How We Came To Northwoods

Northwoods subdivision is a little gem hidden in the middle of so many things.

People often ask us, “why did you end up in Doraville?!”

like ~ they can’t believe we would ever.

Or, “how did you end up in Doraville?” because they really are curious.

I get it, no offense taken. It’s a bit of an odd pocket.

People picture busy streets with endless no name stores that only cater to Asians and Hispanics. Or a great cut thru to other more affluent neighborhoods, that this can’t possibly be a place to call home. There is some truth to that.

But when I people watch on Buford Highway, I am surprised by all those that make their way here. Not just the cultures mentioned previously.

Admittedly, sometimes I get jealous too, that too many people know it exists. Silly, of course. We want our local businesses to thrive. And hopefully the more traffic we get thru the more people will get brave and try us out. The jealousy I feel is more of a please respect our neighborhood, protective feeling. I think wherever you live these sentiments are true to you.

Sometimes I wonder if people assume Doravillians (I don’t know if this exists but we are going with it) don’t care about where they live because of where they live. Make sense? We are not affluent.

But I am finding this to be far from the truth. Not the affluent part necessarily. 

Something really cool about the nature of my husband’s job is that he is constantly meeting new faces. 40-50 a week. He sells shower doors, glass and mirrors. This has been the family business for close to 40 years. At one time Chattahoochee Shower Doors was doing business as Doraville Glass and Mirrors.

Through his job, Ryan consistently meets people who tell him stories about Buford Hwy. Some have that one or multiple stores, restaurants, memories, etc. of Doraville. A customer once told him that Sunday was Doraville day. The entire family would lunch and then shop for the weeks groceries at the Asian Square Plaza. 

Sometimes we try out new things because of customers recommendations. These customers come from varied backgrounds, African, Asian, European, American, you name it. The diversity of those passing through and noticing is thrilling.

Not only are there family business ties, but sentimental ties too.

Doraville Glass and Mirror was started by my in-laws in this house. My husband came to our little ol’ ranch when he was a newborn babe. He lived here for the first 9 years of his life and remembers a lot about the people and neighborhood. My in-laws regret ever selling this house.

I have many photos of my husband as a boy in our house. Like this one:

Look at that cute little hug juice drinking tot, in a Braves t-shirt mind you ~ heart flutters…

Ryan is pictured above in the carport of our house – 1982

Here he is mowing the grass, I’m guessing close to 8 years old. Sometime around 1986-87


We have other reasons, some of you know them about why we ended up here. One of those stars align type scenarios. And I will gladly share a bit more about that later. For now I’ll just say, that we are okay with making this our forever home and neighborhood. I don’t think I could stomach “perfectville.” I want house prices to go up and I want neat, nice yards. And I hope for city updates like any homeowner. But ultimately I love the essence of what Doraville has become, a celebration of diversity. People stand up for this neighborhood and I love that.

I hope too that we can make a comfortable home for our kids. More than anything that they would remember how great their neighborhood is with its perfect imperfections.

All three kids plot and plan about buying the lots next door one day. They are prepared to make a cash offer. Any takers?! 😉


Moving Walls Pt. 1: Wishes

Trying to make a space this small for five work is quite a task!

When we purchased our ranch style home I was traveling and would not be back in the country for 3 months. I had not the slightest vision of what the space was really like. I had never walked into it, never seen anything but the outside shell and scarcely remembered even that. But… when we found out this house was back on the market – and with the man I trust most (my husband;-)) still in the states we quickly jumped at the chance.

Old homes are daunting, no doubt. Any home buyer fears running into major issues after the big I do. Still, old homes can be fun treasures waiting to be exposed.

One of the first things we did was look at our existing floor plan and look at the different options we had as far as modifying the layout.

above is the original home floor plan from 1953

A few things we felt we needed to modify ~ without making major structural changes ~ was the two front of the house entrances, one in the kitchen (left side) and one by the bedrooms (middle).

old “laundry room” in the kitchen

For us an actual laundry room was needed. One with doors we could close and hide away our dirties.

Perfect pepto pink! 🙂 Say that a few times, its real fun!

Don’t get me wrong. I have no issue with the original pink tile, but it was outdated, and a little dingy. I have a peeve about using hotel bathrooms and this reminds me of a dirty dingy hotel bathroom. Not cool!

Besides the space was a small and tight bathroom for 5 people. So we needed to update and make the one and only bathroom in the house larger.

These were the most pressing needs for our family, that meant we would have to remove and re-build some walls. It was very obvious that while the square foot space was minimal for 5, we had plenty of room to work in some necessities.