Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Big Unveil

It's been a long time coming but I feel like I can finally unveil the latest house renovation.

This photo was taken within days of moving in.
Some of you may recall way WAY back that we discussed painting the exterior of our home.  For those of you newer to my blog it started back in 2010 with this post.

That original post was written when we had just bought the house and we were still dreaming.  What would we like to change, where would we start .... so many possibilities.  That was long before things like leaking roofs, leaking bathrooms, and rotted porches showed their ugly faces and took up all of our time.  Instead of choosing renovations we're starting to learn that the renovations chose us.  Thinking about replacing a door?  The upstairs plumbing will no doubt give way and demand attention instead.

So the colour schemes we dreamt about for our house were put on hold.  For four years.

We lived with a white house with black trim in the meantime.  It's not that the colour scheme was bad but we craved something a little more interesting.  All white paint meant that from a distance the intricate shingle work wasn't visible.  It was a feature of this house that we treasured and thought should be shown off.

Over the years the paint has started to peel as well.  Greying shingles were visible in large patches making the home look unkept.

Looking at the wall you can see large spots starting to appear
 Last summer we started the work of stripping the house.  Scraping and sanding for months so we could start with a blank slate.

Sanding the shingles means that a new coat of paint is more likely to stick well and last longer.  At least that's our hope!

It took most of the summer to prepare the house.  By the time we were ready to paint the summer was almost over.  Including the warm weather we needed for paint to cure.  The primer went on and some of the paint but we never managed to complete the job before it got too cold.

Windows were covered and Jody sprayed on the primer but we didn't get much further
So this spring we anxiously waited for the days to grow warm.  Unfortunately it was a cold spring.  Rain and cool temperatures kept us indoors waiting until June.  Then out came the paint buckets once again and work began.

I'll be honest.  There was some arguing about colour.  As many of you know I favour bright colours.  Jody does not.  I like bright and cheery and he likes subtle and classic.  I argued but he won this round.  I will concede though that the results are fantastic.  Although I did force him to go with a darker shade of beige on the base.

Ultimately the colour scheme is white, cream and dark tan.  It's not a huge change but the shading does exactly what we wanted.  It brings attention to all that fantastic shingle work.

Diamond patterns, castles, and corbels are all brought to life by a shift in colour.
It's a funny thing though.  All those creams and whites look different under different light.  I attempted to get photos that were consistent but it was impossible.  In bright sun the house looks almost white.  On shady days the colour turns darker.  Evenings it looks pink.  Photograph one side of the house it appears quite light and turn a corner it appears dark.  Colours that are exactly the same look completely different on separate parts of the house.

My neighbour commented that the colour looks different every time she drives by.  So you'll have to take my word that the house is white and beige with brown trim.

Despite the difficulty in photographing I think it looks good in every light.  Jody was right, you can't go wrong with subtle and classic.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer is Upon Us

One day I'm complaining about how cool the weather is and the next day it's 30 degrees.  The heat and humidity have set in thick and we have a case of the muggies.

Spring plants wilted in the sudden rush of heat.  Iris and columbine lasted only a short week or so before collapsing.

Columbine were brought as seed from the west coast and
now bloom happily every spring in my garden on the east coast

They were beautiful while they lasted.  For a short period of time the garden seemed to bloom almost exclusively in purple.

Caesar's Brother Siberian Iris
Siberian Iris, Ligularia and Mountain Bluet
Clearly I have a passion for purple when it comes to gardening.  Oddly I haven't got a single piece of purple in my wardrobe.  

Blues have faded and bright yellow is now beginning to dominate as the temperature heats up.  

Isn't it funny how the flower colours seem to mimic the temperature?  Hot days are paralleled by hot colours like orange, red and yellow.  There must be a reason for that but I haven't a clue what it is.

The first dahlia of the season has arrived and it's orange!
As for me, when it gets hot the garden starts to lose it's lure on me.  There's only one place to go when the thermometer goes too high.

If you're lucky enough to live close to the water I highly recommend getting out and making the most of it.