Today's post is a little more personal for me. I want to share how my past has lead me to where I am now.
I have always loved decorating and design. I remember when I was a little girl that some neighborhood kids and I constructed a "fort" out of found materials, (plywood, branches, whatever we could find). I distinctly recall wanting to be sure it had lots of windows and then foraging for whatever materials I could find for my makeshift "curtains" .
When my husband and I got our first apartment (it was a tiny 1-bedroom loft) my passion for creating beautiful interiors really took off. I was always painting something or coming home with another fabric sample or flea market treasure. Luckily, my supercute and sweet husband let me indulge my creative side and put up with whatever "look" was appropriate for decade we were living in.
Then came the point of no return and an added bonus: My above-mentioned supercute and sweet and uber-talented husband started a construction company that specialized in residential construction!! See the beauty/danger here? Yep, he was always re-doing a kitchen, reconfiguring a bathroom, adding some crown molding/picture molding/ judges paneling, wainscoting, or tiling something for me.
Add to this a shared love of architecture and historic homes and next thing you know we started a business of buying run-down historic properties and completely renovating them from foundation to rooftop! I thought I died and went to heaven!!! Can you imagine anything more glorious than being responsible for giving new life to a turn of the century home with all of the architectural details of that era - high ceilings, heart pine floors, built-in china cabinets, foot-high baseboards, transoms and ornate door and window hardware.
The start of every new project rendered my "giddy" The restoration process itself was grueling, frustrating, and seemingly never-ending. But when the final finishes started to go up (paint was always the biggest transformer), the end result was worth all of the frustration ten-fold!
So, I thought I would share some of our projects with you, complete with before and after photos!
First project ever -before/during
After - sorry these photos are so grainy, they are pretty old!
Here is supercute and sweet hubby working on old window restoration.
This is the first restoration we did as our own home - looks kinda Munster-ish, right?
Here it is nearly finished - it is magnificent - my favorite house ever! (and we have lived in a bunch). We lived here a few years and then sold it and moved on to this one -
Not quite sure what's up with that peach and rose color scheme, but another spectacular historic home that needed a little(a lot) of lovin
Here she is about a year later, taken from another angle. Notice they built a new house next door?
This is a before. Hard to tell from the photo, but this one had a fire that burned out the second level and all roof rafters.
This photo shows all new rafters and ceiling joists.
Here it is after restoration. New owners already moved in!
Pretty hideous - this is before/during
Truly, this is the same house nearing completion.
Also wanted to share some photos of great details found inside of these houses - in no particular order
Heart pine floors, original mantel with tile, built-in window seats with storage, and how about those windows with original trim? Pretty spectacular, right?
I bought those amazing windows over the original tub to bring more light into the bath. The glass in those windows has a very cool raised pattern - photo does not do it justice!
The original window here was missing. This is a salvaged window that I found. I added the red glass squares and the center beveled medallion. This window was part of a double-hung set but the size was right and all we had to do was turn it on its end and so some extra molding to make it work...
This is the top of a staircase on one of our first projects. That entire curved portion was not in the house when we bought it - we later found that section in the basement (complete) and we re-installed it. This open at the top of the steps was being used as a bathroom for the upstairs apartment.
Another great staircase (my current house)
so fun to find an old clawfoot! Lots of sanding and a visit from "The Bathtub Guy" for reglazing and it looks like a million bucks!
Fresh paint, antique light fixture and sanded floors. Such an exciting time in restoration!
So my past history of historic home restoration is just another layer that makes up my passion for creating beautiful living spaces. For me, all design projects include a piece of the past - whether it comes from an antique lighting fixture, architectural salvage or and old chair updated with a little paint and fabric. The past is a big part of where we are today!
Hope your week is inspring ...