The Casting Dock

Category — design dreams

the house. part one of many.

A little story about a house…

Jerry and I started the official house hunting process in February of this year. I had been looking informally online for probably about a year before that without any intention, just curiosity and an enjoyment in real estate.

But come February we both felt we should legitimately start the search. We had saved a good chunk of money for a down payment, interest rates were obviously still crazy low, and we would be having a baby come July…
so the time felt right.

I wanted something cute and old with New England character that we could fix up and really make ours.
Jerry wanted something turn-key which would require zero work…and the newer, the better for him.
So this was an interesting starting point.

To make a long story short(ish) we put in offers on three different properties and in the end came away with hands down the best home for us. It’s a 1949 cape (classic New England!) which requires a lot of work,
but also has tons of potential.

I was VERY picky (borderline snobby) about the location and style of home I wanted. Our realtor actually found this house by walking around the neighborhood we wanted and asking people if they knew anyone interested in selling. So this house was never listed on the market. The original owners passed away a few years ago and their three sons inherited the property. One son was pseudo living there but really hadn’t touched ANYTHING since the parents died…so there was lots of STUFF everywhere–girlfriend liked to collect things (wind chimes, baskets, bird memorabilia, you name it, she owned it). There were also mismatched shag rugs in every room, a fully (floor to ceiling) pink tiled bathroom, and a dishwasher from the 70s among many other relics from another era. It was definitely a little overwhelming the first time we walked through (a giant understatement for Jerome who was silent and white as a ghost) and required some vision to see the potential, but I just knew this was the place for us.

As we went throughout the house search Jerry and I both realized that given the expensive real estate market where we live, we either needed to buy a multi-family or a fixer upper single family. Although Jerry initially really did not want a fixer upper, he REALLY didn’t want a multi-family…and (surprisingly) as we looked at houses, he started swaying away from the cookie cutter turn key homes anyway. So while this is certainly more of what I had in mind, I consider it a victory for both of us.

Our house is currently a 3 bed, 1 bath with an attached 2 car garage (very rare with these old homes here) and a screened in breezeway. With two unfinished rooms–one as a loft space above the garage and another as an additional bedroom on the second floor–there is definitely room for expansion down the road.

The renovation process has certainly had its ups and downs (and has taken far longer than I anticipated), but we are making progress and are increasingly excited to see the finished product come to life.

Here are some lovely before pictures to give you a sense of what we’re working with…

The screened in porch looking out at the backyard.

The screened in porch looking out at the driveway

The living room.

The other side of the living room facing the front door.

One of the downstairs bedrooms.

The other downstairs bedroom.

Yep, our hands are full…

October 10, 2013   4 Comments

small space infatuation

Cute, cozy, and economical, I adore small spaces. Mostly I just adore space being used well–really sucking every last ounce of usefulness out of the space you’re given.

And when those small spaces involve a loft and some form of library area, I’m beyond smitten!

There’s something refreshing and invigorating in small spaces being designed and used well. My only question is, where do these places exist? To find their pictures means they are actually in existence somewhere, but where-oh-where and how do I get in on this?

In my fanciful dreams, creating such spaces is another creative outlet possibility (I have been CRAVING a creative outlet lately…but more on that later). No architectural or design experience whatsoever, but dreams, sweet dreams.

Anybody want to go in with me?

lofts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

October 31, 2012   No Comments

I guess I am a bit of a country girl…

I have a hard time categorizing my decorating “style.” Mostly because I am a tad ADHD about it. My eyes flitter about from one gorgeous room to the next and my mind goes wild with the possibilities. But there’s no common theme or unifying style to what grabs my attention. I like a lil bit o’ ev’rythang.

That being said, I think my favorite these days is the countryish look. Or really anything with an abundance of white and wood. I am SMITTEN with wood. Wood floors, wood walls, exposed wood beams, butcher block islands, wood countertops, wood furniture. Anything involving a nice slab of hard wood, and I’m captivated.

Here’s to the white and wood combos that have managed to both catch and hold my attention these days.

What’s your decorating style? Or favorite look (for those who aren’t that into the decorating themselves…)?

Images: 1-3. Country Living | 4. Lil Mrs Housewife | 5. Flickr

March 10, 2011   3 Comments

A slice of writing heaven for which my husband would go wild.

By golly, I’ve done it! It’s perfection–perfection, I say! A flawless fusing of the deepest desires of both husband and wife in one opulent (yet still somehow demure) package. In the words of one of my favorite college professors, It is indeed a glorious day.

Allow me to explain.

I came across the following images today and thought to myself, Alas, the perfect gift (someday) for Jer. Tuck this one away in your memory. See, my husband is truly a man of simple pleasures–very unassuming, easily satisfied, and often content. One such simple pleasure is the craft of creating via writing. He loves to write and loves having his own little nook of space in which to do so. Considering our entire apartment right now is just a notch larger than a nook, he doesn’t really have a designated space as his own. He just takes his laptop and a chair and uses his bedside table, simply writing by lamplight and the whir of his trusted fan. The man doesn’t even have a desk.

But then I came across these: tiny, unpretentuous, and often very secluded writing huts used by many renowned authors. Talk about a space free from the noise and distraction of daily life, a space in which one is able to focus on truly molding his craft. And I thought to myself, Jerry would go wild over one of these!

Roald Dahl’s writing hut. I am in love with the little English cottage look. That bright yellow door? A-dorable.

Mark Twains’ writing hut.

Dylan Thomas’ writing hut. Sure, the inside could use a little updating, but I adore the old white wood paneling, standard wood desk, abundance of natural light, and photos pinned to the wall for inspiration. I could do a lot with these sturdy bones. This one’s my fave. And, you can’t tell, but it is hilltop overlooking the ocean. Boom shock.

George Bernard Shaw’s writing hut. Again with the white wood paneling. Heaven.

A cute little writing hut would seriously be heavenly for Jer, but an even better option that would give back copiously to us both? Yes, yes, that’s when I found this: the perfect fusing of my tree house dream with his writing hut. Somethin’ for each of us…though we’d have to tack on a zipline, right?

Tell me that’s a trundle indoor-outdoor bed! Yup, she’s the winner. Ring her up!

images: 1. & 2. Re-nest | 3. View from the Library Window | 4. Shedworking | 5. The Way of Improvement Leads Home

March 4, 2011   1 Comment