There’s been a lot happening around here and I’ve got some big news to share with you guys. If you read this post you already know that we sold our A-frame in Palm Springs in hopes of finding a larger primary home for our family. With the birth of Clover we suddenly outgrew our small LA 2 bedroom house. As you might also remember we temporarily set Clover up in the play room, then gave her the master bedroom but the bottom line is we feel like this house is no longer working for us and owning two small (1,000ish sq ft.) homes in different cities no longer felt practical, especially in these first couple years of having two kids we would hardly be able to use a vacation home like you’d want to. Relaxing and unwinding on the weekends doesn’t really happen with a toddler and a newborn. So the search was on for a new larger primary home that works for our family and where Rupe and I can have a bedroom again. Haha

So here she is!! (I can not wait to paint over that red btw). All 4,300 square feet of her. I think we may have gone overboard in the space department and I will probably now lose the kids but Rupe and I tend to make overly dramatic changes. Speaking of dramatic changes… the house is in Michigan!!! After looking for about a year and almost getting houses all over the map… literally, (we put offers down on houses around Los Angeles, Austin, and a couple others in Grand Rapids and we were either beat out by timing, offer price, or once we got all the way to inspections and the house had a crumbling foundation and was falling down a hill) we ended up narrowing in our sites on Grand Rapids, Mi and found this property.

I have to say it is no ordinary house. I think half the reason it takes us so long to find a new house is because I look for things that the typical homebuyer is not looking for. I want the kitchen and bathrooms to be ugly and dated (the more outdated the better!) and I look for light. A light filled house or at least the ability to open it up to make it a light filled house is top on the list. I also look for unique features that aren’t seen in every other home. Most of all, I like clean lines but character, which can be a hard combination to come by. This house, however, has all of it. At least, as far as I can tell from the photos. Yes, we haven’t even seen it in person. Essentially, in our complete sleep deprived desperation, we bought a house off the internet and will be moving our family across the county in less than a month. NBD

I just read an article which said not to make any drastic life changes in the first 6 months of having two kids (boy did that ship already sail) and now I know why. We bought the house when everyone was sick, I hadn’t slept more than 2 hours in a row for 5 months ( I am still having a hard time putting two sentences together. haha Seriously my brain is MUSH), our nanny who normally works three days a week was gone for almost a full month (we had no other help), I was still running a business and fitting in work whenever wherever I could (plugging along through the greatest brain fog), Rupe and I were alternating mental breakdowns… it was a definite low point. I think we were looking for a way out, whether it made sense or not. And yes, now that Clover hit 6 months and she is sleeping through the night as well as napping longer than 40 minutes, everything suddenly got SO much more manageable but while we were definitely a bit hasty, I’m excited for this next adventure and really excited about this house.

 So why Michigan? While we may have been hasty in the purchasing of the house we have talked about wanting to eventually move to Michigan for our family at some point, so it wasn’t completely out of the blue (just a bit more sudden and a lot sooner than we thought). After living in California for over 12 years it will definitely be an adjustment. Yes yes, the weather is grey and cold for almost half the year but I’m looking forward to experiencing the seasons again. And as much as I’ve travelled and as many gorgeous places I’ve seen, Michigan has some of the most natural beauty. It flies under the radar and I didn’t realize just how beautiful it was growing up, until I was gone for a few years. 

The number one reason we are moving is for our kids. I had an amazing childhood growing up in Michigan with room to roam, easy access to nature, great schools, family around, and a slower pace. I want my children to have that too. If we never had kids we would probably live where we are in LA forever, but I feel like if we didn’t give Michigan a shot for them, I would always wonder what could have been. If life would be easier with more space, a little less hustle and with some family not far away. Also Grand Rapids is a smaller city but it has a growing creative community that I am looking forward to being a part of. It was even #1 on Vogue’s list of cities to buy a house in 2018  and #20 on New York Times list of 52 places to visit in the entire world in 2016. So you all have to come visit! we’ll have the room. 😉

As pretty as Michigan is and as much as I am counting on it being easier to have family around, I honestly don’t know if I will be able to hack it in the winter there. I haven’t lived there in almost 15 years which is almost half my life and all of my adult life. I am not sure how to adult in Michigan.

