Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First Impression

Last week we received a letter from the property owner of our home 'Casa' that his daughter was getting divorced and that she and her 3 kids would be moving into the grand old house we had made our home for the last 4 years. Not much I could say so when I spoke to the property manager I asked her to keep an eye out for a house in town that myself, the 3 kids and our grand piano would fit into.

Casa had been built in 1923 and most recently was the home of the current owner's mother. The house had many rooms (17?) with the kitchen being the smallest and the hardwood floors all covered in a dark green carpet from a remodel done sometime in the 1970's. The whole house, with the exception of the small kitchen had dark redwood paneling on the walls which made decorating a challenge but mostly just required covering the walls with art work and large furniture pieces, moving in a bunch of classic Italianate furniture and keeping fresh flowers from the garden on all the tables to combat the old house smells.

She truly was a grand old house and our family used the back deck for dinners, the garages for the vintage cars, the many rooms for the various things young adults like to do - sewing, xbox, reading, homework, watching movies and of course EATING!

We started going to open houses and saw a lot of VERY SMALL houses in our price range and at one of the houses, the largest we had seen, our real estate lady was showing a country house that reminded us a little of our Casa and we asked her why she hadn't thought of us for this property? She responded without missing a beat "Oh, Robert, your house is up the hill. I will call you next week to come see it.".

Walking up to the front door of the on the hill, the kids and I were looking at each in anticipation and as the door swung open all pushed in to see what our real estate agent had found for us. Stepping through the doorway we found ourselves standing in a hallway two steps above a sunken living room with high light wood beamed ceilings, a fireplace on an internal wall and 2 exterior walls with ceiling to floor windows looking out over the heritage oak forest behind the house. The room was a large rectangle and still had paper runners on the pearl white carpet to protect it from cleaners, movers, and others walking through the house.

This felt SOOOOOO different than our last house and in a way, there was an immediate attraction to something built in the last half of the last century - for the last 10 years we have lived in houses originally built in the early 1900's and architecture and room layouts were definitely dated. Not in this house!!!! Big rooms, light wood ceilings and floors and the windows, OMG, no more small wood framed vertical sliders for us. Here where there wasn't ceiling to floor glass we found modern double pained horizontal sliders that would stay open when we opened them.

The house had been designed and built in 1962 and still had many of the period pieces reminiscent of the 'days of camelot'. I could almost hear Frank swooning as we took in the views of the valley and regaled at the openness of the kitchen, living room and family room. Cool, very very cool.

Living Room with corner windows and vertical blinds
Living Room < -- > Dining Room shared wall fireplace
2 walls o'windows in dining room

I immediately put my classic italiante furniture on craigslist and set out to learn what I could about the MCM aesthetic.

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