Monday, January 10, 2022

First Winter in Our New Home: Bare Necessities

Hello, and welcome to Panoply! Today I'm inviting you for a partial tour of our new home. With all the Christmas decor put away, it feels like there's a lot of white space (literally, there is!) in our home. As we transition to what are normally viewed as the cozy winter months at home, you may get the impression I'm living with bare necessities. I beg to differ, so please allow me to explain.
Winter 2022 Reading Nook, Spare Room
Before we go any further, I'd to thank Cecilia of My Thrift Store Addiction for this invitation to share Winter Transitions at Home. If you've come here from Cecilia's blog post today, I'm sure her latest mantel styling gives you a great sense of refreshed winter cozy. Be sure to see the list of others participating in this hop at the end of this post. And regardless of any bare, white space you may see in my photos today, I hope you'll take away just this one tip: there's no hurry whatsoever to make your home your own version of cozy! 
New home exterior, just after landscape makeover
Having just moved into our new [old] home in late October 2021, I really didn't have the chance to get unpacked, let alone settled, before it was time to deck the halls for Christmas. Now it's time to focus on the interior. Originally built in 1938, this house underwent some rather significant renovations in 2015 before we bought it (mostly on the first floor). I put my stamp on the landscape with some pretty significant changes of my own as soon as we moved in in late fall. You can see those outdoor changes in this post, here

The layout of this home and small landscape makes for a wonderful new canvas for me to "play house" again. 
Winter 2022 Guest Room (bed was negotiated in the sale). 
Winter 2022 Bench in Guest Room
We had downsized in 2019 from a big house and garden to a city loft with about half the square footage of our former house. With the current move from condo back to a house, there is more space than furnishings (I had purged so much just three years before!). This house is sized somewhere in between the two former homes. Like Goldilocks, I think it's just right.🤞 

While bookcases may be filled, most of my curio cabinets and walls are not. Pictures are hung only where the prior owner had left nails and screws in [mostly] the old plaster walls, and where furniture is placed to my satisfaction so far. I have plenty more to hang, I'm just indecisive!
Stairway to Upper Level
Cubby at foot of stairway, outside of powder room
This little cubby at the foot of the staircase to the upper level - just outside of the powder room on the first floor - lends itself to cozy. My flock of sheep found a nice place to graze on this cabinet, just beneath an antique print more than 100 years old, of sheep roaming in fields. It could be their ancestors, keeping a watchful eye over this century. 😊
Detail on Cubby Cabinet
I've tried to make at least one cozy landing pad in each cubby, room, or landing, literally.
Winter 2022 Upstairs Landing
I claimed the one new area upstairs - the bonus room - as my personal space. I set it up so I could work and be comfortable right away (photo below is taken from my computer desk). It's a multi-purpose space, also conducive to play - whether that's reading, watching tv, rocking my almost five-month old granddaughter, or fiddling with dish stacks (which are stored along the right wall cubbies the length of the room). A pair of Parsons chairs float throughout the house where extra seating is needed but are currently in this room. I have slipcovers for different seasons. Again, there is much wall space unadorned. 
Winter 2022 Bonus Room (My Space)
It's time to focus on walls when your minimalist husband suggests hanging pictures "or something" on a bare wall. Take the family room (below) as another example. Our Christmas tree was situated against the bare wall where an ottoman is right now (where we put on and take off our shoes. Just to the right of the ottoman is a door leading to our garage). Yes, the walls are bare, but the bookcases are filled. My focus was on comfort and cozy first, and the chairs and sofa are super comfy and cozy. 
Winter 2022 Family Room
With the 2015 renovation, the entire first floor had a three-zone hydronic (water) heated system installed for the floors. With a low 8°F temp this past weekend, our first floor didn't even need the gas heat system turned on because of the heated floors. Talk about cozy! The heated floors feel so good underfoot. I've used area rugs sparingly in this house as a compromise with Mr. P., who wanted no rugs at all. Now that really would be bare. 

