Friday, June 9, 2017

New Home Tour


We found out yesterday that the home we wanted is ours!  We have been on tenterhooks the past couple of weeks not knowing if we would get it or not (we placed a back-up offer).  I feel sad for the other people (they hadn't sold their house) but happy for us.  Now we have somewhere to live next month when the new owner takes over our current home!

I am so excited to take you on a tour of our new home.  These are the real estate agent's images, so the furnishings aren't ours - yet!  I can't wait to see it with our furniture installed and I know the cats will be so happy with their new country surroundings.  Where we live now is a built-up area in the city and most homes have cat(s).  One of ours is not a fan of other cats so she spends most of her time indoors, nervous nelly that she is.  I am hoping they will become rosy-cheeked country cats with plenty of fresh air and sunshine on their fur when we move.

This property ticked all the boxes for us - low-maintenance materials, new-ish, good quality, rural setting where you can't see or hear the neighbours, a stunning view across the vineyards below... We have four acres and this includes a paddock which we can lease out or graze.  I haven't seen them yet but apparently there are plenty of fruit trees established - plum, feijoa, mandarin, orange, lemon, loquat, fig and apricot.  How glorious does that sound?  I really want to get some hens for our own eggs too.

I love the palm trees; I think they give it a resort feel.  The house and grounds are so neat and well-maintained which will be lovely to move into.  I know there are people who love a doer-upper to add value... I am not one of them.  It would just bring on a major depression in me.  I'm so glad my husband and I agree on this.


This is our main living area.  I love the double doors.  Whenever I see someone opening double doors into a room on a movie I swoon.  Now I can do it myself :)


The dining area is in the same room.  I will never tire of that sweeping view across Hawke's Bay.


Our kitchen has a sitting area off it, and there is a woodburner already installed.  Having a woodburner was on our wishlist too.


The door below goes through to the living room.  See the vent in the ceiling above the woodburner?  Warm air is taken in there and circulated around other rooms in the house.  Nice!  And there is a wetback too, which means the woodburner heats our hot water when it's going.


This is our front door entrance area.


And the master bedroom below.  There weren't photos of them, but we have an ensuite with twin basins and a walk-in closet off this room.  A walk-in closet!  Two basins!  So exciting.

This house is big.  It's twice as big as our current home and there is only my husband and I and our two cats.  You might wonder why.  Well, I've always dreamed of living a minimal life in a home with lots of space around me, both the house and the surroundings.  Same with a walk-in closet- I desire to have a curated minimalist(ish) wardrobe within a luxurious space.

Plus there are many uses for our 4-5 bedrooms:  our room, 1 or 2 guest rooms, a sewing room, wine room for my husband, office, gym.  We will work out which room is for which, such fun.

Just in case you think we've won Lotto (we haven't, plus I don't buy tickets); having moved out of the hot housing market of Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, we have traded a very average 3-bedroom home on a half-section with neighbours so close we can hear their television, for a high-quality much larger home on four gorgeous acres in our desired wine region of Hawke's Bay.  Hawke's Bay is certainly rising in price just like anywhere else, but not to the extent of a big city.  Our new and old properties were very similar in price.

We aren't just moving because our money will go much further though, although that is a big part of it.  We also want to live a slower, more peaceful life without daily traffic congestion, too many people in too smaller space and all the sorts of things you get with big cities.  As with most smaller towns, there is much more of a laid-back vibe in Hawke's Bay and everyone we've met is so friendly which we think is down to having less daily stress.  It is noticeable.


The front part of our new home below; our view is to the left of this photo.


I hope you have enjoyed a tour of our new home.  We move next month and I cannot wait to share photos with you once we move in, showing how well our sofas go here, and how happy the cats are!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.  I think we will celebrate; what are you up to this weekend?

Fiona

PS. Listen in to the first interview I ever did here.  I recorded it almost three years ago with a lovely Canadian lady.  I had a lot of fun even if I did feel that she was far more savvy than I was.  I didn't know to ask for a list of questions so that I could at least make some notes.  It was an hour of pure terror with questions thrown at my stage-fright brain, but I survived!

http://webtalkradio.net/internet-talk-radio/2014/08/11/living-with-more-style-than-cash-how-to-be-chic/

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72 comments:

  1. I LOVE it, and I am so happy for you!

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  2. Your new home is stunning, Fiona! My goodness, it is truly beautiful. I hope you and your husband will be very happy there. Thank you for showing it to us.
    Margaret P

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  3. Looks like paradise. I admire you and your husband for knowing what you want, setting a goal to obtain it, and working hard to achieve it. Salut to you!

    Deborah

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    1. Hi Deborah, thank you. True, this big change has been 2.5 years in the planning, from the seeds of 'what if' and then working through everything that needed to happen to make it come true.

