Sprucing Up

My bones are weary and my muscles ache, but that discomfort is tempered by a feeling of accomplishment. Alva came to visit this weekend, and we seized the opportunity to knock out some house projects.
The biggest task was relandscaping the front yard. At one time, I think the front yard probably looked nice. There are several plants, but years of neglect led to overgrown beds that looked messy instead of manicured. So Saturday, we ripped out the old plants, cleaned out the beds the best we could, and installed some new plants. Then we added some pine bark mulch, and that anchored the beds and gave them a nice, orderly feel. This is the only pic I have of the yard when we bought the house. It’s hard to see much, but you can see the tops of the big, overgrown shrubs we had to remove:
Now, I think the chaos looks much calmer. Like people live here!
We were even able to salvage some of the old plants, and I think they make nice potted additions to our patio.
We also bought and hung new curtains for our kitchen, which are working out wonderfully. The sun had been streaming in the window, both blinding and cooking me in the late afternoon. Now, the kitchen is much cooler, and I like the added pop of texture.
Hanging the curtains reminded me that I never posted any before and after pictures of our kitchen remodel, which we completed a year ago. Now that was a nightmare. It took so much longer than we expected, and living without a kitchen for six months was a serious pain. But we’re very happy with the results.
When we bought the house, the kitchen looked like it hadn’t been updated since original construction in the 1930s. The concrete countertops were slanted to drain toward a huge, shallow sink.
The cabinets were so warped they wouldn’t even close:
And the floor was just a mess.
As soon as we moved in, Lee and I began demolition. We didn’t even unpack a single kitchen box in there, because we knew we’d never use that kitchen. This was the kitchen after just one weekend in the house:
Unfortunately, it didn’t start looking better for a long, long time. But thank goodness, I now have a kitchen I love.
We had the whole thing rebuilt – floor to ceiling, including taking down a wall.
As much as I enjoy this kitchen, we now hope it will be especially appealing to someone else: a potential buyer. I can hardly believe it, but we’re thinking seriously about selling our house. We’ll probably meet with a realtor next week to talk about the details and make some decisions.
There are several reasons for this, but one big reason is that our priorities have changed. Lee and I used to enjoy the challenges of an older home, but now, we’d rather spend that extra time with Camille. So those challenges quickly turn into burdens, and we need a lower-maintenance home. This is a great house, but doesn’t quite fit our current lifestyle anymore. In addition, Lee’s business is going quite well, and he really needs a proper office space. It’s a good problem to have.
I’m not looking forward to selling, buying and moving. But for now, I’ll just revel in all we accomplished this weekend, and hope it pays off for us soon.