Sunday, October 3, 2010

Going Full Circle

Downtown with only two streets

 I thought I’d tell you how we came to be living in an 18th century house in the country. My husband Rick and I were living in NYC and had been searching the suburbs for 5 ½ years looking for the perfect antique house to no avail. We had quite the list of wants and weren’t willing to settle. After one particularly disappointing day my husband brightened up and said time to go farther out and made a call to an old childhood friend who was in real estate.

Autumn in Our Town

An hour later our fax machine started humming away spitting out house listing after house listing, talk about excitement! The house listings were in Rick’s childhood hometown up in New Hampshire and one house in particular caught both our attention and Rick couldn’t figure out why it seemed so familiar so time to take a drive up and have a look.

Front of House at first meeting

Rick had driven up alone to see the house and called that night telling me I needed to hop on a plane and get up to NH pronto, he had found our dream home. Meeting our home for the first time took a bit of imagination to envision what it could look like when brought back to life. Upon arrival to our house you couldn’t see it sitting up on the side of the mountain from the road since the front forest was so over grown. But once up the drive there she was………a cape built in 1790 sitting looking very blank and forlorn just waiting for someone to love her.

Side yard looking into the back

The property was blank! No shrubs around the house, no gardens, no nothing except what Mother Nature planted. Those “shrubs” you see at the back of the house were actually invasive weeds called Japanese knot weed or bamboo and were next to impossible to kill off.

Back of house

The property in general was an absolute mess! The side field weeds had grown part way into the side yard and calling them weeds was putting it mildly. There were huge wild rose bushes the size of a vehicle, poisonous sumac trees and giant weeds taller then a man. The only way around that mess was walking around on the road because you couldn’t go through it.

Rick told me while we were touring what we termed “the mess” that he finally knew why this house seemed so familiar, it was his old pediatricians house. My husband was born and raised right down the road from this house, talk about going full circle. Another surprise from our realtor, the old gal is buried right out back on the tier. I guess she really loved this house!

Yes, as far as you can see this is our mess! 

The interior turned out to be as dismal as the outside, the whole house had white walls, not semi flat painted white walls but the white of primer paint. Yes, you read that right, everything was painted with primer white paint! While almost every trim throughout the entire house was painted that strange blue/green. Take it from me people white is not neutral it’s shockingly bright!

We had seen our house on a rainy day so found out first hand that the roof needed help since it was raining on the first floor of a two story house. See the rain coming down the window shade? It's was flowing steadily from the ceiling as well. Despite the fact we were going to need a bulldozer and every surface in the house needed help the structural bones of the house were perfect and ready to stand for another 200 years.

 Front forest after we cleaned and thinned it out

We found everything we wanted in a property and house even if it was going to take a very strong back and many years to put right. So after nearly six years of searching we took the plunge and bought our home. Welcome to our dream!


Room Seventeen said...

New England is such a beautiful place to live.....
Love your house !

designchic said...

Oh my was well worth the wait - it's wonderful. The yard - lovely. Can't wait for the interior transformation!!

Stacey said...

Such beautiful landscaping/grounds/beautiful setting! Love it! xx

Trouvais said...

Wow...I love it! Think whoever built our house must have had a bit of New England in their genes...but yours is so excitingly the real deal! That blue green is a very 18th century color...isn't it? Do you feel the pull of honoring its history? Or are you tossing your walls into 21st century paint colors? LOVE that garden shot at the sublime. Wonderful story, thank you!

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

How excited you must have been to have found this treasure, please show us more with before and after shots!

My French Country Home

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all your kindness and support. I truly appreciate it! I am officially back and feel much better.... but Thank you so much!
This is so amazing! you bought his pediatrician's home... amazing and what a small world. The house is beautiful and the landscape is amazing! so peaceful and beautiful!


Paula said...

What a beautiful story! I LOVE it when a house virtually 'speaks' to you to tell you that it should be your home! Your house is beautiful and the garden is spectacular - the age and history are simply wonderful! I have a Georgian house in England built in 1822 and I've loved it from the moment we pulled into the drive on the first viewing. Sometimes you just 'know'! Lovely blog - i'll be back! xx

for the love of a house said...

omgosh!! I love this full-circle story! And I love that she's buried there too! Rick is so lucky to have grown up there!
We, too, have always said that our goal is to restore our house so that it survives another 150 years!! That photo of the rain coming down the window is downright Painful!!!
loved this post!

Unknown said...

Funny how at some stage we so often find ourselves going back to our roots, or they come and find us! Lovely blog and I will be visiting your website. Belinda

Anonymous said...

Love this story! Beautiful house & land!


ursula said...

A house in the country--lovely!! I foresee beautiful things.

Ainosofia said...

Wonderful inspiration pictures.

Sincerely, Aino Sofia Finland

Mona Thompson said...

So glad to be back, after my long trip and what a treat it is to visit you tonight. I love your house and property. I love nothing better than a project, so diving in here would be sheer delight. I am loving following along the journey.

Hill Country House Girl said...

What a great story and wonderful house. Just found you through Joan and will be back often!

Kellie Collis said...

What a lovely place! I like the second photo the most. Have a great week, Kellie xx

Karena said...

This setting is perfect for your new home, I know lots of work ahead, we will be excited to see more!

Art by Karena

Dovecote Decor said...

Thank you for your nice comment on my guest post for Velvet and Linen. Reading your post, I can't resist a bit of experiential advice. Swinging between extremes seems real to you now. A certain desperation of getting away from the city at all costs, makes the home land from where you once escaped boredom, becomes the same extreme. I suggest a middle ground between both places, without individual history that can become a strange regression, that is fresh for both of you--a village with some good food, movies and schools, with a train to the fun of the city. Trust me, I own the t-shirt--find a middle place.

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