Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This little house of mine

I love houses. I love everything about houses.

Mr. Lindy and I have lived in maybe 11 houses, not counting the rentals between houses and that 9 month stint in the 30’ travel trailer which by my calculations was just a tad smaller than our previous master bathroom. Shocking, I know. However, it was one of the best times of my life -- but that’s a story for another day.

We built 4 of the eleven houses (once starting a new house just 9 months after moving into our new house!) and renovated the rest. I think I love equally the new houses and the renos. My motto, as you will learn, is “I love it, now how can I change it”.

We’ve “lived” in our current house for 2 ½ years. I say “lived” with finger quotations because at least during the first year, the house was pretty unlivable. This reno was by far the longest, hardest, most rewarding to date. The house was the ugliest, most unlovable house we ever purchased yet I think I have loved it the best. (I vaguely remember having said that about other houses…)

Let me start from the beginning. After years of marriage and following Mr. Lindy’s job halfway around the south, we decided to take a different course, to live a simpler life and move to the “country” -- a small southern town of about 1,300 where both our families are originally from. Our nest was newly empty and we were ready for a change. (I think I just heard a little giggle in my head because I say that like we never had change in our lives before that…..11 DIFFERENT houses! Hello!) Mr. Lindy bought a small restaurant and we set out to find the perfect (if not perfectly awful) house.

And then, I saw it. For about two seconds I considered buying it for an investment property but it didn’t take long to see it would require way too much time and money to bring this house back so I quickly dropped that idea. No, this house was a house that needed nurturing -- not just a nip and a tuck -- but real TLC.

Here is a before picture. I wish I had taken more…

This Little "Before" House of Mine

The owner, Charlotte, had inherited it from her aunt several years before and the house had been empty all that time. Charlotte’s uncle was beyond frugal, using tape and free yardsticks (don’t ask me) when needed to patch things up. There was at least 40 pounds of bird poop in the fireplace and the guest bedroom ceiling had relocated itself on the floor. Vines had worked their way inside. REAL heart pine floors had been covered with FAUX wood grain peel and stick tiles - no lie.

Charlotte must have thought I was crazy. I’d asked to see the house almost every day when once would have been more than enough for most. She finally just offered me a key. I would spend hours wandering around in it looking, thinking, trying to figure out if it was even remotely possible this house could be brought back to life or if it were entirely possible I was having a mental break from reality. I chose to believe the former -- I think Mr. Lindy was tittering on believing the latter. But in the end, by golly, he believed in me AND in this house.

There was a day while wandering around the house, thinking my brains out, praying my need to own this house would subside if I looked at it long enough, when I knew, without a doubt we were going to buy it. I was carefully lifting a corner of flooring in the bathroom (just curious, Charlotte) when a big chunk of it fell to the ground leaving a Big. Gapping. Hole. You’ve heard the saying “You break it, you buy it”? Sold.

I swear sometimes we’d take at least 2 steps back for every one step forward but we can finally say we are done -- we can stick a fork in it.

This Little "after" House of Mine

Of course there is always SOMETHING more to be done with an old house but for the most part I am down to the fun stuff. That’s the stuff I’ll be sharing with you here. Be seeing you soon….


  1. A-DOR-A-BLE!

    I LOVE your sweet, little house!

    Layla :-)

  2. Such a beautiful home! Love the blue!

  3. I really really Really like your house ( the after picture of course) It is absolutely adorable. How did you choose the color scheme and door?


  4. What a beautiful little home! I love the blue with white trim! Your landscaping really sets it off perfectly.

  5. I'm not sure how I found the colors but at one time (and for a good while) I had about 10 colors painted on the house looking for that perfect color. I know the neighbors were glad to see me pick just one. The base color is SW - Oyster Bay and the trim is SW- Accessible Beige. The Oyster Bay has a little green in it and looks bluer in the pictures...

  6. YES! YES! YES! What a challange! It looks beautiful. I will be back.
    Thank you, Always, Teresa

  7. I can just see the love you poured into it. We are looking for another home right now but I love our cottage so much!! The 1 I'd buy in a second is waayyyy overpriced and so outdated. It needs a lot of love and it is rooted deep into my heart. We'll see what happens.

  8. You are nuts, you know that don't you? Totally,radically, NUTS! What fun!

  9. your house is just too cute!!! I have really enjoyed your blog!!! Happy new follower!

    Take care!

  10. Oh, for the love of little houses! Yours is absolutely adorable. I love the porch.

  11. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing. We didn't move 11 times but we did sell our beautiful home and moved into a 40' camper for 10 months in Maine. Followed by moving into just the shell of what is now our in process farmhouse. 4 years and many rooms are still in process. But I love it like no other home we've had before. So I can relate. You have a beautiful home, a beautiful heart and a wonderful story to share!

  12. You definitely leave me wanting to read more!
    I am going to leave your blog open and read as much as I can between chores.

  13. I'm a new follower and this post made my jaw drop! I want your house! I don't think I could have seen that kind of potential.

  14. I love it !!! I am fond of older homes & love to see them brought back to living standards! You & your Hubby did a great job!


I'm excited you're leaving a comment. I can't wait to read it...L.