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  • Writer's pictureStephanie

Vanilla House

We found a house.

We made an offer.

They said no.

We haggled, they haggled back.

We agreed.

Now we wait on the bank and all the paperwork.

It is twice the size of our old house, almost exactly.  And half as old.  The walls are straight.  The basement is dry.  There is already a wheelchair ramp, and an accessible shower, and no rugs to slow down the child with wheels.  A stream full of frogs to be caught borders one side; big grassy fields invite soccer and breathless games of tag on the others.

We are hopeful; even a little bit excited now.



Funny, it wasn’t my first choice.  In fact, when we looked at it with the realtor, I dismissed it quickly.  It was missing vital points of my “must-have” list.  It has no mudroom or entry area where stacks of boots and winter coats can live.  It has no laundry room where piles of clean and dirty can meet and greet.  It has no pantry area for the kitchen where I will spend most of the next decade or two.  It has no garage or barn.  It isn’t closer to where my husband works.  It has none of the character or intrigue of an old house, no nooks or crannies or little rooms to hide in with a book.  I call it the vanilla house.

It needs sprinkles.

I am not used to starting with a clean slate.  What a wonderful chance.  What a terrifying chance.  How exactly do I do this?!?

Interior decorator I am not.  Nor am I particularly organized to live without a pantry or bookshelves or a place to hang coats.  That gift skipped my generation, or at least my time and money constraints…   I am not sure how to make this clean palette of a house into a beautiful, inviting home.  I thought maybe a house that came with some flourishes of someone else’s life would help.  But instead I’ll have to start scouring Pinterest for how to build a pantry out of pallets and coconut oil.  Isn’t that what kids are into these days?


All the furniture that seemed too snug in our old house will seem lonely in this new space.  I don’t own a single bookshelf now.  Or curtains.  Or a lawnmower.  Or a big garbage can.

I hope the neighbors are nice – even when they discover they’re living next to six young brothers.

I hope I can make the vanilla house into a vibrant, tasteful home.

I hope you can come visit.



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