New House Dreaming

A few weeks ago I went to a brand new store in the Philadelphia area, the mega flooring store, Floor & Decor. I went in search of wood flooring for the second floor of my house.


Right now all the rooms and hallway on the second level have wall-to-wall carpeting that is 22 years old.  We have classic hardwood downstairs and want to add it upstairs for cohesiveness.


I was looking for the same color.  It is a medium oak called Gunstock.

Grace and Frankie's Beach House

I considered going a tad bit darker and liked Autumn Oak Solid Hardwood. It is similar to the wide plank that is in Grace and Frankie’s (Netflix fame) beach house. It is timeless and never goes out of style.

Fast forward to this week and my wood flooring plans for my house have changed…DRASTICALLY!

If you have been following my blog for sometime then you know my husband Ed lost his job 6 years ago.  He started a consulting business and is part of a mentor program helping students launch businesses at the University of PA now. That work led him to launch a second website, TheBlindGuide, which is focused on improving quality of life and employability of people who are blind or visually-impaired. He, like me, works online.

After our houseful of July 4th weekend guests left, Ed and I started to think and feel the same way about our life in our current home…feeling that it is time to move.

summer tumblr5


We have always wanted to live by the water and asked ourselves…“What are we waiting for”  The time is perfect for us right now to make the change. We have nothing to keep us in our current home.

Our daughters are grown and out on their own in different states that are hours away. Our cat Mittens and dog Schnitzel have both passed away recently,  Both Ed’s and my parents who lived nearby and needed our help for many years have also passed away in the past few years.

All of this, plus the fact that we don’t need the size house we have anymore has created the perfect time to put our dream in motion.

We are in no rush to move. It may happen in 3 months or 3 years, but we have started the process which brings me back to picking out flooring.

Since wood flooring can increase a home’s resale value, I am still considering it for the second floor, but on a more exciting front…

…I am now dreaming of what type of wood flooring I would want in a new house.  I know I would want wood throughout.  After living with hardwood floors for 22 years, I have grown very fond of not only the look, but the ease of care.

I have been looking at real estate listings of waterfront homes in the southeastern part of the United States all week. Homes on rivers and lakes. Lots of house dreaming going on in my mind.

Lake house living

House and Home

We can’t afford an oceanfront property or a spacious lake house like this.  Living in a smaller home along a river or lake will suit us just fine. You can be sure that I will make it as close to something like this house as I can though. :-)

Our budget will require us to buy a fixer-upper, but that will give me lots of content to blog about. Most of the homes I have looked at need a lot of work and as I look from listing to listing my mind looks at each interior with ways it could be updated. The first thing that goes through my mind is to paint everything white and rip out all the flooring and replace it with hardwood. These two changes alone would make every listing I saw look so much better.

Yesterday I went back to Floor and Decor for another project I am working on for the mudroom and decided to look at a wider range of colors and types of wood flooring for the future waterfront home.

Wood flooring options for a new home

On this visit I took my time to look around and was wowed with the selection, prices, and the quantities of all the different types of flooring they had.  The store is huge. It took me over an hour to walk through all 60,000-80,000 square feet.

They stock thousands of products that you can take home with you since they keep so much in stock: tile, wood, laminate, vinyl plank flooring, and even countertops (butcher block and granite) and bathroom sinks, as well as the supplies for installation of all these surfaces.

Capri Oak Engineered Wood flooring

I came home with a few wood flooring samples. I love this one.  It is called Montpellier Oak. I want the home we move into to be very open, airy, and casual. This flooring would be perfect. You can see it is quite different next to the Gunstock I have now.

Dark hardwood flooring

Elements of Style

I also liked Driftwood Lyptus. It looks like dark driftwood.  I like the look of hand scraped wood where the pattern on each plank varies.


Brooke Wagner Designs

I also found that I liked the more refined dark wide planks of Coastal Maple. It looks like this floor. A bit upscale, but still could be casual.

So many beautiful and affordable choices.  My decorating mind is filled with ideas. Now I just need the house.  :-)

I will keep you updated on our road to moving. Right now I am looking at everything around my house with a stager’s eye, including my current mudroom makeover.  We plan to take a road trip soon to start the new home search.

If you know of any river or lake front homes for sale in the southeastern states please let me know.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram where I will be sharing all things water front bargain hunt related.

Affordable wood flooring options at Floor and Decor

This post is sponsored by Floor & Decor. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make In My Own Style possible. All content and opinions are my own.   

