We’re having the most sublime weather in Northwest Connecticut right now – it’s been topping out at 70 degrees. I came up from the City yesterday to meet with our realtor so he could shoot a listing video. As I pulled in the driveway, I got a text that the videographer had to cancel. (I had just woken up at 5am and driven 90 miles in NYC rush hour traffic to meet him – LIFE!) I decided to make the most of my trip up to the country – and I am doing those little chores that never seem to get accomplished. You know, like washing the slipcovers on the sofa and re-potting some of the garden containers that look a bit shabby.Ah, to be home. The only thing missing here is the Mr! It is quite silly, really. The best this place ever felt was when he was able to work from home on Wednesdays. He spent Monday and Thursday night in the City which wasn’t fun, but it was completely manageable. Now however, he only gets to enjoy being home Friday night through Sunday morning. WAH! It makes no sense. There is always stuff to take care of at our home in the country (I swear I nature tries to absorb it in one way or another every single day!) so it’s inevitable that I find myself away from him a lot. The City apartment is about as good as could be, but it isn’t our home. (I’ll go more into that later.) I picked up these glorious Gladiolus last week – they would have sat all week with no one to enjoy them, had I not come up! Besides schlepping groceries back and forth, I have not become accustomed to packing them up and bringing them to the City to enjoy. There is too much packing and unpacking going on in our lives to also bring the flower arrangements along. It’s all so wasteful – this living in two places thing. This antique guest house (above) is in the next town over from us in Northwest Connecticut. Unlike the opulent main house, the guest house is sparsely decorated. It ascribes to the William Morris quote “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Everything has it’s purpose - in my opinion, sometimes it’s purpose is just to be admired for the beauty you see in it! This house may not be yours (or my) style, but I think it is perfect in it’s simplicity.As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been virtual real estate shopping a lot lately. My desire to live in one place is overwhelming. The houses that catch my eye have lots of history to them. I’ve been eyeing a few (big and not so big) old houses. As a matter of fact, when we were considering our escape from the Big Apple this past Winter we had our eyes on historically significant old homes in both Knoxville and in Detroit. (Be sure to check out this incredible Tudor Mansion!)With the Mister’s new job we’ve made the commitment to staying in the NYC area for the time being. Decisions are currently being made for the future of The Country House (read: it’s going on the market) and our living situation in general. We need to live in one place close enough to NYC so that the Mr can come home and enjoy living in a comfortable space with his family every night! We need to stop living out of weekend bags, have all our clothing in one closet, and stop spending hours upon hours transitioning between the living situations each week.I’ve hinted before here that the #ABCDJewelBox has turned out to be a real dud. The building is of terrible quality construction. There is no amount of sound insulation that we could install to make it ok, and nothing will stop the smoke that seeps into our kitchen and bath from our neighbor below us. We had finally decided to do the cheapest renovation possible (and place it on the market immediately upon completion) when the door man said to me “I am surprised you bought this place. Your neighbor had a deal on it last Summer, and then suddenly you bought it.” Me: WHAT?!Long story short: we’re in the process of selling it to the next door neighbor - without having done any renovations. Oh, and in true New York fashion, the buyer sits on the Co-Op board and they STILL have to apply to make another purchase within the building! It’s a good thing because I couldn’t do a low quality renovation and sell the apartment to anyone in good conscious. At least our neighbor knows how crappy the building is already. And while the Brooklyn Heights apartment is completely dreamy – living two places isn’t something that I do well. All it does is make me feel disorganized and feel like I’m not good at homemaking.New York City is out of the question because I’d be a slave to walking the Poodle day in and day out at all hours – he has serious FOMO about being inside the apartment while in the city. He is so insistent about going out to meet people that I spend the entire day catering to his need to be out in the streets on a leash and walking. Perhaps he’d get used to City life if I did it more? Hey, I’d be delighted to live in a Brooklyn townhouse with a yard but that is completely untouchable at this point because homes are selling in fringe neighborhoods for all cash, $600,000 above asking price! $600k? You could practically have a Mediterranean mansion on the Tennessee river for that much!As I said before, ideally we’ll find a place just outside the city that the Mr can return home to each night. For me, it would be a home with some history to it and that has a little bit of a country feel. I imagine it has wide, old floor boards and imperfections that show some of the age. Do you know the site called Circa Old Houses? It’s full of houses that have their own names, Mansard roofs, Palladian windows, and pillars. I’m pretty much obsessed.I want to live in a house floors where you can walk in with your shoes on (on occasion!) and beams in the ceiling that are real (not just there for looks) with mature old growth trees on the property, and big old fireplaces. I also don’t want anything to feel so precious that it can not be used. I’m having a lot of fun imagining myself different places and thinking a lot about what I might do in each one to make it feel more like our home. All that being said, we just finished having the house painted last week. We also had the gardener here to trim the hedges, thin out the wilted flowers in the perennial garden and put new mulch down in all the landscaping beds. It looks so good that it is making me fall in love with our house all over again. It doesn’t help that the market had the most perfect colors of Gladiolus to coordinate with our interior color scheme. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little conflicted, but deep down I know moving on is the right thing to do.
Posted by Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo / Floral Arrangements and Uncategorized