Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dreaming about Oyster Haven

My husband and I are going to be closing very soon on a marvelous old renovated Colonial house on the shore of Lake Champlain.  I took some photos the day we met with the real estate agent for a showing back in July--which was also the day we fell in love with it.

You can't beat the view from the house.
Or the enormous grassy yard that leads down to the water.
Or the private beach, located in the center of a little protected cove.
This is the house to which we will retire, in eight years or possibly less.  In the meantime, we are setting it up as a VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) property, so that we can afford to own it until we feel we're ready to sell our home here in NH, where we've lived since 1990.  Until we can move there, the plan is to block off a week or two every summer for our personal use--and hopefully the kids and grandkids will start making special memories at this house by the lake.

I am sure that there will be many posts in the future, regaling you with all the ups and downs of being the landlords of a vacation rental property.  But for now, I'm just giddy with ideas for setting the house up and making it look pretty.  And I think we're going to name it "Oyster Haven" know, because an oyster is a haven for a pearl?  (Clever?  Or cheesy?)

We've been ordering lots of stuff online from Wayfair and Amazon and Overstock.  One of our bedrooms upstairs is currently filled with sheet sets, towels, comforters, dishes...not to mention all kinds of framed artwork, pictures, and signs that I plan to hang on the walls of the new house.
I am a tad, shall we say...overzealous when it comes to hanging things on the walls of my house.  Most of the walls in our home look about like this.
I can't even fit all the things I'd like to hang on the walls of the NH house, so I just happen to have lots of excess wall décor items that I can put to good use.  I needed a second house, because I was running out of wall space here.

So here are a few of the things we'll be taking up to NY (where my new decorating mantra, as far as the walls go, is going to be "less is more").
On the left, a watercolor by Adirondack artist Pat Reynolds (a wedding gift
from my Grandma); on the right, an old window (given to me by my D-I-L
Ginger, with a wreath that was a gift from son #4 hanging on it).

Top right: an artist's rendering of our old high school (which has since been torn
down).  Bottom right: my Grandma's house on the left; the Old Stone Barracks
(home of my S-I-L's soon-to-open Valcour Brewery) on the right; this frame used
 to hang in our downstairs bathroom, with pictures of our boys in sports gear in it.

That oil painting on the left is something we've had more than 30 years,
since before we even had children.  We got it at a silent auction charity event
when my husband was an Ensign training to become a Naval Aviator.
Some of the stuff that goes in the Oyster Haven house will be new.  Like this great mirror I just found at a secondhand shop for $5.  (Well, I guess it's not technically new; but it's new to us.)
I dream about our grandchildren playing by the water at this idyllic location, swimming in the lake...making memories of being at Papa and Grammy's house that will last them a lifetime.  My dreams look something like this:

But those are just artist's renderings, pictures of someone else's grandchildren.  So actually, my dreams for this new house look more like this:
Can't wait to make them come true!


  1. I love it! Oyster Haven is a great name!! My 2 cents are that less is definitely more while it's a VRBO home since when it's your primary residence you'll certainly wind up redecorating and bringing along stuff from your current home's walls. :) I love your dream and I have no doubt many many memories will be made by the Pearl family there.

  2. I really hope so, Madeline! It's been hard adjusting to the fact that none of our boys and their families live near us. But my in-laws had the same situation (8 kids in 8 different locations, none very close to home); and their house by the lake was the glue that kept everyone together. Our kids and their cousins are incredibly close, all because of the times they spent there in the summers. So, that's my dream for our gang...

    And yes, I this VRBO house has to be sort of impersonal, and not have too much "us" in it. So I'm really going to try to be a minimalist, as hard as that will be for me!

    1. My husband, who knows just how much typos kill me, noted that in this comment, where I said "yes, I this VRBO house," the "I" should be deleted. Thanks, back-haver!

  3. I have that same cartoon-like map of Lake Champlain somewhere! I think that and the other Adirondack/Lake-related stuff will be enjoyed by your VRBO clients. How fun to start working on the house!

    1. My sweet mother-in-law gave us our Lake Champlain map. And she convinced me to use colored pencils around the edges. I ended up coloring the British flag incorrectly...but had it framed before I realized it. :)

  4. I love all the things you have to decorate! It is going to look wonderful. I can't wait to see it!!