My Soon-to-be New Home in Northampton, MA

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

Hi Everyone,

Oh my! I’m phenomenally overwhelmed by the hundreds of fabulous comments and emails I’ve received from so many of you! So, thank you, thank you!

I wasn’t going to make this post about my new home, but then I know that a lot of you are curious to see more of it. And, of course, you want to know my plans.

Me too! haha

 

But, a few things you should know about the new home.

 

It’s not apt to be mine for 3- 6 months. The sellers had their interim home fall through and need a cushion. We’re still working all of that out. And, yes, I have a lawyer to look out for my interests. I’m also lining up inspections for everything, including wood-destroying insects, lead, and radon in the unfinished basement.

If you missed the last post (click here to see it) and are scratching your head wondering what the hell is going on. Yes, I am purchasing a new home in Northampton, MA.

 

The house is currently set up to be a two-family (divided by floors) home.

 

Northampton is full of large old homes. And, many of them have been divided up to be two, three, four, or more apartments.

I plan to turn the upstairs into an Airbnb. However, as you can see, don’t pack your bags just yet. That most likely won’t happen until next spring. But, even if the closing is in November, I can still make plans for what I want to do to make that happen as soon as possible.

 

The beauty of having an Airbnb is that I:

 

  • Don’t have to rent it if I don’t want to.
  • Can get a far higher daily rate than if it is a traditional rental.
  • Can use the space when it’s empty.
  • Don’t have to worry about dealing with or evicting a bad long-term tennent.

 

Of course, I have much to learn about being an innkeeper; I’m excited about that. And, of course, turning the charming upstairs into one of the most sought out places to stay in Northampton.

 

As a matter of fact, I am spending my final three days here at a new place on Elm Street.

 

What’s funny about that is that two weeks ago, before I knew anything about this place, I took a pic of it.

 

And above, is a photo I took after Cale and I went out to dinner in town.

153 Elm St Inn living room Maple roomI have the apartment on the bottom floor, to the right of the front door, facing the building. This is the living room.

 

As you can see, the inn is an enchanting 18th-century house turned into numerous apartments.

 

The hosts are a couple who are professional innkeepers. You better believe that I’m taking notes– of everything. There IS a big difference in what they provide compared with every other Airbnb I’ve ever stayed at.

 

So, let’s get back to my new home.

 

I know that some of you found the real estate listing. However, I prefer not to link to it, because the owners might not like that.

Oh, wait!

 

northampton houseSome of you may remember that second Saturday I was here when Cale took me through a forest for a short cut, and I got a million mosquito bites. Well, that forest is very close to my new home.

 

And, it came back to me. I saw the house, just before we went into the woods and commented to Cale. But, I didn’t realize it until last Sunday.

 

The house looks HUGE here, but the entire home is less than 2900 square feet.

 

sideview new home

Let’s look at the back of the house.

small back yard patio
It needs some work. But, I’ve never had a yard at all since I was a little girl.

 

backyard - new home

That’s all it is. The owners were planning on pulling up this part of the driveway to make for more of a yard. I’m planning on that too. Only I want more of a garden.

 

Lovely garden - Northampton, MA

Here’s a lovely garden I saw on my walk a couple of nights ago.

 

And, last week, Cale and I were admiring this woman’s lovely garden and started chatting with her. Then, she went and gave us some of her lettuce. Man, was it good!

 

Okay, let’s go around to see the front of my new home.

 

New Home - Lyman Rd. Northampton, MA

 

Time to go inside.

If you’d like to see the porch, please see Sunday’s post.

 

entry staged to sell

You enter the double front door into a gracious entry. Clearly, it is staged to sell. lol

 

staircase new home

Then, there’s a beautiful curved staircase to nowhere. Well, it does go to the second floor. But, since it’s going to be an Airbnb, I won’t have direct access to it from there, unless I unlock the door. The entrance to that apartment is on the side of the house. And, yes, the rubber stair treads have to go.

Remember this post when I showed a bunch of gorgeous scenic murals? I could see that in the stairwell. I’m not sure about the entry part or not.

 

Susan Harter - wall murals

I adore Susan Harter’s murals. But, that might not be in the budget unless I can work something out. And, of course, I also love Mural Sources. I’ve so enjoyed my bedroom wallpaper.

 

fireplace - front door - new home

Looking towards the entrance from the living room.

 

large windows new home
When you walk into the living room to the left are the two large windows behind the front porch and the one on the side of the house facing the neighbor’s garden.

Opposite that wall are the two fireplaces. I am obsessed with Steve Cordony’s Rosedale Farm home. So, can you imagine how I plotzed when I saw not one, but two fireplaces in the same room!

 

double fireplace
Tomorrow, Cale and I are going to measure. I would love to put up a wall on each side of about 18″-24″ to create some separation of the two spaces, but still keep it open. I would include a soffit. To see what I’m talking about, please take a look at the Rosedale Farm post from a couple of weeks ago.

 

bay window - Northampton, MA Queen Anne style home

Opposite the second fireplace is the glorious bay window. I am envisioning this space to be the dining area and a small seating area by the fireplace, I think. But, I’ve been known to have an idea in mind, but when it goes down on paper, I realize that it won’t work.

Yes, I’m not fond of the lighting cords. I imagine that’s quite a job removing them and then patching and painting.

 

architectural details - new homePast the second fireplace, is one of the home’s charming architectural features and a tiny alcove. The door on the right is the door to the master bedroom.

And just beyond is the kitchen eating area or keeping room.

eating area - living room - new home
kitchen - 3-season porch
The interior window wall is one of my favorite parts of the house.

The porch newly enclosed porch is pretty pedestrian. I will definitely be painting it, and I would like to add some pilasters, if possible.

