berry st house tour

As of this month, we've been living in this house for four years now. Every year I think I'm ready to do a house tour and I never am, but this year is special. We're officially putting the house on the market today! 

When we first moved in, we thought this house would be perfect for us - it's big, it has a big open space with lots of light, a big kitchen with a pantry, and enough space for our business and our lives.

But as we lived here longer and longer, we found that it really wasn't perfect for our business. That big open space with lots of light was two stories above the kitchen, so I either had to walk up two flights of stairs with hot food to shoot it, or shoot in the dining room, which faces north and another house, so it doesn't get great light in upstate NY winters. Same with our non-food-related tasks - we get a pallet of heavy boxes of magazines every quarter, and we have to carry each individual box up to our office space, and then carry down crates full of finished packages every day. It was getting to us.

So we got roommates and a separate studio space and lived like that for over a year. It was great, actually! It got me out of the house, it gave us a loading dock and freight elevator, it was a nice public space to meet clients or co-workers, and it was huge and utilitarian. But over the last 9 months, it's been draining us and we've realized that it doesn't fit us either. Having two kitchens isn't a good way to live. We have to keep inventory of both, calculate when things are going bad, keep both clean and organized, and keep both stocked of not just fresh food, but spices and staples as well. So we haven't cooked at home in like, six months. If we want to just take the night off, we have to 1) go to the studio 2) plan and pack dinner ingredients 3) bring them home and cook 4) clean dishes & containers 5) pack up everything and haul it back in the morning. (The alternative: get takeout. You can guess what we do.) It feels really unbalanced and like a waste of resources. Not to mention, it feels like a chore to go to the studio for one little task, so we just put it off to the next day. Or if we do stay at the office, we have to stay all night to make it worth it to go there. It feels like we way overwork or underwork, and that's not balanced either. 

So we're on the hunt for the perfect space for us - one that has a bit of separation of work and life, with the ideal layout for our needs. There's nothing inherently wrong with our current home - it's beautiful, spacious, and perfect for a family. But for us, it doesn't work right now, and we're up for something different. That said, I hope you enjoy the little tour and what we've done with the place - we love how it looks and feels and it'll be bittersweet to leave it behind.

The first photo in this post is a good view of our kitchen looking to the front door. We didn't do too much "hard" work in this house, but one of the first thing we did was install these metal Ikea shelves in the kitchen. There were no upper shelves or cabinets, and we just needed more space!

This is a good representation of our dining room, which is open to the living room and kitchen. The only thing we did here was change the lighting over the kitchen island. (Before, it was some quite unfortunate track lighting.) The dining chairs and the glass cabinet are our favorite pieces of furniture. We've had so many good memories in this room - it's where we played endless complex board games, where we've had dinner parties, dance parties, and where I shot the first like 8-10 issues of Chickpea. 

The pantry will never not look like this :P (Also, please excuse any non-vegan item, our roommates are not vegan themselves.)

The view out of the back door in the kitchen. I didn't take many outdoor shots because we haven't finished the yardwork, but I couldn't skip photographing one of the (many) gorgeous flowering trees in this yard.

The living room is a great example of the kind of "style" we came up with from selecting great pieces of secondhand furniture. The record player was found on the street, the cabinet holding it was $20, the ripped up couch (formerly, not ripped up) was a $25 find when my roommate and I worked at the thrift shop. (It's also a pull-out.) The lamp and velvet couch were bought at estate sales, the coffee table and magazine rack were bought at a mid-century shop now closed down. The maps were bought at a flea market, and the ski in the corner we found in the basement rafters.

The bathroom was where most all of our work went in the house. It previously had a clawfoot tub, which yes, is amazing, but living with it really wasn't. The tub itself needed to be resealed, so it didn't hold in heat long enough for even a 10-minute bath. It was constantly dirty, even after one shower, and the plumbing desperately needed to be replaced. So, two weeks before our roommates got married, we took the plunge and bought the materials for this new shower. My partner's stepfather (a contractor) came to do the bulk of the work. It involved lots of sweaty, hard nights, and removing the tub was an experience. I got to tile the walls, even! We finished the day before a dozen people came to stay at the house for the wedding week - one of the most stressful and rewarding times we lived here.

Our bedroom - really basic, but spacious enough to fold a lot of laundry. We were one book case short of housing our entire book collection, so the rest live in the guest bedroom across the hall.

Our guest room is reminiscent of a dreamy kid's room/teen's room, without a lot of angst. Everything in here is secondhand except for the bed frame, and all the artwork is by friends or myself. The ceiling came like that!

Back  when our office space was still in our home, this is where my "studio" was. Currently we use it as art storage and a shared exercise space. It also opens onto the second floor porch.

The back porch on the second floor! There's also a deck below, but like I said, the yard is still kind of a mess, so I didn't want to take photos of it yet.

The third floor was an amazing surprise to us when we went to the house showing. It's so big, bigger than even these photos make it look, and it's bright at all times of the day. There are huge storage compartments, a walk-in closet, shelving, and enough built-in drawers to hold like 10 wardrobes. Easily one of my favorite spaces in the house, our roommates have made it their own over the last few years :)

And that's the house! Hope you guys liked it, and please wish us luck on selling it and finding a new one without losing our minds :)