Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Starting Over ...

Have you ever dreamed of starting over? A new space, new furniture, new house? I confess, I do it all the time, and when I'm lucky enough to find a client with a blank space and large budget I get to live out that fantasy with minimal restraint. However, around here, those clients are few and far between!

Scott and I have talked about new house, but never found anything that made sense ... that was, until today!

Built in 1925, it's not as old as CDLV, but it's 1100 square feet larger, and has some really major pluses that this house just doesn't:

  • A private drive - P.S., NEVER buy a house with a shared driveway, NEVER EVER!
  • A large kitchen, with room for a pantry
  • A vestibule
  • A master bedroom ensuite bath
  • A finished third floor 
  • A fully fenced and LARGE yard
  • A big, open front porch
  • A small guest house (perfect for my CBG workshop!)
  • A super large dining room perfect for entertaining (which we love!)
The house went on the market today, but we've had our eye on the house since last summer when the prior owner left it to foreclosure. Walking by the house, which sits on a beautiful street in a Historic Preservation District, just like our street, we peered through the windows and ooed and ahed at the potential the space had. 

Can't you just see this porch made beautiful with ferns and potted trees and plants, maybe curtains, and welcoming wicker patio furniture and accessories? Something like this: 

via Southern Accents

Or this ... 

found: DecorPad

Or maybe this?

found: Country Living
In fact, I've gone as far as playing with my own ideas right on top of the photo:

I mean, come on, right? Look at how much more beautiful this porch would be with the right furniture, plants, and accessories! 

Entering the house you see the really great staircase:

I really appreciate the space of this foyer, and the open railing with views to the second floor. Our staircase is much less grand, and I've always wanted something like this ... I mean, can't you see it all garlanded up for Christmas?

I see this space and I think wallpaper ... grasscloth or chinoiserie. Something like this:

Then a round table, skirted in a beautiful silk, perhaps a plaid. Garden stools or upholstered ottomans, maybe even french cameo back chairs with all of my design books stacked on top. 

Looking toward the living room. I hate the natural woodwork in our house, but this house has SO much natural light flooding the rooms, and the color is more rich, less number 2 pencil. Someone removed the doors to the built in on either side of the fireplace, so I'd replace those, remove that fixture and paint over the 1992 stencil job over 1988 sponge paint. It's hard to tell from this picture, but all of the upper windows are original lead glass windows from 1922. So gorgeous.

Here I see seagrass, two loveseats facing each other with a great narrow coffee table, and two small chairs facing the fireplace, like this: 

Images via: House Beautiful

This room is not much bigger than the living room at CDLV, but because it's free of all the doors we have, and about 3' deeper, there are far more furniture layout options. And I love the room above. 

More ugly fixtures, but check out those beams!! This room is closed off to the living room by pocket doors that you can't see in these pictures. This room is HUGE! So perfect for all the entertaining we like to do. I am in love with the light from those large windows, and that window seat is absolute perfection! Can't you see some beautiful pillows and cushions courtesy of my friend Gina at Slipcover Chic!? Psssst! If you're looking for someone to sew up some pillows using your choice of fabrics check with Gina first! She's incredible! 

Because working that window seat into the eating area would be incredibly difficult without custom building a dining table, I'd treat it as a separate space ... like this: 

via Veranda

Designer Credit: Sarah Richardson

Ugly, right? Yes, I totally agree! But the space is huge (the picture doesn't do it justice) and the layout is very changeable. Here's one draw back - the copper plumbing has been removed from this house. Replacing with less expensive, more durable, and not at all theif worthy pex plumbing will only cost about $4500.00. But since it has to be replaced, running new plumbing is pretty easy. 

The other side of the kitchen with it's small breakfast space. Scott and I decided that we would never eat in the kitchen, so this space would far be better reimagined and layed out so that it fits our storage needs. Starting with that space to the right of the window. I'm thinking something like this: 

via Hooked on Houses

Something custom, with closed cabinets under butcherblock, and glass front cabinets to the ceiling for plate and silver storage. I could be persuaded to include a wine fridge here, too! 

Heading upstairs, you see this view of the two upstairs guest rooms that volley the original linen closet that is NO JOKE 5' deep! Now, what are you going to put in there? Mattresses!? Wasted space but pretty. See those brass pieces above the doors? This house used to function as a Bed and Breakfast. In fact, the street is filled with Bed and Breakfast properties, as the roaring Niagara Falls is literally steps away. We're pretty close, but this house is a half mile closer, so well appointed, and taken care of large homes in this area make for great summer housing to tourists. 

The master bedroom! Very large, and two cedar closets. Here's the problem: I'm allergic to cedar, so we'd have to rip that out first thing.

On the third floor, there are two large bedrooms, but we talked about making this one into a television room because of it's natural coziness with the sloped ceiling. I'm thinking of a small chaise attached sectional in that corner under the eaves, a pair of leather club chairs in the dormer beneath the windows, and a large television on the opposite wall with clear views from either seating group. 

The fun part of the third floor? Because the third floor is already carpeted atop subfloor, carpet is a natural choice. But if I'm going to go wall-to-wall, I'm gonna go big:

Designer Credit: Jan Showers

The antelope patterned carpet from Stark. In Love! I've always wanted to use this carpet, and this is the absolute PERFECT space!

And just across the hall, still on the third floor, what could become Scott's office. With a view of the street and the canopy of trees beyond, it's a peaceful space - something a realtor needs! 

So, plumbing, paint, wallpaper, and a new kitchen and 2 new bathrooms - it's something we'd not move into right away. But it's a possibility ... so what do you think? Is it time to make ourselves a new CDLV?