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  1. Jodi Ann Panaino says:

    Oh WOW … I’m so excited for you and Ed – I LOVE the way you have done your home …
    I live in South Africa, and I just love your site!!

    I wish you the most wonderful adventure – travelling around – to find your “forever” home!!

    I live in a beautiful area in Johannesburg! I live with my Husband Rob, my Son Keegan – who is 13
    and we have a cottage for my Mom and Dad who live with us!

    Our home is beautiful – My passion is decorating and I have helped so many of my friends make their homes
    beautiful too!!

    Take Care …

    Love and Best Wishes


  2. I’m following your progress with great interest. We are “right-sizing” our lifestyle after 23 years in a 4000 sf house on 2 acres in suburban Atlanta. Last week while scouting possible rentals in Memphis where we want to relocate to be closer to grandgirls, I found a 1200 sf apt between vibrant downtown and the Mississipi River. I couldn’t resist the terms. We’re speeding up our final repairs, moving saved items into storage and packing a diy truck with only what we need short term. While the agent markets our house, we plan to relax near the river. When we get the urge to fix or paint something, we’ll help out at our daughters spacious historic house 10 min away. Eventually, we think we want lakefront too unless the city life converts us.

  3. Jeane Gallo says:

    Diane, we live just north of Charleston, SC, in a beautiful town called Summerville. If you move someplace humid, like here, be aware that the wide plank flooring may cup. We replaced our bedroom carpets with wood a couple of years ago, and I was thinking about the wider planks because I love the look. Our salesman warned me against it because of the high humidity. He said they had a lot of problems with it here.
    Also, I second the advice about being near a good major hospital. And near doctors’ offices as well. We were considering moving to the country about 15 years ago, but decided against it because we wanted to be near the medical centers.
    If you can take the heat and humidity in the summer, the Charleston area is a wonderful place to live. We have everything you could possibly want here, and the winters are a delight. The people are super friendly. The only drawback is that this area is probably the most expensive place to live in SC. If you would like to know more about the area, feel free to email me.

  4. Diane, if you have not lived full time near water, consider the consistant humidity (can warp wood) and sand (can scratch) on your wood floors (as well as the continued rusting of metal).Now, I m not discouraging you, just informing…That being said, we just recently replaced our outdated tile in our home. Floor & Decor was AMAZING. Not only did the knowlegeable and friendly staff help me pick flooring, they also recommended the color grout and grout line sizes to use. Anyway, just for the heck of it, check out the new wood-look porcelain tile. They have the colors you want and the upkeep is SO much easier. GREAT price at Floor & decor, too. Good Luck!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Dana – Thanks for the tip about living near water. When Ed and I were first married we lived in the San Fransisco Bay area. We learned first hand about mold :-) I am liking the wood look tiles…they really do look like wood and would be great choice for flooring in a home around the water.

  5. I know this sounds crazy but this is the first time I have ever looked at your blog I found you on pinterest because I make my own chalk paint and I also use calcium carbonate and have used plaster of paris and I wanted to comment and thank you for the idea of combining the two, and I did and it’s my new favorite! But wait, that’s not the crazy part…I live on Lookout Mountain , outside of Chattanooga Tennessee, which is a wonderful place to live event though we have had a tough few days with the sad incident that happened this week. Anyway, we also have a lake house on the back of Lookout in a gated community called Lookout Highlands and we have several man-made lakes in this wonderful community. I am a teacher and when I retire we are moving to this peaceful place. Please consider Chattanooga it is a wonderful place with lots of water options, lakes, fast-moving water, the Tennessee River with hiking trails and waterfalls. The cost of living is very reasonable and you are 2 hours from Atlanta, Nashville, and Knoxville. I have a booth at a wonderful antique mall called the Knitting Mill.I’m just started a facebook page, Lookout Mountain Jumble Shop. Check out Chattanooga.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – Thanks for the info about Chattanooga. I just added it to out list. We spent a week in the Knoxville area when my daughters were little, but never made it to Chattanooga. It sounds like it has everything we are looking for. I will go check out your FB page. :-)

  6. Sounds really exciting for the next chapter as empty-nesters. Not to sound like a downer but please give great consideration to easy/close access to quality healthcare. Smaller community hospitals aren’t so desirable when we want to stay and age in one last house. And along with expanded services at the hospitals we have to think about other support type services as we age. Can make all the difference in staying in the home or moving again.

