Thursday’s Children June 27, 2013

Inspired by Houses New and Old…

A weekly blog hop where writers share their inspirations. Please join us!

A weekly blog hop where writers share their inspirations. Please join us!

It struck me while writing a welcome note for the new owners, to go with a bottle of wine and trio of sand dollars…

Leaving a house you’ve built and turned into a home is a bit like turning a completed book over to readers. They’ll inhabit the rooms you’ve created, survey the views you’ve designed, follow the pathways of the floorplan. But, they’ll bring their own personalities to those spaces, which will make their experience of the home different. They’ll arrange their own furniture, they may even repaint. Their new favorite spots might not have been yours. They MIGHT even build on or renovate… Your old home isn’t really yours any more, it’s theirs.

Now I have a new project, a blank page of a home with bland American cheese-colored walls, builder lighting fixtures, and curtainless windows. We’ve determined the purpose of each room, placed some of the bigger pieces of furniture, figured out how to operate most of the appliances. Now we’re contemplating paint colors. We’ve got to turn this place into an enjoyable, exciting and functional home with good flow. It’s not unlike writing a book…

Photo by R. Wynn-Nolet

Photo by R. Wynn-Nolet

Do you like decorating new spaces or beginning a new manuscript? Do you find it exciting or daunting?

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27 thoughts on “Thursday’s Children June 27, 2013

  1. All through my childhood we spent two or three weeks each summer at a family friend’s summer house in Northern Michigan. It was a mighty gift. The house was built in the 1890s, a grand Victorian, but still a summer home–not winterized at all. From the inside, the studs and sheathing were exposed white cedar, milled from nearby forests, with carved interior edges and elaborate decorative touches throughout, all in unpainted cedar and pine. Stone fireplace, and gorgeous hearth and mantle. Some of my fondest memories of childhood were created on the porch, in the nearby forests and brooks and piers, and on the stony beaches and in the canoes and sunfish sailboats on the deep blue bay.

    A few years ago, we were visiting friends who lived across the bay who took us on an evening boat-ride. I asked the skipper to take us by the old house. We drew in close to the shore, and through binoculars, I saw that the house had been COMPLETELY remuddled! The grand old porch was enclosed, they’d build on a bulky addition on one side, the old diamond-shaped multi-pane windows had been replaced–new siding, et al. I was outraged… Until I noticed the kids. A group of three kids, aged 8-12, were playing in the water in front of the house, jumping off of a paddle board and climbing back on. Their delighted shrieks reached us across the water. They were having a blast. They were making memories. And I still had mine.

    Lovely post. I’m always amazed when readers tell me about their favorite places in my story, and they’re not spots I would’ve guessed would be so beloved. Sometimes it’s great to see how they’ve made them their own. Especially if we remember we still have our own favorites, and no one can take that from us.

    • That sounds like an absolutely AWESOME house. I don’t know if I’d have been as forgiving of the remuddling. Too bad you don’t write contemporary (or at least closer to it) because that house could be an amazing setting.

  2. Growing up, we moved house every couple of years. it gets to be a habit. Although I’ve never owned my own house, I’ve moved a LOT. In my 36 years, I’ve lived in 27 different houses. So when you talk about a new house as a blank canvas, I know exactly what you mean.

    Do I like it? I love it. Just like I love starting a new story. The hard part for me is to STAY PUT and not want to move again after a few months. (Or start a new story after a few chapters.) But I’ve learned that a little furniture-rearranging can go a long way to making me feel comfortable and happy.

    Good luck with your decorating!

    • Thanks! My hubs definitely gets the itch for a new house project quite frequently. Problem is we both like the conceptualizing and the shopping better than the actual labor πŸ˜‰

  3. Congrats on your new place & I hope you have a good time decorating everything : ) I love starting new stories; fresh starts and blank pages are my catnip. The thing I have to remember, after a few weeks, is to persevere and hang in there. But beginnings are the best!

  4. Love this comparison. However, I will now forever think of my house’s exterior as being American cheese πŸ˜‰

    I enjoy renovating, but unfortunately my wallet, my taste and energy levels don’t coordinate too well. I mostly end up with a forever in flux museum-junkatorium kind of look.

    • The funny thing is we had only two color choices, the “cheese” or pure white. We picked the pure white figuring it would be a less distracting background for making our ultimate decisions. But somehow when they actually painted it, they screwed up. I like junkatoriums btw and this might not be a bad exterior color, it just doesn’t look good with the carpet or our furniture.


    We’re still trapped in apartment living (for now). I dream of the day I can contemplate paint colors and design a home with warmth and flow. Have a blast making it yours!

  6. Wow it’s amazing that you actually built your old house! That happens so rarely here in the UK. That must be fantastic and I can understand your mixed feelings about leaving and strangers living in the rooms that you lovingly brought to life. But I hope you settle in to your new home really quickly. BTW loved the analogy between houses and writing. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, building is fairly common here (and by “building it” I meant that we came up with the design and paid a contractor to actually make it happen). Funny thing is the couple who bought it apparently did so partially because we’d used many of the same colors and had a similar decorating style to their house in Austin, TX. They thought it must be “fate” or something, lol.

      • That is strange. And getting a contractor in to build a house is the best idea I think – I’m sure I’d be exactly the same. I know nothing about house building! Hope you’re settling in to your new pad well.

  7. Glad to know you are settling in. πŸ™‚
    Blank slates can be daunting and inspiring, all in the same moment.
    Enjoy your creation – art comes in many formats – decorating a house, writing, baking, painting. It is well worth the time and effort.

  8. Why would you want to change American cheese colored walls? πŸ™‚ I think fresh beginnings are exciting, filled with promise. Have fun making your new house your home!

  9. that big cushy desk chair looks dreamy!!!

    i love new beginnings, especially new writing projects. while daunting plays a definite role, i’m mostly excited and passionate about starting a new story.

    enjoy settling in and creating your space!

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