Our New House...

Kswl 2
last month

I just lost a post with lots of photos and have no idea why it simply disappeared off the page whilst I was working on it. Is this some new editorial nonsense or have I forgotten how ephemeral one’s words really are? At any rate, please see Bestyears’ downsizing post for backstory on how we landed in a 55+ community. Not our original destination but beyond happy to be here!

House specs: 5 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, 5250 sq. ft., one third of an acre on the first hole of the golf course. Main floor about 2900 sq ft with everything we need if stairs become problematic. Plenty of room for guests, notably our adult children and their spouse/ significant others, wider family circle, friends and our three dogs.

House is a sort of cottagey craftsman style, sort of what you’d find in a Disney movie. This picture was taken years ago, it was built in 2008 and now there is a crape myrtle taller than the house at the right corner of it, and a nice oak just out of sight of the frame. You have to like the color and style of your house before you buy it here because there is no changing the exterior, ever. The houses were designed with a certain color palette and stay that way.

Small sitting room on right as you enter. Good sized dining room on opposite side. The house faces east so these areas are very sunny in the mornings.

Hallway to main living area and kitchen

Kitchen is open to main living area and contiguous sunroom. All appliances were fine and little used (everybody eats at the excellent golf club restaurant) except the fridge. It stuck out. It had more poorly designed plastic shelves and bins than storage space. I replaced with a fridge only Electrolux Icon and use the excellent extra Kenmore fridge / freezer in the garage for its bottom freezer drawer and extra fridge space. We eat very little frozen food so that works out pretty well.

Changed out all lighting in entire house. Hideous fixture over Island was to be replaced by two lanterns but when original fixture cane down I liked it with nothing so Lanterns are hanging in the stairwell. Redid color scheme completely, crew of four or five came down from Atlanta and slept in the house on air mattresses for four days. Walls almost everywhere are BM Pale Oak. Trim is all BM Decorators white. It’s an old stand by, no worries about undertones.

Fireplace was very ugly dark marble. Handy Guy refaced with same bricks as our previous basement floor. Decided against built ins after paying for ID to design them, wanted more casual look, purchased these to float in alcoves. Shelves are fixed, and (my fave selling point) each can hold 90 lbs. All blue and white porcelain and ceramics from previous home’s blue bedroom now here and in adjacent sunroom. Museum banner from the de Young exhibit, girl with pearl finally got her own wall.

Comments (60)

  • My3dogs ME zone 5A

    It's JUST what we would expect of you - layered, gorgeous colors, welcoming perfection!

    It's so great to have you back to share with us.

    Kswl 2 thanked My3dogs ME zone 5A
  • Sueb20

    Wow, everything is gorgeous!

    I’m in love with the rug in the tv room.

    Kswl 2 thanked Sueb20
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  • rubyclaire

    What a beautiful new home you have created!

    Kswl 2 thanked rubyclaire
  • 1929Spanish-GW

    Beautiful. It looks so cozy for such a big space.

    Kswl 2 thanked 1929Spanish-GW
  • Bestyears

    Wow, KSWL, you really hit the sweet spot between elegant and comfortable! I can see why you love it so much. Can you say more about the pros and cons of living in the 55+ community?

    Kswl 2 thanked Bestyears
  • roarah

    A beautiful place to start this next chapter! Great work KSWL!

    Kswl 2 thanked roarah
  • Kswl 2

    I’m a terrible photographer and even worse at picking out photos from teensy thumbnails, so I thank you all for being able to see past that. Here is a picture of the other side of the sitting room, and the end of the dining room. These are the rooms you find yourself in immediately in the door, with a wide-ish foyer are between them.

    In the mirror you can see a small butlers pantry type cabinet set up just before the cased opening to the kitchen and tiny service hall to the left which contains doors to the pantry and garage and our new drop zone.

  • salonva

    The only thing I can add is Our New House...is beautiful.

    Enjoy it for many years to come.

    Kswl 2 thanked salonva
  • sas95

    Your whole home is beautiful, but I especially love your rugs.

    Kswl 2 thanked sas95
  • suero

    Lovely. You still have the perfect touch!

    Kswl 2 thanked suero
  • Kswl 2

    The blue and white”tile” over the kitchen range is actually a fireboard. I’ve had it in storage since two homes ago and just could not bring myself to get rid of it. So glad I didn’t! So, Marie Kondo, it wasn’t sparking joy for Fifteen years but it still had the potential to!