 

kitchen - new home - Northampton, MAThe kitchen is definitely the nicest one I’ve ever had. However, it doesn’t have the feeling I’m craving.

 

one kings lane_kim bachmann_KITCHEN Lighting - chinoiserie brass chandelierKim Bachmann kitchen

 

kitchen - new home - fridge wall

The pine paneling is a new addition and not to my liking. I wish the counters were marble.

But, these things might have to wait.

 

upstairs kitchen - blue backsplash

The upstairs kitchen is more pressing, and it looks like a cabinet is missing. Plus, the doors aren’t right. Yes, the lighting has to go. Ironically, I have that same fixture in my apartment in Bronxville!

However, I’d love to see this wallpaper maybe in the butler’s pantry.

 

Berger Raphael blue and green
Yes, I realize that it’s gotten a ton of press in the last few years. But, I love this paper. However, I feel it’s best in small doses. You can buy it here and lots of other cool fabrics and wallpapers.

 

kitchen-islands-designs-02-lgn

I’d like shelves like this, styled with beautiful white crockery.

 

upstairs kitchen

I do like the wood counters.

Beyond the kitchen is a good-size dining area/keeping room with three beautiful windows overlooking the upstairs porch. The porch needs some work. But, it’s not bad.

 

upstairs fireplaceBeyond that is the spacious living room with a fireplace. And, there’s a French door which goes to the screened-in porch.

Tucked away behind that are two bedrooms.

 

Each floor has only one bathroom.

 

Ideally, I’d love a powder room on the first floor. But, the only place I can imagine it, is in the entry where the owners currently have the stuff they are moving.

However, that project might be a plumbing nightmare and not worth it.

Well, it’s getting late.

 

Tomorrow is my last full day here in Northampton for a while.

 

I’m going back to New York on Thursday and visiting my dentist in extreme northern Westchester on the way back to Bronxville. He checked my records and said I lost a very large, old filling. I’ll most likely need a crown on that tooth.

Thank you again for all of your kind words and support! It means so much to me!

xo,

 

 

PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Karen - July 2, 2020 - 5:20 PM

    Oh Laurel! Congratulations! What a charming and beautiful home! I can’t wait to see how you transform it! Congratulations again!!!ReplyCancel

  • Gloria - June 28, 2020 - 8:58 PM

    This is going to be so amazing once you get your hands on it!ReplyCancel

  • Roberta - June 28, 2020 - 10:01 AM

    This house is SO YOU Laurel!!! Lovely and in such wonderful condition with a pantry and porches…!! Oh my!

    I say keep the charming lighting cords!! So unique and original 🙂

    Best of luck!ReplyCancel

  • Zelda - June 28, 2020 - 7:43 AM

    Congrats Laurel on your purchase! This is a wonderful and charming home. Can’t wait to follow along your design journey.ReplyCancel

  • Jen L. - June 27, 2020 - 11:33 PM

    So you did it, huh? Well, well, well…. And welcome to the neighborhood, Laurel! 😀

    Alright, you’re not exactly quite going to be our neighbor, but seeing as you’re by far my and my husband’s favorite design blogger and out of all the places from sea to shining sea, you’re moving in an hour away from us…yeah; neighbors. Are you going to buy a Subaru AWD now, lol? It’s almost a rite of passage here, you know.

    THE HOUSE IS GORGEOUS! I am so happy for you, your fireplaces, and your beautiful, rounded plaster walls! OMG you’re buying a Victorian home!!! (I’m happy for the house, too. I pray for the integrity of all old homes acquiring new people.)

    I know you don’t need our advice about making your home beautiful. As a fellow old house owner, I will just share the one big thing we wish we had done differently: we should have simply lived in the home for 6-months before deciding on big projects. We were so eager etc., but in retrospect, we would have made better and less costly decisions had we just chilled a bit, haha.

    Laurel, if you need a picky/thorough home inspector, look up Bill Vicaire over in Leominster (he has a website). He’s incredible with antique homes. And oh–if you haven’t already realized, you might freak out when you discover how inexpensive and easy it is to buy beautiful old case pieces and other antiques on FB Marketplace out here. Anyway…

    Congratulations, Laurel! What a beautiful new chapter. I’m honestly smiling with excitement for you, as if you were a friend I knew for real. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - June 27, 2020 - 10:31 PM

    Congratulations! I look forward to seeing your renovation and designs.ReplyCancel

  • Marie White Small - June 27, 2020 - 3:01 PM

    Congratulations, Laurel! What a wonderful home. Wishing you much happiness in Western Massachusetts, my childhood home. I’ve gone north to Vermont. Someday you might enjoy checking out Old Bennington, Vermont and the magnificent homes here. Anyway wishing much love and happiness. Best. Marie White SmallReplyCancel

  • Susan - June 26, 2020 - 9:35 PM

    You found the perfect home! I can tell you will enjoy making it perfect and adding even more charm. BTW – I love the garden too. What fun you will have.ReplyCancel

  • Alice Basc - June 26, 2020 - 5:39 PM

    Laurel, I am so happy for you! This is sooo exciting! My kids live in Dallas and Wyoming and we keep trying to figure out how we can spend more time there without being right on top of them. Your ideas for the second floor interest me. We have a lovely old home in Kansas City, but it is not perfectly set up for Air BB. I shall be reading your future posts sith great interest and I can’t wait to see your own creation for yourself. Love all your posts, but this will be extra exciting. It sounds idyllic for you. Love to think of you making your plans and setting up your new life. Our kids do lead us into unexpected adventures. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - June 26, 2020 - 12:38 PM

    Laurel, thank you for sharing photos of your lovely new home. I can’t wait to see how you design it!ReplyCancel

