I’m in Mourning, Flip Side Is I Got New Window Boxes

I’m in mourning over the fact that two beautiful quintessential Manhattan Beach houses are going to be torn down in the upcoming months.  The owner of the brown home passed away back in October and his children recently put the house on the market and the family of the yellow house were looking for a larger home since they had a child.  Our house faces both of them and I always loved my view out my windows.  Who wouldn’t want to look at these cute houses. Growing up in New England, I have always been drawn to houses that have a certain charm and character.   Unlike New England where tearing down a house is uncommon, here in Manhattan Beach it’s considered normal for people to buy property, tear it down and rebuild a large three story house. I have to say I had fantasies of hitting the Lotto so I could buy both properties. I would live in the yellow one and use the brown as a guest house and an office.  I have been in both homes and while some parts are outdated, they are simply charming.  With the right architect you could bring these interiors to life.  I have redecorated and remodeled the yellow house in my head more times than I can count.  I know just how I would add on, how I would change the interior and exactly how I would decorate.  Why hasn’t lotto called my numbers?  There’s still hope, it hasn’t been knocked down yet. 

The flip side is I am always looking for a bargain because we rent our house (because we cannot afford to buy a house here) I don’t want to invest in outdoor furniture that might now work in our future home.   Our front teak table, was my friends and she was getting rid of it so she asked us if we wanted it.  It’s weathered and fits perfect with our house.   I was BEYOND psyched when the realtor (for the buyer) told me I could have the window boxes.  His brother works for a green company and was taking some of the parts of the house to be used.  I told him if the owner was going to throw away the window boxes, I would love to have them.  In addition, I scored the little table and chairs up top which are currently sitting in my front yard.  My neighbor was selling it for $50.00 and apparently left it.  They were going to throw it out.  The flip side of all of this is I got new window boxes which can be expensive and a darling little table that usually costs $100.00 on craigslist or at the flea market. 

Here is my neighbors house prior to being sold.  I loved this house for the balcony and French doors.  Here you can somewhat see how the yard use to be and the window boxes on the upper porch (and the table and chair set up on the porch). 



The gentleman that bought this house it is tearing it down and building a Cape Cod style house for his 70 year old parents.  This is what the realtor told me.  Someone came in and took out all the roses and most the plants.  The yard has been looking quite sad lately.  This is right after the plants were taken out. I am just waiting for the demolition to begin here too!


A sad yard once cared for and loved up close. 


Our neighbor Tom’s house before they started demolition (see below).

P1010425This week they started tearing off the siding.  Demolition has begun (see below)!   It’s so sad that a beautiful beach bungalow is being torn down.  These are becoming scare. I will miss it and Tom’s bright smile in the morning telling me he how ordered the sunshine for us.P1010560 The flip side is we scored new window boxes and a wrought iron and chair set.  The widow boxes were placed on the three bottom windows.

House before window boxes:


Here’s a photo from my neighbors yard looking at ours. I was worried they might be too busy but they compliment the ones we have up on our balcony above.  I planted verbena and zinnias.  I am so happy with the results.

P1010569 This one was from the 4th of July but let’s you see more of the flowers.


Here they are up-close.  Those straggly looking plants are Hollyhocks but they keep getting eaten by snails.  I’m currently on snail patrol in the early morning. But I love how the window boxes turned out. 

P1010563  Here’s the two chairs and table that use to be on my neighbors upper porch.  It’s a little frilly for me – but hey it’s free and it goes with our house.  I just spray painted it because it was completely rusty.  I placed the table temporarily where it is forgetting we have a sprinkler head there, hence the reason for the rust coming back through.  I will likely move it on our front porch or in our backyard out of harms way.  In the interim the rust gives it a little charm.P1010572 I’m curious your thoughts.  Are you into building a new home (bigger and better) or are you up for the challenge of remodeling and redesigning?

Hope you all have a sunny, bright and fabulous day!



Photo Credits:  All Photos are taken my me.  If you wish to copy them it would be great if you can reference or link to Peggy & Fritz.


Anonymous said...

I am amazed at the lack of inventiveness in people... tear down to rebuild. I LOVE reading the makeover stories of Country Living or Cottage Living, etc. where people have taken some completely ugly thing and turned it into an architectural treasure. The two houses here are adorable... and I cannot imagine that a cape would be that much bigger?? It seems so wasteful. At the same time I love that you got window boxes, etc. Kudos to you for reclaiming. Do you think I could have that yellow house moved out here to the East coast? If so, I'll need those window boxes back :) ...Sharon

goodniteirene.wordpress.com said...

oh i hear you. everyone in my neighborhood likes to knock down and rebuild.
we are in a beach community as well. so it breaks my heart when these tuscan mansions and spanish villas go up next to our shingled and porched abodes.
disclaimer: i DID remodel my own house. it ~was~ a modern, brown 80's eyesore. now it's hyannis port appropriate.

Peggy and Fritz said...

Sharon - a cape here equates to a 5000 square foot 3 story house :) They love to use the word Cape here. Not even close.

Katie - thanks for leaving your comments. I giggle sounds like we live in the same kind of neighborhood. I would love to see pictures.

Lory said...

What a huge drag. People really have no sense of preserving history. And those two houses are adorable! The brown one is tiny, but it looks perfect for one or two people, or a single person with one kid. (Or a second home on the beach.) Ugh. Bigger is not (always ) better!!

Garden, Home and Party said...

How sad. I love both the yellow and the brown and white house. I wish people would realize that they could renovate and create a home with history and charm...we need more folks like you!

Karen @ Garden, Home and Party

Anonymous said...

I love the charm that those houses had - you just saw the entire street as a piece of paradise! i cannot believe they would tear these houses down.

i am very sad and i am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing ever happens to your landlord!

Anonymous said...

Ugh! I live in Manhattan Beach also (and rent a 1930's funky beach cottage) and this post just makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. I hate that Manhattan Beach is completely losing all of its character and instead now has a bunch of souless large houses. I hate it. My favorite house on my street was torn down and when I first came home and saw the construction fence around it, I seriously burst out into tears.

I love your little house, you have done a great job with it.
Amelia Gray

Peggy and Fritz said...

Thanks Amelia. Ah! Yes, you so understand. I'm dreading the day that the fences go up. They have already ripped the siding off the brown house. It's just a matter of time before it comes down. The house behind ours in the alley (we live on 8th) on 7th place is under construction and won't be done until December. That makes three total. I'm ready to go crazy. I came home this morning to cement trucks parked by my garage. UGH!


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