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Friday
May252007

That's the kind of house we live in, and I hope we never leave it.*

La Fabulous Carmen asked me weeks and weeks ago to take photos of the results of last year's house renovation. I've been putting this off, since little things still aren't done, like finishing painting the backsplash. But since she's in the process of saving my knitting bacon with an express package from London and an emergency trip to Paris's La Droguerie, and since right now my house is as clean as it ever gets, I figured today was the day.

Taking these photos reminds me of that scene in Blade Runner in which Harrison Ford's character is using his computer to mine clues from a snapshot. But I'll try to get over it, since we aren't harboring any replicants at the moment.

Grrrr--Blogger is not letting me space the photos and captions the way I'd like to. So in case it's not clear, each caption goes with the photo directly above it.

Looking west from the threshold between the den and the living/dining room (between what used to be the living room and the dining room/kitchen)

Looking northeast from the corner shown in the first picture

The new cooking area is where the old kitchen table used to be.

The island with cookbook bookshelf

I spend quite a bit of time in this corner.The new fireplace--this is in what used to be the dining room. The hallway to our bedroom is on the right. We store wood in those little boxes under the seats.

I'm leaning against the new corner sink to take this photo. We still have the Frank Lloyd Wright windows; now they flank two groups of plain windows instead of being all in a row.

Here are the pocket doors between the living room and the den.

Here's the new den/old living room. I guess we should take out the newspapers.
This is taken from the left corner of the photo just before.

And from the right corner

The window seat and door to Christian's new room/old den-guest room are on the left.


The window seat hasn't changed, but since it's one of my favorite spots in the house, I had to include it.

The outside; please remember that the garden is still in the 'Before' stage of Extreme Makeover: Yard Edition.

The new deck is made out of ipe wood.


I feel very, very lucky to live in the house of my dreams (not the childhood dream where I fantasized about living in a Fotomat booth; the dream I had after I discovered the Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts & Crafts Movement). It is modest-sized by today's McMansion standards, about 2,000 square feet. But it's the perfect size for us and suits our needs exactly.

Anyone contemplating building a new house or renovating an old one should read Sarah Susanka's The Not-So-Big House; it influenced our design tremendously. Patrick gets all the credit for figuring out the new 'flow' of the downstairs. He also gets all the credit for financing the project; thanks, honey!

*I'm not quite sure what Ted Geisel was up to when he wrote There's a Wocket in my Pocket! It's my least favorite of all the Dr. Seuss books--nowhere near the caliber of The Sneetches or The Sleep Book, for example. But I do like the last line.

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Reader Comments (6)

oooooooh! I've been waiting for these, and they did not disappoint. I've gone through them carefully to really understand the new flow, and I love it, Luisa! The colors, the light, the layout, it's all very livable, inviting, and warm. Great job. The new bookshelves, however, do not seem to hold all the books that you had in the old den...are more still being housed in Christian's room?

May 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

Built-in bookshelves. Sigh. That's my dream.

May 25, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbubandpie

What a beautiful home you have there. I live in my dream home, too (a 50's style ranch!) - bigger doesn't always mean better - it just means you have to clean more. The people that own the McMansion's that only have 3-4 people living in it can have it!

May 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda1

It's freakin' beautiful! And it looks much bigger than 2,000 sq ft. If I ever need a renovation, remind me to yell at you. I'm a design idiot, but I know what I like when I see it.

May 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette Lyon

Gorgeous, I'm ready to come over and read a book. It looks so inviting and cozy. I picture myself sitting down with a tea and chatting with you -- well, after I check out the book collection and see what prescription drugs you have in the medicine cabinet...okay, not really...

May 29, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterrjlight

Jenna, there are actually almost exactly the same linear feet with the new bookshelves as there are in the old den/C's new room. I think the angle of the photo is deceptive.

Of course, there still isn't enough shelf space. I'm trying to figure out where else we can fit another built-in.

B&P, built-ins were my dream for about 16 years of marriage. They are just as wonderful as I had imagined they would be.

Amanda, EXACTLY. The architect asked me whether I wanted to add another bathroom, and I about took her head off saying, "Are you CRAZY? Voluntarily add another toilet to scrub? No thanks."

Annette, I'm always here for you.

RJL, come on over; I'll make the tea while you check out the library. But you won't find any prescriptions at all, I'm happy to say, except for some Retin-A and James's inhaler. ;)

May 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLuisa Perkins

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