home: a modern cape cod homestead (nine apple trees)

c4u3is18vS2CJvyT6K0M6F_WfQV7Z9O1QKLyKl33x7cThere are only a handful of blogs and bloggers that I have been following, or who have followed me, since almost the outset of HSB. One such person who has been a constant is Chris from the blog Nine Apple TreesHis Ohio home, in which he shares with his beautiful family, is one that I admire greatly. He is not shy in posting about the hardships in regards to acreage life, while also celebrating his achievements with the same candour. His blog is a realistic look on rural life, and not an edited or glorified one that most bloggers become a casualty of (myself included). From his beekeeping adventures, to renovating their sustainable home, and more, Chris is a great storyteller and photographer. I couldn’t imagine doing this series without him.

Emory

wGvFthMvdd4I_mQGHhBZnjD6lKCZggohIQYtQsTWn-A1. Where is your home located?

Our home is located between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio in the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. While we’ve only been in our home for three years, my wife and I have lived within a few miles of the area basically our whole lives. The village has a rural feel but we are within twenty minutes of two major city centers. Living in a national park is a dream come true for us.

Wdbq5QusejaY-ONWlcAGsFx_dWhGzCSqHgqzHs4-gl4,6pzdcly1GjGSMHrelAf6YD4kO0A7tH4ybyKKNBX7JlwbmiWghEl3FJN9Yq0pqvK1uEhE9toAsRsy4jWXDDlVs42. What are your thoughts on the idea of ‘home’? 

This is our third house we’ve had together, all of which we built new. I think the idea of turning a house into a “home” takes time. Home is really about the experiences and memories that become tied to a place. It was difficult leaving our last home because that’s where the boys were born, and we lived there for over seven years. It felt comfortable. Of all the things to worry about, or be challenged by in life, home has been a constant. I think people find comfort in the constants in their lives. For us, comfort is found in the place we live.

ToqTx_1qYmePCMNvFNbPn5j6CDCUgPTvg3VWElRO_6g,3HN4DHB5tttqTLRa4vYQ3Sq9mqyxV2Q3olKTRd5meMcLD_BF5lWtsXCPYoogM4TUDNAygv85alsGjpJ9IzQuDI3. What kinds of things influence your design style?

We have been fortunate that our design tastes are totally in sync. We like a laid back, eclectic, contemporary feel. We hired an architect to design our house. The modern cape cod style home he created is uniquely ours, and fits into the rural landscape. I like to think it evokes the industrial architecture of the area’s historic paper mills and train stations in the proportions of the building – the house is very long and tall.

bIOiuWy0itKpKQwQz9HRx7FZmvpPfQjH3XRC61PPeVcWe tried to infuse a little of that industrial vibe with faux steel beams in the kitchen and repurposed welding-tank light fixtures in the dining room. My favorite trick is we used a cohesive paint palette with rich, yet subtle, earthy colors. We weren’t afraid to paint different colors on different walls. We even painted the kitchen ceiling. There’s no reason all four walls need to be the same color.

TsHhrHzqLNIYS0QHYZpEQY8efV12erB1SM1eWaiOTjgI’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that nature inspires our design decisions as well. We try to balance the man made with natural: framed dried leaves the boys collected for example. The only wallpaper in the house, in the half bath, has a floral pattern. And the fireplace mantel is made from a cherry tree we had to cut down during construction.

ADloUGBzaCsfYyoEMChSPqqCM2brwoMO6j348pkAa28,_CpJ6OdmpV16fqyNj2oUKc5UBppax3-ShN_DoCLLaYg4. What do you consider to be one of your favourite items in your home? What could you never live without?

Honestly, for me it’d actually have to be the yard outside. We have six acres and we’ve left most of it natural. I know that’s not an item, but I’ve come to know all the plants and trees, as strange as that sounds. We get attached to the living things on our land; we’ve been known to move shrubs from one residence to the next with mixed results.

E42UnjjqVZhNrcRaiUSrEafdWIku6_dXvogBHDkCxb4,Na32arBojFzpVzFJUBXkdbGErJ8qxczJmZojbkwMD_YAs for items, we have a lot of junk that we’ve moved from house to house. The more we accumulate, the less meaning it has, to me at least.

SO5dNkK95eYXH9UXWhQgEr_wN-cw4XU9wm2lKzXTUJ0,AzyU44RdwUZQwB2LsX10BWlvqjHjEzPWDEGQVhkiSaEI will say though when we designed the house we purposefully did not make a formal dining room. Our “fancy” dining room table gets used every day for every meal, and that’s by design. It will wear over the years and gain a character all its own. We bought it new, years ago, and I’d say that it has been a good constant to have. Whether it’s just a family dinner, business meeting or catching up with old friends, you can usually find it happening around the dining table.

