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Gawking at neighborhood historic homes

Exterior, Inspiration

After my last tirade about the weather, you might think Central New York does not get sunshine until July. But we had some good karma coming after all the shoveling we did this winter, and it came in the form of a gorgeous, cloud free weekend. Two entire days of sunshine and 70 degree temps. In April. 4 days after a major snowstorm.

Needless to say, everyone shed their winter layers the minute the temperature started to rise. It was a sea of pale white flesh peeking out of tank tops and flip-flops. This was the golden weekend, the one that brings everyone outside and makes us all cheerful and friendly. The neighborhood turns into Pleasantville. Tons of smiling and waving. In a few more weeks we’ll be back to our normal grouchy selves, but it’s fun while it lasts.

Because it was beautiful, we didn’t stay indoors much. We did get the old leaves off our lawn (we were not adequately attentive last fall – oops) and Iweeded out the garden beds. Amazingly, the weeds shot up before the snow ever melted. And unlike the crocuses, they survived teh storm just fine.

But my favorite part of the weekend was a long walk; I spent over an hour gawking at a neighboring city’s historic homes. It’s a city slightly bigger than ours, with similar houses. Theirs, however, have been well-restored in the last few years and every time I drive through it improvements jump out at me. People there are BUSY!

I snapped a bunch of pics for inspiration – specifically, we looked at color schemes and porches. I’ve got a whole set of Italianate porches to show you later, but for today here’s a “best of” tour from yesterday’s walk. As always, click the thumbnails to view nice big photos on Flickr.

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My absolute favorite house in this neighborhood; it’s featured in the American Painted Ladies book, and for good reason. The paint scheme is amazing! And how cool is the hedge leading up to it? It’s very Secret Garden.

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Another great color scheme. We also like the way the porch steps have the built out railing area. Can’t remember what that is called but it’s nice looking – and a perfect spot for plants to sit.

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I love the windows on this place.

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Great colors and a really unique house/porch. They have a black iron fountain and fence outside as well, to the right of this pic.
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The carving details on the top of this place are very cool. And the turret room thing. I always wanted my bedroom to be in a turret, just like Anastasia Krupnik.

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A huge italianate (now a funeral home) with a huge carport. And a great example of why all white paint makes an amazing place waaaaayyyyy boring.

The craft room is almost ready for a big reveal, but with the weather so nice I wasn’t working on it much this weekend. I figured this eye candy would tide you all over!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 04.26.07:

Wow, you’re so right about that white house. Our house has that same paint scheme – all white with dark green shutters – and I want to change it, but then I get scared that I won’t like it as much. But seeing the side by side comparison, hmmmm, I think you’ve convinced me to get more creative. We have the wretched aluminum siding on the back, but I’ve heard you can paint it. Don’t know about that. But we could always do what I want, and take that crap DOWN.

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