Monday, October 19, 2015

Landscaping Complete!

Good Morning, friends! 
Dad is getting over pneumonia now. He is weak, but feeling better. What a blessing his 24 hour caregivers are to us! I do stay very close though, in case he needs me; he's so frail.  
You have been so kind to indulge me by reading about the journey of renovating the duplex and the garage apartment. I have one more post on this project.
 Two weeks ago we landscaped the backyard and garage apartment. I'm thrilled with the outcome! We rototilled and amended the soil with mushroom compost, cow manure, lime and top soil. These plants should be growing like crazy by this time next year. 
I had these trees removed because the roots were encroaching into the storage area . 
This is the back of the storage area/garage now. We installed coral Drift Roses, Lo & Behold Blue Chip Butterfly bushes and a Hinoki Cypress. 
Before- OMW! 
After, a Camellia and Crimson Fire Loropetalums.

A few stepping stones lead the way to and from the garages. One of my favorite plants, an Edgeworthia or Chinese Paper Bush is in the background. It blooms, in January, with the most gorgeous white blooms. 
After- The Sunshine Ligustrum should reach the bottom of the windows when mature. The Crimsom Fire Lorapetalum should stay around two feet in height.  Meadow Sage surrounds the Hinoki Cypress. 

Encore Autumn Embers Azaleas surround the steps to the storage area; these are one of my favorites. Yew Podocarpus has been planted at the corners of the building.

Just a reminder from the first day I saw the duplex.

 A tree was across the house and had been that way for some time.

Today, renovated, updated and landscaped.
Thank you for following along on this journey with me.
I has been a year and eight month adventure!

What really made me smile, these cute pumpkins!
We are blessed with great tenants that care about the property!
Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fall Vignettes & Tour

Friends, thank you for your kind messages and prayers for Dad and me. He did contract pneumonia, but is better now. We are blessed to have wonderful caregivers. For now, we are back to 24 hour care. Dad hopes to be stronger soon and be able to stay alone at night again. He is quite an inspiration to me.
We were rained out on our landscaping project in Rome, but hope to complete it this weekend.  
All the units are rented! What a blessing to have such wonderful tenants! If you missed the renovation projects you can find it throughout my blog. 
Adding seasonal decor to our home is therapy for me. I'm sharing Fall vignettes from around our home today.
This year, not much has changed on the office mantel, so I'll move on. 
Mu grandparent's library table holds a cotton garland. It seemed appropriate to me because they were cotton farmers and owned a cotton gin. 
A pumpkin, from "Timewashed" sits under a wire cloche. 
A wreath, from Hobby Lobby, graces the dining room table. I love this because it's so simple and easy. 
I added the gold leaf garland and pinecones to dress it up a bit. 
Funny, I have never been fond of orange and now I am. I have splashes of it around our Fall kitchen. 
The island has a vignette (scales) that I have used before. I have been on a mission to use what I already have and get rid of items I didn't use this year.

I have decided to leave this chalkboard up year round and add seasonal quotes to it. Last year I made the cork pumpkins and am still having fun adding them to Fall vignettes. 
The birdhouse has become a favorite of mine. The candle is on a timer; it adds such a warm glow to the kitchen at night. 

Thank you for stopping by today!
Sending many wonderful Fall blessings your way! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall Is Here!

It's been such a long time since I have posted.
 Dad fell, gashed his head and had several upper respiratory infections. He has one now and requires 24 hour care. I go back and forth to his home and Rome. We are finished with the renovations in Rome, but still have the landscaping to complete around the garage apartment and backyard of the duplex. We will complete that this weekend. I'm so excited to be wrapping up that project.
 I appreciate your kind emails and messages on Facebook. Your concern, support and prayers are appreciated!
Well, let's welcome Fall on the screened porch! Fall is one of my favorite seasons for the porch. We enjoy fires, at night, as the weather cools. We are fortunate to enjoy them throughout most of Winter too.
 Just a tiny change here- the white pumpkins topiaries moved from the front porch to the to the screened porch this year.
This French trough has always been a challenge for me to decorate. It's huge and requires so many items to fill it. First, I stuffed it with paper, then added the pumpkins, antlers and fillers. I found the pumpkins at Walmart. Surprisingly, they look pretty real. 
The Wedgewood plate is a thrift store find. 
This is a small vignette by the fireplace. I'm recycling the cabinet door sign I used in the kitchen last year.  I'm not adding many Mums this year because I don't want to keep them watered- lazy, I know.  
The rest of the porch is the same as last year.
 I'm really trying to stop buying items and shop the house and use what I already have.
Happy Fall!
Thank you for stopping by! Your friendship and support is appreciated!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Evolution of a 1940's Duplex & Garage Apartment

