Archive | This Old House

Boys’ Room

Yesterday the last nail was put in place and the boys’ room is officially finished.

One room down, one room (nursery) to go.

While I love rearranging rooms and getting everything just right, it feels so good to be DONE.

boys bedroom. september 17

In case you didn’t read about it last week, we moved the boys in a room together last weekend. We moved them into the old nursery (both Moseby and Lawson used this room as their nursery for their first two years; Moseby moved into another bedroom before Lawson came along) and Moseby’s old room is becoming the new nursery. That’s not confusing, is it? HA!

This is only their make-do room for the next two years or so until we do renovation 2.0 with the house and then this will become MM’s room (it has a kitchenette connected to it–can’t see the door in any of these pictures–that we will convert into a private bath for her; our house was a boarding house, remember?) and the boys will move across the hall to our master bedroom (and we’ll move downstairs). The baby will move into MM’s old room and its room will become a study nook. Gosh, that makes me tired just writing it!

It’s not exactly laid out how I wanted–the radiator beside Momo’s bed made us push the beds off-center from the window (which kinda makes my eye twitch) and you’ll spy a chandelier in some of the pictures that we didn’t change out because it will become MM’s room before we know it and it seemed silly just to take it down for a couple of years.

Anyway. Enough of all that.

So the details:

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~The beds are old hospital beds that we bought a few years ago at a local antiques store that came from a local hospital (that my mom was born in actually). I’m guessing they’re from the 30s or 40s.

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~The bedding is from Target and cheap (and was an extra 20% off a couple of months ago) because I can only imagine what those boys will put it through!

Comforters similar here. Bed skirts. Moseby’s arrow sheets. Lawson’s cactus sheets. Euro shams are Pottery Barn from a few years ago but very similar here. The quilts are their baby quilts I made when we were waiting/expecting. Rug is six years old but similar here.

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“Play” containers found at At Home (similar here). Vintage school chart found on Etsy (similar here.)

~I got the nightstand/chest of drawers/whatever last week at a local antiques market because we need all the storage we can get! I “measured” with my hands before I went to the store and I would like to brag that the chest was the perfect size (with not an inch to spare). #skillz

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Flying pig lamp from At Home (similar here) and is Moseby’s most favoritest thing in the whole wide world. Picture frames from Hobby Lobby (similar here).

~It’s “fun” (insert eye roll) to get to decorate a mantle in almost every room (we have six mantles in our house!).

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Rawr sign. I bought the Georgia made from bottle caps at the Yellow Daisy, but the artist’s Etsy site found here. “Little Man Cave” printable ($1.61!).

~Moseby has had this little tool bench for a few years now and didn’t want to part with it just yet so we made a little tool/car corner.

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~And he also had a bunch of “treasures” he wanted to keep away from Lala (a pirate piggy bank, a special flashlight (he’s scared of the dark), his favorite book, a drawing his birth mom made him, his soccer trophy, etc.) so we put them in special container that Lawson is not allowed to touch. He also chose some “special” trinkets to put in the vintage printer’s tray (similar here)–his choices (a bow tie, some Canadian coins, a small armadillo, a Mickey Mouse figurine, etc.) crack me up.

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~Their dresser that yes, is girly, but I didn’t feel like moving in Moseby’s old one for a two year stint, just keeping it real.

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I tried to include pictures of the two of them all around the room (board found at Hobby Lobby). Just look at these two cute little boys!

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~The last little space I’ll show you is behind their door. I didn’t realize until they moved in together just how many hats these two had! So this was a last minute addition, but probably my favorite little corner!

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Arrow hanger found at Hobby Lobby (similar here). Giraffe rocking horse. Custom sign from a couple of years ago from here.

And that’s the boys’ room! Hopefully in a week (or so) I’ll have the nursery finished (I’m feeling the nesting bug kicking into high gear the last couple of weeks ago–I am 32 weeks along today actually!) and can share that with you too!

