Kaila Johansen and her fiance, Kyle Westervelt, have a choice of outdoor spaces at their Mission Landing residence.
The patio off the master bedroom is shaded by large trees. The entrance to the condo is through a sun-filled courtyard. Johansen had seen the condo when it was on the market a few years ago, but the owner withdrew the property. But Johansen said they knocked on the door anyway, and said, “Can we buy your house?” The owner agreed, and the couple bought the two bedroom, two bath, 1,923-square-foot condo in September 2012.
The previous owner had both outdoor spaces professionally landscaped. She left behind the patio furniture and the garden decorations. Both spaces are fenced, giving the couple’s Great Dane puppy, Scarlett,a place to roam.
On a recent morning, Scarlett was happily snapping a few dead twigs from the holly bush in the front courtyard. Trimming and pruning bushes and trees were a new experience for Johansen during their first year in the condo, she said. This year, she’s growing flowers in pots.
“Thank goodness for Miracle Gro,” she said, laughing. “I have a brown thumb for the most part.” Johansen jokes that she “dragged (Westervelt) into living here,” from his home in Massachusetts.
Before moving to Mission Landing, the former Monarch Typewriter factory in Franklin Square, the couple lived above Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge in Armory Square. But Armory Square was a too noisy for Johansen, who has to get up at 6 a.m. to commute to her job as an elementary school art teacher in Fayetteville. On the commute, she says she watches the traffic backing up heading from the eastern suburbs into downtown.
“I can’t imagine wanting to do that every day,” she said.
The couple, who got engaged this summer, spend more time in the sunny space than the shaded patio. “When it’s a nice day, you want to be out in the sunshine,” she said.
The previous owner installed wood decking on both patios, and Johansen said they are considering replacing the deck with pavers. “But I kind of like the feeling of having a deck in the middle of the city,” she said.
“I plan on being here through having our first baby,” she said. “I don’t see us moving.”
Not even if someone comes knocking. “I will not sell to anyone who knocks on the door,” she said, laughing.