The Story of Our House… Plus Some News

the story of our house

I was thinking recently about how we’ve been sharing all these pictures and projects around our house for the last five years, but we’ve never told you the story about how we actually came to live here. This is a long story, and you might as well read through to the end to hear a bit of news.

My very first blog post was August 26, 2010, about a month into owning this home, when the blog was called Kerry & Co., and Andy technically didn’t even live here yet. I think maybe two people read that post. One of them was Andy.

To tell the story about buying this house, we need to back it up to the very beginning of the year 2010. After a few weeks of “talking” at work on our instant message system, even though we practically sat next to each other, Andy and I finally got really drunk spoke out loud to each other and started dating on January 8.

On February 19, my father passed away unexpectedly. It was 14 months after my mother passed away. (Sorry, this story is only sad for a minute!) In an instant, I was an orphan. I owned a house in Michigan with two acres of land. I had a second cat. I had a house AND a barn AND a garage all packed to the brim with furniture and papers and things — so many things — that had belonged to my parents, my grandparents, and yes, my great-grandparents, going all the way back to the 19th century. Literally over a hundred years worth of things. In an instant, my cute little loft apartment was definitely NOT big enough anymore.

I needed to buy a house. When I started looking at houses, I, of course, had no idea what I was doing. I knew I needed a big house because I had a lot of stuff. I wanted a house that would fit style-wise with the mostly Victorian furniture I was inheriting — and not the modern and midcentury furniture that I already owned. I had been living in Tremont, so I knew I wanted to stay in the Tremont/Ohio City area.

When I walked in the door of the first house we looked at, I said, “this is it.” I hadn’t even gotten past the entryway. My agent made me look at eight more houses. Andy and I discussed every one, but in my heart, it was always this one. So I bought it. Just me. At that point Andy and I had still only been dating six months. He didn’t technically live here, but, well, he was kind of always here anyway, so he made living here official not much later.

I was always interested in decorating, but we had no idea what to do with this old Victorian furniture, which wasn’t either of our taste. We knew it looked good in this house and, most importantly, it was free. When you find yourself with essentially an entire house full of free furniture, you don’t question it. So we set out to try to make it work, and while we did, we got to know each other better, got to know a lot more about decorating and design, and ultimately learned what it means to be “our style” together.

In the meantime, we were making changes to the house — new garage, new deck, ultimately new kitchen and bathrooms. We fixed the big decorating mistakes we made early on, slowly started to incorporate more of our own modern/midcentury style into the house along with the old Victorian pieces, and happily made this house our home, a home we really love.

The thing is, though, at a certain point we realized we’ve done everything we can do, made every change we can make, and this house will never feel like us. It will always feel like the house we bought because it went with the furniture we got for free — the house we bought before we knew what “we” meant. We still love this house, and love everything we’ve done to it and the life we’ve built together in it. But this house just isn’t right for us anymore. And so, with that, we bought a new house! We get the keys today!

I’m kind of oversimplifying things just to keep this from being the world’s longest blog post (if it isn’t already earning that award). There are about a million factors going into this decision and it certainly was not made lightly. We actually decided way back at the beginning of the year to start looking (yes, long before baby was on the way — we would have been very happy to raise our little girl in Ohio City). It’s a decision about style and size and finances and lifestyle, and a desire to minimize and simplify.

So we’re moving to Bay Village, a small suburb 15 minutes west. We bought a cute split level that’s walking distance to the grocery store, the library, the beach, and Andy’s really excited about the water slide at the city pool! It’s definitely bittersweet because we loooove our neighborhood and would have stayed here forever, but at the same time, we’re really excited about the opportunity to begin something new. We’re going to put all that old Victorian furniture into storage and sell/donate almost everything else, and we’re going to start fresh with things we actually want to live with, things that feel like us.

We’re so excited to share this process with you, and on Monday we’ll show you pictures of the new house!!

| Filed under Old House

4 thoughts on “The Story of Our House… Plus Some News

  1. Congrats! We live very near Chloe’s middle and high school — we can see the middle school from the end of our driveway, it takes 5 minutes to walk to the high school. It’s really great to live close to the schools when your child goes to them. It makes it super convenient to run back and forth for after school activities, especially. When she was 5, we moved into our house, and enrolled her in the elementary school, a 5 minute drive away. I didn’t really think of the benefits of being so close to the other buildings until she got older. But, it’s great.

    1. That’s great, Steph. I’m really looking forward to being within walking distance of the elementary school in a few years.

Leave a Reply to Steph Donovan Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *