It was 24 years ago today that we moved here into our century home. Sometimes it's really hard to believe that so much time has gone by... our youngest was just a year old at the time, and now he is a 25 year old man.
When we first looked through the house, it needed quite a few updates and lots of TLC. It had been used as a duplex for many years... with different generations of one family living together over the years either on the main floor or upstairs.
As a young married couple just starting out with 2 kids , our interest in decorating and gardening hadn't really piqued at that point... we were just wanting to buy a nice house that we could raise our family in. Yet when we walked through this house the very first time, Paul and I could see through the dated wallpaper and paneling and envision what we eventually wanted it to be. We fell in love with it right away.
Over the years we have made many changes inside and out, with still lots left that we'd like to do :^) (I really wish I had taken more "before" pictures in those early years.) In some previous posts, I've shown you some of the renovations we've done inside. Today I'll show you some of those changes outside.
This first picture was taken in fall of 1989 and pretty much shows the way the front of the house looked when we moved in. The only difference is that there was originally a solid tongue and groove "railing" on the porch that I recall was in pretty bad shape - I'm sure that's why we removed it. (I'd have to do some deeper digging to see if we ever took a picture of it.)
A few years later in 1991, we replaced the original floor and stairs on the porch plus changed the cement base to lattice. When I look at the picture now, I really wish the cement had been in good enough shape to have kept it. I do remember it being quite crumbly in places from the porch settling over the years.
When the contractor was working on the porch, he noticed that there was a solid board painted black and nailed in behind the fretwork at the top (see above pic). He suggested we take off the board to let the light come through. It was a subtle change, but one I'm glad we did. For a few years at Christmas time I wove wide burgundy and gold ribbon through it. Notice we are starting to put a few plants in front of the porch... at that point, just annuals I think.
Fast forward to 1999... you can really see a significant change in how things look! At this time we were getting more interested in gardening as you can tell from the flower beds. What a difference trees and perennials make! We've switched out the blue, white and black trim for historical colours in green and a neutral beige. And there's our sweet little Sheltie named Heidi who passed away in 2007. If you had the camera out, she always seemed to show up for the pictures!
In these next pictures from last year, you'll really notice how our love of gardening has "grown" over the years. We have added new windows, a new roof and finally a railing to the front porch. Even though the railing is not the same as the original one which was solid, we really love how the contractor built it in keeping with the style of the house. I also think it gives the porch a more open feel.
I have to say though, one of my favourite things we added to the front porch were the Victorian screen doors. The porch actually has 2 doors, but you can't tell from these pictures. The 2nd one is to your left as you walk up the steps, and it is the door that we use on a daily basis.
I hope you have enjoyed my little tour through the years. Now that spring is here, I'm looking forward to getting out in the gardens to see what changes have taken place since last year. We are putting a fence in the back yard this year, so I know there will be many changes and new looks to the gardens back there.