CAN’T TOUCH THIS.

No, seriously, we haven’t touched any of this. We’re finally getting around to sharing pictures of the upstairs of our house, and we haven’t done a damn thing up here (besides hang up some blinds) since we moved in more than six months ago. So consider these before and after pictures for the time being.

THE POOL ROOM

We’re going to skip around a little bit so we can start with our favorite room of the house; the pool room! We absolutely love the dark paneling on the walls and the contrast it provides against the white ceiling. We call it the pool room because the previous owner told us this room originally had a pool table right in the middle. It’s currently living it’s best life as our guest bedroom and wedding storage unit. And by guest bedroom, we’re really saying it’s comparable to a $25/night AirBnB that you probably won’t book again, which is kind of a disservice to the house’s previous identity. We can’t wait to finish it with some furniture that’s more our style, maybe repaint the yellow-ish wall, update the fan, and make it a little bit more homey for our guest. Oh, and maybe a mattress and bedding would be nice too?

OUR MASTER BEDROOM

Right around the corner from the pool room is our master bedroom. It has a beautiful of Beck Street, along with more beautiful views of duck wallpaper.

This room has a long list of pros and cons. First, it’s big, has air conditioning (which has kept our tempers down this summer!), and again has a beautiful view of Beck Street. It was especially scenic this winter on snowy days; this picture hardly does it justice! This photo was also taken before we put any type of blinds; we took our sweet time getting around to that. Again, sorry neighbors!

On the flip side, this massive room is broken up by a closet and a huge built-in dresser, which makes the room feel really choppy. We someday envision tearing out the closet and dresser, which will make this room feel extremely spacious and airy. Oh, and we plan to take down the duck wallpaper someday too.

The closet turns this part of our bedroom into a small hallway, leading to our master bathroom on the left, and a door to a cold room straight ahead.

OUR MASTER BATHROOM

Right off of our bedroom is our master bathroom, and again we haven’t changed a thing. It’s rocking two types of tile floors, lights from before our existence, and again more duck wallpaper. We have plans to make this bathroom more functional and accessible. We’ve been told that this bathroom use to have a door leading in from the upstairs hallway, and we’d love to add it back that way our guests can use the bathroom without having to track through our bedroom. For point of reference, the door would be to the left of the sink in the photo below, and we’d reposition the sink on the wall next to the toilet. The bathroom also includes a small stand up shower, which is a hard to see in the second photo.

THE COLD ROOM

And leading off from our bedroom is unfinished room that we’ve named “the cold room.” From the moment we first looked at the house, we knew that this could someday make an awesome master bathroom and closet. We envision adding a large, walk-in closet on the right side of the room, and shifting the door over (or just removing it), that way it’s not accessible directly from our bathroom. If you’re wondering, the door goes out onto the flat roof above our garage. We’d love to then add two or three windows where the door currently lives, along with a stand-up shower, double vanity, and a bath tub. But not just any bath tub – the biggest damn bathtub we can get our hands on. Period.

OUR UPSTAIRS HALLWAY

And to put a bow on this post, here’s some pictures of our upstairs hallway that connects everything together. The window at the top of the stairs looks out onto the backyard and the massive maple tree, and we love it when the sun shines through in the morning. In the photo below, the new door to the bathroom would be at the top of the stairs next to the handrail.

Above the stairs is a decent-sized storage cubby. Right now we use it to store our luggage and other odds and ends. We love how much storage this house has! On the other side of the hallway, leading into the pool room, is a big set of built in drawers that have been perfect linens and extra blankets.

We’ve now shared the entire inside of our house (with the exception of our garage, basement, and workshop). We can’t wait to share more about the projects we’re doing and the updates we’re making to make this house our forever home.

xoxo,

A+L

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

Yup, we did it. If you read our post yesterday, then you probably know we had our vinyl siding painted yesterday. And my oh my, we absolutely love it! Rather than bore you with a ton of text, we’re going to jump right in with photos of the house, along with a GoPro video we took while it was being painted.

