Category Archives: Houses

Plain Jane House Gets Its Makeover

We spent the weekend in my hometown in southern Illinois,

+ while there — as is my way — I perused the listings on realtor.com.

Do you do that, too?

Anyway, I was surprised that there were so many houses under $100 grand!

For example, this plain Jane (with lots of potential!) is only $49,900!

You can see more in the Realtor.com listing, here.

cape cod of greenville front exterior

Just yesterday on Facebook,

my cousin from my hometown posted the photo of a house

she was interested in buying, + guess which one it was!

Hard to believe, but yes — the plain Jane house!

cape cod of greenville front exterior

Say no more!

I was soon dashing over to Pinterest for some design inspiration to share,

+ here’s what I found, from the blog, Nesting With Grace.

It’s another plain Jane house, this one with a small porch.

(Some of my cousin’s Facebook friends suggested that ‘her house’ needed one!)

But something’s not quite right.

The wrought iron porch column + the stair railings

were all the rage, back in the 50’s + 60’s — but today, it looks dated + too thin.

It needs to be replaced with something more substantial,

  + on that note, here’s the stunning AFTER:

I know!  It’s like night + day, isn’t it?

It looks like they’ve replaced the wrought iron with white vinyl,

which is probably in stock at your local build-o-rama.

The light fixture’s been updated to something larger,

+ there’s a new mailbox + new house numbers.

Even though the porch is quite small,

there’s room for a sweet + welcoming French cafe chair.

The new front door has been painted a pretty shade of blue:

Now, pay close attention to this:

all the accessories — the chair + the flower pots —

echo the blue of the door + the white of the posts + railings.

For yet more color coordination, the shutters are painted the door blue,

+ the pair of white Adirondack chairs even have blue pillows.

There’s a lot going on,

but keeping everything in just one color family

makes the design cohesive + not too crazy or too busy.

 

The landscaping’s been updated with some classic boxwood shrubs

+ some pretty pink + red Knock-Out Roses, which bloom all season.

(Notice how the red is repeated in the red stripes of the U.S. flag.)

The new white window boxes add architectural detail,

+ their small evergreens (dwarf Alberta spruces?)

will provide winter interest when the roses go dormant.

Let’s have one more look at the $49 grand house in my home town:

cape cod of greenville front exterior

It’s easy to envision some of the blog house’s AFTER features here, isn’t it?

Remember — it, too, was once a plain Jane!

Now it’s time to share on Facebook!

Stay tuned for my cousin’s + friends’ reactions!

 

 


Got A New TV Show To Love

I’ve got another favorite HGTV show — it’s called Hometown,

starring this super cute couple, Ben + Erin:

hometown -- erin and ben

They had me at their old pick up truck* + their incredibly cool logo.

Don’t you love logos?

*G.O. says the truck looks like it’s a ’64 Chevy (+ he always knows.)

Thumbs up!

hometown -- pick up truck

Anyway, you know the drill with these shows:

The cute hosts show another cute couple some makeover wannabe houses,

the second cute couple chooses one, + then the re-do ensues.

Take this house.

Please.

hometown -- house before

It had plenty of curb appeal but now has lots more.

Extra points for the highly coveted (by me) red window sashes,

which play nicely with the pretty red Japanese maple.

hometown -- house front after

Every yard needs at least one Japanese maple!

hometown -- house front close up

Here’s the living room, sporting some really tragic green paint:

hometown -- house living room before

Now check this out.

I’m interested to know your thoughts on the busy tile fireplace surround.

hometown -- house living room after fireplace

I surprised myself with how much I liked it!

They based all their color choices on the tiles, which I think is genius.

hometown -- house living room after from above

My favorite makeover occurred in the kitchen (as it most often does.)

Here’s the lame + sad before:

hometown -- house kitchen before 2

Is it wrong that I like the existing vintage floor tiles?

hometown -- kitchen before

How could you not love white cabinets with pretty gray back splash tiles?

