As we work our way through the tenth month in our new home, I still struggle with the fact that this house has yet to be named. Perhaps I am wishing for a lake house, or maybe I am a reincarnation of some great lady of the British Empire who lived in a house that was more like a castle, complete with schmancy name (or of the maid who laundered her very expensive linens) but I feel like this house should also have a name.
A name came easily to the dollhouse. It was small, adorable, and partially hidden behind two large spruce trees. If it hadn’t been covered in siding, a person might have found gingerbread walls and with gumdrop gables. When it was my house alone, without the Electrician to share my space full-time, I painted my bedroom hot pink. In short, it was a lovely little home, and it was perfect for me as sole owner.
But 850 square feet is a small house, however you slice it.
When we got married, and my husband moved in with all his stuff, the dollhouse got suddenly much, much smaller. In part because a big dude arrives with his big dude clothes in addition to the huge television and electronic goodies most men acquire in their single days, and in part because two people take up a mathematically improbable greater amount of space than either of them alone, we were seriously cramped.
We did what we could to make the space work for us. I sent heaps of stuff to Goodwill. Our basement suite was no longer for rent but became part of our living space. Access to two bathrooms is key to long-term martial bliss, after all. No matter what we tried, our dollhouse was just too small.
Picture this: whenever we hosted a big family or holiday meal, there was not enough room for everyone to sit down together at one table in our eat-in kitchen. We found something of a solution quickly, but the only way to have people eating in one room was to take apart our dining table and reassemble it in the living room, where the sectional had been pulled apart and spread out to create a little larger space. In case of fire, the front door was completely blocked by furniture, so we had the extinguisher at the ready to ensure we could all escape out the back.
Still, I was sad about listing the dollhouse. We had so many happy memories there, and we finally had it painted and decorated just the way we wanted it. Add to the list our completely renovated (but teeny) main bathroom, with my delicious soaker tub, and I was leery indeed to look for something I could be happy with.
As is my habit, I made up my mind quickly and then went full-steam ahead on the hunt for a new house. I will tell that story in an upcoming post, but we quickly found our new home. We visited three times, once with my awesome in-laws for a fourth opinion, and then made our offer. Before you could say, “beautifully landscaped backyard,” the house was ours and our possession date decided.
Selling the dollhouse should be been simple and swift, since it was a cute as heck house in a very, very desirable area. That’s not at all how it went, but I’ll share that later. It was ugly and expensive. Ugh.
A point of clarification: our new house is only new to us. I have no interest in living in the ‘burbs, or in a new neighbourhood where the trees haven’t grown past my belly button and no one has built a fence yet. This place was built in 1975, and we love it. The fact that it is a quarter century newer than the dollhouse makes it a new-ish house, anyway. Plus, if it hasn’t flooded, fallen over, or gone up in flames by this point (knock wood) I think odds of it remaining standing are in our favour.
Our current and forever house is just over twice the size of the dollhouse, and we have done some substantial renovations since moving in. I have a completely new kitchen, which, as a cook and a baker, gives me more joy than I can explain in text. We have space, storage galore, and a beautiful yard. There is a garden shed and The Electrician has moved his tools into his double garage with finished walls, with two workbenches, and very high ceilings. The garage came like that, and I have a feeling it tipped the odds in my favour when we were deciding whether to buy this place.
And so, here is the dilemma: I really love having a house with a name. It doesn’t need to be cutesy, although bonus points are certainly awarded for charm, but I feel like our home should have some sort of name. I am stumped. The closest I’ve gotten so far is Blue Door Bungalow, since the first thing I painted over upon our move was the brown front door, but I’m not sure that name is the winner. We want to avoid anything ostentatious, too. It’s a tall order from this short woman.
I’m reaching out for your help, friends. If you have an idea, please let me know.
I hope this long weekend has brought you wonderful memories with the people you love. To our Northern neighbours displaced by the horrid wildfires in Fort McMurray, we are glad you were safely evacuated and keep you in our thoughts.