Affair with a New Driveway Plan!

So earlier in the summer I bought the above book and devoured it cover to cover. One of the reasons that I initially bought it is that her house is similar to ours (I know that ours is MUCH more modest). But what really drew me was how she talked about her journey of turning a house into a home and a life – It was a delicious read and really inspirational. It made me happy to read about another persons devotion to a house and place – and the joy that it has brought her and her loved ones. I too am always planning on how to turn not just the house – but the land into a usable and enjoyable PLACE. Right now I am obsessed with antique barns (being that we don’t actually have any kind of out buildings left on the property) – and with trees (remind me to tell you about the row of sugar maples) and driveways (read below).

So another surprise here is that today we got our permit from the county to put in a new driveway entrance! – so this poor washed- out driveway will soon be replaced with lawn and graceful curving sweep of gravel. Basically our parcel is smallest where it hits the road because we are situated on the outside of a curve (giving us a slight pie slice of land – the pointed tip being our road frontage).

Our plan is to extend the driveways to the far corners of the property and connect them in front of the house – thus removing the current turn-around /parking area behind the house – Which will help to restore the front lawn / back lawn privacy that I crave in the country. Right now the house is completely surrounded by car paths – the highway in the front – the driveways looping up the sides and the parking area in the back. This layout made sense when it was apartments but it makes for a hostile barrier between the house and the lawns that I can’t wait to be rid of! Our new plan will be better for safety (better sight lines on the edges of our highway curve ), better drainage (we are gonna do some extensive ditch/culvert work), better during the winter – (we will be approaching the house from the side at the same elevation level instead of driving uphill which can get SCARY with ice) and privacy (we will be using the left over dirt to fill in the old driveway so that the resulting berm will hide traffic a bit). – So wish us luck!

p.sFor a great post on Bunny Williams’ house visit Cote de Texas.

Greek Revival Inverted Porches

From this angle you can see how the enclosed porch has a separate roof and is a bump-out addition (with flared craftsman walls dating it to 1900-1930) that extends off of the original inverted porch.

I am a big fan of removing the enclosed porch addition to restore the classic lines to the structure- but that step will only make sense after we have more space – i.e once we renovate the back – because right now we are actually using the enclosed porch as a summer guest room.

Below are a couple other examples of the inverted Greek Revival porches. I have actually found it quite hard to find pictures of inverted porches that still remain open – I think in the Catskills with our relatively cool summers and cold winters – the porches were probably simply enclosed or walled off so they could be used year round.

An example of a surviving inverted porch in the next town over- see how similar this house is to ours except this house has the classic 3 windows/ two windows and entry door in the front pediment wing instead or our 2 windows/2windows layout

I stole this image from an area real estate listing (sorry it is so small) – this too has the inverted porch – the smaller wing is more similar to ours – although it also features the fancy entry door on the facing gable

This is actually a photo of a house in our town from the turn of the century – (I have been scanning photos for our history center as a pet project of mine and also because I can glean so many local architectural details from the looking at old photos). You can see how although the layout is flipped , this house is very similar to the house above – notice also how the house has what appears to be board and batten siding a Gothic Revival detail- very interesting.

Here is a tour of some of my favorite homes in my town.

This house is just so deliciously simple – and yet the quirky offset symmetry makes it so charming!

This house has such clean lines and such a lovely lawn!!

they recently tore down every part of this house except for the front wall you see here and they rebuilt it.

I just love how the aged dark green is so unexpected and yet I think it is so glamorous (maybe I am crazy)

this is so clean and simple – classic Greek Revival!

look at regal setback and how the lawn runs into that lovely stone wall – yummy!

I love this generous porch! it just looks like a friendly house

This is one of my favorite remodels that has been done in the last 10 years – this house was looking a bit rundown when it was on the market about 8 years ago and now it is so handsome – I love how elegant and loved it looks now!

I don’t have a good shot of this house but I do believe they may have won the ‘lawn of the month award’

This place is such a classic farmhouse- (and its for sale ! – which is probably why the lawn looks so neglected)

Anyways I hope you enjoyed a tour through my town – and I hope to put up more soon to show you the examples of local architectural styles that I am hoping to draw inspiration from as we fix up our own house.

It has been awhile…

my newest project

As the summer draws to an end my list of projects seems to become more desperate hence I have put blogging on the back burner. So apologies if I made any one worry!

You may look at this buffet and wonder why I bought it – it certainly has a very 90’s color scheme, and someone seems to have given up on searching for replacement hardware … I loved it – it JUST fit into my boyfriend’s dad’s Honda Fit AND was only 2.60 at my favorite junk shop. I just couldn’t resist its clean lines – It took some elbow grease and an eclectic sander and electric planer (which btw is one of my favorite tools), a new coat of paint , new hinges (2 were warped and all of them were painted over) and some new pull handles (1.29 each at Lowes!)

it was originally 5.25! but it was half off due to the end of season sale

one of the first flaws I had to fix both the door had to be planed down, the bent hinges replaced and the piece glued together

the veneer on the top had to be fixed as well – I ended up just scraping the whole thing off after a partial removal-patch job didn’t work so well.

i just love drawer dividers

So here it is folks – the finished product (please be nice and don’t look too hard at the messed up wall or the horrible molding – previous remuddlers were not so kind to the original details in this wing of the house).

p.s- I removed the lacquer from the pulls so they should dull to a classy brass soon :).