Adventures in Everyday Entertaining
Imagine a 1700 square foot house nestled in a small neighborhood just north of Austin, Texas. Imagine also, if you will, a couple embarking on a journey as newlyweds and new homeowners making their house a haven of comfort, culture, and sustainability. Let us introduce ourselves. I’m Kenley Leigh and my husband, let’s call him “L”. Partners in life and in love, we will journal our experiences as we we try our hands at gardening, beer-making, carpentry, and various other home betterments.
“L”: “L” was brought up within the strict confines of a religious community and sheltered from much of American culture. Breaking away from that old life in his early 20′s,”L” has devoted the last 12 years to experiencing and learning all that life has to offer and now works in the tech industry. Besides the occasional wielding of a hammer for a small project, he has no prior experience in wood work, home repair, beer brewing, etc. His father is an accomplished carpenter so we’re hoping some of that is hereditary.
Kenley Leigh: Kenley also has a father who is very experienced woodworker. Her mother is an excellent cook and very proficient gardener. They both have turned yards into beautifully landscaped oases and have remodeled and improved every house they’ve ever lived in. Growing up with such creative parents, Kenley has an innate desire to improve upon the spaces that she inhabits. With a professional background in arts and cultural administration, she looks forward to applying her artistic ability to her home.
Sustainability is an important concept for us. No, we’re not planning on living off the grid and yes, we still enjoy the comforts of electricity, running water, and Netflix. But wherever we can, we want to grow, make, recycle, and reuse.
We have many dreams and long-term projects for our home. There will be an aesthetic inspiration of rustic Spanish countryside. Finances and time will dictate what dreams come to fruition and when. For the 2012 year we are going to try and focus though on the following:
1. Paint. The entire interior and exterior of the house needs fresh coats of paint. Both are needed both for maintenance, as well as to aesthetically improve the look and feel of the home. One of these projects is the repainting of the front door. The door will be green and is the inspiration for the title of this blog.
2. Building a plan and skeleton for the backyard gardens. There will be a vegetable garden, herb garden, rose garden, and cutting garden for flowers. There will be different stages of development for each of these areas but 2012 is about creating the backbone and completing a fencing project to keep out rabbits, deer, and neighborhood dogs.
3. Creating a stone patio and pathway. There is currently a small concrete slab acting as our back patio. It is barely big enough for a grill, much less entertaining. We will be refurbishing the slab and then building a stone patio that you step down to in the yard. From the stone patio will be stone paths that will lead down the sides of the house to the front, as well as through the vegetable garden.
4. Floors. Wood flooring will transform our house. There is currently carpeting in all of the bedrooms and tile in the kitchen. The living room and halls are a laminate wood. Everything will be replaced with real wood flooring with the exception of the bathrooms, pantry, and laundry room which will have tile.
Other small projects and ideas might come up but these will be the larger undertakings.
Drawing from what we learn from books and the advice of those more knowledgeable, the two of us look forward to the adventures before us and welcome you to share in the journey.