Outside Tour

Let’s do this.  I’m pumped.  Can you tell?!  This high…this mountaintop…this excitement comes from editing/uploading/transferring forty photos for this post.  It’s what I affectionately call “Blogdreneline”.  It’s the high you get from a ridiculous amount of work for one post.  I’m sure other bloggers can relate.  Ironically, the writing doesn’t weigh me down like the photos do.  Blog photos are the toughest thing for me to do.  Funny huh, coming from a photographer?  And so forty toughies are like ten of those giant pixie sticks…yeah, try that some time…it’s like eating a whole bag of sugar…and then enjoying the rush afterward :) 

ANYHOO.

Here is the tour of our exterior.  It’s been a long time coming folks and that is why these photos show a drabby, wintery outside.  Since the time these were taken (February) things have greened up…it’s like when Rainbow Brite changes that dead forest into Rainbow land with the help of Twink and Starlite (um…yeah).  Seriously though…it looks a lot better.  Here is the scene that you are used to: 

But there is more to this story.  We actually have a circular drive.  Never in a million years did I think I would have one of those.  But now I do.  And in comparison to our old driveway (where you had to do a nine-point turn to turn around), this thing rocks.  When we had Will’s party, we had close to twenty cars in our driveway and nobody was blocked in or in a neighbors yard or in the street.  One person even told me that their gloucoma cleared up when they parked.  Just checking to see if you were still reading :)

Here is the view from the other direction.  You can see in the middle that the previous owner (we call him Napoleon) planted a small tree which died.  According to our neighbors, Napoleon also had plans for a fountain at one time there…but we don’t have the dough for a water feature right now, so we are thinking a couple large rocks from the woods and some other plants will do the trick.

If you back up the driveway even further, you will see the actual driveway. 

all the way to the street….which is actually a cul-de-sac.  And our little pizza-pie-slice-shaped property line runs on either side of those leyland cypresses (can you see them?!).  Our neighbors also told us that the original owners (a young couple) planted those trees back in the day when they were as big as weeds.  Then they sold the property to a builder who built the house.  Then the builder sold the house to Napoleon who ripped out a bunch of those cypresses.  He was also the one that brought in a bunch of the landscaping.  

The little ditch on the left is the property line on this side…note the green mailbox.  Seriously Napoleon…black is the new green.

And behind the mailbox is the fire hydrant.  Surprisingly, I like having it so close.  I have an irrational fear that the house will catch fire and the fire hoses will be too short…so this helps eliminate the fear.  Okay, okay.  Not eliminate.  More like lessen.  ever so slightly.

The other side of the driveway entrance has this light that matches the mailbox.  We need to fix some of the stones that have fallen off.  

Oh…and behind the light…right there next to the driveway…is a stump…to a palm tree.  Napoleon, you are so weird.

Speaking of weird…this is me, waving to you in my shadow on our strange faux paver driveway.  It’s not real pavers….it’s concrete that has been stamped to make it look like pavers. 

Okay…so if you walk back towards the house, you will notice a couple things.  One – there are a couple lights right where the straight part meets the circular part.  Two – we have some beautiful holly trees.  And three – there are eight crepe myrtles that Napoleon had pruned to look like trees…except the plant was all like “I ain’t no tree” and started sprouting shoots from the base.

This is the view if you go left on the circle drive….see the cypress trees now?

And this is if you go right…cypress tree wall is actually not our property line.  There is another twenty feet or so on the other side of the trees that belongs to us.  Crazy.  It’s a pain to mow.  Not that I’m complaining.  It’s just so strange to me that they didn’t just plant them on the line…or twenty feet closer to them.   

Now let’s take a look at the exterior closer to the house.  First up…the front.  When we first saw the house, we noticed right away that there is some peeling paint…and the colors really need to be updated.  But even more than that, the landscaping was just CRYING for help.  Apparently Napoleon took some plants with him when he left.  Not only did he leave holes in the front beds, but there was also some other surprises.  Like fake flowers.  stuck in the ground.  like it would trick people to think it actually grew there.  it was like hair plugs on our front yards forehead.