 

1


Irma: A Blessing in Disguise

I hope this finds you well…and with power, fellow Georgians. We fared the hurricane (tropical storm? thunderstorm? wind storm? whatever it was!) well at Brogdon House surprisingly. When you live in a 130 year old house with 130 year old (or older) trees overhanging most of it the idea of tons of rain and record-breaking winds sends shivers down your spine. Buuuuut, we never lost power and no tree fell on our house or carriage house! We did lose a half-dead dogwood in the driveway, but C. & my dad cleaned it up in 15 minutes or so yesterday morning after the storm passed. We feel so thankful that it turned out this way when some of our neighbors did not.

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Before their first sleepover (of many!) Saturday night, matching jammies and all. 

On Saturday (while it was still nice & sunny) we moved Moseby out of his old room and into Lawson’s room (& gave them matching twin beds). We took that crib and put it in Moseby’s room which has now become the nursery. We have five bedrooms, but one bedroom is downstairs so it seemed easier to just move the boys into a room together (our plan is to move downstairs in about 2 years and will do musical chairs with the upstairs bedrooms again then).

crib

Crib sneak peak!

Since we had power, but I didn’t have to go to work (my county has canceled school Monday – Wednesday), I spent hours and hours and hours going through closets and shift robes and dresser drawers of every child (and even the unborn one!). As of now every single piece of clothing (even socks!) fits the child for who it is intended. Y’all, I don’t think that has ever happened since I started having kids!

A tiny bit of wall decor hanging has been done as well. 

And while I wish I could say that the boys’ new room and the nursery were perfectly put together, I can’t. Their closets? Oh my my, perfection. But the decor…heck, even the wall and closet color in the nursery…not so much. But we’re getting there.  At least now every child has a bed so Baby B can come whenever he/she chooses because the decor can wait (though we’d prefer if he/she waited at least six more weeks, thankyouverymuch!).

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And just look at this little boy (with his bed skirt-less bed and no decor and make-do nightstand and horrible flying pig lamp that Moseby loves with all his heart)–he thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips next to his big boy bed (where he sleeps like a champ, holla!).

0


Second Trimester Purchases

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For Me:

  • I bought a belly support band for exercising (the Maternity FitSplint) which is 100% amazing at stabilizing your belly during those bouncy exercises. I can’t recommend it enough!

For Baby Bee:

  • I bought the baby its first outfit/ensemble–a hat and matching blanket. Well, actually my friend Emily did (she monograms stuff for me so she knows what we’re having–see this post for the explanation on how she knows). I gave her the Etsy listing and the money and she ordered the correct set for me. How sweet is she?! In just a couple of months or so we’ll all get to see Baby B either in pink or blue in this set, eek!

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  • A couple of unisex bee outfits (one from Burts Bees (front) and one from Kissy Kissy, similar here).
  • A box of newborn diapers and size one diapers.
  • A Rock ‘n Play that was one of my necessities for Moseby and Lawson, but that I gave away last year. Oops!

For the Nursery:

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  • “God Knew Our Hearts Needed You” sign was a custom order I placed through Pickles Painting Company. I gave her the quote and she did the rest (we’ve said over and over that God just knew we needed this baby even though we thought we were finished growing our family). I think it turned out perfect.
  • Framed song lyrics was an order I placed through Finch & Cotter. I told them one of my favorite songs and which lines I wanted in bold and they did the rest. (“May we all grow up in red, white, and blue little towns; May we all know that nothing ain’t cool ’til you wear the new off”)
  • The hexagon shelf came from Reclaimed Waco.
  • The bee pillow is 20+ years old and was in my bedroom in high school.

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  • This is part of the mobile. It came all the way from England!

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  • I’m still trying to decide on wall paint colors–I’m leaning towards a greige (and would LOVE your suggestions on a specific paint color). I can’t decide if I like this painting (from Hobby Lobby) for above the crib or not. I love the size…the rest? Not sure.

And somehow I didn’t get a picture of the bedding. Grr! I’ve got the dust ruffle and bumper, but haven’t received the sheets yet–I’ll just show you everything at once, okay?

So that’s what I’ve bought second trimester for the baby and I. This last trimester will be spent doing the nursery (and getting the boys transitioned to their new room, including putting Lawson in a big boy bed, ack!) and getting last minute things together–I gave away (or loaned) out so much baby stuff I don’t know what I have or not. I also need to get a few baby girl outfits just in case (I’ve got some newborn clothes of Moseby and Lawson’s left over, but none of Mary Margaret’s, eek!). And I’m waiting on the quilter to finish Baby Bee’s quilt so I can sew the binding on.

