Saturday, March 29, 2014

Part 3

Mike, our fencer, has been here all week.  He will be fencing four of the eight acres, up at the house and the pasture down to the stream.  Using a lot of metal posts this time instead of wood, less expensive and stronger.
He pointed out a huge beaver hole.  Hope Roman doesn't see them.  He's not fond of groundhogs, so can't imagine a beaver would look much different to him.
Their dam is beginning to come together.  Mike said as he's been working, trees have been falling.  I may just get that marsh/bog area naturally if no one complains about the water flow and their riparian rights!
As for the finds in the attic, Jim found a huge box of old photos, frames, travel logs, and sketchbooks that we all had a fun time going through.
Lots of family photos starting in the late 1800s, which will be offered to the brother, John Dusenbury, who lives in the Atlanta area.
I first want to read the travel logs to Europe!
If he doesn't want them, they will stay with the house for future owners to enjoy.
And these creepy "fire grenades" were throughout the house, and we saw where one went for $37 on Ebay, so out of the dumpster they came!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Part 2

This is the hall between the living room and master bedroom.  We are standing at the master bedroom end looking down to the living room.  Lots of doors line this hallway! On the left side are two sets of doors that open to a wall cupboard.
This is what it looks like inside.  Really nice old pine.  For such an old house and only 1600 sq. ft., it has quite a lot of storage space.
The new closet in the master bedroom.  I will be bringing my Elfa shelving from the old house and have antique knobs to put on the doors.
The master bedroom will need the tar paper taken up off the floors and painting.  I will be doing that myself as time goes on.  The blue boards against the wall will be going into my bathroom.
This is looking from the master bedroom into a little hallway with a closet on each side and my bathroom where the blue boards will go and my clawfoot tub.
One of the closets has a neat old wall safe. 
This is the hex tile that will be going in the bathroom with the blue wood walls and clawfoot tub.  I found it at Home Depot, but when I went to order it, they said it was discontinued . . . again. I called the company in NYC, and they still had the unglazed antique white, but it had a flower that they said could be easily removed, so I ordered an extra case to replace those black tiles.  The grout will be bright white.  
Back to the kitchen where I forgot to show you the neat set of drawers across from the kitchen sink.
This is the top drawer ready for all my fancy silverware (ha)!  Looks like there will be a Part 3 to this renovation post for all the attic goodies and outside surprises.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Renovation: Weeks 2 & 3, Part 1

This is Old Howard Gap Road, which leads to my little dirt road, Page Farm Road.  Nice view coming and going!
Pulled up to the house to find Nitro, one of the carpenter's dogs guarding the house.
My friend, Debra, who moved from Atlanta to Tryon 11 years ago came for her first tour of the home.  I got her approval!
The garage is now being enclosed for Lord Roman, Princess Maile, and some of Bob's books.  There will be two windows and a wood floor laid instead of the concrete floor originally planned.  Boxwoods will eventually go in front of this wall and a trellis in the center.
Jim was on the roof pointing to the new skylight and so excited, he wanted me to get right into the living room to see it.
And here it is!  The skylight is in, the ceiling ends are sheetrocked, the ceiling fan is in, it's all coming together in the living room!  Notice that the cross beams are now gone.  They were visually disturbing to the eye, and not weight-bearing, so out they came!
Perfect!  Centered just where I wanted it so that when sitting on the sofa in front of a fire you can look up and see all the pretty old brick!
And the kitchen skylight was going in while I was there.  I was not able to get my vaulted ceiling in the kitchen because of the roof pitch, so it is boxed in and not as visible, but it floods my work area with sunlight.
In the kitchen, half of the cabinets have been ripped out, my dishwasher will go in that space with the stove next to it.  Now I have space for one of my antique cupboards and my table and chairs.  The place is a real mess on this visit, lots going on.
Two huge butcher blocks were saved from the old kitchen.  I will clean them and put them to good use.
The big farmhouse sink will also be a keeper.  I already have my new stainless farmhouse fixtures and once cleaned up, I can determine whether it will need re-glazing in the future, but for now it works for me.  I also found my discontinued Silestone countertop in Amazon Grey Leather in a warehouse in Atlanta.  I have been carrying around my sample piece for five years, and I'm so proud that I found it, even when Home Depot said it was impossible.  Never trust Home Depot!
So here we are back in the living room.  Part 2, which I will post in a day or so, will take us down the hallway to the bedrooms and bath then out the door to see what the fencer is up to.  Also, my builder found an old box in the attic and I will show you what we found!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Renovation: Week 1

Took a drive up yesterday to see how things were progressing on the house.  As we came up the drive, we were surprised to see so many things in bloom.  This camelia is enormous!  I have always wanted one, they're very expensive, and now I have one! 

