When we first moved back to Maine, we had looked at quite a few houses to buy before finally settling on one that we said "would do for now". We ended up living there 10 years before we came to our senses and remembered that it had been a temporary place. We had purchased a piece of land a few years after the move, but hadn't done anything with it. On the day we became aware of how long we'd been living our temporary life, we started thinking about building on our land. We settled on two possible homes to have built there. I described the houses to our teens; I told them option 1 was a log home, with huge windows and cathedral ceiling, and option 2 would be very much like the house we were in at the time, a cape...as soon as the words came out of my mouth "very much like this house", my husband and I looked at each other, and we knew that would not be the house we would build. It was time for different.
And now we are about the business of doing something totally different again, 14 years later. This time it is because we are both getting near retirement. It seems that we can make the best changes when we just change everything around us. Besides, (have I ever blogged about the fire?) we know we can live with less.
So we rescued an old house - small, old house - very small, old house near the ocean. It was unlivable with no heat, no bathroom, no insulation. But it was built in 1900 by a Maine boat builder, so it was still in good shape structurally.
I have made some bold color choices
and some other radical choices for this home that are unlike any I've done
before. I'm excited about my Bittersweet Rose bathroom and Daffodil yellow guest/sewing room. So Radical Move #1 is color. There are colors on my walls in every room. No cream, no white, no taupe, no dreaded beige. Color. Delft blue, Ocean, Seaweed, Pistachio Ice...I'm excited. I love our pine walls and floor now in the log home. But it's time for something totally different.
Radical Move #2: I am putting in two smaller dishwashers, so that I won't have to
unload a dishwasher. One will store dirty dishes, and the one that doesn't have dirty dishes will hold the clean dishes. I'll just rotate from one to the other. It seems radical to me, but I'm hoping also just practical. It takes up a cabinet space, but it really is the cabinet space, too. It will hopefully eliminate one unnecessary handling of dishes. I hope what I'm picturing is in real life possible. If anyone has tried this and found it doesn't work, let me know soon!
Radical Move #3 is also a practical space-saving option: a washer/dryer combo unit. No, it isn't a washer with dryer over. It is a washer that, after washing, then dries your clothes. My only concern here is that even though there are only two of us in the house, we still have different kinds of clothes. So if I don't have enough for a
wash load, I don't do it. Maybe I'll have to get used to smaller loads
at a time. I also like to wash a load while I am drying a load, and that won't be possible. However, if I get better at managing my wash loads, perhaps it will work out fine.
Radical Move #4: The vacuum cleaner. That will be built in. I had central vac once years ago, and dragging and storing the hose was a bit cumbersome. But this one has a retractable hose. No hose storage, one connector. Radical - and quiet.
Radical Move #5: Our heating system is radiant in floor. Ah! My favorite - NO, N-O, NO hot air blowing, no heat ducts, no baseboard, no wall radiators, etc.! The heat is evenly distributed. Baseboard heat is what we've normally had, and I am always knocking off pieces and end caps when I vacuum or when a chair hits one. Plus there's the "don't block the heat" issue with furniture. We get every square inch of floor space to use as we see fit. I am excited about this. Oh, and I forgot to mention how much I hate to clean baseboard heaters. I'm getting even more excited.
Radical Move #6: Easy-clean bathrooms. The toilet is attached to the wall instead of the floor, so I can damp mop, dust, etc. under and around the toilet. No squeezing between a wall and toilet to clean. No curlicues on the base of the toilet to wipe down. Easy-peasy to clean! And the tank for each toilet is in the wall. The sinks are also wall mounted with no base no pipes showing. We didn't really have room for a base unit in there, and I wanted clean lines. Very minimalist and radical. Oh, and we don't have a bathtub. We have a larger shower upstairs instead. There would be room for a bathtub if anyone wanted to put one in there someday, but for now - none. We have never used our tub in our spare bath. Shower, yes. Tub, no.
There may be some other radical moves later. I am not sure, though I think radical move #7 will be living there. We will not be stuck behind trees to shelter us from neighbors. I will have to actually get dressed to take the dog out. Yup, Radical Move #7: Getting dressed.