Posts Tagged "LAGUNA BEACH"


First of all, before we do before and after pics, let me explain a little about what we did inside.  Walls were sheet rocked, all ceilings were redone to get rid of that popcorn, all interior doors were replaced, all trim was replaced…crown and shoe.  The toilets were replaced, the bathrooms rebuilt, new central heat and air, all new light fixtures and ceiling fans.  The only thing untouched was the floor.  It was in good shape and other than being steam cleaned twice, it was left alone.



The colors I chose remind me of the colors I love in the ocean.  Each room is a different shade.  That was scary for me to do, because I could just hear my Mom saying ‘every room should be the same so the house does not look chopped up’.  🙂  But, my thought was that the rooms would flow together like the colors do in the oceans.  And actually there is such a subtle difference in the colors, it’s hard to tell they are different. All the ceilings are painted a very pale blue.  The trim color is called ‘Pure White’…though here it looks like ‘Pure Grey’!  The color on the far left is the ceiling color…it does not look that blue in real life!  The middle color is quite aqua, but is just doesn’t show up.

Now.  Our builder finished most of everything so that we could move in.  The painters were finished, and all was ready.  This is when my fun was going to begin!  My friend, Shirl, was chomping at the bit to get started, as well!  We made it to the beach late on a Friday afternoon with 2 SUV’s, a budget, and a house to fill!  And, I had had cataract surgery 2 days before…so no heavy lifting for me!  Ha! And, it rained everyday.  And, the huge dumpster in the driveway that had been used during construction, had not been picked up and was right smack dab in our path!  But, we were not deterred!  We soldiered on!

We went through the house, room to room, and made lists of what we needed to buy.  Then went to her house to spend the night…and make more plans.    She had nothing to eat except leftover lemon pie, and half a gallon of sweet tea.  A good enough supper for us!   We were up the next day, which happened to be my birthday, early…EARLY!  And, off we went.  Now we had 3 bedrooms, a den, 1 1/2 bathrooms, a dining room and a kitchen to furnish.  And, we brought NOTHING with us…except 2 lamps and a tiny bookcase that I had redone.   Hard work ahead…but oh! what fun!!!  First we went to buy the big furniture…a sofa, a chair, 2 beds and 4 mattresses.  To be delivered.  Then we hit the consignment shops…bought a bedroom suit, a table, 6 chairs.  This we had to haul in our own vehicles.  Back to the house, pick up another car, go back and get chair, etagere, 4 small tables, a large mirror, and a bookcase.  Since we were on two cars, we had loads of room and decided to stop by Wal-Mart on the way home.  Cause, I mean, furnishing a home?  How can you not stop at Wal-Mart?  And while we were there…Shirl bought me a birthday cake!  Which made me happy in more than one way.  It was my birthday and I couldn’t have a real birthday without a cake…and we needed something other than leftover lemon pie to eat because it was all gone!  Then we went back to her house.  And each got a fork and we had a birthday party.  Oh, we still had some sweet tea left, too.


I love Shirley.  Shirley loves lists.  She loves to make lists of the lists she needs to make.  She keeps it all in a notebook.  And, she keeps to a budget, too.  I am not talented in either area.  I make grocery lists and never take them to the store with me!  She keeps all the receipts and the money in an envelope.  And, she doesn’t lose it.  And, she writes down every dime she spends.  I, however, do not do any of those things.  I try, but, something will catch my eye while I have a receipt in my hand…and I’m a goner and the receipt is never to be found. And if I try to put all my lists in a book, I lose the book!   Shirley knows this about me, and loves me anyway.  That’s what a true friend is.  I hope you have a friend like that.


Birthday cake!  It’s what’s for supper!

So in between furniture deliveries and appliance deliveries, we made numerous trips to Target, the antique and decor store that was full of booths, back to Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and once we had to eat something other than leftover lemon pie and birthday cake, so we went to the best steak house in town and sat and ate and enjoyed it so much!  But, friends, let me tell you…that birthday cake from Wal-Mart was delicious and it travelled with us back and forth from Shirl’s house to my house and back the whole 4 days!

