Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Grand Project

I don't know about you, but I love a good "Before and After" feature-
 on blogs, TV, in magazines and here in reality. 
I thought I would start off with what we will call "The Grand Project"
Just a little review of what we have done here over the years.

Here is the "Before" picture of our house, pretty much as we bought it in September, 1989. 
We painted the front door red, but not much else had been done outside by Christmas. 
We were busy inside, though, adding on a family room in the back and remodelling the kitchen.

We made some exterior changes over the next few years, including a new cedar roof, new landscaping, and a covered, gabled entry with some stately columns.

Then we decided to get fancy and replace our tired, old screened porch.  And the ever peeling cedar siding. And we hired our painters to do the whole job.  What could go wrong? 
Here is the sagging old porch "before" it was torn off to make way for the Grand new porch:

Here is our poor, naked house after the siding was removed. 
The scary old black tar paper coincided nicely with Halloween and the Sox in the playoffs... 
So basically, this was taken in the Fall...

And here we are, the following Spring, still sans porch and siding...

Time to get tough and fire the "painters". 
We hired a great builder (Tom Phillabaum of Baumson Builders) who got things back into shape, pronto.  Here is an "After" photo of the house with the new siding and porch.

And here is an "After" view of the back of the porch... 
We love it and we live out there, practically year round. 
My sweet brother Paulie laid the stone path for us.

We have screens, too, but after we put the glass windows in that first fall, we have never put the screens back in again!  It stays clean and dry, cool in the summer from the shade of the oak trees and the whir of the ceiling fan.

Speaking of ceiling fans, I had this flea market chandelier hard wired into the ceiling fan in place of the standard light kit that came with the fan.  This little project was "no problem" for our trusty electrician, Brian AuBuchon.

Here is an interior picture of the new screened porch, demonstrating the "Chandelfan" concept:

And, in the spirit of the season, one last photo -
you may recall this nightmare scenario - "The Spider that took Grand Avenue"! 
 It made the Glen Ellyn News, thanks to my pal, Julie "Dubs".

So, let me know what you think! 

I will be featuring some sweet "Before and After" kitchen projects soon!

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  1. While I wasn't living next door in 1989 and joined life on Grand in 2003 I had the pleasure of watching your home transform. It's a joy to live next door to what should be a movie set exterior!

    Regarding Morton, thanks for the stroll. Although on our last visit to Morton 2 weeks ago we realized that living on Lake Ellyn Park is essentially like living in an Arboretum.


  2. Erin! Just found this post on your blog and had to hold back the tears — there's a reason I wrote an entire essay about my love for your house! :) Such great memories

  3. love your twiggy chandelier. Unusual concept of putting the chandy below the fan. We live in Texas, so fans are a must with the heat (even when running the A/C) and putting the chandy below solves the problem. We have high ceilings too, so might have to try this. Thanks for the look at your lovely home!

  4. this is genius girl ... I, too love your home!!!

    thanks for linking


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