The photo below was taken in the family room, and shows the dining room in the background. The Christmas tree reflected in that mirror in the dining room. The angle from which I took the photo now shows part of the floor lamp and bookcase in the family room reflected. 
Winter 2022 Kitchen, Casual Dining Area
Notice also the white space in the kitchen, immediately behind the seating area in the family room. I have three prints on the counter, trying to decide where I'll hang them (under cabinets or over the window?). The table in front of the counter is a gateleg style, with a leaf on each side that opens to extend dining space. We use this for casual dining.
Casual dining table, extended
The photo above shows one side of the table extended. The table can easily be turned horizontally to accommodate dining for four to six, and still have room to move around. Two additional chairs are out of the way, upstairs, for when needed.

Our dining room is furnished with most everything we already had in prior homes. It's being used for both dining and sitting. There is a functional gas log fireplace in this space, and it really ups the cozy factor.
Winter 2022 Dining, Sitting Room
Winter 2022 fireplace in dining room
Winter 2022 dining room details
A pair of Ethan Allen lamps and the magnolia oil painting were purchased in late summer and early fall with this house in mind. Again, wood floors are mostly bare, primarily to eliminate trip hazards. Pillow covers coordinate with those in the adjacent family room. The larger of the two lumbar pillows sports a 'spotted' cover, cleverly comprised of a fabric with all the US states' shapes. A few collectibles are displayed sparingly on surfaces.
As I said at the beginning of this post, if there's just one impression or takeaway I hope you realize today, it's that you needn't hurry to make your home your own version of cozy. Your home is not defined by others, it's yours to define. You decide when to decorate, when to organize, when to purge, or when to pile things on. 

In the past few years with three homes, I've learned a few key things: 
  • Having a lot of stuff was overwhelming when it came time to purge for a downsize; 
  • I still had a lot of stuff even when we downsized to less than half of our square footage and needed a storage unit. I wrote an entire post on this and my purge, and you can read it here
  • Being in a situation where the entire house is not filled with furniture is refreshing; 
  • Once you decide you need a few key furniture and/or decor items, estate sales are an excellent source, especially in times of a pandemic. Lead times for buying such things new are ridiculous, due to ongoing supply chain interruptions; 
  • Cozy comes quickly with pillows, throws and functional furniture. 
I think Mr. P. is finally having an influence on me. Having less stuff - bare necessities if you want to call it - can be okay (he's always been this way). I know one thing - it makes cleaning a lot easier. I don't know about you, but that gives me a sense of relief, and that's enough to feel all warm and cozy in and of itself!  However, don't mess with me and my love of dishes. 😜
Thanks for joining me today for my home tour in this Winter Transitions blog hop. Just below are the links of those participating today. Enjoy your next visit on the hop with Coco at the Crowned Goat

Panoply (you are here!)

I hope you'll leave a comment to let me know you visited here today. I'd love for you to become a friend of Panoply and subscribe to my blog for updates as I share my new home and garden in coming posts!





50 comments:

  1. WOW--what a beautiful home, Rita! I love the spacious look and you've done a great job of creating cozy nooks and sitting areas. I adore your sheep collection and your kitchen is absolutely lovely! Thanks so much for joining us today--pinning!

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  2. What a charming home! That stone and those windows are just my style, there's nothing like an old house, that's for sure. I love all your cozy touches, especially those sheep! That photo just made my day! How darling.

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  3. It's beautiful, Rita! I can't imagine moving not long before Christmas, doing all you did outside, and still settling so much. And I have found that no matter how long we live in a spot, are we really settled in terms of decor? We move things around, rotate art, find new treasures. In all honesty, it can take a lifetime! Or not -- one day it just hits! I like how you've combined cozy with open. It works so well and your tips are wonderful. (And yes, I'm a sucker for the sheep, but you would know that!)

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  4. Rita, I adore your new home! First, the facade, love the stone and the "cozy" you know is behind. You've done a phenomenal job inside turning this house into your cozy home. I love the first photo, I could sit in the spare room and read for hours, so warm and inviting. I love you have so much storage space as well, for all those dishes I know you have. I think the floors are beautiful and I love shutters. I agree with taking the time you need to decorate a space, what's the hurry. Thanks for the tour, I knewit would be worth the wait. Congratulations on your new home..........

