First Empty Nest House
This house was the first house we purchased when we chose to downsize after becoming ‘official’ empty nesters, meaning all of our children had gotten married and were definitely not coming back to live at home.
It was located in a neighborhood that I’ve long admired, that was built mainly in the 1950s and now has beautiful, mature tree lined streets.
We purchased this home from the original owners, then proceeded to do a top to bottom renovation, complete with new roof, new windows, a rethink of the floor plan, and updated landscaping. We lived in it while we renovated, which I would not recommend, but was doable with just us two and a small dog.
When my daughter first saw this house, there was a hole in the floor going through to the basement, and she cried (literally) “it’s not even cute!” Well, trust me, it turned out that way. When she and her husband came back months later to see it, they couldn’t believe it was even the same house!
I put my heart and soul into that house, feeling like I had brought it back to life. I like to honor the house and its history while updating, so there were a few touches that we kept, mainly some vintage light fixtures that we moved to other rooms, and an amazing pink bathroom in pristine condition with its original tile! It was fabulous. We added in some vintage touches that added character as well.
Although this house was half the size of the one we left, which really caused us to downsize all our furniture, it had gracious features for a smaller home like a nice entrance, fewer but larger rooms, and a great upstairs hallway that was spacious and open.
We paired down to all of our favorite things, which included lots of vintage, a smaller scale couch, and a more casual dining table that could be used for everyday and multiple uses like sewing and crafts. Much of our furniture went to our kids, some items sold, and the baby grand piano went to a local piano seller on consignment.
I did love how a smaller home really causes you to be organized and live with what you really love. It is also quite cozy and offers close proximity to share with loved ones.
All the hardwood floors were original and had been covered up for over 50 years. We simply added to them in the kitchen and a few passthrough spaces, and had them refinished in a classic stain color.
When we left it, 4 years later, only to move a few blocks away for another project, I cried like a baby. I still love this house.