Two fun things have happened recently and I’m here to report!
First fun thing: a little while ago, Amanda messaged me on Instagram to ask if I would like her to paint a portrait of my house! And send it to me! Ummm, YES! Like any self-respecting millennial, I then proceeded to troll her instagram account for an hour looking at her own beautiful house out in Montana. This led to a lot of confusing feelings because I did not realize I want to also move to Montana and live among what appears to be an actual screensaver. Gorgeous!
The problem with this plan was that the front of my house isn’t looking exactly tip-top. The front still has vinyl siding I want to remove (unlike over on the other street-facing side), the concrete base of the portico needs repair, the cornices are a mess, the windows all need restoration, and the “no parking” sign is a real bummer. I can’t explain the tree-pruning; the electric company did it.
So Amanda worked with me when I requested a few tweaks, since I’d rather have a portrait without those things that make slightly nuts and plan to change as the renovation unfolds. And then this came in the mail and
d i e d.
There’s this thing that happens, I think, when you renovate an old house: you get kind of lost in the project of it all (see: list of tweaks, above) that you kinda forget how special the thing you’re working on is. And that house up there? She’s a beaut. I’m so lucky I get to take care of her. Amanda nailed it.
The level of detail and care is astonishing! I asked if she could include my gold transom numbers (WHICH I STILL HAVE NOT PUT UP. GET IT TOGETHER, DANIEL), and not only did she include them but she used gold paint which actually glimmers and sparkles I MEAN CAN YOU EVEN. So good.
After ordering a frame and then deciding it was not good enough, I ended up stealing the frame off an unused mirror, cutting a piece of glass, and mounting it on linen myself. By linen, I mean a canvas drop cloth. It’s quarantine, baby! Use whatcha have around!
I hung it up in my bedroom, and it’s so special to me. It’s such a good reminder of what this work is for, and what it can be. This is really the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a rendering of what the house would look like restored, and I didn’t realize what an emotional experience that would be until I was holding it in my hands and noticing all the little details Amanda carefully included. It’s just the coolest thing! I love it so much.
You can get your own house portrait, too! Amanda‘s currently selling this 8 x 10 size for $125 + shipping, which I think is a steal. She paints other buildings, too, so it could also be a special place like a wedding venue or…use your imagination! I feel like it’s such a good gift for a new homeowner, or to give to someone to commemorate a special childhood home. I don’t know your business! Anyway the whole process was an absolute joy and I’m just blown away by how perfect it is. Thank you so much, Amanda!! You can follow Amanda on Instagram at @ourhumbleabode, or check out her blog!
OK, fun thing #2! Stacey from Blake Hill House and Devyn from Our Philly Row invited me to be on their podcast, True Tales from Old Houses! Again, ummm, YES. I’ve come to basically tolerate my own voice and seem to enjoy regularly terrorizing Instagram with it, so expanding into the podcast space feels only natural. I’m also pretty comfortable talking about myself at this point since it’s more or less all I do.
What a time to be alive amirite?
ANYWAY, Stacey and Devon are just the loveliest people and such thoughtful and generous interviewers! I had such a nice time chatting and then immediately forgot everything I said and then worried I’d sound so stupid and maybe I do but you can decide that for yourself. That’s your business. It’s a fun conversation that touches on hot topics like old houses, burn-out, psychiatric drugs, fauxdenzas, and an extended review of the color beige. Not! To! Be! Missed!
Feel free to give it a listen here or on your podcast app! Stacey and Devon do a great job with the show, so you also have three whole seasons to enjoy if you’ve never listened. My pal Alex over at Old Town Home kicked off Season 4 with them, and that guy knows everything. Subscribe and review the podcast to help others find it, too!