Thursday, April 27, 2017

House Tour: Part I

I've been posting some photos of the new house over on Instagram and have been encouraged by several followers to do a little tour.  I actually love it when the bloggers I follow give us glimpses into their homes, so I thought it might be fun to do that here at String of Pearls.

I suppose that technically, this is really Part II of the house tour.  Because I've already shown you the downstairs half-bath in our new house in VA (it's a bird bath, actually).  But I thought I'd start now at the front entrance and take you through the living room and dining room--which have always been two of my favorite rooms in the house.  I like to sit in such rooms, sipping a cup of coffee while reading or simply enjoying the peaceful ambience.  Family rooms (with toys and TV's and the necessary clutter of daily life) and kitchens (with their necessary messes), make up the true heart of a home; but I find that I also need some tranquil, pretty, uncluttered spaces in my life.

So, here we go.  Let's start at the front door, shall we?
I actually love the front entrance of this house.  It's very bright and airy.  It's also a bit on the grand side--with a two-story ceiling open to the second-story landing...and columns.  Columns!  Well, la-di-da, we have columns in our house.  I feel like Scarlett O'Hara or something.
I've always been a fan of the practical over the dramatic, because I look at two-story foyers like this one and think how much bigger the rooms upstairs could be if there was a floor there instead of all this wasted space.  (Also, my worry-wart side cringes at the idea of one of my darling little grandchildren deciding to see what it would be like to play circus performer and climb up on this railing.  [Shudder.])

But there are no two ways about it--it does make for a lovely entryway.

This house is much more open than our traditional Colonial in NH, which for the most part was what would have to be considered closed-concept.  Walls--the rooms had walls.  But in this house all the rooms downstairs pretty much flow into each other.  From the front entrance, you can see the dining room on the left, the living room on the right, and the kitchen/family room area straight ahead.

The dining room is a good bit smaller than our old one; but the fact that it has three walls instead of four makes it feel a good bit bigger than it is.  We took two leaves out of our antique oak table so that it wouldn't spill too far out into the hallway, but they can be added when we need them for big family dinners.
The tray ceiling, painted the same gray as the walls beneath the chair rail, is such an unexpected and beautiful touch.  My old dining room was bold red under the chair rail and cream above it; but I love this gray-and-white dining room just the way it is and have no plans to repaint it.  If it ain't broke, as they say, don't fix it.  I was inspired by the color scheme to find traditional black-and-white toile valances online, and I think they look lovely in this room.
From the dining room, you can see right into the kitchen from one angle.
And into the living room from another.
The living room, like the dining room, is smaller than the one we had in NH.  But the fact that it, too, is open on one side makes it feel so much roomier.  And what we found when we had a crowd here on Easter (15 adults and 5 small children) is that guests are much more likely to sit in there and chat than they were in our old house in NH, because they don't feel cut off from the action.  While some of us were sitting at the dining room table talking after we'd finished our meal (one of my favorite activities, hands down), there was a small group hanging out in there, and it was like we were all together in one large room.

I love that this room was painted almost exactly the same shade of green as our old living room, and that means that our old couches (and they are OLD--we bought them in 1994!) look just perfect in there.  It's like we've recreated our NH "Rosary Room" here in VA.

So that's the front (and probably the prettiest) part of our new house.  But the best thing about this (or any) house is not the stuff in it, of course, but the people.  And on Easter Sunday, our entryway looked prettier than ever, when it was filled with our three VA daughters-in-law (who between them are expecting five babies in the coming months!!!).
And then by the staircase just next door to the living room, there was this priceless encounter between Princesa, in the arms of her daddy, and one of her fun uncles--which ended in kisses and giggles.
I think this is going to be a very good house.  A very good house indeed.

I'll be back again with Part II of the tour.  But in the meantime, have a great weekend!


  1. Absolutely lovely! I love your new house and the way you decorated. Understated yet classy. Can't wait for part II!

  2. Gorgeous! I love these rooms and the feel of the house. It looks so homey already so you have clearly done a good job settling in!

  3. What, what, more baby announcements! Congrats to all. Oh you must be in seventh heaven, thank goodness you got down there in time!!

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