Monday, June 25, 2012

a pleasing palette

While the contractors are hard at work inside the house, the plants are growing, growing, growing outside. Ian has been a trouper, watering nearly every day -- and the weather forecast suggests there’s no end in sight. (Sorry.) I’m especially pleased with the results in the front garden.

I put in a few perennials, but since we’re planning a major revamp this fall and don't want to stress stuff out by moving it, I added mostly annuals. The previous homeowners had planted a number of spring-blooming perennials and the enormous hostas, which were fairly easy to work around -- their foliage is a nice uniform green, and they blend in nicely.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

inspiration overload

If you’re following me on Facebook, you might know that I’ve been feeling a little bit overwhelmed about our impending choice in paint colors. When we started our house hunt, I was thrilled that we could finally have colored walls, and found inspiration everywhere I looked.

Now that we’ve signed with a contractor and construction starts next week(!), there’s a looming deadline. Somehow, I’m finding too much inspiration, so I’m feeling the pressure to choose. After some friends gave me wise advice about searching for color combos here, here and on Pinterest, and just by googling the name on the paint chip to see what others have come up with, I’m starting to feel a lot better. (Thanks.) Ian is much more relaxed about the whole thing. (Who’s surprised?) He has already chosen his office color: white.

Friday, June 1, 2012

this old house

Last November (the same day we got Guinness, actually), Ian and I began our house hunt. That first day, we toured five homes on Milwaukee’s East Side, where we were determined to live. In all, we looked at around 30 houses that seemed to cover every part of the house-condition spectrum: a cozy but obviously crooked bungalow; a creepy old boarding house; some cute but character-less flipped ones; a former commercial building; and a few foreclosures that had once been beautiful, but are now crumbling inside, the ceilings dropping off in gobs and the walls covered in mold thanks to burst pipes and general neglect.

As we hadn’t spent much time in houses there -- which are typically 100-plus years old -- it took awhile to realize that, rather than spend on a house that had been rehabbed in a style we didn’t love, we’d rather buy low and make exactly the changes we want.