Thursday, May 5, 2016

Home Tour

Married for almost 8 years, Nick and I must have spent at least 5 of those years planning, saving, hoping, and finally letting go of everything we wanted about buying a home. God's great design involved some irony (to me) by placing our first home near where we grew up and had hoped to own a home way back when.

This time, the expectations and dreams were appropriate. The house meets our needs, the biggest one being less than 10 minutes from the church's two main worship sites. It also fulfills some hopes and dream, since a single family house comes with a yard. Gardening and letting the kids explore on their own or have the space for soccer or tee-ball were possibilities that have become much easier than in our largely urban Saint Louis "yard."

Here's your visual tour! Thanks for stopping by.

Sowing Pizza Garden Seeds

Kitchen Work Triangle
 The kitchen has an open L layout with a logical work triangle. Everyone in the family spends a lot of time in this room.

Kitchen, Passing Through Eating Area

The kids' table sits next to the island and has plenty of bright light from the west-facing patio door. The patio door (to the left of the sink) has a view of the back gate and corner where the vegetable garden is located.

No picture of the eating area at this time: it's the only space without a direct window, and it's where so many things get piled. Mostly the scraps of paper are good reminders, but they lack a better home for now.

Entry and Front Window
The living room window faces east. We had a 30+ year honey locust removed in late March/early April... it's my least favorite tree. The morning sun really streams in right now! Next spring we'll put in a more appropriately sized tree for the space. Probably something that's about 15'-20' when mature.

Living Room
This wall holds Ariel's toys and books. I was happy to find the shelf on Craigslist for less than 50% the new price. Ariel is less supervised than the older kids were at her age and she really likes crinkling the plastic jackets on library books... or ripping at them and any tiny tear in a page. Therefore the older kids prefer their books and games to be in the coat closet. The mirrored doors distract Ariel from really wanting to explore the inside ;-) Eventually, a TV will go on this wall. Probably some favorite photos, too, to balance out the large black screen.

Living Room Sectional
We sold the futon in Saint Louis to facilitate moving. It had a good life as Nick's bed when he came home from college, as our bed the first year we were married, as Abigail's big girl bed, and as our couch in STL. This is now our first actual couch. #adulting

Behind it is a 'console table' made out of shelves mounted to the wall. Someday a large piece of art would be great on the wall between the lamps. It's the wall you see first when coming in the door.

At the left edge of the photo, you can see the leg of a piano. This has been a favorite with the kids. Our reader, Abigail, is the most motivated to sit and try the Alfred Basic book. But her younger brother watches and imitates carefully, and at forte. I like sight reading my way through old lesson books, too.

Ariel's corner
After passing from the living room through the eating area, Abigail and Ariel's room is the first.

The colors are most true in the first photo.

It's hard to believe, but sometime in the next 6-8 months, Ariel will be finished with her crib! Abigail's bed is a platform bed with room for a trundle. The twin size trundle is currently in Evan's room. I'm determined to get more life out of that crib mattress, and have plans for making a smaller trundle for Ariel. Eventually, it could make a neat reading nook sofa or low lounge seating with throw pillows when she's entering kindergarten. Or, the crib-size trundle could be sold to some poor parent who's tired of sharing a bed with their kid ;-)

Abigail's corner
Abigail's favorite part of the room is where she keeps her dolls. She loves to arrange everything just so. The tiny table often hosts birthday parties or pancake breakfasts for all the other dolls.

You can spy Abigail in her princess dress in the closet door mirror. I'm not personally a fan of mirror closet doors... but the kids LOVE them. So, the mirrors will stay until other projects have been taken care of. In the meantime, there will be so much dancing and so many goofy faces.

Girls' Room
Out the window, you can see the roofline of the middle school behind our yard. There is a green space with walking trail, so the school isn't too close. The noise level has been fine during recess and PE. Today, I had been sitting with Ariel about 10 minutes to put her to sleep for her nap when the marching band drum line began practicing outdoors for the first time. Thankfully it wasn't on the same side of the building as us. She slept fine. Marching band was one thing that never occurred to me as we thought through this house's location next to a school. Now you know!

Evan's Dresser
Evan's room is the middle bedroom and smallest. Speaking of small, you can spy my little helper, Ariel, in almost every photo of our house.

Evan loves his train set, vehicles, Lincoln logs, and Duplos... and wants them out all the time. "I'm not finished building!" he will protest. Feet appreciate a 12" cleared zone next to the bed. It's his preferred compromise.

The picture with Evan's dresser has the truest colors.

Evan's Window

All the bedrooms have the darkest blackout curtains that I could find. The fabric is off-white cotton duck, but the back has an acrylic coating that makes sure ZERO light filters through. I hung them even with the bottom of the window casing or just above the floor, added about 6-10" of pull back room on each side, and then added eye screws. Why? To make the sides light-blocking, too. I sewed a plastic ring to the top corner of each panel and the ring fastens to the eye hook to close the gap. Just what parents need for early riser kids. Just kidding! Nearly complete darkness is helpful to everyone's bodies as we sleep. So no night lights for my kids, either.

Master Bedroom

The Master bedroom is at the end of the hallway, on the south side of the house. The window faces west, however.

Because Ariel's crib had been between the bed and the closet, and because of the swing of the closet door, we haven't shifted the bed over. The ceiling fan is off-center, because of the closet door swing. Eventually, a long, wrapped canvas of a landscape is what we'd like to put above the bed. Something calm and peaceful. It'll help the room look more balanced.

Master Window

About 6' from the Master window is a large 8'x8' shed. The plus side is that we can stash so many bulky yard and garden things in it. The downside is our view. The afternoon light doesn't allow you to see much through the window in the picture. But the shed is there.

Master Dresser
Just keeping it real: yes, that's my sewing desk piled high with mending and the ends of projects. And those are the laundry baskets.

But my favorite part of this view is the picture of Nick and I on the dresser. We used to have many other photos and things on the dresser top or our walls. In Saint Louis the TV was in our bedroom for almost a year. Increasingly, I want this space to be a calm, sacred space just for us. The kid stuff needs to be in so much of the house -- but not here. The TV, phones, and computers don't need to be here either. Creating a calm space factored into why all the bedrooms got top priority in painting when we moved in.

My helper
 This photo gives a glimpse of the full bathroom door (immediate left side), half bathroom door (just after the open bedroom door), and Master closet door.

This photo also has the truest color for the walls and ceiling in the Master bedroom. Plus, there's my buddy: ransacking the cabinet with her pajamas and nighttime diapers.

Thanks for stopping by our virtual tour!

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