Friday, February 25, 2011

The Universe has Shifted

In accordance with the idea that one ought to focus on what one wants to happen, I am focusing on this house. This is the house we're about to make an offer on. This is in a little town that we've loved for 3 years now, and not too far away from where we currently are so the kids don't need to make an entirely new group of friends (though they will at school). It's on 5 acres, is mostly wooded, and has enough room for an orchard, my garden, our chickens, and probably another house if we ever wanted to go that way, although right now we'll focus on the one that's currently there...

It's a beautiful house, built in 1763. It has a lovely natural stone foundation, with a dirt basement which contains a capped well. It also has a honest-to-goodness root cellar. I'm in heaven! There's room down there for canning jars and equipment, and all our homesteading supplies to be neatly put away. Wow... It's a big house too, coming in at just under 3000 square feet. The house itself ends just before the darker wood you see in the picture to the right. That darker wood is the attached barn (though you have to go outside to get to it). That's not a part of the square footage of the house.

When you come in the front door, there is a long hallway in front of you, with beautifully carpeted stairs going to the upper level. To each side of the hallway is a decent sized room with a fireplace that's been covered over. They've left the thimbles intact, though, which means that it's easy to put wood stoves in them. Yay! This one in particular is to the right of the hallway, and we are thinking that it might make a very lovely room for sewing and setting up our loom and walking spinning wheel and such. I have dreams of a place to set up my cross stitch stand, which has been in my closet for 2 years now.

Here's a reverse view of the hallway. You can just see the stairs and the front door through the left hand doorway, and to the right is a secondary entrance to the room which will probably end up being our "television room." Directly to the left in this image is the kitchen, and to the right is the main floor bathroom. The bathroom needs work - it is missing its walls right now. It's functional, though, just without greenboard and flooring. We'll be able to make it into a beautiful half bath, and there's enough room that we could probably even put in a stand up shower if we wanted to, though I don't think the standpipes are in place to do that.

If you stand in the same spot as in the above picture, and turn around to face the other direction, this is the view. The fireplace has a cast iron insert with an electric fan, a bricked in wood stacking area, and a kindling bin above the mantle. This whole area would be a great family room, except I refuse to ruin it with a television. We've agreed this will be a comfortable place with a nice couch and some chairs, but no boob tube. It'll be a place to talk, to entertain friends, but not to veg. Straight ahead to the left is a doorway that leads into the mud room. It's just a small room, maybe 8x8 feet, with pegs and hooks and such all the way around it. It's just perfect for our family, with all our various coats and mittens and hats and beach gear and all that.

The back door of the house is right there as well, just to the left of the mudroom door, and it leads right out to the door to the barn. The little room straight ahead, kind of in the middle of the picture, is the wash room, probably where they originally did the laundry by hand. It's been turned into a laundry room, although it's tight on space because someone put a sink and cupboards in. If we get this house, we'll be taking those out and putting our washer and dryer in there, so we'll have a nice place that we can close the door on when company comes a-calling. To the right at the end of the room is the way into the dining room.

The dining room is very Colonial. It's not huge but it's certainly large enough for our family and some guests. The windows have little brass hooks by them, so you can open your drapes and set them to the side to allow the daylight in. Our dining room table will fit wonderfully in here, which is very nice. The room also has this wonderful built in cabinet for holding china, wine glasses, and other sundry dining items. It needs a good coat of paint and a bit of cleaning, but really it's a lovely cabinet. It's in much better condition than the one in our old house back in Maryland!

I'm told that my wood cook stove will not fit in the kitchen, but I'm sure we'll manage to find an insert or stove that will. This is the other side of the fireplace pictured above! It has the place for stacking wood and the kindling holder, but it has something else, something wonderful. See that little black door to the right of the fireplace? That's a warming oven. Our fireplace has a warming oven! Squeee!!!! The kitchen is large enough to host a small table and chairs for the kids to eat in there, or for those of us who like to have a coffee and read the paper. You can see the door to the dining room in the back right, and directly to the left you walk through to the sitting room again.

What's not in the picture is what's behind me. There's the usual rough hewn and painted cabinets that seem to be in every Colonial house I've ever seen. There's a gas stove, a spot for a fridge with the water intake already piped out so all we have to do is hook up our fridge to get ice and water. There's a goodly amount of counter space for cooking and making bread and such. And there's a tiny butler's pantry. It's beautiful! A little area (with its own door so you can shut out the guests from the mess, if there is one) for preparing food, storing plates or spices or whatever, and more counter space. More cupboards, too.

This is the upstairs hallway (you can see the front door at the bottom of the stairs). Straight ahead there are two small rooms, opposite one another and mirrors of each other. One is painted in light colors and the other in dark. There is a built in space for a twin bed, with bookshelves all around. There's a closet in each, with low-down pegs, just right for small people. The twins are ecstatic over having their own rooms if we get this place. They like the idea that they're still right across the hall from one another, but that they'll each have their own space for toys and books and such. I think they need it, too. I know I sure do...

And then, there is the master bedroom. It is large. It is beautiful. It has its own fireplace right there in the bedroom. It has under-eaves storage (you can see one of the little doors is open to the right in the photo). There are built in shelves, which sis looked at and thought about for her Beanie Baby collection. There's a secondary small room just off the bedroom, which looks as if it was originally a dressing room or attached office. There's a skylight (currently covered in snow but still letting in tons of light). There's room for sis's armoire, which is huge. There's room for her king size bed, too. And above the exposed beams you can just see in the picture, there is a light and fan, to provide you with a cool breeze when you need it.

If you walked out the bedroom door and went straight, you'd find yourself at the edge of the hallway pictured above. To your right would be the second floor bathroom, which is a full bath and is done in white and blue. It's lovely, a real powder room, with tons of space for towels and small squirming children. Then there's a set of stairs... going up...

It leads to this already insulated and laid out room. It has all new flooring, new wiring, new insulation, decent windows, phone and cable wires... It's currently set up as three little rooms but I think I would like to make the partition you see my "bed" room (meaning it'll hold my bed and a night stand and not much else), and the rest will be a sitting area and a place for my spiritual studies. There is room in the bed area for a desk, and I should be able to sit there and look out the window and work on my book. In the summer, it will get a great cross breeze, too!

Going back to the main floor, you can go out by the mud room and walk to the barn door just a few feet away. In there is a whole little office laid out, ready for use. It has a small kitchen for if you get peckish, and two office rooms. Gray already has his picked out! It also has a third bathroom. Someone put a lot of thought into setting it up as a nice home office. The second of the two office rooms will nominally be sis's for working on her school projects, but will be available to me if I'm having someone over to discuss a ceremony they want performed. Out the back of the barn is a three season enclosed porch with wooden porch swing. The picture doesn't do it justice - it's very beautiful. It needs new screens but I can live with that. The swing is sturdy and comfortable, and just begging for use.

So... that's the tour. Say prayers for us. I'd love to see this go from dream to reality!