On the left side of the front steps, there is a tree that was within a ‘garden bed’.  I say it’s a garden bed but in actuality its just an area that is separated from grass by a garden bed border…but there ain’t nothin’ growin’ there.  On the corner are some roses.

Those roses also continue down the side of the house.  It’s actually the worse place for roses because it doesn’t get full light.  Oh and yes, that is a small tree growing next to the house.

This is the little side porch.  It’s not really that big…but eventually we want to put some small scale chairs out there and maybe some hanging ferns.

Oh and here’s the view from the porch at the roses.  Yes…they are horribly neglected and overgrown. 

And just to the left of the house is the courts.  We call it tennis courts but it is too short to be regulation…so we think that we will turn them into pickleball courts. 

Here it is from the other angle.  (oh can you see our neighbor’s grape vines? – right there in the center…yeah, who’s gonna steal grapes this year?  Picture me with both hands up.) 

Okay…back to the front.

But this time, let’s go right.  Again, the corner has some rose bushes that are crazier than a tween in the presence of a Miley/Beiber offspring.  Then next to them are some ill-planted bushes. 

The side drive wraps around to where the garage doors are.  Yes, that light fixture needs a redo. 

And just beyond the garage doors is the little end of our driveway – this is where we parked when the garage was filled with our junk.  

Now for the back.  Oh Baby got back.  This is the best photo to see the entire thing.   

The deck extends the length of half the house.  It’s big.  Three times as big as our previous deck.  AND IT HAS STAIRS.  I will actually go out on this one. 

We can’t wait to get some furniture out there.  I’m trying to talk Jeremy into build some loungers.  Maybe these ones from builder-superstar-hottie Ana White.  

And those guys are looking at the courts.  Here’s the view. 

It would be cool to have some other furniture…so that we could watch friends play pickleball.  and sit down.   either or.

The backside of the house.  I’m losing my blogdreneline.  Let’s speed this up.  Ugly light fixture.  Ugly paint color.  Deck needs refinishing.

This door leads to our living room.  We never use it.

The deck.  Duh.  And the door to the kitchen.

Looking down from the deck to the storage area doors and slab.  Random pipe.  Ugly painted peeling light.  Retaining wall.

Yard.  I don’t need to spell this out. You can handle it.  You logged on.  You can imagine what a yard looks like.

Under the deck.  Doors to the basement.  Needs pressurewashing.  Ugly light.  Again.

More under deck.  I want a big dining table.  and big pots filled with bushes and flowers and all sorts of goodness.

The back and the yard.  And now that I think about it, we need some landscaping around the lower deck.  and maybe a concrete stain.  and a bit of sprucing….or maybe a lot of sprucing.  

Okay…but the funnest thing about owning a new house is seeing what hapens outside.  You just never know what is going to pop out of the ground.  It’s like a surprise party for you.  every day.

We had these flowers pop up and it made me so happy.  It’s hard to not be happy when flowers pop up. 

I don’t know what these are…my mom told me their name…but I forgot…either way, I love them.  They are beautiful.   

And so that is the tour of the exterior.   Our to-do list out there is huge.  And we actually have so much already done…and I just can’t wait to share with you.  No excuse me while I go lay down.  The blogdreneline is officially worn off.

Comments

  1. Mary says

    Katie, Those yellow flowers are called ‘daffodil’s’ i know this because they are the national flower for the country Wales where i used to live – where it is traditional to wear a daffodil or a leek on Saint David’s Day (March 1). You should really google the flowers because in the UK there are fields of them and its breath taking.

