For some, their home is simply the place they live. Where they hang their hat and lay their head. Some say home is where the heart is.
Home for me, is best summed up by my good friend Bob Dylan. “Come in, she said I’ll give you shelter from the storm.” My home is more than the decor or style, it is safety for the wayward, the orphan, and the weary traveler. It is a haven for rest and healing for the broken. Your home should be an extension of your heart and a reflection of your purpose. Your style will always come out of that. It is an inside out kind of job. My style was solidified during the design of what is now, the big blue house.
When we bought our home the why was easy, we wanted more room than we currently had, for children we knew one day we would have the opportunity to love. In 2012 we built a brand new home and it was great. New floors, new cabinets, it was clean. I will stress that point again…It was clean. After taking a trip to New York we came home and I felt so strongly about simplifying. We began to purge our closets and garage. Soon after I saw a listing for a big. Old. House. I was in love, my husband, not so much. I walked through the house for the first time and instantly had vision for the old wallpaper covered walls and peeling exterior siding. It wasn’t in the worst shape, but it sure needed some help. I asked my husband to walk through it with me and secretly hoped he would have the same excitement I did. We opened the door and our realtor said “this isn’t just a house, this really is a home.” That statement made such an impact on Zach. Something clicked and he suggested we put in an offer. My jaw fell to the floor. In August 2015 we moved into our big “fixer upper.” Thank goodness for that purge because what we gained in sq footage we lost in closet space.
We have tackled quite a few projects in this big 110 year old house. What we didn’t know before moving in was that our foyer would flood with every hard rain. To top that off (literally) our beautiful old roof had major holes under the eaves that somehow were the perfect fit for squirrels. Talk about a nightmare. Remember that beautiful clean house I mentioned before, as I mopped my flooded foyer one night I cried to go back there. To that place of comfort and cleanliness, definitely not this squirrel filled, foyer wading pool, big old house. Looking back now it makes me laugh.
Visionaries dream. I can dream all day, but ask me to stick with it and maintain the plans and I want to run, especially if it gets hard. My house has taught me a lot. It has given me a canvas to create, but also developed a deep sense of follow through and commitment. I have worked purposefully to create within each space a picture of our family. Most of the work I have handled on my own. I am the family handy woman. I adore projects and everything that they entail!
Today I want to share the exterior. It seems only fitting to start on the outside and work our way in. In its original condition it was green and had peeling paint on every surface. It lacked character, it was pretty blah. I envisioned something timeless but with modern elegance. We originally thought we would have to replace all the second story siding because of how badly it looked, but upon review by our painter a good power wash did the trick. We weren’t brave enough to attempt the painting ourselves, between ladders and roofs it didn’t seem quite worth our lives. I originally purchased 5 paint samples and covered large areas in different light. All 5 failed. I did the only thing I knew to do, take my (at the time) 4 year old and let her do her thing. We picked out 6 more colors and this beautiful blue was our only consistent color (she still gets the credit for that choice.) Other colors pulled purple or pink. (I can do blue, but I couldn’t brave pink.) When picking exterior colors lighting is crucial. Morning and evening light made every color look different. I was a little worried that the blue might be too much for our neighborhood. There weren’t many “bold” colors on our street, now they are starting to show up…so it seems like we did something right! It also helped that Zach’s nickname is Poppa Bear, and now he is the “bear” in the big blue house…a definite win win for us! We swapped out the old porch lights for the simple lantern style from Lowe’s. Upgrading our house numbers and painting the door black also did wonders. We still have landscaping that needs to be done and a new front door to find. I can’t bring myself to buy a door new so I am considering refinishing our current one, or finding something at a salvage yard. I picture dark wood against that blue. Check out her transformation and let me know your thoughts, I would love to hear your feedback and questions!