  • Joni - June 26, 2020 - 11:35 AM

    It’s an amazing place and you’re going to make it even more amazing!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sheila Taylor - June 26, 2020 - 9:14 AM

    I love your ideas. So much potential!!! I agree with your observations on the enclosed porch. And your inspiration for the main kitchen: swoon! However, consider a quartz countertop with the Carrera marble look. So much easier to maintain. For the upstairs kitchen; if you are pulling out the cabinets consider Ikea. With high turnover, you will have lots of wear and tear. You can replace the cabinet fronts easily. I would also upgrade the appliances to small, European-style that is a better scale and look for your space. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!ReplyCancel

  • Travis - June 25, 2020 - 5:02 PM

    Beautiful home Laurel, can’t wait to see what you decide to do with it especially as it sounds like you will have plenty of time to plan (obsess!) over all the small details. I wonder if you will keep the shutters?? I still love my solid panel shutters. Can’t wait to see your choices and I have a feeling that some of your best posts are yet to come (and that is saying a lot!!)! Glad to see you seem to be in a great place and staying safe too. Best wishes.ReplyCancel

  • Debra Pont - June 25, 2020 - 1:45 PM

    OH, I so enjoyed the photos and your words. I love big old homes. I grew up in a 3 floor 17 room home built in 1800’s. 7 fireplaces 1 marble bathroom, and a windows walk. Parents 5 children and a cat and dog. Memories .. You enjoy the moments. It is so lovely and now to go forward w/you and see the colors and changes, thanks so much fun. Congrats to you and Cale. Prayers for happy healthy times in your new nest!ReplyCancel

  • Rose Mary DiNapoli - June 25, 2020 - 1:40 PM

    Laurel – can’t wait to go on your new home journey with you, congratulations!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - June 25, 2020 - 12:59 PM

    Congratulations!
    Maybe you will get lucky like we did and have hardwood floors under the tile in the kitchen!ReplyCancel

  • Laurie Thomas - June 25, 2020 - 12:38 PM

    So happy for you. I hope you document everything!!! And of course share. Would love to see the process on your very own TV show. Get that going!!! BTW love NHampton.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Webb - June 25, 2020 - 11:39 AM

    Congratulations on your new home purchase! I can’t wait to see what you do to this beautiful “old girl”! I am amazed at what young people who watch too much HGTV do to beautiful old houses. Looking forward to many posts about your home! PS, I’m not the designer Beth Webb, but another Beth Webb who loves beautiful homes!ReplyCancel

  • JeanFB - June 25, 2020 - 11:28 AM

    You had me at the bannister! 🤣 What a gorgeous home! The fireplaces, the bay windows, the alcove, the curving staircase, the everything. Congrats and absolute best of luck on this wonderful new journey.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - June 25, 2020 - 11:00 AM

    Congratulations, the house has great bones and you will surely make it fantastic! I do implore you to do thorough mold testing during your inspection period. Old home + crawl space is a risk. Not as humid as here in Charleston but mold and mold illness can happen anywhere. Is that an air filter in the vacant room?ReplyCancel

  • Linda Fitzgerald - June 25, 2020 - 10:59 AM

    We will all be living vicariously thru you, watching this house unfold!! So happy for you! I read everyone of your posts🥰ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Faulkner - June 25, 2020 - 10:59 AM

    What a dream!!! Enjoy your lovely new home!! That whole area is amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - June 25, 2020 - 10:34 AM

    Gorgeous home! So graceful. I like your idea of adding some separation in the room with the two fireplaces. It looks like there was a wall there at one time. Perhaps even pocket doors.

    You’ll have such fun with this home!ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia - June 25, 2020 - 2:26 AM

    What a lovely, welcoming home! The light must be amazing.You’ll have it even more elegant before you’re done! IMO, since you’re going to divide the parlors, to get a small powder room, you could eliminate the bookcase/former door opening, build out slightly into the room(perhaps with beautiful moulding details and outswing narrow door with self closer attached)tuck a round front “tankless” wall hung, quiet, mascerating w.c. on the stair wall (with hidden, under the staircase tank & waste pump) and put a tiny custom round sink in a curved wall out into that entry hall. You could build a curved wall that embraces, but doesn’t even touch the staircase railing and then do the entire foyer in one of those mural papers, so it all looks very intentional. On the flip side, you could build out slightly into the parlor, putting a narrow custom sink in that built out area and a “hidden” curved, wallpapered access door from the foyer. I will be adding a split master on the second floor of our working class Vic. over a previously restored dining & sitting room. The only way I can do it is with this type of supply and waste system (which, by the way use smaller pipes than standard plumbing) so I’ve been studying up on the options. Along with all of your other fans, I look forward to following your genius progress as you create your new home, and promise not to weigh in again for a long time, as I am sure your solutions would exceed mine by far! Oh, for your garden area, check out wax polymer pathway mix by Kafka granite.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - June 25, 2020 - 12:01 AM

    Laurel laurel. Congrats on your new home..I love it !!!!ReplyCancel

  • Caren E Carr - June 24, 2020 - 11:25 PM

    I am sooooo excited for you!!!! Congratulations on your new adventure!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Deborah A Nathan - June 24, 2020 - 9:32 PM

    What a lovely home! I think you’ll be very happy there. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - June 24, 2020 - 8:38 PM

    I was wondering what you were going to do with two fireplaces in one room; then I checked out Steve’s Rosedale Farm. It’s gorgeous, and so effective. You are going to have so much fun designing this fabulous house. BTW, did you really say “plotzed?” I use to use that word when I was living in New York so many years ago. It was my girlfriend’s favorite word. Thanks for the memories.ReplyCancel

