Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Making my home

I'm putting up paint colors on my wall, because we are planning to paint our "great room" with a "color", since it has been "white" ever since we moved in.

We live in a newer home (built in 2004) that was studs when we bought it.
We got to pick the paint colors, tile, cabinets, and appliances, which was very nice.

The thing about newer homes is that they are very comfortable to live in, but lack the character of older homes that my husband and I love.
The two previous homes I lived in with my husband were very old homes with a lot of character. Older homes are wonderful, but they are a lot of work. In our previous home, built in 1890, we had to replace the septic, get new roofing on many parts of the house, and live with quirky rooms that never heated evenly. :) It had almost 3 acres and that was a lot of yard to keep up with when you have a husband who commutes to NYC for work every day. There just were never enough hours for the house, work, and family time.

When we decided to move from that house, to have a better commute, and to not be a slave to the upkeep of our home, we were drawn to a newer home because, well, the "newness" of it, but also the home we finally chose was in the price range of homes we looked at that "needed work". It was a no-brainer to pick one that didn't need work.

So we've set to work on this home we are now in, trying to add character to a house that doesn't have quirky rooms and charming details.

We added our own.

And have furnished it with mostly flea market finds, since that is essentially the way we like to design: "flea market style" or even "frugal farmhouse." 

I love our home. Yes, it takes a ridiculous amount of oil to heat it and give us hot water, which is not my favorite thing about it, but it fits our whole crew well, it's comfortable,  and we've made it our place.

I've learned over the years, living in many different homes and living in a part of the country that doesn't feel like "home" to me that you really can and should make the best of where you are. Maybe you don't like your home--it's too small, it's not your "style", it's not "decorated", it's messy, it's in a town you don't like, etc etc,--you really can take what God has given you and He can multiply its use in ways you would never dream of. He loves to do stuff like that.


Linda said...

I feel just the way you do Andrea. There is something so "homey" about an older home. I lived in one growing up.
Our homes have been new too, but we have done a bit of what you have. I think it is just a matter of filling a house with the things you love, whatever they are, that turns it into home.
I love your home!

Anonymous said...

I love your home!


Chrysanthemama said...

I love this post. We are a military family that has lived in 9houses in the past 10 years. It is the love our family shares, and most importantly our faith that makes our houses homes. Thank you for sharing your home with us.

Kate said...

Just had to say how much the tone and feel of those photos matches your blog and your writings. It's so neat to see it all match - that's probably a sign of a great blog!

Andrea said...

Kate--what a wonderful compliment!! and so observant! thank you so much!!

Betsy Norwood said...

i love your home, too. i love that it turns into *my home* when I come and visit. i love the people, big and small, that fill up your home. i love looking around and finding new things that you've found, new nooks that you've created, new spaces that make you want to exhale.
being in your home, surrounded by my favorite people, is HOME to me :)

Natalie said...

I love your home, too and your warm hospitality! The beautiful things you've filled your home with make it home!

1890, huh? That must have been a perpetual job to take care of that house! :)

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see more pictures of your home and your decorating/design, if you ever decide to post more.

I like the willow (?) in the one picture. Did you find that locally or get it somewhere else?

As others mentioned, you have a unique aesthetic.

Please post more!! :)

Also, how do you keep mementos and other decorative items on table tops etc with children around? I've found I had to put most of mine away while my kids are young. I miss having beautiful things around my home.

Anonymous said...

Andrea, we all have our little ways of making our houses home, and it is so sweet to sit back at the end of a great family day and see the fruits of our labor. I must say, though that some of the lessons on "deciding" to make a home in a house/town that's less than ideal can be painful and slow. I'm still learning this, too. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Andrea said...

Yes, Layla, they are so painful and slow!I've come a long way in my journey, but I still have days where I struggle. But I guess the goal is "less struggle" and with that I think I've done good. love to you! a.

Aimee said...

can I come over, pretty please? with a cherry on top?

tonia said...

gorgeous! i am currently living in the old home on too much property with a busy husband who commutes so i totally know what you're talking about. i fantasize about new houses all the clean! so simple!

but then i used to fantasize about the charm of an old farmhouse so there you go. :) i just didn't know how thin the charm would be once we lived here! *hee*

love your pics, love your focus.

Lindsay Sledge said...

Hi Andrea, I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now. I guess it's time I start commenting. I really needed to read this right now. We are a military family, and just moved to Virginia from Italy. Our house in Italy was built in 1884 and I swore I would never live in an old house again. We just moved into a 1915 home. I guess that's a little better. I spent so much time complaining about our Italian house and day dreaming about living somewhere else that I missed out on what's really important. I hope this time, with all it's quirks I can learn to be happy and enjoy my family in our new home. Thanks for writing this. God Bless.

Courtney said...

Love seeing these glimpses of your home...makes me feel like we are drinking coffee at your kitchen table ;) Love you.
PS love the jar of seashells! We just brought some home from the beach...I think I'll do the same ;) make a little "time capsule" of our trip ;)

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL!
Like you.

This was the perfect stop in the mist of Saturday house-blessing. As always, always --- you inspire!

Grateful for you...
All's grace,

children of eve said...

Lovely pictures, lovely home, lovely you.

Cloverland Farm said...

beautiful things. love the crochet banner. xo