Sunday, June 23, 2013

The House: Outside

I have been meaning to post pictures of the new house and I have been delaying it because, you know, things are a mess and we're still unpacking and we don't have stuff up on the walls and I want to plant some flowers and...

And if I don't post pictures already, I'll never get around to it.

I'm going to do a bit at a time, and I think this will be a useful exercise because then I can post about what I plan to do for each room and then random people from the interwebz can criticize those decisions and leave me plagued with self-doubt and second-guessing myself.  It will be awesome!  (Also:  That is why I don't have a DIY/Home Decor blog.  That and I don't have the time, energy, or incessant cheerfulness required for such things.  Although I do love reading them!)

So, here's the front of the house:

There are many things I love about the house, and the street view is one of them.  I love the blond brick, I love the arch-shaped front door.  There are a few things I don't love about the exterior as it is.  I like having a screen door, but I'm thinking it might look better if it were black rather than cream colored.  I don't think the screen door needs to be a focal point.  We used a power washer on the front porch, which made a huge difference in getting off mossy green coloring.  Even the mailman commented on how great it looked after David finished.  I also want to change out the porch lights--they are these solid metal cylinders and they just don't do it for me.  I think some oversized lantern-style lights would better suit the house.  I like the sort that have seeded glass and oil-rubbed bronze--maybe like this?

The landscaping is pretty scraggly, although David already filled in a lot of it before I took this picture--it is even fuller now.  The big green bushes are azaleas, which are lovely for like two weeks in the spring and then are just kinda meh.  We have big plans for landscaping next summer--we want to do a two-level raised bed in the front to add texture and visual interest next to the porch.  I love the dogwood tree, which blooms very lovely blossoms right outside the upstairs window, which will be Zuzu's "big girl" room.

Here's the back of the house:

My mom and Zuzu are playing in the yard.  Along the right, you can see David's vegetable garden.  Just a few tomatoes, squash, and herbs this year.  We've already added a bit more landscaping to the back of the sided extension, where you can see the concrete foundation.  Just some hastas and other plants that like the shade.  If you look to the far right, you'll see a chicken-wire gate that leads to the chickens' house.  On the privacy fence, you'll see a basket of flowers.  That came with the house and--get this--the flowers are fake.  Like polyester and plastic.  We have since removed them!

As for future plans, we want to continue to spruce up the landscaping around the backyard, and add some additional seating on the patio (a storage bench would be useful).  I'd like a table of some sort and David is talking ambitiously about a pergola, but we'll see how things go.  The backyard is nice and shady in late afternoon, but the patio is quite sunny in the morning.  It might be nice to have some kind of shaded canopy, but I'm thinking maybe a big umbrella would be sufficient...

The patio already looks quite a bit different than it does in the previous photo.  We just splurged on new cushions for the patio furniture, and it's currently housing Zuzu's kiddie pool and water table.  And David's already done a lot of work on the landscaping.  He removed two overgrown Rose of Sharon bushes that were way too big for the space and he did this all on his own while I was out of town:

My photo is terrible, but the plants are quite lovely, and that's a fountain in the middle.
The stroller is usually parked under the carport.

Here you see our a one-car garage with attached carport.  The previous owners wanted to expand and have a two-car garage, but they couldn't find a match for the brick (evidently blond brick is hard to come by these days).  So rather than build a garage and put siding on it, they decided to just attach a carport.  It's super convenient for parking off the alley.  (In the city neighborhoods here, all the houses back up to alleys, where there are dumpsters for recycling and trash and yard waste.  Super convenient for walking the dog and throwing away poop bags!  No one has attached garages because the lots just aren't made that way.)  Eventually, David should be able to park his car in the garage, but right now it's still full of stuff that needs to find a home or be donated to find another home.

From the carport, you can see another view of the chik'n sisters' quarters:

Also pictured:  Dogg butt, Grammy, and cute baby.