The range hood design is pretty swell,

+ little granny loves the bridge faucet, too!

I swear, I had that exact, same utensil crock from Lillian Vernon in the 70’s!

hometown -- house kitchen after looking at door

Yes, I’ll admit it —

the natural wood floor is way better than the original tiles.

Look how sweet — that little pass-through window

looks into the adjacent breakfast nook:

hometown -- house kitchen after view to b'fast nook

Notice how they kept that original cupboard, which rules:

hometown -- house b'fast nook before

Erin asked Ben to make a new copper counter top,

+ he didn’t even complain!

hometown -- house b'fast nook after

We’d have been all like this:

cats fighting

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Now, then.

The breakfast nook benches were originally one very long church pew.

Good job!

hometown -- house b'fast nook 2

At the top of the stairs, there’s a cozy sitting area,

which, in my little world, would never be used,

but hey.  It’s cool.

hometown -- house sitting area

The best thing about the master bedroom is the tall wainscoting, which I love

+ which I now want for our own bedroom.

You can’t go wrong with pale blue walls, either!

hometown -- house bedroom after

Oh, + check out how the artwork’s been hung low,

on the wainscot, rather than above.

That vintage blue dresser is definitely calling my name!

hometown -- house bedroom 2

We’ve got that same blue striped blanket, from Target,

+ I think that groovy tan + white gingham bedding is from IKEA.

So.  Are you watching Hometown yet?

I’d love to hear what you think of it!


FIXER UPPER GOES MODERN

Time to talk about everybody’s favorite HGTV show, Fixer Upper.

After an iffy start, I now find Chip very amusing,

+ I have always had a lady crush on Joanna.

fu-chip-and-joanne

I’m sure they’d both be pleased,

because it’s not like they don’t have throngs of super fans or anything.

Meanwhile, check out their latest Fixer Upper project,

which they’ve named the Pick-A-Door House:

fu-modern-before-exterior

Pretty ho hum, no?

fu-modern-after

Wow!  It’s so modern!

So modern, in fact, that I wondered if the show’s fans would embrace it.

Let’s talk about what makes it modern + whether or not we’re on board.

  I’m giving thumbs up for the wide paver + stone walkway,

that black metal roof, the dark gray paint + the double doors.

Have you noticed?  Joanna has a ‘thing’ for them.

Here they are from the inside:

fu-modern-house-entry

Those light wood floors had me swooning,

as do the black metal sliding doors on either side of the entry.

There’s one set for the office, on the left:

fu-modern-office-with-doors-open

fu-modern-office-with-chair-and-shelves

Those light tone wood built ins!  Love!

The second set encloses the dining room, just across the entry hall:

fu-modern-dr-with-sliding-doors-closed

fu-modern-house-dr-mirror-on-wall

Honestly, all I could think was that the doors were crazy cool

but not that functional or necessary,

WHICH is something I usually embrace, wholeheartedly

They probably cost more than MY HOUSE, though,

which is kind of a buzz kill, when you’re me.

Anyway, here’s another view from the adjacent living room:

fu-modern-living-room-fireplace

Don’t you love the color of that leather with all that black + gray?

I call that baseball glove brown, + it’s my fave.

The original fireplace had some structural issues,

so it was replaced with this very modern, concrete one:

fu-modern-lr-fireplace-straight-on

They have intentionally left the marks from the forms,

which makes it rustic + modern + industrial.

I vote yes.

But wait.  Look at the rest of the living room.

  • There’s more concrete.  Or is it faux concrete?

fu-modern-lr-opposite-fp

Oh, dear.

I fear this has gone from industrial chic to cellar hideaway, so thumbs down.

An accent of concrete is good — walls + walls of it, not so much.

But wait.

 Look at that wall of black metal windows —

my favorite feature of the entire re-do!

So much natural light!  I live for it!

fu-modern-living-room-window-wall

Please take a sec to notice all the groovy houseplants + their awesome holders.

