My Home Style (2)

Continuing with my House photography project topic here.

When I was preparing for this master bedroom photo shoot, I realized that one can blindly go on with piles of clothes here and there, wrong furniture placements that unnecessarily takes up prime space when they could have been arranged more orderly and simply drain out the potential of beautiful deco for a room. And all these messiness went on for years till I was immunned and accepted it! Frankly speaking, if there were no plans of selling this house, I would have still live on with the mess. So, in a good way, the selling of the house kind of put my sight into perspective, encouraging massive de-cluttering and obsessive cleaning up with the new born passion of house decorating. Cooking magazines from the library has been swapped with House decorating periodicals since January and I have been gawking at beautiful Homes websites too! Sometimes, you just need to be ‘Shamed’ out of your tardiness to make everything good! And by that, I have learned. 🙂

Some more Pictures of my Home

Master Bedroom: Although I am not a big fan of face cosmetics, I am into fixture ‘cosmetics’ for my home. The only fixtures that I added on this part are the curtain rods and curtain. When we moved in, this room was lilac with pink shades. No trashing of the previous owner, everyone has their own favorite color and I am ok with that :). We picked 2 shades of blue, the wall enveloping the head of the bed is a darker hue while the lighter one was painted all over the rest of the room. This house is very generous with natural light and every morning I wake up to this brightness, together with extra from the overhead skylights. I chose one single painting instead of the normal 2 for the wall to create a focus point. Not a big fan of the table lamps though but they were from previous purchases when I first came to America, so I just kept them till today. For my next move, I am thinking of re-purposing them and currently learning on how to change the fabric on the plain lamp shades.

The good thing about using Credit cards for every $1 to $1000 purchases is it can add up and score nice things like this massage chair! Seriously, this massage chair has alot of keys for different parts of your backside but I might have only used it for 10 times the most over the last 5 years since we got it. And initially it was in the living room and only moved up here for the house selling! See what I meant by simply blinded by clutter? Now it sits at this comfy corner of the bedroom and looks so much in place with a beautiful view from the facing window. Initially, I placed a long book shelf with 8 cubicles horizontally facing you now and lots of other clutters on it. The wall leading to the cathedral ceiling was not utilized and part of my house search this time is to avoid cathedral ceilings if I can, as I feel that I am wasting my money on wasted vertical space. The only thing I can think of for this blank wall are lots of pictures or a custom built bookshelf with a rolling ladder included.

The long book shelf was moved into this awkward space, which originally meant for a tv console or something since the cable connection is at this side. I am against having a TV in the bedroom and who needs them these days… cuddle up with a Tablet in bed is a better idea! We dumped our clothes in that space last time with a long standing mirror but now, I really think I was dumb then! See how nice the shelf fits in there. And yes… those are my library of cookbooks and magazines, soon to be replaced with Home designing ones I guess :). On the hidden right corner sits a vanity sink complete with mirror which I seldom use and another waste of space with the bathroom directly next to it! Moldings really accent a door and for this part of the closet, there is none. But see the next one and I am really going for moldings as my next fixture obsession.

See the difference? Moldings are like beautiful frames for a door or window, it accents the main focus point. Well, of course the focus point must be nice too and I cannot say so of these track closet doors. But luckily the color is light and doesn’t clashes with the other colors of the room.

The Finale… phew, that was alot to say about one Bedroom. Mind you, my Agent did mentioned my house is pretty dramatic compared to the others on the listing :). This is the view from the loft, the ceiling completed with 2 skylights. The space on top of the closets is another example of waste. Not mentioning so difficult to clean or dust without a very long ladder. And the fan also served not much purpose except for very hot summer days, which is not very common in this area.

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House Hunting Day 1

Today my kids and I set out to view the houses listed in the area that we intended to move to. Our lovely agent, K kindly trusted me to do the driving despite me knowing not much about the local roads while my kids yakked away their excitement at the back. When I first bought my current townhouse, I took everything for granted. I only knew one way to and from my place and never bothered to learn the back roads and streets of the neighborhood that could have saved me time and gas. Only when both of my kids started going to 2 separate school locations and I was crunching for time, the convenience and usefulness of back streets helped me alot in avoiding tardy notices and avoiding major cross sections with massive traffic flow. I guess from then onwards too I started to look at and admire single homes along these back roads and wishing one day to live in a cul-de-sac. Hence, I am starting my search with the single family homes first this time round.

