Saturday, November 21, 2009

The "Before" Tour

A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.
*This post was updated to participate in Funky Junk Interiors Greatest Hits*

Y'all remember this picture?

My dream home...the way it appeared in May 2005 when I fell in love....In love with all it's potential.
With one glance at the overgrown yard, it was pretty clear that this house had been neglected. I was curious...was the inside just as neglected? AWW, I had to know what the inside looked like.
A call to the listing agent's office and I finally got the rundown on this brokedown. It was a foreclosure and sat vacant for two years. Previously listed and practically sold, the house was unable to close due to a lien on the property. The listing was in the process of being transferred to another realtor. However, the agent did not share the name of the new realtor...all he said was "With this much interest, I should have kept it". UGH!!!!!!!!!
So I waited....a few hours....and called back to speak to the receptionist. YES!!!!!!!! She told me the name of the new realtor. A few days later with the new listing agent, who was also our new realtor and new BFF, we saw this.
We entered through the kitchen door.

Initial impressions
Liked the galley style kitchen, original cabinetry, and well-lit space.
Disliked the carpet on the floor, chotchkie shelves, stenciling and inadequate lighting.

Bedroom/bonus room above the garage

Initial impressions
Liked the idea of a bonus area
Disliked the worn green carpet, walls made of fiberboard (no drywall), low ceiling height, inadequate heating/cooling. Yep, you know where this is going. A total redo still waiting to be done! Until then, it makes a great storage room.


Initial impressions
Liked the space (huge space), amount of light in this room and "petite" walk in closet.
Disliked the Barney inpired paint color

Main Bathroom

Initial Impression
Liked that it gave me a good direction for the remodel...GUT IT. We did leave the cast iron tub.


Initial impressions
Liked the size of the room and plenty of storage with two closets.
Living Room

Initial impression
Liked the size of the room, coat closet, and fireplace.
Disliked the dirty, bug-riden carpet and in-wall chotzkie shelf.

Overall, we loved that the house was in it's ORIGINAL still had the crystal door handles. After talking to a few neighbors, we believe we're only the third owners of this home. The last tenet was just here for a couple years. Our vision is simple, update the house while preserving the 1940's character.
So, what do you think? Love at first sight for you too? Be sure to check back for the "After" and "In Progress" pictures.

Sincerely, Lisa

P.S. What do you think of the wood trim? I like it but I'm considering having it painted white...I feel limited with wall colors and wonder if painting it white will lighten up the rooms.
*We decided to keep the wood trim as-is because of it's fine condition. Please check out these links for updated pics of our living room, exterior and pergola.*

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


The Shabby Chic Cottage

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Favorite Things

Melissa's hosting a party at 320 Sycamore! To join the fun, all you need to bring is a list of your favorite things.

My list of favorites things are those which remind me of WHO I AM without compromise. An individual who is more than a wife, mother, daughter, and therapist. I am also a lover of things that are appealing and beautiful to the senses. So here's my list:

The color white. So clean and pure. In my wardrobe or home decor, I love the color white. To me, it's like a Rolls Royce; a classic that never goes out of style.

      Linen. The touch. The feel of linen. The fabric of my life. Ooops! I think that's the motto for cotton. Well, most days that's all I can afford is good quality, 100% cotton. However, I really am In Love with Linen. It's WELL worth the splurge on special occasions, like vacation or decorating special places, like the master bedroom.

      Hydrangeas. I can't get enough of them. They are truly the all-star of my garden. I have three "little lamb" hydrangeas in memory of our lamb in heaven and three limelight hydranges...they're all white, of course. At the end of the season, I use the dried flowers as an alternative to "silk" flowers.

      Bubble baths.

      Relaxing music performed by a single instrument like a piano or acoustic guitar. Usually found at Walmart and Target for $15, I've found comparable CD's at Dollar Tree, which makes it all the more calming.

      Charleston, S.C. A synthesis of all the essentials;

      • HISTORY {The most beautiful homes and gardens}
      • SHOPPING {Lots of places to antique and junk, plus my favorite source of inspiration in the Lowcountry, GDC Home}
      • FOOD {Good ole southern cooking and the country's best Coconut cake)
      • THE BEACH.

      This Quote. "My favorite things aren't things"...

      they're my two little men! And Hubby too!

