Our lovely “new” home is most easily described as a rancher with a basement. There’s really no better description!
The house was built in 1978 – just a couple of years before either of us showed up! It is a sort of southwest style, with brick accent and an arched courtyard entrance outside the front door.
Inside there is a living room to the front of the house with a cathedral ceiling, and a family room at the back which also has a peaked ceiling, both with natural cedar wood paneling on the ceiling. We’ve decided to go against the current trend for now and not paint these ceilings white, opting instead to keep the medium tones of the natural wood.
The family room has a sunken “conversation pit” at the fireplace – a bit of a throwback to the 1960’s and cozy evenings by the fire in alpine resorts! It certainly lends a very “cabin” type of feel to the room.
Aside from a series of 6 windows in the living room, and 3 in the dining room, most of the other rooms of the house are somewhat lacking in the window department; the windows in these rooms are all very tall and thin. From what I have read, this was an intentional and contemporary trend in the late 70’s in an attempt to be energy efficient. The windows being smaller and less in number meant less heat would escape in the winter and, conversely, smaller windows and generous overhangs on the eaves meant no direct sunlight to heat up the house too much in the warm months – this has so far proven true.
Our main bathroom still sports the original tiling in the bathtub surround, unlike any tiles I have seen before! They are definitely “quirky!” For now, we’re working with it until we can manage a bathroom renovation.
Outside, the yard has more than its fair share of trees. Not just little trees, these are trees you cannot see to the tops of! Our natural canopy of Douglas Firs, although a maintenance burden at the best of times (fir needles everywhere, year-round), also lends shelter and relief from the hot summer sun. They also attract all sorts of wildlife, from squirrels and chickadees to crows and Northern Flickers (woodpeckers).
Perhaps one of the things I like best about our house is that it is a subtle reminder of a different era – an era that everyone seems so quick to want to forget!
There is a lot to be said for connecting with our pasts, and the house reminds me very much of my happy years as a child. When choosing what we hoped would be our “forever home” this was a very important part of my decision. There is nothing more exciting, after looking at dozens of houses, to finally walk into one that feels like “home” – even despite it being something completely different than what you thought you wanted. You never know until you know.
Among other things, on this blog I hope to capture some of the house’s idiosyncrasies and charms as it all progresses. For us, this is intended to be a long-term love-affair – so watch with us as we work on it over the coming years!