  • Liz - June 24, 2020 - 8:19 PM

    Thank you for mentioning those things hanging from the ceiling (lighting wires?). Never saw that before (and I am old :)) I’ll have to google! Congrats in advance. Will congratulate you again when it’s a done deal! LizReplyCancel

  • Maggie - June 24, 2020 - 7:42 PM

    How do you sleep at night?
    Are you not planning layouts and colours and garden plantings until the wee hours?
    I love the unpainted balustrading on your stairway to nowhere – I know a great article on the best paint colours to go with wood trim….
    I wish you every joy as you create a new home.ReplyCancel

  • Marsha Stopa - June 24, 2020 - 7:30 PM

    Squuuuueeeeee!!! I am as excited as I was when I bought my house, and just as tearful. I wanna crawl into the pictures and examine every nook, cranny and corner, looking for the ways they renovated the house. I can hear the creak in the old wood floors just from your photos. You’ve probably thought of this already, but in an area so rich in history there are likely several local resources to establish the history of the house. Old maps, plat maps and newspaper clippings to start. There may be a local historical section at the library. The state of Massachusetts has a historical department as well. Would be a lot of fun to track down the house and changes through its history. Might even be grant money available for some types of restoration or renovation. Can’t wait to see how you’ll bring this grand old lady back to her glory!ReplyCancel

  • Betty Ann L Benesi - June 24, 2020 - 6:54 PM

    OK so that pine paneling over the window…what’s up with that? Wow, it never ceases to amaze me the weird stuff people do to old houses. I am a stickler for understanding the appropriate architectural style and building on that for both design and any future build projects. But that’s me. You made a wonderful choice, Laurel and you are going to have fun!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - June 24, 2020 - 6:49 PM

    Laurel! How exciting! This place has a lot of beauty and a lot of potential. I can’t wait for you to get your hot little hands on it. I’m looking forward to seeing it transformed piece by piece. And the idea of having and Airbnb is a fun one, but I’d have to hire someone to clean it up each time…lol. That’s about the only thing I don’t love about your home is that it’s a lot of space to keep clean. Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Ruddick - June 24, 2020 - 6:48 PM

    Laurel–this is a very beautiful house. But more than that, it makes me so happy to hear the joy and excitement in your voice, as you embark on this new adventure. In these hugely difficult times, I find it cheering every time I see signs that we human beings are still planting and blooming! I look forward to seeing what you do with this wonderful house, in the years to come.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer in Atlanta - June 24, 2020 - 6:26 PM

    This is such a beautiful home, what a wonderful project. I recently renovated my century-old home and it is a labor of love to be sure, and so crazy expensive (tens of thousands of dollars on foundation footings!), but it was one of the best adventures of my life, and my sweet home has truly been a haven during these last awful months. I look around at all the love I put into this home, and I feel loved in return. I often tell my friends that if you opened up my heart, you’d see my daughter, my dogs, and my house. I agree with the comment about Ceasarstone – best decision I ever made (I am also not a salesperson for the product). The marble in my bathrooms looks terrible three years later; the Ceasarstone looks as beautiful as the day I installed it. The very best of luck to you, can’t wait to see your vision come to life!ReplyCancel

  • Beth - June 24, 2020 - 5:12 PM

    I am going to love watching your choices ! Congratulations! 😄ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - June 24, 2020 - 4:57 PM

    Congratulations! It is lovely!!!

    I definitely think it is in the Italianate family. Italianates don’t only have low-pitched roofs; many have front gables like this, and the cross-gable plan is a popular subtype. Everything else is classic for that style, windows, doors, mantles, high ceilings, brackets, porch, newel post and staircase. Lots of overlap with Greek Revival and one of my favorite styles. They are very balanced, stately and usually have nicely lit interiors. I think it fits you perfectly.

    I have owned a duplex near Door County, WI, with the intention of living downstairs and making the upstairs a rental or vacation rental in our retirement, for the past 15 years. Another benefit is that 1) You can write off improvements for the rental (if you limit personal use of it to less than 2 wks, including renting to family for free) 2) If you are in a historic district and it is listed as a contributing structure (which I imagine it is) you can get tax credits for improvements. Probably you can get some anyway as a house from the state, but as commercial property, you will qualify for federal as well.

    If it isn’t listed, it is worth looking into before making any improvements. You have to submit a plan and get approval through the state historic preservation office first. Since you have to wait to move in anyway, it is a good time to look into this, and restoring separating between rooms would probably be approved, especially with the right moldings.

    I did a market analysis for my rental and the misc. costs were much higher than expected, between state licensing and inspection, higher insurance costs, local and state lodging taxes and so forth. These days, they are recommending 3-4 day break between visitors for cleaning and waiting for all possible contamination to clear.

    You are lucky, the remodeling is tastefully done and limited. It isn’t period, but I hope you keep the commercial style Art Deco light in the kitchen eating area. I have always liked those and they are pretty pricey even in reproduction.ReplyCancel

  • Annie - June 24, 2020 - 4:49 PM

    Im so happy for you Laurel! I know you will put your heart and soul into this beautiful home!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - June 24, 2020 - 4:28 PM

    This is so exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do with the place. By the way, did you finish your current bedroom? I looked and couldn’t find a reveal post-just the plan and I’m in love with it, so I’ve wondered if it came to fruition. 🙂 I hope so!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - June 24, 2020 - 4:14 PM

    Congrats! It’s going to be so much fun seeing the changes that you will be making to your new house. Hope everything goes smoothly for you, fingers crossed!
    LauraReplyCancel

