Kelly and Pete Butler’s house gets a lot of attention.
With its blue paint and wood shutters, it stands out from the other houses on their street between Dundee and Benson.
It’s what attracted them, too.
“I loved the color blue,” Kelly said. “I loved the raw wood with it. I always wanted a smaller ranch with a cottagey kind of feel.”
Since buying the house in September, the first-time homeowners have kicked up the curb appeal.
They lightly stained and polyurethaned the shutters and have tackled the landscaping.
“The big portion of the front yard was weeds. In front of the porch was mainly dirt, weeds and pebbles,” Pete said. “We have consumed our quarantine days with transforming our front yard into a sanctuary for bees and butterflies.”
They have plans to cut back on the grass and add many more flowers.
The backyard was overgrown, too. A tree felled by lightning has slowed plans to level the back and create a larger vegetable garden and brick patio. The city divided up some alley space, and the couple said they seem to be constantly picking up concrete, glass and debris.
With the help of Kelly’s uncle, Tom Voyscheski, and YouTube and Google, they’ve taken on several projects inside as well. They’ve painted the interior, put up shelves and replaced faucets. They moved the master bedroom into the basement, converting a guest bedroom into a closet.
Kelly wants to pursue a career in staging houses and their home gives her a canvas to work with.
“That’s what inspired our home renovations,” she said. “I’ve always had a knack for decorating our home and for friends.”
Pete is a chef, and they have big plans for the kitchen. That will mean taking on cupboards, backsplash and floors, adding an island and installing gas appliances.
They are undaunted, although there’s been some learning experiences in the months since they moved in.
“It’s our first house, and we want to figure everything out on our own,” Kelly said.