The Literal House of Healy

Small and charming, it is our first home. Situated in North Florida, I remember saying, if I live in FL I want palm trees in my back yard. I got those. And soooo much more. We pretty much bought our house for the back yard. It is an oasis. We've just now, after three and a half years, finally really got to working on the front of the house. We'll be doing a lot, so I won't show that until later.

As I said, the outside was what made us buy this house. The inside, as they say, had good bones but boy was it a mess. The people had smoked a lot there, and we could see squares behind the picture frames once they were gone even. Yikes! However, after consulting with family, I was assured I could eliminate that smell if I was diligent in cleaning and painting. That, of course, was a given. I'm a bit of clean/neat freak, so away I went. I washed every surface, even the window edgings, which had to be done several times over with Magic Erasers. I got the nicotine out of every corner. Then, with the help of my husband and dear mother-in-law, we painted EVERY thing. Ceilings, walls, moldings. We just left the doors because we're going to replace those. So, we covered our local Home Depot's painting revenues for the year! We covered terrible sponge painting, shellaced dark molding (which seemingly NO paint would stick to), enormous stretches of dark tan walls and removed room after room of 1980s-nicotine-stained wall paper. We covered heinous linoleum in the kitchen and replaced the smoke-filled blue carpet. Wow. Oh, wow. We're just alllll tuckered out. Glad we took this on before we've had kids!

Why, you ask, would we do all this? Because our home has hard-wood floors throughout, except the LR, Kitchen and baths. Huge windows (new and you can clean them from the inside *yay!), two stories, a two-car attached garage, a one-and-a-half detached garage, four bedrooms, two baths, a large screened FL room with travertine floor, solar-heated pool, hot tub, koi pond, varied palm trees, bananas and plantains, ginger, passion-flower vine, bird-of-paradise plant and an herb garden I planted...It's more than I could ever want in my first home and way more than I could ever have dreamed.

So after all the painting, cleaning and fixing up, this dated, 1961 house became our home.

It's filled with first marriage hand-me-downs, dollar-store items and some weird mixes between my husband's and my style. I have tons more to do to make it the true cottage; I imagine more white paint, white slip covers, some new Ikea chairs, a fabulous rug, refinishing the wooden hallway and stairs (they had dripped paint and then covered it with carpet so it doesn't match the more newly refinished bedroom floors), and tearing out the living area's middle wall to make a big LR/DR/Kitchen area...So many ideas, so little moolah. But that's what makes me frugal--wants with limits.

So enjoy! Around this site you'll find our garden and interiors as they get spruced up and are in bloom throughout the seasons. And hopefully some tips and tricks we've found out about along the way. ♥

I'd love to hear from you. Drop me a line at: