This is my house, the one that I live in. Hello, house! It doesn’t look exactly like this now, but we’re going back in time.
With everyone pretty much everywhere feeling anxious and angry and sad and scared right now—and, hopefully, staying put as much as they possibly can—I feel like maybe this is a good time to share where I’m living now. I guess that feeling is coming from my own renewed focus on my surroundings because of what’s going on, and thinking about how I feel safe and comfortable in my own home, and how grateful I am for that. Maybe it’s a good distraction? At the very least, it’s a place to start.
So. When last we spoke of my whereabouts, I was living in a rented 1939 Spanish revival-style bungalow in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I don’t live there anymore. No, you didn’t miss anything, I just didn’t tell the internet I was moving. It felt like too personal a moment to share. It’s hard for me to articulate, but there have been times in my life when I just need to keep everything for me. When just the energy it takes to explain something simple seems like it’s too hard. And then the week I thought I needed to myself turns into a month, and another month…and then it’s been almost two years. Life happens. To everyone.
I live in Sante Fe now, which is about an 60 miles northeast of Albuquerque. It’s the capital of New Mexico (and the oldest capital city in the country, despite New Mexico being the 4th-newest of these United States), but the population is only about 85,000—compared to Albuquerque’s 560,000. So it’s a small city. You can get a brief history of Santa Fe’s 400-year history here, if you’re curious.
After about two years of living in Albuquerque, I was really starting to find my footing there. I think I’ll probably always feel like an out-of-place New Yorker, but I did finally learn how to drive!!! Yes, it’s true. At the age of 41, I got my learner’s permit and signed up to take driving lessons and now I can DRIVE A CAR. I’ve only been doing it for three years so far, but honestly? I think I’m pretty good at it. I also kind of now think everyone should wait until they’re over 40 to learn how to drive.
Anyway, I love Albuquerque. It’s a fantastic, affordable city, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to recommend it to someone looking to relocate to another part of the country. I also loved the house I was renting there. But my boyfriend—yes, I have one of those—bought a little house in Santa Fe, and I decided to move here and live together with him in his little house. So that’s where I live now, and that’s why it’s hard for me to answer the “Do you own or rent?” question. Kind of both? He owns the house and I pay him monthly “rent,” but it’s not like he’s my landlord. Does that clear things up a little bit?
The basics on the house itself: It was built in 1950, and it’s Pueblo Revival style, also known as Santa Fe style (fittingly). It has vigas on the ceiling and a kiva fireplace and the outside kind of looks like a loaf of bread and all of that. I love this house. LOVE. The builder was a guy named Allen Stamm, who’s kind of a legend in these parts for having built really good quality affordable housing after WW2. When you say you have a “Stamm Home” to people familiar with Santa Fe, they know what your front door looks like, what kind of windows you have, and so on. These houses are specific to Santa Fe, and that makes me happy. My home makes me feel like I’m a part of where I live in the broader sense, just like Door Sixteen—my rowhouse in Newburgh—did. *something something vernacular architecture something*
Anyway, welcome! I have a whole lot to share with you about this sweet little house, and honestly? Even after two years, it’s really just the beginning.
Yay!!! So excited to be reading a house post again! I hope y’all stay safe and healthy out in NM.
hi anna! i’ve been been an avid reader for years now, (i love your chili, i love when you post the swedish christmas album, and i love your fritz). i’m so happy to hear of this news of your home and your boyfriend! you seem to have bloomed where you are and i just wanted to let you know i’m thrilled for you! hope to see more of the interior when you are ready to share. 🙂
As someone who hates sharing to avoid dealing with potential questions or (self-imposed) feelings of obligation to explain/update, I applaud you. No further questions hahaha.
Can’t wait to see more of your home and what it looks like now.
Thanks, Julie!! <3
I’m so happy for you Anna! Been following you since the beginning, life has changed a lot for both of us since then, houses, men, dogs included. Be well!!
What a beautiful house, Anna, and what a.lovely story! I see expatriate life is working out as nicely for you as it is for us–so happy for you. (And, selfishly, I can’t wait to learn more about the Pueblo Revival Style.)
Re; driving: Kudos to you for taking on the challenge! I learned to drive when I was 30. (In Brooklyn. 3rd hour: Belt Parkway. 5th hour: 59th Street Bridge.) And I kind of think as well that everyone should be over (not 40, but) 30 when they learn to drive.
Judi, I have yet to drive in NYC, and I’m totally fine keeping it that way forever!!
