From Urban Mom to Suburban Mom (minus the minivan)
“Never!” That is what I told people when asked if we ever plan to move out of NYC. I’m a Georgia girl who moved to the big city in 2008 after meeting my husband traveling abroad. In what felt like a natural progression, I packed my bags, found a new interior design job, and got a “nice” East Village apartment on a 5th floor walk up and a beautiful view of a brick wall. My husband also likes to remind me about the “Willy Wonka ceilings” that sloped down to 5 feet in some places. But it was cool because I am under 5 ft tall, and I had made it to NYC!
Shortly after I opened my own interior design firm and found a BALLER duplex apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. We had plans to stay in Brooklyn 4-EVA as we had great friends close by, our pick of ethnic cuisine, and an amazing park within walking distance. Flash forward 7 years and I’m cursing the lack of parking and waiting a year and a half to get on the nursery school wait-list. (Because trying to get into nursery school in NYC is more competitive than most colleges.)
My husband Andrew and I had a heart to heart, and decided to take the trek to "just see" the burbs of New York City. Westchester is the county just north of NYC with cute villages, each one with its own unique style – some have walk-able towns with mom and pop shops, some have beach or river access, and others have farm land. Andrew’s requirement was <1 hour commute from the city, and mine was land and great (public) schools, and a non 'cookie-cutter' house.
As an interior designer, I couldn’t fathom buying a move-in-ready house without loads of charm and character. We figured it would take a while to find "the one", but just like that, day 1, we saw it… We drove by a 1930’s Storybook Tudor with a round turret, slate roof, Juliet balcony, 3-car carriage house, original barn doors, and an acre of land. Immediately we just knew… this was our house.
When I toured the inside, it was very clear that each room needed A LOT of work. I'll let this picture of painted hearts and red walls speak for itself!
Um yeah... Needless to say, it was on the market for a while...
Call it insanity or the perfect challenge, we didn’t care, – it's an interior designers dream project! Plus my 2-year old Nolan was already making himself at home running around in the huge backyard. The very next day we put in an offer and listed our city apartment. Peace-out NYC!
So there ya have it! I’m so excited to share the renovation of our house with y’all, and will be blogging all about it, complete with before-and-after shots, renovation woes (literally while drafting this, we found out we need to dig out new dry wells (whatever that is...), and thoughts on which products to use! Wish me luck and please post your comments – I need all the input and emotional support I can get as we renovate our money pit, I mean new suburban home!