  2. says

    Sorry I havent followed too closely lately! I dont know if you mentioned the price of the home ever? The house is absolutely stunning! I want to give you a comparison example. We live in a nice area of eastern Los Angeles county, nestled in the foothills of our mountain range here in Southern California. We have nice weather pretty much year round. I cant complain at all. Maybe an earthquake every 20 years. We are 30 minutes to the beach anytime and 30 minutes to skiing in the winter. The founder of In-N-Out Burger lived here in my city, the founder of McDonalds once lived here, “Chance” of Tinker-Evers-Chance baseball fame lived here… I could go on. Lots of well known people. We arent in Hollywierd or Beverly Hills thankfully, but still considered a nice area compared to most of L.A.

    We are in a very SMALL craftsman bungalow :) but we are in a historic district, in a historic house, with lots of great stuff within blocks from us. I wouldnt be surprised if your house was less price than our house and we only have 1000 sq ft! Just checking the pics, your house alone would be in the 3 million range out here in my city, nevermind your acreage which is unheard of in Los Angeles. Adding in a couple acres would double the price to 5-7 million. So there you have an interesting comparison! Its possible some exclusive parts of Beverly Hills would go for a lot more, but that part of LA has private security patrols and so on. Its not a similar comparison. There is a show I catch once in a while on HGTV about what type of house you can get for X amount of money depending on the different parts of the country. I always find it fascinating.

    Definitely am proud of your house find! Congrats and I will have to pop in more :)

  3. says

    We have those purple flowers too! And I can never ever remember the name of them! They do look pretty when they pop up every spring.

    I can’t wait to see your outdoor progress. You have such a beautiful lot! I’ll be living vicariously through you since our yard is measured in square feet! :)

  4. Hera says

    Hi. The flowers are daffodils. Your house is big and gorgeous, even with all of the yuckness you say you want to change. It’s a veritable palace. We have a fixer upper that I lovingly call ‘The Dump’ here in California. Our house would probably fit in your entire garage alone and probably cost half of what you guys paid for yours without all of your acreage!

  5. says

    Think the purpe ones are called hyasynths (can’t spell it right… )
    They are everywhere in the spring in the uk.

    Your house is like a mansion!!! Seriosuly in the uk your house would be classed as ‘posh’ and probs be over £1million to buy!

    I love the porch and circle driveway…

  6. says

    Don’t you just love the surprises that comes with a foreclosure? We also got surprise flowers (daffodils, the “purple ones” and some tulips!) which helped make up for the fact that we had voles eating our shrubs…not moles. voles. EW. I’ll spare you the details on that…haha

    I’m loving all of your huge gorgeous trees! Can’t wait to see the landscaping progress :-)

  7. lynn says

    Thats a ton of info about the outside of the house. Did you need a power nap after all that? My husband would trade me foryou in a minute…. I SOOOOO dislike outdoor yard work. I like the RESULTS, but not that actual labor. Cant wait to see what youve done so far. Your home is beautiful! Your house, in my area, would run close to a million…high 8’s for sure. Hand in the air for the dirty south :)

  8. Michele says

    Great photos and I love the driveway. Katie, I am worried about the deck–please make sure the wooden posts were sunk into cement. I know how things are sometimes done in this county that I share with you. We had to have our deck torn down and redone. It was scary how the wooden posts were “eaten” away at the bottom since they were not sunk into cement.

  9. Emily Morgan says

    found your blog randomly through google and look at it daily! I love it and your little family thanks for sharing your life! you keep me inspired and motivated!!

    • Annie says

      Hahaha I discovered Katie’s blog when I googled, “decorating a console” and her short-tall combo theory of console tables came up!! I have been hooked ever since :)

  10. Jules says

    Fake flowers, too funny. Those real ones are a nice surprise. The daffodils are popping up all over our yard as well. We had to get rid of the jungle the last person let take over our yard to see them but they are there! I swear neighbors! We’re working on it…. like every other weekend. Yard work is so daunting for some reason, huh? I would rather paint a room than weed a flower bed.

  11. says

    Where are the neighbours? I would miss them. To chat every now and again, to bring warm cake, to have somebody if I need urgent help and am alone at home etc.

