a labor of love.

Posted on July 20, 2015 by 3 | 4 Comments

Hi Friends! Over the past few months, I have been surrounded by both labor and love! For starters, I am getting married to the sweetest boy on earth on SATURDAY! Holy moly!! I can't believe it! He has a servant's heart and loves me more than I'll ever understand! I feel like such a lucky girl! Second, I have been renovating a 1940's cottage a few streets over from the shoppe! It's been a busy season in our lives filled with lots of work and lots of fun! In November, I purchased this happy little mess. Sure- this doesn't look too bad right? haha looks can be oh so deceiving! As a Montgomery native, I have probably passed this house 800 times, but never noticed it. It was just sorta vanilla... (ala boring.) Between having a reno-pro like Ashley for a boss, a building science grad for a fiancé, and an entourage of capable contractors, I knew I had lots of capable and helping hands! [caption id="attachment_13946" align="aligncenter" width="640"]image (9) I call this color "dirty butter." Yummy, right? Blah![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13939" align="aligncenter" width="640"]image (2) The kitchen: No, your eyes are not deceiving you! That IS a dryer. This was absolutely the world's most awful kitchen... and at the time was not fit to cook so much as a hot pocket![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13940" align="aligncenter" width="640"]image (3) When our friends and family saw this kitchen, I think they thought I had lost my mind![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13947" align="aligncenter" width="640"]image Living Room and Dining Room (I SO thought that the only issue here was paint... boy was I wrong!) If there is one thing that working on renovation jobs has taught me, it is that old houses are full of dirty little secrets and surprises-- always expect the unexpected! Always!)[/caption] image (4) [caption id="attachment_13943" align="aligncenter" width="640"]image (6) haha this was SO blue... in more ways than one. This is the ONLY bathroom in the house- hardly functional.[/caption] image (5) [caption id="attachment_13944" align="aligncenter" width="640"]image (7) more of that fabulous blue I love so much! This is one of two bedrooms... both had gross carpet and vinyl blinds... both of which were the first things to go in the house! Lucky for us- beautiful original hardwood floors were covered up with that yucky carpet! (old house perk!)[/caption] and then the work began... :) Nothing makes me happier than demo-- it means something REALLY good is coming and the yucky old stuff is leaving! Renovation and historic preservation are all about integrity and quality- you have to know what is worth saving (floors, windows, doors, etc.) and what needs to be replaced. Replacing 1990's era vinyl with 2015 era vinyl is just silly. Renovation means taking something old and bringing it back to life- and taking into consideration what the house was like when it was built and making it function for life today! [caption id="attachment_13956" align="aligncenter" width="433"]2 This is the kitchen wall where the range and cabinetry were- and that's the bathroom directly behind it! The electrical system was replaced and multiple layers of linoleum floors in the kitchen were removed to reveal hardwoods underneath. Fun fact: When removing the old walls in the kitchen, our contractors found old whiskey bottles in the walls. I guess renovation really can drive you to drink...haha[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13955" align="aligncenter" width="640"]6 We had MAJOR foundation issues in the house... which if you're familiar with Cloverdale- you know this is pretty much the norm! We added pillars underneath the house to bump up the foundation so that it was a bit more level. A small den (that was added to the house about 20-30 years ago had such a bad foundation that we completely busted the existing floor and built up a new one.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13953" align="aligncenter" width="640"]3 Sweet mercy... this was a wild day! Yes... that's a man inside that hole in the floor! I love how the scary gas logs are still in this picture- holding on for dear life! #saynotogaslogs[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13954" align="aligncenter" width="480"]4 While we had the den floor destroyed, it was the perfect time to replace the plumbing underneath the house! Yay for better water pressure and new, functional pipes![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13957" align="aligncenter" width="640"]5 Our sweet guys literally worked by flashlights in order to stay on track! This den (along with the kitchen) were my two favorite spaces in the house-- and naturally were the most complicated![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13951" align="aligncenter" width="480"]7 Along the way, Mark and I decided to "bless our house" and write some of our favorite verses on the new walls! Such a special memory for our first home together! :)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13958" align="aligncenter" width="640"]a Since our house is in a historic district, we went through a process of getting our exterior design approved by the city's architectural review board. We finally settled on a design to replace the old vinyl at our front door-- and did lots and lots and lots of stucco repair. Once you literally move a house and raise a foundation, there is a whole lotta' crackin' going on! Our neighbors were getting VERY worried and VERY curious at this point in the game! Can you imagine having to see this every day?![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13959" align="aligncenter" width="640"]b Getting there!! After many many coats of paint, a shiny new (but very old) mailbox, new lighting, and new house numbers- it is looking less like the slums and more like the cute little bungalow we knew it could be![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13960" align="aligncenter" width="480"]d An old hitching post sits in our front yard where people could tie up their horses back in the day!  Fun fact: our sweet next door neighbor told us that the house was a tea room many years ago! So neat![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13961" align="aligncenter" width="640"]8 We still have to add shutters to the front, but we haven't fully decided exactly what they should look like! This sketch gives you an idea of what it will look like all finished! Can't wait for that day! Our landscaping has been such a fun process- my sweet hubby-to-be holds a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture so it's been interesting to watch his brain work magic on the outside![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13966" align="aligncenter" width="480"]pic3 Crisp paint on the paneling and fireplace, seagrass carpet, and an oversized lantern made this space feel comfy and clean-- the perfect hang out spot![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13964" align="aligncenter" width="480"]pic1 After sanding and refinishing the original hardwood floors (multiple times) and painting, this living and dining room feels totally different![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13965" align="aligncenter" width="480"]pic2 I love all of the natural daylight in this house-- and the original metal windows got a nice little update in a dark gray color.