Monday, January 23, 2012

New Old Mantle

I just have a quick post today showing our new old mantle. You see, we have four coal burning fireplaces in this house that are inoperable. At the time that this house was built, coal fires were the very latest in modern indoor, not so much. I know you are thinking that we must have been crazy buying a house with four fireplaces that didn't work, but the truth of the matter is that while I love the look of a fireplace, I don't really like dealing with the mess. Also, since we live in Hotlanta we tend to have short warmish winters, so I probably wouldn't wind up burning that many fires anyway. This old house was perfect in that respect. I get my lovely old fireplaces without having to deal with the mess of a fire.

Except...the fireplaces weren't that lovely. Some time in the 80's a contractor bought this house and (for reasons that boggle my mind) he pulled out all the beautiful old mantles and replaced them with chunky modern ones. So, the hubby and I have been slowly trying to replace them with old mantles that would have been appropriate. We replaced the one in the living room with a mantle we found in an antique store. It had been used as a backdrop for a professional photographer. Many a bride in her wedding dress stood in front of this ole mantle. We installed it and painted it green to match the rest of the living room.

A little while later, we heard the news that neighbors were renovating their bungalow and didn't want two of their mantles. We happily scooped them up and have them waiting patiently stacked in the corner of our office for our own renovation.

This week on craigslist I noticed an antique mantle on sale that looked like a really good match for the old photographer's mantle. A nice lady named Randi was renovating her farmhouse and no longer needed it, so we were happy to give it a good home.

It's a real beauty and I know it will add a lot of character to whatever room it ends up in. So there you have it folks, our new old fireplace mantle.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Before

Sooo...I'm just gonna gloss over the fact that it's been a year since I've updated this blog. Suffice it to say life happens. The good news is that we are closing on our reno loan this week, so the hubs and I decided that it was time to take our official Before pictures. Hopefully by the end of this year we'll have a whole lot of After. So without further adieu, I give you our house:

First off, this is a drawing of the current layout (on the left) and the changes we'll be making during the reno (on the right)

This is the view of our house from the street. If the money holds out, we plan to move these columns a bit so that they don't block the windows. We'll also be adding Victorian details to the porch, and possibly painting it purple.

Some detail photos of the front porch. Hopefully it will have inviting furniture, a new porch swing and a door mat that isn't a jack o'lantern.

Stepping through the front door, you get a view of our long hallway that leads all the way to the back of the house. We love this very Victorian feature of our home, and have no plans to change it. What probably will change is all the clunky storage furniture that we have in there now because of lack of closet space. Imagine a nice long smooth hallway with neat pics and such on the wall, and where you see the back door way at the end of the house will be an opening leading to the new addition. This is the view looking slightly to the right. That doorway that you see on the right there leads to our current home office (future master bath). That doorway will be closed up completely to give us more space for the bathroom.

For contrast, this is the view looking slightly to the left. See that door with the little weird shelf in front of it? That's our junk room (we'll visit it later). That weird shelf is preventing the wiener dogs from getting in there and messing with the litter box.

Because I love my neat stained glass front door, here's a view from the hall looking back at it.

Let's continue our Before house tour by going through the first door on the right and entering our current home office (future master bath). If you step into the room and turn to the right, you see our computer desk. The hubby sits on the left, and I sit on the right. Where he sits will be a nice open shower, and where I sit will be a toilet.

Looking straight in from the hallway you see our lovely futon. That was the hubby's futon in college and our first couch. Ah...memories. Anyhoo, along that wall underneath the window will be the aforementioned ginormous tub (hot Nordic vampire not included).

Looking to your left in the room you will see a fireplace and a couple of fireplace mantles stacked on the wall. In the 80's a builder bought our house and replaced all of our lovely old fireplace mantles with clunky plain ones. Les and I have been scouring Atlanta (okay, we've been using craigslist) to find replacements. Those are two we've already acquired. Behind the stacked mantles is a wall where we will put a doorway connecting the new master bath to our master bedroom.

Heading back into the hallway and going into the next room on your right you find our charming (but small) guest bathroom. This will be remade into a hall closet.