  7. Stephanie @ CasaWatkins says:

    Those waterfront pictures are gorgeous. What a dream home. Best of luck in your house hunting. The wood flooring is amazing. The coastal maple is my favorite.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Stephanie – I am excited to get the house hunt started and hoping the transition goes smoothly. Looking forward to decorating a new house and sharing it all on my blog. XO

  8. Sue Bauman says:

    The timing is perfect, as you said, for moving to a new home. I look forward to your posts and will enjoy the search along with you and your many readers! The best is yet to be!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sue – I feel as if everything is pointing us in this direction… now it the time. We are sad that we will be leaving a home where so many memories were made, but looking forward to making new ones at a new home soon. I will be posting all the updates on the blog. Right now, my focus is on staging the house and meeting with the Realtor.

  9. Congratulations on the change! You two are so lucky to have each other and the girls. I can’t wait to hear more details on the sea-change…

    xo Linda

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Linda – I am looking forward to all the changes. It may be take some time before we get settled, but we hope to make the best of the entire transition. I will be updating the progress in my posts. XO

  10. I would love to move into the beach house (maybe a little smaller one) like the one in Frankie and Gracie. Happy house hunting!

  11. Jennifer@The Chronicles of Home says:

    Oh WOW, Diane! I’m so excited for you! We’ll still always have our hometown connection though :)

  12. Diane, my aunt is selling her lake front home in South Carolina on Lake Murray. She is widowed and getting older and feels that she can’t take the time to do the yards and upkeep. Would love to give you more information if you are interested. Send me an email, if you are. She is on a beautiful, quiet cove.

  13. Linda@Coastal Charm says:

    How exciting for the two of you, to have the chance to get that waterfront home of your dreams. My husband is a realtor here on the Alabama gulf coast and he would love to help you here, if you think that this is an area that you might like. We have bays, rivers, lagoons and the beautiful gulf of Mexico.


  14. Diane, I love the water too! A few years ago we rented a house on Lake Ontario for a week with our sons and their families. It was the best vacation!
    We have an older home with wood floors throughout. Although I have a ranch and only have one floor, like you I love it. This floor has seen crawling babies, running dogs, dueling teenagers and now crawling babies, soccer playing boys and running dogs . . . how could I ever give them up!

  15. Have you looked into St Mary’s GA? Our son and daughter law just purchased some beautiful land there.My husband and I plan on spending half of the year there.The other is Wisconsin ( in the summer of course) .Love its charm.

  16. Diane – I would love to suggest Brunswick County in North Carolina. I leave in SE PA but have loved North Carolina for a long time. Brunswick County has some beautiful beaches and some great opportunities for some “DIY” houses. We love Holden Beach which is a wonderful family beach near Shalotte, NC. Take a peak at some of the properties. It’s a beautiful place to live and the prices are not crazy!

  17. Diane,
    How exciting…a new chapter in your lives.

    As I write this, I’m gazing at boxes of hand scraped variable board hardwood for my main floor makeover.
    Install another week or so out and cannot wait.

    Looking forward to reading your posts about this new and exciting journey.

  18. Carol Griffin says:

    Diane, we live in Murrells Inlet, SC which is an extension of Myrtle Beach, SC, close to Pawleys Island. It is beautiful down here…lots of beautiful properties in the Pawleys Island area as well as Georgetown. Also, we love to travel to the “UpState” as we call it, on the western side of SC, near Clemson. Lake Keowee is a beautiful lake with lots of beautiful properties. We have even talked about if and when we did relocate from the Myrtle Beach area, it would be to Lake Keowee or to Seabrook Island, south of Charleston. I am a realtor her in the Myrtle Beach area and if I can help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  19. Amberly Buck says:

    You cannot beat coastal Alabama! Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Bon Secour, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope, Magnolia Springs, Point Clear, Dog River, Dauphin Island…

  20. Jaye Brown says:

    I hope that means you’ll be down our way looking. Please come visit, you’re welcome anytime.

  21. Linda | Homeagination says:

    So happy you have made the decision to move. At certain times in life, it’s just the right thing to do. Embrace the fun of a fixer-upper! My husband and I now rent, which gives us the flexibility to move when the mood strikes (and it strikes us quite often). The only down side is the fact that I can’t get down and dirty with a remodel or even a painting project once and a while.

    BTW, I really like the Montpellier Oak! Good luck with your house hunting!

  22. melinda ke says:

    Diane, that is so exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing all of the updates you make once you find the right home. I’ve been house searching for several years now and still haven”t found the right one yet, but I just can’t wait to start nesting! I love going to look at floor and tile samples and dream about how I will update my future fixer-upper. Good luck, I hope you find the right one soon! :)

  23. I am so happy that you were able to make the decision to move where you want to. When you get there please adopt another cat and dog as every home needs completion. I am jealous that you will be by water. Me, who doesn’t even like water is bound to live by it one day. Best of luck and what fun to fix and decorate the way you want.