I love our LA neighborhood and the friends we’ve made, which is why we are keeping our LA house, just in case. Really, that isn’t even a joke. It was the only way Rupert was able to convince me to move across the country. We will be renting it out and giving Michigan at least a one year try. After a year we will reassess and see where we are. I can do most of my work from anywhere (I rarely leave the house right now anyway) and I will still have my business based out of LA, so I’ll be traveling a bit more, but now feels like the perfect time. Before Archie is in full-time school and while we are both working from home (Rupe just recently went freelance and currently takes phone meetings in his car since there is no space for him to work. ha). I also didn’t get a chance to even take maternity leave this time around and I want to be able to enjoy my kids while they are so young. Work has been incredible so I won’t complain but I am hoping the move will help me find a bit more balance. The future is wide open and I can’t wait to see what is in store. One thing I know for sure is a whole lot of renovations on the new house. We are calling it #samuelfamilyfixer.

Next up is a full tour!

And if you got bored and stopped reading after the first paragraph here is the cliff’s notes version.

#1 we bought a new house (basically off the internet)
#2 it is in Michigan
#3 we are keeping our LA house and renting it out for a year to give Michigan a try
#4 we are moving our family to Michigan next month to give our kids more of what I had growing up. Room to roam, nature, family, and hopefully a slower pace.
#5 my company will still be based out of LA and work will continue as usual (but hopefully a little more balanced)
#6 are we insane? yes, probably


  • So what does your husband do/how does he work that you were both able to make this move?

    Asking, because my partner and I have been speculating as to a similar type of move.

  • sally

    I don’t think you’re insane! You can work from anywhere, and as someone who lived in MI for 7 years (go State!), it’s a GREAT place to raise children! Congratulations!

  • On behalf of Grand Rapids…welcome!! I hope you love it here – there really is an incredible amount of natural beauty 🙂 Winters can be tough, but it’s a good excuse to settle in and get cozy!

    • sarah

      Thank you! terrified by the winters. no joke. But I think that is when I will plan some strategic travel. 🙂

  • Virginia

    I’m so excited for you and your family (and selfishly for all the readers who will get to tag along during your renovations)! Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what you do with the place.

  • love this / love you / but will miss seeing you at e’ery LA event everrrrr. the mitten sure is divine, though. just pop a sauna in that huge house + get vitamin D lamps for every room and she’ll be ‘right. xx

  • Cathryn

    The house and the land look fantastic! That will be the best thing for your family, even if for just the year 😉 Cannot wait to come along for the ride!

  • Rebecca

    I totally get it. When we found out I was pregnant with #2 when my first was 8 months old, we almost immediately decided to leave Southern California to give our kids the opportunity to live a different life. We have been so happy in Texas. I will say at the year mark your ok, 1 1/2 years in you stop thinking about it and by 2 years it’s totlaly Home. The best part is social media to stay connected but it can also be the biggest pitfall. Suddenly you see pictures of people back home doing things like going to the beach or to Disneyland and you get FOMO. You do start to realize that you would not be doing that though because you were constantly working or busy with the kids or trying to balance life and that’s why you moved. Congrats on a new and fun adventure that you will never regret!

    • sarah

      Totally I will have to remind myself I barely did any of it! Also this makes me think I should plan one quick trip to disney before we leave which should hold me over for at least 5 years. haha

  • Mailinh

    Here’s to the next adventure with your family! I have to say I notice a lot of families moving to states like MI and its neighboring states because families are looking for what you are looking for. Something smaller (city-wise) and, as you said, a bit more room to roam.

    Congrats on the house! I know that this place is going to look amazing since it will get a little Sarah fairy dust on it. 😉

    • sarah

      thank you! yes I think there is a definite shift especially how there is less and less of a need to be physically present somewhere to work these days.

    • Yes couldn’t have said it better myself! We’re in the process of moving from LA to Houston for much of the same reasons!

  • Eva

    Flipping another house already? How exciting! Hope you get what you ask for this time!

    • sarah

      haha we have no plans to flip this house and I’ll just say things aren’t always as they seem. We sold our last place to friends so it wasn’t the typical buyers/sellers agreement, We were very happy with what we landed on even though the internet might not convey it, lets just put it that way.

  • Christine

    How exciting for you and your family! We have a two year old son, and a daughter on the way, and are doing the exact OPPOSITE. Moving away from family on the east coast to Los Angeles where we don’t know anyone. I think WE are the crazy ones. I’ll admit I am jealous you’ll be stepping into a bit of an easier lifestyle with two little ones, and am starting to rethink our decision now… Eek! Best of luck!!

