A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

B for big

Posted by Pepper on April 2, 2019

One of the things I am extremely thankful for right now is the space we have in this house. I’ve grown up in Mumbai, and you need to have lived there to know what that entails. Apartments, popularly called ‘flats’ there are tiny. We are used to fitting our lives into minuscule spaces.

Even in all the years we have spent in the US, I have always lived in an apartment. Living in a big independent house was never considered an option because A) Those are hard to afford (also because we refuse to sell our Mumbai apartment and pay a ridiculous mortgage and effectively pay for keeping 2 homes) and B) I have no idea how long I want to live in this country. I always live with one foot in and one foot out, so an apartment seemed easier to vacate and run out of. A house would make me feel more rooted, which isn’t what I was looking for. However, a strange turn of events led us to where we are today.

A friend (who I met through this blog!) told us they are moving to another place. Would we be interested in renting their current home? Now we had visited this friend’s home several times and always admired the space they had. It was an independent 4 bedroom house with a living room, separate family room, dining area, backyard, the works. Now that we had kids, our ideas began to change and the prospect of living in such a big house was appealing. We had lived in an apartment with 2 energetic kids and seen first hand how hard it was to keep them contained.

Real estate in Bay Area is kind of bonkers, so we were unsure if this house was within our means. Call it destiny and a stroke of luck, things fell in place and we eventually moved in to this big, spacious house.

It’s been 3 months of living here and there are many things I love about it. The backyard for one. We have oranges and lemons and roses and jasmine and many other flowers and trees that I don’t recognise. On good days when the weather permits, we have our meals outside. I love our relaxed brunches in the backyard on the weekends we choose to stay home. The kids love running and playing on the grass.

They also love running inside the house. The large space gives them enough opportunity to expend their energy and that is a win win for all of us. We have been able to give them a separate play room and they enjoy spending hours there. Because we have space available, we are able to maintain a few child free zones. We use gates to bar access to those areas and don’t have to spend all our energy asking them to not touch this and don’t climb on there and no don’t throw the remote and hey no picking up that glass frame, you get it.

However, if you were to ask me what my favourite part of living in such a big house is, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to respond. What I love the most is the amount of storage space big houses offer. Our numerous boxes are lying in the garage without us having to worry about them.

With so many bedrooms and such large closets, we are able to put things away without always having to constantly fold and think of ways of fitting in stuff. Our kitchen cabinets keep all our pantry essentials and paraphernalia contained and give us unrestricted counter space! Our laundry room has a separate cabinet just for fresh, folded towels, waiting to be used. We have separate closets for our cleaning supplies, Costco bulk buys, etc.

This big house and all the storage space I am describing is probably the norm in the US, but remember, I said I come from Mumbai and have grown up learning how to squeeze all my belongings into a few small shelves? And then feeling frustrated with my failed attempts?

Now because of all the available space, our house doesn’t look like a junkyard. I can go a step further to say parts of our house are actually immaculate and the other parts are fairly straightened out. All this, despite minimal effort from us. It is so easy to maintain a tidy and seemingly clutter free home when you have space. I really respect people who are able to maintain order and tidiness in a small house. If you have a lot of space, a tidy home doesn’t tell me much about your skills.

Anyway, I have no idea how long we will have this space to our disposal. I don’t know how long we will live in this house, or what our next house will be like. But for now, we are loving it.

24 Responses to “B for big”

  1. Ashwathy said

    Man! I really want to come see your place. And yes…sigh… space is really a luxury!

  2. Deboshree said

    Ah the house sounds lovely, especially with its backyard and storage space! The latter is such a persistent problem for me. Enjoy the space, Pepper 🙂

  3. Aarti said

    Glad to see you back Pepper . Wish you fun in your new home .

  4. It’s only during A to Z I see you, my old blog chum Pepper and you always surprise me with your writing. Painting the expression in Mumbai and the flats…I relate so much and sorely miss the place.

  5. Ash said

    Hey Pepper – so glad to see you back! Blogging is truly a dying art. So many of my faves aren’t writing anymore :/. It’s all about Insta and Podcasts now it seems – not that I’m pushing these two since I enjoy perusing my faves on both of these platforms but there is something to be said with reading the written word and getting a peek into others’ lives curled up with a hot cup of tea! Lots of love from Lahore :).

    • Pepper said

      I do enjoy my time on Insta too. But that is a very different world. For one, I am not anonymous there, the way I am on the blog. I barely feel inhibited when I write here. It isn’t the same for me on any other platform.

      And hey, a reader from Lahore! So nice to have you here 🙂

  6. I love big places! And that’s the one reason I cannot imagine moving to Bombay, ever. I always wonder about the upkeep and maintenance of these large townhouses though, not too much work?
    Ooh brunches in the backyard sound so heavenly! 😀

    • Pepper said

      We don’t really do much to maintain the house. We have a gardener who maintains our front lawn and the backyard, and cleaners who come in to deep clean every few weeks. We spend way more money than we should, but in this phase we have chosen to save up on some sanity instead of focusing on monetary savings.

  7. Preeks said

    Good to see you back in action! 🙂 Loved the description of the house. It looks like straight out of a Pinterest board!

  8. Visha said

    I live in an apartment in Sydney and can so much relate to the happiness of living in a big house. There is no storage concept in apartments right 🙂 When my in laws visited last year, my MIL was surprised to find clothes inside drawers ( we have no wardrobe in the second bedroom). I am always sighing when I visit families in big houses – there is so much of space to store!

  9. I can so relate to this post. I live in a tiny semi detached house in England and it’s so hard to keep clean! I feel like I’m constantly folding and putting away stuff. Enjoy all the space you have!
    I’m a silent reader btw. Have read you since forever and loved your writing but never commented. I’m just so happy to see you posting regularly.

    • Pepper said

      Shuchita, thank you for breaking your silence and letting me know you’ve been around for a while. It is such a pleasure to hear from people who read you. 🙂

  10. Arch said

    Wow! Sounds like a beautiful place. You should post some pictures too. I would love to see the pictures of the backyard 🙂

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