Can’t wait for all of this to pass and be able to go visit with you at your beautiful house ♥️ So good to be reading your blog again! Yay!
I still can’t believe we both live in this magical place! <3
Thank you for sharing, you sound happy. Hooray for that! ♥️
I’ve been following you for years. I was floored when you left NYC. I love your style and your writing. I’m happy you found such a great home that suites you. I live in boulder co and have made many a trips to Santa fe, taos and los alamos to mtn bike. You definitely landed in a magical spot.
thank you! I’m looking forward to reading more. You and Daniel are bringing us wonderful content. Can we watch you paint too? (haha).
I still don’t understand how Daniel films himself painting!! I can barely hold a phone while I’m working on house stuff, much less point it at something and talk at the same time. Young people are so much more capable!
Ah it’s lovely. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I love all of this! I have never been to NM, but have often thought of it as a placed I would love to live. This may be the most pathetic comment you get, but the things I worry about most living there would be snakes and scorpions. I worked with a woman once who lived in Arizona for a time and told me a story of opening her dishwasher and a snake slithering out. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t deal.
HAHAHAHAHAH. Well, if it’s any comfort, the only snake I’ve seen in New Mexico was a harmless bull snake crossing the road. And I’ve never seen a scorpion. I have seen a black widow spider, though, and all of the plants either want to kill you with spines or pollen. That said, at least there’s no humidity…and NO LYME DISEASE.
yay! i love santa fe! excited to “get to know” your house. glad to see you happy i your little house. ❤️
Wonderful! I loved reading your blog as you fixed up your Newburgh home and my family came *this close* to relocating to Newburgh in part due to your inspiration. Looking forward to reading about your experiences with this Santa Fe gem. Honestly, this is exactly the sort of content I need right now. Thank you!!!
Hi Anna! I´m from Colombia. My mom is married with a beautiful person that lives in Rio Rancho. I found you on instagram because I love places like Taos, Santuario de Chimayo, Santa Fe and so on, so I saw a picture of your instagram and I just fall in love with your home, your doggie and your pictures! I love New Mexico, it makes me feel nostalgia, It´s beautiful, the landscapes, the sky, it´s amazing! Thank you for sharing, I feel so much connection with your writtings. I visited NM twice, in 2018 and 2019 and I just feel that my heart belongs to that mountains. Abrazos y Saludos desde Colombia!
I love the Stamm houses! My friend has one.
Omg omg omg just seeing this pop up in my feed is so exciting!! Thank you for this Covid quarantining gift!! Now to read and look . ..
Thank soooo much fir not only sharing the home you’re living in, but also the update to your life and circumstances.
You sound very content and in these unnerving and strange times, this brings me joy.
I look forward to more posts about your fascinating ( so much to google about SF architecture now) abode and I thank you again, for the update. Stay safe stay healthy. Xxx
Thank you for giving me something to look forward to.
Thank you for this post Anna!! Oddly, it is making me so happy and it’s just what I needed! So nice to turn away from the news and to turn to something kind of familiar and pure. It’s actually bringing tears to my eyes (is this weird??).
So much news! And good news! This feels both totally appropriate for this weird time and escapist. I’d love to imagine visiting your house in Santa Fe. I hope you’ll continue to share (but also of course understand that sometimes you might not want to).
I learned to drive in Santa Fe, but as a teenager. Stamm Homes, yup, I know that style (and love your house) The Sweeney Convention Center was the Mid-High gym back then, and Glorianna’s Beads was a pharmacy. It was a small, boring town I ran from – I’ve been trying to move back since…
Long time reader and I just want to say I’m so happy you’re thriving in New Mexico!
Oh, I love that house! I fell in love with Santa Fe & New Mexico in general when I visited last year. But oh my god, my allergies exploded as I walked out of the airport. Five minutes out of there, my eyes were burning. But considering I live in Austin, the cedar fever capital of the world & where the current pollen levels are making it REALLY HARD TO NOT TOUCH MY FACE AHHHH, I would still move in a heartbeat.
I also love that Spanish Dagger in your front yard. Man, we can’t seem to grow them that big in Austin! I can’t tell from your pic whether it’s Yucca faxoniana or Yucca treculeana, but it is awesome. If you want plant advice, you can totally ask me– I recognized a lot when I was in NM. And for stuff I can’t ID, you should totally hit up my friend, plant nerd & landscape architect David Cristiani on IG (@qland_dac). Tell him I sent you! He lives in Las Cruces, but has worked all over, from west TX to all over NM & is such a wealth of information. I’m a certified arborist, and his tree IDs leave me in the dust.