  • Ali

    This post felt so well-timed and was so encouraging for me to read! I’m also moving to Grand Rapids this summer. The move is for my boyfriend’s job, so I’ve been nervous about what to expect and what life will look like, but seeing this is so exciting! I can’t wait to get out of my comfort zone and dive into all of the creative things that are happening there.

  • Meg

    We did the same thing! I’m feeling better about myself knowing someone else is doing it too. Sight unseen. All for the same reasons…family, schools, seasons…etc. From Austin to Rochester, NY. It has now been a year and I’m so glad we did it. We miss the tacos the most but wouldn’t change a thing about being closer to family and experiencing summer again! Good luck!

    • sarah

      haha “i miss the tacos”. I am sad to leave all the restaurants here for sure.

  • Max Dean

    Congratulations, Sarah. We just moved to Western Michigan from Chicago ‘burbs via two years in London. I’m British, hubby from Lansing. Winter was tough, but summer is here now. I”m sure you’ll feel back at home in no time. Love GR!

  • Nikki

    I think this absolutely amazing. What a fun fresh start for your work and family. I can’t wait to see what you do to this property, it has such great bones!

  • florence

    congrats on the big future move! we’re trying to figure out this EXACT thing… though from Brooklyn to possibly CA, who knows. the home looks beautiful, can’t wait to see how it will turn out after your magic and hard work!

  • Piia

    That’s so cool. Can’t wait to see the renovation of your house.

  • I love this & can so relate. We live in Portland with lots of nature, family all around and a slower pace than LA. My husband and I both work in commercial/film industry from Portland and are always toying with the idea of life in LA. But there seems to be an exodus of families from LA. I know we have it really good in Portland and are always on a plane to LA for work so we kind of have the best of both worlds right now. But the idea of it is always lingering. So seeing your perspective gives me solace that the ‘slow life’ in Portland is really ok, especially with some kiddos in tow.

    Looking forward to following along & seeing this adventure unfold and of course drooling over the design process and interiors. xx

    • sarah

      Totally an exodus. we have a few friends that have made the switch and I am excited to give it a try. I think you have the best of both worlds. x

  • Britany

    OH MY GOODNESS. You have no idea how exciting this is.

    First of all, I love your work and have followed it for years- Second of all, I’m a Michigan native as well- also planning for my return as we speak! We’re currently in Kentucky but now that we also have two kiddos, it just makes sense to move back home. Plus, I think my butt just BELONGS on a lake.

    When the spacious- out of date- crazy-colored home, with a big yard, next-door to my parents went up for sale- we had to jump on it!
    I am also going to be working from home away from my company’s Louisville office and traveling more, but hey- we’re enriching our kid’s lives, right?

    I’m also really starting to think we’re insane as well.

    Can’t wait to watch you pull this off and the fresh start for both of our families.

    • sarah

      haha that is incredible! To be SO close to your parents. My butt definitely belongs by the lake as well. 😉

  • WELCOME TO GRAND RAPIDS! We have grown so much over the years I’m so excited for your family to move here!

  • Wow! Congratulations 🙂 this gives me – a fellow Michigander (and Grand Haven alum) faith that as much as I always say I would like to move out of the state – i really do love it here. Cannot wait to see what you do to the place, and so hope our paths cross in the Grand Rapids creative community. If you ever need someone to connect with when you’re back – there’s no shortage of this amazing community. Goodluck and I can’t wait to read more! ❤️

  • So inspiring….I grew up in Grand Haven and have lived in SF & LA the last 20 years but lately have had a major itch to move back to the mitten….just a little worried about the cold!

  • Amanda


  • Congrats and it looks gorgeous! You and your family will have a wonderful time there. My only piece of advice is give it more than a year! I’m a true city girl having lived in London most of my adult life (although I grew up in Windsor!). We moved to the engliah countryside for exactly the same reasons you quote – experiencing the seasons, having space for the kids to roam (and space to store their bikes etc!) and get creative outdoors slower pace of life etc etc. Although I love it now and would never go back to living in a city – a visit or day trip suits me just fine! – I hated it for the first year, and it honestly took me about 5 years before the countryside felt like Home. So please don’t give up on it too soon! You’ll love it and never look back but it is a big change and it takes time to adjust! Oh and if the weather is anything like thenUK you get creative when it rains – a spacious house helps – as does a playroom with plenty of crafting bits and a big crafting tanle Good luck and congrats again – can’t wait to see the temp!