Continuing down the hallway, the next door on your right will lead you into the master bedroom. The master bedroom will remain mostly unchanged. The doorway entering it from the hall will be moved a little to accommodate the bed being moved to that wall.

A door to the new master bath will be added to the left of the fireplace.

The door to your right that leads into our current master bathroom will go away. In it's place will be a small inset chest of drawers flanked by two doors leading to a new walk in closet (in the old master bath area).

Let's go through the door from the bedroom into our current master bath. This would be the view if you stepped in and were seated on the toilet. Along the wall to your right is a window seat and a bay window (because who wouldn't want a bay window in a bathroom?). To the left is the sink and the shower, and straight ahead is a door leading into the kitchen/dining room area. That door will go away entirely when this area becomes a walk-in closet.

This is a view looking out from our bathtub at the bay window. The three old stained glass windows that we are using as window treatments right now will be reused in the reno as windows between the new guest bathroom and laundry room.

This is a view looking back towards the toilet. On the right is the doorway that leads to the master bedroom, and straight ahead is a door leading to our only halfway decent closet in the house.

Let's just open up that closet door shall we? As I've said, this is the only decent closet we have in the entire house. We have two more, but they are not deep enough to hang a wire coat hanger in straight. This closet has to hold all of our clothes, linens, and even our washer and dryer. Keep this in mind when you see the blue room.

I'm including this shot because the hubs took it, and I think it looks all artsy and cool. This would be your view if you were a sock on the floor of our closet. Oh, and this closet will be part of the large walk in closet. It's door will get recycled and used elsewhere in the house.

Continuing out of the bathroom, we have hit the back wall of the house. If you turn and look to your left you will see the back part of our large central hallway.

Straight ahead is a dining/kitchen area. This part gets a bit tricky. This entire area will be turned into a guest bathroom, a laundry room and a stairway leading down into a basement (yay! storage!). For reference, take a look at the plans up at the top of this post.

The area with the kitchen cabinets and sink will become the laundry room, while on the opposite wall where the stove and fridge are will be steps leading down into the basement.

The area kind of to the right (with the kitchen counter and pie safe) will become our new guest bathroom.

The open wall here that is looking from our kitchen into our living room will be closed, and a door will be added to it for access from the guest bedroom (our current living room) to the guest bath. The door to the right of the fireplace is one of our teeny tiny not-big-enough-to-hang-things-in closets.

Let's continue on into the living room. Have a seat on the couch and watch some TV. That doorway that has no door will have a door rehung so that people enjoying our new guest bedroom can have a little privacy.

A view looking from the corner of our living room into our kitchen. That's the wall that will be closed up to make the guest bathroom.

I think we'll probably put the guest bed along the wall under the windows.

If you exit the living room and turn right out into the hallway and continue towards the front of the house, you come to the last room. We call it the blue room (because it's painted blue). Folks, when you live in a house with very few closets something's got to give. This extra bedroom became our room of shame..our junk room. We had to have a place to store our stuff, and the attic gets way too hot to store most things safely. So here it is...


Hey, don't judge me! A lot of that clutter is boxes and packing material we've been saving for the move. Anyway, this room also features a lovely fireplace that needs redoing, and we have big plans to make it into a nice home office. We'll have a new computer desk along one wall and lovely arts and crafts built ins. Here's another pic of what it currently looks like though.

So that pretty much completes the interior of the house. Wait..what's this? You'd like to go see our attic? Well just haul yourself up those crickety stairs.

As you can see, we've got lost of storage space up here, but even with ridge vents and other fancy stuff, it gets unbelievably hot most months. You have to kind of pick and choose what you think will survive in this environment. On a side note- when did the hubby and I get so much stuff? We have to move all this out so they can do rewiring and ductwork. I get tired just thinking about it.

Another art shot by the hubs taken on the attic stairs looking towards the front of the house. I'm just including it here cause it looks neat. Also, check out the crappy popcorn ceilings. That's all going to be changed to beadboard.

So that's all of the current house. This is a view from our backyard looking at the deck and back wall of our house. The back wall will be completely removed, and the new open kitchen/dining/family room will be built here. We also plan to have a screened porch and a new deck.

I hope you enjoyed the Before tour of our renovation project. It will be fun to look back at these photos and compare all the changes in the After.