Monday, August 27, 2012


One of the best things about getting to work with a professional designer, for me at least, is that I don't have the responsibility of choosing the drapery.  I've always been the kind of gal who knows exactly what she likes and is not afraid to commit.  But when it comes to window treatments, I'm frozen like a deer in headlights (hence the reason why the only drapes you saw in my before house tour were cheap roll up shades from the hardware store).  Window treatments are expensive, a pain to install, and if they don't look quite right, it can really mess up a room.   For all those reasons, I was afraid to make decisions on my own.

So, I'm greatly relieved to have Karen's wonderful guidance on the perfect drapes for our house.  Here's what she came up with for the living room/kitchen area:

As you can see, Karen is always keeping her eye on the big picture.  She takes into consideration all the colors, textures and fabrics of the room (including cabinets, countertops, and furniture) before choosing the window treatments.  The back wall of the living room will be mostly french doors and windows, so to cover those we will have big, sweeping pleated drapes.  The dining room will have a lovely bay window with a window seat in front of it.  The window treatment there will be fabric roll shades.  All the drapes in this area (and in the house in general) will be lined with black out fabric.

And here's the plan for the office:

We've actually changed the fabric we're going to use for my desk chair since taking this photo.  It's very similar to this one though and it will still have butterflies.

 In the above photo you get a sneak peek of the office wall color (it's a more vibrant blue in real life).  We're going to have a neat office rug with a bright, colorful botanical theme. The Hubby will be using his Aeron chair (no fabric there) and I will get a new office chair with pretty butterfly fabric.  In the center of the room we will have a big leather club chair for me to curl up in and read (I can't wait!). Oh- and we will have a built-in counter top made of granite that will serve as our desk.  To go with all that, Karen chose yummy chocolate brown fabric that will be made into roll shades.

In this picture you can see the fabric chosen for a roller shade in the hall.  It has some lighter cool colors that will look great with the over all warmth in that area.  The master bedroom is going to have rich purple walls and black furniture, so to bring it a little color pop, we're going with rust colored drapes.

That's all we have in the realm of drapery thus far.  There are a few areas of the house that still need some window treatments, so it's a work in progress.  I'm going to leave you with a special bonus photo of our designer Karen, hard at work:

We feel so lucky to have her helping us.

Tune in soon for some more construction- we're finally getting all drywalled up in here!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sheetrock Delivery: A Photographic Essay

I've got another quick post here that I think will please all you heavy equipment fans.  Our wonderful neighbor K.D. sent us some really great action shots of the sheetrock being delivered to our house today.  Check it out:

Pretty neat huh?  I wish I could have seen it myself.  Thank you K.D for taking the time to capture this unique moment in our renovation!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Woodwork and Tragedy

I've got a short and sad update for you today folks.  As you know, it is important to us to try and keep our house as historically accurate as possible.  With that in mind, we want to make sure that all the new woodwork and trim matches what we currently have in the house (you can see a lot of it in our before house tour).  Brett found a local place nearby that makes the neat old mouldings at a good price, and we were all greatly relieved.  Our order was in and waiting to be delivered when tragedy struck last Friday and the Mouldings Unlimited warehouse caught fire and burned down.

Because of all the wood, it was one hell of a blaze that completely destroyed the entire building.  It is sad when any company suffers a loss like this, but Mouldings Unlimited was a small family owned place.  It is going to be particularly hard for them to rebuild in this economy, and hard for their employees to find work. My heart goes out to the them all and I fervently hope that they can get back on their feet again soon.

As for us, well we are going to have to scramble to find another company that can reproduce the historic mouldings.  We'll be finishing up with the drywall this weekend, and we'll need those mouldings very soon.  Despite the increased pressure on us and the project, I come away from all of this counting my blessings.

Tune in next time for some happier news on construction, and maybe even some more design.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Scott Antique Market Scores

If you know the hubby and I at all, you know that we love old things...old houses, old furniture, old cookware.  We love items that have history, that have been worn and used and loved, and we love filling our home with these things.  One of the major purposes of our renovation was to take an old house and modernize it while trying to keep as much of the history and vintage flavor as possible.  With that in mind, we've used as much vintage stuff as the budget will allow...and that's where Scott Antique Market comes in.  For those of you that may not know, Scott Antique Market is one of the premiere antique markets in the world.  It's huge- the design team walked 9 miles in one day of browsing!  And it's filled to the brim with vintage and antique goodies, most of which can be had for good prices.  The only downside for us antique hunters is that Scott is only open for one weekend a month- so you better make hay while the sun shines!  We've been making that hay all summer, and I thought y'all might like to see what we've scored.

First up is this lovely bench for the hall.  As you saw from the before house tour, we have a very long and open hall in the house that is just begging for an antique bench.  I've wanted one ever since we bought the house, but we just never seemed to find the right one...until now.

I really like how it folds up.

We can't seem to figure out what this bench was used train station? auditorium?  It does have a series of numbers on the back for numbered seating.  Any ideas?