  • Katy

    Wow! Never saw that coming! But I totally understant. We are in the process of selling our Atlanta home to move somewhere a it more connected to nature for the kids sake.

    I do wonder though, is it possible to completely overhaul your LA home if you decided to stay there? Could you add a second floor? Aghh I’m sure the unsettled feeling is hard. I hope you guys find out you love it there and can make your careers work!

    • sarah

      Hi KAty!
      WE actually had plans drawn up to add a second floor to our LA home but decided against it. It is more of the outdoor space that I crave and the ease of being able to hop in your car and get somewhere without sitting in hours of traffic. And the freedom that comes when you can tell your kid to just go play outside. I almost never leave the house because between naps there just isnt enough time! Right now we are not taking advantage of any of the things that make LA such a great place so we think why not give somewhere else a crack. 🙂

    • Katy

      100% understand you – those are the same reasons we’re moving! Our house was great for a baby but now that he’s 3, I want to tell him to go play outside and let him roam. So happy for you! I had my son just before you had Archie and now we’re moving out to the forest at the same time (we’re building a custom home though instead of renovation) so it’s fun to see how our lives have followed similar paths. 🙂 Your House is sick, I can’t wait to see what you do to it.

    • sarah

      Ah so fun! We put an offer down in some land as well and thought of going that route but we didn’t get it in the end. So fun to hear of someone in the same phase of life making the same crazy decisions 😉

  • Tara

    Congratulations, Sarah! My husband, 4 yr old son and I just moved back to the Detroit area after stints in NYC and Chicago for the same reasons. The first six months were the hardest, but being around our family has been so wonderful for all of us. And like you said, nothing beats a Michigan summer. Excited to follow along on your adventure! Welcome home.

    • sarah

      Thank you! I wish that michigan summer would linger just a littttle longer. 🙂

  • Sharon

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see what you do with the new house – it looks lovely – especially the back garden with pool!!! Love your style and love reading your blog! Congrats from one Michigan girl to another ; )))

  • Congrats it looks gorgeous! I’ve just written a long comment but it’s not loaded for some reason – condensed version is – you and your family will have a wonderful time! But give it way more than a year! It’s a big change and it’ll take time to adjust. I’m a city girl who moved to the country for all the same reasons – I absolutely love it here now and wouldn’t change it for the world – a day trip or eve out to the city does me nicely – but it honestly took about 5 years for me to call it home and I literally hated it that full first year! 😉 It’s amazing to truly feel the seasons and you get creative with the kids when it rains – a spacious house helps as does a playroom with a large craft table and lots of crafting bits and you’ll soon see they don’t need much to entertain themselves! Good luck and congrats again you won’t look back!

    • sarah

      Thank you! Great advice and SO SO looking forward to having a dedicated play/craft space.

  • ellen

    Congrats!! We bought a similar(ish) lake house in Gainesville, GA (1 hr north of ATL) in 2016 and did a to-the-studs reno before we moved in. It was great fun! It is also a big house (4400sf) but the rooms are all big and open to each other and there aren’t too many bedrooms or bathrooms so it doesn’t feel SO big. Not a lot of nooks and crannies you could say. I can’t wait to see what you do with yours!! I’m new to your work and your blog, but I’ve enjoyed everything you share. You are doing an awesome thing for your kids…you’ll never get this time back, so you might as well enjoy it in a spacious, gorgeous home!

    • sarah

      Hi Ellen! That is amazing and it sounds so much like our house. The living spaces are HUGE and not too many bedrooms or bathrooms and we are planning to open it up even a bit more and do most of our living on the top floor and keeping the bottom for guests and my office.
      Thank you for your words of encouragement! xo

  • I love it, Sarah! Huge congrats. Change is always good in my book and it sounds like this one is coming at a particular time for a particular reason. Excited to follow along. Wishing you guys all the best with the move. x

