By Paul Rowland and Maria Cortes
Our “Rock House” was built in 1889 with a rock foundation, high ceilings, and transient windows that were popular at the time. (It was the air conditioning of the 1800s.)
We first saw the “Rock House” when we lived in Rose Park and would walk past it on our way to play downtown. The 40-foot by 40-foot parking area off the back door was filled with pallets of rocks awaiting to cover the house. Over time, we watched the previous owner, who is a professional stonemason, create the “Rock House” as a showcase of his work. He updated all of the electrical and plumbing before covering the outside in stone.
Did we forget to mention the garage? The stone mason also converted the garage from a two-car garage with a carport into a three-car garage and covered all but the back with stones, as well.
Since we took ownership of the house, we’ve been busybodies updating it further. Maria decorated the home in her own way, blending styles from the ‘60s with her very own Colombian flair. Colorful benches and chairs, and a chaise lounge in the front “turret” brighten up the feeling of the house.
The front room is also where Maria shoots photos for her business, Strappy Couture. Half of the front room has been turned into a photo studio. When you enter our home, the photo studio looks like it belongs.
Paul took to updating the house in a way that aligned with his work – upgrading all of the kitchen appliances, including removing the old microwave hood and installing a kitchen hood that is vented to the exterior to accommodate all of the wonderful cooking Maria does with our dear friend and neighbor Frody. Paul upgraded the house with smart home controls, including heating, air conditioning, security lighting, music and lighting controls.
With the help and guidance of Frody, we’ve also built garden boxes in the parking strip, creating an incredible urban garden that we are in love with. Our garden has tomatoes, pasilla chile peppers, zucchini, cucumber, beets, and grape vines that we inherited in the backyard.
The garden boxes not only help provide fresh food for our family, they also create great conversation starters, allowing us to meet new neighbors and trade some of our fresh veggies for different food with them.