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13963" align="aligncenter" width="480"]br 2 We saved all of the original doors and hardware. Can you believe someone put yucky carpet on top of these gorgeous floors?![/caption] ... and a few AFTER photos! We still have lots to go, but here's a little teaser! [caption id="attachment_13967" align="aligncenter" width="559"]This bathroom needed to function for two people- so we removed the old linen cabinet, added two vanities, custom cabinetry, and a new tub/shower! Now that's better! We are still missing cabinet pulls so use your imagination :) Once you make 150 wedding and house decisions, cabinet hardware kinda falls by the wayside![/caption] [caption id="attachment_13972" align="aligncenter" width="669"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 1.08.31 AM a few fun details in the bathroom: Ashley and I picked up these antique containers in England last summer and the nude painting on the right is by Kristin Blakeney! (more of her fabulous art is available through PARISH!)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13974" align="aligncenter" width="425"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 1.14.23 AM We chose a white mini hexagon tile for the floor and repeated it in the shower niches. I loved the clean look of the white subway tile with a putty colored grout :)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13979" align="aligncenter" width="358"]den 1 This cozy den was my favorite room from the beginning! Even though the pine walls are painted, the room still feels warm and comfortable. I'm so obsessed with the windows that I hate to cover them up with drapery, so a pretty light sheer will be installed post honeymoon![/caption]   [caption id="attachment_13996" align="aligncenter" width="431"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.32.34 PM A fun antique pie safe is an ideal way to store movies, books, and board games.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13994" align="aligncenter" width="429"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.31.56 PM Combining new elements and furniture with good, old finds is what makes your home feel like you! I loved the combination of bluey gray tones with a happy orange! A vintage school desk serves as an end table.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13995" align="aligncenter" width="427"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.32.14 PM Every home needs fresh flowers! The small pot was a fun find in Tongeren, Belgium (an antique jar used to store facial cream! So fun!)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13997" align="aligncenter" width="426"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.32.50 PM I have a thing for small jars... I blame Ashley for this little addiction![/caption] [caption id="attachment_14002" align="aligncenter" width="677"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.43.31 PM In order to maximize storage in this cozy kitchen, we opted for open shelving, and two large cabinets that house a front loading washer and dryer.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_14003" align="aligncenter" width="429"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.43.50 PM Opposite the fridge wall- lots and lots of storage![/caption] [caption id="attachment_14004" align="aligncenter" width="480"]sink Let's all pretend that I'm going to be super domestic and cook with that lovely fresh rosemary in the window, okay?[/caption] [caption id="attachment_14000" align="aligncenter" width="408"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.42.40 PM There's a reason why I'm a designer and not a chef... so I need lots of cookbooks! When designing the kitchen, a sweet shelf just for them was a no brainer! A charming vintage locker basket holds dish towels for extra storage.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_14001" align="aligncenter" width="605"]Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 7.43.02 PM An oversized breadboard added the perfect warm tone to the white and gray colors in this space! A large glass pitcher and a coffee mug are the perfect home for kitchen utensils and fresh roses![/caption] ... and that's a wrap! The renovation game has been a huge learning process for us and it's been fun to see how Mark and I work together amidst the chaos- the ultimate pre-marital counseling! :) Have a great week everyone! As for me, I'll be finishing last minute wedding details and heading to the Hamptons for a fun honeymoon! Can't wait! Until next time, jess-signature       Hold everything!! What kind of friend would I be if I didn't share my sources?! The only way to survive renovation mania is with a really good team! These are a few of my favorite details and contractors- we couldn't have done it without them! Foundation: John Aspinwall Drywall: Leonard Crawford HVAC and Plumbing: Air Conditioning and Plumbing by Luquire Paint: JR Grice Home Improvement Carpet: Georgia Floors Direct Insulation: Progressive Insulation Countertops: Acme Brick and Tile Tile: David Parrish Electrical: Mills Electric Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee Trim and Cabinet Color: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter Window Color: Benjamin Moore Cromwell Gray  

Posted in About Us, Accessories, Alabama Interior Design, alabama interior designer, Bathroom, Bedroom, Behind the Scenes, Cloverdale Renovation, Decorating, Designers, Dining Room, Furniture, Living Room, living room design, Montgomery, Old Cloverdale, Parish, Renovations


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4 Responses

Lynn O'Neal
Lynn O'Neal

August 14, 2015

Beautiful! I especially love the vintage school desk! :)

Lindsey
Lindsey

August 14, 2015

Your house looks amazing!

Ann Collister
Ann Collister

August 14, 2015

You’ve done a super great job – lovely – and so livable. God bless you in your sweet marriage and best wishes for the best of everything.

Kathi Rogerx
Kathi Rogerx

August 14, 2015

I love your home, especially the scripture in the walls. I’m so happy for you! Love and best wishes!

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