A Little History

Photo by Liz West

Do you know what is usually the starting point of the adventure called renovation? Those that have gone before us will be able to contemplate, those that still need to take the step will know at that time, but if you go househunting there will be some kind of click once you enter a certain house. At that moment you know “this is it, the one we’ve been looking for”, and you start envisioning how it will be when all the renovating and redecorating is done. That vision, that’s the starting point of an adventure, with ups and downs, not for the faint of heart, but oh so fullfilling. And so, here it is, a little history about our adventure.

It must have been two year already, that day we decided to start looking for our own place to call home. Back in the day we were living in a rental appartment, which was getting too small the day after we moved in already, so it came naturally for us to start our search about half a year thereafter… We had quite an extensive list of requirements, but the most important one was space to create our own “thing”. Next on the list, a garden, for future kids to be able to play, room for a car (or maybe two, and if possible a garage), because parking alongside the road isn’t always that favorable. And last but not least, we wanted the house to have some kind of character, not the typical brick cube-shaped house you can find on every corner.

Home iconSo we set out on our quest to find the perfect house. House after house we saw, some more fitting than others, but none brought us that click, untill we stumbled upon our current house. It started it’s life as a townhouse back in 1932 when it’s construction started. We even found some evidence of that time in the format of notes on the wall (more on that in a next post)! Like anything from that era, it has been built to last forever, with walls about a foot thick.

At some point in the sixties or seventies the first owners have sold it, as the previous owner told us that they moved in around that time (so we are actually the third owners in it’s 80 years of existence). Some serious remodelling has been done at that time: central heating was installed in all rooms, a new travertine floor for the living room and adjacent dining room, some walls were torn down to create an open space on the ground floor, a large fireplace was installed, a new kitchen, new bathroom and so on… A lot of the decisions made at that time really were an improvement, for instance the creation of a large open space on the ground floor is something we’d have done if it wasn’t there already.

Fastforward to 2012, exit previous owner, enter us! When we first entered this house, we both had that click. Ofcourse, as it hadn’t been updated since the sixties or seventies, everything was according to standards of that time as well. This was something we were fully aware of, even more, something we were searching for as well. You see, there are only a limited number of options regarding housing. You can live small, with a low price tag (or a high price tag if you really want state of the art), without doing much yourself. Or you can live a little less small (remember our wish for space?), but then you’ll have to be willing to do a lot yourself, or you’ll have to be willing to pay for it. And besides all that, renovating is just fun!

We’re running a bit behind with the blog, as the work done has a headstart of about a year and a half, but that will be taken care of in the near future. For now, you can always leave us a comment if you’d like to, or add us on Facebook or Twitter.