New Project.

It’s no longer all quiet on the eastern front… we have a new project!


Mr. Heatherland and I spent most of the Fall scheming and dreaming about our pending basement renovation.  I’m obsessively pouring through Houzz for ideas.  If you aren’t using Houzz… you really need to be.  Google it.  You’ll thank me.


Basement Renovations are a little out of my comfort zone.  California homes don’t have basements, they have crawl spaces, so for the majority of my life I never had a basement to re-invent.  In my opinion basements are dark, dank, dirty, creepy, filled with spiders, and prone to flooding.  But, they are also valuable real estate that is chock full of un-tapped potential (or so I hear).


So for the last few weeks I poured over inspiration photos for our basement:

Weaver Custom Homes- Houzz

Weaver Custom Homes- Houzz

This was tough.  When we were planning the renovation of our home, I was johnny-on-the-spot with opinions and design choices because I knew what I wanted.  But this has been more of a challenge.  The first thing I learned was- everyone has basements on the east coast… and they call them cellars.


And the second thing I learned was: “Down the cellar” means “it’s down in the basement”.  Good to learn new things, right? But none of that helps me with my design.

Wentworth Inc. -Houzz

Wentworth Inc. -Houzz

Honestly, the more fabulous basements I saw on Houzz the more amped up I became to transform ours.  I think I have gotten most of the design inspiration from there.

E/L Studios -Houzz

E/L Studios -Houzz

Plus, I have about 6 months of New England winter to get through, so this will be a happy distraction for me.


The real question is:  What the heck do we want to use our basement for?  Maybe the peeps on Houzz can help me figure that out, too!

House Hunting.

We are in the throes of house hunting!


Our future-house wish-list goes a little something like this:

  • A fixer-upper
  • Garage
  • Backyard big enough for a large garden
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • Big kitchen
  • Nothing built in the 1800’s… To me it’s not charming, it’s just old.
  • Nothing that’s been flipped

We discovered its near impossible to find these features in a house for sale in Newburyport, where we are currently living. Newburyport real estate is tapped out. It’s a great neighborhood, but very densely packed, which means you need pay a premium to get some space. Plus it’s such a competitive housing market, things get scooped up the moment they appear. So we expanded the search to include the neighboring town of Amesbury.
The odds of finding a house with what we are looking for are much greater. Plus, it gets Mr. Heatherland within 2 miles of his office. Amesbury is certainly a neighborhood in transition. It’s got a great downtown that’s getting cooler by the minute, plus it also has a lot of farmland.


But this whole process has been very Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Walking through other people’s homes and trying to find one that’s just right.


When we find it, we’ll know.