      Sincerely, Lisa

      Monday, November 16, 2009

      Curb Appeal: Pergola

      The best laid {plans} of mice and men oft go awry, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy~Robert Burns

      That's the only way I can describe my feelings for this chapter of our renovation project: The Pergola.

      After selling our newly constructed home in 2005, Hubby and I purchased five acres of land in hopes of building another house. We were temporarily living at my hubby's childhood home when I found out I was pregnant.

      Oh the timing...we had been trying to conceive for two unsuccessful years. "Why now?" I asked God. I didn't want to build a house while I was pregnant and I didn't want to live at my MIL's.

      All these thoughts were running through my mind on that eminent day in May. The day I saw the house of my dreams. Yes, the house I planned on raising my unborn child.

      Once we closed on the house, we worked feverishly, as time would allow. We tore up nasty carpet to reveal oak hardwoods. We gutted the main bathroom, the basement, a "bonus" room above the garage, took off all the kitchen cabinet doors for repainting and improved the function/appearance of our basement bathroom....all projects I hope to share with you.

      Before long, it was Christmas and my due date was approaching. We officially moved in on New Years Eve. As a new mother, I was anxious to nest and felt guilty that the nursery wasn't finished. A week later, none of that would matter.

      There would be no baby come least not then. The baby I had loved, nurtured and bought this house for, was gone. Stillborn, three days before the due date.

      What to do? Do we stay? Do we move? One thing for sure, we had to stay long enough to put the house back together. So, while I was in shock, my "Handy" Andy jumped into as many DIY projects as he could find. One of his first, was building an awesome movie screen in our basement (yet, another project to share in the future).

      Weeks later, just as the initial shock was wearing off, we got hit with another reality...literally. A teenage neighbor ran into the side of our house. Thankfully, our central air unit absorbed the brunt of the impact.

      Once the police officers left and we inspected the central air unit, it was determined that it would have to be the expense of the culprit, of course. It didn't take me long to figure out that we could RELOCATE the unit to make room for a deck....a project we had planned on doing much later.
      As later became sooner, Hubby now had another project that allowed him to work through his grief. He doesn't show much emotion, but I honestly believe this deck was built with his blood, sweat and TEARS.

      The first job was taking out the double hung windows. We then replaced them with a five foot sliding door. Throughout the construction, the plans changed a couple times. We added the pergola to help shade the deck...this area gets ALOT of sun. And we added a little bump-out for our BOHEMITH grill.

      Here it is...ALL FINISHED! The posts were wrapped in prefabricated architectural columns made of fiberglass and ordered online. In-stock vinyl rails were used to enclose the pergola deck. The remaining pieces of treated lumber got a liberal coat of white paint. We later added an allweather ceiling fan to cool down those warm summer days.

      Three years and two beautiful sons later, this house now brings me joy.
      Sincerely, Lisa

      DIY Day @ ASPTL

      Friday, November 13, 2009

      What a Steel!

      This past week, I've been really inspired to do some crafting. So, I staked out a spot in our basement family room/home office/play room/home theater/guest suite/ get the picture.

      Once I finished "creating" (um-um, making a mess) I discovered I needed to do some reorganizing to allow for additional storage. Great....I thought, one more thing to add to the never-ending list.

      Well, imagine my delight when I spied this six-drawered solution to my storage problem (in Goodwill, of course)...

      A vintage metal desk with a matching chair!!!!!!

      At that moment I felt like Bob Barker 'cause the price is right!

      After measuring to ensure the fit, we brought the ten dollar "tanker" home. But not before I enquired about the desk's history. Come on people, I live in a small city!

      The manager confirmed my suspicion by saying the desk came from a local factory that closed after moving their production to Mexico and leaving dozens of people without jobs. Sadly, that factory had been in town for more than four decades.

      Call me sentimental, but I feel like I'm preserving a part of my past by bringing that desk into my life. So, here she is, all cleaned up and in her new home.

      You know, I used to have a mahogany dining table here. It's amazing how this 2oo lb beauty really lightens up the space now.

      Thanks for stopping! Check out the links below for more thrifty finds and creative spaces!

      Sincerely, Lisa

      Decor Mamma

      Furniture Feature Fridays

      Tuesday, November 10, 2009

      Curb Appeal: Before and After

      Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. ~Matsuo Basho

      Does this look like a house you could fall in love with? Even before stepping a foot inside?