Monday marked 29 weeks for me so I have right at 8-9 weeks to go. Which seems like a really long time when you’re living it day to day, but not very long at all in reality! Lots to do around here!

0


Planning a New Room for the Boys

Moseby has been asking to share a room with Lawson once he got to be a “big boy” (meaning age 2 since that’s when the other two kiddos transitioned to a regular bed from a crib) since the winter.

I agreed at the time, but now that Lawson’s second birthday is approaching (on August 13th) I’m realizing that not only do I have to move one kid, but I have to get new beds and linens and redecorate a room…but I ALSO have to teach these two boys to live together. Lawson sleeps with the door shut and it pitch black and goes right to sleep whereas Moseby must have the door open and his nightstand light on the whole night and needs his iPad to wind down (I know, I know).

Yeah, this is going to be real fun.

{Got any tips mamas on how to transition these two crazy boys (ages 5 and almost 2) into roommates?}

As for the room they’re going to be in it’s Moseby/Lawson’s nursery (when I was pregnant with Lawson we moved Moseby into a different room and left the nursery set up).

I have two antique iron twin beds (thanks, Mom) that I need to paint and today I got most of the bedding at Target of all places (they’re offering 20% off on all bedding until July 1st).

I’m going with a light green, black, and white room. With hints of nautical stuff since the boys love the water.

Here are some pins I’ve been looking at for the past six months.

I honestly don’t even know why I’m posting about this–it’s just been running through my brain and once something gets in my head I cannot let it go for the life of me!

I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots on this topic in the upcoming months (we plan to move them in early September after Lawson turns 2 and we get the new school year under our belt for a few weeks)!

0


Dining Room Reveal

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As of late last week the dining room was officially finished. Yes, we’ve been working on it since early March  (paint colors can be found in that post if you’re interested), but it’s not like it was a construction zone or something–I’ve just been lazy about putting the finishing touches on it.  My daddy hung the mirrors (got them at an estate sale last year and just have been hanging on to them since) last week and I’m considering the room finished now.

dining room redo

My biggest conundrum with our dining room was the furniture. I love it because it’s C.’s great-grandparents (well, the china cabinet we bought at a local antiques store and it’s a pretty close match), but it’s dark. And I can’t paint it because it’s a family heirloom.  And the doors in here have their original (dark) stain and as C. (affectionally, of course, HA!) says I’m a “preservation nazi” I just can’t paint them either.

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So I decided to leave it as it were, but change the rest of the room–the walls, the fireplace paint, the rug, the drapes, and some of the chairs.

And y’all, it’s a drastic change!

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I replaced all the chairs except the end armchairs–they’re next on my list. I’m not necessarily a fan of the bench (and was going to return it), but all three kids want to sit on it together every meal…and how could I return THAT?!

dining room redo

Bench found here. Side chairs found here.

The drapes took the longest to find. Only because the sweet seamstress that did all the rooms in our house when we restored it has since retired. And I cannot find someone as talented, or reasonable, as Miss June. I finally found Sanya who is just starting out on Etsy who would make some custom pinch pleat drapes for me. I sent her the trim (on Monday when I went scouting for fabric it was $14/yard, when I went back to get it on Thursday I got a remnant–7.25 yards (just what I needed) for $10. It was meant to be) and she had the drapes ready in a couple of weeks and sent them back to me.

dining room redo

dining room redo

dining room redo

dining room redo

dining room redo

dining room redo

Other new things:

Lamps here.

Mirror (similar) here–I did get it at At Home though.

A couple of items: this wooden pedestal and this metal stand came from our trip to Waco and Magnolia Market.

Rug came from At Home. Similar here (5×7). Similar here (another 5×7).

{The china (transferware actually) displayed throughout the room is by Grindley and the pattern is called ‘Malta’. It’s from 1887 and I collect it one piece at a time off eBay. My Mama Grace gave me my first piece in high school–a ginger jar–that had been passed down through her family. The other old things you see in this post I find at antiques markets (Scotts in Atlanta) or Queen of Hearts antiques mall or on eBay.}

dining room redo

2


Master Bedroom Reveal

It’s finished!