We’ll be honest that we didn’t absolutely love the color when we first saw it on the house. When the paint was still wet, the tone leaned more towards gray than dark blue, but as it dried, it darkened. Once the paint fully dried, it was the exact color we were hoping for.

And yes, that’s a hot tub in the photo above. It’s a 50/50 shot if it works or not, but more about that story soon.

As you can see in the photo above, the exterior isn’t done quite yet. The painter and his staff are coming back in a few days to paint the back garage door, around the windows, and the doors. The brown trim underneath the roof line will also be painted white, and the original gingerbread trim will get a fresh coat of white paint as well.

And if you’re nerding out over this like we are, here is a time-lapse video we took of the front of the house while it was being painted.

We hope you love our new paint color as much as we do, and we can’t wait to post before and after pictures once the rest of the exterior work is completed!

A + L

WE’RE TOTALLY DOING IT.

Yup. You read that right. Judge all you want. Send up some prayers. Talk trash to all of your friends — but we’re having our vinyl siding painted today. And to reference our queen Hannah B (from The Bachelorette), Jesus still loves us.

But before we get into that, let’s talk about two big changes we’ve made to the front of our house so far. As much charm and character as the duck added to the front of our house, it just wasn’t us. So, we rebranded, and it now resides in the woodshop out back. We were surprised at how easy it came down — it was seriously hanging from the wood planking by two heavy duty hooks.

We think that our little town will truly mark the day we took the duck down as a day in American history. Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration, but it did feel a bit nostalgic. People knew this house because of the duck. We were the house with the duck. They loved the duck. They miss (and ask about) the duck.

And once the duck was down, we realized pretty quickly that we’d have to figure something out for the wood planking underneath. The dirt spot where the duck once sat never really went away, even after we power washed it. Knowing that our painter was coming soon, we knew we needed to move quickly. So, with the help of Laryssa’s family, we used some siding from the back of our house to completely patch over where the duck and wood planking use to be – an end of an era, if you will.

Moving onto the exciting stuff; paint colors! For a long time, we have dreamed about what this house would like painted a dark blue with bright white trim. In fact, this is actually a quick sketch that Alan put together on his iPhone way before we closed on the house.

Our original inspiration came from another Michigan blog that we’ve followed for a few years now called For Richard or Poorer. The owners painted their first house a beautiful shade of dark blue, which is shown below. When we were searching for our right shade, we thought it would be as easy as looking through their blog posts or sending them a DM. Not quite. Turns out the Sherwin Williams changes and updates their paint colors from time to time, and the paint swatch they used no longer exists. You can read about their paint color difficulties here.

Once we read that there really was no longer a paint color for their house, we went on our adventure to find one to match. I mean, it couldn’t be that difficult. WRONG. We actually had a hell of a time finding the perfect shade of paint we wanted for our house. When we first ventured to Sherwin Williams to look at colors, we left the store with two paint samples, and we were positive that one of them was the perfect color. In fact, the paint in the picture below was the color we thought was absolutely “it” when we left the store. WRONG.

To our defense, it looked absolutely beautiful underneath the store lighting, and we knew when we painted it on our siding, it would be meant to be. WRONG. Our research continued, and by the end of it, we had tried more than eight different colors on the side of our house.

The winner? Chimney by Behr (actually color matched to Sherwin Williams VinylSafe). It’s dark, it has hints of blue, it isn’t too bright, and we love it.

So, here we are today, July 24, 2019, sitting on pins and needles as the painter and his staff start painting the vinyl siding. We have our fingers crossed that we picked the right color and that we’re not going to regret this. Stay tuned – we’re hoping to do another post tonight with updated photos.

Alan + Laryssa

FOR THE LOVE OF WALLPAPER

And we’re back! After nearly a month hiatus, we’re hopping on to share the before pictures of the rest of our downstairs, which includes our kitchen, pantry, family room, dining room, library, and bathroom. Here we go!

