Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Home Sweet Home


When I first came to upstate NY, it was to visit some family friends.  I had only been there a few times, when in August of 2007 I went to attend a bridal shower.  After the shower, it began to rain, so we ran down the road to my friends grandmother's house.  I had known grandma Joy for many years, since they all came to our family cottages in Maine each summer.  I knew a lot of the family from their vacationing, but when I entered the house, there was a group of people (family members) I didn't know.  This was the day I first met my husband.  He offered me clams and I notoriously laughed at him that no.  As the daughter of a lobsterman and someone who worked with Maine lobster and clams every day, I do not want your NY clams, thank you very much.


A few short years later, we moved to this house with a newborn Atticus.  This move was prompted by a few things, but mostly it was a way to be directly in the middle of both sets of our parents so we weren't too far away from any of them (four hours is better than eight).  After settling in, and deciding this is where we are going to stay, we started our DIY updates on the old family home.

The hallway was quite the undertaking, but under the five layers of wallpaper, so much history was revealed, including these treasures from when my husband's father and his siblings left their mark on this wall before their dad did work on it back in the 60s.  Now, so many years later, Atticus was able to do the same with his dad.


The dining has remained mostly the same, and this wallpaper is not going anywhere.  Eventually, as the budget allows, we will be taking up the rest of the carpeting and replacing what needs to be replaced, but we've been surprised with what lies behind those carpets.  The living room was done somewhat on a whim. I said one afternoon, "lets just pull up those carpets and see whats under there," and my husband jumped up and went for it.  I was thrilled to find gorgeous original hardwood, we think circa the 1800s.  Sure, its scuffed and imperfect, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

(Living room, before & after)


We knew the carpets in our tiny, but wonderful bedroom needed to come up, so we saved our pennies, found some great hardwood on sale, and prepared ourselves for the work that was needed.  But here another surprise was hiding. More gorgeous floors!  These ones were in better condition than the living room and we couldn't believe our luck.  Money saved, and a room I love.

It was in this house that we discovered we had a new bedroom to prepare, one for our baby girl!  This was a dream come true in so many ways, and I knew I'd have a blast creating a room for my tiny lady.  To see details on her room makeover, check out this post all about it.


 This house has been more than just a place to live.  It's been an adventure, and that isn't always a good thing. Old houses mean old walls, old plumbing, old electrical, and new costs.  But I would take old over new any day.  My husband calls it my Yankee Mentality.  I love the memories we are creating here, and it's exciting to think of the future generations who will leave their mark on this house.  Our time is now, and as we begin taking down wall paper or tearing up carpets, we are reminded of the history and memories of our house, and feel blessed to be creating our own in such a special place.  Family members have been born here and died here and though we can make cosmetic changes to make it our own, the history will always be a large part of what makes this home.  I had no idea, the day I refused the clams here, that it would someday become the home I've come to love so much.

If you're on the market for your first apartment, or home, there are some really neat avenues you can take to lead you right to it.  Urban Compass has an amazing online Neighborhood Guide for NYC, where you can take a look around and determine which one best fits personality and lifestyle.  Find out everything from commute times, affordability, and changes in rent over time.  You get an in depth look at the type of people you would be surrounded with, what business are around and the overall vibe of the part of the city.  Another perk: you get a brief on what not to expect. 

What are you waiting for? Go find your perfect home.


To see more of our DIY projects and home renovations, follow along on Instagram @KnaptimeKnitter


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