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Sunday, March 11, 2012

a favorite view...

In the eight months after we moved from Dallas to New Hampshire, the months when we were trying to talk ourselves out of buying this house, I would come over to the unoccupied house often to see it, feel it, touch its energy- to see if this was to be our home.  I would stand on the front porch for hours looking inside, imagining what life would be like to live here.

This is what the view always looked like through the front window...

But, this was what I saw in my mind's eye. 

Always this.

(click for the story of how we got here)


  1. Looks a hundred times better with the walls back in place and no wood stove...great job Joan!

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  2. What a treat to have your mind's eye come to reality! It is beautiful, you are such an inspiration. I have stood on the porch like you many times and know how it feels to be on the outside looking in. Can't wait to see how it comes to life. Enjoying the journey!

  3. Joan,
    You have an incredible mind's eye!
    What a gift you share with all of us.
    Thank you!
    Karla in CA.

  4. it is wonderful when a plan comes together and I know from that first
    vision you planned each and every detail and "god is in the details"
    well done!

  5. Absolutely beautiful. I think you should be called the "house whisperer"...you've truly made this house what is was always meant to be.

  6. ...isn't it amazing how love can allow us to see people...and pets...and houses with new eyes...so glad you have shared the view...of all those things...with the rest of us...blessings laney

  7. I love your story. I never get tired of reading it.

  8. I'm so happy that your dream came true!


  9. Such a great post! We all think those things but don't realize how great it wold be to share. You do have a way with words and pictures!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. joan, i love this story. do you know that i knew i was going to live in my house before i saw the inside? when the realtor slipped the key into the keyhole is when it occured to me that there was an inside to consider. omg, what an inside it was.

    did you get my email?


  11. Love your story Joan, love your home !!!

    So glad I came acrosss your blog, have a great Sunday....

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

  12. If the beauty of your restoration wasn't inspiring enough, the romanticism in how you found this gorgeous home just sent me over the moon!

  13. I'm so happy for all of you that your dream came true. You have done an amazing job...a true labor of love.

    Isn't it so comforting to sit next to that fireplace and remember those first dreams ~

  14. I am so glad you saw the "image. " If not, we would not have had the chance to fall in love with your home and your blog. :) Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Barb

  15. I so admire your path and your decisions, decisions, decisions! For eons, I absorbed every Colonial Homes, early Country Living and Country Home Magazines, memorizing the interiors, the historic towns in which they were sited. One of my visual favorites was Wethersfield, Ct. On my first trip to New England, by myself, the first stop was Wethersfield. I felt as if I had return home but "...how could that be?" I mused. It was a feeling that I will never forget. Just a year ago, I had the opportunity to stay, for a week, in one of the oldest homes in...Wethersfield. It was an overwhelming experience, a time spent absorbing that house, the history of every door, window pane, piece of hardware, fireplace and floorboard.
    I can appreciate the pull that "your" house has had on you!
    We are the lucky ones to be able to share just a little bit of your journey and your beautiful home.
    Thank you!

  16. The right house has a way of speaking to you, doesn't it? I believe that a home has an energy that it gives off. When it resonates with you, you can feel it.

    I knew the moment Sally and I walked through the front door of our house. I looked to the right, then to the left - I didn't need to see the rest of the house.


  17. I've been following you for a long time and loved seeing the story unfold. I enjoyed reading the story of how this all came about. I had no idea you took so many years to come to the final decision. It seems as though your fate had been determined!
    I either missed it, didn't understand, or you didn't say what happened regarding Dan's job/career. I assume he retired?
    The pictures looking through the window showing the before and after shots are amazing! With all the love and specialized treatment you've given I have to believe you are as content as anyone can get with their home! I'm glad you've shared this!
    Now I'm anxious to see your garden beds that you planted last year! ~Liz

  18. Oh, I love that you used to peak in the window before you bought it. How sweet.

    ♥ sécia

  19. What a lovely story, Joan. This house definitely was meant to be yours. Both of you saw the potential and made it sing. Congratulations.

  20. We waited a long time to get our house and smallholding. We have been here nearly 3 years and I still wake up in the morning thinking I might be just dreaming. Thank you for letting me see your pages. Feel free to visit me in the orchard.

  21. I love this post, Joan!! How you made your vision come to life - and how warm and homey it is with you living there!

  22. Probably the fact that the house was a blank slate and in need of work appealed to you, with your plans, energy, and stock of treasures. A house that was beautiful and finished would have represented no challenge. An empty or damaged house can act as a greater spur to the imagination than one in which we must mentally remove someone else's taste in order to create our own.
    --Road to Parnassus

  23. Beautiful. Just beautiful.
    Those of us lucky enough to have fallen in love with a house and then to have bought it are so lucky.

