A Tour Of My House


When I got engaged a couple months ago, I wasn’t really surprised. But it definitely solidified the next step I, we, need to take.

My lease runs out in May and I gave notice to my landlord I’d be moving out and  moving in with Derrick. I clicked ‘send’ on the email to my landlord and felt that nervous feeling in my stomach. Very similar to the feeling when writing my resignation letter at my last ‘real’ job.

I have been living in my place for about four years. But if you would have known that I’ve moved about 20 times since I was 18, you’ll see that for me, being in one spot four years is a big deal.

So for the next two months, I’m saying little goodbyes to the house I have lived the most of my adult life in. And part of that, dear blog reader, is introducing this house to you.

My landlords are smart people so before I moved in, they asked me what colors I wanted on the walls then proceeded to paint the whole place for me while it was empty. Not living with ‘landlord white’ has helped me probably stay longer then I would have. Landlords take note; this psychological stuff works, especially on someone like me.

This house is approximately 600 square feet, the perfect size for a woman and a small dog. (Also it felt palatial since I was living in 220 square feet for two years before!) Here is my living room:

The view when I walk in, instantly relaxing complete with my memere's pink couch and my own shorty dog.

The view when I walk in, instantly relaxing complete with my Memere’s (French term for grandmother) pink couch and my own shorty dog (on brown chair).

Everything in this room, and throughout my house, reminds me of someone special who once owned the item or gave it to me… or some experience I’ve had.

My living room (which also doubles as my dining room and was my office until two years ago) makes me think ‘Ahhhh.’ whenever I walk in. The green chair, small marble ‘smoker’ table, and pink couch were at one time in my grandmother’s formal sitting room. The bookcase was rescued from my neighbor’s yard who were about to haul it to the dump (I stained and painted it). The print ottoman was recovered after being found at the Vinalhaven dump during a DIY crafting weekend with my mom over wine and conversation.

The flower painting  above the couch was something I bought eight years when I decided that, as a ‘real adult’, I would own art work. I got this one on eBay. Getting it inspired me to buy other art since including the Marko pear painting and a print from a local artist in New Orleans.

I love the tall ceilings of the living room, which makes my house feel bigger than it is. With the white washed pine and living near the ocean, I think the beachy blue would go with the whole cottage theme. It makes me think of lounging in the summer, with the windows open and stretching on the couch with bare legs, eating cherries and smelling the ocean breeze when the wind blew just right.

A round pedestal table is something I’ve always wanted to own and one of the new pieces of furniture in my life. (When I lived in France eleven years ago during a semester in college, I bought myself an expensive but beautiful tablecloth, manifesting myself a future round table.) The chairs are comfortable, modern, and actually match. My Memere’s wood block print fits perfectly between the windows and my friend Michelle gave me the red vase on top of my bookshelf which was made by her grandmother.

I love sitting in this room because of how much light it gets with all the windows. Every time I look at the curtains, I think of how my mom helped me make all of them and has helped me tackle a lot of home improvement projects in general.

(Notice the random socket in the ceiling of the living room? If anyone knows what that is or why it could be there, can you let me know? It’s been a puzzle in my life!)

I picked this fun lime green for the kitchen. I think it's natural to have fun with paint color in a kitchen: no furniture to match and a smaller room in the house, why not?

I picked this fun lime green for the kitchen. I think it’s natural to have fun with paint color in a kitchen: no furniture to match and a smaller room in the house, why not?

While most people think my kitchen is small, anyone who saw my last apartment knows otherwise. The fact that I have a full sized fridge for example is a vast improvement! I find my small kitchen forces me to keep dishes clean and supplies down. A lot of cooking happens here, and I love the big windows and cheery kitchen color.

The open corral doors lead to a weird inbetween room which Derrick calls my ‘dressing room’ probably because there is a lot of clothes in it. Off the ‘dressing room’ is a very small backyard, just enough room for a miniature grill, and a cafe table with two chairs. There is a huge tree back there too which leans over my bedroom. It’s a small pink room with a skylight and I can’t tell you how many seasons I’ve watched changed with that tree. It’s like sleeping under the stars without having to be outside.

My kitchen and bedroom are both painted ‘fleur de lys pink’. When I picked this color, I knew I was going to live alone for awhile (possibly indefinitely) and I always wanted a pink bedroom. With no one to have to please, I went for it. Everytime I see either, I smile. A woman who loves pink lives here!

There’s a lot I’m going to miss about my place: the relatively close proximity to the ocean, my pink bedroom, my large clawfoot tub, the ability to walk just about anywhere I wanted to go… Mainly though, I think I’ll miss the ability to make all the decisions I want without anyone else’s input. Selfish but true.

Looking back though, this house isn’t perfect. My bedroom is freezing cold in the winter, and I have heating bills to prove it. The floor in the living room is so crooked, if you drop a marble, it’ll roll to the other side of the room. There is no hood in the kitchen so cooking bacon, fish, or anything else smelly tends to linger. In the winter, I have to park in a parking spot down the street because I do not have my own driveway. Every year my rent goes up and my income doesn’t go up the same amount to cover the difference.

In other words, the house and I were going to part ways at some point. Because it was never my house to begin with.

Honestly, I’m just going to miss my independence. And Derrick will miss his too I’m sure.

Like most goodbyes, this one is bittersweet. I am leaving a part of my life that was a good part and moving towards another good part that’s just really different. I did a lot of growing here. I grew a business, nurtured a broken heart, mourned the loss of my father, made friends, and lived those simple parts of a day that add up to a life. Now I will do all that (well most of that) and more, somewhere else this time. And that’s ok.

So if you know of anyone who needs a rental in Bar Harbor, let me know. While it never was my house, I’d like someone else to feel like it’s theirs. It’s a special place… but as I write this, maybe it’s just special because I made it that way. And I guess when it really comes down to it, I’ll be able to do that again, wherever I go.

Nicole Ouellette
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she's not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

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