Then back to shopping for art and  accessories.  We had to completely furnish the kitchen with cookware and dinnerware and utensils and then bathrooms with irons and towels and tissue and shower caps and bedrooms with linens and art and lamps and rugs.   And, then there are nails and light bulbs and everything you could possible think of that you have in your house, we had to get.  And, we did it all in 4 days…with beds made, art hung and accessories in place.  Both of our cars were packed to the gills…over and over and over!  We were tired, we were dog tired.  It rained and rained.  I fell on my rear going into one store, and Shirl’s feet got so cold, she wore socks with her flip flops!  But, when we locked the door and headed home…it was perfect!





I worked hard and tried to keep from bending over due to my surgery.  Shirley worked hard and kept the lists and kept the receipts.  At the end, I presented Don with a wad of receipts of where almost every dime had gone!  I could never have furnished the house in the time frame we had with out her.  I don’t think I could have done it at all without her.  She worked rings around me, and we laughed and played and had fun and slept well.  It looks as good as it does because her touch was on everything.  I am blessed and blessed again by her friendship.  And, I thank God for putting her in my life.


OK, I’m trying to figure out the best way to do this without showing way more pictures than you’d ever want to see.  So, I’m going to show a before picture and then some afters.  I’m going to start with the kitchen and dining room.  The cabinets were so old and dirty and greasy and stained and unhealthy for all living things.

KITCHEN…BEFORE…  In this pic, we removed the cabinets over the refrigerator cutout…so we could have a ‘real people’ size refrigerator!  The wall paper…..well…the only word to say is ‘nasty’.  This really is a great kitchen, though.  There were loads of cabinets, though not too much counter space until we created the cut out bar.  The tiny door on the left in the picture below is a pantry. (Can you see how pretty the original back door is?)

  BEFORE…..This is the sink area…   And this is how it looks now…

I used a glass tile in aqua with an iridescent finish…A little ‘out there’…but, if you’re ever gonna be a little ‘wild’, a beach house is the place to do it!  And, I tend to like a little ‘wild’, now and again.





I chose a granite with a sandy colored pattern that actually reminded me of sand underfoot.  I loved the pattern in the slab.

This bank of cabinets and countertop below shares its wall with the den.  But, it also served to cut the kitchen off from the rest of the den and dining room and to block out the beautiful light coming in at the big windows.  We didn’t need these cabinets…there were already plenty…though we did need the counter top.  After it was decided that this was a load bearing wall and couldn’t be removed…we decided that was for the best and just cut out a big hole in it instead.


So it went from this….



And this…


To this…


And the dining room went from this…


To this…

This table we found in an antique store in Panama City and I loved it immediately!  The panels on the sides are what sold me on it!   And can you see how the piece at the bottom is curved.  Nothing had to be done, but a little sanding to the finish.  Also it is beat up and scarred already, so no worries that it will ever get messed up.  If it does, we can just sand it away!  All the chairs around the table will eventually be white!  We found 6 chairs and they are all different.  Actually, the table is designed for 4, but you can always squeeze in a couple of extras!  Right?


The clock below does have hands, it’s just hard to see them…

I’ve got Pop’s fishing hat by the door, ready for him to use…

And above these wonderful boxes is this sign I made.


The sign speaks to me of God’s unfailing love and mercy…of the majesty of His creation…and of the power He holds to control the world and everything in it!  (This is beside the front door, but in the dining room.)  Jeremiah 5:22…”God made the sand to hold the ocean back.  The ocean can not go past it.  It will do that forever.  The waves might roll, but they can not sweep over it.  They might roar, but they can’t go across it.” TMB




🙂 As you can see hanging on the back door…I may not make and keep up with lists, but I do know where to stick a post-it note so I don’t forget it!!!




So, I will end here and finish showing the rooms in the next post.  Then comes the funny story about the trailer.  Oh, it does just go on and on, doesn’t it?




So work began on the  house.  The outside is stucco and required a good power washing and painting, with work done on the eaves and trim.  A totally new roof was added.  Then it got a coat of paint.  I spent a good amount of time picking out the paint colors…with help from Mr. Sherwin Williams.  But,  it seems no one thought I had made a good choice for the outside.  Well, the men, at least.  They said I needed something…anything…else as an accent color other than the green I had chosen.  But, no.  I knew it would look good, so I insisted.






