Hello, Hello and welcome! So… why are we here again? One could argue that I have too many irons in the fire, and that’s always been a legitimate claim about my personal habits, but here we go again anyway! This blog will serve as a one shot space to chronicle the madness within a sub-tropical home on Singer Island. Let’s have some back story, shall we?
*Cues fades and sappy transitional music*
The house has a long history here on the island. It was built in the late 30’s, making it one of the oldest houses on the island. The construction has changed some over the years, but not as much as one might think. For instance, everything from the two small windows next to the garage and over to the left is original. Sure, the roof is new, and the siding has been replaced but that’s the original house under it all.
Inside the original bits are floor to ceiling cypress wood. The original wood is still in use, and the new edition (built in the late 80’s) is floor to ceiling knotty pine. Even the interior walls of the garage are this same pine. My theory is that it was on sale. :p The property holds this turquoise treasure with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. There’s a dining room space, and a small breakfast area off of a walk-through kitchen in the new wing. The old wing (we say wings like this place is a mansion. riiiight.) holds the original bedrooms (numbering 2) and one of the baths. Off the back there is a glorious deck with a palm plant growing through a landscaped hole in the far corner. It’s a wonderful space inside and out and has great potential.
Let’s meet the owner, shall we?
Jay has lived in this house on and off his whole life. He inherited the property in the mid 2000’s, but has been living in Japan until just recently. Now he’s back stateside and there’s lots, lots, lots of work to be done.
What has to be done?
I suppose I should make a list. Perhaps I will update a formal one sometime soon, but for now, let’s just focus on the immediate. The home is filled brimming with 30+ years of family history and memorabilia, which is an impressive thing. However, the time has come for Jay to make the space his own. He has designs on staying stateside and making a go at a life here in his family home, which means much must be done at the property. Just to give an idea, here’s a basic, off the top of my head list of things that needed repair when we arrived here:
- Deck needs replacing due to rotting boards
- Kitchen appliances need repair or replacing
- Broken dishwasher
- Broken oven
- Broken (but still somewhat functional) stove top
- The Washer and Dryer are hanging on by a thread (Which is impressive. They’re one of those stacked together units you still find in some apartment buildings, but they are from the mid to late 80’s and still making a go of things. I’ll give it up to Maytag- planned obsolescence my ass!
- Floors need resurfacing
- Furniture needs repairs and replacing
- Siding is starting to rot and needs replacing
- Windows no longer to current hurricane code and need replacing
- Much, much more
We began by emptying all of the rooms and closets of trash. I don’t mean to say that the entire house was trashed, but rather that 30 years of papers, old information and random hoard level collections had to go. It took our bird-loving Zoltar fan three rounds before the house was truly even close to livable. Which is where we are now.
So now what?
Well, there’s still much work in the gutting department to be done. No less than 14 bookshelves, most filled with old, rotting books (the sea air breeds unhappy things for books here.) and ancient, useless paperwork are being torn down and removed. Closets brimming with old, broken furniture are being emptied. Spaces are being gutted and re-purposed to suit Jay’s needs.
The idea is to salvage as much of the old, broken furniture as possible. Not with the intent of keeping the space as cluttered as it truly is, but there’s no reason an old dresser shouldn’t have a new life as a happy little mudroom bench. This is where I come in.
I’m not trained. I don’t have a history of carpentry or building. I don’t know much about “that sort of thing”. But I’m clever, I’m crafty and I’m available for the cheap, only requiring the paint and supply budget as well as the occasional cupcake. You can’t beat those prices, eh?
What transpires within this blog will be the (hopefully) successful renovation of a wonderful property. I’ll take photos of the projects, post updates about new developments and let each and every one of you laugh with me as I make spectacular messes of things. I’m going to learn by reading, researching and asking, but mostly by doing. If I can pull this off, I know you could do it, too. And isn’t that what all of this is really about? To inspire, and in turn, be inspired? If my crazy antics with a paint brush and a power tool can get one person to take a chance and try something new, then that’s just freaking awesome.