I think that for the rest of the Advent season I will be alternating between sets of attractive home decor pictures and maudlin spiritually-oriented rantings, a combination sure to induce, or at least document, certifiable insanity.
With respect to the house we last visited (with the realtors we like): it had previously been under contract (from August to October). The contingency was that the buyer should sell his current home, and, as I half-predicted, he was unable to. The same buyer has asked for an extension on said contingency and (after some delay) been granted one by the sellers, this time until January 29. That's a good bit of time (a little shorter than the last contingency, though), but I still entertain hopes that the house will return to the market again. After all, it's still a tricky market, and December and January are far worse months for a sale than August, September, and October. Moreover, between now and the end of January, nobody else will be able to buy it. We only have to wait out this one guy (admittedly, who has already had an offer accepted), and if it returns to the market then, it will finally be a good time for us to act. You know, visit it a couple more times, take measurements, have some home repair expert-y folk take a look at it, that sort of thing. Also, in the meantime, I can try to eke out those 10 more points on my credit, and my dh can try to get that random judgment against the other fellow with his name off his credit report at last (we're working on that now). And I can shop for a good mortgage rate. I think March/April would be a good time for us to buy a house.
I admit I haven't thought enough about what I will do when my commute is actually longer, I still don't have children, and I am suddenly no longer centrally located between all our single friends. But my activities when my husband is away incline me to think that I would actually be happy with a lot less social time. I enjoy it, but I never do my mending and there is no real quiet in my life. More could even be nice. I guess we'll see. Maybe it won't become our house at all.
Anyway, I've been tinkering a bit with house pictures. Here is the living room:
I am absolutely convinced that that fireplace brick is not original. The colors are even more varied up-close than they appear in this shot. It looks more 1950s to me, fifty years older than the house. The contrast sort of bothers my eyes. Plus, though I love exposed brick, if it's not original, then I don't have to preserve it...the right thing to do might be to paint it white. Right??? It would go with my idea of a color scheme for the living room - I'm planning to copycat the paint colors in this nice design photo here.
Since the front door is in the middle of one wall, there are two window areas (one on either side of the door) that are set back. I figured the one that's at the bottom of the stairs, below, would be perfect for a nice window seat.
This sort of general window-seat-y idea, maybe, though of course smaller and in a much less fancy room - and with no bay window (maybe I'm overshooting a little):
There's an identical recessed window area on the other side of the front door:
Since there are no stairs to work around there, I thought it would be a nice space for (OK, so this is sort of obvious) a PIANO. I particularly like the Chickering square grand - there's one selling in my area for a mere $1800 (which actually isn't a bad price for a piano, especially an antique. Do you think my husband would notice if this were occupying the entire living room when he got home? And missing from our savings?).
Next up: the dining room.