A Point for the "Suburban Living" Team... - Juniper Home

A Point for the “Suburban Living” Team…

Yards and Exteriors

Like I mentioned yesterday, my husband is graduating from law school in about two months. He is doing a clerkship for a year in Delaware, but after that he’s accepted a position with a firm in Manhattan. We’ve been having the city vs. suburbia debate for a long time now. He is almost ALWAYS on the city team. I’m a flip-flopper.

Yesterday I was on Team City (hence, the small kitchen post). Today I’m with Suburbia. All because I started perusing my “Yard/Garden/Exterior” file.

Here’s a (would you believe it?) small sampling of some of my favorites…

In my dreams, we would have a little hide-away house in the backyard. A place to sneak away with a good book (or my laptop)…

A perfect place to eat dinner in the summertime. So very French.

(I love this picture, below. Not only because it’s a great idea (locker storage in a garage) but because I’ve always dreamed of having a family full of boys! I guess we’re destined to have a big family, because so far we have two girls!)

Oh yeah, baby. Love me some black and white awnings.

So pretty. I love the idea of using outdoor fabric to make drapes for a balcony or porch. And I spy some very nice fretwork on the railing there…

via Point Click Home

Holy luxury! Barcelona chairs – OUTSIDE?

Just perfection.

So cozy. Love the glossy painted floors.

Having a great back porch is like adding another room to your house…

I am so crazy over these boxed trees.

These boxwoods look amazing, too. Love the painted-on “door mat.” And I LOVE door knobs in the middle of the door. All the doors in Brussels were like this and I loved it.

via Cote de Texas

A tree house is a must.

Those shutters are the perfect color for that stone. Love it.

I have no idea what this adorable little house thing is, but I WANT ONE! {And I’d like that bike while we’re at it}

Prettiest. Garage. Ever.

Crazy cool.

Seriously my dream house.

I was pretty much obsessed with The Secret Garden when I was about nine, so having a tree bench would be like a dream come true for me.

I love the yellow on this incredible Dutch door.

This gorgeous garage reminds me of the movie Sabrina…

My life would be complete with a pool house like this…

PS If we didn’t have two kids already (with a desire for more) then there would be no question – Team City all the way. But, apartment-living with young kids is tough for me. Especially with these treacherous, long Boston winters.

PPS I have the sweetest husband in the world, who only wants me to be happy. So while he is full-force on Team City, he would gladly sell out and move to the suburbs if I asked him to, any day. I’m a lucky girl.

What did you think?
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30 thoughts on “A Point for the “Suburban Living” Team…

  1. I’ve never commented here before, but can I just say thank you for this lovely selection of photos, and all your other posts. I’ve always loved to peep into other people’s homes/gardens and you make it easy to do this without intruding! It might just be that you have the most excellent taste since I love almost all the same things that you do! Thanks :)

  2. There never seem to be many outdoor pictures in the design blogs. Several of these pictures are from Atlanta homes, where the outside and the landscape is often taken just as seriously as the inside!

    When we moved from Boston 12 years ago (my husband was attending b-school) we could choose any major city in the US. We chose Atlanta because my husband and I had the city (me) vs. suburban living (him) debate. Atlanta has been the perfect middle ground for us; we have all of the amenities of a major city (and a huge hub airport), but we also have lots of trees and land in Atlanta.

    I must admit, though, if I had the chance to live in Manhattan, I would be on ‘team city’!

  3. Hate to put a damper on your dreams of city vs.suburban living, but you may find yourself staying in Delaware. There are very good odds that your husband will not get that promised big job with the New York law firm next year. Read the news. My son, who is an attorney, has just received his notice that he is being laid off – last hired, first fired – all this two months before his wedding.

  4. the city would be hard with kiddos, but I am sure whatever you two decide will work for your fam. I do love a pretty garden though.

  5. City living vs. Suburbia living…wow what a decision to make. We chose suburbia because we thought it would be better with our children but as they are getting older and we see empty nesting in our not to distant future, the city life is calling and sounds exciting for just the two of us.

    Good luck with your decision…you’ll have fun decorating and creating a fabulous home no matter where you decide to be.

