Monday, June 27, 2011

take a tour, courtesy of HAR

This is Our House:

The street-fronting portion of the house is an 1890s barn, relocated to this site and turned into a house.  I love the Craftsman feel of the glass-paned front door.

The living and dining areas are one long space.  The floors are reclaimed white and red oak, stained a dark brown.  Aren't they lovely? (ps, this is not my furniture)

The opposite view of the living space, showing the front door and entrance to the office just to the left.  I want to tear down the wall between the office and the living room to open up the space a bit.

The office is 8' x 12', too small to ever add a closet and make it into a third bedroom, so there's not a lot to lose by taking out the wall.  The Boyfriend wants to make it into a Man Cave with huge TV and comfy chairs and surround sound and and and.  What is it about men and big TVs?  I'm all for the idea actually.  No TV in the living room!

The other door off the living area goes to the first bedroom.  Space for a queen bed and dresser, and it has a large closet as well.  This will be the guest room, and it's kind of nice to actually have a real place for visitors to sleep, rather than on the couch or an air mattress.

Just past the dining area is the kitchen with gorgeous Carrara marble and glass tile back splash, black  concrete counter tops, and reclaimed cabinets.  The Boyfriend is excited because there's room for a six-burner cook top under the vent hood.  Here's to more deliciousness coming from his kitchen!  (I have never eaten so well in my own has as I have since he'd moved in with me.  For serious, he's amazing.)

The bathroom off the kitchen has a darling claw foot tub and period-appropriate penny tile.  Not much storage exacept under the sink, but something similar to the current owner's cabinet seems like a good solution.

The laundry room is part of the hallway connecting to the addition at the back of the house, behind a sliding door from an old barn, but not, I believe, the original door from the barn that makes up the front of the house. 

The door to the addition/Master Suite.  I feel so important and grown up; I have a Master Suite!  The addition was originally a detached painting studio.  Last year the current owner built it out into a bed/bath and annexed it to the main house.

The Master Suite is almost half the square footage of the house, so there's plenty of room for a King-sized bed.  I kind of like my current Queen-sized one, but the Boyfriend makes several good arguments in favor of upgrading, so we made a deal: he buys the mattress, I'll buy the bed frame.  I've already got my eye on one at Room & Board.

On the far side of the bed you can see the walk-in closet.  Since it's not built up all the way to the ceiling, the top will make a great cat hangout.  I just need to design an appropriate cat ladder so they can get up there without too much trouble.

The other side of the closet is the Master bath: shower and sink, and then separate commode to the right of the frame.  I'm not crazy about the color, or the sink, or the light fixture (or the layout and tiling of the shower, for that matter), so those things will all change eventually.  I DO like that there's no space wasted on a tub.  Since the bath in the front of the house has such a nice one, I'm happy to have the space in the Master for something else.

The north wall of the Master is made up of two sliding glass doors that open onto the deck.  For a bit more privacy I want to hang a curtain on the outside made of Spanish Moss.  This post on Re-Nest is what inspired me. 

The whole property is xeriscaped with white gravel and stone pavers.  Isn't that sideyard above just screaming for a skinny lap pool?  We think so, and I've begun researching contractors in the Houston area.  37.5' (half a 25-yard lap) will just fit along the existing deck if those little skinny trees are taken out, and there should still be room for a little spa as well.

hello world. this is Our House.

I am buying a house.  I AM BUYING A HOUSE.  Let that sink in for a minute. 

I wasn't planning on buying a house in 2011, it just sort of happened.  Earlier in the year I took a new position within my company, one that will keep me here in Houston for at least the next 5 years or so.  In addition to the stability, my new big-girl job came with a raise large enough to make me consider home ownership. 

Three months later, here I am, 10 days from closing on my new house.  MY NEW HOUSE.  (I promise the novelty will wear off...eventually.)

Since this is such an American right-of-passage, I wanted to document it for posterity (illusions of grandeur, yes I know).  If I'd been thinking when this whole process started I'd have blogged the ups and downs of my search for a house as well, but I wasn't and I didn't and I don't care to rehash it too much at the moment, so there. Suffice it to say that I became very familiar with the HAR website and my long-suffering real estate agent (who also happens to be my current landlord and an all around wonderful guy: Charles Krenzler.  If you're looking for Heights/Montrose/Rice Military property, check him out.) 

I must have dragged him through three or four dozen houses, and after two false-starts we found Our House.  Every time I say it in my head it isn't just "our house", it's Our House.  Ok, yes, sometimes it's OUR HOUSE!!!!!! but most of the time I can contain myself, and it's Our House.

(Oh wait--the other half of "we" and "our".  Enter the Boyfriend.  Born and raised in the Houston area, the Boyfriend is a self-proclaimed Hill-Billy: he moved into my (rental) house in the city with a beat-up Ford truck, a bunch of guns, and a vocal dislike for "the City" in general (despite the fact that moving in with me cut his commute to work from 30-45 minutes to TEN.)  He's worked in the restaurant industry in Houston for the past 15 years, and currently is the Barmacist at Soma Sushi on Washington Avenue.  Mmmmmm fishes.  Yum.)

So.  Our House is just about perfect:
  • in Brooke Smith, east of Woodland Heights, between N. Main and 45 (easy access to the 10 or 45.  Eventually I'll stop calling it "the 10", but I haven't dropped all of my LAisms yet)
  • 6800SF lot with lots of trees
  • fenced and gated
  • next door to a city-owned lot that feeds one of the bayous (for the Boyfriend's required green-space, and a lot of privacy)
  • a super-funky (and very me) mix of classic Houston architecture and a modern addition
  • just a touch under 1500SF
  • 2 bedrooms and 2 baths
  • lots of great reclaimed/reused elements