Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To Move or Not...That is the Question

I used to say we are debating about giving up our beautiful home overlooking the Columbia River in order to move closer to family.   Given that we've listed our house, the debate must be over.   I've been silent on the blog because we've been so busy.  In the past 10 days we've put on 6000 miles in many multiple trips moving most of our treasures out of the house.  Why so many trips?  I like to move stuff in a minivan, careful packing, and loads not too big--less damage that way.  I'm sorry, I just wouldn't trust our treasures to anyone.   I don't know why I am blogging tonight--can't sleep, have to go to a funeral for a friend of a son tomorrow...
 
Staging the house makes me realize---I am very sad to close this 25 year chapter in this home.

Our home has been a peaceful refuge in a very hectic world.  We raised our daughter here,  with 2 professional  careers, our lives have been enriched by the environment we created here for ourselves. 
(I was planning on painting the front door black, what do you think?)

 The house looks modest enough from the front.   We've always enjoyed that.  In the world of ostentatious living, a McMansion doesn't really fit our personality.  Doesn't it look like a little 1200 SF cottage?  Just the image I love.  It's really somewhere from 4600-5300 sf. (waiting for the appraisal measurement)


The living room/dining room has a nice expansive feel.  There are lots of windows, important in this climate.  Lots of natural light.

We emptied out a ton of furniture so you would notice the house, not the furnishings.  We had a collection of over 240 pieces of American Brilliant Cut Glass.  Last year the realtors about fainted when they walked into the house.  The antiques were so overwhelming one realtor said she couldn't recall a think about the house, she was so amazed at the collections.  I thought it was an interesting and important lesson on staging. I was concerned about the amount of antiques, that I should make it look more "Pottery Barn", but then again, the antiques fit the style of the house, so WYSIWYG.

The house was built in 1940. I love the curved ceilings with the picture rail moulding.  If I told you I painted the living room 4 times in one week trying to get the color right, would you think I was insane?  Well, sometimes  color looks different in sun, clouds, and evening.   The NW only has 60 sunny days/year, so the correct shade is important.   I love the balloon shades in the bay window.  I do like to fluff the shades in order to get the right "pouf".  I also like the washed damask wrinkly look. 


 Here's the awesome view of Portland, Or airport.  Houses on this street don't go on the market too often, and I've seen people spend $1 million and do a teardown.  I happen to think we have the best view of the river/city on the street.  West of us, you wind up with a more industrial view, the river is farther away, and east of us, you drop in elevation, so you don't have quite the dramatic view.

My husband travelled ALOT, and I'd tell my daughter we could pretend we were camping in the clouds while he was gone.  We'd scramble on Thursday night, cleaning up the house as he was coming home on Friday. (He might tell a different story,. he'd come home and invariably I'd find him in his suit, at the sink, putting breakfast bowls in the dishwasher....)


 Here's a peek at the kitchen, natural cherry cabinets.  My dad, a stone mason from Germany, made these wonderful cabinets -his first try - from an inspiration picture of a Smallbone kitchen.   The granite is called White Tiger, although I've seen it called something else at another showroom.  Gagganeau stove, amazingly quiet Miele dishwasher, Thermador oven/micro, Subzero Fridge (love it, will miss it)

If you purchase this house, the appliances are basically new--as I don't cook. 
 

I restaged the great room--brought in a french settee, tv.  I'll post that later.

You get the picture--sweeping view dominates the house.  The house was built in 1940, and has a wonderful feel to it.

This is either a bedroom or study.  It's the first door to the right off the entry--I like to use it as a study, as there's another door you can walk through to go to the kitchen/staircase downstairs.  We have so many rooms, we named this one the cat's bedroom, as she used to take naps in here when I had a bed in it.  Note the Mario Buatta chintz fabric for the drapes.  I'm taking those with me, I still love it!

 Oh yes, and here's the entryway.  Lots of mahogany doors, love the wood floors.

Favorite guest suite to the left of the entryway.  Wallpaper is from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller collection by Schumacher.  I still love it. (circa 1988).  The Karastan is not moving, going on Craig's list.   I was planning on stenciling some gold on the custom twin beds, copying a Bunny Williams bed, it's still on my list....