  • Janet - June 24, 2020 - 4:08 PM

    Laurel,
    I am SO happy (& so jealous, too) for you and your new home-to-be. For the double-size living room with TWO fireplaces, consider pocket doors (with windows?) for the divider. Also, I have a combination of butcher-block counters and tiled counters in my 1929 cottage. So pretty and so useful! Have fun with your dreams!ReplyCancel

  • Sheree L - June 24, 2020 - 3:32 PM

    I am SO HAPPY for you, Laurel! I’m praying that the closing goes off without a hitch. I’m thrilled with the prospect of your upcoming posts, so that we can go along in this journey with you. I may have to talk my hubby into a cross country trip once you get your rental up and running :)Wishing you every blessing, Laurel!ReplyCancel

  • Coco - June 24, 2020 - 2:34 PM

    Congratulations on your new home and new life. It’s a beautiful home with great bones and now it’s going to be brought back to another level of beauty.
    We recently purchased a home on the National Register located in Louisiana. We have spent 3 years bringing it back and doing it justice. Best wishes for a wonderful new beginning.ReplyCancel

  • Valerie Leeds - June 24, 2020 - 2:33 PM

    Congratulations! What an exciting new adventure! The house is just lovely, and even more importantly, near your son-a, a win-win.
    As others have said, pay for the best independent home inspector you can get. Most people are referred to them by their real estate agent, so some inspectors softball problems to keep getting those referrals. Those big interior shutters do more than give privacy; they keep out the cold, so they make me wonder about the insulation and windows.
    I’m currently working on my 5th home. I’ve found that sometimes not having the money to do everything I’ve wanted right away is a blessing. After you live with things the way they are for a while, you may discover better ideas for decorating or renovating than what you thought at first.
    You can use the time waiting for the closing to learn more about Airbnb and VRBO, etc. I hope you share that process with us, too. I am looking forward to your posts as you work your magic on your new home.ReplyCancel

  • Pamela Turner - June 24, 2020 - 1:35 PM

    It’s charm filled and going to be so lovely with your touch and vision. Sooo many good things to anticipate and a serene garden to look forward to is a nice bonus!ReplyCancel

  • Paula - June 24, 2020 - 1:28 PM

    Congratulations! The house is so charming, and that it is close to your son truly makes it perfect! I can’t wait to see it evolve as you decorate and make improvements! All best wishes for an uneventful crown and relocation process!ReplyCancel

  • Mortensen Margie - June 24, 2020 - 1:13 PM

    WOW! So much charm there. I love the old woodwork moldings, Someone skilled did that. Will love watching what you do with this grand old place.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - June 24, 2020 - 12:55 PM

    I love the exterior soft yellow paint on your new home. It’s very sweet and welcoming. I saw that you want marble counters in the kitchen. I hope you will consider Caesarstone or Silestone as you can put hot pots directly on them which is amazing. They don’t chip like marble either and can be sanded if you ever scratch it. They have beautiful patterns and plains too. No, I’m not a salesperson for them but choosing these no maintenance counters In 2 homes was the best decision I ever made. Good idea for your rental unit for sure. You have lots of decisions to make and I’m sure you’ll love the process. Beautiful home. Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Libby - June 24, 2020 - 12:31 PM

    Autocorrect above! Should say . “ It WASN’T a heavy look”!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Libby - June 24, 2020 - 12:29 PM

    Congratulations! Delighted for you! Someone removed the “separation” between the parlors to provide an uninterrupted expanse of wall. It was a wide, tall arch. It did not necessarily have woodwork (just baseboard). It sent a heavy look. I grew up in a house with that feature. So I understand that you look at the room and want to add back that graceful feature.ReplyCancel

  • Shari - June 24, 2020 - 12:29 PM

    So excited for you Laurel! We moved from a townhouse in metro Atlanta to further North of and Lake Lanier area of North GA with 3 acres and gardens and we love it but it has been 5 yrs of completely renovating our 5000 sq ft home with a carriage house (800 sq ft) that we rent to our 29 yr old son (talk about being close to your son….maybe too close:). We could never have imagined the money and how long the process would be but we are so happy we are here and are thankful to have all the maintenance issues. We also have a vacation rental in the N. GA Mtns (another lake area) and just renovated the upstairs. I tried AB&B but it was too difficult and my preference is VRBO where I have more control of who rents and when. That’s just my experience for what it’s worth. I am sending you a link to take a look at our renovation and maybe you’ll want to get away sometime and come down south!! Just let me know when girl….you get a very special discount. https://www.vrbo.com/413081ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Bruce - June 24, 2020 - 12:25 PM

    Congratulations Laurel! I’m very excited for you and your new home almost as much as I would be if it were going to be mine. Really looking forward to you making it your own and sharing all the fun with us!ReplyCancel

  • Ann Merry - June 24, 2020 - 11:49 AM

    Hi Laurel, Congratulations on your new home – it’s truly beautiful, and I’m looking forward to seeing your future posts and where you take it from here. I live about 45 minutes from Northampton and have been a regular there over the years to the shops and restaurants… really a fun place, as you apparently have discovered! Welcome to Central MA, hopefully your transition will be a smooth one : )ReplyCancel

  • Laurel Gerges - June 24, 2020 - 11:43 AM

    Hi Laurel! This Laurel is very happy for you. The house looks charming and I’m sure that in time you will transform it into a showpiece. You will love having a screened in porch and creating a garden – the best part of owning a house. I am excited to see how you will transform it with the wealth of ideas you have. And being near your son must be very comforting. So congratulations and good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Dottie in CT - June 24, 2020 - 11:19 AM

    Thank you, Laurel, for sharing. The house is wonderful. I’m excited for you. I think you were very fortunate to find this gem.
    Good luck!
    DottieReplyCancel

  • Kristine - June 24, 2020 - 11:14 AM

    How exciting! Congratulations on your new beautiful house! I love following your blog – it brings me great joy. Can’t wait to see what’s next in your adventure. Wishing you the best!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - June 24, 2020 - 11:11 AM

    Congrats! I’m so excited for you. Love all the character of your new house. I’m looking forward to all your posts as you make it your own.ReplyCancel

  • Ralna Cunningham - June 24, 2020 - 10:59 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    gorgeous wonderful place.
    Your inspections should include mold.