The colors were a beautiful aqua, a green, and an off white with grey undertones.  And, we put on a metal roof.   The front porch was a custom mix right on the job, as I wanted a slightly darker shade of the house color.  It turned out to be a shade of teal, which I liked very much.  We worked on the porch color back and forth from PC to Dothan via our cell phones!  Isn’t technology wonderful?   See what you think about the colors…





We replaced windows, and added the storm doors and outdoor lighting.  Fortunately, we were able to use the original front and rear exterior doors which made me very happy.  They have loads of character.  And, as you can see a little in one of the pics, we painted the trailer the same colors as well.  At least now everything matched and looked clean and cared for…on the outside, at least!  We redid that storage room with the missing door, and now it has its door and is filled with shelves.  Plans are on hold to finish the front with a white fence…but we have to get all the rest finished first.  They also put in an area for an outdoor shower.  We are waiting on some landscaping work before we completely finish the outside work.  There will be a gate added to the fence so it will be easier to go back and forth.

(These ominous clouds are part of Hurricane Isaac which was expected in these parts, but turned another way.  Remember, it delayed the Republican National Convention in Tampa Florida.)

PS…They had to go back and paint the shutters green on the trailer!



Isn’t this a great old tree in the front yard?  The ferns have taken up residence in between the spaces around the trunk of the palm.  I think it needs a little haircut, though!


(Sorry, the grass wasn’t cut in the above picture.)  And, that’s the look on the outside…next we’ll get into the inside.  Oh!  what a mess it was!  But, our builder, Mike , worked his magic and now it looks terrific!  I can hardly wait to show you!  And, in case you couldn’t tell…that’s our beach way up top…gorgeous, isn’t it?

Oh, by the way…the house has its own name now…THE SAND CASTLE!

Because…who lives in a castle…….?

See you soon with the inside!  Oh, it looks so good!  I think you’ll love it!  I bet you’ll even want to come and spend some time with me.  Well, I think that is a fabulous idea!  Come on…we’ll have a beach party!




So…He bought the beach house and I didn’t like it and then I decided I did.  So, you are up-to-date.

Of course, now that I have a house at the beach…sad that it is…I want it to be fixed up and finished yesterday!  So, I can go and live out my dream of having a place at the beach!  It seems that he could get our electricity turned on by telephone from here.  But, to get the water turned on, he had to go the the ‘water place’  in Panama City and do it in person!.  Crazy, huh?  And, so he took off one Monday and went down to take care of business!  And, much more happened on that trip that I expected.

We knew that there was a house on one side of us that was kept up nicely, and a mobile home across the street that had let the yards grow up, even though the house itself was in good shape.  (I already told you that big groups of folks had lived there twice and they were trying to block their view)  They really must not have wanted to see anything!

There was also a ‘quite-a-bit older mobile home’ on the other side of our house.  It looked pretty rough, but the new owner was busy working to clean it up and redo the inside.

Don went straight to the water store and got ours turned on.  Then he decided to drive by the house.  When he got there, he found that ‘quite-a-bit older mobile home’ that the man was fixing up, was for sell.  He immediately called and asked the price.  There were 2 other bids.  But Don placed a bid anyway.  The owner then asked each bidder to send in his best bid…Don did…and when he walked in the house from his trip to handle the water issue…we had bought ourselves the trailer next door to the house!  ( This is how it looked as I snapped it when I first saw the house.  The yellow carport is the corner of our house).  The chain link fence separates the yard of the trailer from the carport of the house.

(This is how it looked as the man got ready to put it on the market.  He repainted it so it would have a better appeal to buyers, bless his heart)  And, obviously Don and I have a very different aesthetic from him when it comes to color choice and matching colors.  BTW…there were 8 flamingos strutting proudly through the little yard…8.  Looks like a few got out of the yard….

Now, I could make you laugh out loud…and I will…just not now.  Suffice it to say that we own a house and a sideways trailer with a small yard…and a chainlink fence on 2 sides…and a partial white picket fence across the front.    Can you see how the yard in front of the trailer meets the side of the house?



Oh, the story of the trailer is too good not to tell…but since I do things neat and orderly  (HA!) I’ll take on only one story at a time.  But, oh, do please stay tuned…it’s a doozy!