Well, as finished as I care to make it. 😉

Let’s take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?

This is what this room looked like when we bought the house in 2007. It was a guest room (like four out of the five bedrooms were then) and hadn’t been lived in since the 1960s when the boarding house closed and Ms. Eleanor {the lady we bought the home from (and whose parents had purchased the home in 1917) and who we named MM after} lived here alone.

In this room we did extensive plaster repair, scraped & painted the ceilings (they were more of a mess upstairs than downstairs because there was no heat or air conditioning (and subsequent temperature extremes) had left long strips of paint hanging from the ceiling) and removed the carpet and refinished the floors. This is what the room looked like after we moved in (I couldn’t really find any recent pictures, but we had a difference duvet).

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And this was my inspiration picture. I loved all the neutrals (and the ceiling is wood like ours (we have heart pine tongue and groove ceilings throughout our house)).

Here’s some more pictures and then I’ll talk sources and stuff at the end.

We have an awkward-shaped bedroom. As soon as you come in the door the fireplace kind of juts out on the right. There’s also two doors, a double window, and a radiator. Oh, and it’s only medium-sized at best, haha.

This is the only picture I have of our antique oak armoire {bought at an auction a few years ago} that holds 99% of all our folded clothes.

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Random fact: our house had a fire in 1927 and it started when two boarders came home late one night and started a fire in this fireplace. A coal popped out on a rug a bit later and started a fire that destroyed the second floor. The fireplace surrounds up here are original, but I’m thinking the mantles are new. The floors are heart pine up here and new (‘new’ meaning 90 years old, haha).

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The only new furniture purchased for the redo was the bed and mattress. Everything else was already in the room or used somewhere else in the house.

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My three babies.

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Gosh, y’all, look at that bed. Don’t you just want to crawl in it and sleep forever? It is heavenly.

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And look at those two babies (babies, I tell you!) in their first picture together. We were both 23.

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(And I totally didn’t pose C.’s slippers like that–I didn’t realize they were even there until just now–they match too well!)

Okay, so sources. I’ll do my best.

Paint: Walls are ‘Quiet Moments’ by Benjamin Moore

quiet moments

Trim, plantation shutters, and ceiling (trim is semi-gloss and ceiling is high-gloss and plantation shutters were sprayed, but not sure what finish as we didn’t do them): ‘Swiss Coffee’ by Behr

swiss coffee by behr

Stain on the floor: ‘Early American’ by Minwax (which shows up very light on these heart pine floors verses our tiger oak floors downstairs, by the way)

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Let’s start with the bed:

~Bed {‘Larrenton’ King Panel Bed from Ashley Home Furniture}

~Mirror from At Home (I’m 99.9% sure this is it.)

~Rug from Rugs USA (it arrived 30 hours after I placed my order!)

~Mattress from Mattress Firm {Simmons Beautyrest Black hybrid}

~Natual linen duvet Cover: Hotel Collection from Macys

~Microfiber Sheets: Hotel Collection from Stein Mart ($19.99; I bought some 1000-count Egyptian Cotton sheets too and let C. touch both–not telling him which ones were the “nice ones”–he picked the cheap ones!)

~‘Dune’ linen channel-quilted quilt: Restoration Hardware

~Light sage green linen quilt: Pottery Barn

~‘Fog’ linen Euro shams: Restoration Hardware

~Wamsutta Vintage beige linen shams: Bed, Bath, & Beyond

~Grey rectangle pillow: TJ Maxx

~Brownish throw with ruffle edge: Nina Home by Nina Campbell from Stein Mart

~Painting on the wall to the right is a vintage paint-by-numbers I found at an antiques store in Savannah years ago

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Next up, fireplace:

~Wood Piece from Hobby Lobby

~Gold rectangular metal piece from At Home.

~”Loved you then” sign (old, but I think it’s Rustic Orange–shop is currently closed)

~topiary + cement votive holder from At Home. Topiary here. Votive holder similar here.

~Picture frames (I made myself)

side by side

Nightstand {both tables are vintage. Table on left from an estate sale in southern Alabama 9 years ago and table on the right from the original Lakewood at least 12 years ago}:

LEFT:

~Gold frame from At Home.