      Well, that's how I felt when I laid eyes on this little gem in May 2005.

      It's hard to believe that just five months before that day, Hubby and I were living in our custom built three bedroom ranch in the "northend". Northend- Our version of Weezy and George Jefferson's east-end, deluxe apartment in the sky".

      Ten years ago, when we began construction on our house, it was a dream come true. The perfect house with the perfect location; country life within five minutes of city convenience. We were surrounded by privacy, a large pond, mature evergreens and acre upon acre of open field full of deer, rabbits and other wildlife. Does it get any better than this?

      Absolutely NOT! The day after we moved into our newly built house, construction began.


      Yes, the day after we moved into our new house, construction began on a multi-unit, subsidized- income apartment complex....just three feet off our property line. And just beyond the housing complex, they were adding a four lane state route addition. Oh yes!

      We called that home for four years, and once the last of our "original" neighbors decided to move, we opted to do likewise. Lucky for us, our house sold within hours of listing it with our realtor.

      We swiftly purchased five acres in a planned community with lots of rules and regulations to protect our investment. However, life had other'll have to keep coming back to hear that story.

      Let's get back to May 2005, as my sister and I took a stroll around the neighborhood (we were temporarily living at my MIL's), I saw this house and immediately recognized the potential in it.

      This was MY house; the place my SOUL longed for. The place I wanted to teach my kids how to ride their bicycles. So, after a couple tours and a competitive bidding process, we were finally able to call it ours.

      And thus began a four year process of polishing this "diamond in the rough" into the gem I like to call home. All the projects (i.e. board and batten shutters, window box, landscape, pergola deck and repainted foundation) were completed by my personal Handy Andy and his protoge, moi. Here's another shot of the BEFORE:

      And now, what you've been waiting for, the AFTER:

      Thanks for stopping by! Check out the links below for more great ideas...

      Sincerely, Lisa

      DIY Day @ ASPTL
      Tales from Bloggeritaville: Thrifty Thursdays

      The Shabby Chic Cottage

      Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

      Sunday, November 8, 2009

      "Vintage" Clothes

      You ever wonder what happens to name brand clothes if they don't sell? Maybe you already know the answer to this question, but I didn't until today.

      They go to our favorite dollar craft store......DOLLAR TREE. Yeah, that's what I thought too.

      As I walked into DT, I had one of those moments where you ask yourself "where am I and what am I doing here?" I immediately did a double take to make sure I was in said location. Once confirmed, I stood in awe of what I saw.

      A designer name brand that I LOVE and haven't seen in LOOOONG time. Talbots...yeah, a Talbots shirt being sold for a buck at the dollar store. Who ever would have known that?

      The bin was marked "Vintage" Clothes, but as I looked through, I recognized a couple other name brands i.e. Rue 21 and Old Navy. Now granted, these were not Sunday's best clothes (and they really weren't what I think of as "vintage"), but they were nice cotton t-shirts; great for crafting and doing all the things that Moms do.

      As I was on a tight schedule to visit my favorite dollar stores within two hours, I didn't sort through the bin. I had to stick to my aggressive time plan and craft budget. Well, no sooner than I loaded my cart up and headed for the check-out, I bumped into a dear friend.

      All I can say is I stuck to the budget...

      Hopefully, I'll get to the other stores this week so I can get some projects finished and posted.

      Sincerely, Lisa

      Tuesday, November 3, 2009

      Fall Flower Arrangement

      This is my first attempt at creating a fall flower arrangement. I love the designer arragements that you see in all the floral shops but of course they're WAY out of my price range. However, that did not stop me from trying to make my own.

      I picked up some pieces from all my favorite haunts; Hobby Lobby, Family Dollar and Garden Ridge. I also included some dried hydrangeas from my garden. My inital budget was $20, but the actual cost was around $30...that container was larger than I thought.

      Seeing the beautiful initial wreaths in blogland (I apologize, I don't have the specific links), I thought it would be cool to hang a big ole' W in front of my container. I kind of like how it fills in the it hides where paint is chipping off.

      Okay, please excuse the green satin ribbon...that's all I had at the moment. I've since replaced it with brown ribbon.

      So what do you think? Thanks for stopping!
      Sincerely, Lisa