Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Listicle: 10 things about my house

This week's Monday Listicle is "10 things about my house."

Living room walls' faux finish
(Chris & Kieran--2003)
1. It's messy. We're not great housekeepers. And we're not regimented enough with our kids to get them to clean up after themselves regularly. Whenever we go into a cleaning frenzy, they ask, "Who's coming over?"

2. It needs a good redecorating. When we bought the house in 1999, it was severely outdated. The first thing I did was start peeling off the wallpaper. The living room and dining room had at least five layers of wallpaper on the walls. It took me weeks, and I was scraping wallpaper in my sleep! The family room was painted ORANGE, and the upstairs hallway and bathroom was pink. We haven't repainted everything, and the rooms that we did repaint need another paint job. Unfortunately, our house is looking shabby!

Bedroom walls
 (and carpet, which needs to go!)
 (Nicholas, 2007)
3. It's eclectic and has personality (like our family). The rooms I have gotten to reflect my eclectic personality. The living room and dining room have faux finish walls, and the dining room has a teal ceiling. Our bedroom is painted a burgundy purple, which at first we didn't like but now have grown to appreciate (although it, too, is getting a paint job!). Many of the rooms have painted a form of blue, because both Mike and I like blue--it's calming and pleasant.

4. It's full of books, paper, music, and costumes. That's what happens when you put two English majors-writers together, and then add story-, music-, and theater-loving children. Most of our books are kept in our downstairs study, but we have a proliferation of paper everywhere you look. And then there are musical instruments, CDs, art supplies, and addition to Harry Potter and Indiana Jones Lego, costumes, and props. Six-year-old Nicholas recently repurposed 16-year-old Chris' old DS case into an Indiana Jones satchel. Two corners of the living room are filled with Lego creations.

Friends for dinner in the backyard
5. It has a large, wild backyard. We moved to SW Portland when Chris was three because our lovely old 1910 bungalow in SE Portland had a very small yard. Our current house is on a 1/3-acre lot, with a wild, rambling backyard with two apple trees. In our fantasies, someday after we retire we will become avid gardeners. For now it mostly grows wild (as well as the frontyard, which does not have a lawn because of the enormous trees that suck up all the nutrients).

First day of school shot
 (in the front yard)
6.  It has that old-school character.  It was built in 1938, and the garage is in the back of our backyard. In fact, you enter the garage from a different street.The kitchen has a cute little kitchen nook. One of Chris' friends recently came to visit. He lives in a huge mansion in Beaverton, but he was actually quite taken by our house. It was built in the days when every house on the street looked different! It's funky and lived-in, and 74 years old!

7. It is surrounded by trees, so it stays cool(er) in the summer. Most older Oregon homes do not have air conditioning, because it's not really that hot that many days during the summer here. Our house stays comparatively cool in the heat, and if things get really bad, we can always sleep in the basement, which stays very cool. The downside to all the trees is that it's difficult to grow anything in the front yard.

8. I regularly fantasize about what we could do with our house. If money were no object, and we had more time, our house could be so much nicer. It would help if I got organized and tackled some projects. I have so many things I would LIKE to do!

In the dining room
(you can see the mahogany window trim)
9. It's a mix of old and new, thanks to the previous owners. We learned enough about the previous owners during the sale of the house to know we wouldn't have liked them very much. They were in litigation with the neighbor, a detail they failed to disclose to us. They did weird things such as cut out a huge batch of rose bushes in the backyard (we discovered this when one of the people who lived in the house years ago stopped by to take a look)...and they left a load of rubbish in the garage for us to deal with. They were constantly arguing with the neighbor on the other side about the property boundary. They installed butt-ugly aluminum siding on the house, which I hate and we have still not done anything about, but thank God they retained the beautiful mahogany trim in the living room and dining room!

Celebrating Mom's birthday last January
10. It's full of love, energy, and laughter. Okay, so even though it's messy, outdated, and desperately in need of redecorating and's full of spirit. Our children know what's most important. Not our house, but them.

Thanks to Monday Listicles (organized by Stasha at for making me realize what I love and what needs to change about my house. Check out some more! 


  1. I hear ya on the redecorating thing. We have red brick vinyl flooring in our kitchen and foyer. We swore that that would be the first thing to go when we bought our house three years ago. It's still there.

  2. What a great house! And updating everything takes forever, costs a lot of money and by the time you are done you have to start over again! Its a never ending cycle

  3. We also live in the Pacific Northwest north of the border with lots of trees so our front lawn is a breeding ground for moss...not grass. :(

    Your home sounds absolutely lovely with lots of character and best of

  4. Wow, love that you have acreage! I think every house, no matter how long ago you decorated is a project to be. But love, that is most important!! Lovely list, thanks for a sneak peak!

  5. Thanks for the sympathy, all. I like what someone else wrote on their Monday Listicles for last week: "first-world problems." We are lucky to have a roof over our heads. And as you say, family and love are most important!!