Our Old House isn’t really all THAT old . . . our house in Michigan was built in 1912 so it is over 100 years old. We made lots of changes and updates to that old house, and I loved it! The garage had originally been a carriage house, and there was an attic above where we could store all kinds of junk. Way too much junk, in my opinion! There was a door that opened from the upstairs, right above the garage door, so when it came time to sort through all that junk, we could just open that door and toss the unwanted stuff right out that door and into the back of a pickup truck to take to the dump. Why do we keep so much of that stuff anyway!
Well, now we live in an “older” house. Not as old as the house in Michigan, but nevertheless, there is a LOT of updating, painting, and fixing up that we want to do. I think this house might have been originally built in the 1960s or 70s, and then a garage was added on at some point in time. Eventually that garage was turned into a family room (where we now have a lovely fireplace, the piano, and a beautiful old roll-top desk among other pieces of furniture), and another garage was built on. The family who lived here before we bought this house needed a place for his woodworking shop and her crafting room, so that garage was turned into workshop / studio space and ANOTHER garage was built on. That’s our current garage, and it is pretty big! My husband has build work benches in the back of the garage and we have storage shelves on the sides, as well as an upstairs that has just enough room to pull down the stairs and carry up the Christmas decorations.
So, the inside of this house is plenty big enough for our family, BUT it really needs a lot of TLC. It is in really good shape structurally, but the paint and wallpaper are all about 25 – 30 years old and even though it was “cute” back then, it is really dreary and drab now. I wish I could blink my eyes and make it all freshly painted, new carpet, and everything else fresh, new, and sparkling. But I can’t so I need to take it one project at a time.
We have a really huge deck with a gazebo with is delightful, but it all needs to be repainted, and the deck needs to be resurfaced until we can replace it completely. THAT is going to take some time and money! But we found a product that will completely resurface the deck (concrete and wooden areas), and that will fit into our budget much better this year than completely tearing out the old stuff and building a completely brand-new deck. For now, I have to do my best to brighten up the corner of my world where I can, so this is my first attempt to add a bit of charm to the otherwise rather boring and tattered deck just outside my little home office.
My office was originally (I think) the back porch of the house, before the first garage was added. So it is now kind of between the kitchen and the family room, with old French doors that really need to be replaced eventually, that open up to a small alcove area of the deck. There is definitely something to be said for the “charm” of older houses with their quirky little add-ons! So just outside the French doors I have room for a bit of cheer where I put a wooden chair that I painted white (it broke last summer so our Daddy fixed it with wood glue and then it needed to be painted – so why not?). I placed a bright red potted geranium on the chair, with the Welcome mat in front (that needs to be replaced this summer, too) and added a couple of other “found” objects from around the garage.
The girls found an old pair of rubber boots that were too small for either of them and suggested that we paint them turquoise . . . to match the front door that we will be painting this weekend if it doesn’t rain too much. I popped in a couple of little plants with blue flowers (I actually thing red or white flowers will look better in the turquoise boots); found the old tin watering can in the back of the garage and added a couple of plants to that (might paint that white, too, because I don’t like the rust around the bottom), and then I had a cute little wagon in the garage that was all rusty from years of hanging out in the garden – so I painted that white and added some pansies and there you have it!
Nothing spectacular, but it was what I could do with what I had on hand. We also separated a couple of HUGE Hosta plants – one was so big that we divided it into 12 new plants to put around the front of the house. Adding a bit of ground cover, and pulling up all of the “junk” that has grown up all around the house, and we’ve got a busy summer ahead! If you are looking to brighten up your little corner of the world, why not consider looking around at what you already have and see what you can do? Trust me, a coat of paint will fix just about anything that is old, rusted, or worn out and then put a plant in it, and you will be amazed at the beauty you can create from a little bit of nothing. Hope you have a great time decorating your little world!