becoming the chaletmomma

chalet: a wooden house or cottage with overhanging eaves typically found in the swiss alps.

how did I become the #chaletmomma - well it all started in 2003- we had sold our first home and the home we were purchasing fell through. we were bummed of course; having exhausted all the homes that were for sale in the area we were talking about putting our stuff in storage - and temporarily moving into a rental. 

but, fate she's a funny friend! the house we didn't get was in another town and i think everyone who knows me agrees i wasn’t supposed to live anywhere else.  my hubby says when he married me he married the town. i vividly remember what came next- it was a saturday of the easter weekend – friends were over; we had dinner plans. leaving the boys behind my girlfriend and i took a drive and that’s when we stumbled across the For Sale by Owner sign that soon turned into our destiny. i couldn't believe a house for sale in my old neighborhood! my dream location full of quiet streets, unique architecture and close to the park.

i knew the house, growing up a few blocks away i had come here on halloween. i had friends on this street and rode my bike by what we then called -the schoolhouse- back when the it was red and with the center chimney that looks like a bell tower. you can see it here- this 1968 watercolor by artist nat lewis was given to us by the former owners daughter. we were so very fortunate that she felt we should have it.

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we started calling it the chalet soon after moving in. it was built in 1924 as a vacation home by austrian craftsman brought in specifically by the original owner Dr. Morgan. it’s not overly large at roughly 1400 square feet it has three-bedrooms and although we were originally moving to gain space we have forgiven the chalet for only offering us one small bath. but with features such as the gallery porches with hand cut railings that are mirrored inside; the quirky stairwell and five sets of french doors throughout there’s so much to love.

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one of the best features of the chalet is the open-concept living and dining which is beyond cool for a house that is almost 100 years old. we have what I have jokingly coined as a -step-saver kitchen- if you stand in the middle of the room you can reach out and touch everything without taking a step! adding to the homey feel, is the fireplace, surrounded by beautiful carving, which is in the center of the house. 

after moving in we quickly realized the furnishings and paint colors from our previous home just wouldn’t work. the chalet demanded a way more casual feel. our first major purchase a set of big, comfy leather chairs with a matching ottoman from Restoration Hardware – they have held up tremendously well and worth every penny we paid; and are still the most expensive single purchase we’ve made – ever.  we went on to replace the dining room furniture- how i love love love my Winslow dining table from Crate and Barrel- talk about a workhorse… we used to place Liam’s infant bathtub on it.  the living room sofa and the coffee table eventually arrived and then we painted over all the dark trim and doors on the first floor. the chalet can be a bit dark with its wide, overhanging roofline. after an extensive search i found the most perfect shade of beige with a lovely warm tone for the first floor by Benjamin Moore: Putnam Ivory. (i highly recommend!) the final touch was carpeting; out went the dark orientals replaced by a much lighter pattern from Pottery Barn.

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all these changes took about eight years, timed well to welcome our son, liam born in 2011.

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the chalet is filled with a treasure trove of lovely bits. i am a lifelong collector. just this past weekend i picked up two new pieces of art.  i’ve yet to hang them on the wall. but, eventually they will find their permanent home; for the moment they are propped up against the wall on the porch.  the porch is new... but, ill save that for a future post!

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i would be remiss if i neglected to mention our beloved cat. fred the sweetest softest old tabby in the world. we’re really not sure exactly how old he is since he’s a rescue. he is deaf but, not quiet by any means- if you follow along on instagram you’re sure to hear him chattering in the background from time to time in my stories.

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i feel so very blessed every day to be able to call this jewel home.

til next time.

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