Sunday, January 23, 2011

And now to introduce you to the new house

Also known as "why I've disappeared for the last 6 weeks or so" and "what I'll be up to my eyeballs in for the next few months."

Front windows of house = Master Bedroom

As I mentioned in my last post so long ago, we've been in the process of moving. We had a very crazy eight weeks - all right during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays - of getting our house ready to sell, finding a place in Houston and moving. Things rolled out muuuuuuuch faster than we had planned on, but it was good, because everything fell right in to place so seamlessly I can't imagine having done it any other way.

Door knob surround

I'll try to sum it up quickly: husband got a job offer in Houston he couldn't refuse, I freak out at the thought of leaving Austin, my family, close friends and great neighborhood/school, we decide we'll try to live close to downtown Houston since that's where his office is, I scope out neighborhoods with Claire, but can't find anything that fits our safe/affordable/good neighborhood schools trifecta, we decide to pursue suburbs, I realize the only suburb I'd want to live in is the one where I can see rockets on the way to the grocery store, we focus our search on the Clear Lake area, we get our house all spiffed up and on the market and head to Clear Lake to scope out the area, our house ends up selling the first weekend it's on the market, we find a Dream Home in Seabrook, everything falls into place with coincidences and "signs" that are enough to make your head spin, we find a rent house one mile from our new house where we can live for a few months during renovations, we move down on New Year's Eve, kids love the new school, we love the new neighborhood, it's all good.


If you'd told me three months ago that I'd be living in a new city, getting ready to start renovations on an awesome old house, I'd have laughed hysterically in your face. Oh, life, you're so funny with your curve balls!

Family room

And so here we are, in Seabrook, Texas. I'm in Space Geek Nirvana, the kids' school is amazing, we've already made some really lovely friends, and the house we bought is not only totally rad and a "dream house," but we also made a really wonderful connection with the sellers. More on that in another post (or three).

Sink - LOVE!

When we started looking down here, we found some great, cozy neighborhoods with fun older homes. One MLS listing had me intrigued. The pictures weren't great, but it was a 1961 ranch with a pool and - most intriguing of all - an art studio and darkroom. I've always wanted to live in a mid-century ranch, so I kept going back to that listing. When I first met with our Realtor, we previewed loads of homes before heading out with my husband the next day. After going through house after house after house, we headed over to this one. Just pulling in to the neighborhood was completely dreamy. Idyllic is an understatement.

Back of the family room, looking out to backyard

When we walked into the house, it was ON. I liken it to looking for your wedding dress: you try on a bunch of dresses, and then the second you put on THE ONE, you know it is THE ONE. This house was THE ONE. It needed some updating, but the bones were incredible, and it had a great spirit about it. And then I walked into the studio. The glorious, amazing, jaw-dropping, can't-believe-it's-real art studio. My creative juices started boiling. I'm planning several posts on the studio alone, and the woman who designed it and worked in it for the last 30 years. Let's just say that I've never experienced kismet as strongly as I have with this home.

Studio - looking out from back corner.

So today, I introduce you to THE ONE. We're planning some pretty big renovations over the next two months, so I'll be updating on that as well. We've never done a renovation before, so I'm a little nervous (ok, A LOT nervous) but I'm excited, too. We're taking a place we love and are just making it even more lovable. I'll share as many of the resources as I can, and welcome any tips/advice on renovating a mid-century home. We're working to keep it pretty true to its time period.

I've given you a sneak peek with some pictures here, but I put together a complete slide show over on Flickr. It's easiest to zip through the pictures that way, and I ordered them such that they take you on a full tour of the place. If you are interested in the notes I've made on the pics, you can view them in the set. I'll be keeping it updated as the renovation beings.