Updated: Sep 8
I'm not really sure where to begin, I guess the beginning. At the end of 2020 we took a huge leap of faith and bought our dream forever home. I’ll be honest, My husband was….
”hesistant”. I looked at the house and saw what it could be, he looked at the house and saw what it was. A place in serious need of a lot of work.
Pictured below house from 2020
With a lot of blood, sweat and tears by mid 2022 we had removed the trees from the front of the house, completely gutted and remodeled our bathroom, and completed each of our girls rooms which meant I was able to finally shift my focus temporarily to the exterior.
When assessing I knew, if nothing else because of the sheer height of the house that I wasn’t going to be able to paint the upper level myself. It’s not that I have a fear of heights per se more that I would classify myself as a clumsy realist and it just felt like the odds weren’t exactly in my favor. That's when we started tossing around the idea of hiring someone.
GASP! As avid do it ourselfers, EVERYONE was opposed to this idea but me. But as I said, I may be a dreamer but I’m also a realist. I knew that if we were to take on scraping, caulking, repairing and painting the exterior of the house it could take us years. With the house slowly deteriorating, it felt like a slowly ticking time clock. The first step was getting some quotes on what it would take to truly make this happen. Which lead me to quickly realize it would not indeed happen. Well at least not in 2022. From there I made it my mission to save every bit of profit from my photography business to make this a reality for 2023. As I got closer and closer to the amount I needed, the more everyone tried to convince me I was insane for considering spending it.
But by the beginning of 2023 my mind was already made up. All I had to do was get everyone else on board. I knew talking about it wasn’t enough I needed to show them. So I set down at my computer started channelling my childhood “paint” skills to create a mockup of my vision via photoshop. I wasn’t 100% sure on exactly what I wanted but what I did have was some facts.
FACT NUMBER 1: The metal roof is green, and we aren’t in a place to change that, so must go with green.
FACT NUMBER 2: This house means a lot to a lot of people not just us and changing it too much could be off-putting to say it gently
Okay, sooo no pressure there right?! I was driving through Mitchell and on the side of the road was a bus that was the most amazing shade of green. I thought that’s it! That’s the kind of green I want the house.
Once I had an idea of the green I wanted I knew I wanted to experiment with adding an accent color. There were some pretty cool details on the house you really couldn’t appreciate being white, especially from the road. So I drew my inspiration for the accent color from the copper roof of my chicken coop.
Lee Manor Hen House Pictured below
With the accent color chosen I knew the next step was deciding where we would apply it. I’ve never quite been sure what style our home is. Colonial? Colonial Revival? Farm House? Four Square? The only thing I knew for sure is it wasn’t Victorian. Therefore I didn’t want the accent color to reflect the more common Victorian elements like painting just the corbels. I decided instead to take a bit of a risk and created the design with painting the entire under side with our accent color.
Once my mock up was finished I was OBSESSED. But honestly I thought it might be a hard sell. Usually when I think something is great that normally means it's a tad too much for everyone else. So I sent the mock up to my husband first, then my mother, and my two best friends just to get an idea of exactly how crazy I was this time. And the answer across the board was “I LOVE IT” which gave me even more confidence I was on the right track.
Original Mock up for the house pictured below
The next step turned out to be one of the hardest. Finding a real tangible color that looked anything remotely like the ones I had created in photoshop. I went to every paint store in a 30 mile radius to look at their greens particularly. Every time I compared them they were either too bright of a green, or too grey green, or too yellow green. I even had a few custom colors mixed. I was starting to feel like the Goldilocks of paint chips.
pictured my favorite lee girls helping pick out some paint samples
Then it happened. I had all but given up when I passed my record player. In it was Taylor Swift's Folklore Album. I STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS AND PICKED IT UP SAYING OUT LOUD TO ONLY MYSELF... "THAT'S IT THAT'S THE GREEN!!!"
Now that I had something tangible I could compare my color samples to I FINALLY settled on a green. I decided to call it FOLKLORE GREEN.
The others came easy, I already had an antique white picked out from painting the front of the studio, the copper was color matched to my copper on the coop roof, and all that was left was the foundation color. I knew I wanted it to be a tan/sand color similar to the color in my mockup so I just quickly picked what I thought was closest to it without getting any samples. Which would later turn into a full blown debacle ending in emergency trips to Ace in both Mitchell and Salem to get a new paint color that was exactly what I envisioned. I'm so thankful I did because the final colors turned out perfect.
I used the shutter and wood pictured above to test my sample colors to make sure they were complimentary
The process took a little longer than I think anyone expected. 2 months to be exact. Those of you who know me know I am not overly social so I thought this process might be pure torture. And while the experience had it's ups and downs I'm thankful for the three main guys who were here. They were polite and kind, and worked hard every single day.
Just double checking... YUP FOLKLORE APPROVED.
My ace in the hole was always adding back the upper level shutters that had been stored in pristine condition in the attic all these years. The shutters on this house are just so so special. They have latches, locks, and shutter dogs and were meant to close and completely cover the windows to button down the hatches. They were and now are again the protectors of this home.
Once the painting was finished the exterior job wasn't over for us, We needed to replace two shutter dogs, the old plastic lattice on the back porch, and add new lighting.
I got right on it and ordered two cast iron shutter dogs and painted them the antique white to match the house.
Logan of course put them up for me.
With the shutter dogs complete I had two more things to check off our to do list for the exterior to be finished.
Next we tackled the lattice. He cuts and nails. I paint. We make a pretty good team like that :)
Final stretch, picking out the porch lights. I knew I wanted something unique that would compliment the copper on the porch ceiling. Oh and while we are at it let's get a little crazy and make it have a fan!
I searched for weeks, seriously, couldn't make up my mind then last minute went rogue and bought something no one was sold on. When they got here I about died they were so perfect. The pure joy these lights have brought me is just insane.
BTW my husband is just literally my hero. It had to be said.
Finally, It felt finished. At least finished enough to take the long awaited after pictures. For two years I have dreamt of this day and it was finally here.
Words can't really describe the way I feel about our home.
But I can tell you I have plans. Plans for this back porch
where we will drink coffee and hot apple cider together to feel the autumn breeze listen to the rain witness sunsets and sunrises and watch our girls play Plans for this field
where we watch our chickens peck the ground
and our flowers grow
Plans for the kitchen where someday I'll finally be able to cook and clean in the 21st century, maybe even host a holiday or two
Plans for a staircase where my girls will come down in their prom dresses or even one day their wedding gowns
It's okay to make plans.
It's even better to allow those plans to constantly shift and grow to become whatever they are meant to be.
So if you are looking for me I'll be right here.