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Renovating Indiana house

The Indiana Project is a 1,600 square foot home built in the 1920’s in Sarah’s sweet North Carolina town of Southern Pines. This historic renovation took a full 8 months to complete, and got its start in January of 2013. Here on the blog, Sarah recounted the demolition, the woes of construction limitations and bureaucracy, the agony of lighting choices, and the decision, nope re-decision – nah… deciding again over the exterior paint color.

The story of the Indiana House unfolds before us in the chronology of blog posts below.

Indiana Project: This Old House Remodel Contest

This Old House magazine is currently holding a reader remodel competition called “This Is Your Old House”.

Indiana House Exterior Gable detail The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

After working so hard to transform the Indiana house I thought I might take a shot and enter our work in the competition and see what happens.

Follow this link to see my submission and to see other entries in the contest. The winners will not be announced until June.

Indiana House Interior kitchen cabinet The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

After reading the entry I realized I made a typo in the entry submission, which they published. Perfect! My husband is probably shaking his head. In my defense Dan–I didn’t know they were going to post that block.

Oh well, I’ll just hope the renovation does the talking.


Indiana Project: SOLD

You couldn’t have forgotten about the Indiana Project already right? Say it ain’t so, it took me eight months to put a polish on that place.

Well the Indiana Project now has a new owner, it is SOLD. And I couldn’t be more relieved.

Indiana House Exterior The yellow front door The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

If you missed the renovation, we’ve got a new link on the sidebar (right side) that will take you to the finished product.

The closing of that property was trying to say the least and primarily because of the lender. I don’t know about the area you live in but our housing market here has not suffered nearly as much as other places in the U.S. but things are starting to move like molasses here and its primarily the fault of the banks. It appears that the banks are controlling the market here not buyers and sellers.

Indiana House Exterior Gable detail The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

As much as I like to drive around and dream about restoring other houses–I can’t. The market just isn’t right now.

Then my Mom calls and says lets go look at the “pink house”, you want to? Set it up she says. So what did I do? I sent an email to our agent to set up an appointment to see the pink house. Buying is of course another story.


Dear TEOT: Renovation Referrals

Completed Indiana Project

We’ve received some questions about the people that worked on the Indiana Project. I do all of the design work and make all of the decisions but when it comes down to making it happen these are the people who work the magic.

If you live in the area (North Carolina) and think you might need some help with your renovation project or need to make a repair give any of these folks a call, they all subscribe to the “no job is too small philosophy” and they may be willing to travel, just ask.

General Carpentry
Locklear Brothers Home Improvement
Joseph Locklear 910-536-4552

Allred Electric
Chuck Allred 910-281-3026

Doug Smith Plumbing
Doug 910-992-6025

4 Seasons Heating & Air
General # 910-235-0606

TR&L Coatings– paint
Tim Hunt 910-474-6863

Harbinger Wood Floors– floor refinishing, installation and repair
Tom Denza 910-603-1602

Quality Cabinet Company
Bradie Locklear Jr. 910-827-1264

C&K Tile
Chris Chisholm 910-992-6099


Indiana Project: Paint Colors

Indiana House bathroom detail The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

I have to walk the line between personality and neutrality when it comes to choosing paint colors for a flip.

It was very tempting to go really bold in the half bath because it is a small space with white wainscoting so there was a real opportunity to pop out here but not everyone appreciates chocolate brown paint or a vibrant wallpaper.

I am very impressed with Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. Applied in the Indiana house in the dining room and kitchen it resembles white chocolate. All interior colors are Benjamin Moore, here are the choices,

  • Living Room – Stonington Gray
  • Dining Room/Kitchen – White Dove
  • Laundry Room – Silver Sage
  • Half Bath – Winter Lake
  • All bedrooms – Soft Chamois
  • Master Bathroom – Healing Aloe
  • Upstairs/Downstairs hallways – Stonewashed
  • Upstairs bath – White Dove

indiana interior colors

All of the trim work in the house received a nice coating of semi-gloss enamel.

Indiana House Exterior The yellow front door The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

We’ve received several comments and emails about the exterior paint colors. For our new readers you might find it interesting to go back and read the paint selection saga here, here and here.

For a quick review,

From the beginning I wanted to paint the Indiana house a dark color like Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain. This is how the color catastrophe went down,

1st color – Martha Stewart’s Mushroom

the estate of things chooses martha stewart mushroom

2nd color- Martha Stewart’s Rainwater

the estate of things chooses martha stewart rainwater

3rd color- Sherwin William’s Outerspace BINGO!

the estate of things chooses sherwin williams outerspace

The Estate of Things - She Painted it THREE times before nailing it

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Final exterior paint scheme is,

Sherwin Williams, Outerspace

Sherwin Williams, Toque White (exterior trim)

Benjamin Moore, Showtime (front door)

the estate of things chooses sherwin williams outerspace  the estate of things chooses sherwin williams toque white  Benjamin Moore Showtime

I love SW’s Outerspace so much that I think I may paint the Midland house the same color.


Indiana Project: Interior Reveal

Its been over a month since the last of the subcontractors completed their work at the renovation of the Indiana house. Its high time we shared the final product.

DSC_0139 5 copy

Betsy showed you the front of the house yesterday.

