While I have been publishing more blog posts lately, I feel like I haven’t really been “blogging”. That is… I’ve been really quiet about what I’ve actually been doing. And while it will take several posts to relay all that’s been going on these past few months, I can start with one thing.
We bought a house.
For the past five and a half years, I’ve lived in a tiny townhouse in Fairview which I bought because I loved the incredible natural daylight that flowed in from huge north and south-facing windows. It has a scant view of Grouse Mountain and a window into a sweetly manicured courtyard that spills forth fuschia and coral-toned azalea blooms. And in the mornings, I could jog down the path past the dog park to the seawall and run to Science World and back. It’s just lovely. But those same big windows also make for a crazy greenhouse effect, so summers are unbearably hot and uncomfortable and winters are cold and the heating costs are ridiculous. Add to the fact that about two years ago, Dan and I got married and he moved into the townhouse with me and suddenly the space got “fuller”. I’m not mentioning anything about Dan’s paper hoarding tendencies because that would mean I would have to admit to my own yarn hoarding issues… but you get the picture.
So for the better part of the past year we’ve been looking for a new place. Vancouver is awesome for lots of things… food, fresh air, outdoor activities, convenience… but it’s just awful for housing. We spent several months getting very depressed about our prospects and finally decided not to kill ourselves trying to own a place in Vancouver and instead look to neighbouring cities like Richmond for options.
In June, we found what we were looking for. It’s a 9-year old house on the west side of Richmond and within walking distance of the West Dyke Trail. I think we both fell in love with the house as soon as we walked in. The wooden beams on the ceiling. The hardwood floors. The multitude of rooms. Ohhh, and the storage space. I had dreams about the house. In my mind, I already knew what all the rooms would become. We went back to see the house three times (with our families, even) before we made our offer on the Canada Day long weekend.
And then, we got out-bid.
I cried for three days straight after we found out that we lost to another buyer. This was just before we left on our road trip to Utah. I was devastated and thought my mood was going to ruin the whole trip. I mean, 17 hours on the road is a long time to be sad. But I just let go and trusted what my father-in-law said to console me,
If the house is meant to be yours, it will be.
And just like that, by some miracle, the other buyer’s offer fell through at the last minute and we got the chance to try again! In mid-July, our offer was accepted and we picked up the keys to our house at the end of August, two weeks ago!
Since that day, we’ve spent nearly all our free time painting the bedrooms in the house with the help of my brother and his fiancé and our friends, Joe, Roy, Jocelyn, and Handry. We are so grateful they gave up much of their Labour Day weekend to help us! It’s taken so long because we had to first paint all the ceilings (they were originally painted yellow) and then do two coats inside. It’s been super exhausting, physically, but also so rewarding to see it start to come together.
One of the rooms sported a cardboard constellation on the ceiling. Little glow-in-the-dark stars and planets were stuck to the ceiling with white goopy stuff that we had a hell of a time trying to remove. We tried picking it off, nail polish remover (which removed the ceiling paint but NOT the white goop), and finally Goo Gone which actually worked.
I spent three or four days agonizing over paint chips and trying to decide what colours to choose. It’s a lot of work to paint this many rooms, so if we’re going to do it, we have to do it right. I gave myself unnecessary pressure to choose the “right” colours, I think. In the end, I chose Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan for two rooms, Palladian Blue for another, and Revere Pewter and Chelsea Grey for the home office that Dan and I will share (if I can manage to look past his pile-method of organization). They are pretty neutral backdrops to what I’m hoping will be lots of colour in textiles and art!
There is still plenty to do. Eventually, I’d like to repaint the living room, dining room, and hallways… because again, they’re all yellow. But for now, we should be able to move in this weekend.
But the hands-down selling point for me was the attic in this house. It’s a fully finished attic that looks like a log cabin inside. And the two rooms that make up the attic are pretty much the same square footage as our entire townhouse. Let’s look at that picture again, shall we?
Of course, you know I’m going to make this into a crafty little space. I’m bringing my weaving looms home from the studio to make space for our ongoing classes and so that I can actually spend more time with the looms… perhaps even weave something. And it will be the ideal place to organize my yarn and fibre stash. Being in the attic, it’s a little warmer so I’m hoping it will be a cozy place to spend a couple hours in the wintertime.
So many dreams. These days, I try really hard not to imbue things with too much meaning… but I can’t help but see this house as the start to so many new adventures. It’s a fresh start. A clean slate. A chance for so many new dreams to come true.