  • Summer Lynn

    I just did the same thing with my two babies but we moved to Burgundy France! 🇫🇷 A little nuts too but like you I grew up in the Midwest (Indiana) and after 20 years in LA i just didn’t want my kids to grow up there. I needed seasons and space and a slower way of life just like I grew up in. We DID consider moving to Indy but my husband is French and his family’s here and they offered us a house to stay in rent free for a few years until we can buy. I absolutely love burgundy. It’s beyond gorgeous and the food! But mostly so excited about the country side and nature and farms and makes my kids will now experience. We had our first thunderstorm today and I forgot how much I missed it! Like you guys, had we no kids we prob would have stayed in LA but with it’s such a no go. I want my kids to have fresh air and THAT is definitely not near the 405. Best of luck to you guys. Grew up going to Lake Michigan every summer. Adore it there. Get your OFF ready again. I forgot about mosquitoes 😂

    • sarah

      AH! That is incredible. We LOVE the French countryside. Totally not looking forward to the mosquitos but everything else. haha

  • rachael

    Moving back to MI, specifically Grand Raoida after 7 years in Washington DC was the best decision of my and my husbands life.. We will always miss things about the city but it’s only a plane ride away. Also Chicago is so close too!

  • I’m so excited for you and your family. What an adventure! And you have me wanting to move my family to Michigan! Haha! I can’t wait to see what you do with this house too. I can see why you bought it; it’s amazing already.

  • Brittany

    Oh good- now I don’t feel so crazy! We are moving this week into our new home in the uk in a house we bought without my husband seeing and we’d only ever been to the area once before 😬 we moved from LA last month but are just waiting for some of our furniture to arrive. A year and a half before that we moved with a 2 year old and a 3 month old from Brooklyn to Beverly Hills…by driving across the country with the kids and our dog because she couldn’t fly. 😬 and 4.5 years before that we moved from London to nyc. My husband is from the uk (I’m from pa) and we too are trying to get settled somewhere a little more like our childhood. But with ya know…more sheep. If you move to the uk I’d be thrilled to be part of your design community where we obsess about details of light and character in our houses so much we will buy a house practically anywhere🤷🏼‍♀️ ;)anyway well done. I’ve had no regrets so far! Xx

  • Andrea

    WELCOME from another GR designer!!! I’m super excited you will be a part of this amazing community. We moved from Chicago 6 years ago and it’s been so great to see it grow. If you are ever looking for a collaboration- I’m in love with your style!!!

  • You know those moments when someone tells you exactly what you need to hear at the exact moment you need to hear it? My husband and I are relocating for an oddly similar but also very different reason. Our current location in texas just isn’t cutting it when it comes to fulfilling our creative community needs… not too mention that it literally has NO TREES! Ha! He’s been begging me to move and open another shop in traverse city or bellaire, but we also just went and checked out San Clemente and the surrounding area. While the cost of living and amount of people out west stresses me out, I just keep thinking about being near the ocean as well as being able to connect creatively with so many others that share similar interests. My kiddos are also both under 4 so it’s the perfect timing to make a move. When you talked about your kiddos being able to roam and explore, well, that really resonated with me. If we figure something out in traverse, maybe we can connect someday! Haha!

  • What a bold move!! I love it! I grew up in a rural area and my husband and I always talk about one day leaving the city for a more relaxed pace. Congrats for living your dream!!

  • Soyoung

    Congratulations!!! What exciting news. I can’t wait to see what you do with the new home. You’re seriously my design icon – I love everything you do and I’m always making my husband look at your work. 😄 We are actually house hunting right now, and thinking seriously about getting something that needs a major reno (trying not to be too scared about doing it with a 3 and 1.5 year old).

    Wish you lots of luck on the adventure, and hope you all will get to live the slow life!

  • Lori Doran

    As the mother to 2 tweenagers, we did the same almost 2 yearsago. We moved to the Austin area and while I love it so much the first year was HARD. It’s so much easier to make friends when your kids are small. I missed my friends so so much. I missed my grocery store, my place of exercise, and even the people that worked at the design showrooms (oh and the actual showrooms). BUT I would not move back at all. The hardest part has been renting, as a person so affected by my home. I agree that a year is not enough. Get your little one in a mother’s day Out or a playgroup. That’s where I met all my besties. It’s work making new friends. I really believe that making sure the kids have “old school” childhoods these days is important! As my kids played in the river yesterday unattended for hours with no cell service my husband and I looked at each other and said, yeah, we did the right thing. Oh- we also own businesses in our old city. It’s all do-able!. Congrats!

