i quite love our little house. this house holds really special memories for josh, it was his great grandmother’s house and he spent many early holidays here. the house was built in the 1940’s and haslovely bones, but the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s left their mark and when josh moved in about 5 years ago, he set out to restore some of the original charm. he tore out carpet in all of the rooms (including the kitchen) and discovered lovely hardwood floors, that didn’t even require sanding. he laid laminate flooring in the bedrooms and painted the bedrooms and kitchen/breakfast nook. when i met him there were still heavy drapes in the living and dining rooms from the 1950’s which, while cool, made the house very dark. the single pained windows from the 60’s and the drafty door made the house cold, even on warm days. the walls in the living and dining room were a dingy white. the backyard was a sea of weeds. it definitely had charm, but needed some tlc.
we set about making changes in february of last year, almost a year ago. first josh removed the security gate and drafty front door and put in a pretty white door with a pain of glass in the middle. next we painted the living and dining rooms a very pale blue or “movie set blue” as we call it, as we see our wall color in so many movies. he removed the bulky drapes and i hung some sheer, gauzey curtains from ikea and voila! the house was filled with light. next we redid the baby’s room- i painted it a mint chip ice cream color and hung more sheer curtains. next up josh had the house re-piped, put in a shower above the bathtub in the lovely mint green bathroom and tiled it himself. josh gutted and redid the little back sun room by putting in new walls (picture me texturing walls at 8 months pregnant), and then some flooring. this winter we had new, dual pained vinyl windows put in.
the yard has been a labor of love. there were elements we wanted to keep: josh’s great-grandmother’s roses, the overgrown jade and holly and camellia and azalea plants. the amazing always fruitful lemon tree. but there was (is) a lot that needed to go. we spent hours and hours pulling out weeds, trash can after trash can full of them went off to compost somewhere. josh laid down brick walkways and created a little sitting area with pea gravel. we used pretty red bark in the planter areas and painted some old adirondack chairs a weathered white and turquoise. we planted dahlias and butterfly bushes and bougainvillea. in the front we laid red rock and planted little cactus and succulents which quickly grew and flowered. there are pink and red geraniums and tea roses under the front window where two pink plastic flamingos graze. josh’s gorgeous two yellow hibiscus plants flank the front stairway and the porch is home to many little potted succulents and an ever expanding white bird plant. this fall josh built a small garden out of old pallets and is hoping to get back to it one of these days. since the baby came, we’ve not been out in the yard much.
the sight of 3 months worth of weeds is a little painful, but i’m looking forward to getting out there and working in the garden once the baby is a little bigger. my goals for the house now are to paint our bedroom a nice linen white, to get the yard back to looking lush and clean, and to get organized. things feel cluttered and i want to simplify. maybe it’s this crazy warm weather that has me already thinking about spring cleaning, but a girl can dream.