My friend AnNicole over at Our Suburban Cottage is having a party tomorrow called ‘How I Met My House’. I prefer to be fashionably late to parties, however this time I’m showing up early due to some delays with my latest project. But I brought jalapeño poppers, so I’m sure I’ll be forgiven. :-)
So here is the story of how we met our house, but first, let’s take a little detour. When I was growing up, I would whiz past this amazing property on the freeway on my way to school each day.
This is not my house.
This is the Kendall Jackson Tasting Room and it’s one of my favorite properties in the entire universe.
Oh my word, I could just stare at it all day. Those arches, those French doors, those keystones, those dormers, that rose garden, I can’t stand it, it’s just so beautiful.
What does this tasting room have to do with my house ? It inspired us in many ways when we first built our home over a decade ago, down to the exact color of the stucco.
So here goes. It was a dark and stormy night. No, it was 1999, and I was finishing up law school and we were planning our wedding. On top of that, my fiancée and I had an
insane grand idea to buy a piece of land and build a house at the same time. But we’re just certifiable like that.
We found an affordable piece of bare land, and put in an offer. That night, we dreamed up the floor plan to our home on a cocktail napkin while we talked all about building a house and a family together. With a very limited budget, we decided that we would add on to the house later when we had more kids. Yeah, that’s what we will do, we will add on later. That was a completely crazy idea, we should have just waited and built the house one time only. But we were eager newlyweds, excited to build a home together and we really didn’t think it through.
The first time around, we hired a builder who made a lot of decisions on our behalf, and the original home was completed in early 2000.
Here’s our home in 2001:
Fast forward to 2006 after two babies.
“Hey honey, remember that idea we had that we would add on more bedrooms when we had kids? Yeah, yeah, let’s do that!”
So in came the big equipment.
There’s my mister clearing the new foundation.
And the inside of the house. Oh the horror ! I can’t bear to watch.
It got so bad that we moved into a rental nearby just to stay warm through the winter.
Here’s my munchkins at 2 years old and 5 months old midway through this insane excursion. What were we thinking ? And notice how I turned my single stroller into a double by stuffing one kid underneath. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
When we moved back into our home in early 2007 it was still in a very raw state and we had *ahem* run short on funds. There were no cabinets or countertops, no master bath, no balcony railing, no patio, no rear yard landscaping. There was construction debris everywhere, and I was one crazed momma trying to keep my munchkins away from danger lurking around every corner. Thank goodness they survived with their limbs intact. I can’t say the same for my mental state.
Over the last three years, we’ve slowly finished the house as funds allowed. It wasn’t until 2009 that we finally installed the master bathroom – you can read all about it here.
So here is our house today. Despite the madness, we are in love with it.
And that is the story of how I met my house ! Now I need a strong cocktail because I’ve just relived it all again. :-)
Oh, and one more thing, I strongly discourage anyone from adding on to their house when you have a toddler and newborn child who don’t sleep through the night, especially when you’re acting as the general contractor for the entire project. We forgot to factor in that teensy little detail in our decision to add on.
And don’t forget about the big party over at Our Suburban Cottage. If you’ve got a story to tell, be sure to link up tomorrow !