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Posts Tagged ‘house’

True confession: I don’t miss being a homeowner at all.

Turns out I despise yardwork. It’s like laundry: It never ends. Except it’s worse than laundry, because it has to be completed outside in the 90-degree heat, and it never looks as good as it could unless you plow thousands of dollars into chemicals, machinery and just plain starting over with new landscaping. And I can at least wear my clothes, whereas I only entered the yard to maintain it. Futility at its finest.

I also don’t miss the feeling of having never done enough, knowing that you should find a stylish chair to go in the corner opposite the couch so you can have that conversational nook you always read about. Only whenever anybody comes over you end up chatting at the kitchen table over coffee or cocktails or wine, because everyone knows that’s where the best conversations happen.

The constant pressure to be refurbishing something, with an eye toward styling it to suit the tastes of some unknown future buyer, who prefers creme-colored walls and, uh-oh, your color selection was closer to a light beige? No thanks.

The awful realization that the one thing tying me to a city I need to leave is a house I don’t want anymore? Deliciously non-existent.

I suppose I’ll get back into the real estate business one day, but there are no guarantees. I’ve tasted freedom, and it is sweet.

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I had the run of my grandparents’ home since before I could even run. I miss that sort of familiarity with a living space.

A few years ago, I realized that our house in Huntsville didn’t feel like home and never would.

Is it weird that a two-bedroom condo in the heart of Midtown Atlanta feels more like home than anywhere I’ve ever spent significant amounts of time, save my grandparents’ house?

After every major family visit, I lament the lack of a comfortable secondary family space. My grandparents’ house was like a second home for my family — we knew where everything was and how to operate the TV and other essentials. We felt free to graze in the kitchen, grabbing leftover biscuits from their stovetop perch throughout the day or snagging Little Debbie snack cakes from the stash that was inevitably residing on top of the fridge.

The house is still there, and I could still go there if I wanted, but my uncle and aunt live in it now so it’s their house. Different stuff, different people, different vibe.

I’m convinced that no one ever feels 100% comfortable in their in-laws’ house, nor do you feel like you have a refrigerator-privilege kind of relationship when there’s a step-parent on board, even when they’re beyond awesome.

This not-being-able-to-go-home-again notion? Totally a thing.

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When I was in first grade, I spent almost the entire school year battling recurring bouts of strep throat.

I don’t know how much effort anyone put into researching the cause of these continual infections (paging Dr. House); all I remember is going back to the doctor again and again to have my throat swabbed and get another round of pink, icky-sweet, chalky liquid antibiotic.

The source of the strep bacteria was revealed after school let out for the summer: When my teacher underwent some pre-surgery blood tests, she discovered that she was carrying the bacteria. No symptoms. No clues, except for one otherwise healthy little girl missing a lot of school — and not being altogether that unhappy about missing school.

I still attribute the ultimate demise of my tonsils to this epic battle with the strep bacteria. (And I don’t hold a grudge against Mrs. Buffington. I DO hold a grudge against the series of doctors who, over the next 14 years, refused to consider taking my tonsils out as they slowly rotted away.)

You obviously can’t launch a full-fledged medical investigation of everyone your child comes into contact with (although, again, Dr. House seems to get away with such antics quite frequently), but the link seems obvious now. I don’t even know that anyone could make the connection today — although I do imagine that such a discovery today would involve litigation.

No matter how careful you are, or how protective you are of your children and loved ones, there’s always one thing that you don’t see coming. Expect the unexpected. And insist that the tonsils come out NOW.

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I’ve toured a couple dozen brand new bathrooms over the past couple of weeks. The Huntsville/Madison County Builders Association’s Parade of Homes gives renovating rubberneckers carte blanche to take a look at the latest and greatest in home design and decor, without that awkward “We’re not really looking to buy a house” moment that invariably occurs during the average Sunday open house.

I currently have a deconstructed master bathroom awaiting further action, so I need inspiration. If only beige inspired me, I’d be in business.

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The color: Every Bathroom in Town Beige. Nice tiles, and excellent installation, but so incredibly beige.

There seems to be an “offend no one” movement in the home decor business, with beige being the No. 1 non-offending element. I’ve never purchased a brand new house, so I’ve never had the opportunity to turn up my nose at walls that are just the wrong hue of olive, or kitchen cabinets that are too shiny. With any house over, say, 10 years old, you’re pretty sure you’re going to be redecorating anyway.

Which brings me to the tile dilemma.

I like color. Lots and lots of color. Tile is reasonably permanent – it’s not like paint, which can and should be changed on a whim. So I stand the chance of picking out something that will offend the delicate sensibilities of some beige-loving potential buyer down the road.

But in the end, how much of my decor should be dictated by some imaginary future buyer, especially when I have no idea how long I’ll be living in this house? Do I have to live with beige because it’ll make it easy to sell the house in three years? Five? Ten?

I’m looking at glass tiles now. They shimmer in the light, and the color spectrum is endless. I found two bathrooms on the tour that featured some fantastic examples of glass tile use.

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Still working the beige tiles, but a glass-tile design in the middle really gives it some flair.

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These blue circular tiles are more vibrant than they appear in this photograph.

There are plumbing and window-installation problems to be solved before I have to worry about the final tile decision, so I have plenty of time to stew over it. It’s going to be one heck of a shower when it’s all done, whatever the final color scheme turns out to be.

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