Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bravely Obey Cribs: Exterior Edition

And we're back! The Bravely Obey Cribs house tour continues! (Want to see the other rooms in the tour? Click here for the kitchen, master bedroom, my office.) This time, instead of wandering around a room in my house and trying to peek in my medicine cabinet, you little nosy nellies, why don't you take a stroll down our block and check out the outside of our little 1960's ranch house?

We've lived in our lovely little suburban neighborhood for almost 8 years, in fact 8 years ago next month we closed on our house, I had a minor mortgage panic attack and there began the month long interior deconstruction, wallpaper removal, carpet tear out, painting and general modernizing before we moved in in July 2003.Oh, so much wallpaper removal, so many layers.

Our House - Move In Day - 8 Years Ago
Our house - June 2003
We tackled the interior first and just kept working over the months, but the exterior didn't change much in those first couple of years. We took down two ugly evergreen trees that someone had idiotically planted on either side of the front door, right next to the house. They had grown so straggly and tall that they began to obscure the doorway. Bad. We cut back the wild bushes, put in some edging, some fresh mulch, weeded and then started to add some plants and flowers. But we didn't paint the house. It needed it. In part because our house was a rather drab pale green with slightly darker green shutters that was just boring and verging on ugly. And because we suspect that it hadn't been painted since 1978.

Our House - 5 Years Ago
Our house - Summer 2005
But getting a house painted, even a modestly sized house like ours is expensive. And spending all summer painting it ourselves was not an idea either one of us wanted to commit to. Oh, we discussed it but just couldn't do it. Scaffolding and days of manual labor in the humid Missouri sun, yeah, I can deal with peeling paint instead.  If the house from the front looks like it would be easy to paint, you are probably right. But because it's a raised ranch, the back of the house and sides are not one story, but two story and covered in shingles. Shingles that love to absorb paint, lots of thirsty shingles. So we waited and ignored the growing paint flakes and general disarray around the garage doors and the overhang. And finally this year, we hired a great team to paint it and it was the best decision we've made in ages. For us it looks like a brand new house, lovely and crisp and fresh.  Ta da!

The Sands Castle
We went with a light gray, black shutters and a bright red door. I love it. I love this little house. It's the first home I've ever owned. It holds so many wonderful memories, so much of our effort and labor and money. But most importantly it's ours. Finally the outside matches the personality and charm of the inside, if I do say so myself.

Iris Explosion

Our irises exploded this year too. Joe's parents gave us a lot of irises bulbs from their garden two summers ago and they came up last year but with very few flowers. I was kind of worried they weren't going to come back. And then this spring they exploded with color and blooms. They are just stunning. This long swath of bright green thick leaves and delicate bold yellow and purples perfectly lined along our stone wall. I think this is the best our house has looked probably since it was built in 1963.

Baby Yellow Irises

Iris along the wall

All Painted and Pretty

We are working on the rest of the planting and gardening in little bits and pieces this year. I've added some new perennials, the hosta along the side of the house and the front are thriving, and this weekend Joe's bringing home some black eyed susans and some other perennials from his parent's garden. So I'll have some planting to do on Monday night. There's still work to do, constant improvement. Isn't there always with home ownership? We need to repaint the railings and the front door frame. The masonry on the chimney needs some touch ups. We probably need to buy some sod and fill in some blank spots in the lawn. But when I step out to get the mail or take the dog for a walk around the block to smell stuff and pee on everything vertical, (Mac, not me,) as we walk back across the street to come back home, I just see our charming little ranch. The place we've spent the last eight happy years of our life. It's not huge. It's not fancy, but for the two of us, it's practically perfect. It's home.

Spring Annuals

Next room on the tour: the humid ladies' bathroom!
Enormous Hosta


lanie@ plumb tuckered said...

Please feel free to come to my home and spruce it up... these little maniacs I live with tear everything down as soon as we fix it. Seriously, your home is adorable.

Nae said...

It's fabulous! Even crisper than I imagined. Whatever you and Joe are doing with the lawn, keep it up, it's so plush looking....and your irises!!! Great photos too. It's definitely true in ya'lls case that a house can reflect one's personality.

I can tell even more so I am long overdue for a visit! I miss you terribly, been thinking about you a lot this morning. Sorry to be a sap, but...miss you!!!

Caroline said...

It looks awesome!!!!!

Kassie said...

Thanks, ladies! We like it. Come on over for a cup of coffee or bourbon!