So happy you are writing here again. I follow you also since ages (but first time commenting). Congratulations on the house and the new life. I also changed my live over since I started reading you (new marriage, new country). Sometimes I have a feeling of guilt for having started over. Sometimes I don’t know what things from my ‘old life’ to bring in my new apartment. I’m looking forward to see more of your house.
So happy to hear all your news. Good on you.
Thanks for all the diy inspiration over the years.
Hi Anna; I completely understand. When I was pregnant with our eldest I would have preferred to sink into the ground rather than tell people I was expecting. I just wanted to sneak off and have my baby and tell nobody. I felt so embarrassed and exposed and vulnerable.
I got my drivers license when I was 39 and I notice that I still remember everything I was taught. Around your 40’s is probably the best age for getting your license. Less rage and more responsibility. And I’m glad it is no longer you and Fritz.
The difference in your instagram pictures makes sense now. Like the kitchen picture a short while ago, I was thinking that that doesn’t look like your kitchen at all. Anyhow I hope you and Fritz are happy and safe.
My mom is from Silver City, a little town in southwest New Mexico. I’ve been all over New Mexico and really love it. Seventeen years ago I walked Canyon Drive with my husband and my mom looking for “just the right piece of art” for the entryway in our then-new home. Actually found it in Taos, but I enjoyed every minute of our time in Santa Fe. Can’t wait to see more of your home!
I’ve only been to Silver City once, but I LOVED it. Such amazing Victorian architecture!!
Hi! I am a fellow New Mexican & I have lived in Albuquerque since 1970. I too, live in a pueblo revival house, built in 1959 by Dale Roberson, & it has a lot of character. I am an artist with a good eye for design, & my husband has a construction background, so we have it fixed up pretty much how we want it. I love Albuquerque, & New Mexico too, & really enjoyed your story! Thanks, it brightened my day to see & read about things familiar, & look at a nice little home that looks similar to my own, a breath of fresh air. So many design blogs only feature very large & expensive homes. 🙂
My house is definitely not large or expansive, but it IS very cute. 🙂
Is Dale Roberson related to Coda Roberson? I’ve read about Coda, but not Dale. I really like learning about mid-century builders, so I’d love to know more!
Yes, I think so, an earlier version- I live in the Snowheights area of town, & there are a lot of them from the late fifties around here, from when ABQ was growing (Kirtland, Sandia Labs etc) It’s solid, lath & plaster construction, with some nice details like coved ceilings, & some nice storage (for the time period.) 🙂
Spent time in Santa Fe a few years ago and found it lovely–especially at this time of year! Will also never forget the Tea House and the life-altering “black oatmeal” they serve (https://teahousesantafe.com/).
I love the Tea House! It was actually the last place I went to in Santa Fe before it became unsafe to go anywhere, and I really hope they’re able to get through this shutdown period.
Agreed–I’m rooting for so many amazing small businesses. Stay safe!
Yay! Thanks for sharing! I’ve truly missed seeing you work your magic on a house. 🙂
Santa Fe is magical. You made a great choice to move there. I thank you for this post. I miss this, the blogs I used to read, the people that generously shared their spaces. It’s a welcome respite from it all. Looking forward to more. Bea
This is so exciting! New Mexico is high up on my bucket list, particularly Santa Fe. too bad it’s looking like a no-travel year for many of us. Looking forward to seeing whatever parts of your new space you want to share!
Excited to see what you will do with the house. Maybe something to make your front door and entryway more visibile!
Vigas vistas: exposed beams!
Maybe just a coincidence … but after avidly following your blog for a long time and then not, as the posts became fewer and fewer, I felt like checking in today just to see „how you are“ (it feels weird to say it like that as I really don‘t know you, I have not even ever commented before or interacted in any other way). But seeing you posting again made me so happy today, I thought I‘d share. I‘m glad you‘re well!
Thank you so much for teaching me about Alan Stamm! I love the southwest and am generally interested in mid-century architecture – I clicked your link and absolutely loved reading about him, and look forward to learning more. I follow you on instagram and I’m so glad you’ve started blogging again! xo
I learned to drive when I was 44 – I’d highly recommend putting it off! I got tons of daily exercise as a young adult, saved buckets of money and blew off stress everyday by living life on foot. But it was such a mid-life confidence booster to learn a new skill like driving and I LOVE it, especially long-distance trips by myself. Congratulations!