Blue House Update

Some readers, friends and clients knew that September marked the month of moving furniture from David’s parents’ house into the blue house next door, which I’ve taken on as a writing office, guesthouse, living room that provides larger classroom space and community kitchen for potlucks and other gatherings. This move synchronously allows David’s parents to keep some of their sentimental furnishings relatively close to the family now that they’ve moved into higher levels of care, in that I’m repurposing their furniture until one or the other of their children has room to take it on.

Originally, I thought I’d begin the lease September 1, but our landlord kept deciding to make more upgrades, so officially, my lease over there did not begin until September 15. We did, however, begin moving things in on the 8th, since we’d already arranged movers. With two Reiki classes scheduled this past Saturday and Sunday, the fluid time schedule, extra upgrades and some moving-snafu’s-turned-blessings made for quite the crazy past two weeks! People have been asking for updates, but I’ve just been too busy getting things ready for the classes and two student guests who arrived on Friday. Today, I’ve had a chance to catch up on both house and garden updates, which I’ll spread through two posts, so as not to overload anyone’s inbox with too many photos. 🙂

First of all, I love the house! Teaching there felt so natural, expansive, and easy, and all the students and guests just loved it, too. Here’s the dining room/entrance view as of Friday:

dining room

The picture will be hung, instead of propped on a side table, and I’ve got a giant sun with stars to hang to the left, which is actually a piece of metal garden art. Everyone asked if I did the painting. Well, sort of. I decided to have minimal art in the blue house, just letting the colors speak for themselves, but I wanted a few garden and nature inspired pieces. I had this painting in my head to paint but didn’t have any time to do so before the class. A week and a half ago, my friend Kimber took me to Hart City Resale to look at crystals, when lo and behold, I saw the painting in my head hanging on the wall there! “Oh, there you are!” I said, and promptly purchased it, saving me many hours of time and ensuring the painting in my head was present for the first guests and classes.

I particularly love the massive numbers of dining options for students and community gatherings. The dining table easily sat eight of us on Saturday, without even adding in any of its four leaves. The kitchen table provides another 4-8 seats, depending on how many leaves we add to it. We currently have no leaves in either table:


You can see my Vitamix, which I reclaimed from a friend I’d let borrow it for the past 2.5 years, so now guests can make green smoothies or soups without needing to lug along a blender. David loves kitchen gear and has enjoyed some strategic ebay auctions to get the blue house’s kitchen fully outfitted not just for guests but also for very large potlucks and gatherings. We’ve now got a 16-gallon soup pot, which should accommodate some of those enormous green striped cushaw squash still growing like crazy outside. (Photos of those in the garden update post.)

The living room/classroom space has two colors of blue. The lighter for three walls, and the darker blue on the wall with an archway that leads to the orange/red dining room:

blue room

That room will eventually get the blue futon from my previous home office I’m winding down upstairs in our own, live-in home, but due to an unexpected bed construction project, we didn’t have time to move that over. I filled in for the lack of furniture with extra dining chairs, rockers I brought out from my new writing office and temporarily from our house, and lots of strategically placed bouquets. When in doubt, add flowers!


The bathroom received the fewest upgrades, so I added the biggest and brightest bouquet there as a diversion. Mission accomplished! The bathroom won hands down as everyone’s favorite room of the house. Never underestimate flowers and faery magick. 😉

I will not include photos of my new office, because a) it’s my private space that will eventually have its own locked door and b) it’s completely unfinished as of yet! I do love the periwinkle color and the fact that it looks out on the current side garden and soon to be backyard garden of the blue house.

One of the biggest moving snafu’s was that due to a tight, turning staircase, we could not get the full sized box springs upstairs. Instead we needed to bust one apart, throw the other away, and then rebuild or build wooden bed platforms from scratch. Heading up that very tricky stairwell, I opted to hang a second hand quilt over the mini wall at the top:


I had our landlord paint the upstairs in a muted rose tone, which surprised people by just how different, subdued and restful it feels upstairs compared to the bright, open, expansive feel downstairs. Mission accomplished again. 🙂 Apparently, the bed platform construction project paid off. David overbuilt the platforms to support an elephant, possibly two at once, and we already had queen sized foam mattress toppers on the full sized mattresses back from days we used to visit his parents’ house. I switched their full sized sheets to new queen sized sheets and quilts I managed to manifest at very reasonable cost, so that the full sized beds sleep like super comfy almost-queen sized ones.