  • PRO
    Алиса Лосс

    Like it a lot

    Kswl 2 thanked Алиса Лосс
  • jmck_nc

    Beautiful home!

    Kswl 2 thanked jmck_nc
  • tannatonk23

    Gorgeous! I especially love the green rug in your sitting room.

    Kswl 2 thanked tannatonk23
  • Yayagal


    Kswl 2 thanked Yayagal
  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

    Love what you have done. It is what I aspire to.

    Kswl 2 thanked WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a
  • Kswl 2

    You may have noticed that the main living area and the sunroom beyond the arches (which looked just like holes driven through the drywall until we trimmed them and the wall out ) are furnished with the same main pieces—-identical sofas (those huge Lee Industries ones from previous basement reno, big blue velvet chairs (new) and side chairs upholstered in blue and white gingham check piped in blue velvet (In previous house they were pink chinoiserie print in living room). The coffee tables are different and end tables, but I think the effect of repeating the same things has promoted a nice cohesivenes. Our ID got as far as a floor plan of furniture placement just before his mother went into hospice, so I changed the plan here and there to suit the realities of living in the house with DH’s walker (he banged that thing around like a weapon!) and selected all the wall colors, curtains, new upholstery and new furniture myself. Accessorizing was a two week extravaganza (eye roll). The black leather chairs are from our office building.

    Drop zone, could not resist another photo, my fave thing about the house!

    small vestibule off main living area. Door to left is powder room, double doors to right to master bedroom. I’ve had this table in storage too, Marie!

    Mtn, the hutch in the main living area is a piece I had made in the 1990s by a guy in Lewes in the U.K. it is made of 200 to 300 year old scrubbed pine following the construction methods of old. And that’s why the spice drawers are so bowed, the Shelf that was meant for plates had DD2’s books on it, way too much weight. I had it made for our great room in Florida and it’s been in his bedroom since we moved back to Georgia. It’s great storage, all my Friendly Village is there and I may change it out for the white dishes next Winter for the Christmas season.

  • beaglesdoitbetter

    I love everything about it. Especially the living/dining area.

    Kswl 2 thanked beaglesdoitbetter
  • Mrs. S

    Wow. Beautiful.

    Kswl 2 thanked Mrs. S
  • jjam

    I already weighed in but want to add how happy I am to see you back! I don't post much anymore but happened to check in this morning and got excited as soon as I saw your initials. You have been missed, m'dear!

    Kswl 2 thanked jjam
  • Arapaho-Rd

    Beyond lovely....exudes warmth and charm. You have the magic touch. A beautiful, well-appointed home. So happy you and your DH are settled in what seems to be the perfect, second act home. Thanks so much for sharing your photos!

    Kswl 2 thanked Arapaho-Rd
  • olliesmom

    kswl, I love your rugs! I love the hallway with your mudroom too. I wish I could keep my mudroom so tidy!

    Kswl 2 thanked olliesmom
  • tinam61

    Marie! Haha!! Beautiful home!

    Kswl 2 thanked tinam61
  • Kswl 2

    Master bedroom and bath. I went back and forth on the relative merits of changing out the tile and counter. Five years ago I would have done it without a second thought. But now that I realize the “forever” house concept was more of a wish (and a moving target) I am not so quick to change things as I would have been. If I don’t hate it and can work around it, it stays!

    Another shot, you can see the wall above the sofa has all our hunting dog paintings from DH’s previous study

    Double doors to bathroom (wheelchair friendly!). Door on right to water closet, door on left is large linen closet and door straight back is closet almost as big as bathroom.

    Very dated leaded ribbed glass window over a great bathtub....also dated . Do not hate either so they remained. i Have been trying to live by the motto “do not let perfect become the enemy of good.”

    Yes, the wallpaper guy did not realize as he was putting it up that paper was from two different dye lots. I was with DH during most recent short hospitalization end of last month. Housekeeper was, er, supervising. He is coming back in two weeks to redo the obviously lighter runs. This is a kind of faux grasscloth look for bathrooms. Love it and it’s going in the two other en-suites in a different color.

  • blfenton

    This thought is from Kswl post on the thread that she mentioned in the OP

    So I am not chasing trends here, just changing for functionality first and then making it pretty

    And that's exactly what you have done. Beautiful

    I hope you and DH enjoy many happy and healthy years in your new home.

    Kswl 2 thanked blfenton
  • Fun2BHere

    Wowzers! What a pleasurable way to start my day it is, viewing your beautiful home. Thank you so much for sharing the well-designed interiors.

