Sunday, May 27, 2012

Swatches

A favorite color scheme: black with turquoise and orange.
Well, only days after my last whiny post, we got an offer on our house! I will never hear the end of it from Jerry, since I didn't want to relist and didn't think we'd ever get an offer we could live with. The offer wasn't acceptable at first, as I predicted, but the buyers love the house enough that they negotiated to a price we could live with. So, the last few weeks have been unreal. The buyers initially asked for a June 27th closing date but now they want to push it forward, so we are packing like mad and repairing all the infinite tiny flaws the inspector found. We were lucky that the inspector didn't find much wrong, mostly things we could fix ourselves, like drippy faucets and slow drains.

Then of course, there is the problem of where we will live. Since the house has been for sale on and off for three years with no offers, we had stopped looking almost entirely. The houses we liked would inevitably sell and ours would not and it was heartbreaking. I still feel a pain when I pass certain roads, remembering a house I would have loved, but which someone else now owns. I had visited and loved a neighborhood during Parade of Homes last year. This is a showcase of new neighborhoods where builders open models across the county. We went back to visit the neighborhood and found it was selling out fast, so on Mother's Day Jerry bought me the best gift ever, a new house! We signed the contract to build and should move in the fall. I asked him how he will top that gift next year and the children offered solutions: "a beach house" and "a helicopter" were among the suggestions!

The crimp in this plan, the pain for the pleasure, is that we will spend the next 4 months living upstairs in my parent's house. We are lucky they have a huge home! It will still be pretty cramped, though. I have spent the better part of the week packing the things we won't take to my parents'. I thought that after everything we had packed when the homestager came there wouldn't be anything left, but I was wrong! I just can't believe the accumulation after a decade of living here. Every corner, every nook, is full of things. Some are useful and others make me wonder what an earth we were thinking to store them at all. Many were just forgotten. It is interesting. I found a bunch of photos from our early marriage and baby pictures of our oldest child. I found my great-grandfather's literature books, either from college or high school. These are interesting enough that I sat and read for a bit before I woke up and remembered the deadline we're under. I even found a book owned by Uncle Walter Voice. The poor man married my great-great Aunt Susanne, but she died almost immediately giving birth to their daughter, Natalie. Later it was found this was due to RH factor, so it would have been prevented today. He never did move on, just hung around in the family as "Uncle Walter". He must not have had a family of his own. We remember him mostly for his mistaken christening of a wonderful salad dressing he discovered: "Merciful Whip". But to find his book, received as a gift in 1921, brings him to life for me.

I paused to take a photo of my father's antique "little library" classics:

 I use these mainly for decorating. It is useful to stack them up in order to display small objects. They were never well-made, and their miniature size makes them irresistible to children, so they have had a lot of abuse. I remember reading the little Ibsen's Ghosts as a child of 9 or so. I found it very disappointing; it isn't a ghost story at all!

Besides all the work to move from our home, we have had to plan for our new home. We already had to pick options for floors and counters, so instead of working on my dolls I have been poring over decorating magazines, haunting Pinterest, and trying to decide what sort of style I want to go with. I am really sick of pretty much everything in our current home. I wanted to re-decorate anyway. But we really aren't going to have any money, so most of the style will have to be injected now through the "bones" of the house.

I know I want a cooler palette this time. Since I wasn't able to find a waterfront home I want to bring those liquid colors in. Our lifestyle prevents a lot of white, and the builder options that were standard or not too pricey didn't offer very light tones. So we went with lots of coffee and espresso colors, as well as slate tones.

The granite is almost the same one I have now, shown with the turquoise bowl above. That's one of the few things I'm not tired of here. From afar the color, "Verde Peacock" looks like it's just black. But when you approach you see it's really a dark, dark green, like the deepest, coldest pool you can imagine. And as you walk by or wipe the counter, flashes of silver, gold, and blue flicker up at you like fish surfacing. I really enjoy that cold, gorgeous stone. It makes even the chore of cleaning the kitchen enjoyable! So we picked "green butterfly" this time. It's almost the same with less browns and golds.

The ebony cabinets are for the kitchen island. The rest of the kitchen will have the nutmeg color. The island will look like a freestanding piece of furniture. Someday I will get rid of the beige carpet. It's a necessary evil right now, as we just can't afford to upgrade to hard floors. But maybe a cool stone or gray wood will do. Hot as it is here, I think some cool colors will make me feel more at home. I plan to do a blue gray on the walls through most of the house, and I have big plans to paint a lot of our existing dark wood furniture in whites, blues, and turquoise.

We can hardly believe our good fortune when we walk through the model home, so I am hesitant to rejoice, or even tell anyone, until we move in. But you have to have faith and hope in this life, and you have to plan, so I am picking my swatches.

I will miss my hydrangeas and gardenias, shown here on my antique sewing machine in the sunroom,
which I will also miss!

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