We added hassock fans and vintage oscilating fans to each room, and with the windows closed, both guests slept extremely well. The guest in the front bedroom slept so well the first night, she decided to turn off the fans and open the window the second night, which finally convinced her that yes, those train horns are freakin’ loud until we get the quiet zone officially registered with the federal government. With the windows closed and fans on, though, our guests could not believe how well they slept. Another mission accomplished.

Here are some photos of the bedrooms. Sorry for the blur, as the muted lighting in there makes things cozy but not so fab for photographing:

front bedroom

Same (front) bedroom, at night with one of the dressers:

front bedroom side

The back bedroom is smaller and only fit one dresser. The other will eventually go downstairs in my office closet:

back bedroom

back bedroom bed

Everyone, including our landlord, loves this back bedroom, because with the slanted ceiling, the quilt, vintage fans, angled bed, and 1950’s furniture, it became a cozy little haven that takes you way back in time. Both bedrooms will eventually get curtains, but again, the unexpected construction projects meant a few details did not happen before the guests arrived. Window blinds worked fine, though.

I’ll post more photos once everything gets completed, but that might be awhile. David, our landlord, and I are all wiped out from the big push to get things guest ready, so the remaining and less urgent details might take awhile to finish. I’ve got a Wheel of the Year Celebration scheduled for Saturday, and we might have family coming in the following weekend, so my office, the laundry room turned seed and indoor garden center and details like light switch plates and screens might take a back seat to some much needed relaxation.

Plus, I’ve got a whole ‘nother yard to get ready for Spring, hundreds of bulbs on the way this Fall, more fruit trees and giant piles of compost and mulch to move before season’s end. I have to say, I look forward to frost so I can finally get back to the two courses I purchased this summer before the blue house became a dramatic opportunity for expansion, a writing office/study, and community gathering space. All good things, but I really do look forward to hunkering down this winter to complete my exciting studies. Stay tuned for the garden update, coming up next and showing the side yard between our house and the blue house, as well as some very in process projects for the blue house yard.

Cheers and blessings!

12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jane Derbenwick on September 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Wow, Laura and David!!  It’s beautiful and so functional!  Love, Momma

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Amazing! I love love love this new creation and YOU! Sending infinite blessings and so much love.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Posted by Mitch Mattraw on September 21, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Laura, it looks incredible, already rock’n better than most BnB’s, really liking those mod early 60’s dresser’s with the noir fan, total score! So happy for you and David! thousands of blessings to new beginnings!

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Posted by manyhahama1955 on September 21, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Wow, lovely! Laura, you are a mover and a shaker. How do you get so much done so fast? I feel like a sloth, in slow motion, haha! It is beautiful. The colors are all quite beautiful! Nice job! I wish you all the best on all your endeavors. much love!

    Liked by 1 person


    • Thank you, Sophia! Well, if it makes you feel any better, I have been resting myself all day yesterday and much of today. Very, very tired after that long, heavy push, followed by two days of teaching…. I’ll perk up, but thankfully, I scheduled Monday off and only a very light session load for early this week. Thanks, love and blessings to you! Laura



  5. Posted by James G on September 22, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Everything is so beautiful Laura! I’m so happy for you and David.
    Much love
    James G

    Liked by 1 person


  6. […] can see earlier photos of the house in progress and read about the how and why of the Blue House  here and […]



  7. […] from the Michigan border, and 2-3 hours from the Chicago area, depending on your exact location. A limited number of rooms are available for students who need to spend the […]



  8. […] I began my Permaculture Design Certification way back in 2015, shortly before the opportunity to rent the house next door appeared. That creative expansion added many exciting and busy months to my completion of Permaculture […]



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