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  5. I was so happy to get a tour of your new wonderful home!! It’s so nice that you have your own personal space upstairs. I love the slanted ceiling in your guest room! The gate leg table is so pretty and makes dining so convenient for you and your hubby. Thank you for letting bus see the coziness that you’ve created so far. Happy 2022 in your new home!

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  6. I think that the lockdown had a lot to do with purging stuff for me. Your new place is sleek and modern, nice tour. We have a slanted ceiling in our master as well, but I think our roof is more pitched as it doesn't look as close as yours.

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  7. Hi Rita,
    You know I love your sweet little Lambs. Wow you have done so much in a short time. It all looks so cozy and beautiful. Have a great week. xoxo

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  8. Rita, you have a beautiful home. I love how clean and fresh it looks. Have a great day.

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  9. It's gorgeous! Plus, I totally agree with you that it takes time. If you did it in a month then your home would look like a Hobby Lobby JoAnne fabrics catalog. Good for you for sticking to the timeless style that looks like memories and warmth all rolled up in one cozy place.

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  10. Rita, I know it feels slow coming together, but you've actually accomplished a lot in such a short time! Your new home looks very welcoming and definitely cozy. (Over the weekend, we finally hung pictures in our bedroom--the first room to be virtually "finished" after three years of renovating. It felt really good!)

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  11. Rita,

    I sat down this morning with my "coffee in hand" to catch up with the progression of your move. Since you and I seem to have parallel lives, I was so very curious, and maybe a bit nosey (lol) to see how you were progressing.
    There are so many things that I LOVE already! Your touches and furnishings have provided such a warm and inviting home as usual.
    As we have paralelled in life with our relocations, and our love of creating warm and inviting spaces and of course gardening, it makes me happy to see that you are in a great place!

    Congratulations and warm wishes....FULL SPEED AHEAD!
    Kathleen


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  12. Rita, we moved around the same time a few years ago. Honestly, I am still trying to figure my house out! I've had about 10 different paintings on the wall in the powder room. None of which have worked. I now just keep sparkle and touch up paint below the sink. I'm not sure why putting things on the walls has been so difficult. Almost as difficult as purging was! However, I look at your new home and I think it looks very warm and inviting! And while I am still wrapping my mind around the whole less is best motto, I'm still on the struggle bus. I can't wait to see all of the new and wonderful things you do in your new home in the future!

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  13. Thanks so much for the home tour Rita! Your new home is beautiful, and I can't believe you are as settled as you are after such a whirlwind move in the Fall, followed by the holidays! I am a firm believer in taking your time and living in your space for a while before making decorating decisions. The bonus room for your personal space sounds perfect for alone time. Enjoy your decorating and arranging!
    Jenna

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  14. Rita, Your home is beautiful and cozy! I love the dress form cozy nook and the sheep are adorable! Your home is cozy and inviting. I agree completely about taking your time when decorating. When we moved many years ago, my husband suggested temporarily placing art on metal easels to see where we really wanted it since we also had to absorb more furniture in the near future due to inheriting it from parents. I was overwhelmed by all the decision making and hesitant to hang art as it would have to be moved and leave a hole in the freshly painted wall. We did and I loved the freedom of being able to move it as we moved furniture around. I could also change it for the seasons. I also used my furniture tabletops with smaller easels and quality wooden louvers behind furniture to display art to see if that would indeed be the final place to put a nail. It was a process that worked beautifully for us. I love the various textiles you've chosen. That fox pillow is so cute! Everything looks lovely for winter. Enjoy your week! Clara❤️

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  15. Your home is so beautiful, Rita! It was really fun to get a sneak peek into all that you've been up to since you've moved in. I swear moving is no joke so to know you've done it twice in three years gives you total hero status in my book. Love all the layers of creamy whites and how you added antique and vintage pieces into the mix as well. It's all really pretty. Wishing you and your family a blessed winter season ahead, CoCo

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  16. You know I've been waiting for this, Rita. Your home is wonderful, light and bright. Of course I'm loving that antique sheep print and the little herd. Your kitchen is fab.u.lous, so bright and spacious. It must feel good to be settled into a more normal decorating routine after the holidays. Your loft furniture looks perfect in the new place. I'm with you, on this house it took me a while to commit to artwork on my fresh walls. It's so fun to finally see the interiors, just beautiful Rita!!

