"...List the dwelling places of your life, according to the age [you were when you lived there]. What did you love about them?"
--Sarah Ban Breathnach, "Something More"
Yes. My home is cozy and comfortable. Warm. Friendly. Casual. I love it. I think it represents my hubby and I very well.
As far as dwelling places throughout my life... Uffda. Get ready. It's a long list!
(Mom and me... That bench we're sitting on? It's now in my entryway. Fun.)2. A duplex in Illinois. We lived here until I was 4ish. I remember red/purple shag carpet and our cat playing in the bathroom sinks. But most of all I remember my Grandpa playing "dress-up" with me - he'd take me on dates... Too cute. I have pictures of some of those moments with him. Priceless.
(Ha ha ha. See that typeboard in the background? I have one just like it in my living room...)
(Grandma, me, and Grandpa - chillin' in Sycamore)
3. We moved to a little white house, on a brick road in Ohio, and lived there til I was about to start 6th grade. I loved a lot about this house: it had a front porch swing, tire swing and sandbox in the backyard, my own room, bunkbeds... What seemed like a HUGE kitchen to "ice-skate" and dance around in. A screened-in back porch. Heat vents in the floor (awesome to stand on in your nightgown on cold winter mornings!). A fireplace in the living room - perfect at Christmas time. Lots of kids on the street!
(A picture-perfect Christmas on Kibler Ave.)
4. Next was a townhome in Southern California. I got to decorate my own bedroom here - a peach and sea-green color scheme, a new full-size bed, and pictures of teen heart-throbs on the walls! Our kitchen windows were often visited by hummingbirds, and we had a community pool where you could see the fireworks display at Disneyland! We only lived here for about a year and a half - so one of the best parts about it, was getting to do all kinds of cool things in California (beaches, sea-side towns, Disneyland, Universal Studios, etc, etc.). We affectionately refer to this time as a very long family vacation!
(Our porch... complete with pool toys in the background! Pretty sure this was a "first day of school" picture...)
(One of the cool parts of living in California for a brief time - weekend afternoons at the ocean.)
5. We briefly lived in a little townhome when we moved back to Minnesota... The best thing about that one? My sister and I shared the master bedroom - the only time I would have a tv in my room!
(Not many pictures here... We only lived here for about 4 months.)
(Games around the ol' kitchen table - Kayla, Karlin, and Emily)
(A nap in the porch on Christmas Day... Perfect.)
(Another family photo in front of the fireplace! Me, Emily, Grandma, Trent, Kayla, and Jane)7. The dorms. Throughout college I had 3 different dorm rooms - and loved each of them. I had the coziest - by far - of the dorm rooms in my building! My walls were covered with art, I had real plants, the room was decorated with warm, rich colors... The room was always pretty clean and ready for company - so it became a place for people to hang out. I loved my dorm rooms for their inviting feeling... At the end of a long day, I just wanted to go back to my room - where all was right with the world.
8. My first apartment after college never really attained the coziness-factor. Maybe that's why I moved after only 9 months. It was nice... White walls, beige carpet, small square rooms... But boring. It felt empty and cold. (Not to mention I was the youngest person in the building by 50 years and in order to afford living there, I did all the mowing, cleaning, and shoveling... Yuck.)
(No pics here... No inspiration...)
(Still looking for a picture of this one...)
11. Next was the first house we would live in - and be able to decorate however we wanted! It was a house that probably should have been torn down, but the park district that my hubby worked for had bought it (with the intention of making it into a parking lot in the future)... For now they wanted it cleaned up, renovated, and ready to rent out. They gave us a budget to work with, and extremely low rent - and we went to work! We tore out dirty shag carpets and refinished wood floors, we painted at least 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint on every wall and ceiling in the house to make up for the decades of smoke residue left behind, we laid carpet in one room and floor tiles in two others, we painted all of our kitchen cabinets (bright orange and yellow!) and replaced all the hardware, we bought a new fridge and stove, we wallpapered in the bathroom and had a shower installed, etc etc etc. It was a LOT of work in a very short amount of time! But I have to say - I LOVED the sunroom: bright yellow walls, tons of windows, our tiny little bistro table... It was lovely. And I LOVED our kitchen - bright and cheerful! It was a fun little place to kick-start our married life - and because it was a house with a yard - this was the place that our little puppy first called home. I have to say, that was the best part of the house - playing with a new puppy in the yard!
(My cheery kitchen - loved it!)
12. We're getting close! Less than a year after moving into the Fraser Ave. house, I took a job in Minnesota... and we were on the road again. We moved into a temporary little apartment in a quiet community... Nothing spectacular about that apartment, except the giant screened-in porch. I loved that. Breakfasts, dinners, reading, Scrabble games, wine sipping, and long conversations all happened in that porch. (And we could walk from this apartment to one of our favorite cafes - Jensens. Yum-o.)
(Breakfast with our friend, Mark, in our little porch.)
13. Finally! At age 28, after 2 years of marriage, we bought our first home. A nice townhome that we got to help build. We got to pick out everything from carpet to light fixtures, molding to appliances, paint colors to doorknobs. So fun! Our house now is everything we've hoped for - warm, cozy, inviting - a sanctuary from the world around us. My favorite part? The kitchen! I love to cook and trying new recipes - and it's so much easier when you have space and good equipment! I also love our loft area (family room) - between the magic couch and the breezes coming through the windows - it's the perfect place to kick back in warm or cool weather.
(The living room...)