orange crush

Our uphill neighbors’ (Ryan and Alicia) house remodel is nearly complete, after more than a year of sometimes torturous slug-like delays and inactivity and hammering and rotary sawing and Sawdustgate and the ever-present pungent odor of honeybuckets (there’s nothing like the eye-watering tuna fish smell of concentrated urine wafting through your bedroom window on a stuffy August night).

If things go as planned, next month there will be an exponential increase in Jack-and-Sonia visits to our yard (Jack is Adam’s age, Sonia is one-and-a-half). Over time I’ll share more, better looks at the new house. But for now, here are some sneak peeks. Generally, I feel positive about the finished product. Is it the color I would choose? No. But since I’m the person whose house is painted Crayola blue, it’s not like I have a lot of room to complain. I do like bright colors. Is the design something I would put my final stamp of approval on? No. But then again, there are parts of it I like.

I waited patiently on the back deck this morning whilst Lucy as usual took five minutes to contemplate which blade of grass was in need of fertilizer, and I remembered I’d recently promised a couple family and friends a look at the new house. So here you go.  Boston has the Green Monster, we have the Orange Monster; this is what we look at from our back deck. It has taken a lot of getting used to. On the bright side, we can now grow ferns in our backyard:

First, the obvious: The back addition which has been painted orange, is orange as all get out. It could be described as garish. But if you saw this color when it was first applied and had yet to cure (it approximated reindeer puke) you’d be relieved at the color in these pictures. And I’d be a hypocrite to excessively gripe, because in our first house we painted the kitchen this exact same color (spice). In a neighborhood featuring the Rubik’s Cube house, Violet Beauregard and Crayola Blue, Spice Pumpkin is not that bad. The only thing I’m overly concerned about is it casts an orange hue into our kitchen on most sunny days, and it strikes me as a hungry color. I worry it will make me eat more. The other thing to keep in mind, however: We live on the wet side of the Pacific Northwest, home of 75 shades of grey. In January, I may have a different opinion about orange. It may be just the mood-boosting, Seasonal Affective Disorder-buster I need in these northern Pacific latitudes.  This is the view from the landing on our stairs to the second story; the window on the right is to the master bathroom, the one on the left is to the bedroom (the entire upstairs in the back is the master bedroom):

I’m disappointed at vanilla for the front part of the house. It’s relatively small, it would have taken color with ease. But considering the choice for the backcourt, it may have been in their best interest to moderate things. It has grown on me. My only kvetch is the reflection of the morning sun into our kitchen is blinding, you literally have to look down or else your retinas will be damaged. But that’s what greenery is for, I suppose. Before the remodel, there were mature Arbutus Unedo (strawberry trees) and a fir tree on the side of their house. The front part of the house is largely unchanged, except for the disappearance of the porch and a different window scheme:

The perspective of this picture makes it hard to visualize, but I always loved the pagoda-like sharpness of the pitch on their little house’s roof. It remains, it hasn’t changed at all. But contemporary lines and angles below dominate much more.  The little cottage is gone; this is how it used to look:

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