    Tricia – Avolli

  6. I vote for suburbia. Oh what, we aren’t voting? oops.
    AMAZING pictures, thanks for sharing. I’m feeling inspired to spruce up my own patio, ‘cuz it doesn’t look anything like any of those! :)

  7. We’re lucky enough to live in a city where the choice is between cookie-cutter homes in suburbia or gorgeous older homes in the heart of the city. If only Boston had that same choice. As you can tell by my own choice, I would go for the suburban lifestyle. A backyard for the kiddos, more room for you and the hubby, and much quieter neighborhoods.

  8. That lovely “little house” is actually an old fashioned chicken coop that was renovated into a very cool guest house/get away….you would die if you could see the inside, it was equally cool, but right now I’m racking my brain to remember the magazine article I read about it in and I can’t for the life of me remember.

  9. We’re in Boston with 2 small children and are having the same debate now. Suburbia would be nice to have space and I can finally take all of my house ideas and use them! I do love being in the city though because there is always something to do and we have a great group of friends with kids too. The thing that will probably be the final push to the suburbs is when our oldest goes to kindergarten. Private schools in the city are so expensive…I’d rather put that money towards college. Love your blog! Good luck!

  10. Delurking to say hi and give a shout out to New York living! I grew up in Manhattan (with two brothers) and live in Brooklyn, and think that New York is a wonderful and stimulating place to be a kid – and a parent. And if you move to Brooklyn, you don’t have to give up on your backyard dreams! There are plenty of places that have pretty outdoor space. I know I’m biased, but I think you’d find some of the gorgeous old brownstones pretty tempting…

    Whatever you decide, I’m sure you will create a beautiful home.

  11. We moved from the city to the suburbs a few years ago when my first son was born. As much as I miss the city, I love having a big yard for my boys to run around in. We build snowmen in the winter and catch fireflies and have impromptu picnics in the summer. And it’s only a half hour drive to Manhattan, so we still get to take our boys into the city all the time.
    Love the gorgeous outdoor photos!

  12. Having lived on the upper westside of Manhattan for many years, and now having a baby and living in the suburbs 30 miles north of the city, I’ll put in my 2 cents…With kids in the city (Brooklyn would give you more space), it is EXPENSIVE and you will not get much space. Did you know that parking spaces go for about $300/mo and up? On the plus side, there is a lot to do, and you an just push your stroller out the door and explore. Central Park is nice, but you have to GET there. A backyard, and neighborhood kids is (usually safe) and easy, and parking is free!

    One place you might want to consider is Bronxville if you want a city/country mix. It’s also very (incredibly) expensive there, but you might find a townhome, and the commute to the city is very quick. It’s a darling little town.

    As for finding anything close to these lovely photos you’ve shown…yeesh, they’ll be costing well over $10 million in this area!!! But we can dream, right? And, if you do find a place like this…please let me know so I can be your neighbor!

  13. Im sure you already know this already but you can live in the city and have a house with a backyard. You just have to live outside of Manhattan (or have a lot o’ money!)

  14. Anon 6:31:

    What a rude comment! Jenny is so nice to write this beautiful blog and to share all these gorgeous images and the great advice, everyday. I thought your comment was a serious downer and completely unnecessary!

    PS If you read between the lines, you can add together that Jenny’s husband goes to Harvard (they live in Cambridge). Which means he is going to work for a really awesome firm in Manhattan. And they AREN’T laying off right now. I know bc my hubbie is a NYC attorney.

    Jenny – You go girl! Don’t let these nasty commenters get you down! Bring on the great posts!! :)

  15. i’m going to have to go with my instinct here but it seems like you are team suburbia completely! i know you said you flip flop but i’m thinking the flopping stays mostly on the suburbia side after looking at those pics! i love your dream home. have you ever been in the south? i use to work in NC an SC and all the houses in NC look like your dream house! i almost got in a wreck because i would stare at the houses. love them!

  16. I’m a flip-flopper, too! But seeing your pics remind me why I LOVE suburbia SO MUCH. I’m drawn to the SPACE and the GREEN!!! (green, tall trees call my name…) Your pics make me sigh– so retreat-like and beautiful, no? *dreamy sighhh*

    In any event, you’ll make a great home decorator wherever you are!