They have me yearning to gas up the car + go plant shopping, a.s.a.p.!

+ + + +

Now, then, back to the house — with yet more concrete in the kitchen.

It’s the back side of that fireplace, + once again, I love it.

fu-modern-kitchen-stove-logs

I’m still not digging the concrete on the other walls, though.

fu-modern-kitchen-refrigerator

All that black + gray!   Does anybody need an anti-depressant, or is it just me?

fu-modern-kitchen-after

fu-modern-kitchen-close-up-shelf

fu-modern-kitchen-after-with-window

Oh, cheer up, already.

The light wood floors, beams  + shelves really pop against all that dark,

 + there’s yet more of that fabulous window wall:

fu-modern-kitchen-window-bar

Isn’t that bar epic?

fu-modern-kitchen-window-bar-with-plant

+ + + +

There’s an entirely new master bath + bathroom.

At first, Chip wasn’t on board with the bedroom’s black ship lap feature wall:

fu-modern-bedroom-overview

Oh, if I had a dollar for every time that happens in our little world!

cats-fighting

But let’s get real — I think the black really works

when surrounded by all the light furniture + the white walls:

fu-modern-bedroom-with-hanging-plants

Thumbs up for all the modern ceiling fans, including this one.

But wait a minute.

Those plant hangers are having their moment,

 but that moment’s already taken place inside my very own hacienda,

circa 19 and 73.

I’m not sure I want to return!  What say ye?

+ + + +

While we ponder that, let’s have a quick glimpse of the new master bath,

with yet more black, white + light wood:

fu-modern-bathroom

These large, black hexagon floor tiles are very modern.

They transition into smaller black hexes in the shower,

the walls of which are covered in large black marble rectangles.

Thumbs up or down?

I vote up.

fu-modern-bathroom-shower

Once again — a job well done by the Gaines-es.

Are you a fan,

or are you hoping the next episode features another farmhouse?

Stay tuned!


3 HOUSES 4 SALE

What’s more fun than looking at houses on realtor.com?

Nothing.

I’ve been looking this a.m. + now wish to share 3 houses I like.

Every single show on HGTV features 3 houses per episode, after all,

+ if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for my blog!

Let’s get started!

—–

HOUSE NUMBER 1

THE WOODSY ENGLISH CHARMER

2 bd, 2 ba — $163.500

This house has kind of an odd, designed-by-owner exterior,

which usually results in my shaming of the homeowners during the drive-by.

 Funny thing, though.  I like this!house-woodsy-front

That overhang at the front door is appealing,

+ I will soon replace the shingles with standing seam metal roofing.

Now, then.  Look at the charming walk way on the wooded, 1 acre property!

house-woodsy-deck-walk-way

Inside there is kind of a Hansel + Gretel vibe that I’m loving:

house-woodsy-fireplace

That room had me at exposed stone or brick + a fireplace.

Look at that sweet stool!  Where is Miss Muffet?!?

 (Calm down.  It probably doesn’t come with the house, but still.)

The kitchen doesn’t have a ton of cabinets, but it’s all so very charming.

house-woodsy-kitchen-with-pie-safe

And please.  Built-in bookcases with window seats?

Yes!  I would buy a house for those!

house-woodsy-library-bookcases

—–

HOUSE NUMBER 2

PLAIN JANE BUNGALOW

3 bd 1+ ba — $178.500

I am head-over-heels in love with that sunny, south-facing front porch,

but am not feeling the love for the bad siding.

house-bungalow-front

Bad siding just means I get to choose something more fun + appropriate.

Important disclaimer:

I would buy this or any other house that has this sort of eat-in nook:

house-bungalow-with-kitchen-nook

Those original kitchen cabs would stay + get a new paint job.

Notice, please, that the stacked uppers are very appealing + very now.