    Kswl 2 thanked Fun2BHere
  • Kswl 2

    Little bug, we are still in Georgia, now about an hour south of Atlanta. My mother and DD and her husband all live in Buckhead and our DS2, who graduated from college and lived with us for a year and a half while DH was in and out of the hospital (he was also getting a professional certificate and doing an internship so he stayed at our house and looked after it and the dogs when. We weren’t able to) is living and working in Alpharetta, about 30 min north of the rest of the fam. They all have dinner with my mom once a week and I am both happy they want to get together like that and envious of their frequent gtgs.

    Bestyears, I would say the best thing about living here is that it is SAFE, or at least I feel safe. The community is well run, it’s beautiful, gated 24/7 and easy to live in without any input from me! I have yet to see something like landscaping or a waterfall area and think, oh they should have done it a different way or used different colors of flowers or stone. That’s pretty unusual in kswl world, where it’s a good thing I don’t have a magic wand to Change stuff. Here I don’t feel the need and it actually looks lovely the way it is. We have two dog parks and a very congenial community of dog lovers ( we have a group that meets quarterly to discuss maintenance of dog park, dog health (any rabies reports among foxes, etc). We are finalizing plans for a sunsail installation over one area of the parks for people to sit under shade. I really really like not having to think of, create, direct, order and oversee everything myself!

  • clt3

    Everything is lovely! I have those same wood chairs with upholstered seat and back (Hickory Chair maybe?) in an ivory greek key design. I still love them.

    Kswl 2 thanked clt3
  • Kswl 2

    Not everything is perfect. Before we moved in we had the entire house replumbed. There was a good chance that with age our pipes would develop splits and leak and we decided to preempt that from happening. There is an artist who moved here from Arizona who thinks one of our dogs barks too much and says so, I have nicely replied that it is a park for the dogs and that since she is on the other side of the fence in the “big dogs” area she could move to another bench far from my loud pup. She did not take up my suggestion and refers to Charlie as “the problem dog.” I smile and take solace in assuming that her art is as crappy as her attitude and that’s why she is so cranky. :)

  • Kswl 2

    Yes, Clt, they are from Hickory Chair. I love how portable they are from one room to the other as seating is needed. i bought the blue gingham fabric from Carrington Court, the company that made the 2 parsons chairs for our informal eating area. I picked a nubby cotton blend in oatmeal with a blue fleck and had the hems banded in their blue gingham. When they arrived I liked the gingham a lot and ordered enough to upholster the occasional chairs. Most people don’t notice it’s the same fabric but again, it brings a cohesive feel of repetition, imo.

  • justerrilynn

    I like the mood of the art over your bed. Are they pressed plants behind glass or paintings? I actually enlarged it and still can’t tell.

    Hmmm...they shrunk when posted.

    Kswl 2 thanked justerrilynn
  • mtnrdredux_gw

    You make a good point about a "forever" home. We all think we are so certain, but for any number of reasons, plans change. I am pretty certain my next home will be an interim, and I am not trying to figure out the next decades ...but if we get 7-10 years out of a home thats fine.

    Kswl 2 thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • Kswl 2

    Goodness, this new Houzz format is not photo friendly, is it? I just lost a post about frames and rugs, will try again later.

  • glad2b

    Kswl - so happy to have you back! Your home is SO pretty!!! It’s stunning. I was wondering about the art above your bed too, perfect pieces.

    Kswl 2 thanked glad2b
  • texanjana

    Thanks for sharing pics, Kswl. Your home is lovely (as if there was any doubt)! So glad to have you back here.

    Kswl 2 thanked texanjana
  • Kswl 2

    Jterrilyn those are 3/4 size Audubon prints. An Atlanta shop ordered them for a client and the frames were the wrong color (ordering mistake) so these ended up in the shop’s kiosk at Scott’s Antique Show (two enormous buildings of vendors in south ATLANTA the second weekend of every month). I loved them and purchased for DH’s study at a nice discount. i really, really love the frames they are sort of “refined rustic“ iykwim.

    Speaking of Scott’s Antiques (misnomer, plenty of new and vintage stuff sold there), I bought the blue on white patterned rug from a merchant there, the same guy I bought our now dining room rug in 2014 that was for our previous basement. I knew this was as much pattern as any room could take so the other fabrics in the room are are solids except for the small check and that reads as a solid from a short distance.

