Thursday, May 11, 2017

House Tour: Part II

So, after giving you Part I of the house tour (and I'm referring to our new house in VA, where we recently moved to be closer to some of our kids and grandkids...since we were much, much too far away from everyone in NH), I thought it was time for the second installment.  It would make sense to show you the kitchen/family room space now, after having shown you the front entrance and the living room and dining room.  That would be the next logical step.  I mean, you can see through to the kitchen and family room areas from the front door and both of the front rooms, since this house has a fairly "open concept" vibe to it.  But I haven't remembered to take photos of those rooms when they're cleaned up and picked up and ready for show; so that will have to wait.  Instead of giving you a tour of the rest of the first floor today, I'm going to take you upstairs and show you the two guest rooms and save the rest of the ground floor for another day.

That's right, moms of young'uns: someday you will have bedrooms in your house that sit empty most of the time and don't really belong to any of your kids anymore, because they will be all grown up and have houses of their own.

You'll blink once or twice, and suddenly your kids will not look like this anymore.
They will not all be shorter than you are and dependent on you for their every need.  They will not be pulling on the hem of your skirt and looking up at you with their arms raised, begging to be picked up. They will no longer call you "Mommy."  (Actually, mine still do that sometimes, so scratch that last part.)

[Sniff.]  Moving on.

As I was saying, you will have empty bedrooms and you will call them "guest rooms," meanwhile hoping that the most frequent guests who will use them will be your grown-up children and their families.

There are four bedrooms upstairs in our new house: the master suite (which is ridiculously large; it's a little embarrassing, to tell you the truth) and three more normal-sized rooms, one of which we have turned into an office.  That leaves two small-ish guest bedrooms--which is the perfect number for us to have, since two of our five sons do not and most likely will never live in VA.

I am thinking of one of these bedrooms as our baby's room.  He's the only one who isn't married yet.  And he's the one who made it hardest for us to pull the trigger and sell our old house, for several reasons: that was the only house in which he'd ever lived, for one thing; and he will be stationed in Germany for about another year-and-a-half, and in a perfect world it would have been nice to be able to wait until he moved back to the States and could spend a bit more time in his childhood home before having to say goodbye to it.

So although this new bedroom is about a third of the size of the big one he used to share with two older brothers growing up in NH, I have tried to make it feel as much like "his" as possible.  First of all, the full-sized mattress is his--although it used to be on the bottom of a metal bunk bed.  (Son #4 used to sleep in the twin-sized bed that was on the top bunk.)  His bed looks a whole lot fancier now, since we put the mattress on a new metal platform bed and topped it with a new bedspread--both of which were bought to make our NH house show better when we decided to sell it.  But when our son comes home, his ratty old Notre Dame puff will come out of storage to replace this bedspread, and that will hopefully make the bed seem comfortingly familiar.
The bedside storage tables in this room were built by my husband, and in the old house they were in our master bedroom. Since this photo was taken, I have filled the shelves of both of them up with books.  Because I have been trying like crazy to figure out where we're going to store all of our books--our many, many books--in the new house, after having to give up the built-ins on either side of both fireplaces in our old house.  (Also my talented husband's handiwork, and so hard to leave behind.  [Sniff.]  Moving on!)

I've hung up the "school days" photo collages that I made for our baby and his two old roommates when they graduated from eighth grade, because nothing says "home" like a whole lot of family pictures. 
The Pack 'n Play and mobile were added for grandchildren and have already come in handy for napping and sleepovers.

On the dresser are some of our youngest son's high school football mementos and a little framed picture of him as a toddler that always sat on the shelf in his room.
This bedroom is not nearly as "all boy" and sporty as the old room in NH; but I think it's going to work out just fine.  (We'll get a chance to put that theory to the test when our son comes home on leave this summer!)

The other guest bedroom is a tad bigger.  In it are the two twin beds (on prettier frames now, with prettier bedspreads) that belonged to our two oldest boys, and in between them is the bedside table that my husband built for them more than 25 years ago.
One wall is adorned with the two oldest boys' eighth grade photo collages.  Since this picture was taken, I have removed the decorative storage bins in the small shelf to the right of the dresser and replaced them with BOOKS. 
Because to quote fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson--
Well said, TJ.  Well said.

As you probably noticed, we also keep a port-a-crib (the old-fashioned one we had for our boys, back before the days of Pack 'n Plays) in this room, at the ready for grandkids' naps and sleepovers.

Hanging on a wall that I can see every time I pass by this bedroom is a cherished piece of artwork given to us by one of our daughters-in-law, who is a friend of the artist responsible for this beautiful image of Pope Saint JPII.
I am pleased with the way these guest rooms turned out.  I didn't even have to paint them--they appeared to be freshly painted by the former owners, and I like the soft blue and yellow hues they chose.  So for now, no painting.

I know my decorating style is not super inspiring.  Joanna Gaines I am not!  But I do love the process of feathering a nest.  As difficult as it was to move away from our old house and all the memories we'd made there (26 years' worth), I am actually thoroughly enjoying figuring out how to make this new place work for us.  I like the challenge of turning it from a house into a home, where our boys and their growing broods can create brand new memories with us.


  1. Beautiful! I am loving the house tour! I can't wait until I can see it in person!

  2. I love both rooms! And the quilts! :)