After 25 years in Austin, it’s time to start a new chapter. My husband’s found a job in San Francisco, so I’ve spent the summer packing up our belongings, selling the house, and saying good-bye to friends and family.
Our home here in Austin has been good to us, and I feel a tug at my heart when I think of the day—just a few short days ago—when I walked out our door for the last time.
A house has an essence that is more than just its floor plan. More than the materials it was constructed with, or the furniture, fixtures, and belongings that fill its rooms, this spirit extends beyond these details to encompass the memories formed within its structure.
The week we moved into this house, six years ago, my husband took a video of my youngest son, then just a baby, dressed for bed in multicolored zip-up pajamas (the kind with feet—I love those), traversing the entire downstairs using his best power crawl. A few weeks ago, I watched (with part horror / part pride) as he made the same circuit but at break-neck speed, dribbling a soccer ball all the while. To all that growth and change, these walls have borne witness.
The memories, though they fade, we take with us, packed not in boxes, but stored in our minds as stories—and in our computer as digital photos and videos. But still it seems we leave a bit of these memories behind when we leave this house for the last time, no longer to walk down the hall and remember my daughter skipping its length, or to sit at the bar and hear my oldest son making us laugh with a joke. The poignant realization grips my heart that this chapter is closing, and with it a bit of our lives is gone forever.
I wanted this post to be a visual collection of my style of interior design. But now as I sort through the hundreds of photos I’ve taken of my house over the past few months in my efforts to sell it, I find myself gravitating towards the photos that show the house as it was lived in: the light not falling unhindered onto polished floors and fluffed cushions, but bouncing off jubilant children or warming the belly of our dog—illuminating the life we’ve lived.
Here are a few of those digital aids to the memory, showing both perfection and real life, an aesthetic ideal and its reality, style and love.
© Amy Daniewicz