Updating a 70 s split foyer
While I loved the open floor plan of my old house when the kids were younger, it wasn’t working so much anymore.A combined kitchen/dining/family room didn’t give my kids any privacy when hanging with their friends, so they preferred spending time at the houses of friends who had a separate room for playing games/watching movies/etc.While a city neighborhood full of mid-century ranches and small, independent businesses would be cool and all, it wouldn’t get us the things we’re really yearning for. (And because if more people who like what we like join us, the community will change in ways we’d like.) No, there isn’t the kind of hipster cool we see in Portland: But there’s still a kind of cool.Simplicity and sustainability are ideas we like a lot. It’s just a different kind of old-school cool (now that the ’70s were 40 years ago).With an asking price of 4,900, we think this was a good deal. And finally, even though we do have more strip malls per capita than any place should, we do have a tiny “downtown” area that dates back to the time our bedroom community was mostly farmland.This 4-block area is filled with small, independent, locally-owned businesses.If it’s hard for you to imagine the big 70s split-level having the same kind of appeal, we get that. We’ve got two adults and a revolving door of three getting-bigger kids (with other parents who live about 60 miles apart from each other).
You can’t see it, but there’s a large side yard and a creek that runs along the back of the property.
It was kind of a hodgepodge of styles, windows, and doors with no clear entry.
So the homeowners hired residential designer Leigha Heydt to give it some curb appeal with a front porch and shingled-cottage style.
Buying a house we can afford that works for the life we really live (as opposed to one we might dream about) seems like a different kind of cool. Maybe our community isn’t full of great stuff and interesting people. We’ve got sidewalks and streetlights and just as many big trees as any established city neighborhood. While corner lots always tend to have more space, those aren’t the only ones with some breathing room.
Our front yard isn’t particularly large, but it feels spacious because there’s a nice distance between our house and the neighbors on either side: We like our neighborhood so much better than many of the new neighborhoods we see, with houses all crammed together on postage-stamp lots, nothing much more than paint color to distinguish one from the other. But we see so much potential here, especially for people like us.
Our kitchen is roomy enough to hold a table for eating, so we’re using the dining room as a different kind of space.