~Cement lamp from TJ Maxx

~Alarm clock from Amazon

RIGHT:

~Mercury glass lamp from At Home (similar here)

~Faux flower arrangement from At Home.

~Alarm clock from Amazon

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Dresser {which is from late 30s – early 40s and I got at Lakewood 400 years ago}

~Lamp from At Home.

~Pleated lamp shade with buttons from At Home from a while back.

~Pottery Barn jewelry box (similar here).

~wall mirror {vintage cabinet turned into mirror; I’ve had since college}

~‘Botanical Study 5’ original watercolor by Courtney Khail that I just got yesterday and am in love with.


Wanna save this post for later? Simply use the button (click the picture) below to pin it quickly!

And I think that’s basically every product link and I am exhausted. Lord, this post took like three hours and I’m up waaaaaaay past my bedtime. 😉

Let me know if you have any questions about any links/brands or thoughts on the new room or if ever see anything you think I’d like please holler!

2


Decisions, Decisions…Help Me Make Up My Mind!

As I mentioned on Monday, we’re repainting and kind of refreshing our dining room. New paint, a new rug, new drapes, and maybe some other stuff (toying with the idea of a new mirror over the server and maybe new chairs).

This is the before:

And this is its current state (holy color change, Batman!):

My helper said, ‘Mess! Mess!’ over and over while he “tried” to sweep. Without pants on. ‘Cause duh, we all do our best sweeping pants-less. I know I do. 

We painted the mantle this color (‘Sea Salt’ by Sherwin Williams):

sea salt

But it doesn’t show up as green as I wanted. I was afraid to go darker…and now I’m wishing I had been a little more adventurous. Don’t be like Natalie, kids. Be daring! Go for the REAL greeny green!

I should’ve gone with my original choice: ‘Saybrook Sage’ (by Benjamin Moore).

saybrook sage

Oh well, you live and learn. 😉

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This is our bedroom before.

And then yesterday the painter got to our master bedroom. We had it painted ‘Quiet Moments’ by Benjamin Moore and I’m in looooove.

quiet moments

What’s interesting about this color is that sometimes it looks gray. Sometimes it looks green. And sometimes, like in our bedroom, it looks blue.

And ohhhhhhh yes, we’ve already started taking our bed apart because on Sunday we’re getting a new bed and mattress. This bad boy is coming home to mama!

The ‘Larrenton King Panel Bed’ by Ashley. I seriously looked for hours online and went into nine different stores…and then I saw this one and knew immediately.

The inspiration for this room is from this pin:

Basically I want just a whole bunch of muted neutrals that come together to make something not so muted.

I already have a neutral linen duvet I got last year so I’m all set there. I’m looking for a neutral (maybe a “greige”) quilt. And a soft ruffled throw/blanket in either a darker nude or a darker grey.

Here’s where I need your help. And I really do need it…not just trying to be nice…I’m really lost! Knowing the paint color we chose and the bed we bought AND my inspiration picture above–what do you think?

  1. Do you think we should do a bench at the end of the bed or will it take away from the footboard?

TJ Maxx

Bed, Bath & Beyond

2. Should I go with a mirror above the bed or artwork? Here are the mirror choices I’ve found (some are turned the wrong way–they’d all be hung horizontal of course):

Cost Plus World Market

Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby

Ashley

3. ORRRRRR should we do artwork instead?

at home

I’m really digging the one on the left (but not necessarily for above the bed–maybe the mantle in the bedroom…random, I know!) Hobby Lobby

Any of these? Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby

4. Rugs.

I’ve narrowed it down to two for the dining room (and bought them both and have them laying in the parlor), but forgot to take a picture. DARN!

But I’m wondering if I need one in the bedroom. Do y’all have a rug in your bedroom? We have hardwood floors so a rug would be nice, but we don’t have a lot of extra space (the fireplace kind of juts out in our already medium-at-best-sized bedroom). If we did do a rug in the bedroom, what do you think about this one? And what dimensions? 5 x 7? 8 x 10?

