Ha! Dan makes it all sound so smooth and simple, right? Look, we bought a house with this kitchen, and then voila! presto-chango, we had this fabulous kitchen! Not so fast, mister. How about the months – that’s right folks, months – that we cooked and washed dishes in the 5×8 hall bath (which was not so pretty at the time)? And the hours I spent obsessing over paint colors? Yes – the walls are this, the cabinets are that – but do you know how many colors are pinned on my Pinterest board prior to decision day? Here’s a sampling:
The kitchen is the heart of almost any modern American home – and by “modern,” I mean built since the dawn of the 20th century. Even in those houses where it is tucked off to the side, out of the way and seemingly disconnected from the intended living spaces, the kitchen is where folks tend to gather.
In our mid-century ranch, this is where we started:
Not a horrible kitchen. Homey, well used, and well loved. But not at all consistent with Debra’s vision for the house. Continue reading “The Heart of the Home – Part 1”
Ask any grandparent – grandkids are a joy. And, if possible, they deserve a room of their own. When we first bought the mid-century ranch, he was still sleeping in a crib. By the time we finished and sold it, he was closer to the age you see him here, and that wasn’t such a long stretch. His room had been used as an office and had a built-in desk unit occupying one full wall. Continue reading “A Room for the Grandson – A Short Post”
Sometimes, the process of change is not pretty. Clearing out the ugly can create more ugly. There were many things that needed changing inside the mid-century ranch. Some were, like the house as a whole, just weary from long service. Others, however, were downright ugly. Continue reading “Change on the Inside”
Decks are places for sitting on warm summer evenings, contemplating the mysteries of the universe. Decks are places to gather with friends, to exercise your culinary imagination on the grill, to feel fresh breezes wafting over your skin. Decks connect you to nature, yet keep you out of the dirt. Like I said, I love them.
Decks can also transform useless, wasted spaces into inviting retreats. This:
is much more inviting and useful than this:The deck outside the back door to our mid-century ranch was small, shabby, and deteriorating. Continue reading “All Hands on Deck”
I confess to being ambivalent – in the true sense of the word; I feel strongly two ways – about swimming pools.
On the one hand, nothing enhances a back yard space more elegantly than a well-appointed pool. Add a water feature – a fountain or a waterfall, for instance – and you can have your own small slice of paradise. Here is a pool that we put in the back yard of a house that we built (as opposed to remodeled):
On the other hand, pools literally are holes in the ground that you throw money in. Even if you hire a service to keep the chemicals in balance and perform periodic maintenance, they are a pain. They immediately add 20% to your electric bill and they are magnets for leaves, twigs, strange-looking bugs, and heaven forbid that you have crepe myrtles anywhere on your block. Continue reading “The Hole in the Ground”