If you've been here before, you might be familiar with the thoughts and process that led us to pickup from our rural California redwood town of Guerneville and move sight-unseen to Nashville, but if you're new and want a window into that wild ride, you can read that here.
Well, almost two years after our arrival in Nashville and the arrival of our son - and after more twists and turns than Lombard Street - we are again homeowners!
Our new house is in the music and artist haven of East Nashville - a collection of neighborhoods just northeast of the downtown and across the Cumberland River. It's an already-thriving area overflowing with creativity and with a deep sense of identity and community, even as it sits at the precipice of big changes and big development. We're a stone's throw from a stretch of riverbank that's rapidly transitioning from industrial to big tech company campuses, a river walk, high-end businesses, and luxury residences.
Here it is!
Nashville is having a moment and people are moving in from everywhere, but especially from expensive areas like California, New York, and Chicago. As things are these days, it was competitive, but we got ourselves a 3 bed/2 bath 1900 square foot house with all the closets and a backyard made for families and entertaining. We're only nine minutes from all the arts and culture that downtown has to offer and you can hear the music being rehearsed and made in homes around us every day.
A wonderful thing that I appreciate several times a day is that I don't need to do any work on this house. I didn't think we would find this in our price range. It's a normal house with upgraded finishes and mouldings. Everything works (at least right now!) and there are no immediate projects required to make it livable. I say "normal house" because our last house was built to be a vacation cabin and had undergone decades of slapdash and strange hippie/hillfolk work and my first house was a falling down shack when I bought it that was so termite-eaten that the only thing holding it up was the stucco exterior. This house is a dream!
But... I am me. There are things I want to do. Here's a peek at an idea I threw together in Photoshop.
Nashville has a nice representation of a variety of architectural styles, and the Tudors really shine among them. Since our house was built at the tail end of the peak American Tudor revival period and was flipped in 2016, we'd like to put some historic character back in. It was likely always a minimal traditional style home, so it likely never had a lot of detail.
I have a love and appreciation for many architectural styles and I'm fascinated by the stories they tell. Much more than sticking to one favorite style, I like to live in a home for a bit and get a sense of what might be the best expression of that particular home. This house in this city just feels like it wants to be a Tudor to me.
You might notice that in my inspiration image, I turned the garage back into a garage and went up and over. This would require new trusses and a new roof to get the height we'd need, but I think we can get another couple of bedrooms and bathrooms up there, bringing it up to a 5 bed/4bath.
Also, the house as is has no front - not even an awning. We are in the South now and we want our porch and porch swing (and a dry place for packages!).
I am no stranger to big home projects. I renovated our entire Guerneville, CA house myself while pregnant. I don't do electrical, plumbing, or drywall, but I do the rest.
Here's the before:
And here's the after:
Prior to this house, I bought my first house in Los Angeles in 2009 for $186,500. What a wildly insane and destructive time the housing bubble burst was for so many, but for me it was a sudden way into something that up to that point had been completely out of reach.
I started a blog for that reno, The Little Orchard House, at generally the same time many still-popular home blogs got going - like Chris Loves Julia, Young House Love, and A Beautiful Mess. I was just starting to experience success with that blog when I chose to walk away from my first marriage, and thus, the house.
After an eleven-ish year hiatus, I'm glad to be blogging again in this new season of life and after life has taken me in impossible-to-anticipate directions. I'm happy to have you here and to share the season with you as we move through life here in Nashville with our two young kids and two old dogs.