The first house that we viewed was an Antique Colonial, dating back to the 1700s with additional extension done to the original living area. As this was my first time viewing a single home rather than a condo or townhouse which boosts the conveniences of a well managed lawn and exterior by an appointed Condo Management team, I was a bit skeptical when we drove into the driveway seeing a massive lawn area. To be fair, it is still winter and nothing looked cheery nor inviting but I do think the lawn area is a gardener’s dream for shrubs and plants as there were no overbearing massive trees blocking the way. However, I have not much knowledge about gardening let alone wanting to mow the lawn come summer time, so the large outside area was not appealing to me.

The strange thing is that this house looks big from the listed photographs and I would say the photographer has done a great job! The inside was surprisingly small and myself being over 5′ 6″ in height and medium built simply felt there was not much space. I have visited Colonial houses like this one in the past, mainly converted to museums or visitors attractions but to be in this one which is lived in by the owners felt different. The kitchen cabinets were upgraded with light birch material and infact a very pleasing color to me but as I stood firm on the ground, I felt that my eye level view of the dining table is a bit slanting to one side. Noticeably the ground was not very level and I learned from K that I should bring a marble next time and roll it down to see the levelness of the floor of the houses. I absolutely thought that was a Brilliant idea! Don’t you think so? :). My kids were just happily checking out the place and excited to walk up the very small steps of the staircase that led us to the small bedrooms. As the ceiling was quite low, I suspect it can be very hot during summer and may require additional windows to better circulate the air inside it. Needless to say, agent K already knew from her professional experiences that this house is definitely not for a person like myself who adores bright natural light beaming in from every parts of the house, and of which this house is lacking. And so we moved on.

The next house was a Colonial too but this one built in the 1980s. The facade of this house is interestingly mustard yellow with egg plant colored decorative shutters. Size wise is bigger than the previous one with a very inviting gravel pathway from the garage area to the front door and the back siding doors. I always admire people who takes this sort of effort to accent the outside of their house. The gravel pathways kind of accented the egg plant colored shutters of the house and the fact that not many tall trees surrounded the lawn area made the house really visible from far. Although I would love to document every details here, I feel that it will be an invasion of privacy of the homeowners and so I will try to describe it in words. This house has a foyer entrance directly facing two sets of french doors at the opposite end of the house. That means a lot of natural light flowing in from both of the doorways which gives an airy feel to the interior. The french doors led to a huge backyard where I can envision my kids running happily and wanting to set up camp out there to watch the stars. I thought it was a brilliant idea of the owners to build a walk out deck (white fenced up as seen in the picture) for extra outside entertaining space. My disappointment sets in when I saw the kitchen. Basically it is nicely updated but in terms of size it was almost the same size as the one that I have now, of which I complained of lack of space for my bread making. It would have been nice if more ground space area is available instead of high walls of the kitchen room leading to the high cathedral ceiling, which I think is a waste of opportunity to utilize the vertical space. Cathedral high ceilings are nice but space is prime and I would prefer to be able to utilize every inch on and above the ground of a room.  But to be fair, not everyone loves cooking and baking as much as I do. There was no way of putting in a kitchen island in the floor plan without extending the kitchen area and so there and then, I decided the house was lacking a space that will allow me to expand my culinary adventures. Overall, this house has a nice open feel to it with nice beams visible on the main floor ceiling but the layout of the house in whole is like a contained box. It is like you will have to pass through each room and part of the house to get from point A to point B and that means lack of privacy for all the occupants in the same house. For these reasons, I had to strike out this house from my wish list.

And so, we are hoping for a better viewing next time. My kids as usual, happily in tow.

Posted in On Market | 1 Comment

Wicker Charm

I love wicker furniture. It gives me a nostalgic feel of my childhood when I was growing up at my grandmother’s place. Furniture from the 60s and 70s had a warm and easy charm in them, nothing bulky and easy to move around. Although this particular chair was a reproduction of the old style, it was very nicely done with slim and steady legs together with a very comfy seating and back support. When sitted in it, I feel like I am cuddled in a soft basket and the height was right for my 1.68m body frame. Completed with the checkered plaid cushion, it is an artform in itself! Too bad, it belongs to my Mom in Malaysia and I only get to enjoy it once in a while :).