It has been so long since I've posted. I have been burning the road up trying to complete this project in another city. You may remember that we began a renovation and update, on a 1940's property, in May 2014. First, we renovated the duplex.
 This past January we moved to the garage apartment. Throw in some hospitalizations and surgeries for Dad, my contractor and me and it has made for a very interesting year. 
Let me refresh your memory with some before photos of this unit. Hang on; they're aren't pretty! 
I was totally shocked to see the condition of all three units; this one was terrible! As you may remember, Dad turned the property over to a management when Mother died 25 years ago. She kept the property pristine and he thought they would do the same thing.
The tenant converted the garages to his personal storage during his 20 year stay. He boarded the garage doors and added the door you see here.  A lawn company was paid on a 12 month contract to do the lawn. I love the ivy growing up the building and inside the windows.  The building was also sagging in the middle. 
The side of the garage apartment contains a storage room and workshop. The far door is the entrance to the garages.
Nice shade of blue- hummmm? The yard service missed the falling tree! Imagine that! 
Here it is today! The garages are open and functioning again! Laminate beams corrected the sag. I think I could use a few of those myself! The rear of the screened porch is now a laundry room. Please excuse the yard; I have landscapers there now working away. 
Can you believe this is the same place? The contractor added wide steps so furniture can be carried up easily. The landing at the top of the steps has room for a table and chair set. After the steps cure we will stain them. The landscaper will also add shrubbery around this foundation and we'll plant grass when cooler weather arrives.
Nothing quite says welcome like a washing machine at your front door! We took half of the screened porch and turned it into an enclosed, tiled laundry room.
The kitchen after the tenant moved- so yucky! We took out the kitchen wall and opened it to the great room. The water heater
 was moved to the garage below.

The kitchen wall demolition- all the original walls were tongue and groove boards! I wanted to use these walls, but the inspector wouldn't allow us to. When we took out this wall he changed and made us go back to new construction building codes! It has been a costly nightmare adventure!

My contractor built the cabinets. I added a granite back splash with the granite counter-tops. I think it will be more durable than grouted tile. 
 This is the great room after 20 years of someone smoking in it. There were two layers of carpet over hardwood floors. I removed the window on the wall by the entrance and raised the height of the windows to gain additional space for furniture. 
I removed the wall in between the guest (blue) and master bedrooms to make one large bedroom. The master bedroom entrance stayed the same. By removing the wall we gained two feet in the bathroom and another wall for a piece of furniture.
The master bedroom- I raised this window too. I thought it might be a nice place for a dresser or desk. The small walk-in closet was the only closet in the bedroom. The guest bedroom didn't have a closet.

The demoed bedroom- We removed the window in the original bedroom so the closet would have lots of wall space.
Now, the guest bedroom is part of the master bedroom with a huge walk-in closet, the width of the room. I really love the look of the double closet doors.  The opened door is the new bathroom entrance.

Part of the reason the building had a sag in the center was the tenant made a shower where there was none. It rotted the wood around the tub, floor and beams in the garage. In this photo, we had torn out the tile to see the damage. 
 The new bathroom is two feet larger and has vintage styled black and white tile flooring. I still have to buy the glass shelf that goes under the mirror- oops!

Sadly, the vintage tub could not be saved.  I re-glazed the ones in the duplex, but this one was far too rusty. 

The inspector was a bear on this property! He made us add all new plumbing lines and electrical wiring. He cost me the center garage by making me raise the size of the out going sewer line. I had to scrap my wainscoting, crown molding and shiplap accent wall. :( 

The best part is my car fit in the garage!!! 
After many years the garages are open again and the tenants have a place to park where their cars are protected. 
Woot! Woot! 
I'm thrilled!  
Thanks for following along on this adventure with me.