Creating a Haven * Let's Do the Outside First

Welcome to this
 Creating a Haven Mini-Series!

As my husband quietly observed one evening,
'It's not somebody else's house
 we're living in anymore.  
It's ours now!'

I'm excited to share a bit of our in-the-works home re-do and some assorted random how-to's, insights, and resources that have encouraged us in our somewhat lengthy home transition.  And I hope that along this journey, you'll find something of value that might work for you, wherever you find yourself calling home, whether you've been there 30 days or 30 years.  

Along the way I'll be giving you the links for specific items that turned out to be a smart purchase.  But I'm not making a cent off doing so and I'm not working with any company.  And as we move through the series, the conclusion of this post will be the place where you'll find an INDEX of all this series' offerings.

And I'm looking forward to comparing notes in the dialogue that follows each post.  I'm not a designer or a decorator.  I'm just a counselor who writes.  I can't wait for this community to scoop up what you've gleaned from all your own victories {and mistakes!} in building, updating, decorating, or cherishing your own personal haven. 

It's going to be fun!  Be sure to subscribe and invite your friends on Facebook and Twitter. The more, the merrier.  

'Cause who doesn't love talking about that place we call 'home sweet home!'

Cape Cod is known for its lovely shingled homes, cedar shakes faded over time to a delightfully soft weathered gray.  The salty air does its magic over the years, transforming crisp freshly minted shingles or horizontal planks into an aged glory that's prized in this neck of the woods.

But as retirement looms 'round the corner, and with rather unsettling memories of his late father falling off the roof in his 80's {and yes, he survived}, practicality colored my husband's view of the cozy Cape style.  He didn't want to spend his retirement years painting, shingling, repairing.  He wanted the outside done for good.

And he liked a much lighter look.

And although I'm a big fan of the faded beauties of Cape architecture, I agreed.  There was something very assuring about doing what we could to the outside of the house NOW ... and then not have to wonder when the next round of upkeep was coming 'round the bend.

And the last thing I need in a decade or two is my husband flying off the roof.

It was time to exchange the siding that had seen its day for Eastern white cedar dipped shingles in Lighthouse Gray which last far longer than untreated shingles.  And then a re-roof of the house with shingles in Pewterwood.  The white trim that would normally need to be painted {and re-painted and re-painted again} was replaced with AZEK, which is pretty much maintenance free.

And while I've always been a fan of wood's beauties and all things natural, at this point I'm saying, 'Yes!  Let's hear it for maintenance free!'


removing the old

installing the new



Gone are the faded shutters, the plastic mullions in the windows, the dark wood.  The deep gray roof provides a strong contrast against the light gray siding, and the white trim highlights the simplicity of the house's design.  It all seems more bright and spacious ... we are both loving this crisp clean new look.

These fabulous lights weren't up on the store display at Lowe's but then I spied them squirreled away at the far end of a bottom shelf just begging to be taken home.  The bubbled glass, the black metal framework, the unique shape, and the vintage style filament bulb?

If you could be head-over-heels with a light fixture, this would be the one.  Especially at $49.98.

And I'm ready to fill every old crock I can get my hands on with armloads of red geraniums for the little brick front landing and spilling out beyond.  We're looking at some kind of flowering bushes to add some color and soften the lines of the house ... or maybe window boxes filled to overflowing like an English garden.  

What kind of landscaping would you suggest?

And sooner or later the front door will get a brand new coat of paint to replace the current 1980's faded blue.  I'm partial to deep seaglass colors like Mayo Teal or Spotswood Teal.

What color do you think would do the trick?

creating havens with 
Anita  .  Kelly  .  Jennifer  .  Holley  .  Lyli