Some of my fondest memories growing up were sitting on the front porch with Nan, rocking back and forth in her old glider.  I had always hoped one day to own hers, but she gave it away without consulting any of the family (she's bad to do that).  I was determined to have my own, and have come across them from time to time in various antique stores.  Usually they are in pretty awful condition and massively overpriced, so I just had to walk away.  I was THRILLED when I saw these two gliders at Scott, both of them for a very reasonable price:

 I was a greedy girl and wanted them both, but the hubby talked me into only taking the yellow one.  I can't wait to sit out on my porch in my new (old) glider this fall.  Since this particular booth had such great prices and we have both a front and back porch to furnish, the hubby and I decided to go ahead and spring for these vintage patio chairs too:

I love the bright, vibrant colors.

Just looking at them makes me feel more happy and relaxed.  One of the things that we badly need furniture-wise is some small side/end tables.  When we saw this vintage enamel one we knew we had to have it:

I'm not entirely sure I like the weird fleshy/beige base color, but a quick go over with some Rustoleum will fix that.

How can you resist something that comes with an instruction manual that tells you to burn it after reading?  Where the heck was this thing used?  CIA? FBI? MI6?

Over the course of the summer, we've been looking for an antique fireplace mantle to use in the new living room.  This one is a bit fancier (and more expensive) than the ones in the rest of the house, but I figured that the living room is the most public area of the house, and that's where you want to show off a bit.

Ignore the lovely little table in front of it....alas it is not ours.

 Close up view of the top.  What would you use those pedestals for...candles maybe?

And last, but certainly not least, we found this very cool dry sink for the guest bathroom:

 We plan to put a galvanized tin counter top on it, plumb it, add a vessel sink and a fixture that looks like an old pump to give a neat rustic vibe to the guest bath (but I'll post more on that later).

So that's it for this week folks.  In construction news, we passed our plumbing/electrical inspection and are moving on to insulation and dry wall next week.  More exciting design and construction posts coming in the near future!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

All The Small Things

Notice how there hasn't been many construction posts lately?  It's not because there hasn't been construction going on- far from it.  It's just that what has been going on has not been very photogenic or blogable.  I was going to skip all the small things, but I have this crazy blog fan who reminded me that I need to thoroughly document everything, especially the wiring.  So brace yourselves folks for a very photo heavy blog post including more than you ever wanted to see or know about what's going on behind the scenes at my house.  First up, we got some plumbing put in, including our washer/dryer hookups:

Notice the marks on the wall?  That's where our kitchen cabinets used to be.

We also have the gas hook up now for the stove:


 The ductwork for our heating/air conditioning is being completed all over the house:

It's all going in the ceiling instead of the floor...cause that's what classy people do.

The lighting and speakers are being installed everywhere.  Yes, we sprung for an all-over-the-house sound system.  We figured money, shmoney!  Why be sensible now? 

 Speakers and light cans in the kitchen, or maybe the living room...who can tell at this point?

I like to call this one "A Can Light Commits Suicide" or "Goodbye Cruel World".

All that stuff is interesting, but I know what you guys are really here for...the hot, sexy wiring pics.  Well brace yourselves, here they come!

Random wires.  I seriously have no idea what they do.

 This is the Generac (duh).  I'm told that it hooks up to our generator so we can have power when the zombiepocalypse comes.

 This is the breaker box.

 This is the breaker box without it's cover- the dirty slut!

 This is the breaker box with wires entering it.  Oh my!

 This is the patch panel.  It's where all our low voltage electrical stuff hooks up together.

 This is our patch panel after a heavy night of drinking.

This is our electrical service hook up.  We have to call the electric company to come and service it and hook it up.  Awww yeah baby!  

This is our low voltage wiring trying to escape the house.  I can't blame it really.

This is where our electrical cable will hook up to the outside of the house.  I have nothing dirty or quippy to say about this.

Whew!  That was a lot of small stuff.  Well that's it for this week folks.  Tune in over the next couple of weeks for some more design posts and some hot drywall action!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rub A Dub Dub

Sometimes...sometimes pics come back from the construction site, and they demand an immediate posting.  This is definitely one of those times.  Check out what goes on when I'm not around:

It's not every contractor that will get in a tub with you.

I always thought I'd be the first to enjoy my tub...clearly I was wrong...

Is it me, or is the hubby enjoying himself just a little too much?

Brett is a hands on contractor who involves himself in every step of the process to ensure quality control. 

Yep, this tub will pass inspection.

It just goes to show folks, you never know what craziness is going to happen next with this renovation.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Our Trip To Stanton Home Furnishings

As many of you who have been to my house lately know, we are in desperate need of new furniture.  The hubby and I put off getting anything new because we kept thinking that we would be renovating soon (long time readers of this blog know that soon is a relative term).  As a result, our current furniture is a hodge podge of stuff we bought in the '90's when we were newly married and didn't have a lot of spare cash.  Oh don't get me wrong, in a lot of ways I like our old stuff, but it has definitely seen better days and I am more than happy to replace it.