  24. ahhhh! amazing! even with all this sunshine, i'd be happy to hang out by that fire.

    ashley over @

  25. It knew you and you knew it... a match made in heaven. :)
    Happy Sunday, Joan!
    xo Heidi

  26. I read this and its a post close to my heart. Our now home was an hour away, another bid, and so close to being out of our price range. Somehow I knew this home was to be ours. God prevailed and we have been here 7 years! I'm so happy you got your home as well!

  27. I'd say someone has a good eye for beauty.

  28. This is what we plan to do .. YOU are the inspiration, remember that !

  29. Joan, Dan, and Ella: I love the before and after pictures! As I wrote, when I first started following you, you took a house and made it a home. Cindy

  30. To know is nothing, to imagine is everything

  31. love when visions become reality
    and when dreams come true!!

    wishing you many more years of bliss in your home, sweet home.


  32. What a great post! Isn't this what we all do when we walk into a house and look for its potential?
    You captured the moment perfectly!

  33. Amazing timing on this post. Just TODAY my hubby and I found a NEW HOUSE TO BUILD!!!!! I am so excited and have VISIONS of the house floating all through my mind. We have been here in this house for 28 years and are SO ready for a change. Your photos (and vision) are beautiful. Just beautiful. XO, Pinky

  34. I must say I " stalked" my house for months. I could visit it from the park out back. It cost too much, but lucky me, no one else saw it's charm. Plus I had a great agent. And it became cost effective to not add on the old house. We love it!

  35. totally awesome post....
    your home truly is lovely...

    Linda :o)

  36. This is a wonderful post.
    What a blessing to find just the perfect house and to have the perfect vision.

    White Spray Paint

  37. much older sister SusanMarch 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Literally know you and I know this is what you did. I am so glad that you found your 'home' even though it is far away from us.

  38. You have a great eye my dear! Love this post! You turned a house into a home! Lovely!


  39. It's hard to explain to some people what it is like to have a home sing to you. Glad you know that it is truly heaven.

  40. Joan,
    As a realtor I tell clients, you will know when it is the right house....honestly I don't sell homes, the houses sell themselves to the right client. It is truly a feeling, an emotional decision for sure. I remember one client who would call when she was looking at land and say will you come watch the sunset with me, I want to see how it feels on my lot. It is such a joy to watch someone find the home that is just right for them.
    Thanks for sharing your vision.

  41. Joan,
    I loved reading your story. I somehow missed it the first time. The warm glow of your room looking in from the outside reminds me of when I used to light candles along our steps leading to our front door when we were expecting dinner guests. I loved looking into the house at dusk when the lighting was perfect and the warm glow was so welcoming.

    I so get what you mean about the energy a house has...or in some cases does not have. We are moving back to CT this summer and purchased a home several months ago. I have not seen the house, my husband has and I still feel the energy in the possibilities of this house built in 1900. Looking at your home always gives me inspiration.

  42. Simply Wonderful.
    I too have 'my minds eye' when I consider several of my projects around my home. Some of them took years to materialze, but I always 'knew' they would eventually. I'm sure your house is so happy YOU came along.

  43. Joan,
    I just re-read your account of how you came to live in NH. I love it.
    Your way with words is always so entertaining.

  44. i feel extremely luck to be on this journey with you. donna

  45. Joan, this was so inspirational, as are all your posts. I'll be moving soon, from an apartment in Maine into a small cottage in Southern California. I've seen in my mind's eye exactly how it could be ever since I first saw photos of it. I hope I can bring my vision to reality as fully - and as beautifully - as you have.

  46. In two words....."absolutely divine"!.

  47. You know I keep your story tucked in the back of my mind, always-- as I struggle through raising young children, growing my business, make our house a home-- I have an image very similar to that last one in my mind of what "someday" might look like. It's very comforting. Your home has officially achieved house-nirvana:-)

  48. I know the feeling. Every time we walked through this little house with the Realtor I could picture another great improvement. This past weekend we finished one that I have been dreaming of for a year and a half! When you have a minute please check out my most recent blog post. Michelle

  49. Lovely<3
    We used to live in New Hampshire for about 17 years, loved it. (Now in Florida and Maine.)
    Next week we are headed to Dallas for 5 days - any suggestions? Mostly work for us, but hoping to have some free time, too. Anything must see? Or must-try restaurants? What should I pack for Texas March-weather? Spring clothes? If you can help, that would be appreciated:)

  50. Love this post. I also love he story of how you got there...we did a similar thing we we pulled up stakes and built a new old house in Virginia 7 years ago. We ended up back in Texas for Dave's job though:(

    I want you to know I have just spent the last hour clicking through antique houses from that site and dreaming about one:)


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