    It looks nice. But for my teste too big, even scary in isolation. For 3-4 families it would be fine.

    • says

      There are definitely neighbors…in fact, most of these photo positions deliberately do not show them just because we hadn’t met them yet and we didn’t know if they would be the type to be cool with pictures up on the internet of their house and yard. Now that we have met them, we probably won’t be so cautious about this :)
      xo – kb

  12. SheilaG says

    Well, I was going to be a smartie and tell you those are daffodils (aka buttercups) and hyacinths, but I was beat to it! Beautiful home, love the acreage. ~sigh!~ :)

  13. says

    Love the outside tour of your house! The house itself is beautiful but it’s so interesting to see what Napoleon did. The one good thing about his taking the plants mean that you guys can start from scratch and pick what you like and what fits your lifestyle.

    Those tennis courts will be fun for Will when he gets older. You could even turn them into a basketball court!

    PS – The yellow flowers are daffodils and the purple flowers are hyacinths :)

  14. says

    Yay Katie! I’ve been anxiously awaiting the outside post! Love it all! Sweat equity is a beautiful thing, and something that you and Jeremy are very good at. It’s amazing the things the hubby and I have done to the outside of our house with out spending a dime!

    Yes, the purple flowers is Hyacinth.

  15. shannon says

    Wow, I can’t imagine cleaning that house. Or paying the power bill on three air conditioners! Good luck with the outside renovations.

  16. says

    When I saw the court, I immediately thought in-ground pool! Now that would be fun! (And incredibly expensive). I’m very jealous of all the land!!!

  17. Rhonda says

    Oh yes…I was going to suggest that when Will was older, you conver the court to a pool! Especially in the South where it is H.O.T.!

    And under the deck is the perfect place for a swing (especially a baby one)…since it’s shaded there. Later you can make it all “pretty”

    Love it and so happy for yall!

  18. says

    I think the house number is at least partially visible in the first photo of your green mailbox. It looks like you photoshopped it out on the second one.

  19. Cindy says

    Miss KatieB,

    Everyone has told you that the purple flowers are hyacinths, but in my speed reading, I didn’t see where anyone mentioned that they smell sooooo gooooood. Ahhhhh…

    Up to this point I have been a little envious of your giant, beautiful new home, but after getting the outside tour, I’m just tired. LOL It is so big and has so much amazing potential, but after making very slow progress on my own smaller house and yard, this looks like endless work. Good thing you’re in the mindset of doing things a little bit at a time so you decrease being overwhelmed.

    I love your personality and humor (cured glaucoma! ha!) and outlook so much. I just want to come over and make you cookies and tickle your baby and go to church with you. haha

    Question: Are you feeling more at home there now? Especially since you had Will’s party there and are making your new memories?

    xo

    • says

      A tiny little bit Cindy. A very tiny little bit. I still don’t call it home…I call it the house…but one day I will and that is probably when I’ll know it’s really our home. Weird huh?
      xo – kb

      • Cindy says

        Not weird. You’re getting there. I like people who are sentimental, who care. And now you have made memories at the creek! (today’s post) xo

  20. Janice says

    The yellow flowers are daffodils, the purple flowers are grape hyacinths (smaller than regular hyacinths, like grape tomatoes).

  21. Noelle says

    First things first — You may want to blur out the address on one of the pics. You covered it up on the 2nd photo, but there are a lot of weirdo/sickos out there and they may be able to determine your exact location. And secondly, Katie, love the house, love your blog!!!! In fact, I secretly think of you as my bff and enjoy seeing Will grow up! Is that weird?!? (I’m due with my 1st child –a boy–in less than 6 weeks!!!!) Okay, scratch that. I just think you’re awesome!! :D

    • says

      Not weird. I think of you all as my other bff too :) And Congratulations on the little one! I hope you have a very safe and happy delivery!
      xo – kb

      • Heather S. says

        Noelle,

        Haha! i love that you secretly think Katie is your BFF and love seeing Will grow up. (likewise)

        Katie,

        I’d have to admit I think the same thing. I just absolutely love reading your blog, love your pix, and your little man Will is so precious I love seeing him grow up :) After a long stressful day I love being able to come home and read your blog, it makes me laugh, sometimes cry, and just makes me excited. YOUR AWESOME!! Looking forward to seeing all the great things you do with the house.