And a closer look:

Their run is between the house and the privacy fence next door.  We're lucky that our neighbors have been very gracious about the chickens.  David made a point to mention the chickens with our neighbors on both sides.  He explained that he takes very good care of them and cleans their cage regularly, but told the neighbors to please speak up if they ever think it's stinky or too loud.  And yes, we also bribed them with gifts of fresh eggs.  (The girls took about a week to get settled after the move but have been laying regularly ever since.)  They do get to wander the back yard pretty frequently, but we're glad they have even more room at this house than they did at the old house.  Cooper has been pretty good about ignoring them; however, we make him go inside when they're in the backyard. We're not taking any chances.

So that's the outside of the house.  Now I need to take pictures of the inside.  No point in waiting until things are all put together, right?  I'll keep it real and show the "in progress" photos.

Speaking of progress, someone is really proud of herself for standing up on her own!

She's getting so big.  Birthday party, here we come!


  1. Ummmm. How are you guys so fantastic? You haven't even lived there a month, right? And you have a chicken coop all built (perfect spot, btw!), the landscaping worked on, power washing... and I'm sure a ton on the inside WHILE planning Zuzu's party and driving to Chicago to see lots of friends?

    Really, I'm just not sure where the energy comes from, but I am SO impressed. I love the light choice you've picked out and think a black screen door and those lamps would really be great for the front. I wish I could see a pick of what that power washing did for the front porch. I want to buy a power washer, but just can't bring myself to add one more thing to our garage. I'd like to keep parking my car in there, for goodness sakes!

    Your house is truly lovely. I'm looking forward to visiting (with no tentative plans, don't worry!).

    And that baby? Cute stuff. And pretty impressive with her badass standing moves.

  2. I LOVE your house!! Brick is so beautiful!
    Better than your house though? Super cute kid. Just sayin.

  3. We have been in our house for a year and our landscaping is in sad, sad shape. Part of it is that it was an overgrown mess and all the blocks were taken (hello, foreclosure) when we moved in. But that doesn't give me an excuse for not even throwing some cute potted flowers on my porch. So you are clearly doing way better than us! Your house is adorable.

  4. Such a pretty house - I love it. I live in a city where a house is so far outside the reach of anyone but the rich...and I've been sitting nursing and watching hours of House Hunters and fantasizing about the houses we could buy in different cities...yours is lovely!

  5. Oh, that first shot! I LOVE houses with round-topped doors with pointy bits above them. And then seeing how neatly the garden and the plot for the chik'n'sisters fit in? I can totally see why you picked this house.

  6. That front door is great! You're making me want to move to an older house with some character.

  7. I'm with David - go for a pergola! And then hang lights from it and invite me over for dinner cooked from your garden and with your fresh eggs.

    Get on it sister!

  8. Pergola would be sweet there.

    I'm in the lamp-liking camp. They are appropriate for the deco / 1930's vibe of the neighborhood. If you want to change them, I'd still look for something appropriate to that style, and not too colonial-ish.

    Charcoal and/or bronze would look good with the blond brick. If you love the look of the original wood door you could install one of those disappearing screens. A good friend of ours did that on her gorgeous odd sized Shaw neighborhood door because sometimes she loves to have the front door open for the cross breezes, but likes the bug control/privacy/security of having a door there. It disappears when you don't need it and won't detract from the front door.

    Might have an option for a round top door... hmmm... now I'm curious about that.

    We're enjoying those eggs so I'm glad those are happy chickens.

  9. LOVE your house! It's amazing and that really is the best place for the chickens- shielded from adverse weather conditions and everything.

    and I really can't believe how grown up Caroline is- to think we were all still anxiously awaiting her arrival this time last year- nuts!

  10. Love love the .....hammock!! Nothing looks more relaxing than a hammock on a green lawn and shady backyard. Cant believe the chickens have grown so big! Love zuzu and her cute walker. Birthday wishes in advance.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Lopa stole my comment. ;) I can't believe how big the chickens are either!! LOVE your house!! & especially that door!

    Can't wait to hear about the birthday party! :)

  13. Absolutely gorgeous!!! The house and Baby Girl.

    I was totally in love with the street view too. Wouldn't even need to look inside, which also sounds lovely.

  14. The facade is lovely! A beautiful home!!

  15. I love it too! I can't believe how much work you guys have already done!