Small Space Embrace

Once we had decided on the general location where we wished to relocate, Bob and I had two main requirements during our new house search: a basement and a garage. Our previous homes lacked these two features and we were eager to experience the joy of pulling into a specialized parking space attached to our own home while in the middle of a driving rainstorm. And, we were desperate for a space where the kids could be sent when the sheer volume of their existence made me want to punch a unicorn (more specifically, the 30 minutes prior to dinner).

We also really wanted a home that felt cozy. We missed the smaller spaces and little nooks and crannies of our first house in Alexandria. But, we needed actual full-size closets to go along with all that character. Our Richmond house had storage to spare but it’s large size was a lot for us to maintain and keep clean. Plus, I was always losing the kids or yelling up the stairs or across the entire length of the house. Some of the rooms went mostly unused. We needed the best features of the two homes – coziness and closet space – combined into one house plopped on top of a basement with a garage attached.

In addition, we had a whole entire separate wish list of things that would be nice: a screened-in porch (bugs – so many bugs in the South), first floor master (trying to think practical and long-term which just proves we’re getting older), a gas fireplace (Bob is scared of indoor fire) and, lastly, we were really hoping for a nice open view since the mountains are one of the reasons we zeroed in on this area to begin with. All of these things would be nice, we thought, but since we’re easily swayed, none of them were deal breakers.

We’re still amazed that we found a home that checked everything off our wish list(s) and then some.

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At about 1,800 square feet, the new house is definitely cozy but with an unfinished basement of roughly the same size, it easily holds all of our stuff. It is light and bright on the inside thanks to an abundance of windows and we love, love most everything about it.

Bob and I decided, well before moving day, that we were going to take six months to just clear and clean the home (C & C because we cannot do anything around here without naming our efforts). We are a bit weary of major home improvement projects and since this home is in such good shape to begin with, we’re going to take our time and spend our first few months in the house enjoying the scenery without feeling rushed to make big changes.

The only exception to that rule may be painting. The entire house needs to be repainted since there is an awful lot of faux finishes and strong color choices working against us currently. And, the trim and doors throughout are ivory so if you have any suggestions about what works with cream-colored woodwork, we’d be happy to hear it.

(All of the following pictures were taken on closing day and shortly after we had dumped the contents of our two cars throughout the house.)

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The kitchen is a great size and sits at the front of the house which I really like since it captures the views from the large bay window where we’ve placed a small table. I don’t love the cabinets but they’re in good shape and have some really nice built-in features. The appliances are in excellent condition and the only plans we have for this space in the short-term are to remove the too-low microwave and replace it with a standard vent, switch out the faucet for one that I can actually fit a pot underneath and to paint the dark red, rag-rolled walls.

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Off of the kitchen and foyer sits the combination dining room/living room. More faux painting adorns the walls in this room but with french doors that lead to the big screened-in porch, I’m willing to overlook them for a bit. There is also a column/room divider thing (I’m not even sure what to call it) that we confirmed with the previous homeowner is decorative and not structural. It needs to come down. It’s… odd and visually makes the dining area seem huge while limiting the furniture placement on the living room side. Naturally, it’s also faux painted. My parents are visiting this month and I have a feeling my Dad would be delighted to get to demolish something.

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There is one central hallway that leads to the bedrooms and which also contains a super convenient laundry closet. The kid’s bedrooms are on the small side so furniture placement has been tricky. The previous owner had a third bathroom rough-plumbed in the basement when the home was built so we envision eventually finishing off that space with another bedroom, bath and family room.

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Millie’s room has three large windows that catch the morning sun coming over the mountains.

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Our master is generous in size and came equipped with a headboard and faux-leather-looking wallpaper! Awesome! However, it also has a completely renovated bathroom with a great walk-in shower and fancy heated floors (that we never turn on). It accommodates my desk perfectly since I don’t have a dedicated office in this home. It’s very cozy and after having hardwood floors throughout virtually every room in our Richmond house, I definitely prefer carpet in the sleeping spaces. It’s just softer both visually and underfoot.

This house has so much potential and we get excited talking about opening the wall between the kitchen and dining area or running rough-hewn beams across the cathedral ceiling in the living room or replacing the vinyl siding with a lovely, soft yellow HardiPlank but it’s also the first house that we’ve lived in that we haven’t felt like we need to do all of that all at once. We’re too busy right now enjoying the view.

This morning's sunrise.

This morning’s sunrise.

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4 thoughts on “Small Space Embrace

  1. Can’t wait to see what you do with the place — so many possibilities! Congrats on your new home!

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