Thursday, June 23, 2011

our slo house: open letter to ReStore

This morning I came across the funniest post from "our slo house."  
Hope you enjoy it, I got a real laugh.  ReStore wouldn't take some of my stuff either--the nerve!

Please visit Karen's blog to see her renovation progress.
our slo house: open letter to ReStore

MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2011

open letter to ReStore

Dear ReStore,

I'm breaking up with you. Well, to be honest, we were never really going steady.

I respect what you stand for, and that's why I found you so attractive in the first place. I admire your desire to reuse building materials so that less ends up in the landfills. Even more so, I admire that all of your proceeds go towards funding the construction of Habitat for Humanity homes for low-income families. For those reasons, I will always speak highly of you.

Unfortunately, we can no longer continue to entertain the notion that you and I will ever be a couple.

From our first date, I realized that you are much too picky. Have you ever heard of the saying "Beggars can't be choosers"? It's a good one.

Listen. I understand why you can't come and pick up my donations. Fine. I'm happy to do it. But then you have to get all uppity about which items you'll accept. What? You think you're too good for me my items? Is that it? But the last straw is yourunavailability. You will only accept donations on certain days during certain times. You're simply too high maintenance for me.

So listen. I may as well be honest and tell you that I'm seeing someone else. His name is Craig Slist. He treats me well, and he's way less opinionated. He will take just about anything, and he even comes to my house to pick up my stuff. So far, he's helped me get rid of a bunch of bricks, a slew of appliances, a door, a hot water heater, and more.

I wish you well, ReStore. But it's just not gonna happen for us.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Attack of the Sweet Potato Vine


And I'm loving it...

My top 5 reasons for loving sweet potato vines

1.  They grow like crazy.
2.  The colors are great: chartreuse or deep burgundy.
3. They're super hardy in pots: they can endure a forgetful gardener (me)
4. They're a fantastic spiller: remember---thriller, filler and spiller
5. They're cheap and readily available

BTW  these are getting a little haircut this evening when it's cooler.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Hiking to Standing Indian

Sometimes fathers get to pick the Father's Day Activity.
This time the "Father" picked hiking to Standing Indian in the Nantahala Wilderness in North Carolina.

Those of you who know me well, know that hiking to Standing Indian is not my usual preferred activity.
It's not that I don't like the great outdoors, I love it, but I don't hike all that much.
But... what the heck it was Father's Day (and I didn't buy him a present.)

Boy was I glad I went!  This place was gorgeous!
The wild azaleas were blooming way up above our heads...
and at eye level.

Some were yellow and others were coral colored.  Beautiful!

The rhododendrons were blooming in the lower elevations--not yet higher up.
There were stands of ferns and astilbes and heuchera and Solomon's seal and cardinal flower blooming.
I'm sorry I didn't get more pictures, but he hikes fast and I wasn't about to be left behind.

 Kimsey Creek runs through the park and campground area at the foot of the mountain.
It was heavenly--a couple of preteen age boys were practicing their fly fishing--a lady was sitting in her camp chair by the creek reading a book. The air temperature was in the low 80's...sigh.

The water temp was  just above freezing.

I have to say here that this hike was somewhat misrepresented.
He said it was 6 miles, but it was really 10, with the last 4 pretty much straight down the mountain.
Going up was hard, going back down was really hard.

So at the end Kimsey Creek was just what the doctor ordered.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
But I won't camp in a tent in the woods with the bears and snakes.

Hope you had fun on Father's Day.


Linking to:


a beach cottage

Saturday, June 18, 2011

House Colors: Painted Brick with Dark Trim

Lately on my neighborhood walks, I started noticing light painted houses with dark trim.
It all started with this one.  Remember it from My Sunday Walk?
It has personality.

This one does, too.

 I really like this house.

As you can see, all these house colors are a little different--as they should be--but the color plan is the same: light brick and dark trim.

I got a little carried away and started searching the MLS for examples. 
The photography is better than my phone.  What a surprise.

What about this one?
Nice porch--but that's another topic.

 Check out this evening pict.
The landscape lighting is soooo good.

This house must have been hard to photograph--I think its on a hill-- but this front door is wonderful. (except for the brass kick plate).

And the hits just keep on coming. This one has THREE trim colors. Very nice. I've found that it's hard to choose paint colors to go with yellow brick. The owners of this house did a fine job.

This little gem was renovated by a builder. It seems the brick was painted to help the new parts blend in with the old. Sometimes that's a great solution.  There is no special place in hell for people who paint brick.

Here's one that is really much prettier in "person."  I tried to take a pict of it in the evening, mine was no good.

The trim on the next one is a little light for me, but it shows another take on the plan.

I think I've figured out the attraction:
These house remind me of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, or maybe french vanilla and caramel.