3QNSXA3Eot634Y2oJJAZcTahLt1QlTdU_1I0wFakH9Egm7DuDUb_tXOt7MVUnIXSdBdnj-J1zgs2lFTNx6dC8M,WxGfMfdAPbAcx7At79iM0UfHVPEORvVhEyfh2xELezA5. Please share any ideas/stories/pictures that best highlight your home.

A major influence on our house and home life is environmental sustainability. The house is Energy Star certified, and we factor in the environment in every house related decision. My favorite example is our water supply is one hundred percent rainwater. It was amazing to take that first shower knowing that the water had fallen from the sky just a few hours ago. The house has been designed and built in a way that eventually we could live completely off the grid if we wanted to.

aNVZo8x1sIBr0cNdS3nmqK_iBkSvH0LJqNaw5kin6m8,tUcc6ouvgIYPBxkPvogZ43sKYgCLR6vDTX83aj0ks9QWe actually both work from home, and we built the house with an art studio for each of us. Beyond that we just wanted a place where our children could grow up around nature. We were worried about leaving suburbia with its sidewalks and kids everywhere, but we think it’s one of the best decisions we ever made.

Our home is the place where we live, work and play.

SltJNwjCgvgX28SCudieoU8UYNWkB_38Ha3cwOxAsdY,1Vg0zlICgmZ3d-jDcl-AsBP7rTulroftOKcd3Ip0xwUChris

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If you would like to take part in this series, entitled Home, please email me at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com.

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under the tuscan sun

2.jpgHappy Monday, friends! In the recent months, I’ve been writing much about my love for my dogs and the role that they play in my life. Being an animal lover is something that I have inherited from my mum. Below is a story that not only was written by my mum, but is one that I feel needs to be told. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. :-)))

<3

Emory

1.jpg“Is anybody old enough to remember the novel Black Beauty? Classic. At the end of the book, Beauty, a twenty-something broken down horse, a shadow of his former spirited self, is sold for pennies and sent to his last home. A groomer sees him and stops in his tracks. He pats the horse and tells him he looks like Beauty, a colt he knew years ago.

“Now my true story: my Tuscan started his career on the racetrack, twenty-one years ago. He was sold many times as a jumper. The last owners were going to euthanize him as he couldn’t jump anymore. He lives here. With me. As my new farrier and I were trimming hooves I called Tuscan over. The farrier looked over and in disbelief said, “Tuscan? Tuscan! It IS you!” He had put shoes on Tuscan all those years ago when he was racing and had never seen him again.

“He has since trimmed Tuscan many times since that incredible meeting. He says my big guy looks great, and this chance meeting gives me shivers. My Tuscan is a lamb. And he has stolen my heart.”

MaryAnn

in september.

Leaf.jpgIs anyone else on the same page with me when I say that each month just seems to fly by? As I predicted in August, September was a very hectic month for me. Let’s recap what exactly happened:

PTPI revealed to you guys that I was starting up my own vintage, handmade, and clothing store. With only a few days from the grand opening, I am still hurriedly trying to get last minute details together.

1.jpgThis month I introduced you to one new, one recycled, and one recipe from a lovely guest blogger. The theme this month was apparently sweet treats, but would you really expect anything else during the end of a long, hot summer?

11.jpgWe went on a small road trip where I visited my first antique mall. I bought many amazing vintage items, most of which are now available in my store. We also took Holly and Truman along with us, and made it a proper family vacation. :-)

DSC_0667I reviewed yet another dream cabin of mine, and showed you my inspiration for our mudroom and living room.

10.jpgI finally revealed the progress of The Little Barn, which admittedly was long overdue. It’s by far my favourite (and only) house we’ve ever built.

tom-hardy-with-pup-on-new-film-animal-rescue-1I reviewed a hit song and offered another version of it, an incredibly good movie starring Tom Hardy, and most recently, this film.

4.jpgI discussed what it was really like living on an acreage, and then scheduled a photo shoot with our pet family in the countryside.

9.jpgWe also had a flower-inspired shoot here.

5.jpgLast, but not least, this was my latest, and one of my cutest, DIY posts.

1.jpgSee you in October!

<3

Emory

the truth about acreage living

12Both my husband and I thought we were acreage people. I lived on one when I was a child and can remember all the fun that my siblings and I had in the country. My husband spent his teenage years on one as well, up until his second year of post secondary schooling. When I was in university, we moved back to an acreage. My parents have been there ever since, and my husband and I have been living with them off and on over the past few years.

Many of you joined our roller coaster ride in our 5 month search for an acreage of our own. While we didn’t end up settling on one, we did purchase land in the country. Do you know what? I think it’s a blessing in disguise. It’s funny how you may think that you want something so badly, and go after it in full force, only to realize that it’s not what you wanted in the end. Living on an acreage at this stage in my life has made me realize that. All of our jobs are located in the city, on top of which our free time is also spent there. With no desire to spend our days off mowing the lawn, and no children to speak of, the only good thing about living in the country is the peace and quiet, and having space for our animals. I’m hoping that therefore our city-sized lot outside of the city will be the best of both worlds for us and our animals. At least for right now.