5. As for curtains…the bedroom is staying the same (they’re pretty neutral and we’re only going to be in this bedroom for about two more years and then we’re moving downstairs after renovation 2.0). But for the dining room I think I’m going to go with a goblet pleat and a contrasting trim. And have I told you how much I miss my seamstress, Miss June? Oh, Miss June, you spoiled me! She did fourteen rooms of drapes in our house and not only was she crazy good at calculating (sewing is a whole lotta math), but anything I mentioned she could do. Please come out of retirement, Miss June! #allthesadeyes

And that’s where it stands as of now. Please, y’all, PLEASE, help a girl out and tell me your opinions (On this post. Or on Facebook. Or on Instagram. Or in person. Or through a text. Or by telegraph.). Especially about what to go over the bed/artwork. I’m completely lost and really don’t feel like going to buy 18 different options (just so I can return 17 of them–I already have to return one 8′ by 11′ rug and I’m dreading it!).

Thank you thank you thank you! xoxo

 

6


What’s Going On at Brogdon House This Week

It’s funny that this blog is named “Old Southern House”, but other than mentioning it here and there, I haven’t been talking about my plans for Brogdon House.

If you want to know the story of our home, click here.

If you want to see some photos of what the home looked like before we bought it in 2007, click here.

If you want to see some pictures during the restoration, click here.

But don’t click the ‘after’ button. Those are so out of date (no mention of Moseby’s nursery…or room and definitely no mention of Lawson’s nursery!)–I’ve got to work on those.

When we bought our home 9.5 years ago we did all the “un-fun” things that cost a great deal of money, but you can’t even tell. Things like new plumbing, new wiring, adding insulation, adding heating (only four out of the fourteen rooms had heat), adding AC to the entire home, refinishing the floors, patched plaster walls, removed asbestos in the basement, etc.  Which meant the budget ran out quite quick and I had to put my dream kitchen on hold. I look back at it now and realize that had I gotten my dream kitchen (which meant turning our sleeping porch into the kitchen and the old (our current) kitchen into a butler’s pantry) my kids wouldn’t have a playroom (on the sleeping porch). And y’all we NEEDED to put all these toys somewhere, haha!

We also were unable to afford putting in a second bath upstairs (where the old kitchenette from the boarding house is located–right now it’s just a storage room off of Lawson’s nursery) or putting a half bath downstairs. Right now we all live upstairs (there are four bedrooms upstairs, one downstairs) and we all share a bathroom. When we restored our house it wasn’t a big deal at all–it was just C. and I–but now that the kids have come along and gotten older, man!, it’s getting tough.

We’ve decided when MM turns 10 (in a little less than two years) we will begin restoration 2.0 to do all the things we couldn’t afford in 2007.  …and I don’t even want to think about the cost right now. HA!!

But just because we’re not during the big renovation just yet we ARE doing a couple of fun things to the house over the next week or so! Want to follow along as we do it?

First up: dining room!

For some reason these were the only two photos I could find of the dining room (that was used as a living room) back in 2007 when we bought the house.

This is how it currently looks.

Today our painter is coming to the house and we are painting our dining room.

I decided on ‘Greek Villa’ above the picture molding:

greek villa

I decided on ‘Natural Choice’ for the majority of the walls.

natural choice

‘Sea Salt’ for the mantle (originally I was going to paint all the white trim this color EXCEPT the window/plantation shutters, but y’all talked me out of it Saturday on Facebook).  😉

sea salt

{All colors Sherwin Williams, by the way}

I’m going for lighter and soothing in there. We have very dark furniture, dark hardwood floors, and four doors that have their (original) dark stain that I won’t paint (I can’t paint over anything original; I’m a historic preservation freak like that).

As for updating furniture…as of now, I don’t think I’m going to. Not because I don’t want to, but because all of the furniture in here {except the china cabinet which we found at a local antiques store that matches} are C.’s great-grandparents. So no painting it. And I don’t want to put it in storage…but I’m torn because it’s all SO BROWN. I’m toying the idea of getting new chairs and maybe a new mirror over the server.