Indiana House BEFORE The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell

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Now here is the back of the house-

Before there was a dilapidated screened porch, overgrown shrubs and a strange roof structure built over the entrance in to the cellar. We called it the dog house.


Indiana House Backyard BEFORE


Indiana House Exterior back deck The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

Now for the interior-

Living Room-

The living room was a good sized room that needed some TLC and an adjustment to those built-ins around the fireplace. We took down the curvy trim and the upper portion of the built-ins and had the lower cabinets fitted with double glass doors to accommodate other electronics like DVD players. We knew the perfect and only spot for a television was over the fireplace. Our electrician punched in the right kind of cables, we ripped up that old carpet and refinished the floors and things were really looking up.

Living Rm


Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

Dining Room-

The dining room was a non-descript room with two windows and a swinging door in to the kitchen. We opened the kitchen up and replaced those windows with a set of french doors that lead out on to our new deck.

dining room


Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

Half Bath-

A half bath didn’t even exist. There was only one full bath on the first level which served as the master bath. We created a half bath out of a little borrowed space from the kitchen and a coat closet in the hallway. It was the perfect spot to squeeze in a powder room.


hall closet


Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

The Kitchen-

The kitchen was entirely re-structured due in large part to the relocation of the basement stairwell to the front of the house. The removal of the basement stairwell created an opportunity to open the kitchen to the dining room, create a pantry and shift the appliances around to create a wall of windows over the kitchen sink.

Indiana kitchen before






Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

DSC_0092custom cabinet designed to resemble a china cabinet,



There was no laundry room before the remodel. We framed in a tiny screened porch on the back of the house off the kitchen and made it a great place for hanging coats, putting on shoes and doing laundry. The mudroom also exits out on to the new deck.




Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

Master Bedroom-

We kept all of the original windows in this room, cleaned up the walls of course but most importantly we enlarged the room by a few feet and carved out our master suite, complete with a walk through closet a la Carrie Bradshaw.

master bedroom


A peek into the closet before it was filled with custom drawers, shelves and storage galore.

Master Bath-

The master bath was formed out of combination of a small den/office room and the existing full bath. The end result was a spacious master bath with a custom double vanity and a spa-like feel.




Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

Upstairs Hall-

The upstairs hall was a strange and very narrow, awkward place that is difficult to illustrate through words or photos. The space was being hindered by knee walls and dysfunctional attic space. So we pushed back in to the attic, raised the ceilings and created a reading and storage nook.

upstairs hallway


Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

Upstairs Bath-

Like the upstairs hall, the only bathroom upstairs was being hindered by attic space and slanted ceilings.  The second full bath in the house also lacked a shower and it was carpeted! We pushed back in to the attic here too but still had to deal with slanted ceilings. The end result however was a beautiful tub and shower combination and some more space to move around in.


upstairs bath


Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

indiana upstairs bath

Upstairs bedroom 1-Before

upstairs right bedroom


Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

Upstairs bedroom 2-Before


left bedroom



Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

Indian Project by Beaver Path l CONTACT

So you know I have to hear your opinion now so lay it on me.

If you are planning a move to the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area, Sarah can help you find a fixer or a house that’s ready to decorate because she’s a licensed real estate agent, hit her up for house hunting and selling here.


Indiana House Complete and For Sale

Sarah’s documentation of the Indiana House project, here on The Estate of Things, has been a severe adventure to follow. To us as readers and design/architecture lovers, we’ve had the opportunity to weigh in on lighting choices, renovation woes, and even watched as she painted the exterior of the home 3 times before getting it just right.

I’ve seen the pains and progresses of several projects that Sarah has worked on throughout the years. Her level of passion for these homes and the talent that goes into gutting and re-imagining them is unlike anything that I’ve seen. So much work, for such a little girl!! I love that she painted it 3 times, it really shows her dedication to making these homes an example of historic integrity in her community. It is what separates her and Beaver Path Properties from those playing the flip game in the world of Real Estate!

So, my deepest congratulations on the completion of the Indiana House project!

The Estate of Things chooses The Indiana Project by Sarah Farrell and Beaver Path Properties

Here’s some serious information!

The design and renovation of the Indiana project was a collaboration of Sarah and her parents; they are collectively known as Beaver Path Properties.
In addition to working with her family on renovation projects, Sarah co-authors a design blog called The Estate of Things. The rehabilitation of the Indiana house was chronicled at The Estate of Things. Additional before and after images, more detailed coverage of the project and the design process are covered there.

The Indiana house was originally constructed in 1920, its beginning was most likely as a modest, one-story cottage. Today, the restored house is a culmination of cottage and craftsman elements. The addition of the front entry added necessary dimension to the structure and lends the house a craftsman appeal. The exposure of the original cedar shakes, open rafters and bead board soffits allowed the craftsman and cottage style of the 1920s to re-emerge.
The Indiana house is a total renovation with modern electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. Although the house has been modernized inside and out, the original woodwork was preserved or reused when possible. When designing the addition to the exterior front– the style of the house, the time it was originally constructed and the character of the neighborhood and the town of Southern Pines were all considered.

During the seven month renovation several upgrades or additions were made including a front exterior entry, rear exterior deck, laundry/mudroom, powder room, master bath and built-in shelving.

The Indiana house has 1,900 square feet of living space and is situated on large lot measured at .63 acres. The house is located in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, feel free to drop us a comment or contact us directly!