We loved almost everything about this house when we first looked at it, except for all of the wallpaper (sorry, Erma). When we first walked into our kitchen, we were greeted with wallpaper galore, and by wallpaper, we mean multiple wallpapers. The house had it all – fly fishing, ducks, camping, leaves, birdhouses –  all tied together with a lovely [using this term loosely] yellow/brown/taupe mixed pattern wallpaper that covered our entire kitchen.

The first four rooms we’re sharing today had a combined total of nine different wallpapers. Some rooms had three or four of them alone, and if that wasn’t enough to make the eyes go bonkers, you could see all nine wallpapers at the same time if you were standing in the right spot. Crazy town! Wallpaper aside, these first four rooms alone have more character than some houses have all together, which is what made us fall in love with this house in the first place. There’s so much we love about these rooms – the tin ceilings, the vintage barn beams, and the decorative corbels just to name a few.

OUR KITCHEN

Our kitchen is the very first room you see when you walk in from our garage. When we first toured the house, we walked in and I told Alan, “we needed to buy this place.” You’ll notice the yellow/brown wallpaper we “raved” about in the photos below.

Although our kitchen isn’t quite our style, there’s so much we love about it. We absolutely love the two schoolhouse pendants and the tin ceiling that were salvaged from an old school building from the next block over. And once we took down the wallpaper, sanded, and painted these rooms (we’re still trying to recover from that!) it made the cabinets and beams look so much more beautiful.

When we moved in, our kitchen literally had a place for everything – it seemed like there was a perfectly-sized cabinet for all of our countertop appliances, bowls, and other odds and ends. Our kitchen also has a huge cork board, which has been great for cards, coupons, and photos. Right next to it is a built-in desk area with drawers where we store cards, pens and paper, and other goods.

Our kitchen works for us right now, but we’d eventually like to open up our kitchen to the dining room and family room. Right now, our kitchen is blocked off from these rooms by an old, unused chimney. Fortunately, it’s been removed all the way down to the first floor, so it shouldn’t be too big of a pain to knock it down. Once we do that, we think it will really open up the space. We’d also like to bring in some lighter-colored cabinets, updated appliances and stone countertops. We also toss around the idea of reconfiguring the layout a little bit just to make our kitchen more functional.

And of course, our kitchen had its fair share of ducks (but we actually kept the brass ones shown below!)

OUR PANTRY

If you take a sharp left when you come in from the garage, you’ll find our pantry, which is currently home to a beautiful and slightly heavy upright piano that we’d love to give to you! It seems that no one in our town, area, or state of Michigan wants it. When we toured the house with the previous owner, her daughter told us, in the nicest tone, “Thank you so much for taking the piano from us.” You’re welcome, Amy! Even with this oversized piano in here, our pantry follows the same trend as our kitchen – it has tons of space for just about everything. Right now, this room has tons of functions – it’s serves as our pantry, mud room, coffee/beverage station, and utility closet. 

Like every room, we have plans to change up the pantry too to make it a little bit more purposeful. One of the biggest changes we want to make is to add our washer and dryer to this room as well (we’ll explain more about this in a bit!). When the piano is gone, the L-shape of this room will actually lend itself perfectly to this. We’re thinking our washer and dryer will go right where the piano is, and eventually we’ll add a utility sink in the cabinet in the photo above, along with a spot to store our cleaning supplies like our mop and our vacuum. This will make this portion of the L-shape our laundry area, and then the other side of the pantry our primary storage spot for food, dishes, and everything else.

Another big change we’d like to make is to add a window to this room. Right now this room doesn’t have any windows, so if it’s possible, we’d like to put in a window straight ahead in the first photo above, which would look out onto our front porch. Regardless if the window is possible or not, we’re hoping to make this room light and airy, with tons of decorative and practical storage. 

OUR FAMILY ROOM

Just past our kitchen is our family room. As we patiently waited to close on the house, I found myself daydreaming about taking the wallpaper down from this room, which we did literally minutes after unpacking our last few items. We’ve also brought in two lazy-boy chairs (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!), a TV, and refinished the countertop surround in the photo above, which has been a great spot to store extra blankets and my candle collection. 