    • sarah

      yes! I am going to miss my friends SO much and having the best health food/grocery store on our same street, but a day at the river with no cell service and kids playing on their own sounds pretty much like heaven. x

  • Candice

    Totally did the same. Had a kid in 900sf in San Clemente. Found a killer house online for a price I could not believe. Feel in love with it and bought it with only one visit. Still in CA and still far from family:/ But only 3 hrs north of LA & 4 hrs from SF. only 2.5-3 from central coast beaches.

    Congrats! So excited to see the transformation. I’m currently in reno mode myself. TheVillaSequoia on Instagram. Trying to channel my inner Sarah;) Thanks for all the inspiration.

  • Anna

    I moved to Michigan from LA a decade ago after living there and loving it for eight years. I’m also from New Mexico ao the Michigan winters are especially tough, but it has been such a great change. We live in Ann Arbor (my husband is a prof at U-M)in a fantastic mid century in the woods that looks a lot like yours minus the pool. My solution to Michigan winters is repacking to Costa Rica or someplace really warm and tropical every few years. And while we didn’t have kids until we moved to Michigan, it has really been the best change. The summers are gorgeous, the traffic is reasonable, and the people are great! I feel like if I had an escape hatch after a year, I totally would have moved back to SoCal, but I am so glad that we stuck it out. I’ll never be a true Michigander, but I truly feel like it’s my home now. (Sorry for the typos, I’m on my phone through Instagram and the format is challenging!)

    • sarah

      So great to hear. I feel like after a year we can see if we need more time to decide or if it for sure won’t work. We will see!

  • My grandma lives on Lake Michigan…in a little town outside Grand Rapids called Montague. It’s one of my FAVORITE places in the whole wide world. We grew up in Orange County and always looked forward to summer trips to the lake. How awesome to raise your family there!

  • I greatly admire your leap of faith for the betterment of your kids’ childhoods. My husband and I have thoughts of doing the same. However, 90% of our family is in L.A… leaving family here will be the tough part. I’m super excited to see you add your special touch to this rad house. Congratulations!

  • Cynthia

    I grew up in the burbs of Chicago and spent every summer vacation in Michigan’s UP. It is Paradise. I’ve been to GR many times and find it to have the best of all worlds…big enough to have something for everyone and small enough to feel like a community. Lots of creative stuff going on there so I think you will love it. And yes, there’s so much to be said for giving littles the gift of freedom and room to romp. Very much looking forward to following your reno from Seattle!

  • Jessica

    We are kindred spirits, you and I. After 15 years in NY/San Francisco, my husband and I, along with our toddler and baby-on-the-way are moving to my hometown of Milwaukee, WI, for many of the same reasons you mentioned. I think it’ll be a wonderful place to raise a family, and we’ll have family nearby. We found an incredible mid-century home and have been doing renovations (some from afar) in preparation for moving in later this summer, after baby arrives. It is insane and exciting, and I’m trying not to freak out (too much)! Looking forward to following your similar journey.

  • Having lived in seven cities and two countries in the past five years, I don’t think you’re crazy at all! Granted I don’t have children BUT I strongly believe in moving and getting to try new walks of life. So excited to follow your adventures (and envious of whomever ends up renting your LA home in the interim!). Can’t wait for the full house tour! xo

  • Congratulations!!! I’m so excited for you! FWIW – we bought our current house when my oldest daughter was 3 months old, so buying a house during that initial 6-month stage can work out! We’re in DC and love it here, but we’ve been debating moving to Upstate NY to be closer to my husband’s family and for all the same reasons that you’re moving to Michigan. So excited to follow your adventure and see what you do with that gorgeous new home of yours!

  • Carol

    This house looks so amazing! Congrats! Try not to worry too much about the winters. Yes, it seems intimidating, but like anything else different you will get used to it! I’m originally from Atlanta and now live in Chicago, and while some days can be brutal, you learn how to dress for it and make the best of it! In no time you will embrace the coziness that you create for yourself. My kids only know this weather and the cold doesn’t bother them at all. Yours are young enough that they will quickly learn to love playing in the snow!

  • Katie

    I love this, this is COMPLETELY relatable to me as a new mom to a 9-month old baby & living in LA. I don’t think you’re crazy at all! My husband & I are going through the exact same thing, I feel like this post could’ve been written by us, ha. Thank you for sharing your journey! Look forward to reading more about the adventure! xx

  • Beenish

    Congratulations Sarah, I think you are making a smart home. I was sad when you sold your property in Michigan and am glad you are moving back to give it a try with your family. My husband and I are currently in the same place in our lives and wondering if we should move closer to family or stay in California for longer. Really beautiful home, excited to see what you do with it!