14Not everyone will share this opinion, just as I don’t expect them to. Some people are made for country life, like my mum. While she would probably whither up and die in the city, there are days when she, too, needs a break from it all. This was an email that I received from her one Sunday morning.

“So here’s my day so far…. Ben (dog) left a dead mouse in dog room. Two puncture wounds. Then he was sniffing dead grass. Grass went up his nose and he started choking. I pulled it out of his nostrils. A handful. The graham wafer broke while feeding the donkeys and Mama (donkey) bit my finger. Bleeding. Sam (mini horse) ran into page fence. Got his head stuck. Ripped hair and has two nasty holes on his face. Mesa (kitten) has climbed a tree and can’t get down. And it’s only 10:30 (am).”

I think that acreage living is suited best for children or individuals who either do not work away from home, or do not work at all. Those who fall in between can also make it work, but you had better like rising with the sun and going to bed at sundown. If you do, I applaud you.

<3

Emory 

13Above are photos that I have taken over the summer while living on my parent’s acreage.

adventures in real estate

IMG_1.jpgThank you so much for waiting patiently regarding my big real estate reveal. I had absolutely zero intentions on letting it go on this long! The truth is that Geoffrey and I were thrown for a loop. What does that mean exactly? Well its definition states “to upset someone unexpectedly and severely.” Never has that statement been more true in my entire life. What began as a want for more space turned into 5 months of acreage hunting, to finally end up with … buying an vacant lake lot at a provincial park! Who knew that our search for an old farmhouse on a couple of acres would have brought us to having no house on a double lot. We are excited. Honestly! We went in every direction searching for inexpensive acreages. North of the city was too expensive and barren, East was nice but too far, and West was rough around the edges. The first time we actually began considering South of the city was when we looked at this property here.

IMG_2.jpgThat house was not for us, however, the direction finally was! A few weeks after viewing that home, I took a drive over to the nearby regional park. What I felt when I got there was intense, immediate, and unexpected. I felt like I was home. Well, a mix of camping and home. I knew that our location search was over, and I couldn’t wait to call Geoffrey and our realtor. A few days later we went and looked at three homes. Two were on leased lots so we nixed them right away, while the third was an acreage within the village that we wanted to live in. While we did like it, it was conditionally sold after being on the market for only 3 days. That was the extent of homes that were for sale. I felt a little defeated, and like we were back at square one. That is until I noticed that there was an empty lake lot for sale! Then, within a few weeks, we had put an offer on it, and it was conditionally sold to us! After five brutally long months, I thought that we had gotten the hardest part out of the way. Was I ever wrong.

Now I’m not entirely sure what day we actually wrote our offer on, but the Friday that Prudence was put to sleep, our realtor came over and put up a for sale sign on our property. Little Green wasn’t going to be online until Monday, but he was hoping to generate interest over the weekend. This is a rundown of the next few days:

May 9: Sign goes up.

May 12: Our home is visible to realtors only. 3 showings.

May 13: Still only visible to realtors. 4 showings.

May 14: It’s now available to the public. 3 showings. 3 offers. We accept the best one. Our home is sold upon removal of conditions.

May 15: 1 showing. I tell our realtor no more.

May 17: The buyers show up and start poking around in our backyard while we are home, and introduce themselves to our neighbours as the new home owners.

May 19: Open house. This was planned since the beginning, so we couldn’t back out.

May 21: Home inspection day. Morning- I get a phone call from our realtor telling us that the buyers have ended their relationship and are not going through with the purchase of our home. Afternoon- our house goes back on the market. Evening- 1 showing. 2 offers. We accept the best one. Little Green has sold upon removal of conditions yet again.

IMG_3.jpgMay 21: Meanwhile, our contractor has went out to the lot that we were buying and informed us that the for sale sign was on the property next to ours, 30 ft away. The lot that we were buying was actually a ditch that was covered in trees and does not have a for sale sign (see above photo). That night I tell our realtor that we want out. However, the conditions have been removed and so begins a 5 day legal battle with us trying to get our deposit back.

IMG_4.jpgMay 26: 11 pm. Our realtor calls me one last time after the deadline has passed for the sellers releasing our cheque. He tells me that the sellers will give us the “good” lot (see above photo) that we originally thought that we were purchasing instead of the “bad” lot that we were locked into. We accept the offer, and can finally move forward again!

IMG_5June 1: Geoffrey and I move out of Little Green and into a temporary home on an acreage. This is where we will be living until our home is completed. After it was all said and done, I have gotten so much from this experience and have learned to trust no one in business deals, even realtors. This has been the most trying house hunting experience that we have ever had. However, I think that it will only make for a happy ending to our real estate story. 

Now readers, please get ready for a summer filled with posts on building our new home! We have already named it ‘The Little Barn’.

<3

Emory

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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