Thursday, December 10, 2015

Our New House

(Note to readers:  I am way behind in posting due to all the unpacking, holidays, and trips so these post are going to be backdated as I catch up.)

The search is over!  We finally chose a house after seeing nearly 40 houses.  We are renting while living here overseas.  So although the house didn’t need to be as perfect as if we were buying we still had some specific things we needed in the house and then a bunch of things that we were hoping for too.  We knew we'd have to settle on some of the "wants," but were really striving for all of the "needs."  

We saw some seriously awesome houses that, unfortunately, just would not work for us and our needs.  One had a winter garden (i.e. a sun room) that was already furnished with a long party style table and a mini kitchen and bar at one end, but it didn't have enough bedrooms or a big enough living area.  One had a beautiful kitchen with an archway to the dining room, but it had a narrow street with a sharp tun into the carport that would be very difficult in the big van.  Another house had a very unique style with a lot of really beautiful built ins, but the sunken living room wouldn't fit our large curvy sofa without blocking something like a door or some of the built ins.  One had all the rooms, a decent kitchen, but had no garage, carport, or even a place to park the van without being on the street, and, therefore, no much storage space either.  Yet another house had a very convenient layout, but had no access to fast internet.  That was a deal breaker since we wouldn't be able to Skype with friends and family.  So, about house number 35, we had a winner!  The only down sides were the tiny kitchen and the distance from Brian's work/our hospital (doctor's appointments and all) was 30 minutes.  Another minor down side is that there are a lot of stairs which is tricky with a bunch of little ones.  However, the levels alternate which side of the house they are on so they are mini levels or kind of like split levels.  This means the stairways are shorter (only 7 steps) which is better if someone falls down them.

Front View (Unfortunately, doesn't show all the way to the top.)

Backyard and Patio (from one side)

Backyard and Patio (from the other side)
Here's the basic (semi-confusing) tour from the top down without all the rooms included, pre-move in.  Once we have the rooms set up, I'll post the room pictures, but for now it would be hard to tell what is what with a bunch of shots of empty rooms.

Top Floor (6th floor)
The top floor belongs to the girls completely.  On this landing we are putting our foosball table and some shelves with games and such.  To the right is Genevieve's room.  To the left is a mini hallway with a bathroom off of it and Hannah's room at the end.  Their shower is cute because it is short, made special for little people.  They are loving having all the privacy and cleaning their own bathroom!

Boys' Room- Isaac and Drew's Room (5th floor)
Next floor down (5th floor) is the one with the balcony over-looking the living room.  There is lots of space on that balcony area that we are using as a library with wall to wall bookshelves and a Lego table.  The bedroom pictured above is Isaac and Drew's room.  It is the biggest one in the house and has a super high ceiling which is great for the bunk beds.  It has a "secret door" to another tiny room.

"Secret Door" (when closed)
That room is Judah's room.  It is a triangular prism shaped room with the ceiling slanting all the way down to the ground.  His crib fits in there with some toys, but not much else.  His shrank (i.e. closet) is going to be in Bobby's room because he has extra space.  At some point we may change this "secret room" to a play room and have Bobby share a room with one of the boys, but for now this is working.

Master Bedroom (4th floor) The door leads to the backyard and patio, FYI.
Master Bedroom (other side)
The next floor down (4th floor) has Bobby's room on one side of the stairway and a mini hallway that leads to our master bedroom on the other side.  Off of the mini hallway is our master bathroom.  This level also has a guest half bath and a mini hallway with a door to the backyard.  It is perfect having Bobby right across from our bedroom.
Master Bathroom (one view)

Master Bathroom (second view)
The master bathroom is one of my favorite parts because we have never had a master bathroom larger than a closet before.  And yea for a tub!  I love baths!

Living Room (3rd floor) This view shows balcony and wood burning heater/oven.

Down one more level to the third floor and you have the main living space.  There is a living room, dining room, and kitchen.  Plus, there is an entryway closed off by a door that has a door leading to the outside on the side of the house.  However, we have another door lower down and decided to not use this door often.  We needed a place for the fridge and an extra storage shrank (closet) so the entryway has become our timeout room/storage.  So far it's working out.

Dining Room (view from living room showing door to kitchen)

Dining Room (view from kitchen door showing through to living room and balcony that overlooks the front street)

Kitchen  the kitchen was my one disappointment in this house, but I am working on making it a happy place for me.  The first thing to go was the curtain blocking the best feature of the room which is my huge window with an amazing view.  You'll see what I mean in a couple of posts from now.  It is very small considering how many people sometimes are hanging on to me or talking to me while I am cooking.  Counter space is not nearly enough, but for some reason most of the houses that were big enough for us had small kitchens.  A couple had bigger kitchens, but those houses had other problems that we could not get over.

Pantry (attached to kitchen)
Next level down has a landing where our piano will reside.  To one side of the stairway is a room that will be our office/school room.  To the other side is a storage room with the oil heater.

Office/School Room (2nd floor)  The shelves are attached to the wall, but the cabinets are not.  So I decided to move these down to the laundry room so our desks would fit in here.  Just wait to see the transformation on this room!  I am bound and determined to make it a nice office/school room despite its storage-y feel pre-move in.

Office/ School Room

Go down one more time to the first level and you would see this hall (above).  To the right is the laundry room and an entry to the garage is next to that.  To the left is the full guest bathroom, and next to that is the guest room.  Straight ahead is our mudroom that is the size of a small bedroom.  A big mudroom will be sooooo helpful to us when we are all trying to get out (or in!) the door at the same time.

Laundry Room (1st floor) Once again, the laundry room will become my sewing/craft room as well.  Thankful for a bug laundry room!

Mudroom (1st floor)
The garage is always very important to Brian, but this garage even makes me happy since it is tall enough to fit my giant 12 passenger van in.  Amazing, right?


That's the quick and dirty tour, but stay tuned for the pictures after I turn this house into a home for the next few years.  We move in today.

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