Thursday, May 6, 2010


There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.  
~Jane Austen

Home is truly my favorite place to be.  I love to travel, and see new places, although I haven't done a whole lot of that so far in my life, but home is where I feel the most comfortable.  

My home has been a work in progress for the past 14 years.  When my ex-husband and I first bought it, it was a complete fixer-upper.  None of the plumbing worked properly, the electrical had not been updated in many years, and could not accommodate a family's modern-day needs.  It was virtually in a state of disrepair when bought it.  It was months before we could actually move in, and even then we were only living in a few of the rooms.

It was smelly, dirty, crusty, and dark.  What in the world was I thinking when I dragged my husband, kids, and mom back for a second look??  The bathrooms were old and dark and needed to be completely redone.  The final room I viewed on my very first tour was the kitchen.  As I walked down the four steps to the kitchen, my heart sank.  We had been looking at enough old homes to know that the kitchens and bathrooms cost the most to repair and remodel.  This kitchen was literally crumbling in places.  The tiny little tiles around the sink, were rotted and you could pick them off w/ your fingers.  There were dirty stains and drips all over the walls.  When we turned on the sink faucet, the water was brown, and it poured right out from the pipes underneath.

Although the windows were dirty and foggy, over the kitchen sink there was the most amazing view of our City Park directly across the street.  It was dusk the first time I went through, and the light was beautiful.  Something in that view and the light at that moment had me hooked.  I wanted this house.

What in the world possessed us to buy a house that needed so much work, when we had so little experience with remodeling and construction?   I will never completely know.  I had watched one too many episodes of "This Old House".  I had a very romanticized view of old houses, I was hooked on the character that these homes possess.  "It has so much potential" became our catch phrase.

After an inspection of the foundation and structure of the house, we were assured it was a good, solid home, built with quality craftsmanship.  

We had very little money.  I can't even explain our logic.  We were dreamers and completely clueless, really.  Our blind faith and ignorance propelled us into a home-buying venture,  that I have both regretted at times, but also been grateful for.

Now I am a single mom, and this home is my girls' and my castle. I have put my heart and soul in this house, and it has seen both good and bad times in our lives.  It has been many painstaking years of renovation and improvements, and by no means is it "finished".

It will probably always be a work in progress, but it has come a long way.  I have given up on the idea of perfection.  All the chips, imperfections, and quirks of my house are what give it the character that I cherish.

Home is definitely where my heart is, and I think my daughters feel the same.  In future posts, I will show  you some more pictures of the inside of my home, before and after.

Wishing you a place of comfort and Happy Thoughts,

I am participating in My Romantic Home's "Show and Tell Friday", check it out here:


  1. Lisa, your tenacity at sticking with a project like this is amazing. I just loved seeing your home when we saw each other last fall. I left there thinking, "If I could have a house like that it wouldn't matter where I lived!" You have such an obvious knack for decorating, which is half of what makes a house a home. Thanks for sharing your inspiration, struggles, and most of all the happiness it brings you.

  2. You have a real charmer of a home! It looks so sunny, bright and cheerful..

  3. When I drive by your house it always makes me smile. And BTW, I LOVE Lisa Loeb!

  4. If I live nearby, for sure I will find my time to drop by. How I love the roses you grew in front the house. What a sweet home and to live in. Thanks for sharing. I love it.

  5. What a stunning entrance. Your home looks so loved and well cared for.

  6. I love all of the climbing roses! Your home looks so charming. I can't wait to see more pictures! :)

  7. Gorgeous climbers! What varieties do you grow?

  8. That was a beautiful post, as always:) Your home is gorgeous, you actually have a white picket fence!!!

    My mom and stepdad bought a 1920's bungalow when I was 14 and I sobbed for hours after I first saw it because I couldn't believe I had to live in it...I did not have vision! I'm looking forward to the inside of your home:) Happy Mothers Day!

  9. I love how you saw potential in your house. It's so beautiful, definitely worth all the work!

  10. I feel exactly the same way about our fixer-upper-
    Twenty years have gone by since we first bought it, and there is no place I'd rather be.


    White Spray Paint

  11. Lisa My Dear, Thanks for sharing your hopes and dreams. Your home and gardens are stunning! The white fence and the roses take my breath away. I love your home too. It's nice to meet you.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  12. What a lovely home you have! Those roses are a beautiful welcome. I'm looking forward to following along and seeing more pictures of your sweet home. I would love to see the before pics! You can tell you have done a great job bringing this house back to life. I just love old homes. Mine was built in 1936 and hadn't been updated much before we purchased it. Old homes do have so much character!


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