    Every house has had a leak or condensation somewhere, but some are more endowed than others. A hidden mold problem or a poorly remediated one (i.e. not contained properly, particles spread throughout) can make you so so sick. It’s a blessing there’s been little remodeling because it’s easier to find things and plaster is inherently more mold resistant than sheetrock.

    The upstairs kitchen area looks a bit suspect. Has new kitchen cabinet run with dishwasher, baseboard looks deteriorated in the “gap” area. That would warrant some questions and some digging.

    This is a relatively inexpensive dust test you do with a swiffer cloth. It picks up spore fragments present in the housedust and tests their dna. It can give some idea if you have an abundance of the most dangerous species. If the house is spotlessly clean it won’t tell you much.

    I used Mycometrics dot com for the swiffer dust test. Here’s a good overview of testing (air spore counting not that useful) and how to interpret/proceed if you find a problem. Not sure if I can leave a link so I will put this resource in the website area by my name. It’s not my website. https://momsaware.org/mold-testing/83-ermi-mold-testing.htmlReplyCancel

  • Gail - June 24, 2020 - 10:52 AM

    Congrats! The floors are spectacular As are other architectural details. Can’t wait to follow the transition from wonderful to fabulous. Have fun!ReplyCancel

  • Gilda - June 24, 2020 - 10:48 AM

    this is exciting. i am in my new build now 4 yrs, and now i want a house like yours!!! and the airbnb is a nice ideaReplyCancel

  • Ramona - June 24, 2020 - 10:32 AM

    May you have great happiness in your new, old home. We will all be watching with endless fascination.

    I agree with the other comment telling you we will not be bored!!! Bring those ideas and experiments on.

    I’m getting ready for oodles of new lessons.ReplyCancel

  • Lara - June 24, 2020 - 10:27 AM

    Congratulations Laurel! So happy for you and the changes you are making in your life. You found a beautiful home and I’m certain you will make it a showstopper! You have fabulous tastes. I’m knitting kittens just thinking about what you would do to the kitchens. I bet your mind is going a million miles an hour with ideas and planning.ReplyCancel

  • susie - June 24, 2020 - 10:24 AM

    I have always loved that Scalamandre wallpaper, I see it comes in different colorwaysReplyCancel

  • Laura Heilman - June 24, 2020 - 10:23 AM

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with this beauty! I’m sure it keeps you up at night thinking of all the possibilities. Best of Luck!ReplyCancel

  • Vivian M Kerr-Luce - June 24, 2020 - 10:09 AM

    Love your new home. I can imagine it with a the improvements you will make. You are
    the one to bring it back to life with your great expertise. Will love going on the journey with you when you begin the transformation.
    Stay safe, enjy your new life!ReplyCancel

  • Karen Wisnovsky - June 24, 2020 - 10:08 AM

    Hi Laurel …..your new home is wonderful in every way! I’m so happy for you. Just wondering if the wall that’s straight ahead in your entry hall photo was always there? It look to me like the area under the stairs, where they turn, was open (a passway into the room beyond). Would love to hear your thoughts.ReplyCancel

  • Dinorah Luna - June 24, 2020 - 10:07 AM

    Congratulations! It’s a beautiful home. Can’t wait to see what changes you’ll make.ReplyCancel

  • Michele - June 24, 2020 - 10:06 AM

    I noticed the steep price as well, Andrea.

    I know Zestimates aren’t very accurate, but the fact that this is a FSBO and is about $200,000 over Zestimate throws up a red flag.

    Hopefully, Laurel has her own realtor to help her through the process….especially sale price.

    It’s an adorable home, though!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - June 24, 2020 - 9:59 AM

    Love the bones of this gorgeous property and look forward to years ahead of your planning and working towards your vision. As a former real estate agent & tax servicer I noticed the steep jump from 2017-2020 price, maybe due to renovation? Everything you have done has prepared you for this next season in life…enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Janet Lorusso - June 24, 2020 - 9:47 AM

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous – Or it will b e when you get done with it! Congratulations!!! And welcome to Massachusetts!ReplyCancel

  • Terri Biggers - June 24, 2020 - 9:47 AM

    Your new home is beautiful! All those corbels, the staircase & double fireplaces are causing me some serious house envy. I can’t wait to see how fabulous it will be with your all your plans & ideas. I’m looking forward to all your posts about what you’re doing with this wonderful old home.ReplyCancel

  • Hollie at Stuck on Hue Pillows - June 24, 2020 - 9:42 AM

    So excited for you, Laurel! What fun to be able to dream up the ways you can make this new home your own. If you’re like me, before we moved recently, you can’t sleep well at night because your mind is too full of ideas!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - June 24, 2020 - 9:41 AM

    Congratulations Laurel ! Much happiness in your new (truly gorgeous) home ! With the bonus of being near your lovely son, you are embarking on a wonderful adventure. What a beauty this house is! Beauty and charm in abundance, much like your own self. In mosquito season, screened in porches are fabulous. And thank you for introducing us to a beautiful area of Massachusetts.ReplyCancel

