I love home and garden magazines, and as I pore over the glossy pictures of impossibly tidy rooms, I daydream about what sort of homeowner I might be someday. Would I be “See this Dilapidated 1880s Farmhouse Brought Back to Life”? Or maybe, “Stately Victorian Hints at Wild Painted Lady Past”? Or, ooh, “Clever Loft Living”?
“When Ken and Kari Larming decided to buy a house, they were looking for something larger than the 944 sq. ft. rental they were in. To their surprise, the house they ended up falling for was actually a bit smaller, but it made better use of the space available. They got the third bedroom they were hoping for, for a guest room, and while they lost the storage space of a large unfinished attic, they gained a really useful basement space and — perhaps best of all–off-street parking in the one-car garage.”
“‘The place was immaculate,’ Kari remembers, ‘Everyone who walked through it kept saying how beautifully maintained it was, how clean. All we really had to do before we moved in was calm down the paint choices in three of the rooms. I’m not sure how the same person who choose the lovely, cool grays and plums in the living room and master bedroom…'”
“‘…managed to also choose the hideous orange, blue, and green of the bathroom and other two bedrooms. Maybe two people divided up the rooms and each did whatever they wanted.”
“The kitchen presented another challenge. ‘Poor Ken!’ Kari laughs, ‘He loves to cook, and a spacious kitchen was high on our wish list, but we ended up in house with not so much a kitchen, as a cooking alcove!’ Enlarging and improving the kitchen space is a priority.
“Already beautifully landscaped, the yard needed just one more thing, from the Larmings’ perspective, ‘There’s this lovely yard, and just a plain concrete slab to enjoy it from,’ Kari commented. ‘We love to grill and eat outside, and wanted to be able to use the yard rain or shine.’ So the very first capital improvement they planned on was a roof for the patio. ‘In Portland, as long as you have shelter from the rain, you can use your outdoor space well into Fall and beyond–we’ve even grilled out on Valentine’s Day! So covering the patio was the first thing we wanted to accomplish.”
(NOTE: Pending inspection and all things keep going as smoothly as they have been, we close in mid-May and will move in June. The house is empty (the furnishings seen in some of the photos are now gone) and, as stated, once we paint over the worst of the colors, she’s ready for us. Local friends and family can help out by saving/finding boxes and packing materials for us–but no worries, we’re hiring professionals to do the actual moving. You don’t have to dodge our calls for the next two months for fear of getting roped into something!)