In December of last year (2011), my friend Shirl called and told me of a mobile home across the street from her place at the beach.  It was for sale.  This was out of the blue, for we had not talked about it in years.  But, it seems that years earlier, Shirl had been talking to these friends in the mobile home and told them that if they ever wanted to sell their place, she knew someone who may want to buy it.  (She and I would talk in our “one day talks’ about how we would love for me to have a place there also, so all our kids and all us ‘old folk’ and all our grandchildren could go and be together and play and laugh and dance and sing and swim and cook out and other such nonsense as people do at the beach.  I don’t think we even had any grandchildren then).  Anyway, these friends were selling and called to give her friend…ME…first chance!

I passed along the info to Don, just knowing that that would be the end of it.  He and I had not talked about a beach place at all and he usually has to get warmed up to an idea before he makes any moves.  He is not one to move impulsively, which, I must honestly say, I am.  I have more fun…He keeps us out of trouble!  But, surprisingly, he said we would go down and look at it.  And, a day or two after Christmas, we did.  It was not a possibility for us due to the size and the age.  But, while we were there, we spotted another place, and he called a realtor to show it to us that day.  I really don’t know what happened…I think he got a double dose of Christmas Spirit or something.  We looked at it and were sort of impressed, but not really.  He asked her to keep her eyes open for us, if anything came available…on that stretch of beach.  And, I really thought that was the end of it.  Because he was not keen on spending the money and even though I had always wanted a place at the beach…he had not.  Besides, this was not in any of our plans.  (Below, Laguna Beach, 2012)

Now, the place we were looking at was in Panama City Beach, FL.  This is about 30 miles from Destin, FL.  Panama City was THE place to go when we were children and teens.    I went the first time when I was just a baby!  (Below, Mom and Pop and me, 1954)

There was once a wonderful community of little cottages where people from all over AL, and GA, and Fl. and further would come and spend all or part of the summer.  There were tons of Mom and Pop type motels along the strip, and a huge amusement park for the kids would come along soon.  (Below, this card is from the 50’s…this 2 lane road is Hwy.98)

When I was a little girl, we always went to The Laguna Beach motel, that was owned by a fishing buddy of Pop’s.  Such fun there.  I can still remember the look of the rooms and the fact that the floors always felt wet.There were also  swing sets in a pavilion at the back,  set into the sand.  And, if you didn’t have a cottage,  or money to stay in a motel, it was close enough to us who lived in Dothan…80 miles…to go down for the day.  (Below Don and I at Miracle Strip Amusement Park…appr.1973)

And go, we did!  It was THE place to ‘see and be seen’.  And, then when Don and I married and had the boys, this became a favorite place for them as well!  (Below, on the beach, appr. 1986)

Poor planning by the city fathers in later years has allowed buildings practically touching sides and tall as can be to line the beach side of the road.  So, today, as you drive along the strip of highway next to the ocean…you only see buildings.   A majority of the little cottages were demolished and huge high rise hotels, fancy restaurants, and tons of beach shops and condos were the replacements.  This has continued to recent years when someone in two areas had the sense to restrict the building to the the side opposite the beach and leave this ocean view open to motorists!.  It is such a shame that this has happened in this beautiful area of the state.  However, it was our good fortune that Shirl’s place was close to this stretch of beach and this was where we wanted to be also…Laguna Beach.  There were many, many cottages left standing in this area and these have been continuously occupied since then.  It is the area of these older cottages that we were considering, due to the distance from the most popular attractions and hotels, the open roadside next to the beach, and the sense of community that still exists among the residents in this and neighboring areas.  Also, new ordinances now in place will insure that the areas will continue to be upgraded. (Not to mention THE best little doughnut shop 1/2 mile away!)

And so, after our day of looking in December 2011, Don and I drove home.  Soon we heard from the realtor.  She had found two lots for a wonderful price and they were side by side which would give us the chance to put a mobile home on it and have a little extra space.  So, Don agreed to buy it and even sent in a binder.  Then while looking closer at the documents, he discovered that the two lots were separated by a road.  No deal.   And then we looked at two more places, but what we thought we saw was not what was actually there.  By then, I had had all the ups and downs I could stand and I just said “let’s forget it”.  And, I did.  Unbeknownst to me…Don kept in contact with the realtor and they exchanged pics of houses back and forth for some time.


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