    A couple of you mentioned the rugs. Here they are starting with boldly patterned one:

    Below: Sunroom rug from our previous library, before that in the den of my moms big house before she downsized.

    The next one was in the main living room of previous house. It’s probably our “best” rug, a silk and wool very dense pile that was in my mom’s dining room eons ago.

    This one below is something of a chameleon, it looks totally different depending on which way it’s laid on the floor. It’s the other one I got at Scott’s.

  • Bunny

    Kswl, your home is so lovely. I especially love your bedroom.

    Kswl 2 thanked Bunny
  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    What a beautiful house, classic and brimming with personal style. Thank you so much for going to the trouble o frosting all here gorgeous pictures and discussions your approach to decoration. I hope your husband is faring better- What a terrible ordeal you have both been through.

    Kswl 2 thanked Zalco/bring back Sophie!
  • Oakley

    Because our tastes are so similar that in my next life I want you to be my ID. You don't need to hire anyone, K. You have a natural talent unless you went to school.

    My mom had it, I didn't inherit it.

    I was drooling until I saw the English Pointer pictures that belongs to your husband, then I started crying because I want them! EP's are my dogs.

    So much to comment on but I need to go cry some more.

    Love it!!!

    Kswl 2 thanked Oakley
  • maddielee

    I’m sorry to read of your husband’s health issues. You have made a beautiful home, really lovely.

    Kswl 2 thanked maddielee
  • Kswl 2

    Thank you all so much for the positive feedback. My real life friends are not that interested in decor. One person asked me why we changed the fireplace? I couldn’t even summon up an answer. (Because we can, lol?)

    There are two guest bedrooms on the main floor, both en-suite. One is for my mother’s use and the other is nominally our older son’s. The last public space upstairs is the screened porch. We furnished this just after we bought the house so I would have a place to sit and relax while visiting the house and plotting the changes.

  • maddie260

    Your house is just lovely! I’m in loving with the rugs and window treatments.

    Kswl 2 thanked maddie260
  • Joaniepoanie

    Very warm and welcoming. I love how you mix colors and accessorize. And I love the rugs. it’s a beautiful home.

    We moved nearly two years ago and no room is “done” yet, mainly due to my indecision which leads to inertia. But I’m at the same point as you—-if I don’t hate it, it stays. Ours was a new build and I picked the finishes from the limited choices. Would I have picked this kitchen granite and splash from the zillion choices at retailers? No, but I don’t hate them so they will stay, at least for a few more years.

    Kswl 2 thanked Joaniepoanie
  • robo (z6a)

    Thanks so much for posting pictures of your new home! Count me among the rug fan and I was happy to get more information about them. I love that you’re not afraid of color! The house seems beautifully warm and welcoming.

    Kswl 2 thanked robo (z6a)
  • nutsaboutplants

    KSWL, the entire space is so you. Beautiful, just beautiful! May you and your DH enjoy many years of happiness and improved health in your new home.

    Kswl 2 thanked nutsaboutplants
  • Oakley

    What I want to know is, where is The Rug from the old master bedroom? I coveted that rug. :)

    Kswl 2 thanked Oakley
  • Kswl 2

    Here is a closer look at the Audubon prints and frame:

    I turned off the overhead lights and have four lamps on but there is still a bit of glare. I already had the yellow check shams and the color was picked up exactly in one of the prints, a happy coincidence.

    We just got the new light fixture installed in the powder room. It’s chrome with blue enameled metal shades. Need stronger bulbs but love the look. This one is from Shades of Light in Virginia.

  • Daisy S

    Such a classically and beautifully decorated home...thank you for sharing.

    Kswl 2 thanked Daisy S
  • Kswl 2

    Oakley, we had two yellow and white checked rugs made from French Check wool carpet. I think they are in storage. All our bedrooms are carpeted...... my feet don’t know what to do!

  • Kswl 2

    We skipped Christmas this year at home and went to my mother’s. I donated a TON of Christmas decor to Goodwill two weeks before Christmas and every last speck of it was sold right away. I know this because Handy Guy who comes down for the Christmas decorating week asked me to buyback the flocked garland that was in the blue bedroom. He swore we would need it (turns out he was right as there are two sets of bookcases to decorate) so I went to the goodwill store and there was NOTHING left of our donations. That made me very happy! But now, you will all be horrified to know, I am already amassing blue and white chinoiserie ornaments and blue velvet ribbons in different hues. Gotta be ready o<(:-)

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