Mostly Painted

Modulo some work on the front steps and back wall of the house, most of the painting is done and it looks great.

The house mostly painted

I found the trim from the front porch under the house and it's not in great shape, but it's still available (most Victorian house trims from this period were off-the-rack from mills, and there are multiple local mills that still cut to the same profiles), so with a little work I think we can whip the front porch into shape. But that is still pending.

Front door

In the meantime, I think the front door came out really well. The painters took it off and sprayed it out in the yard, which took a little shuffling on our parts to keep the cats inside and maintain distance from the workers, but it worked out.

One thing I designed into the house when we were designing the remodel was the ability to close off parts of the house from each other, and that has been very worthwhile. We closed the doors from the parlours and the kitchen into the downstairs hall, then closed the door between the front and back upstairs hall, and put all the cats in the back part of the house. That gave them about 4/5 of the house, including most of the cat boxes and cat food locations, while keeping them away from both the front door and side door (which needed to be painted). It worked really well, although there was a lot of sitting at various doors and crying about not being able to get to favourite sleeping spots.

Side porch

The painted side porch looks great. I love how it looks like it actually belongs on the house. I need to get screens into the screen frames (they're stacked on the porch right now) which will make it look more finished.

Just a reminder of what it used to look like:


(Just take a moment and enjoy the fact that the previous owners had painted just the inside of the side porch for some reason.)

Side porch stairs

Unlike the front porch, the side porch stairs are completely resolved. I mean, they were built from scratch so that makes sense. They're pretty simple, and I think they work well for the period of the house.

Inside the side porch

And here's the view from inside the porch. Again, the ceiling is painted blue which is pretty cheery on overcast, gray days like we've had a lot of.

Just visible here you can see my fancy new wicker chair for the side porch. I'm excited to be able to sit out on the porch and enjoy watching the neighborhood. Back when we first moved in we would sit on the side porch, then it became clear that the floor was completely rotten and dangerous (because of some bad framing below, and the horrific rot in the floor itself) so we stopped hanging out there. But it's just really nice sometimes to sit out there in the evening and be connected to the street and our neighborhood, while also being a little private.

I'm really looking forward to this porch.

posted by ayse on 02/09/21


I love the before and after photos. I’ve been following your blog the better part of 10 years now. I have to say, the work you guys have done on the house is nothing short of amazing.
I look forward to the garden posts as well. Thank you.

Maybe you previously addressed this - In the south, porch ceilings were painted 'haint' blue to calm restless spirits. I painted the porch ceiling in my newly built home in northern Minnesota a sky blue. It made the porch peaceful on the grayest of days. And contrary to scientific research, wasps never built nests on that porch ceiling. I love your porch!

Blue ceilings are a West African tradition brought in to the American South, and a similar tradition appears in a lot of the Middle East around the colour blue warding off evil spirits. So yes, that's the tradition this fits into. I've never seen blue ceilings keep away wasps, but they are very cheery. And thanks! We love it, too!

I've been following your reno for a few years now, I don't think I ever left a comment. Congratulations, your house is just gorgeous! Love the paint scheme, the trim, the rear-porch, just lovely. Especially when we see what it used to be on the before pic.

Aurélie (from Loire Valley, France)

Bonjour, Aurélie, et merci beaucoup. J'ai vécu à Orléans il y a de nombreuses années et j'adore la vallée de la Loire.

This is awesome Ayse! I live west of Tours, in Langeais (we have a big castle right in the middle of the town). Great region, but I also love American architecture and i'm fond of US houses restorations, so different than our local limestone houses!

(P.S : your French is perfect!!)

Thanks for the compliment on my French, it's pretty rusty in more detailed conversations, I assure you. I spent the whole summer one year going to all the chateaux I could visit. It's so interesting how people in different places and times live.

Thanks for the compliment on my French, it's pretty rusty in more detailed conversations, I assure you. I spent the whole summer one year going to all the chateaux I could visit. It's so interesting how people in different places and times live.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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