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Posts Tagged ‘exterior’

Our garage door

This is our beautiful new garage door. It’s solid wood with a flawless finish. It makes the rest of our exterior look cheap and awful. The goal is to get the exterior to look like it is as classy and jazzy as the garage door.

David and I were given free home show tickets by the local nursery that we buy from. We didn’t know what to expect at such an event. We went because it was an unusually cool spring day in the PNW.  The show was OK, I guess. It seemed to be more for new constructions. Most of the vendors were too “contemporary” for our tastes and for our house. It was nice to see what other people are doing with their homes. There is lots of new stuff out on the market. We stumbled across this floor model garage door for a steal. We had just contacted our contractor a few days prior about a garage door. We called him up, luckily he didn’t order the hideous one from Home Depot yet. We ended up getting this one for under 1k (1k cheaper than retail since it is being “discontinued”).It really looks original to the home and resembles the original carriage doors on the homes in the neighborhood. I just have to upkeep it yearly by applying a sealant. No fun, but so is home ownership.

Why have I not added lovely carriage door hardware? Too tight of a squeeze. 😦

-Victoria

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"salvage" garden shed featured in Sunset

Since the weather is much nicer and we have had enough of winter, we’ve been thinking about our exterior and gardening way too much. I saved this pic of this “salvage” shed from Sunset magazine sometime ago, before we even purchased our home. I loved the fun chartreuse shade of this garden shed hidden in a PNW jungle. It is so striking and sooo West Coast. And this shed is in Port Orchard, WA,  our neighbors across the inlet. The article contained interesting info and listed the plants in this garden. They seem to thrive in our environment. Since I am a transplant, I’ve had to study what works here. Sunset magazine has been very helpful for that.

Anyways, I’ve revisited this article (here) over and over again because this really, really resembles our exterior colors. Our house turned out this green, not what we expected, but we will live with it and like it. Our trim is a chocolate brown just like this shed. The difference is that our house is much larger and taller than this quaint, cute shed and we have no landscaping. Our lawn is naked and neglected. The chartreuse shade of our house can be seen miles away, I think, or so the neighbors tell each other. No lovely hydrangeas are breaking up the green from the curb. When I look at this picture, I realize that our colors didn’t turn out too bad. We will work with it. It’s unexpected and chartreuse is my favorite shade of green and green is my favorite color. This article/feature makes me want to go out and dig, plant, and turn crazy things into planters. It also makes me feel good about our unexpected color choice. I liked it when it was featured in a magazine, why wouldn’t I like it for myself?

-Victoria

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The door before- Missing a Speakeasy, conveniently illustrated by our inspector.

The door before- Missing a Speakeasy, conveniently illustrated by our inspector.

Oh, what were we thinking when we bought this house? What a mess! It is still a mess but it is easy to forget what a mess it used to be! We have encountered so many weird things that I know other renovators haven’t dealt with. Our front door had a huge hole in it from a missing speakeasy. The other side was covered with black faux fur over 5 inch foam, under that a layer of faux wood contact paper, under that tons and tons of paint.

We thought we were going to have to find a new door. It is not OK to have a huge hole in your door and it is not OK to have a custom van inspired front door. After going door shopping, I was not impressed. I really don’t like new doors. They are ugly and lack character. I found a few cool Medieval looking doors with menacing grates for $1200. This is cool and all but doesn’t fit the house and I can think of better things to do with $1200. I also love wood. I’m so over this “energy efficient” man-made doors. I mean how much energy can I save from a door when my house is 70 years old, has lead windows, and no insulation? And I know these doors can’t be made of biodegradable substances. Our messed up door is made of solid wood.  Luckily, we have found the original speakeasy hidden under a mound of hoarder junk. But, like everything else in this massive project, it isn’t that easy. The speakeasy is nice but we are missing the back. We’ve been searching for the back either original or reproduction. I love it’s deco details and it matches the original hardware throughout the house. We found a cast iron speakeasy at a bargain building store. It’s lovely but very Norwegian and doesn’t fit the style of the house or the hole in our door. We are still searching. Some of our neighbors have the same speakeasy as us. I’m about to have an artisan cast the backside…

The door was water damaged, so we thought. David sanded that right out. It is amazing that it was in the shape that it was considering the moisture level of the PNW. David painted the door with a wonderful mistint we found at Home Depot ($5 gallon). It was the exact color that we had wanted. It also had the primer mixed in and went on rich and evenly with just 2 coats. (FIY, it was Behr, much better than my Lowe’s mistints). David cleaned up the original hardware. It wasn’t green! It actually appears to be a stainless steel finish, very modern. We purchased a kickplate to match and to cover up the less than perfect bottom part of the door. David took off the terrible glass door which was never installed properly the 1st time around. The door looks very different from the outside. I think it will look very nice once the exterior is finished.