  • Pam Holmes - June 24, 2020 - 9:37 AM

    I am so excited to follow your venture laurel, from the design/decorating view point but also the business aspect. Invaluable, thanks for sharing. My smaller 1980s home on Puget sound would be perfect for this type enterprise, you are giving me inspiration and information to get started. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Robin - June 24, 2020 - 9:22 AM

    I know you probably know this but I just need to be sure. You need to find a reputable and through Home Inspection.
    Obviously I am totally jealous the home is truly lovely. GOD Bless and good luck with it.ReplyCancel

  • Laura Tyson - June 24, 2020 - 9:16 AM

    SWOON!! I can’t wait to see what you do with places. But my does she have lovely bones.ReplyCancel

  • Margaret - June 24, 2020 - 9:14 AM

    Ooooooh so exciting to see what you will do! Are you going to put lamps on one of the fireplace mantels? Say yes., please….I have sent you soooo many pics over the years that confirm your idea was a good one. Please!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - June 24, 2020 - 9:04 AM

    Laurel, your house is beautiful! I am a Smith alumna. I lived in Laura Scales house, and we had mural wallpaper in the ‘beau lounge,’ a small room on the ground floor where residents were allowed to receive gentleman callers back in the day. We used to keep the keg in there when we had parties, so it got a little beat up! I wonder if it’s still there… it was exquisite.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin Taylor - June 24, 2020 - 9:00 AM

    I love your ideas! Your new home will be the most adored home ever … I can’t wait to see how you decorate everything. LOVE the double fireplaces and parlors and your idea on how to recreate a Rosedale Farm look there.ReplyCancel

  • Krista - June 24, 2020 - 8:59 AM

    Congratulations! This is going to be fun!ReplyCancel

  • Alannah - June 24, 2020 - 8:46 AM

    Many blessings and memories in your new home Laurel.ReplyCancel

  • Lynn - June 24, 2020 - 8:44 AM

    Congratulations! Please post everything you do to your new home, even if you think we might get bored with it. We won’t!!ReplyCancel

  • Marguerite - June 24, 2020 - 8:42 AM

    Very excited for you, but want to make sure the most important thing is covered : excellent MDs in the area (with hospital privledges to excellent hospitals) to make sure your health is A-OK and stays that way! The house is beautiful, and there even are two cute mushroom statues in the garden! Wishing you only the best and a wonderful future in Mass.ReplyCancel

  • Pat - June 24, 2020 - 8:41 AM

    Laurel,
    The floors are gorgeous in your house and very well maintained. That is such a plus. Try not to do so much of the yard work on your own. I use the app Nextdoor.com for help with hauling mulch, stone etc. Even for repairs around the house. I’m sure you have your own good resources to help you with maintenance. This is so exciting!!
    PatReplyCancel

  • Mary E - June 24, 2020 - 8:39 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    Wow! What an amazing place. I’m so happy for you.
    Since you won’t be moving in for a bit, that gives you some time to put a plan together of what you want to focus on in the house. I don’t think it will take much to get the upstairs rented out.
    Then you can start on your living area. That will be fun.
    And I’m here for it!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl - June 24, 2020 - 8:36 AM

    Oh Laurel – How exciting. The house is lovely, your plan is brilliant, and I can not wait to see you actually implement all your exquisite design knowledge into your own space. This is going to be a real treat. 2020 has been one for the books, but this, THIS is a bright spot on the bleak horizon !! Good things are coming and hell yeah, I’m going along for the ride !! And best of luck with your dental issues. I wonder how you’ll “feel” being back in the city. Keep us posted !!ReplyCancel

  • Sallie - June 24, 2020 - 8:32 AM

    Congrats on your exquisite new home! So happy for you! Can’t wait to see what you do with the place, although it’s simply glorious as is.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - June 24, 2020 - 8:20 AM

    Oh Laurel it is just perfect. I cannot wait to see how gorgeous it is when you work your magic. What a delightful project you have ahead. Much love!ReplyCancel

  • Alice Christian - June 24, 2020 - 8:14 AM

    So excited for you. Can’t wait to see you dress this beautiful lady. All the best to you as you return to NY and have your tooth repaired.ReplyCancel

  • KK German - June 24, 2020 - 8:14 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    Congratulations on buying your new home!
    I saw a comment about NOT going Airbnb, but I want to let you know that when I bought and moved into my current house 5 years ago, I started doing Airbnb to supplement my income and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I’m sure your innkeeper friends have advice,too, but I quickly became a Superhost and I get excellent support from Airbnb as a Superhost. The attitude here in my city in the past five years has become more restrictive towards “short term rentals” and since I already have a busy job I switched from nightly rentals to 30 days or longer rentals to avoid any government control. I do not earn as much as I would doing “nightlys”, but I am not schlepping to clean the room except once a month or less. (I clean my own room but you might employ a cleaning service.)

    For the longest time I would follow this forum: https://airhostsforum.com/ Although I eventually let it go because much of it was whining, lol. But in the beginning it was helpful.
    Best of luck from Norfolk,
    KKReplyCancel

  • Susan Hijazi - June 24, 2020 - 8:06 AM

    Congratulations Laurel,
    Oh my you have some work cut out for yourself
    But it’s the most FUN kind of work.
    I know you’ll have this place gorgeous in no time.
    Please keep us abreast of everything as you go.
    I’m so excited for you!
    And any garden questions…Well just ask your readers
    We’re here for you!ReplyCancel

  • Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist - June 24, 2020 - 8:02 AM

    Oh Laurel,
    Your new home is absolutely delightful and full of character and potential! I’ve been restoring a 200-year-old home here in Nashville over the last 5 months, and we finally moved in a couple of weeks ago. Old houses are the best homes, and I feel sure this one will be a blessing to you despite its challenges!I’m very excited for you and look forward to seeing how you come to live in this lovely place. xo KristieReplyCancel