That's why I'm so grateful to our designer Karen and the good folks at Stanton Home Furnishings.  They were able to hook us up with some very stylish new furniture at a reasonable price (which is a must if you have to basically refurnish your house).  I knew when I first walked into the showroom that I liked the vibe of the place:

I'm not a designer, but I really love all the nubby linen textures, the pops of bright color, and the rustic accents in this room.  I asked later what you would call this style, and I was told that it is a blend of Modern and Traditional known as Transitional.  Doesn't that almost sound poetic?

When we first walked in we were greeted by Jimmy Stanton and his lovely assistant Alyssa.  They were both very cheerful and gracious and since they had already been talking to Karen, they had a table set up with samples and furniture suggestions:

Sorry for the wonky angle, it was the best we could do without standing on a ladder to take the photo.

Along the top of the table is a pillow that we are using for inspiration (I just love all the bright colors) as well as the floor samples, counter samples, and tile samples for the kitchen.  The magazine page in the lower right is from an October issue of Country Living.  Believe it or not, we are using it for inspiration in the bedroom.

The next hour or so was a fun mix of running around and trying out different furniture in the showroom (we had to see if it was comfy) and picking out upholstery fabrics.  It was definitely unlike any other experience I've ever had and I must say I felt really pampered to have so many design professionals helping us.  So, what did we decide on?

On the left in the above pic is our new dining room chairs.  They will be padded and upholstered in that large black check. Yay! No more butt numbing during family dinners and games nights!   On the right is the stools that we picked to go around the island in the kitchen.  I wanted to make sure that the stools were really sturdy, because my fat butt will spend many an hour sitting on them while I'm cooking.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but we picked a nice burgundy upholstery microfabric for them that will be stain and cat scratch resistant (another must in our multi-cat household).

What? As if we could be bothered to scratch your furniture...

 But we didn't stop there!  While we were in the showroom we also picked out some furniture for the living room:

On the left is the new couch (obviously).  It will be upholstered in another stain and cat resistant fabric.  On the right is our spiffy new rocking/swiveling living room chairs.  The hubby and I each get one (with our own special pillows, no less) and we will have ottomans to put our feet up on during marathon TV watching sessions.

Now I know what you're're thinking "But Chris, those fabrics are beige and you are all about the color!" and you would be right.  But you see, I have all sorts of colorful pillows and throws, so we wanted the furniture to be sort of a soothing, neutral backdrop for them.  I don't want people to walk into our living room and pass out from color overload.

All in all our time at Stanton Home Furnishings was among the most pleasant experiences we've had during the renovation.  Jimmy and Alyssa took really great care care of us and made us feel very pampered and special.  If you are in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend you swing by and take a look at their showroom.  I guarantee they will hook you up with some beautiful new furniture.  Oh, and be sure to check out a copy of this October's Country Living.  Jimmy's house is being featured and you can see more of his neat Transitional style.

Well that's about it for now.  Tune in over the next couple of weeks for some more design posts, construction posts and maybe even a post dedicated completely to wiring for you wiring fanatics.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Windows And Doors And Floors...Oh My!

Construction has been going on steadily at the house, but it's been awhile since I've had anything to show you other than wiring or plumbing. I did get one Facebook request for a wiring shot so here ya go:

sexy, sexy wiring in what used to be our guest bathroom

 On the more exciting and tangible progress front, we got all of our doors and windows put up in the addition! 

The doors from the living room to the screened porch. 

The inspiration for the doors came from this photo that I found on pinterest:

You'll note that the transom above the door in the inspiration photo has this neat diamond and crossbar pattern on it.  All of our transoms in the addition will have the same kind of pattern (custom designed for us by the talented and lovely Karen).  The little window cross bar thingies (technical term!) just haven't arrived yet.
 Windows In The Dining Area

Astute readers will note that these are NOT the historically accurate four-over-one type windows that you find in the rest of our house.

An example of our authentic Craftsman four-over-one windows.

I wasn't thrilled about the change because I am very committed to making the new addition look as much like it belongs with the older part of the house as possible.  But it turns out that the new modern windows are just too skinny to support the four-over-one style, and sometimes sacrifices have to made in the name of practicality.  This is one of those times.  I still think it will look spiffy, especially when we finally get the window cross bar thingies in on the transoms.

 Bonus photo of the new windows and doors from the screened porch area, included because I thought it looked kewl.
Also on the agenda this week was subfloor removal and replacement in the master bedroom and the old blue/junk room.  I can tell you, it was somewhat shocking to walk into the house and see this:

Oh noes!  Someone stole my floor!

This floor theft sponsored by coca cola, the preferred soft drink of floor thieves everywhere.

Luckily as the week progressed, the subfloors came back and all was right with the world.

Sub Floor: The Triumphant Return

Sub Floor 2: Plywood Strikes Back

That's about it, except for this extra special bonus!  The builders found this creepy old mirror wayyyy up underneath the crawlspace of our house:

Can it see dead people?

I haven't seen it yet in person, but the hubby says it's about the size of a large medicine cabinet.  I want to clean the sucker up and use it somewhere in the least that's what the mirror voices are telling me to do...

That's it for this installment from the Slanty Shanty.  Tune in over the next couple of weeks for some really cool designs posts, including a narrative of our awesome trip to Stanton Home Furnishings.