Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Sustainable Home?

First things first - the house.

If you've read this blog, you'll remember we've been trying to downsize for several years. I liked my old house - it had huge rooms and more than enough space for all of us. Our living room was 20 feet by 14 feet or so. My bedroom 20 x 12. I was able to sit 25 people down to dinner. Can you say spacious?

At about 3100 sq feet, with 3 bathrooms and 5 bedrooms, however, I began to feel like at least 10 people ought to be living in it rather than 6; maybe more like 12. It had a number of dead spaces that were of no use to anyone. The layout was uninteresting and we all tended to spread out in our own rooms rather than spend time together.

Our new house is 2300 sq feet (I think!). It is much more efficiently laid out and far more cozy. It has three usable floors, one of them the basement. It has a fireplace to keep us somewhat warm should our power go out. And it has a warm, homey feeling our other house lacked. In fact, we've found that people are dropping by far more frequently than they used to. We're not sure why - perhaps because the house and property are just so interesting.

The outside looks totally old and non-descript, but when people walk inside their eyes light up. Hardwood floors, open beams, the kitchen, dining room and living room sized right for people and flowing into each other. Large double-paned windows let in the natural surroundings. It sits on a one-acre lot with a small woods at the back.

Two decrepit but usable outbuildings round out the property, providing all sorts of things for us to do. My husband is in heaven. And so am I. I managed to grab the attic office - a sweet room with a sloping ceiling that reminds everyone of Grandma's house. I have my "office" in the dormer window. I have a table for arts and crafts in another corner, a tiny shelf-lined alcove for books, and a grouping of three chairs and tiny table for conversations. I'm up a flight of steps that are definitely not up to today's code, but that's part of the charm. People drop by and clomp up the stairs, settle into a chair and tend to stay awhile.

I will upload pics soon!

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