Even though this room has a fresh coat of paint after taking down the wallpaper and removing the shelves, this room still stumps us. In this corner of this room is a large wood stove with a stone surround, which are actually from a local quarry. However, we’re unsure of its future. Neither of us grew up with a woodstove, and they scare the heck out of both of us. We are debating having it cleaned and trying it for a season before making any major decisions. I really love that when it rains, the wood stove makes our entire house smell likely freshly burned firewood, but we also think removing it might make this room flow a little better, and provide a spot for a built-in entertainment center on this wall. Decisions, decisions! 

OUR DINING ROOM

Beyond our kitchen is our dining room, which looks out onto our backyard. We’ve been told that this area used to be a screened porch, but once the previous owner decided she wanted a dining room, her husband got to work and made it happen!

This is a great spot to again talk about some of the character this room has. Between our dining and family room, the previous owner installed two vintage corbels, which actually came from the old Rummel’s General Store before it was torn down. My aunt actually sent me an old photo of the store, and if you look close enough, you can actually see the corbels. We love how our house is filled with so much history related to our small town. 

Just like our kitchen, our dining room had its own collection of unique wallpapers too, featuring leaves the top, and bird houses on the bottom. The dining room also has reclaimed barn wood on the lower half, with wainscotting trim on top. There’s only a few minor things we’re hoping to do in this area – changing out the light for something that matches the lights in the kitchen, refinishing the back door, building a new dining room table, and redoing the trim around the window. [We technically already did the last item on that list, but we hate it, so we plan to redo it again.]

OUR LIBRARY(?)

Just past our dining room is a door that leads to our basement and another that leads to a cute little room that we hope to someday use as a library and a guest bedroom.

But for right now, we’re still not quite sure what to call this room. We’ve made quite a few improvements since moving in five months ago, but this room? Nothin’. It’s a smaller room that doesn’t have awesome lighting, and right now it’s rocking some plaid wallpaper and soft peach colored walls. It’s that one area of our house that we haven’t finished unpacking yet – it houses art we still need to hang, books we still need to read, and files we still need to comb through. The room also has a small closet that we use for our towels, laundry baskets, and a few other boxes we still need to sort through. Oh, and did we also mention that our washer and dryer are in this room, too?

Even though we haven’t done a darn thing in this room yet, we have big dreams for this little space. First, we’re going to paint the room a light and airy color and install some ceiling lights (but we’re not about to try that ourselves after switching out some lights in our living room). We’d also love to build a built-in bookshelf/day bed on the wall that currently has wallpaper, but we go back and forth about what that looks like. Oh, and the view in the picture above? Well, imagine the washer and dryer being moved to our pantry, the doorway being expended, and a set of french doors leading out to a big, spacious deck. 

OUR DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM

And we’re finally onto the last room for this post; our downstairs bathroom. This bathroom is actually like a Jack and Jill Bathroom, connecting our library to Laryssa’s office. This room’s two entry points makes our entire downstairs a big loop, which is awesome for when we’re on our health kicks and trying to get Fitbit steps in. 

Even though the layout of this bathroom is a little choppy, it has a full size tub and shower system, a decent size vanity, and a second shower tucked away in the corner. Following the previous identity of our house, you’ll notice the ducks painted on the backsplash behind the sink in the photo below, along with more water fowl-inspired wallpaper. (Marsha, Michelle, and Linda this is the wallpaper my mom is waiting on a call for!) We haven’t done anything in this room yet, mostly because it’s pretty low on our priority list. 

We were walking our dog a few nights ago and were talking about potentially adding onto our house in this corner someday. We’d like to eventually install a hot tub in our backyard, and we think it would be awesome to add a mud room with an exterior entry door off of this bathroom, which would make it easy to take care of wet, dirty feet before someone accidentally tracks it into the house. We think this might help with the choppy layout of this bathroom as well, and make everything feel a bit more cohesive in this room as well. Of course this is years down the road. Alan used to play the Sims a lot as a kid (Ok, he still does sometimes!), so we have a long list of things we’re hoping to change over the years.

