Our initial focus was to take care of one big ticket item before we moved most of our stuff in: termites.
|Tenting for drywood termites|
In order to prep the house for treatment, we had to trim away a lot of landscape around the home's perimeter. Even with all the precautions we took, we still lost some plants we wanted to keep once they did the fumigation.
One side benefit of the tenting - the pest control company successfully restored the flamingo sculpture that looked like it had a broken neck when I first saw the place.
|Flamingo sculpture before|
|Flamingo sculpture after|
The inside of the home, considering its age, is in great condition. We've mainly cleaned, moved in some furniture, artwork, and accessories, and have begun updating window coverings.
|Living room before|
|Living room so far|
So far we've found one "moneypit" item we didn't anticipate. Turns out the shower pan in the master bedroom had apparently been leaking for years, rotting lots of wood underneath:
|What lies beneath revealed (shower area during repair)|
|Shower repaired and retiled|
|Guest bath fresco|
Aside from that, we spent considerable time over the past weeks starting to "contain" the landscape a bit. Pine Green has a marvelous palette of plants... including the largest podocarpus trees (yes, trees) I've ever seen... but it is too overgrown, unmanageable, and a bit of a hodgepodge in some areas. While we love the forest in the middle of the City that is Pine Green, we think the house was a little too hidden, and so, under the guidance of our beloved friend and well respected landscape architect Joe Brooks, we've been selectively removing or thinning some plants in order to reveal and preserve the best that Pine Green has to offer. We've even been giving away a fine stock of plants to friends to use in their own landscapes.
|Front view before|
|Front view so far|
|Back yard before|
|Back yard so far|
|Driveway side before|
|Driveway side so far|
|Master bedroom rear side before|
|Master bedroom rear side so far|
Yesterday Joe presented us with a wonderful preliminary plan for updating the landscape and really showing off the place while also respecting its heritage... It will likely be a while (perhaps years) before we fully implement his vision. For now, we've come close to reaching a point where we can pause for a moment and contemplate the future.
Last week one neighbor passing by gave me the greatest compliment: "... it's like watching a present being unwrapped..."
|View from driveway before|
|View from driveway so far |
(note the 8+ ft tall professor sargent camellia by the sunroom that was virtually hidden before)
|Corner view from street before|
|Corner view from street so far|