Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Working on the "Other House"

View from the lower front yard of the Bedford Stone house which we purchased  early in April.
The former owners had a 30 day occupancy, so it is only in the past week or so that we have been able to get inside and begin assessing what needs to be done in the way of refurbishing.

The property, an acre that is deeper than wide, is bounded on two sides by a dairy farm.
Since we are of farming background, the smells and sounds of a farm are not offensive to us.
This is the view to the west.

An ornamental Japanese Maple at the right of the drive.
Both long boundaries of the property are lined with locust trees.
Eventually some of these will be removed to let in more light and to give other trees more room.

The garden spot at the back of the lot.
The soil is mostly red clay--heavier than at the farm.
We have moved the newest of our blueberries, set out strawberries.
Potatoes are up and after a slow start due to a cold wet spell, melons and cucumbers are emerging.
We have set out tomato plants in several places.

The kitchen was updated several years ago with custom-made oak cabinetry.
Today J. and our son, Howard, pulled out the faux wood paneling above the cabinets. When the ceiling and walls have been touched up, the look will be much lighter and there will be room on top of the cabinets to display many of our vintage pieces.

Another kitchen view.
Cook-top and wall oven wouldn't be my first choice of an arrangement for cooking, but I can live with it.
Not the pattern of formica counte-top that I would choose either, but nearly new and I don't expect that we will replace it.

Looking into the kitchen from the hallway.
The ruffled valance over the sink is typical of the curtains left behind by the former owner.
She had every window swathed in floor length, double-ruffled priscillas!
I have taken them to the Goodwill charity shop.

View from end of kitchen into dining area and door into back entry.

The chandelier was an immediate bone of contention.
I think it is quite dreadful and pretentious.
Our son agrees.
J. and G. think it the utmost in elegance.
[I don't do elegance!]

We have taken over oddments of furniture.
The decorating is very 1980's, not my colors at all.

Looking from living room into dining area and kitchen.

I began tearing down wall paper in the master bedroom and was dismayed to find that only the face of the paper was peeling off, leaving a backing firmly stuck to the wall.

Luckily for us and our refurbishing projects, H. is here for a few days enroute to a cousin's wedding 
in Florida.
He insists that he can't 'sit still and do nothing' even after a long drive from Wyoming.
He tackled the hallway after we discovered that the walls had been finished by painting over a layer or two of wallpaper. We made a trip to Lowes where H. gathered up a product which is diluted with water and sprayed on the wallpaper.  It loosens the glue so that the wallpaper backing can be lifted off with a wide putty knife.
H. is texturing the walls with a light spackle which can be primed and painted.
Decidedly a few more steps than we anticipated.
His expertise is appreciated!

J. in the bedroom peeling the soggy remnants of wallpaper.
I spent much of the day transplanting roses and perennials which I divided and moved from my existing gardens.  The porch is still lined with pots containing peonies and tree lilies.
All of this redecorating and planting is going to take more time than I had hoped.
Some of the areas of landscaping I can't tackle before the heat of summer sets in, so they must wait for an autumn overhauling. 
My elderly bones and muscles are in protest mode tonight.
J. graciously treated us to supper at the Pizza Hut in town as I couldn't think of anything to quickly prepare at home. A hot shower and clean clothes, an Advil for aches, a load of laundry done.

I treated myself to a walk around my gardens as the last glow of sunlight was fading behind the barns.

It is more of a wrench to leave a garden and a familiar view than a house.


  1. I agree, the view and gardens would be a wrench for me to leave too. Your new home looks great, and the views are the best, so country.

  2. thanks for the update.. it will take time but you'll turn it into home. At least youre getting plants moved and established, thats good, And you can get on with redecoration indoors while they begin to settle in and grow outside! It will be lovely when youve tweaked it to fit yourselves Sharon, worth all the hard work ahead!

    Leanne x

  3. I would find it hard to leave your wonderful gardens and views too. But, you will settle into your new home, it's only a matter of time and putting your stamp on home and grounds. You all are working so hard and pretty soon you will be able to relax somewhat.

    Thank you for sharing photos and letting us know what is going on.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  4. I agree, I was sad to leave my last-but-one garden, but now, 11 years later, it would have been too much for me to keep up together.
    Your new home looks lovely and spacious, have you rigged up a paddock for Pebbles yet?
    It is going to be such an adventure for the cats, exploring a new property. I am so looking forward to following your progress!

  5. I'm of the mind that wall paper is a product of the devil. I'm with you on the chandelier. We need to downsize too, our house is much too big, but each time we think about what is involved in getting this place ready for sale we feel daunted.

  6. Sounds like a fun project! Hope all your transplants will do well. Do yourself a favor and buy a cheap wallpaper steamer from Home Depot or Lowes. They don't cost that much and are so worth it!. We have plenty of experience removing wallpaper, since we renovated an old Victorian and helped our oldest son renovate his.

  7. A time of sadness and happiness, a new future in a new house. Good luck with the decorating work and I hope all your plants transplant well (and of course cats)....