  • Paula Van Hoogen - June 24, 2020 - 7:55 AM

    Laurel, just a note on the platform you will use to rent your place….. I STRONGLY recommend VRBO. Their Premier membership( well worth the xtra) serves you with a 24/7 direct line. You do not yet know all the things that can go awry with this business. I did it for 7 years for an apartment above my garage. A friend at the time was using AB&B. Each time she had a problem , she received little or NO support from AB&B.
    I could tell you here the nightmare that ensued, but, trust me, it was not good.
    Meanwhile my VRBO support was quick, gracious and always there for me.
    Another huge help was MyLodgeTax/Avalara.
    Super simple online, once a month the taxes got paid to the local county and the state!
    This kind of support enabled me to concentrate on making the place beautiful, welcoming and get 5 star reviews every time! Only 1 4 star in all those years!
    A word to the wise…..ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - June 24, 2020 - 7:55 AM

    So happy for you! Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. What a wonderful home, I love everything about it. I don’t know how you’ll be able to stand it while you wait to move in. Just curious, being a Florida gal, exactly what is the ceiling mount lighting wire? I don’t see it as unsightly since I love everything about these old beauties and the secrets of the past that they hold. PamelaReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Zwirko - June 24, 2020 - 7:44 AM

    Congratulations! Wishing you all the very best. Excited to see the changes to come!ReplyCancel

  • Cookie - June 24, 2020 - 7:39 AM

    Laurel,
    I am drooling. I can’t wait to see what magic you will perform on this grand lady.
    Congratulations and best of luck.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy D - June 24, 2020 - 7:36 AM

    Congratulations Laurel. Now for many sleepless nights as the ideas race through your head and the days are counted down to your move in date. I love a soft yellow coloured house! They look happy and welcoming. Such a gorgeous space – but the lighting has to go. Your kitchen needs some loving help to make it belong to such an old home. All fun things to plan. The floors. The high ceilings. The FIREPLACES. I could roam through the house for days. I can’t wait till you move in and begin the changes and take us along on this new journey.. Cathy D.ReplyCancel

  • Ivis - June 24, 2020 - 7:34 AM

    So exciting, so lovely. You are such a talented artist and talented businesswoman I know your Air BnB will be a huge success too. Can’t wait to follow this project! Good luck at the dentist and with all the followup work on the house sale.ReplyCancel

  • Linda sharp - June 24, 2020 - 7:31 AM

    Congratulations on your new home! It is beautiful! I love your ideas and can’t wait to see what you do with it! ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Sandy Wittenberg - June 24, 2020 - 7:28 AM

    Congratulations, Laurel! I’m so excited for you! The house is truly beautiful, and you will make it stunning! I’m dying to see more photos – I’m sure that all of us can’t wait to see you move in and to watch you make it your own.
    Looks like you have a lot of light. Are you thinking of going with white walls like you were posting about recently?

    Sandy WittenbergReplyCancel

  • Connie Fowler - June 24, 2020 - 7:26 AM

    Oh, my goodness, it’s absolutely adorable and and I am very much looking forward to learning from you as you make this beauty your own. Very happy for you, and congrats on being able to finally see your dentist! Take care, Laurel, you deserve this.ReplyCancel

  • Trudy Hackney - June 24, 2020 - 7:05 AM

    Good luck with the house and the dentist!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - June 24, 2020 - 6:37 AM

    Congratulations!! What a beautiful home. Can’t wait to see your visions come to life. Enjoy the journey and thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Em - June 24, 2020 - 6:12 AM

    Oh, how lovely! Such a beautiful canvas for your vision… (although I’d settle for a shed in someone’s back yard if it meant being treated to more frequent walks with my pride and joy 🥰).

    You must be bursting with well deserved joy.
    I’m looking forward to booking our stay in your lovely space!ReplyCancel

  • Diana Bier - June 24, 2020 - 6:03 AM

    What a wonderful home! I wish you much luck in your move and envy that you will be near your son. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Ellen - June 24, 2020 - 5:04 AM

    It’s a beautiful place to live!ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - June 24, 2020 - 3:16 AM

    Hello Laurel, The best thing about this house is that there are few emergencies–most of the areas you might want to change are good enough for the time being, and will allow you time to live with the house and see what really works. I think it is a perfect old house–big and detailed enough to be interesting and comfortable, and small enough to be manageable. It is the kind of house I would really like for myself, when not having 30,000SF delusions of grandeur! I like the yellow color, and although I know you like white houses, I would consider awhile before repainting. There is something about white Italianates that can seem a bit forlorn–especially after the paint is no longer shiny new! Maybe I should consider moving to Northampton myself–then I could stop by to borrow a cup of sugar!
    –Jim
    p.s. By the way, is the attic floored? It looks pretty accessible.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen Ingraham - June 24, 2020 - 2:48 AM

    I’m very happy for you! The house is beautiful, and has so much character! When you have the upstairs ready, I may well come and rent it for a week or two. (Can’t guarantee I won’t try to pick your brain for decorating ideas!)ReplyCancel

  • Eden - June 24, 2020 - 2:24 AM

    Misspelled my own name.ReplyCancel

  • Edern - June 24, 2020 - 2:23 AM

    CONGRATULATIONS! It’s beautiful now, but once you get your hands on it, it will be gorgeous. Best from San Francisco.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Berube - June 24, 2020 - 2:22 AM

    … what a good time is in store for you with creating a garden and a new home … exciting new path – will you be channeling Ben Pentreath?ReplyCancel

  • Linda Potter - June 24, 2020 - 2:04 AM

    I’m SOOOOOOO excited for you!!! I love the house!!!ReplyCancel

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