Updating raised ranch exterior

Our neighborhood has an organic, grown-over-time quality that we just don’t see in new developments. (Meaning, people with more energy than money, who like a good project and want to make a place their own.) Take a look at this home, which was on the market for less than a week before a “sale pending” sticker appeared on the realtor’s sign: This is a project house, for sure–but when we look at it we don’t so much see the dated color scheme and too-cute window boxes and boxy shape as we see that sweet bay window and space for kids and the trees framing three sides of the house.You can’t see it, but there’s a large side yard and a creek that runs along the back of the property.As much as we can, we try to spend our money here, rather than in Portland.We might not have a whole lotta dollars, but we’re supporting the kinds of businesses we’d like to see more of with the ones we’ve got. Right now it’s got all kinds of funky wallpaper, and we still need to tear the carpet out of the bedrooms, and the exterior needs paint, and the landscaping needs an overhaul, and most of the light fixtures are brassy uglies, and don’t even get me started on the living room ceiling, done in something we call “wedding cake.” (Close cousin to the popcorn ceiling, which we have in all our bedrooms.) Here on move-in day, you can see our wallpaper and border, one of our brassy glassy light fixtures, and the wedding cake ceiling.While a city neighborhood full of mid-century ranches and small, independent businesses would be cool and all, it wouldn’t get us the things we’re really yearning for. (And because if more people who like what we like join us, the community will change in ways we’d like.) No, there isn’t the kind of hipster cool we see in Portland: But there’s still a kind of cool.Simplicity and sustainability are ideas we like a lot. It’s just a different kind of old-school cool (now that the ’70s were 40 years ago).I'm sad that I never got to make this plan a reality but am glad I didn't put any more money into the home than I already did.

But we love our neighborhood and we have a beautiful property, so we're going to work with what we've got and update its curb appeal by doing our own little 'extreme makeover'. Hopefully you too can get inspired to un-80s your own raised ranch. I wasn't renovating the home with intentions of making a quick profit or flipping it; I thought I'd be living there for longer than we did.Some split-level family rooms are dark and dank, but ours gets a lot of nice light from the wall of windows.We’re pretty much a family of introverts, and some of us haven’t always lived with others of us.I’d tell people where I worked with a smirk, quick to add that I didn’t actually But here I am now, and I’m damned if I’m going to be all hangdog and sheepish about where we live–or spend the years we’ll be here wishing I were somewhere else.We may be five minutes from chain restaurants, discount retailers, and a warehouse grocery store (by car, of course), but we’re determined to make this our version of the American Dream. We think the suburban split-level may be a house whose time is coming, and we want to tell you why–so you can get in while the gettins’ good.

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