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  17. I've been waiting for a tour of your home Rita! It is just lovely and although you've pointed out that you're taking your time with the decorating part, I see little touches of your "style" everywhere. I especially love the bonus room you've claimed. What a perfect spot to do all the things you mentioned! I am super jealous of your heated floors too. Can't imagine how wonderful that is on a cold winter's night. Bottom line, if you stopped right now you'd be living in an incredibly beautiful home but I know you won't. Can't wait to see what you do next!

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  18. Rita, it's fun to get a tour of your new abode! I think it's wise to take one's time. What's the rush? Love your upper bonus room. It looks perfect for you and a cozy retreat. Stay warm and enjoy these winter days.

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  19. Rita! I absolutely loved this post! All the grace you extended for home making was exactly what I needed. It's so easy to get trapped in the comparison game, and it's so exhausting. Thank you for this!! PS I love your artwork, especially the piece in the guest room!!!

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    1. Yes, comparisons are for grocery shopping! That artwork you mentioned is our state capital, drawn in ink by a local artist. Thank you for your visit!

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  20. Enjoy your new home. It's fun to decorate.

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    1. It is, Rose. I'm really looking forward to these next couple of months just for that! Thank you for stopping by!

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  21. Everything is looking beautiful! I love your "fox" pillow! Thanks for sharing.. your new, beautiful home!

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  22. Your new 'old' home is beautiful, Rita. I can see you are loving "playing house" taking the time to think about where you will place everything and how you and your husband will live in the new spaces. I did smile when you said "don't mess with my dishes"! Now, I can well imagine there is no adopting a minimalist ethos when it comes to all your dishes etc. If you do decide to throw a few out, you can send them on down here. =)

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  23. I love the little nooks you have in your home and how you've styles them to have a real purpose...like a little reading area, or just putting a small piece of furniture in the space. Very unexpected, and appreciated. Love it all! Thank you for sharing your home with us!

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  24. New homeowners always find HUGE bare spots in their homes after all the color and lights of the holiday seasons are removed. Especially in the Christmas tree hole...according to my husband, you simply leave it up until February...LOL. Anyway, making a house a home takes time...and yours is lovely and will find it's everyday face in time. Plants and lights are the cheapest solution for filling a space temporarily until the right 'piece' to the puzzle is found. Hugs, Sandi

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  25. It was so fun to see your new home Rita.I love how you've styled all your cute little nooks. You've accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. You inspire me!

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  26. Your home looks lovely! Its amazing how quickly we can collect STUFF! I just did a lot of purging from 2 linen closets and I love to open the doors now and see how neat and empty they are! I love your little sitting area at the top of the stairs! Have fun decorating, its a never ending process!

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  27. What a gorgeous, beautiful home you've created.....I love the shuttered/blinds windows even though I'm a 'lacy' person. I'm envious of all the nooks and crannies you have...they are all so inviting....you've brought out the character of the house and made it your own. Thank you for sharing, as always, you are such an inspiration to me. (I must say I was about to leave for an errand when I saw your email....so I peeked and had to pull myself away and leave, couldn't wait to get back to it!)

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  28. Rita, your new home is lovely and all the nooks and crannies are delightful. Enjoy your "bare bones necessities" - its a wonderful place to be compared to where I am on the opposite end of the spectrum madly trying to cull things. Too much stuff is no fun lol! Happy New Year to you!

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  29. Such a beautiful home! Everything looks so pretty!

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  30. A new home is a work in progress -- but then, aren't they all?! It's quite different from the condo, but your vintage/antiques seem right at home. I'm sure you'll make it wonderful.

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  31. Rita, what a nice way to start my day having a tour of your new wonderful home!! It’s so nice that you have your own personal space, and you will really enjoy your bare bones necessities I think. Thank you for letting us see the coziness that you’ve created. You have so much to look forward to in your new home!

