Sunday, September 25, 2011


About those wood-paneled walls…

In my business as a mobile home sales specialist, I refer to mobile homes (and manufactured homes) as either “older” or “newer,” and one of the indicators of home age is the walls.  “Newer” homes, also called “manufactured homes” have drywall; “older” mobile homes have wood paneled walls, ranging in color from dark to medium to light.  (Note: some of the very old homes, built in the early to mid-1960’s, have real wood inside, which polishes up very nice).

If you want to buy a low-priced fixer that has wood paneling on the inside --- and you don’t like wood paneling --- there are several things you can do to change it.

A layer of KILZ and some nice paint that still lets the dividing lines on the paneling show through can create a farmhouse look.  (Swiss Coffee is one of the most popular interior colors, but it is not the color shown in this photo.)

Some homeowners painstakingly fill in the separating lines in the wood paneling to create a flat look on the wall, prior to painting.

And I have seen licensed contractor Michael Calabrese do a good job of installing drywall over the wood paneling.

Any of these methods is adequate for creating a modern feel in an older mobile home.

If you are interested in selling or buying a mobile home in the East San Gabriel Valley area, please give me a call:  Elena Smith  626-710-0791

I handle homes in 55+ and all-age parks.

©  Elena E. Smith, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011


                                                           Owls  (November, 2010)

One night I got home from the movies at 10:30 and when I opened my car door I was greeted by an owl duet from the property next door.  One owl’s hoot was deeper and the response from a nearby tree was higher, so I imagined that the communication was between male and female talking about their young ones or their food supply.  I could tell they were at the tops of two nearby trees, and though I strained my arches to stand on tiptoe, I couldn’t see them.  But it was a rare treat to hear their symphony that night.

                                                          Birds on a Wire

My new neighborhood is filled with parrots who do fly-bys morning and evening talking continuously in an unknown dialect that sounds like a machine gun: “Eh-eh-eh eh-eh-eh.”  Also sounds a little like billy goats.  Wonder where they live?

Here they are this morning, about 10:30 a.m., taking a rest from flying through our low-lying fog, perched on telephone wires behind my home.

©  Elena E. Smith, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Do It Yourself

Someone once said, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”  Well, that famous quote was not referring to me, at least not in regards to painting cabinetry.  However, the lack of remodeling budget has made it necessary to begin the remodel work without experienced help.

Before my horseback riding accident, which resulted in a head injury and a stroke (1996), I studied art and did all right with fine arts painting (modern), but those days are gone. I was delighted when I was actually recovered enough to do a line drawing, and I seem to have some of my skills back.  But home fix-it projects have never been a primary skill set for me.  That’s where Kilz and Swiss Coffee and cheap but pretty hardware cover up a multitude of sins.  Actually, I can rationalize just about any level of performance when it comes to covering up dark wood paneling.

I think I did okay, especially if you squint when you get close up.

©  Elena E. Smith, 2011