  24. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    Oooooh how exciting! Too bad I’m so far from your search area. We have wonderful communities along the Missouri River as well as lake front properties in several areas around here. But ND isn’t in your search area. ;-)

    Cannot wait to see what you buy! The search is fun, the decorating and redoing will be fabulous. I too would be buying gallons of white paint for a lake or riverside property. Fun!

    Best of luck…..You’ll find your dream home soon :-)

  25. sharon / says:

    wow, major change of plans, I’ll say! i’m excited for you! (so excited I think I’ll go along for the ride on your IG.) the timing for you sounds solid ☆

  26. Diane, I live in Beaufort County, North Carolina, just off the Pamlico River. We some beautiful properties around here. A few gated communities and country lanes right on the river with older homes and small subdivisions with new homes or just lots to build. You should come check it out.
    I could even put y’all up for a few nights if you’re interested in coming all the way down here. :)

  27. Linda Weeks says:

    Oh boy, this will be great! I look forward to seeing what you will be looking at! How about Maryland? Some great waterfront available! My best wishes for you and Ed! Oh, yes, I like the “lyptis” from the looks of the photo!

  28. I’m with Lisa Lee. Check out Alabama. We live on the gulf coast but on the bay side. When I look out our kitchen window in the morning I have to sometimes pinch myself to know this isn’t a dream…we really do live here. We did just like you are thinking of doing and moved here after my husband’s parents passed away but we moved my mother from her hometown to an assisted living near us and what a blessing to share her final years. We live on a creek that goes out to Wolf Bay and to the intercoastal waterway to the gulf. My husband enjoys bay fishing nearly daily. We live in a little paradise that many don’t know exists. Check out Josephine, Alabama – If you decide to come our way to look we have a guest cottage and you and Ed are most welcome to stay there. We just redid it and did tile floors that look like wood. Many people are shocked when we share it is not wood. It is near the color of the montpellier oak you posted. Check that type flooring out too. It’s great living by the water. You are near enough to enjoy beach life here too and your families will like that, ours do.

  29. Linda O'Neill says:

    Like you my husband and I wanted a change. Ours was from a state with high property taxes and escalating cost-of-living prices and huge traffic problems. Hawaii has always called us so we moved. Even though the cost of living here is pretty expensive we find our needs have changed. We downsized considerably and we spend less. Going to the beach and hiking have replaced many of the high costs of big city living. Shorts and t-shirts and flip flops have also replaced higher priced clothing items. We waited too long before making the move and am constantly wondering why we waited. So carpe diem!

  30. Love Floor & Decor! That’s where we purchased the hardwoods and tile for our kitchen backsplash! We plan on purchasing from them again next month when it’s time to start working on our new house! Congrats on deciding it’s time to move!!!

  31. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Wow, how exciting. Have fun on the road trips and oh my…. what an adventure you two will have in your search. Sort of reminds me of the excitement of reading “Treasure Island”.

  32. Brenda Kula-Pruitt says:

    Great news! I say don’t put off your dreams, for no one knows how much time they have on this earth. I love your idea of all white walls and wood floors. I have come to just hate carpet. I really love the look of “hand scraped” wood you found.

  33. How exciting Diane! Best wishes to both you and Ed as you start a new adventure together. Love all your blogs and will look forward to many changes and new ideas that you can share with all of us. Life changes can bring some great adventures. Enjoy and keep us posted!!

  34. So happy for you. I’m looking forward to following your new adventure!

  35. I am so excited for you, Diane! This is also a dream of ours, although I still have children in school so it is over 5 years away. I am so excited to follow your adventure and see you realize your dream. You deserve it!!

  36. Erin Andrews says:

    How exciting! My parents made that leap 13 years ago and have been very happy. They live in the New Bern, NC area. It’s a town where two rivers (Trent & Neuse) converge. It’s downtown is historic and has been lovingly revitalized. It’s about 30 minutes from the ocean but there’s lots of lovely homes near the rivers. They stumbled upon this town on a road trip. Best of luck! I look forward to watching your adventures unfold.

