The word "whitewash" has many meanings, but the original and literal meaning of the word is centuries old. Whitewash is simply a mixture of lime and water that was painted on houses, barns and outbuildings as a cheap and easy way to make them look attractive and clean, while providing an antibacterial finish that was resistant to mold, mildew, and weathering.
We were excited to learn that our original little farmhouse had always been white, but was painted the blue/gray in 2006 when the addition was built. We couldn't wait to get back to her original beauty. However, at $83.99 a gallon, achieving the whitewash look is no longer cheap. In using a high quality exterior paint, we should be good for at least a dozen years or more.
Curtis has worked a lot with cedar, both on the exterior of our Mid-Century Modern and the restoration of the barn last summer. He loves working with it because it is durable to the extreme elements of Idaho, improves in appearance over time, and because it is a soft wood, it's easy to work with.
We chose to add cedar accent beams on the three main eaves, headers above most of the windows and doors, a trellis over the garage, and a pergola on a front patio. Fortunately, Curtis still has an ongoing bro-mance with Spencer up at Rustic Lumber in St. Anthony and they deliver!
Reclaiming the Front Yard
When we bought Pheasant Run, there were five large, overgrown Lilac bushes that were each over 8 feet in diameter. They were mostly dead and full of leaves and garbage. FYI, you can NOT pull out 100 year old lilacs with a pickup truck. After multiple attempts and many skid marks on the driveway we hired a backhoe, which made quick work of removal. It then required eight cubic yards of dirt to fill in the massive craters where the lilacs had been. But WOW! What a huge difference it made!
The only vegetation more overgrown than the Lilacs was the Ivy that had completely covered the north side of the house, including the chimney and bathroom window. We trimmed the Ivy to the ground, laid new sod, and trimmed the remaining evergreens. Finally, we had reclaimed a very lush and peaceful front yard with perfect filtered sunlight.
Once we had removed all the overgrown vegetation, we didn't like how the transition from old farmhouse to the 2006 addition looked. We also didn't like how prominent the black railing to the basement stairway was and there was a concrete pad that served no purpose. To remedy this, as well as to tie in the cedar window toppers and high accent beams, Curtis designed and built a pergola. I think it was the perfect solution!
Landscaping is like Frosting!
From the driveway to the existing concrete pad, there was a slight elevation change that we remedied with three large stone steps and landscape rocks. An Autumn Blaze Maple tree and Limelight Hydrangeas were the perfect perennials to soften the hardscape and add a little color.
Curtis also built a trellis over the garage doors that further tied everything together.
You can see in these photos that we were only halfway done sealing the trellis. We used a clear exterior seal on all the cedar to enrich the color and protect it from the elements.
Once the Ivy was removed and the red brick chimney revealed, there was no question what the front porch would become. However, we had no idea how long it would take!
Curtis is one of the most patient people I know....actually he is not patient at all, but he is stubborn to the point that he never gives up! His grit and determination saw all 1,479 bricks cut, laid to perfection, cleaned and grouted. He would work on it for an hour or two most evenings. It is seriously one of the crown jewels to our farmhouse.
Thanks Justin Hall and Rocky Mountain Supply for selling him box after box after box of this awesome "Thinbrick" product!
Cedar and Metal Awnings
I love the sunlight shining in my kitchen, but during the summer it can be a little intense. The south side of the house also seemed very plain and unbalanced with the covered balcony on the second floor. We loved the idea of a shade awning to also add balance and interest. Once again Curtis researched materials and styles, then designed and built these amazing awnings.
To my delight, the awnings actually protect the windows also from rain and wind and they stay clean much longer!
As winter approaches and Thanksgiving is around the corner, Curtis and I look back on this summer of 2019 and are so grateful for good health and the ability to work hard, side by side. But mostly, we are grateful for our family and the sweet memories we are making here at Pheasant Run.