Updating old farmhouse

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“The inspectors said we were crazy, but we went for it anyway.” “Given how small our indoor living spaces are, we tried to make outdoor living spaces,” Alexandra says.

With the cinder blocks and tile ripped out, the yard is now home to a grapefruit, a persimmon, and three kinds of orange trees; a California oak; jasmine and bougainvillea; and lots of bamboo and ferns—as well as an outdoor living room, a dining room, and a tub.

In 2015, the couple were planning to move from California back to the Twin Cities area, where they both had grown up.

John was going to retire, while Barbara would continue to work as a financial representative for Thrivent Financial.

One room at the museum is dedicated to the early kitchens that many of us remember.

While the larger items include a stove and table and chairs, there are hundreds of local items donated to make the room a nostalgic place to view.

The Klines loved the area (John came from nearby Le Sueur), which would allow them to be close to their families as well as joining the closely knit New Prague community.

Whether you go with the real Mc Coy, or the 4×8 sheets of beadboard you can get at Lowe’s, you cannot go wrong when adding this architectural feature.

Most people wouldn’t touch the renovation of an 1890s farmhouse, let alone one in foreclosure.

But a passion for fine craftsmanship and old-house character far outweighed the drawbacks of the water-damaged outdated dwelling for Barbara Droher Kline and John Kline.

The listing read something like “adorable fixer-upper,” but the 1890s house hidden in the middle of a block in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles barely qualified as habitable. The bathroom floor was a few layers of linoleum over dirt, and holes in the walls were patched with cardboard. The house was small—just 900 square feet—but the yard, covered in cinder blocks and tile, did have a handful of old citrus trees and a grape arbor, and the whole property was shielded from the street by a neighboring duplex.

“It had been built by a family of adventurous—or desperate—pumpkin farmers on the outskirts of what was then the city,” says Alexandra Angle, an interior designer who back then (2009) was living in downtown L. “We’d just adopted our daughter, so we wanted the feeling of a real neighborhood, but also some privacy,” Alexandra says.

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