2 month home update

We have so many house projects going on at once and have completed quite a few, large and small.

Remember the sad mailbox in my last post? Well, Andrew and I knocked that sucker down with our bare hands (and feet – seriously, kicking was the most effective demolition strategy) and put up a pretty new blue one. I spray painted and attempted to distress the new mailbox, which was originally glossy black. We drilled it into the stucco using a masonry drill bit and plastic anchors.

photo 5

Even though I love the new mailbox, we ran into a little problem: the old one had the house numbers on it and now we have no numbers! I didn’t think it was a big problem until a couple strangers showed up in the driveway looking for the house a few doors down. Couldn’t blame them, since we had no address markers! It’s also been a little bit of an issue when ordering pizza delivery and giving anyone directions  to the house: “Just look for the tan stucco house that looks the same as all the others on the street….”

But I didn’t want to clutter up my blue mailbox with decals or glued on numbers. And I think it looks more classy to have the numbers on the house itself. However… stucco is a little scary to me. I don’t know if this is a justified fear or not, but I feel slightly troubled each time we drill a hole. The exterior stucco looks so nice as it is and I have anxiety about it crumbling and cracking. After browsing Pinterest and Etsy for options – it occurred to me – I don’t have to put the numbers on the stucco OR on the mailbox… I can make a little yard sign and stake it into the ground!

Just like Neil did!

Just like Neil did!

There were a few designs I liked on Pinterest, most of which you can buy on Etsy for $$$:


Though part of me sorta just wanted to order a sign and have someone else do the work, I (begrudgingly) realized it might be pretty easy to make something myself. We have a bunch of beautiful leftover Ponderosa planks from the fence-building, as well as other odds and ends Andrew dug up from the yard. The yard was pretty well “decorated” with garden structures when we moved in: bricks and stones of all sizes, railroad ties, grape vine trellises… lots of trellises. Of course nothing was growing anymore and it was all pretty cluttered and not our style. The nice thing though is now we have a lot of interesting material to work with, including a piece of re-bar which would be perfect for a couple sign posts.

So I came up with a simple design that uses recycled material. The only items I had to buy were the floating numbers. I chose a silver finish because silver is sort of Southwestern (think silver and turquoise) and it would complement the natural wood and rustic rebar. I’m still working on this project, so finished photos will have to wait.

While thinking about house numbers and sign building for hours last (last last) Sunday morning, I also contacted someone on Craigslist about their sofa. We needed another sofa for the seating area in front of the fireplace and I’d been looking for a while. With so many other projects going on, I knew I didn’t want to spend more than $300 on a sofa.  That might seem like a low number to some people, but I really couldn’t justify spending any more since we already had a really nice (and moderately expensive) sectional in the “other living room.”  We bought the sectional brand new: it is super functional, pretty, and transitioned perfectly into our new house. But it still causes me a little pain when I think about the price tag. Eek. It’s the only piece of furniture I’ve ever bought new – from a store.

So – Craigslist. It’s awesome and it’s flaky. I’ve previously tried to buy a vintage dresser and a mountain bike off Craigslist here in Santa Fe.  Both times I’ve got to the point of the seller telling me to come get the item, me showing up and it’s already being sold. ?!? This is heartbreaking, people! But the sofa! The sofa – I got it! And it is more beautiful, seriously BEAUTIFUL, in person than I could have imagined. And it was only $150, in near perfect condition.

couchIn previous posts I’ve talked about how thrifting and resale shopping sometimes turns up that Very Special Thing – well, this sofa is definitely one of those things.  Though it has modern lines (and is in fact a newer piece, not vintage), it’s classy, slim, colorful. The colors are somehow bright, but muted.  They are colors very true to the New Mexico environment – high desert yellows, the pink of sunsets, purples and greens of plants like Russian sage and cacti.

And this sofa even taught me something.  I always thought I didn’t care for modern styles – yet I loved this piece. I thought Andrew would refuse it because of the colors – he didn’t and in fact likes it. And I realized it has one quality both of us love: whimsy.  Or maybe Andrew was just glad it didn’t smell! Haha, that may have been his main concern. ANYWAY. I think our style, as a couple, is sort of “rustic whimsical + functional.”  Realizing this even helped me finally decide on drawer pulls for the island:

photo 3

I’m behind in posting on every project we’ve completed, so let me just list some others, briefly:

  • Side yard cleared and gate installed for Andrew’s motorcycle and possibly Amos’s cat house
  • Living room is fully painted!
  • Sewed curtains for the picture window
  • Dishwasher fixed
  • Ordered mat and frame for property document of original land sale in 1946

And the trees are blooming!


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