Pink House Chronicles – Part 1


I’d planned to live out the rest of my days with the love of my life, my husband of 13 years, in our Igo dream house.

Cue nightmare. Water-in-the-face wake-up call.

As I disclosed last week, my marriage unexpectedly took a horrible turn, then crashed and burned beyond repair.

(Marriage tip No 1: Never leave a flirty husband alone with a flirty, professed friend, self-described as “not a ‘no’ kind of girl.”)

I fled from my husband and my house, both of which, to my way of thinking, had been desecrated.

It’s not a pretty story. I’d rather not rehash all that ugliness.

Today I have good news regarding my life do-over. I’m remodeling myself, and I’ve bought a pink house that’s getting a new look, too.

Dear readers, meet my pink house. It sits in the heart of Redding’s Garden Tract, and was built the same year I was born. Never mind when. Let’s just say it’s been around a while. And it’s seen better days. But she has lots going for her. Although some people may not recognize her full potential at first glance, I fell instantly in love with her the moment we met.

(Marriage tip No. 2: Beware of falling in love too quickly. Stop and pay serious attention to red flags.)

Even so, the pink house had myriad assets. For example, she was located in downtown Redding, near my old childhood stomping grounds, a place with an active Neighborhood Watch, and even its own website. And the pink house is shaded by mature trees with a heritage oak on one side and a neighbor’s massive magnolia on the other. And the pink house shares an alley, a feature not found in many Redding neighborhoods. Best of all are the nice people here, many of whom vocalized immediate interest in me, their newest neighbor.


Oh, gosh, they had so many questions, and, being the quick study I am, I noticed a theme.

“You are going to paint the house, aren’t you?” and, “What color will you paint the house?” and,

“You’re not going to leave it pink, are you?”

Pink and pinker makes quite the bold color statement, and while it wouldn’t be my first house-paint choice, I have a soft spot for the mother and daughter who owned the house before me. They chose the pink exterior … and the purple master bedroom, and the orange living room and kitchen, and the pink guest bedroom, and the green office, and the yellow living room. Obviously, those two loved color!


But even the brightest colors couldn’t dim the home’s other potential, such as its wood floors, and lots of great lighting from large (single-paned) windows, and a lap pool in the back yard (I’ve ALWAYS wanted a lap pool), and a floor plan with a sensible flow that makes it perfect for large gatherings, and beamed ceilings, and a gas fireplace, and friendly neighbors.

Having said that, I bought my pink house as-is, so I’m steeling myself for some issues. Let’s save those for another day, shall we?

Right now I’m basking in the pink glow of the joys of home ownership.

In the next months, you’ll get a front row seat to the Pink House Chronicles’ remodeling report. You’ll get to to know the team who’s helping me, from Shelly Shively, interior stager and designer (she happens to be my twin), and contractors Ron Goniwicha and Dave Christensen from Best Choice Home Improvements, to architect James Theimer, owner of Trilogy Architecture, as well as other design and construction professionals, all Pink House Chronicles partners.


My goal is to remodel on a budget, and to adopt a modified AA-type mindset:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t afford to change, courage to spend money on boring, invisible (but necessary) infrastructure like wiring, plumbing and insulation, and the wisdom to know the difference between wants and needs.

Basically, although I’d love to improve everything, I’ll strive to be practical, to buy what I must, recycle as much as possible and rely upon the judgment of those who know better than I. In the upcoming columns I’ll seek the advice of my designer, architect and contractor friends.

In the meantime, the Pink House Chronicles will be documented by videographer and photographer Alan Phillips and photographer Mike Burke, along with some photos I’ve taken, such as the ones you see here. (You can see Burke’s photos, here.)

See you next time.

Photos by Mike Burke

doni-new-mugIndependent online journalist Doni Greenberg founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Greenberg was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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