relationship with a small house...the beginning

“You did it”, he said with a congratulatory smile and an extended hand.

“I did it”, I said and burst into tears.

So begins the relationship between one designer, and one very, very small house.

It was an inauspicious beginning. Walking through the door for the pre-closing inspection I blithely sang out “Well, it sure didn't get any bigger”. I swear I felt my house shudder. She seemed to puff herself up and to square her tiny shoulders as if to say....”And who are you exactly? I have sheltered entire families here for years... happy families. Get over your self.” ...and so I did.

My little house is sturdy brick. Two houses actually as she is a duplex, mirrored twins separated by a three-foot brick wall. I will live on the side that faces the river and look to find tenants, small tenants for the other side. The house sits in a neighborhood tucked under the tall bridge that spans the distance between New Hampshire and Maine. The land was developed in 1918 to house the shipyard workers who were frantically expanding our fleet during the war. Each house is tiny, a mere 740 square feet. The ceilings are high though and the floors are lovely ash. These diminutive brick structures sit clustered together creating the feeling of a small village that abruptly disappears as the banks slope down to the river. The homes have never been plush. “The Heights" had a derogatory ring which only worsened through the depression and for decades after. Good bones are good bones though and affordable property so close to the bustling center of town is hard to come by. This Old House recently named this neighborhood one of the best choices in the northeast.

I am already more fond of my tiny home then I imagined. Layers of shingles are being stripped as we speak. The chain link fence is nearly gone. Neighbors walk by with small dogs and the tugs chug up the river. It will be weeks before I move in, but I am delighted.

For the next few weeks Paint Color Design will serve as a journal while my house and I get to know each other through the renovation process. Please click on subscribe in the right side column if you would like to be notified of updates. Wish me luck! Lisa


Leigh said...

You did it! You are amazing. I can't wait to spend more time with your little home. You will make it so make everything beautiful and you are beautiful, too. xox

The other Lisa said...

Lovely Lisa, I feel so lucky to have seen your sweet small house. There is no doubt in my mind that you will make it into a lovely home full of life,grace and stunning beauty like it's creator. I just hope you figure out away for me to sleep there without climbing a ladder. Good Luck, Luscious

Joni said...

Lisa (the first Lisa!),
You write beautifully, and you design beautifully, and I can't wait to see your house. And Lisa (the other Lisa), do you think there is room for both of us?

Samantha Chu said...

congratulations, lisa! your new house looks cozy and adorable! i can't wait to see what you do with the place :)!!

John Altobello said...

Thanks, Lisa, for such an inviting description of the small house and your work on it. John

Anonymous said...

Congrats on moving to the Seacoast! It's beautiful here! Can't wait for you to find a studio space, so I can take some workshops on green design... We're trying to greenovate our cape here in Newfields just a few houses down from the picturesque country store if you ever happen to drive through. Getting solar panels next week - yay! Looking forward to your updates,
Linda Wien

lisa said...

Thanks so much for the nice comments. I know this will be a great project, and better yet.....a home.

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