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  4. We moved to a new home last summer from the expensive Vancouver area. We were able to get rid of our mortgage and now we have an ocean view and are a block from the beach in a small community on Vancouver Island. Peace and quiet and little traffic. You won't believe how calming you will find it.

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    1. Your new home and lifestyle sounds simply wonderful, Cynthia. I am looking forward to more tranquil surroundings just like yours. Even though I am mostly calm on the outside, in my head gets busy so I think the countryside will help with that!

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  5. Congratulations! You'll be so happy here in the fresh air ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  6. Big kudos to you and your husband, Fiona!

    Your new home is absolutely gorgeous and will be a fabulous setting for your French chic approach to living well.

    Cheers to your new home in Hawke's Bay!

    Alison

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    1. And, would you mind if I asked what kind of wood that is used for the beams and the interior doors? It has a lovely grain -- reminiscent of bird's eye maple in a way with a pine/fir undertone.

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    2. Hi Alison, the only mention of wood I can see in the information documents we have are of macrocarpa in the kitchen. Maybe the beams and doors are the same? I'll ask my dad when we move - he knows things like that :)

      Thank you for your well wishes!

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  7. CONGRATULATIONS, FIONA!
    Thrilled for your desired new beautiful home.❤️

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  8. Congratulations - your new home looks amazing ! Wishing you a quick and easy move and many happy years in your new place!

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    1. Thank you, Ann. Yes, time to get packing :)

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  9. I feel peaceful and calm just looking at those photos! Your new home is gorgeous, I can see the tranquility. You will be surrounded by nature, it's just sublime ... This is my goal too, to move to a less congested area than L.A. I'm not a big city girl any longer and haven't been for so many years, a quiet life sounds much more me now. I was just talking to my husband about it again last night.

    I'm so happy for you and I can't wait to see your move-in pictures. Congratulations!

    D.

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    1. Keep working on him, D, you'll eventually break him down, lol.

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  10. Your new home looks wonderful! So full of light with lots of surrounding greenery! I don't blame you for wanting more room, even though it's just the two of you. Paul and I have a three bedroom ranch house, but only one of the bedrooms gets used as such. (I prefer to think of room designations as just suggestions anyway.) One "bedroom" is an office, and the other our diningroom. The original diningroom, which is open to the livingroom, is our "bird room". Our parrots have their cages there, and we have a lot of large houseplants. As we are both introverts, we feel the need for the extra rooms, as we always have someplace to retreat to if we need some "alone time".

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    1. Hi Mimi, I love your room layouts! A bird room sounds excellent. I don't know if a cat playroom would be too much, with all their scratching posts, toys etc. Who am I kidding, our whole house is a cat playroom.

      Yes to introverts needing their own space! I am most excited about having my sewing machine and overlocker on their own desk and not stuffed in the closet. Plus having the ironing board right there too. I'm sure I will wear more tailored clothes now :)

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  11. Congratulations Fiona! That is very exciting for you and your husband. It must be such a relief to have secured your new home. The house looks gorgeous, so serene and I cannot wait to see the photos once you have moved in and added your own stylish flair. I have a question: Is that Hawke's Bay or the Loire Valley??? Lol. My goodness overlooking those vineyards, looks heavenly. I can just picture you there, living your chic life. Congratulations once again xxx

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    1. Haha, you're right Sophie. The day we found out we were 'the' buyers, my husband said he'd never slept so well. I too woke up one night previous dreaming we didn't get it. It's not so much the house, because there will be other nice houses too, but the thought of starting all over to find another. We are both quite lazy like that!

      Loire Valley, I like it. Has a bit more of a melodious ring to the words than Hawke's Bay :)

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  12. I hope this new home will fill you with joy and peace...it looks lovely. Congratulations
    XO

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  13. What a smart move. The house is absolutely gorgeous. Very happy for you guys. Blessings xx

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  14. Congratulations - may you both enjoy many happy years there; what a wonderful spot!

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  15. Congratulations! I hope you continue to make beautiful and chic memories in your new home

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  16. For this city gal, your new home feels like a wonderfully relaxing vacation home! Such magnificent views of nature! The greens, the sky, Oh and stargazing will be superb in your new home! I feel very happy for you and Paul and smiled heartily when I read your first sentence. Yay! In fact, I sent a little prayer to the Universe after your post about putting in an offer for this home and I am so glad it all worked out, Fiona.

    Best of luck with the move but before that, let's celebrate properly and enjoy this monumental moment! I say, soak it in! Cheers and congrats!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Natalie, it looks and feels like a holiday resort to me too. There is a hot spa pool on the patio too, perfect for stargazing at night!

      Thank you for your prayer, it definitely worked.

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  17. Congratulations on your new home Fiona - it looks wonderful. Love the palm trees and the Loire Valley view :)
    Aisling

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  18. Yay!! Now to put the Fiona Touch on it and turn it into YOUR Chic and amazing home! I cannot wait to see your pictures.

