2012: The Year I Fell In Love With A House




I’m writing on the final day of 2012, a year which surely will be remembered for events both joyful and notorious. But for me in my personal history, it will go down as the year when for the first time, I bought a house. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will remember what a fraught process that was. But I’ve been living here seven months now, and I’ve had scarcely a moment of buyer’s remorse. Although the house was mostly in good condition, the to-do lists have been long and the process of making this house my home has taken most of my spare time, money and creative energy.  I’ve been so absorbed with my house, as you may have noticed, I’ve neglected this blog almost entirely. My resolution for 2013 is to strike a better balance between my house and my other creative endeavors, and with many of my house projects completed, that seems possible.

As for this blog, while it has never been exclusively about food, I do hope to write about an even greater variety of topics in the coming year. In the meantime, take a look at these photos to see what I’ve been up to for the past seven months.  It’s been a lot of fun, and my ideas for beautifying my home are far from exhausted!  I promise to keep you posted.



Photos:  It may be a small house, but it’s not lacking in style. Above: my friend and co-conspirator in home decoration, Frank Melanson, peers from the front porch. Shortly after moving in, I had the house’s exterior painted. And with the help of friends, we’ve painted most of the interior as well. Below: my living room.  I’m particularly proud of the faux paint job I did on the fireplace. Tour the rest of my home: there are ten more photos after the jump…



The fireplace, original to the 1930-built house, was one of the reasons for my love affair with this house–and nearly my only attempt at holiday decorating (Santa came down the chimney and never left!).


Shelves in the living room display part of my collections.


Friends and family have already gathered in the dining for a number of memorable meals.  This is the first time I’ve ever had a proper dining room, and I intend to use it!


View from the office into the kitchen, with the laundry room in the distance.  I did little but paint, hang a pot rack and add some Ikea items.


This small room just off the kitchen I imagine was meant to be a breakfast nook, but for me, it works perfectly as an office.


Not the world’s loveliest bathroom, but paint and decorative artifacts transformed it into a colorful Indian oasis. Note my collection of Indian mirrors.


The master bedroom. One wall I’ve painted a deep, wine red.  The other walls, alas, are still the boring beige the entire interior was painted when I bought it. I plan to paint the other three walls as soon as we get a string of warm, dry days.


The guest bedroom, also known as the Asian room.  I wanted an unusual paint color.  In that I’ve succeeded, but I’m not sure this color is a keeper.


Corner table vignette in the guest bedroom.


The chandelier in the dining room remains.  When I asked you to weigh in as to whether it should go or stay, your responses were about fifty-fifty.  I’ve toned it down with shades, but in the long run I think it will go. I picture something more in keeping with the style of the house, maybe a Moroccan lantern. What do you think now? Click here to see what my house looked like before I moved in.


14 responses

  1. For a great dose of humor especially in your situation, rent and watch the Tom Hanks movie, The Money Pit.

    Happy New Year, a fan

  2. Hi, Gary! I’m Adele’s friend Libbi, and I ask her about your new home every time we see each other. These photos are wonderful, and your home looks amazing. I love the colors, and your interior design is gorgeous. Have a happy New Year and an even better 2013!

  3. Gary,

    Your next carrer is in hand, design on a budget! It could fly. As, obviously, can you. It’s simply beautiful.


  4. Oops, sorry, the computer sent it before I could finish !!!

    Fantastic blog and pictures. House looks wonderful. I forwarded it to Harriet and Libbi. Can’t wait to try my new room !!!

    Happy New Year

    Love A XX

  5. Congratulations, Gary, on making your home purchase your very own home! I absolutely love the wall colors you have added; the colors really give a very cozy and original feel to the home. And the dining room is divine! I love the mirror and of course, the orchids! The kitchen looks much improved, and with your love of cooking, works for you, I am sure. I love the deep color in the bedroom. The designers always try and push color, but people are so afraid of it, which is why there is so much beige. Good for you! Not afraid of color, and showing how it changes and defines a space. I agree with you that the chandelier should probably go, to favor a more classic piece. I like your Moroccan lantern idea.

    The feeling I get from these photos is classic and cozy. By next year at this time you will have photos to offer of the yard, and the garage which should be really good! Making a house a home is a happy work in progress! But we will all be very happy to see your blog postings return as well. We’ve missed your postings! Best wishes for a very happy New Year in your new home! Cheers!

  6. Yep, WOW! Amazing. I feel rich/warm/pleasant after taking your virtual tour. You have QUITE the knack for decorating, displaying, and keeping things minimal and very striking. It looks like something from a magazine and like it’s tucked away in Willow Glen, Los Gatos, or Palo Alto (not that Vallejo isn’t vunderbar!). THANKS for sharing! I’ve been waiting, wondering, and hoping I hadn’t missed the pix. Aaaaah.

  7. Hi Gary: your house looks so cozy and well done. My brother, Carl Campbell, would applaud your efforts. As you may know, he revitalized several houses over the years and was also a stickler for detail. Nice work! //Darleen Campbell.

  8. Gary, � Looks great. Congratulations. � Are you having a get together tomorrow? � If so, I would like to stop by with a friend. � Happy New Year. � Reed


  9. Yes, I will try to put up a post on my thoughts about arranging an attractive and functional kitchen without spending a lot of money–something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit.

  10. Dear Gary,
    I was so happy se your your post this morning (in Denmark), I have missed it. Your home looks so beautiful, not unlike your other homes.
    Happy New Year


  11. So glad to finally hear from you and to see the fruits of your efforts after all these months. Regarding the master bedroom’s other 3 walls, having contrasting walls is a good idea. It makes the room more interesting. Happy New Year, and continue to keep us posted.

  12. Your home, you have made it your home, looks great. The curved ceiling in the LR is great. Covering the chandelier w/shades was a brilliant idea. We just moved. I could use some great ideas. I did get a fabulous kitchen, newly redone w/a 5-burner gas cooktop, and black composite counter top. The walls are a muddy beige and I was thinking of repainting a white w/a hint of pink, the same color that was just redone in my office. Your walls are so much more exciting. Enjoy, good food, good health and good friends, in 2012

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