Monday, September 28, 2015

Mobile Home Time Capsule

This is our rental.   Isn’t it the loveliest thing ever?  Okay, maybe not ever, but I would consider it a miracle!  The story of how we found this place starts back in Alaska.  We felt it was time to move south for many reasons and felt such peace about the move.  It really seemed as though God was throwing open doors  when it came to taking steps to get down here (selling our house, a new job for Josh, etc.) sometimes even faster than comfortable.  When perusing properties down here we began realizing that our priorities were changing and we weren’t caring about the houses so much as the land.  We had learned that renting when you arrive in a new area is best so that you can get to know your way around and what you want in a place before you buy.  So we were keeping our eye open for rentals, but didn’t want to commit to anything sight-unseen.  No worries, though, there seemed to be plenty on the market…

…until we arrived.  I called every realtor and property management in the two nearest counties searching for places, but there were so few available in our price range, and absolutely none that would take our pets.  The waiting list for possibilities was months long.  We even considered renting a trailer, but the one park that would accept our pets would not accept children!  Can you imagine!  I’m afraid they’re a bit of a non-negotiable!  We were at the end of our ropes and could no longer afford to stay in the hotel, so we checked out with no idea where we would sleep that night. 
No place to go and my little guy made me a clover crown

So, we went to a park and spent the day playing with the kids.  That afternoon, I got a tip from one of the gazillion realtors I had talked to previously: one of her friends had just bought some property and might have something that would work!  I called the number she gave right away and spoke to a rather confused man on the other end.  You see, he had just typed up an ad and was getting ready to push the publish button when I called and couldn’t figure out how I knew about it already!  Talk about timing!  Well, they showed it to us right away: a 1970s double wide that hadn’t been lived in for over a year.  It needed some cleaning, but was in relatively good shape.  And, if we would take it without them replacing the carpets, they would accept all three of our pets for no deposit or fee!  And the kids were allowed, too! =)

Best part: we’re on a little bit of land in farm country !  There’s several farm stands walking distance away where we  have indulged in the best fresh fruit and veggies at least weekly.  Within a mile is a county park full of trails and a cool, calm river for the hot days.  It takes Josh less than ten minutes to get to work, and our landlords have been truly wonderful and helpful.  They already have a grandparent-like relationship with our children.  We’re still going to look to buy our own plot, but this double wide is going to be harder to leave than I would have thought!  I am just so thankful for this place and wanted to say, “God is so good!”
All taped up and ready to go!

All that to lead us to the fact that this is an old house (but I’m okay with that!)  You know, there’s not a lot out there about sprucing up mobile home rentals where you aren’t going to put in a ton of money to update the look of the place.  I found nothing on painting mobile home walls!  Because they are not your typical spackled walls.  The wallpapers (yes, plural) were really peeling off the walls in the kitchen and I had to do something.  Our landlord asked if I would just paint it and I of course agreed; I enjoy painting!  First, I pried the trim pieces off with the back of a hammer, then I used this water and fabric softener concoction from Fancy Schmancy to get the layers of wall paper off and it worked so great!  Better than I expected! 

 But then I realized that under the bottom layer of wallpaper was just plywood.  When I tried to get that final layer off it was tearing the wood to shreds, so we determined the best thing to do was to just paint over it after a couple of coats of Kilz.  The color choice was not my own, but I do love how it turned out and how there is finally one un-patterned surface in this abode!  It’s such a resting place for the eyes! 

Most of the walls are wood paneling, but every wall papered area and drawer lining were such interesting prints, I wanted to share with you.  It felt like I was peeling back layers of time and I kept finding more and more patterns!  Some I like more than others.  I’m guessing at the eras, too.  Let me know if you’d switch any of them…







The only way I know the last one is because I added to the menagerie when I had to replace a couple sections of contact paper.  There are even more I can only see pieces of without really tearing into what's there.   I believe I'm nearly up to twenty different patterns in this house! (Two of the above are not paper, but other surface patterns.)  But wasn’t that kind of fun?  If you had to pick a favorite (or least favorite), which would it be?

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