Location, Location, Location
My husband (Bear) and I moved to Denver from Chicago in January 2011 and we were expecting our first child in March of that year. It was official, we were grown ups. So to solidify it, we looked to buy our first house. We explored different neighborhoods, but we had an idea of what we were looking for. Someplace close to family, in the city limits of Denver, close to parks and shops but where we could still get a single family home. As we drove around exploring neighborhoods (and restaurants, remember I was very pregnant) we came across Wash Park. It was perfect. A fantastic park surrounded by a mix of high rises, bungalows and new builds, most of which paid a tasteful complement of the original architecture. There was a library, ice cream shop and a street with restaurants, coffee shops, salons, dry cleaners and mom and pop style shops. We parked our car and walked a few blocks. It was a sunny day and parents were out playing in the yard with their kids, people were riding bikes or tending to their yards. This was it. I was sold. And within a few months after our son was born, we were moving into our first home, a charming 1927 bungalow on a corner in East Wash Park.
5 years and another kid later, we were still in love with our neighborhood (and our amazing neighbors) but the charm of our bungalow has wained significantly. The constant chill from having no insulation on our plaster walls or the creaky floor between our bathroom and bedroom that always woke up someone up became harder to ignore. Although we always loathed the suburbs we were starting to see the appeal of affordable new construction. After thoughtful discussion, we still love our location and new our house had great bones, it just needed some love.
So began our process of considering what we could do. I started off with dream boards on Pintrest and Houzz, sketches and floor plans that I put into CAD. Then the reality fairy came into play and we realized what we could actually afford. Good bye library with sliding ladder and book case to a hidden room, now was the time to start thinking how we could create a stylistic well appointed home, yet stay in budget.