The metamorphosis from house to home

Well, that was a mighty busy couple of weeks!

Matson containerOur containerized home arrived from California a week ago last Thursday, and we’ve been unpacking, sorting, and rearranging ever since (with admittedly some beach, tennis, and golf time in between our surges of homemaking).

Final furniture collectionThe previous few days had been spent removing the existing furniture, to make room for the incoming items. I found a non-profit housing project in Koloa whose manager was so delighted to have the donations that she was happy to collect the bulky furniture. It took them a few days to organize a couple of trips, but to our relief the last load disappeared the day before the container showed up.

Since we had bought the house last year (June 2011) with the initial intention of using it for our own and for friends’ vacations for, oh, perhaps a couple of years or more, until we were ready to make the ‘big move’, it had been very convenient that the purchase came with furniture included.

Master bedroom 2011The seller left pretty much all the basics: beds, linens, sofas, chairs, chests-of-drawers, lamps, silverware, as well as a large number of paintings and nick-nacks (even a couple of old TVs and VCRs), while our generous and thoughtful realtor gifted some important missing items: coffee table, saucepans, towels.

Living room 2011So, we really didn’t need to add much for our occasional one- or two-week vacations. [The only item of ours in the photo (right) is the painting, a spontaneous purchase from a local gallery in April 2011 when we first saw the house.]

While our taste in furnishings is very different, I was grateful for everything in the house, and even found the heavy accent on Hawaiiana amusing, perhaps because it was so very different from our CA decor. I assumed that we’d retain many of the smaller items once we moved in full-time.

Master bedroom August 2012All that changed, however, once we started unpacking our own possessions.¬†Very quickly the previous furnishings, ornaments, and paintings looked out of place and just ‘not us’!

At the risk of sounding ungracious, I couldn’t wait to box up and remove all (well, almost all) the remaining vestiges of the previous owner.

Living room August 2012

Still, I don’t feel so bad knowing that there are others out there who are grateful for the donations…as were we, last year.Living room August 2012

Office August 2012

What a mess! Looks like we’ve lived here for years! Still need more drawer space in the office.

We’re not done yet, but this house is very quickly becoming our home. The final push now is to unpack more of our artwork, ornaments, and glass…once we figure out where on earth to put them.¬†

Dining area August 2012

At last, my keyboard’s out of storage, having been packed away in May during the pre-open house declutter.

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Hello world!

I’m a transplanted ex-Brit (naturalized US citizen in April 2012), who lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, and who has now settled, with my husband Steve, on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kauai…

Like so many before us, we fell in love with this island when we first visited in 2008, but at that time it never occurred to us that we could contemplate a permanent move here.

Late in 2010 we started investigating where we wanted to be when we retired from our Silicon Valley careers. Plan A was to relocate to the Central Coast, midway between San Francisco and LA, which would be roughly a four-hour road trip for our Bay Area friends. Kauai, we figured, isn’t much further…you just have to fly rather than drive…and so, Plan B was born.

We bought a home in Princeville mid-2011, intending to use it for vacations for a couple of years (here’s a site I created for others who might visit in the interim), but the pull of the island was greater than expected, so we sped up the timeline, and made the move, with our white shepherd Freya, in August 2012.

This blog is primarily a way of staying in touch with the many friends we’ve made around the world, and of sharing photos and experiences.