So there you have it! You’ve officially seen all of the photos of our downstairs rooms, and we plan to post again later this week with photos of our upstairs room as well!

Mahalo!

Alan + Laryssa

BUSINESS IN THE FRONT, PARTY IN THE BACK

[Okay, party in the front too.]

Hey there – look at us starting a website for our house and DIY projects, and not updating it for a month again! We are wayyyy better at updating our Instagram account than our website, but now that school’s out, we’re hoping to update our website more regularly.

Okay, back to business. Or, back to the party. Depends on your mood. We’ve been working on a handful of projects around the house lately [most of which are about 94.3% done and we plan to share later], but one of the easiest and least expensive projects we just finished was installing outdoor string lights on our front and back porch.

Like a good mullet, let’s take in our front porch first, which is extremely dark at night. We have a floodlight, along with a light in our mailbox [which we just discovered a few days ago!], but other than that, nothin’. We bought a set of string lights from Target on clearance a while back and had plans to hang them on the back patio of our apartment, but they never quite got there. So, they’ve lived in our basement since we moved in. We had every intention to hang them on our front porch, until we realized that the two boxes we had wouldn’t really reach from one end to another. Cue emergency trip to Walmart.

In order to get the job done, we picked up two boxes of these Better Homes & Gardens Outdoor Edison String Lights from Walmart. We were able to get both boxes for under $30, for a total of 40 feet of lights. We also picked up some basic cup hooks, extension cords, and cable clips. Oh, and we also bought our very first smart outlet (!!!!). We are a solid two years behind the craze of having a smart home. For a solid $9.88, we thought this Merkury Innovations Smart Plug would be a good investment. We can now turn off the front porch lights from our cell phones. Alan. Went. Wild. Who knew this was even possible??

Being able to control the front porch lights from our phones is just about the coolest thing. We can use our Amazon Alexa app, Geeni app, or our Amazon Echo Dot to turn them off from anywhere in the house. Ah-maze-ing.

Alan had every intention of doing an entire tutorial about how we hung these up, but if you know him, you know he gets excited and slight impatient about projects like this. So, we were home from Walmart, and the lights were up in twenty minutes. And of course, it was almost ten o’clock at night as the two of us are drilling holes into the beams, twisting in hooks, etc. We wonder what the neighbors think of us [Let us know if you’re reading this, Jo or Angie!] Anyway, what a difference they make! Talk about boujee!

Onto the back porch! Like a mullet, it’s where the real party takes place, but that’s not entirely true at our house. Since the original set of string lights we bought from Target weren’t long enough for the front porch, we thought they’d be a perfect fit for our back porch. News flash! They were! Here’s a close up of the lights we bought way back in the day on clearance.

Hopefully this doesn’t break any hearts out there, but Target doesn’t sell these exact ones anymore. But, here a link to other Project 62 Outdoor String Lights that would be perfect on a back patio like ours. Anyway, here’s a picture of our back porch after hanging the lights we’ve been holding onto for the past year. Oh, and in case you wondering – we hung these ones up at 10 o’clock at night as well. Isn’t that what normal people do??

Okay, so basically this post is saying we hung string lights. That’s it. Nothing more. Thanks for riding along. Toodles!

AND SO IT BEGINS

Oh what a weekend we’ve had! It’s a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, and Laryssa and I are sitting in our living room looking at all of the upgrades we’ve made over the last weekend. Three days of DIY projects means lots of joy, laughter, and the occasional cuss word…installing crown molding and recessed lighting really brought out the best in me. And as we’re sitting here, we’ve also realized that it’s been almost a month since we’ve updated you on the Beck Street House. We also haven’t spilled any of the before shots we have of the house. So without further ado, here’s some shots of the front half of our downstairs the day we moved in way back in January.