Now to the interior portion of this front door, not perfect. The wood did not stain up nicely so we painted it the same exterior red shade. It’s classy. The back of the speakeasy is covered with aluminum foil. It does not keep that cool Pacific wind out and it looks awful. Oh, well. I’m still hunting.

I’m happy that we were able to salvage the door. We are all about working with what you have. Why create more landfill waste or spend too much money? So far we have spent about $35 on the door. And here it is (before the exterior paint job)…

frontdoor

-Victoria

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vanderbiltumbrella

We're practically Vanderbilts.

So, I’ve been told that after all of this restoration and rehab, that we will have a killer deck. David also tells me that it has an Olympic and Cascade views. I haven’t seen this, but I have spent limited time on the current deck because it is rotted and looks like a death trap leaning over a blackberry bramble. Currently, we do not own any patio furniture or any patio “supplies”. So, I’ve been looking around. Much of the patio furniture I find is huge and ridiculous. Well, at least for our anti-social selves. I really want something simple, vintage, metal or cast iron. I have feeling that I will be on the look out for sometime, at least until next summer. David mentioned an umbrella. I thought  it was a stupid at the time. I wanted to be in as much sun as possible; I mean we do live in the PNW. I also thought of umbrellas as nylon beige things that went with your ugly hammered glass topped table and with your ugly metal chairs with the Hawaiian floral seafoam and peach print. Yuck, gross, and boring. I stumbled across this picture of the Vanderbilt’s and their amazing fringe umbrella, table, and chairs. This is what I want to keep my skin Belle Epoque creamy during our 3 drought and sunny summer months. I found some fringe umbrellas on-line but they were too “tropical” and I thought they would look silly unless we plan on having tiki themed parties for the rest of our lives (don’t tell David, he wants tiki themed parties and most likely a tiki themed funeral). These natural fiber fringed umbrellas are nice but not very Washington. I then found this amazing, “very Venice with a touch of circus tent” umbrella on Z Gallerie’s website. The last I looked it was marked down to $150. It’s dreamy and I want it. Not enough fringe but it will do. I told David that I could make my own because when I searched umbrellas, I also found hand-painted ones. I could do that and tassel and fringe however I please. He said this would be tacky. I feel he has no faith in me. I mean I am not going to bedazzle it. But, I really know it is because he found out about all that tiki stuff. Rats.

-Victoria

zgallerieumbrella

It's dreamy.

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I usually know exactly what I want, especially when it comes to color. But, choosing exterior colors for this house has been very difficult for me. I want something dark and menacing since I have always dreamed of having the spooky and creepy house on the block. David and I have always wanted the Addam’s Family house.

Addams family home

Addams family home

Something that people see and say “you know that place is haunted” or “Billy, just leave your frisbee”! I have always wanted that hill top manor, menacing with a black wrought iron fence. Well, the house we are purchasing is creepy but not like the Addam’s Family home. This home has housed and catered to mental illness for so long. The exterior and location isn’t very menacing and it currently sports two different shades, a somber gray on the front and sides and a warm dull brown in the back. I then started to think of houses in town that I like. I am constantly attracted to the same combo of dried grass clipping green or chick yellow with a popping red door. This is the “happy” family home. I always think of them as rich and happy and they never fight because people with white picket fences are always happy. I thought this combo would really improve the resale value of the home because it always tricks people. So, we told the painter we wanted a dried fennel shade or a grass clipping green, we’d paint the door a regal red. Well, the more I think about that, the more boring it becomes. When I drive around town and I see the bright chartreuse homes with tomato red trim, I think, “man, somebody cool lives there”. I realize that this is our house and we can do what we want because most exterior paint jobs last about 5 years. The next owner can paint it a boring cream.woulddoexterior I can do what I want. So we started throwing around brighter greens with eggplant or dark chocolate trim. I knew the trim was going to be dark, I must add some menacing element to this house. Screw white trim, too safe and predictable. I want my house to be something my mother would never do. There are no rules in the neighborhood. I might as well do what is fun. But, I’m torn. Really. Between practical me and artsy me.

The final set of color choices.

The final set of color choices.

We are leaning toward choice number one right now.  The red on the door should be the color of an oriental poppy, and the garage door should be a California poppy.  We like this color combination because it’s tame enough to alleviate our anxiety about resale, but with the added bright colors we can gain some eccentricity.  If we do choose to flip the house, we could simply repaint the doors in something pedestrian, like taupe.  We’re hardly experts, but we predict that the bottom option would have the highest curb appeal- it was our safe bet.  With number one we plan on planting poppies, coral roses- a hot garden.  In the back we plan on planting mostly white, night blooming plants.  It’s a nice compromise between being a wimp and going neon.

-Victoria & David

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