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My Home Style (1)

So, how did I come up with this idea about blogging about my Home? Well, obviously there are thousands of Blogs out there already standing high and mighty on and above the floating cloud of this modern internet technology yakking away about beautiful homes, gardens and salvaged finds at consignment stores and flea markets. I am very inspired by all these websites and Bloggers and true enough, this is the right time for me to blog when I am in the midst of selling and buying houses. I have a bit of a regret that I didn’t take the effort to do this for my current house but at that time, I was totally clueless on how Blogs work and had no idea that keeping a House Diary has gone so savvy and exciting for some and this time, I am ready.

To start with, I prepared and took the pictures of my House for the sellers’ listings, due next week. It was quite hectic having to re-arrange all the things around the house and to get it ready for a photo shoot session. Being a Buyer’s market these days only meant a Seller has to work extra hard to market her house. I am indeed doing it now and hopefully all the extra scrubbing, dusting and propping ready the house for the past month will come to a good sale.

Some Photos of my House

Living Room : My Favorite color is Red. The sofa set was our first new buy when we moved into this House in October 2005. Although lacking a walk out deck on this 1st floor plan, the Big window with beautiful view of the community grounds and backyard was a “sold” calling to me :). The 4 Orchid pictures was my first attempt at recycling and re-purposing something old. I am a big fan of flowers but not very lucky on the greenthumb skills and I saved up an old calendar with these lovely orchids and got some cheap frames and mats at my local craft store. When I put them together, I was so proud of myself!Needless to say, I think they are stunning and gave life to the wall! And for more than 6 years, they are still on the wall, blooming pretty :).

The Rest of the Living Room : Light Birch Shelves, Glass Cabinet and TV Console completed the comfy mode of the whole room. One thing about the houses in America, they lack ceiling light fixtures and the only way to remedy it without having to re-wire and getting an electrician in was either a table lamp or accent lights like these above the shelves. By chance and luck, the accent light fixtures matched the color of our new TV. And without going on too much with the birch, we opted for a white coffee table to tie in with the moulding on the windows but with extra wear, tear and use, the table finally gave way and was replaced with this dark walnut oak.

Dining Room : The table and chairs are all IKEA ensembles. Love the table which can be extended to sit up to 8 and possibly more if benches are used instead of chairs. As the light fixture wiring was positioned where it is, the placement of the table had to go along with the light alignment. Taking advices from the experts, the huge mirror provided a visual effect for the room to look bigger than it is. I love Asian paintings and this one was specially painted and given to us by a relative. The peek through opening looks into the kitchen, which to me serves as a very useful look out to my kids who hovers around the living room all the time. 

 

Posted in Daily Basket, Projects | 1 Comment

Knock knock!

I believe the ultimate dream of everyone is to own a place of their own, to design the outlay, maneuvre around the floor plans and eventually put oneself into the whole picture to call it a Home. I am definitely one and I started this Blog today to record, chronicle and simply say anything about my excitement, anxieties, frustrations and stress of searching for my next home and thereafter blogging on the progress of making the place my Home.

My current House is and will be ‘was’ my first abode of love. More than 6 years ago, we moved from a rented apartment to my house, a townhouse of 4 floors connected by 3 flights of stairs and situated on a lovely spot uphill and with an open walkout basement to the largest shared neighborhood space that I can only say “Great”! Another baby born and with gas guzzling up for the ‘to and fro’ trips to IKEA, HomeDepot and Lowes, we finally settled in comfortably with little complaints about the previous owner’s Lilac taste in everything, of which we managed to amend to our more universal taste in colors and fixtures designs. Indeed making a place a Home takes alot of effort and time but eventually, everything is worth it.

As I write, I am in the state of sadness having to list my house on the market and at the same time, starting to stress and fret about finding the next home for my family. I see this as a very important task, infact the biggest task so far in my life…. I cannot comprehend all the situations that will come out during this time period but I know one thing, I am finally ready for the next stage of my life…… to get a Bigger House!

Till then…. all Aboard and may the selling and buying sails with the Easy Breeze 🙂

Posted in Daily Basket | 1 Comment