OUR FRONT PORCH

Before we head inside, here’s a few quick shots of our front porch. And yes, in case you missed it, that is a tree.

The pictures don’t show it very well, but it’s a huge front porch! As much history as the tree has with this house, it’s missing the top half from a storm a few years back, so we’re hoping to remove it down the road [but we have some cool plans with the lumber]. We’d love to fill in the ceiling and the boards, and make the deck even bigger. We also plan to paint the front door this summer. Also on the list is some patio furniture. [We love the idea of morning coffee on our front porch. Except for the coffee part. We hate coffee.]

OUR FOYER

Okay, welcome to the Beck Street House! Imagine Laryssa and I standing here greeting you to our fancy dinner party. Thanks for bringing your nicest bottle of your classiest white wine [red is still nasty – we aren’t that old] that we’ll probably never drink. Our butler will take your coats. And don’t mind our dog, hopefully you’re not wearing all black and don’t mind adding a few white hairs to your ensemble. Anyway, here’s our foyer.

The previous owner told us the brick floor came from an old brewery in our town that closed in the 60’s. The bricks have random stars carved into them, and we love everything about them. The pebble wall? Not so much. This summer, we’re hoping to cover or replace it with a plank wall, a big gold circle mirror, and a skinny table. The only thing we’ve done so far is paint the register, but we can’t wait for summer to hit to really make this room shine.

OUR LIVING ROOM

A step up from our foyer brings you into our living room, which is one of our favorite rooms of the house. Just like the brick floor in the foyer, this room hosts a tin ceiling which was salvaged from an old high school building a few blocks away.

True to the house, this room was filled with ducks and other water fowl. It also had a grass-like wallpaper, which just wasn’t us. Our real estate agent tried telling us it was “back in” and we could paint it. Since we’ve moved in, this room has probably changed the most – new paint, thick crown molding, new lights, the whole five yards – and we can’t wait to share it with you! Although this room has changed the most, the previous owner was nice enough to leave her furniture for us, which we still use. This was a huge help as we let go of our college-grade furniture when we packed up our apartment last fall.

One of the projects we are most looking forward to is adding a set of french doors in between our living room and Laryssa’s office, which will replace the single door in the picture above. We knew as soon as we moved in that we wanted to do this, so it seemed like fate when we found a BRAND NEW set of Anderson French Doors for sale on Facebook a few months back.

It went from me showing Laryssa the post on Facebook, to hitting the road and picking them up 30 minutes later. They’re brand new and haven’t been stained yet. And the best part? We spent a whopping $45 on these beauties. We can’t wait to paint and install them [which we won’t even try to attempt ourselves.] From what we know of him, we like to think that the previous owner would be proud of us for this thrifty move.

LARYSSA’S OFFICE

Our future french doors will open up to Laryssa’s office.

And as much as we’d love to tell you everything we’ve done so far in this room, that list is limited to bedding, putting one of Laryssa’s favorite chairs in the corner, and storing some of our odds and ends in the closet. Eventually we’d love to rip down the wallpaper and paint the walls, add a desk in the middle, and take down the funky ceiling above the closet. We’d also love to make the wall in the picture above a huge corkboard wall (around our french doors) to hang prints, pictures, and other inspiration for Laryssa’s graphic design business. But until then, it serves as our guest bedroom. Someday!

And as much as we’d love to share pictures of the entire house with you in this post, our local ice cream shop opened tonight, and we have some serious priorities to take care of [And yes, we are suppose to be on Day 17 of Whole 30. Oops!]

Ciao!

Alan + Laryssa

THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

Thank you so much to everyone who has shared their excitement, stories, and memories about this house over the last few days! When we started planning our website, we never would have thought so many people (like community members and past bed and breakfast guests) would end up sharing their memories of this special place with us! We’ve also been contacted by numerous family members of the previous owner – all of whom have shared how special of a place this was, and how excited they are that we’re sharing our photos and story so they can follow along. 