  22. says

    Words can not express how much I love your new home! Everything is exactly what I dream of having one day!

    Also, I wanted to mention I have been reading your blog for two years now, and finally started one of my own. I feel like I’ve “sorta” been here from the beginning, even though I never commented. From finding out you were preggers, to having Will and reading all your chapters, I loved it! Every day I looked forward to reading what you had to say.

    Ok, enough rambling, can’t wait to see everything you and Jeremy do to your new home! =)

  23. says

    The yard looks like so much fun. Napoleon certainly did have some interesting taste, so a crafty gal like yourself is just what your house was begging for. Can’t WAIT to see how you spruce it up and show that baby some lovin’

  24. Lauren says

    I know I’ve said this before from looking at pics of the inside of the house, but there is SO much potential! I’m looking forward to seeing updates as you work on the landscaping especially after seeing how you transformed your old house. Last spring/summer we got to experience some great surprises as we saw our yard come alive for the first time! Enjoy it! :-)

  25. says

    will you guys actually play pickeball on those courts? maybe you should install a basketball hoop for will or something later down the line? or a pool for when the bambinos (because you said you’re having a huge family) will be older.

    and wowwwwwwwwwwww. this house is so huge. how do you clean it?

    • says

      We actually want to make it a multi-use court. We plan on getting a movable basketball goal for future pick up games…but we don’t want to loose the pickleball/tennis/volleyball function of the court. And we already put a baby pool out there…it’s pretty kickin’ awesome. Just waiting for it to get warm enough for us to use it!
      xo – kb

  26. Annie says

    I moved from a 2 bedroom 60m2 city apartment, to a 4 bedroom 280m2 home in the ‘burbs quite recently and holy guacamole. Why is there sooo much to clean??
    Your house is a billion x bigger – how do you find the time to keep it clean? Or do you not and say you did? That’s my plan for the future…
    Wonderful, wonderful home btw. It’s truly stunning!!!

  27. Rebecca says

    Holy crap! I didn’t realize your new house was that big! It’s beautiful, but I have no desire to own a house that big… I’d gladly take 5 acres though!

  28. says

    Hi Katie, this is my first time commenting on your blog. Ive always wanted to but never knew what to say. Ive been following your blog for a few months now. I’m very new to the blogosphere!! I just wanted to say as many others have said before me, that you inspire me! i love all of your ideas and your excitement about all things in life. the excitement literally jumps out of the page. Would you mind if i linked to your wooden accent wall for the nursery on my blog? just like you, I am obsessed with pallets. I want to do sort of the same thing but on wheels hopefully! what do you think?

  29. says

    p.s. I love this new house of yours! you are so lucky! cant wait to see what you do with it! i love the tennis courts! you know you have a dream house when your master bedroom has a separate seating area and tennis courts! Congratulations on your dream home!

  30. Karen says

    The close-up pic we’ve seen of your house (the 1st one in this post) has always lead me to believe that your house was thisclose to the street. I now know that the concrete is your driveway and not the street. Awesome house!

  31. says

    I just have to say that your house is HUGE and has such great “bone structure”, I can’t wait to see what you do with it!!! :)

  32. Monika says

    Wow what a house…My house is only 1800 SQ and have like 1/16 (maybe exaggerating) of an acre and we’re paying nearly 7500 a year in taxes and never mind the house cost…I cannot believe how much more you can get down south. You’d have to shell out a close to a mil with 5 acres in NJ…. Enjoy it…It’s beautiful!

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