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  19. Congratulations! Wow to the views and palm trees!

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  20. It's lovely Fiona. You are sure to have many happy years and memories in your new home.

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    1. Hi Cindy, thank you. We plan to stay in this home for a long time :)

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  21. I'm sorry I don't think I can follow you anymore lol. Your beautiful life is starting to depress me. That second picture is AMAZING!!

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  22. Fiona...this is one NICE house. And when you get moved in with your great taste and classy style, it will be one BEAUTIFUL home. So happy for both of you. Truly, it is a gem. I am a city girl, moved to the country to be with my now husband, and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. It took about a month before I started to de-stress, so give yourself some time to get the feel for your new surroundings. Once, right after moving, I was vacuuming like a mad woman, and he asked me where the hell I was going! I didn't even realize that this was my daily mannerisms. Rush, rush, rush, everywhere. So, give yourselves the time to de-stress and start to notice how exquisite it feels. Honestly, that is truly a beautiful place...the beams, floor to ceiling windows, woodburner, views! Oh yeah, can't wait to see your own pics. So very happy for you.

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    1. Thank you, I am sure it will take time to settle in. I can imagine you madly vacuuming - how cute! I can't wait to get onto 'country time' (like 'island time').

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  23. Congratulations Fiona on your beautiful new home! The grounds and views are amazing.
    Cheers
    Rita

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  24. Congrats on the beautiful new home! The idea of minimalist living with lots of space appeals to me also (probably because my current life is cluttered haha).
    P.S. I love seeing your cats on Instagram! They're so adorable, they bring a smile to my face. Looking forward to seeing them in their new home :)

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    1. Lots of space and not much stuff = perfection!

      I will be sure to share the cats strutting their stuff at the new place :)

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  25. Your new house is beautiful! So glad it worked out for you and your husband to have this one. You're right about the palm trees giving it a resort feel and the area around it is so lush and pretty. I'm sure the house will be even more gorgeous when you put the "Fiona touch" on it! Looking forward to more glimpses of it after you move in.
    Charlene

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    1. Thank you, Charlene! We can't wait to move in :)

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  26. What a beautiful location and those views over Hawke's Bay!!!!
    Congratulations, enjoy making this house your lovely Chic home.
    An excellent way to settle into a new community is to join your local Rotary Club. You will meet a group of community minded people who are committed to doing good in the World as well as improving their community. Even if you don't join, go along to their meetings, you will get to know some lovely locals through them.

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    1. Hi Melissa, what an excellent tip, thank you!

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  27. It's absolutely beautiful! And that view...wow :-) I hope you will all (cats too) have a wonderful time in your new home and enjoy it all, including the extra space. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks very much, Lisa. I'm sure the cats will be okay after they've gotten over the car journey and settled in!

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  28. Wow!!! Absolutely love your home. The surrounding areas are to die for.
    My Hubby and I did the same thing 2 years ago. We traded London and city-living for the Cotswolds in the English countryside. I feel we just need so much less to be entertained. So now rather than looking for a cinema, a shopping mall a restaurant, we can spend time cycling, walking and just enjoying our environment. We couldn't be happier which I am sure you will be telling us in a few months time. So happy for you Fiona x

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    1. Hi Vannessa, the Cotswolds is a gorgeous part of England, what a great place to choose to live. I agree, I don't need 'entertaining'. Space and peace and nature is worth more to me.

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  29. First thought, serenity. Palm trees, green lawns and views that go forever. And then your beautiful house which you will make a beautiful home. Congratulations.

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    1. Hi Julie, yes, serenity is a good word for this area. Thank you :)

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  30. Congratulations Fiona! Your new home looks absolutely fabulous, such beautiful scenery too! I wish you every happiness in your new home ๐Ÿ˜€

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  31. Congratulations, Fiona, that's an amazing and serene house and grounds to be chic in. PP x.

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  32. A beautiful dream home, Fiona, and such gorgeous, gorgeous views! I too would never tire of being able to look out of those windows. Congratulations and all best wishes!!!

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  33. Congratulations Fiona! I'm so happy for you and it is wonderful to see your dreams coming true ....dreams you had envisioned and worked so hard towards. My favorite part is the outdoor space. I imagine lovely quiet mornings sipping your tea and listening to the birds. Enjoy!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer; yes, it will be a lovely spot to sip tea :)

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  34. Such a beautiful spot to begin your next journey! I love your blog, and have all your books...and I follow your posts religiously! Thank you for all the inspiration, the comfort of simplicity, and the encouragement to be not only frugal, but chic.
    I would love you to check out my blog as well...https://haskellspen.com/

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    1. Thanks for such a lovely comment, Koma!

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  35. Congratulations Fiona! The house and its surroundings look absolutely divine. I am very happy for you.

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  36. Congratulations!! It looks absolutely lovely!

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  37. Mireille and Deborah, thank you!

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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