I love houses. I love everything about houses.
Mr. Lindy and I have lived in maybe 11 houses, not counting the rentals between houses and that 9 month stint in the 30’ travel trailer which by my calculations was just a tad smaller than our pervious master bathroom. Shocking, I know. However, it was one of the best times of my life -- but that’s a story for another day.
We built 4 of the eleven houses (once starting a new house just 9 months after moving into our new house!) and renovated the rest. I think I love equally the new houses and the renos. My motto, as you will learn, is “I love it, now how can I change it”.
We’ve “lived” in our current house for 2 ½ years. I say “lived” with finger quotations because at least during the first year, the house was pretty unlivable. This reno was by far the longest, hardest, most rewarding to date. The house was the ugliest, most unlovable house we ever purchased yet I think I have loved it the best. (I vaguely remember having said that about other houses…)
Let me start from the beginning. After years of marriage and following Mr. Lindy’s job halfway around the south, we decided to take a different course, to live a simpler life and move to the “country” -- a small southern town of about 1,300 where both our families are originally from. Our nest was newly empty and we were ready for a change. (I think I just heard a little giggle in my head because I say that like we never had change in our lives before that…..11 DIFFERENT houses! Hello!) Mr. Lindy bought a small restaurant and we set out to find the perfect (if not perfectly awful) house.
And then, I saw it. For about two seconds I considered buying it for an investment property but it didn’t take long to see it would require way too much time and money to bring this house back so I quickly dropped that idea. No, this house was a house that needed nurturing -- not just a nip and a tuck -- but real TLC.
Here is a before picture. I wish I had taken more…
The owner, Charlotte, had inherited it from her aunt several years before and the house had been empty all that time. Charlotte’s uncle was beyond frugal, using tape and free yardsticks (don’t ask me) when needed to patch things up. There was at least 40 pounds of bird poop in the fireplace and the guest bedroom ceiling had relocated itself on the floor. Vines had worked their way inside. REAL heart pine floors had been covered with FAUX wood grain peel and stick tiles - no lie.
Charlotte must have thought I was crazy. I’d asked to see the house almost every day when once would have been more than enough for most. She finally just offered me a key. I would spend hours wandering around in it looking, thinking, trying to figure out if it was even remotely possible this house could be brought back to life or if it were entirely possible I was having a mental break from reality. I chose to believe the former -- I think Mr. Lindy was tittering on believing the latter. But in the end, by golly, he believed in me AND in this house.
There was a day while wandering around the house, thinking my brains out, praying my need to own this house would subside if I looked at it long enough, when I knew, without a doubt we were going to buy it. I was carefully lifting a corner of flooring in the bathroom (just curious, Charlotte) when a big chunk of it fell to the ground leaving a Big. Gapping. Hole. You’ve heard the saying “You break it, you buy it”? Sold.
I swear sometimes we’d take at least 2 steps back for every one step forward but we can finally say we are done -- we can stick a fork in it.
|This Little "after" House of Mine|
Of course there is always SOMETHING more to be done with an old house but for the most part I am down to the fun stuff. That’s the stuff I’ll be sharing with you here. Be seeing you soon….
Monday, August 2, 2010
Here we are -- right inside the entry. Wow, is this a totally different picture from the first time I saw it. It was disgusting (Dang, where are those "before" pictures?) but I was completely smitten anyway. The floors were covered with orange indoor/outdoor carpet. Not that I don't just loooooove indoor/outdoor (doesn't everyone?). What the heck were they thinking? There were heart pine floors underneath it! And then there was the celotex ceiling, the pored concrete hearth covered with 40 pounds of bird poop, the lovely fake wood paneling on the walls and the 1970ish style trim -- I guess I forgot to mention the front of the house had a fire and suffered a remodel in 1968. Anyway, here's a boatload of pictures. See what you think of the after...
I painted the fireplace out, built up the mantel with trim and, after busting up the concrete, added stone to the hearth.
The paintings are mine. I paint. Did I mention that I paint?
I'll do a tutorial for the screen in a later post...
The coffee table was a $7.95 find from goodwill...
I painted this one, too.
Most everything in the room I either A) recovered or repainted or B) need to recover or repaint...
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