Hey, get your paint inspiration from things you like.

You might remember this beauty from the post on terraces--readers loved it.

Remember? No? click here.

I think I need a snack.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Walk

Like I've said before, I love going for walks in my neighborhood.
Today I took a few pictures of some Pretty Old Houses using my phone.
Please pardon the quality.

This house is Pretty, but I thought the yard was especially nice.

This one is a very good example of light (almost white) brick with dark brown trim.  It keeps it's tudor look but is fresher and up to date. A few details I like: the window in the door is off center but balances the tiny window to the left, the double chimney chases (this probably has a name), there are window boxes and urns on the front stoop.

  Now, this one...has been remodeled and added on to I'm sure.  I love the balanced gables and the crossed mullions in the upstairs windows.  The front porch is just marvelous with it's beefy craftsman columns. The landscaping is really nice, too.

This little beauty has a very attractive paint scheme.  It's a khaki green with dark green trim and the orange/red front door.  Nice.

This morning was cool and not too humid. I should walk more often.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Curbside Karma

Curbside Karma
Is there such a thing?
Can you really think about something you want, or think it'd be nice to have a certain thing, and suddenly have it appear on the neighbor's curb?

Well, it worked for me.
A few days ago I was sitting in our very pitiful, dry, under-construction backyard watching the birds flit about wondering where they were getting water.  You see, the thermometer has hit 90 degrees F here in Atlanta for well over a week with no rain at all in our part of town.
And I thought how we needed a bird bath--not for aesthetics, but out of necessity.

Then magically, on my way to the grocery store,
I spotted this treasure on the curb.

I think it's Curbside Karma.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Houses: What Do You Get for Your Money in Atlanta?

This week I've been showing homes to a client out in Grayson, Georgia.
According to my GPS, Grayson is about 30 miles from Atlanta.
It's an hour's drive more or less.

What's so great about Grayson?  Well, it's a small southern town with a main street, schools, churches, a library and a public park with a softball field. And  there are some pretty nice houses out that way. And it's close to my client's new job.

Here's what you get for $500,000 in Grayson:
Photos from the FMLS

Four-sided brick with 7 bedrooms and 5 full baths,
 6051 square feet including the professionally finished basement built in 2007

heavy moldings, site finished wide board hardwood floors

coffered ceilings

6 burner Viking cook top 

keeping room with stone fireplace

2107 square feet of finished basement and a 3 car garage.
I'm worried about this house appraising for $500K. The highest sale in the neighborhood in the past year was $466,000.

The Atlanta intown neighborhoods of Morningside and Virginia Highland are two of the most lauded in the metro area for their walkable, vibrant, hip-ness. There's a main street of sorts with restaurants, churches, shops and schools. There are parks with playgrounds for kids and Piedmont Park: Atlanta's big active central park with the Botanical Garden, dog park, tennis center, swimming pool and miles of walkways. These neighborhoods are within a couple of miles of Downtown Atlanta and Buckhead.

 Here's what you get for $500,000 in Atlanta's Morningside neighborhood (zip 30306).

Bungalow with a front porch built in 1930 with 2013 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths

updated master bath

dry basement, parking in the driveway.

Or in Virginia Highland you might get this for $500,000:

Brick Bungalow with 3 bedrooms and one and a half baths built in 1905 on a really great street with 2508 square feet, original crown molding and fireplace, hardwood floors

a dated kitchen

dining room with original? china cabinet and vintage chandelier

master bedroom with en suite bath

updated master bath

nicely landscaped backyard plus a carriage house with a full bath and a garage.

In Snellville, a little closer to Atlanta but still 25 miles away here's what you can have for $395,000:

3 sided brick traditional with 5 bedrooms, 5 baths and 4887 square feet built in 1999

dark oak site finished hardwoods on most of the main level

 newly updated master bath with travertine

patio under the deck accessible from the finished basement.

Or in Virginia Highland you could have this for $400,000:
Fixer upper built in 1930 with 2007 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths

screened front porch

living room with craftsman fireplace and heavy crown molding

kitchen with vintage stove (not sure what vintage it is, but they don't make them like this anymore) original cabinets--they said it was a fixer-upper.

one of two bathrooms

a master bedroom with hardwoods under the carpet (hopefully)

Or if you're crazy like me you might pick this for $400,000?
I've been in this one and don't think they'll get $400,000.

Built in 1914 the listing says it's a "Renovator's Delight"
It has 2088 square feet and 3 bedrooms and 2 baths

a hole in the wall by the fireplace
original moldings stained very dark (that was the style in 1914)

a blank slate for a kitchen

energy efficient window air conditioning

a large level yard with the driveway at the rear of the property

 So where would you spend $400,000 to $500,000?