  37. Oh my goodness, Diane! How exciting for you, and as a long time reader I DO know how much you’ve talked about wanting to do this very thing. God has been working in your lives to make it possible for you to realize your dream. I have no doubt you will find the perfect place and you will turn a “sows ear into a silk purse”. And I can hardly wait to see it happen! A word of caution though….just make sure the deficiencies you find are cosmetic only. So many times there are underlying problems that cost big bucks to fix. But I know you already know all that! Good luck and have fun as you and Ed explore all the possibilities together.

  38. Please share your searching terms and your online process. Working and living in central NJ and want to retire soon to a waterfront with birds and change of season. Can’t seem to get started looking. Am so grateful for today’s blog. What a gift.

  39. Deb Wostmann says:

    What a wonderful adventure for you and your husband. As a Realtor here in Portland, Oregon I will look forward to seeing how this new chapter unfolds for you! Congrats…..

  40. This does sound like the perfect time to make a lifestyle change. I am excited for you…sounds like fun! Thanks for taking us along! ;)

  41. When we bought our on a creek (which is more like a small river) – I thought that maybe the rushing water would be somehow intrusive every day . . are you kidding me?? It’s been 18 years and now I can’t go to sleep without that sound . . . .we also have an eagle’s nest across the creek that was established in 2000 -watching our pair of eagles raise their young never fails to fascinate. Beavers, river otters, herons are but a few of the visitors to the creek – top that off with the yearly salmon spawning makes living here such a privilege. Pond, lake, river, creek – you can’t go wrong. Enjoy your search when the time comes!

  42. We have a house on Lake Martin in Alabama and are literally living our dream. Low Property taxes, small town values, and fabulous sunshine. 30 minutes from Auburn, Alabama for shopping, dining, college sports events. Check it out! Lisa

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa – I have not heard of Lake Martin. I am adding it to ur list. When Ed and I were first married he had the opportunity to teach at Auburn or UNC and Duke. We ended up going to NC. Maybe Alabama is still in our future. :-) I like the fabulous sunshine.

  43. I loved this post!! We sold our “large” home 2010 and bought a charming Cape Cod style home. It is perfect for us as all our kids are married. The purging and downsizing was a nightmare but worth every second!
    Have fun finding your “forever” home!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – I am really looking forward to downsizing and finding just the right home. I have been getting ready for a move and have purged quite a bit, but with so much stuff accumulated over 22 years in a house, I have some more editing/purging to do.

  44. Christina says:

    Oh Diane, I am squealing with delight inside for you!! I am loving the Montpelier Oak. Now, that said, I read of your dream home and immediately thought of the HGTV shows Beachfront/Lake front/etc. bargain hunt. :) I absolutely KNOW you are going to find a house you love and is thrilled to have you take care of it. How thoroughly exciting.
    I know this kind of freedom has come at the price of not having the physical company of family and fur friends, yet, how wonderful to have all the love and memories still with you. :)
    Thank you for the excitement of your new adventure(s)!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christina – I love Beachfront Bargain Hunt. I think I am going to call our home search #WaterFrontBargainHunt :-) We figure once we get resettled we will get a new cat and dog as we do miss them terribly. In the meantime we have our “grandpets”. Two cats and a dog that we get to see when we visit our daughters.

      1. Christina says:

        I am VERY excited for you Diane. I love your blog and will look forward to each an every post as always. Fur family are amazing and I know your adventure is going to be SO much fun!!!

  45. Loi Baltes says:

    Look, forward to the new adventure we live on the water so will be excited to see your ideas. Congratulations on a new life experience.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Loi. Lots of work ahead, but I am excited to get going in the right direction.

  46. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    This is the most exciting post ever Diane! This is exactly my dream, to one day own a waterfront home, so my kids and friends will want to come visit often. We go to Smith Mountain Lake in VA every year and our friend’s parents live there. All the kids and grandkids and friends hang out there all the time and they certainly will never be lonely. You should check out that lake, it’s beautiful. Or even the lakes in PA, my friends have a waterfront home there and they are still very affordable.
    Love hardwood floors throughout as you already know ;) Best of luck.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Julia. We are excited to make the change. Smith Mountain Lake is one our list. We plan to take a road trip to visit every lake/river area to see which one we like best. Time is on our side and we can use it to find exactly what we are looking for.

      1. Mary from Virginia says:

        I was going to suggest Smith Mountain Lake too. My sister has a home there. There are several homes for sale in the area. She has the loveliest neighbors. They do potlucks, progressive dinners, happy hours, but they aren’t in your face kind of neighbors. WE LOVE going to visit.

        I know my sister would welcome you to stay so you look around. Their realtor lives down the road from them. If you want my sister’s email let me know. She knows that lake and the various neighborhoods like the back of her hand. =)