Monday, June 11, 2007

House envy

Today was the closing on a new house for some dear friends of mine. Since I had the day off, I offered to go help pack and/or do whatever she needed done. Heh. Grace is THE most organized person I know; she is also one of the busiest. We covered a lot of ground in that time: a little packing, a few errands, a scholarship presentation, dropping her at the closing, loading up three vehicles afterward.

But I did get to be the first non-family member to see the inside of the house! The couple who sold it built it thirty years ago, designing it specifically for the site it sits on. He is a carpenter, and has the most darling untreated cedar fencing and benches all around the outside of the house. (I may be wrong on this, but untreated cedar doesn't rot easily, is sturdy and won't require bi-annual restaining? These kinds of questions are why I have no interest in home ownership...)

This is the house with the bar in the foyer. It's behind sliding doors, but it really is a bar. It currently sports a dry sink; the plumbers are coming this week to run what they need to in order to convert it to a real sink. Grace is turning this into a coffee bar (one of our trips today was to the mall for a new coffeemaker - auto-everything including bean-grinding; she already has an espresso machine courtesy of a rummage I had about five years ago) The foyer is huge; I'd guess about 8' wide by 16' long. The square footage of that foyer is more than my bedroom.

The master bedroom used to be two rooms. With the way the rooms were connected, you end up with one room with two distinct sections to it. The closets - all the closets in the house - are all equipped with nice, reconfigurable rod and shelf units. There is another, smaller bedroom on the main floor as well.

There is a double fireplace, a nice kitchen and dining area, and a gorgeous patio. There are several rooms in the basement, including a nicely finished bedroom and bath that the girls will share. The living room/dining room area has huge windows looking over the back of the property, which is bounded by a nature preserve.

The real selling point for Grace (and everyone else who sees it) is the screened porch off the den. French doors lead out from the den into a cute little porch. Two sides are floor-to-ceiling screen windows (one panel is a door into the yard); the third wall is solid with small windows along the roof line (clerestory windows?). This whole little addition is wood -the carpenter added decorative dohickeys (corbels?) at the end of the exposed beams in the roof. It is an absolutely delightful little room, and like most of the house, has gorgeous views of the woods at the back of the property.

Grace being Grace, the first trip to the house after closing included several pots of violets and a bowl of seashells for the shelf in the screen porch, hand towels, hand soap and tp for all the bathrooms, a half gallon of milk, the new coffeemaker, a loveseat, the outdoor patio chairs, several boxes of fragile knick-knacks, a "welcome to our home" sign for the front door and a bottle of champagne. She and her hubby are having another couple over to the new place for dinner (take out pizza).

I've never been terribly tempted to buy a house; yardwork is not my thing. Sitting on the patio with friends, a couple bottles of wine and some good food does sound tempting, but not enough to justify the rest of the work. Still, this house is wonderful...

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