I did get a new rug. But now I’m not so sure. I’m going to wait and see the room painted. To figure out just how light/dark it needs to be (because currently have I mentioned IT.IS.SO.DARK.IN.THERE?!). And as soon as I can find someone to sew me some pinch pleat drapes (my seamstress has retired), I will. {And yes, I can sew. And yes, I’ve actually made custom drapes for our last house, but I promised myself I would never ever do that again because it was soul crushing. HA!}

Once it gets painted I’ll show you the updated room and you can help me decide on the rug and what direction to go in for the drapes.

After the dining room what’s next? The master bedroom! We’re painting and yesterday we bought a new bed and a new mattress (after almost ten years and it is dreamy!) that gets delivered next Sunday. So I need help deciding what to go over our new bed–I’ll show you what I’m thinking on Wednesday and I’ll let you help me decide that too!

Y’all ready to put your interior design hats on? Let’s do this!

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The Project That Grew Bigger and Bigger

Isn’t that how it always go?

Something starts out relatively simple…painless…and then once you start grows and grows ’til you just have to keep plowing away at it until it’s finished or you might kick yourself for giving up?

Maybe it’s just me.  I don’t know.

Since Christmas we’ve been talking about getting MM {and Moseby when he gets older} a play-set for our house.  We looked at the ones we liked online and they were four or five…thousand.  No offense, but who in their right mind would pay five thousand dollars for a play-set?  Riddle me that.

We looked at Costco and Sams and their smaller versions were still pushing $1000.

So we tabled the idea and said we would come back to it in the spring.  Imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago C. said he had been looking at them on Craigs List for a few months now and found us a good used one for literally five percent of the original cost.

The only problem was that WE had to take it down, WE had to move it to our house, WE had to set it up in our backyard, and WE had to repair/add things to it.  {I say ‘we’ loosely, of course.  I just planted a pot of flowers and held a couple of posts up.}

We couldn’t turn a deal like that up so last Saturday we went and bought it.  And it took basically a whole day to take it down and move it to our backyard.

Our backyard looked like a graveyard full of old swingset bones.

april 21. 22._0010

Pretty daunting, huh? {Thankfully they labeled the pieces and took tons of pictures before they took it apart.}

But MM loved “sliding” already.   She stood around “helping” {see that screwdriver in her hand?} all afternoon.

april 21. 22._0012

Late that afternoon they had the first tower thingy put together.

april 21. 22._0013

And right before dark the first slide got added so MM could take a quick ride down {because, come on, it’s hard for a three year old to be that patient and we had to reward her!}.

april 21. 22._0015

The next day the second tower was added, but the twisty slide {MM. calls it the “curly slide”…so cute} and the swings proved to be much more difficult.

april 27th. playground. bumbo_0002

The men met again on Wednesday evening to come up with a list of more materials they needed {four trips to Home Depot and one trip to Ace for this project, I might add}. And on Friday afternoon as the rain was trying to close in on us they got the swing and slide added.

Moseby’s vantage point:

april 27th. playground. bumbo_0003

My laidback baby of course fell asleep while lying in the shade and took a little nap while everyone worked.

april 27th. playground. bumbo_0001

And while he snoozed MM and I planted some marigolds and catnip {her choice}.

april 27th. playground. bumbo_0004

And Vivi barked. And drank water. And barked. And drank water.

april 27th. playground. bumbo_0007

And then it was time to swing so MM practiced a bit with her baby first.

swinging her baby

And had a little snack on the stairs {you’ll probably notice that the swingset has a picnic table built in, but of course that meant that MM wanted to eat on the stairs, haha!}.

april 27th. playground. bumbo_0012

And by Friday evening it was fully functional though still a little rough looking.

COMPLETE...almost!

Saturday we bought accessories {handles, a ship’s wheel, etc.} because a plastic telephone brings the swingset to a whole ‘nother level, you know?

And then on Sunday the men added decking to cover the old sandbox {sorry, I don’t do sandboxes} and a new roof.

Playset, After

Playset, After

Grand total of time spend on this thing: 28 hours.

Playset, After

Playset, After

Playset, After

All I gotta say is those kiddos better play on that thing everyday! …but so far Moseby is not impressed. HA!

Playset, After

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Eleanor Jane

The first time I met Miss Eleanor it was an early July afternoon and the temperature boiling.  She had put a small ‘For Sale’ sign in her front yard earlier that week, so small that it was not much bigger than a greeting card, knowing that someone would come.

