Back when my blog was very new, I published a post that told the story of our house On Sutton Place. That post is buried so deep in my archives that even I had a hard time finding it. So…I thought I would share the story again from my perspective now. As a self-employed blogger, reluctant empty nester and as part of the Hearts at Home Tour. (More on that later.)
My family moved to Sutton Place in the spring of 1993. It looked vastly different then. Our yard was full of trees both in front and in back. We had no grass, no thriving landscaping and absolutely no curb appeal. We bought it mostly for the location and size…and of course the price. At the time, I experienced a dreadful case of buyer’s remorse. There was so much more to do than I realized. I couldn’t look at the big picture without wanting to cry…so I took things one at a time. Slowly projects were completed and improvements were made. By slowly I mean at a snail’s pace. A great deal of thought and budgeting went into every project that we completed. I love to DIY but there were limits to what I could do on my own. My husband has many gifts, but being handy is not one of them. So with the help of various contractors and handy-men over the years, this is what our house looks like now. (OK…I don’t mean “now” as in today. This was during the summer.)
We have, by necessity, removed most of the trees from the lot. Our plumbing was compromised by tree roots. Our foundation was cracking. Our patio, porch floor and garage floor were cracking as well.
We have pretty much replaced or fixed everything.
Painted siding and trim (twice.)
Replaced every exterior door.
New landscaping (Including a garden in the back.)
New lights (twice.)
Added porch railing.
New soffits and gutters.
Two things we haven’t addressed are the windows and asphalt driveway. I would love to lay a stamped concrete driveway but I’m not sure that will ever happen. Time will tell on that one!
My very favorite project has been painting the front door navy blue. I used the color in my kitchen and loved it so much I put it on the front door.
The color is Naval by Sherwin Williams and it is the perfect, classic navy. We used a gray primer and then two coats of the Naval. My most frequently asked question, hands down, is “What is the color of your front door?” It’s been a few years and I love it as much today as when the paint first went on.
Outdoor projects were at the top of the list during the spring and summer months, and the inside projects took place during the winter. The biggest, and hardest, reno we have completed on the inside is definitely the entry. It took a few months and was quite a process. We…
Removed old wallpaper.
Painted walls and trim.
Tore up old carpet.
Refinished the stairway treads & banisters.
We’ve painted every room in the house, most more than once. Every room is decorated with family heirlooms and things we love. This house tells the story of our family and I think that is what I am most proud of.
When we bought this house, I felt like I was visiting someplace and kept waiting to go home. It wasn’t until we began to slowly make changes and improvements that it started to feel like mine. Now I can’t imagine living anyplace else. Owning this home has been a character-building experience. I have had to learn patience and perseverance. I’ve learned that hard work really does pay off. I’ve learned to never, ever under-estimate the value of a good handy man.
Now that I’m self-employed, after years of leaving here every day, I can stay home. To say I am thankful is an understatement. This house has become so much more than just a place to live. It’s really become my whole life. Focusing my blog around my home has been life-changing. The two together saved me from a crippling case of empty nest syndrome. For that I thank God every day.
This house is many things. Most importantly it’s a safe place for my family. At the end of the day this is where we return. It’s where my heart is. It’s home.
If you have time, please stop by the lovely blogs on the Hearts at Home Tour!