  • Welcome to GR! You’re going to love it here.

  • AlisonG

    Congrats! Not at all insane. You will never know…unless you try it. I do think keeping the LA house was a good safe choice. The house looks like it will be beautiful. Looking forward to following the changes you make.

  • Lauren

    Congrats! I love this! We did pretty much the same crazy (or not!) thing in October when we moved our family from downtown Chicago to Indiana. My second child was 6 months when we moved, and like you, I also found my house in a sleep deprived haze. We just somehow knew this was the one! We didn’t buy our place sight unseen and I wouldn’t really call it a fixer upper, butwe totally share the sentiment of wanting our kids to have the same wonderful childhood that we both had (although neither of us are from here). Life in the burbs is truly easier and less stressful. And the space…there are just no words. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Barbara

    Congrats on the big move! We’re in a similar boat with just one kid at this point but also after a decade relocating to New England closer to family. My thought was worst case we can always move back. Similar to your thinking it seems. If you don’t mind sharing do you like the property management company you went with and would recommend them? We’re consider the rent option before we decide to sell our place thanks!

  • Naomi

    How long do you anticipate renovations taking?

  • Hi Sarah – I cannot wait to see the transformation of your new home. Just out of interest I’d love to know how you found your home – what search terms etc as you said you found it on the internet?

    Thank you! X

    • sarah

      Hi! I just am always scouring Redfin. No house in the areas we considered living went unlooked at (online at least). It’s a slight addiction 😂

  • Julie Rohrer

    I find this so interesting. I read virtually all the scenarios people typed. I have to chime in. I grew up in Michigan for 25 years. I married a guy from Newport Beach, CA. I moved out to OC loved it. We had to move to Colorado for his job and we hated the weather. We moved back to OC and then we had kids. I wanted space so we moved back to Colorado. I hated it and tried to move back to CA for 3 years. I wanted to be outside with my kids every day.So finally we got to Ladera Ranch, CA. A total cookie-cutter planned community centered around young kids. Parks, pools and walk to schools. It was ideal. The kids played outside on our street with the 25 other kids every day for 7 years! If you move back, consider OC verses LA. Now the kids are older so we moved to Laguna Beach
    where their “playground” is the beach instead of the McDonalds parking lot. We go back to Michigan every summer to go up north to our family little cottage. My kids love Michigan in the summer. Campfires, waterskiing, and BUGS! We go to LA for the weekends, but ultimately we love it when we get home to “The OC”.
    Everyone is different. This may work for you….but if not, consider the suburbs with your kids in California. Glad you kept your house! Never ever let your real estate here go! Never! Best of luck! Julie

  • Jody

    Awww mi!! Nothing better. My husband is from Muskegon – GR has soo much going on now!! I am from MN. We moved out to CT for almost 10 years – moved back after having 4 boys in 2 years! Yep! Anyways wanted the same – room to run!! And less traffic. Enjoy!! You have to bring your crew to Madison WI – very hip town! We will meet ya for a brew! Best to you!

  • First, congrats and wishing you good luck. Just came across your blog from your Instagram. Maybe an office in New York would help with the commute? Still requires plane travel but it’s a bit closer. And could still keep the LA office. I’m a designer for a firm with bi-coastal offices and my principal lives in Salt Lake UT, it works well 🙂

  • Hi Sarah!
    First time reading since I came across your blog via Instagram! Maybe an office in NYC would make for an easier commute? And still keep the LA office. I’m a designer in NYC and my firm has bi-coastal offices while my principal lives in Salt Lake. Either way, you can do this! Congrats, and wishing you good luck!

  • […] To get caught up on the why and where we moved check here. […]

  • […] see all of the posts and to get the full back story on where and why we moved, check […]

  • […] you might have caught a glimpse of our recent cross-country road-trip. Rupert and I bought a new (old) house in Michigan, packed up our Los Angeles house (the photo above was just days before we left), rented it out and […]

  • […] been around here or following on IG, this is where we are at. A little over a year ago we bought a house off the internet… knowing it was a fixer and loving the bones we made the leap and moved to Michigan with our […]

  • […] save the photos and it has sold). And remember how when Clover was born I lost my mind and we bought our Michigan house off the internet? Like I said, I’m never not looking. For a while last year it became my nightly wind down […]

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