We were those someones.  It was our destiny.

She let us in her home where honestly it wasn’t much cooler inside than outside on that summer day.  All the windows were closed and there was but one fan whizzing by somewhere in the back of the house.  It was trying its hardest to produce some sort of cold air so she could sit in her recliner, watch the news, and talk on the phone all day to her friends. 

{I’m sure we were the topic of her conversation that day.}

Within five seconds of walking through that door I knew.  I spied the corner of a beautiful fireplace with a summer screen.  If she had given me the opportunity I would have signed the contract right there.

There was something special about her homeplace.  Something so full of history and wonderful and already such a part of my soul.

I’ve said before it was like a dance to buy her home.  During the almost three month process we never mentioned money to her and all legalities of attorneys and closing dates and such were passed through her niece and then told to her after we left.  If she had anything to say about the sell it was told to Margaret who relayed it to us.

Miss Eleanor was a strong-willed, stubborn lady in her late 70s then.  She had never married and was what my mama calls a “change of life” baby meaning that by the time she was born her three older siblings were basically grown.  Her father died when she was a small child which left her and her mama to fend for themselves together.  She was strong and had opinions and could give you a sideways glance and an upturned mouth that would cut right through you. 

But boy did I love her from the start.

She let me ask question after question after question.  Yes, of course she remembered when her mama bought that Hotpoint stove in 1939 {it had replaced their wood burning two-eyed Jack after all}.  Yes, she remembered when they put the radiators in and stopped using the fireplaces.  She even remembered the man’s name who did in the early 40s and she would spell out each letter which I wrote it down in the big notebook I carried around with me whenever I was with her.  She told me about the drunk boarder who once fell thirty feet over the stair railing who just got up and walked away laughing.  About the World War II soliders being shipped off to war who would let slips of paper with their names and addresses float out of the train windows as it carried them to ships that would take them to other countries to fight.

She wrote to several and one even came calling after the war.  But he lived too far away and she wanted to stay with her mama and her small town.

She worked at the phone company for years and always wore high heels.  She was pretty with beautiful hair and was impeccably dressed.

And when I got to meet her that first day she was sharp as a tack, smart, and inquisitive about why exactly these two young people wanted to live in such an old house.  Why didn’t we want to go live in a nice, new house in a subdivision?  Because that’s what she was going to do!

During the restoration I thought about her constantly.  ‘What would Miss Eleanor think of this paint color?’  ‘Will she be upset we tore down this wall to make a mudroom?’  ‘Will she think the house is pretty?’

She came to see it five months later when we had finised.  She talked on the front porch for almost an hour before she made it inside, almost as if she wasn’t sure if she was going to like what she saw.  She didn’t say much as she walked around, just a little ‘Hmpf’ every once in awhile.  Finally, when she came back outside she said in her matter-of-fact, never sugar coating what she had to say way, ‘Well, I’m not sure if it’s what you were going for, but it looks just like it did in the 1940s!’

We assured her that it was indeed the look we were going for and she looked at us like we were crazy and shook her head.

I talked to her a few weeks ago about a myseterious water leak on the outside of our house to see if she knew where it was coming from.  We had looked for hours and had called her as a last resort.  Of course she knew were it was coming from and she remembered who installed the pipe fifty years ago too…if I wanted to write his name down in my notebook.

When we told her we were naming our daughter after all she said, ‘Well, now, that is special’ and left it at that.  But I know it made her proud as she was always calling to check on Mary Margaret Eleanor {she always made sure to call her by all three names} and sending her little mementos signed “With Love, From the Other Eleanor”.  I hope she realized how much she meant to us.

I loved her sassiness.  And her kindness {and patience} towards me.  I loved her strength and resillence.  I loved her with my whole heart. 

When I heard this morning that she had passed away last night I was so sad at first.  And honestly if you looked at me right now with tears rolling down my cheeks you would think I still was.  But I know she is in heaven with her daddy and mama and her brother and sisters–all of who she hasn’t seen in a very long time and I know she is thrilled.

But that doesn’t stop my heart from hurting.

We love you, Miss Eleanor.   You have left an imprint on our hearts.

Love,

C., Natalie, Mary Margaret Eleanor, and Moseby

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