We are so excited about this passion project, but as we read through comments and messages, we realized that people have a lot of questions, so here we go! 

WHY “THE BECK STREET HOUSE?”

We decided to name our website “The Beck Street House” because, well, this truly is the Beck Street House! It was built in 1876 by Fred Beck I, who was considered a founding father of the town we live in. The photo above shows Fred Beck (in front of the bottom left window), with his wife, Barbara, and his children. The photo also shows two maple tree saplings, which flank both sides of our house today. Not a lot has stayed the same since this photo was taken, but our house does still boast the original gingerbread trim, which we plan to keep!

When we originally talked about creating a website for our house, we threw around the idea of naming it something related to ducks, but it just didn’t feel right. We eventually came up with the idea of “The Beck Street House,” and we knew it was the name we had been looking for. 

WHY THIS HOUSE?

Like we mentioned in our first post, we sorta came across this house unexpectedly. We had just moved back to the area (more on that in a bit), and Laryssa set up an appointment with a real estate agent to check out another house in the area that ended up not being the right fit for us. Afterward, he invited us to check out another house that he had just gotten the keys to the day before. In fact, the listing hadn’t even been posted on the real estate agent’s website yet. 

We knew when we walked in the house for the first time that it was home. Seriously. It was everything we wanted – filled with character and charm, but still had room for us to make it our own. As we walked the house we could see ourselves in it for a lifetime. Nothing about the house felt boring, contractor-grade, or prefabricated. It felt well-loved and cared for. It felt like a home. It felt like our home.

WHAT’S UP WITH ALL THE DUCKS? 

What ducks? No, just kidding. This house actually use to be the Tree Haven Bed and Breakfast starting in 1988. More specifically, it was a bed and breakfast popular with hunters visiting the area (our town is known for duck hunting and exceptional fishing.) The previous owner was also an avid decoy carver, and used the shed outback and a small workshop in the basement to practice his carving skills. A newspaper article from 2001 says “The hunters reap additional benefits from the owners, who provide a basement for duck cleaning, a freezer for duck storage, and a dryer and clothesline to dry and hang hunting garb.”

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE AREA?

Laryssa is originally from the area, and Alan grew up on the other side of the state. Never in a million years did we think we would find ourselves here. When we talked about our future, moving back to one of hometowns was never a part of our conversations.

A few days before our local school district’s calendar year was about to start, and a month before our apartment lease was going to end, we got an opportunity that we couldn’t say no to – the chance for Alan to work as the agriculture teacher at a district that means so much to both of us. It was a whirlwind. Alan went from working at home, to preparing for an interview, accepting a job, setting up a classroom, and teaching students in just five days. Above is a photo taken the morning of Alan’s first day of teaching. We didn’t really know what our plans were, or what the future held. We were fortunate that Laryssa’s parents lived right down the road which made this quick transition possible. We ended up staying there for five months (thanks mom and dad!) before closing on our forever house – The Beck Street House. 

WHAT’S THE FIRST PROJECT YOU HAVE PLANNED? 

We’ve been living here for close to three months, actually! Our first project was clearing out our storage units. We really lucked out on this one. We closed on a Tuesday, and in order to avoid another month’s worth of rent, we had to be out by the next day. We were able to empty both of our storage units the night we closed on the house (Thanks Aunt Sheryl and Uncle Dave!). 

We lucked out again as Alan had an entire week of snowdays the week after we moved in. After unpacking all of our boxes, we got right to work tearing down wallpaper in our dining room, kitchen, and family room. When we took that last piece of wallpaper down, we realized we were in way over our heads. The walls underneath hadn’t been painted – which meant they had to be spackled, sanded, primed, primed again, and then painted. We went through almost entire gallon of drywall plaster between these three rooms, and then the sanding caused the dust to fly everywhere [we’re still finding trace amounts of dust almost two months later.] Painting these three rooms have already changed our house so much, and we can’t wait to share the results with you. 

Thanks again for all of the love. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! 

Alan + Laryssa