As exciting as it is to focus on the end goal, we wanted to take a minute to share and appreciate where we are starting from on this project.
The contractor is ready to roll, and so are we. We've removed all the small trees that lived along the north side of the property where the tiny addition is going for the new kitchen, and even moved two huge raised planters from the space to another part of the garden - to get out of the way.
Here's a short video to give you a feel for what we are starting with and an idea of where we are going.
And, if you missed it you might want to catch ourIntro Video here.
Cheers & contentment,
It's become really clear to me the last couple months, as I put content together here for the website, that photos (although they DO say a thousand words) do not always give a true feeling of a place.
As much as I don't particularly like being filmed, I've decided that it's time to get over that and just let the camera roll!! Plus, sharing the limelight with my trusty side-kick Ibis the yellow lab adds flavor and a touch of humor that keeps it fun. She's a natural!!
So, to get things started, we put together an impromptu little video to introduce Juniper Hill Cottage and the original whiskey porch.
Have a look -- Hope you like it!
Cheers and contentment,
In the last chapter we covered a huge 9 year span of time in just a few paragraphs - time flies when you're having fun! We managed to update and refresh this old house without getting into the heavy stuff until the twins were off to college and we had downsized to this little bungalow of ours.
We all know, of course, that renovations of old homes never go exactly as planned. Surprises pop up daily. Challenges seem insurmountable weekly. The weeks turn into more months than you ever imagined possible. Somehow, there is just mud and dust everywhere!!!! And it turns out all this is truly unavoidable, no matter how carefully you've planned.
Antoine de Saint Exupery (1900-1944)
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After acquiring this amazing historic bungalow in 2010, the first challenge was coming up with a manageable game plan.
Sometimes it's just so hard to wait for your long-term vision to begin to take form. And we knew we were going to be here on weekends and taking our time with the first chapter of our life in this historic cottage.
So, we decided that in order to enjoy our time here for the next 8 or 9 years (until we could be here full-time and properly renovate), we would only tackle a list of must-do projects.
Bit by bit, on a budget while still living and working in Phoenix. Virtually 90% of it turned out to be DIY, and not just because we knew we could control the costs more that way.
The process requires tweaks and consideration as you go along - allowing for better flavors of your original idea, or the unforeseen snafu.
It takes a while to get acquainted with a new house and property. This can make it tricky to come up with the perfect layout and updates on day one. Where does the shade fall in late summer? What's the best flow for traffic through your home - given how you live and your style? Where's the best soil and conditions for your kitchen garden?
While it's tempting to just get to the end-point as quickly as possible, there's an advantage to taking it in measured steps - if you can stand it.
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I had completely updated it when I bought it in 2005. No major complaints. But also, no major connection.
It looked identical to everyone else's homes, not only in our neighborhood, but in the majority of the Phoenix metropolitan area. This house was not inspiring other than that it provided a comfortable albeit expensive solution while raising the twins and doing what we did -- work. A lot.
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I am excited to launch The Whiskey Porch brand and website in the next few days!
One thing we are going to be doing is documenting and sharing our own process of downsizing and renovating our historic bungalow here in Prescott at Juniper Hill Cottage.
We just broke ground on the reno(vation) project this week (although it's been over 2 years in the planning ~ more about that in another post soon) which is truly coincidental with the launch of this brand. But really they go hand-in-hand because it's through our own journey that we've come to learn that we really can reduce the size and complexity of our lifestyle. And love everything about it!
How ironic and fitting is it that the launch of both projects should coincide like this?
We plan to produce videos and blog posts every couple of weeks on the transformation of this 1924 beauty - bringing it into the 21st century in a big way, and bringing it back to it's former glory at the same time.