I knew as spring progressed a lot of things would start to bloom and I would be surprised by all the wonderful plants.  This tulip tree can be seen from the living room window.

When I walked through the front door I couldn't believe my eyes.  My contractor is doing such a great job, and I can't believe how much having a vaulted ceiling instead of a low plaster one improves this room.  Next week they will finish it off and put in a skylight in front of the old brick chimney so it can be seen from inside.

Bob, our plumber, and our contractor discussing who knows what!
I was hoping the wood wall above the fireplace could be torn down to expose the brick up the wall, but I was given reasons it wasn't possible to do.  I also brought up an old painted mantle Bob found on a yard sale, but it was four inches too small in the opening, so I have some other plans up my sleeve.
This is the master bath before.  Goodbye ugly mint green tile, ugly curtains, old wallpaper!
Hello ripped out bathroom ready for a makeover!  I'd take it this way with nothing done than the other way! The plans for this bathroom include an off-white unglazed 2-inch hex tile for the floor with bright white grout.  The walls up to the windowsill will be old robin's egg blue painted boards.  I have been collecting old doors and boards for quite sometime.  A friend gave me some deeper blue boards that will be mixed in, and then I found two doors at an antiques sale in the pale blue.  Above the wood walls will be painted sheet rock.  My clawfoot tub will be in this room with my antique iron Bradley & Hubbard light fixture that I have been carrying from home to home for 25 years.
This is the mud room/laundry room.  I don't know if I took before pictures with all the ugly cupboards, can't seem to find them, but they weren't worth taking pictures of.  The big water heater is being replaced with a tankless and then the washer/dryer will be put in that back corner.  I will have plenty of room for shelving for stocking a pantry and for a big cupboard and for beds for Roman & Princess.  This room also had a big sink with counters . . . all gone!  This is now an enormous room.  I love it.
This is the door out the mud room, already equipped with a dog door.  My contractor is going to fix the door because it's old, good wood and the glass is very old.
This is looking at the mud room from outside.
This is looking from the kitchen into the mud room.  As you can see, the washer would be sitting right there for all to see, so hopefully it won't be too much of a problem or expense to take the plumbing to the left corner so that a pretty cupboard can go there and that's what you see from the kitchen.
There are two vintage ceiling lights in the mud room that I somehow didn't notice before, but now that I've noticed them, I really like the globes and they will stay.
This is the other one, and I like that they are not a matching set.  I will have to see if I can find out what time period they are from when I finally get settled.
Okay.  This was the big dilema this week:  The floors in the kitchen, mud room, and master bedroom.  I was so excited, all the linoleum and carpeting was up.  Then the bad news, they used some sort of glue/tar to lay the tile and it would not come up with mineral spirits or scraping.  My contractor wanted me to either order flooring or buy one by fours to lay, and I started my search on the internet.
I am so thankful to be living in a time when there is YouTube and the internet and many people before me have worked on finding easy ways to solve problems like getting this tar paper up.  After watching some videos, it was apparent the consensus was that using a wallpaper steamer was very effective, it melted the tar and you could scrap it right up.  Well, I had a floor cleaner/steamer that I brought up and tested on a patch, and, yes, it works!  I planned on doing this myself once living there since the whole idea didn't seem to please my contractor, but Home Depot rents commercial steamers for $30/day and he's going to give it a try.
This is the master bedroom with the same floor problem.  I would rather take on the project myself than to cover these beautiful old pine floors with square nails.  It's worth it to me!
This is the bedroom door with another iron door with cattails.  I love the doors in this house, they are Dutch doors, something you rarely see these days.
This is the front cattail door.  Week 2 includes ripping out cabinets in the kitchen, finishing off the living room ceiling, finishing the master bathroom and tons of other projects too numerous to remember!  At this point I'm in a daze with all the driving, ordering, answering questions, thinking, thinking, thinking!  I can't wait to give my brain a rest.