a wonderful time! when anything is possible, so enjoy the unknown for the moment! It won't be forever and at some point you'll "know" and that will be THE thing, and all these other images will have to disappear. so enjoy the sweet contemplation!
    I love how you go oooooonnn and onnn about the lovely features you want and then say: "And that's it." CLASSIC!!! :)
    All 3 places you mention sound absolutely wonderful! Funny how sometimes we picture the perfect place where we want to live, and then in our mind tie that to an actual geographical place. but actually that place can exist in many geographies... just saying. I always dreamed of living in a cute little town with a main street and bumping into ppl i know on the street. who knew that I'd find this little town in NL!??

    1. Ha, true, totally un-surprising that my list would keep going, eh? At least I gave up the dining room and formal living room! ;)

      And, as usual, you're spot on with the words of wisdom. Thanks for reminding me :).


      PS. I'm TOTALLY on the same page with you about Main Street and running into people (I think that's why I was always obsessed with Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls).

  2. LOVE those picts. And yeah, I'm getting a little anxious on the house-buying front too. I got this wacky idea that we could buy something when we move back to the US - I even started looking at the crappy townhouses we could actually afford. But then I realized that's a terrible idea, since we may not be there (ie, that city) very long.

    1. Completely understand——story of my life. Right after school I went with a realtor to look at apartments to buy in Bethesda, but ultimately decided not to because I wasn't sure how long I would stay. Good thing, too, because I left for New York two years later. Then I've been looking off an on here, but never thought I'd stay here long term so I didn't bite the bullet. Six years later...sigh.


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