  17. I love the pictures! We have 3 kids with another on the way, and would love to have a big family, so I loved your pictures of lockers in the garage and big treehouses! Thanks!

  18. i have to say, i’m way on team city. but i dont live in boston w/ kids, so i’ve obviously got a different perspective. suburban houses, w/ the space and the yard can be awesome, but the amount of driving often required of living in the burbs can be distinctly un-awesome, especially w/ kids’ after school activities and having to drive every time you have to run an errand, and then no getting to see the working parent because the commute is so long that they dont get home till the kids are in bed. it seems like brooklyn or a very close in suburb would be the way to go if you want the good parts of both. just my 2 cents. love your blog by the way!

  19. You and I are in the exact situation! My husband is also graduating from law school in about a month and we have accepted a job in Seattle, WA. We have been doing the city/suburb discussion for almost a year now and still cant decide. We also have two young kids. So many things appeal to me with the suburb choice but the commute is killer in Seattle. We did the city life for a few months last summer in Seattle and loved our cute little place that was right in the heart of the city and we could walk to anything and had so much to see and do. And it also only took my husband 10 min. to get home! What should we do? I dont know but we will have to decide soon. Good luck with your decisions and congrats with graduating law school.

  20. Love the glossy painted floor photo – I thought of doing this when my mom-in-law couldn’t afford a new floor, so we just ripped up the carpet and painted the subfloor. Love it!
    And I do love the back porth on a “real house”. I grew up in Georgia, and there was nothing better than watching thunderstorms roll in while cuddled safely on the porch. When we left Cambridge last summer and spent the summer in Iowa (i.e. from car-less to car-ful), I have to admit I hated the transition. I really missed being able to walk everywhere. That being said, we lived in a gorgeous Victorian for those few short weeks before moving to Austin, and the yard was luscious! Fortunately though, our landlord did the yard. I always lean towards city because I have zero interest in maintaining a yard – we’re like your family – except I’m for the city and Luke is for suburbia. Maybe try out suburbia in Delaware and see if you like it and then make a decision for the following year??

  21. The lovely outdoor photos brightened my morning!

    I've lived in Boston, Manhattan (UWS & UES) and now in DC. The great thing about NYC is that the transportation is so wonderful. So, if you do decide to try and live in Westchester (or CT) the commute into the city is easy and it's great to be able to head into the city without too much trouble.

    If I were you, I would buy a house in the burbs and rent (or buy) a small apt in the city. Best of both worlds!

  22. The cute little structure in the photo with the girl riding the bike … it is a pigeonnier (pigeon house) which was converted to guest quarters. From the Parlange Plantation in Louisiana.

  23. OH my gosh, I loved this post. I just got finished rereading The Secret Garden, illustrated.

    I also got the movie and will watch it soon. Swoon.

  24. I have just today discovered your blog and I am in love! When your kids are small is the perfect time for city life. If you don’t do it now you never will! Brooklyn may be just the answer you are looking for. You might find that the love of a brownstone (with yard) are all of your loves wrapped into 1! Good luck. I am looking forward to adding you to “my favorites.”

  25. I can only tell you that living in the city with small kids will increase your stress live significantly, having tried to do it. Raising small kids well is difficult enough, without adding all the additional challenges–strollers that don’t fit anywhere, neighbors who don’t like kids or sounds they make at 7 AM, and so on.

    You may also wish to find out specific costs for pre-school, Gymboree-type programs, art class, etc. Essentially, take what you pay in Cambridge and triple it.

    There’s the romance of living in the city with a family but the reality factor sets in quickly and it’s a shock.

  26. Oh! The little round two-story house in the backyard, with the girl on the bike! I think I must’ve read whatever magazine it came from, and I think I know what it is!

    A renovated dovecote (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dovecote). The photographs of the inside were phenomenal, too. You could use it as a little guesthouse, a poolhouse, a studio, and escape. So cool.

  27. I am taking my time reading back through your posts now that I have found you. Loving it!!! As for the city/suburbia debate – I have lived both with young kids and, for me as a sahm, nothing, nothing beats a big (or even little) backyard!! But then my kids are incredibly active and apartment living had them bouncing off the walls (with me close behind…). Good luck with the deciding!

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