The scalloped trim at the window would have to go, though.

house-bungalow-kitchen-with-stacked-uppers

 I actually like the vintage-style, linoleum back splash

+ counter with the metal edge.

I would keep the design but do it in red or gray, instead.

  • – – – – –

HOUSE NUMBER 3

NEGLECTED CAPE COD

$219.00

This house is on the street that runs parallel to the river flowing past our town,

so I am guessing that the views from inside are pretty spectacular.

house-cape-cod-on-ill-st

Meanwhile, I really love the following exterior features:

those dormers, that cute front bump-out, + the bay window on the side!

I’m strangely on the fence about this pair of cupboards in the dining room, though:

house-cape-cod-on-ill-st-double-dining-cupboards

But what am I saying?

 They are obviously original to the house + are oozing with charm.

—-

  • This concludes my first real estate blog post.

Thanks for viewing!

If you want a link to any of the houses, let me know.




Our Bungalow Is For Sale!

Hi again, sports fans!

Yesterday I blogged about our new art ledges:

DSC00474

While photographing said art ledges,

I took a few more snapshots of our living room.

Let’s have a quick look-see, shall we?

First up, my awesome red + white target artwork:

DSC00410

My friend, Alan, made it.

He has a new biz called Boxcar Home,

so look for him at pop-up markets in + around Chicago.

He + I may do one together, later this fall — stay tuned!

boxcar

https://www.facebook.com/BoxcarHome/

Exciting, no?  But back to our living room!

The top of our sorter is currently sporting my old RedBird sign.

I stenciled it on an old plank from a cupboard,

which we found in the basement of our brick bungalow.

DSC00407

And look at that wonderful butter churn that G.O. bought last Sunday!

DSC00432

A couple of close ups of our sorter’s original gray paint:

Here are a few photos of the sorter’s cubbies.

Our dad caught this foul ball at a Cardinals game in the late 50’s.

The display stand is from Land of Nod.

DSC00435

I super love this miniature yellow ware bowl,

+ the small ‘pineapple’ patchwork ornament that my sister, Kathy, made:

DSC00434

Just a few of my dozens of books,

with the cutest blue + white floral bowl, ever!

DSC00433

I snapped some of our other living room happiness,

including this framed photo of my parents:

DSC00456

I bought that sponged frame at a folk art show, years ago.

My parents are seated on my old twiggy bench,

on the patio of the house we built on a riverfront lot.

Yikes.  That was 2 houses ago!

We just listed our most recent past house!

Disclaimer: we accepted an offer earlier this afternoon.

It’s been sold!


Small, Charming Brick Houses

Another day, another walk with Chloe the Dachshund.

This a.m. we strolled through one of my favorite neighborhoods.

But first, here’s our girl at journey’s end,

enjoying a refreshing drink from our bird bath:

DSC00102

It is one of those concrete bird baths with the pressed leaves design.

Its pedestal is actually an old, hollow log.  Genius!

Okay.  Time now for a few look-sees at that neighborhood I like so much.

There are about 5 charming brick cottages, including this one:

DSC00091

Please.  They had me at the arch doorway.

Look closely at those lanterns which flank the front door.

I’m pretty sure they are original to the house.  Lovely!

Oh, + I like the brick’s basket weave pattern in the gable.

Meanwhile, here’s another “sister” cottage:

DSC00093

I am a huge fan of the front bump out with that small window,

 which must mean that there’s a charming vestibule inside.

Chances are that the blank wall to the door’s left means there’s a coat closet.

It’s not just me, is it?

Doesn’t everyone think about such things when passing a cute house?

While we ponder that, further down the block

there’s yet another brick cottage:

DSC00092

This house, with its “busy” front yard, was on a garden tour one summer.

What are our thoughts, regarding “busy” front yards?

Part of me is a fan, but I still want our house to be seen.

DSC00098

Yes, that’s our front yard, + yes, it’s pretty much a blank slate.

That lonely evergreen may or may not make the final scheme.

Stay tuned!


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