Check out the guest bath.  Hubby, Mr. Type A, would never settle for someone else's tile job.  He laid the perfect tile. AND I got sick of marble fabrication guys being 1/8" off, so I made the template to cut the marble for the sink cabinet.  (Mrs. Type A).   I had one weekend to find a bath cabinet, the antique one I had didn't work, so I had to settle for this one.   It wasn't quite the look I was going for, but it had to do.  Most of the tile is from Ann Sacks, hubby laid it with only 1" of waste on the trim.    The tile on the floor is statuary white marble.  I like it alot better than carerra marble, although my next choice would have been Calcutta.

Isn't this a cute room!  Mario Buatta wallpaper.  Everyone loves the feel of this room.
The adjacent bath that my daughter used growing up...  Pretty nervy to use pine floors around a 2 year old with a hand-held sprayer.  Little Miss Type A never sprayed the floor, in 20 years!   I'm planning on updating the bath by painting the walls and doing something with the french cabinet.  I don't want everyone to say, Oh, she sponged the walls in 1985.  The leaves on the cabinet have to go.   However my realtor says talk to her first before I do anything major.

Ok, so my dust ruffle is all screwed up.  Oh, yes, and I had to take down the photo of my daughter.  But I still live here!  Unfortunately, I'm noticing a few things, like I moved the highboy out--my stager said to take out tall furniture, it takes up too much space in a room.  So hence the mirror next to the window is not placed properly on the wall.  The master was a later addition over the garage.  There's no way you'd get a bedroom this size in a house built in 1940.  It's probably bigger than the living room!


I'm working on staging my bathroom.  I love the Rojo marble, with the french vanilla marble.  This marble design was stolen from a Nina Campbell decorating book.   I was tickled with the Pottery Barn print towels.  I can't recall the last time I've seen print towels that I liked.   It reminds me of Hubby's 80 year old aunt who gave us one print towel for a wedding present.  I don't think I've ever purchased one after that!!   Restoration Hardware mirrors, nice polished nickel fixtures, I want to take them with me....  ok I know I can't.

Downstairs, I have a couple of rooms photographed:

Would you believe I recovered the Henredon sofa myself?  The print seemed like a good idea at the time.  It did double duty in my daughter's apartment in Seattle while she was going to UW.  She ditched it for a sofa from the Baker outlet when she "moved on".  Her new sofa is big enough and comfortable enough to sleep on when you visit her.


My dad was visiting around 1990, and  he decided he wanted to put a full bath in our daylight basement.   He said "in case he ever moved in".  So I came home from work and he'd dug a trench in the basement to get to the plumbing!

So our we had fun trying to come up with an age-appropriate bathroom for the house.  We couldn't afford alot of fancy stuff back then, but I feel the room has withstood the test of time.  What year did we remodel?  Not being able to answer the question is a good thing in my book.  I love toile, so the wallpaper was a delight to use.  I've purchased wallpaper from Eades over the decades.

So now you know why I've gone underground.  This is a progress report--we are still trying to stage the house, and have some chores to do before we go MLS.    So it's a private listing for now.  Mistake or not, but we will likely not list for a couple months as we are so busy.

The house has been shown twice.  The first couple had 3  children, and wanted 4 bedrooms on the same floor.     They'll wish they had this house when the oldest is about 12.   The wonderful thing about 3 floors is you can have lots of activity and areas of peace and quiet too.


So now that I'm working on getting the house ready, and don't have a new place to go to, I'm thinking why should I sell?  I don't have to.  We can stay here, it's only a 10 hour drive to the other house once a month, we can do it....

I'm working on view enhancement.  Friday I'm pulling weeds in the garden.  My favorite gardener is too busy to work on my yard.  (What happened to the poor economy?)

So are we crazy to move?  Any suggestions on staging?

6 comments:

  1. Keep the house and never sell it!

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  2. I love all of these things!
    congratulations!
    Denise,
    from São Paulo

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  3. Suggestions? Are you kidding. This looks like pages from a coffee table decorating book. Absolutely gorgeous! I can see why it would be difficult to leave this. You've put so many special touches in it. I love it! laurie

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  4. In a word "YES"...Ok we're not clones. You have a MUCH better house! But they'd have to take me out feet first from this one (And it does look like a sweet little cottage!) Then again I haven't seen the second house sooooo it's possible I could change my mind *winks* Vanna

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  5. Wow, you guys make me feel so good! I feel like I emptied the house, and basically have 2 wrecked houses instead of one cute house...

    I've not put this on MLS yet, I'm swamped with family (elderly parent) stuff, so I feel like this is a retreat from my life when we go home!

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  6. Yes, you ARE crazy. This house is wonderful.

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