New Studio!

I’ve rented a studio! I don’t get the keys until the first of July, but it’s definitely worth the wait. And you’ll never guess where it is…

I was totally prepared to move to Riverside and had been looking at old houses – and seeing some really cool places. I even fell in love with a beautiful house on Pine Street with walls that were two feet thick. It had hardwood floors and a balcony on the second story that was beyond gorgeous. I’d have done just anything for that house – but it was gone by the time I got the realtor on the phone. Houses that special go fast…

The problem with seeing a place that fabulous, is that if you don’t get it, then everything you see after seems not quite as good. Even really cool places just seem lacking in some way.

I wasn’t excited about anything else I was seeing in Riverside, so I decided to take one last drive around Fallbrook, just to see if maybe there was something that I’d overlooked. Some wonderful spot perfect for a studio with great light, that was located downtown… I was NOT expecting to find anything – I’ve lived here forever and I know every corner of the downtown area – but why not take one last loop?

And then I fell in love again!

I’ve always loved Elder House – it’s one of three big old Victorians in the downtown area. One of three houses I affectionately refer to as My Victorian on Vine – it’s the house I leased in 1997 – the home of Fallbrook’s first doctor, Dr Pruitt, built in 1895. I’ve always had a not-so-secret hope that someday I’ll live there again. It sits on top of a hill on a double lot, and has the most beautiful staircase of any house in Fallbrook. The second Victorian is a Stickley on Brandon – I’ve never seen the inside, but I’ve heard that it’s been in same family for many many years. Very cool! And the third is Elder House, an old farmhouse-style Victorian right in the middle of downtown.

Elder House hasn’t been an actual residence in a long time. It was a restaurant in the 1980’s and it housed a construction company when I first came to town. For most of the last decade it’s been an elementary school. Two years ago the owner of the local newspaper bought the house and will be moving her staff there soon. But it’s a big house, and I knew she intended to rent out part of the space to other businesses, so over a year ago I had a conversation with her about renting the old dining room – a great room with a fireplace and three walls of windows overlooking the stream that runs through the backyard. Really too small for what I wanted, but a great room…

So Elder House was in my mind for a long time. Not quite right for me, but very very cool. But as I drove by that night, I remembered that I’d always heard there was a clawfoot bathtub upstairs – hidden under a wood cabinet – and the plan just came together. I’d been looking for a great old house in the surrounding area that I could have clients come to – or a great space downtown and I’d live elsewhere – but a live/work studio downtown is the most ideal situation – and I assumed unattainable in Fallbrook. Thankfully I was wrong!

So today I handed over a check and signed a lease. I am so excited! And I can’t wait to see that bathtub!

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