Archive for the ‘Front Doors’ Category

Front door: The Eagles

Kelly and I worked together at Country Home before either of us owned houses and spent plenty of time dreaming about the day we would have front doors to call our own. To see more of her and Ryan’s home and their adorable baby girl Georgia, check out her blog: babyeaglet.blogspot.com. Here’s the story of her front door (in my opinion it’s the best looking new-construction house I’ve seen!)

After living downtown in two different cities – Des Moines and Atlanta – suburbia was not a place I envisioned myself settling down. Then we moved back to Iowa and started house hunting in the older neighborhoods of Des Moines.

The house we were going to buy needed to have our top 3: a basement we could spend a lot of time in (and my 6’ 3’ ’ husband could stand up in), a big kitchen and more than 1 bathroom. Sounds simple right? Not so much.

After months of searching, we decided to build. We wanted to build a house with timeless finishes yet modern; classic, with a Southern twist. Living in the South made a huge impact on both my husband and I, so it was no surprise when we chose a 2-story floor plan with double front porches. This style is welcoming, unique and completely Southern. Pulling up to the house every night makes me smile and I’ ve loved decorating our front door and porches, especially Christmas.

I feel lucky to have a house that I love coming home to that is not typical new construction. Now I’ m anxiously awaiting decorating my porches in the spring!


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We all know that the journey is half of the fun, so we thought we’d relive some of our favorite Front Doors that have led us to where we are now.

It always seems that when moving to a new city the first home you move into allows you to fall in love with a new town, but it’s the second address that truly becomes home, or at least that’s how 347 Sierra Bonita was. The moment I walked in that front door I knew that this would become my first West Coast home.

Sierra Bonita was a unique street in a face-paced city. One where neighbors all knew each other and would stop and talk about the day’s business. For this small-town girl it was the perfect mix of city and small-town life. The only thing we were missing was a good front porch but we quickly improvised. Our front steps (nicknamed the stoop) became our meeting place for long phone conversations and bottles of wine shared with neighbors.

I shared this two-bedroom apartment with three other girls and as you might imagine there was never a dull moment.  Here are some of my favorite memories from that sweet abode: (more…)

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Beau and Teagan purchased their house shortly after I after I moved to Sagianw. As a girl who always has at least 3 projects on her mind, Beau and Teagan have been nice enough to let Cody and me come over and play ‘fix-up’ at their house. We’ve helped re-finish their hardwood floors and paint walls, and they even let me hunt for furniture to my heart’s content. Plus they always make sure they feed us well along the way. Bonus!

So you can fully appreciate their vision and mission allow me to introduce you to our dear, dear friends and their darling first home just as they found it about 2 years ago.  -lj

photo by Matthew Stephens | The Saginaw News

When my husband and I bought our house our main goal was for it to be a place where anyone was welcome. We live in a rougher neighborhood in a rough town, and we envisioned our home as a starting place to help turn around our neighborhood. A little presumptuous, yes, but still something that God has placed upon our hearts.

The process of finding our home, was in drastic contrast to the house hunting process that I see others go though. We looked at around five houses in our neighborhood, and the one we bought was the one that was livable. So, we packed up and moved despite the prominent mirror tile wall and rooms that were decked out in cheap paneling.


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Front Door: Alan McDonald

My brother, Alan, has been living as a Peace Corp volunteer in the Panamanian rain forest for over 2 years.  It is 85 degrees and wonderful all year round.  Yep I’m jealous.  Life is not all sunshine and hammocks, (rest assured he does have plenty of those) his village is nestled in a part of the Darien province that is up the river and across a large lake from the nearest road.  Everything they use must either be brought over in a dugout canoe or grown on their own land.

Alan’s first assignment was to build his own house, talk about a challenge!  Knowing my brother tells a better story that I do I’ll hand the post over to him.  enjoy- lj

So I’ve officially been a Peace Corps Volunteer for 3 months now and the question on a lot of people’s minds is “What’s Alan been doing?” Obviously keeping up with the blog is not the answer to this question. The actual answer, is working on my house. I wanted to wait til I was “done” with my house, but I am now convinced I will never be done, it’s a work in progress…

So I know the burning question in a lot of people’s minds is;
How do you build a sweet house in the jungle?
For this I’ve made a simple easy to use guide for everyone who would like to build their own.

Step 1) Find a community of highly skilled indigenous people, and tell them you’ll take pictures of them building a sweet house.

Step 2) Sit back and watch

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One of the things I was most excited about when Adam and I moved into our house this year was having a front door. Every home has a door, but when you live in an apartment or condo you have many doors to your home. In our condo, if we came in the garage and went up the stairs, we went through 5 doors to get to our house!

I couldn’t wait to have a doorbell for people to ring (trick-or-treaters came this weekend!), a screen door to leave open on warm, sunny days, and an easier way for people to get inside! Now friends can knock or walk right in without calling and waiting for us to come let them in.

Our house is a 1939 brick, story and a half in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines. We fell in love with every part of the house from the wood floors through out, original wood trim on the windows, and master suite in the attic. But as far as the exterior goes, we especially love the wood door. It’s worn and full of character from years of use. We’ve thought of refinishing it, but haven’t gotten very far in figuring out how one would do that. It squeaks and sticks as the seasons change, warping with the heat and humidity and shrinking when the temperatures dip below zero, but again, that’s why we love it.

Right now the little leaded glass window is partially concealed with the wreath, but I love having this little view of the world. It’s definitely a step up from a peephole!

We have a back door too that we probably use more than the front door, but I’ll save that for another post.

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I’m a lucky gal. I get two front doors, well actually three if you want to be picky.

In a city where houses sell for less than the average household income, my husband Cody and I are delightful apartment renters. Yes, we know it does not make fiscal sense, but while you are raking your leaves you’ll have a moment of jealousy for our simple life.

We live on the 5th floor in a 1929 apartment building with all of the quirks and whims you might expect; a sometimes working elevator, parquet floors, leaded glass windows, but my favorite feature is free radiant heat!

I’m sure our  little home will be featured quite a bit here but I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the New Amadore #502, enjoy.

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