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  32. Rita, your new home is lovely. Having your own space is so nice. You are so organized and it makes perfect sense to have a room to yourself. Such a big difference in the landscaping your did. Love your little flock of sheep. Thanks for giving us a peek into your lovely new home.

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  33. It looks like you've accomplished quite a lot, and everything looks lovely. I, too, find I can't make decisions, such as where to hang this or that, so I take my time (way too much time for my liking!). My house is crammed with stuff - it will be a nightmare to clean out one day. I'm all for purging but my husband is the one who can't let go of stuff.

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  34. I so much enjoyed seeing your new house.

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  35. Oh, Rita. I have been waiting for this. Your home is gorgeous and I knew it would be. I do love all the little treasures one finds in older homes. Yours looks as though it has many of them. In our hallway upstairs we have a curved wall - amazing craftmanship.
    I love your painting of the flock of sheep - we had sheep in VA. They are dear creatures.
    Have a great week and keep the pictures coming.

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  36. Thank you for sharing a peek into your new home. Love the landscape and that you are putting your stamp everywhere. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have an attic space all to myself. It's very charming and I would love sitting in that little niche reading my day away. It's all so cute! Enjoy.

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  37. Rita, I enjoyed the tour of your beautiful home. I like that you have so much "negative space" because I think it's very calming. You have plenty of lovely, cozy areas, and my favorite one is the little nook on your landing. I could curl up with a book and warm drink and read all winter!

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  38. Rita, I've really been looking forward to this post! Your new home has some wonderful nooks that you only seem to find in older homes. I've enjoyed the tour, how you are decorating at a slower pace, and your insights after the three moves.

    Having too much stuff can feel overwhelming. I purged a ton of things last summer, and looking back, I've only missed a few items that were sent to the Goodwill store.
    Rachelle

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  39. What a beautiful home. I enjoyed journeying through your home. Blessings.
    Visiting today from Imparting grace #4&5

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  40. Wow I enjoyed this tour and your home is beautiful! I had no idea that it was built in 1938, it’s a stately and elegant home with a lot of charm! All of your decorating looks wonderful. I would be curious to see pictures of the home prior to the renovation. I wonder if the sellers have any?

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  41. I am loving the 'less is more' look to your home, Rita! As you said, it's much easier to keep clean and everyone has their own version of cozy. It's nice that you and Mr. P. are finding equal ground when it comes to the style of your home. Meeting somewhere in the middle may just be the perfect combination for you. Winter blessings, Suzanne.

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  42. Rita,
    Lovely Home Tour. Such great nooks for displaying your treasures. I am sure it feels so good to be settled in!
    Jemma

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  43. What a gorgeous home! Take your time to get things exactly how you will fully enjoy them.

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  44. Back again to let you know that I am happy to feature you at this week's All About Home Link Party: https://followtheyellowbrickhome.com/all-about-home-link-party-127

    Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. I have a ton of good "fodder" for your booth! Let me know via email if are looking for a late winter-spring re-stock!

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  45. SO happy for you in your new home! I agree, taking your time to decorate is quite refreshing and more fun. I am guilty of having way too much stuff! Not looking forward to downsizing lol. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

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  46. Oooh Rita, heated floors! How wonderful, especially in the mornings. I love seeing your home come together. You’re so smart to be patient and take your time with your furnishings and artwork. Your bonus room is such a nice place to work/read/rock, etc and storage for dishes too…be still my heart! Your guest room with the angles and ceiling space definitely reads cozy. I adore your little flock of sheep too. :)

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  47. Rita,
    What a lovely home. Congratulations, you are being featured on Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you stop by. https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2022/01/thursday-favorite-things-party_0254967407.html
    Hugs,
    Bev

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  48. Heated floors must be really wonderful, Rita... I'm so glad you really love your new home! The sitting room upstairs is really nice, too. I do know what you mean about hanging paintings/photos/prints. In this house, it took over a year for me to hang anything in our hallway (except the two mirrors). Anyway, I am happy to feature your post this evening for you at Share Your Style #333 for you. <3

    Hope you are staying warm this winter,
    Barb :)

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