In the Beginning

When I was looking for a new house I didn’t want to get a space that would be too much work to keep up or that I couldn’t afford to fix up if I wanted. It needed to have an extra bedroom for guests and one level for my old, arthritic dogs. In the end I figured a nice little ranch-style house would do the trick. Nothing run down or too dated because I don’t have the skills or money to do a lot of work on the house. Not to mention time. I never have enough time and the dogs never help around here. Slackers.

The house I finally found is a very typical ranch-style house. The basic bones are good and nothing needed to be updated so that I could live here.

This living room is flooded with beautiful soft light in the mornings. I’m afraid part of the reason the light is so soft is because the seal has broken on the double-paned windows and they have started getting filmy.

I’m not a huge fan of the ranch house style. If I won the lottery I’d get some beautiful, authentic Craftsman home at the edge of a forest with a nearby swimmin’ hole and a little pasture for a retired horse and a sweet alpaca. In my lottery fantasies, I never have to actually take care of anything or do a lot of work. I may be taking a few swipes with a paint brush, planting a petunia or two, but never anything that makes me sweat or sore the next day.

A very narrow dining area but since I love staging dining room tables, I like having it right in the entry of the house. The kitty likes playing with staged dining room tables and ruining the effect I general intend.

I told myself that my little ranch-style home has a lot of Craftsman qualities and that when I did start redecorating or renovating I could incorporate Craftsman details to soften the 70s styling of ranch homes. Don’t get me wrong, I like ranch-style homes. I grew up in one so the layouts are charmingly familiar. I started doing some research on ranch-style homes and found out that I had unfairly dismissed them as blah and cheap-o.

The kitchen that is no more. Who knew I would actually miss it one day? For the love of God though, WHY ALL THE SOFFITS?

The ranch-style house is a lot older than I realized. In fact, the late 70s, the version I’m used to, were really on their way out as they had become very cheap tract housing. No wonder I snubbed them. The general description of them, “uncluttered and uncomplicated” sounds perfect for me! If I needed further convincing that I have unintentionally nested in the perfect space for me, says,

The ranch, with its single-storied, low slung profile, its open-plan interior, attached garage and large windows conveyed a unique diffidence, informality and lack of pretention.

And I wasn’t dreaming when I saw a similarity to my Craftsman home. Ranch-style homes have roots in Spanish style homes and in the Bungalows of the 20s.

My goal has always been to flank this fireplace with some Craftsman built-ins and window wall hangings above them like the Bungalows.

I think my biggest hurdle is myself. Big plans with little understanding of how to execute them. That and I seem to be unable to scale my projects back into doable phases.

Believe it or not, this is the better bathroom of the two.

I struggle to find the practical side of my dream space. What will increase the value of my home? What will make it more livable? What is good right now? What is a first step towards what I want in the end? Can I do that now and take the next step six months from now?

It’s even worse than it seems here. The gold laminate counter top reflects yellow up when you lean over it. I have no idea what I actually look like.

Small steps. This is what I’m trying to master. I want to do ALL THE THINGS quickly and with little effort. While I think that is a perfectly reasonable thing to want, it hasn’t worked out for me so far. I suppose being sensible is the next logical strategy. Ugh. Logic.

This dim hallway is currently in upheaval as I paint the trim and that dark linen cupboard.

If I had all my wishes come true, not only would I win the lottery but I would suddenly turn into someone who is perfectly happy when they are working hard. Until that time, I’ll keep tackling small projects, griping about it, and being unreasonably pleased with each small victory.


Ranch-style house references:

(this one is my favorite)

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2 Responses to In the Beginning

  1. Kathy says:

    Your last sentence is absolutely awesome! I’m going to print it out and tack it up on my refrigerator! Keep up the good attitude, and the good work!

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