When we bought the house it was unpainted. As we prepared for the painters, we realized it was more unfinished than we thought. The siding was dirty and less than half the caulking was complete. There were missing trim pieces and damaged areas as well. Andy went to work fixing and finishing trim and I literally washed the entire exterior of the house, garages and barn. It was as if the siding had sat in a mud pit prior to being installed - perhaps it had. It was during this process that we fully realized the enormity of the task at hand- "the dream". At times, the thought of renovating this behemoth into an inn seems impossible. As I scrubbed and climbed ladders in what seemed like endless torture, I kept reminding myself to keep my eye on the ball and how all this will be worth it when it is done. This thought occurs to me quite frequently after the last 18 months - and currently we are only just beginning the interior!
Here are a few Photos of the house at pre-purchase and after painting in May - June 2009. (And for those of you wondering - yes, we hired painters. We are not that crazy!)One of our main targets for renovation was the main entry doors and columns. The house was trying too hard to be a 'craftsman' without really succeeding and we felt that a more rugged country style vernacular would fit the area as well as our theme for a 'French Country Style" Inn. But, more on that later.
This is the entry courtyard. We selected colors based on inspiration from a trek we took in the Alsace region of France in August 2007. The homes were darker colors, almost blending into the landscape. It is really cool to see the house from across the valley now - instead of a white beacon of unfinished glory, it looks like a clump of trees!
After looking back at these photos, I sometimes wonder what we were thinking. The romance of the offer and purchase - were we blind?! Look at this place! But, then as I look around and see the transformations, I keep telling myself to believe - to just keep going!