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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: Landscaping

We worked hard Saturday in the 90 degree heat on the landscaping and fine tuning the lot at the Indiana project. There is a lot to be done. When a house is under construction for many months and work trucks are driving all over what was already a poor excuse for a lawn, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Back sconces

front planting beds

Construction debris has to be raked away, dead limbs have to be cut, existing shrubs have to be pruned/shaped, a lawn may have to be installed.

plantings beside rear deck


Indiana roof

We purchased our plant stock back in January, so it was transported over, unloaded and ready to be placed. My Mom and I typically do the layouts and we shoot from the hip when it comes to landscape design.


Light over back door

We are far from done after this weekend but its a start.

Juniper closeup

Some friendly neighbors came over and asked to tour the house and we obliged. They spent a while inside and emerged with some pretty positive feedback. I happen to know which house is theirs in town and I’m pretty impressed with their home but they want to move to Indiana! They described our renovation as “breathtaking”…this makes me feel great. After all, this is a huge risk and to hear something like that gives you a tiny bit of relief.


Indiana Project: Exterior Lighting Selected

Some of you might be wondering what the outcome of the exterior lighting deliberation was for the Indiana project.  I did make my selections and here’s what we ended up with,

Rutherford sconce Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware’s Rutherford sconces for the back of the house. I know, it wasn’t on the list.

And for the front, the Sea Gull fixtures (#13).  Right now I’m having second thoughts about the Sea Gull, its a little small.  I’m considering ordering the Rutherford for the front too.

Also purchased was #3, the swan neck will be mounted over the back door. Its a pretty big fixture in the box, the electrician will hold it up in place tomorrow so we can see if it will work.

Indiana outdoor lighting


Around Town

Its been a busy couple of days as the Indiana project nears completion.  I have to make sure that I have all of the materials in place for the different sub-contractors that are there now finishing up.

On Monday I drove a big Ford Super Duty truck to a city an hour away to visit the granite wholesaler Cosmos in person. My goal was to bring my own granite slab back to avoid waiting on it to be delivered.  I failed, the folks in the warehouse said it was far too dangerous for me to haul it myself even though I borrowed the local stone fabricators A-frame.

I’ve been running around a lot balancing my real job with finishing this project. I’m sorry for the scant posting, things will pick back up soon.

I did manage to squeeze in a visit to Karen’s Attic recently to help my friend Amanda in her search for all sorts of furniture.

While I was there I snapped a few pictures and sent them to her.

the estate of things chooses vintage school lockers

Vintage school lockers, great for storage in her son’s room


A surfboard to mount on the wall in her son’s room and yes that is a fish tail in the right of the frame. That tail belongs to a pretty amazing looking swordfish. How awesome would that be mounted over a sofa!?!

the estate of things chooses antique pine table

a candidate for a breakfast area table, paint it white!


Indiana Project: Front Door Color

With all of the exterior painting done with the exception of deck stain and touch up, we turned to selecting an accent color for the front door.

After considering blue/grays, white, greens and gray (boring!) we gravitated towards red, deep coral or a gold.

My Mom suggested the gold, both she and my Dad really like Benjamin Moore’s Goldfield. I like Spanish Red.

paint sample goldfield Paint sample Spanish red

My goal here is to find a color that is both fun and sophisticated. I want to totally distance myself from the dreaded “whimsical”.

Samples are up,

the estate of things chooses indiana project front door photo

And your vote is?


Indiana Project: Mistake?

During the course of the Indiana project a curious neighbor has frequented the job site. She has readily offered her opinion to the carpenters working at the house and they in turn share those opinions with me.

In the beginning she shared a lot of praise, saying that the family that lived there would be bursting with happiness to see what we had done with the house. These days she serves up opinions on paint colors and a little criticism.

Last week she walked in for her weekly tour. Upon entering the master bath, she exclaimed “oh mistake” and added “no tub in the master!”

waterworks tub

Waterworks tub

Ms. Neighbor should know after research and deliberation we chose not to squeeze a tub in to that space. She might also like to know that most people that I questioned never used their jetted garden tubs.  The real estate agent assured me that it was not a deal breaker.

Maybe Ms. Neighbor was comforted when her tour continued upstairs and she found a tub in the bath up there.

For the sake of comedy and a little irony, you might like to know that Ms. Neighbor’s house resembles the creepy Klopek house from the movie The Burbs.

The Burbs Klopek house

the estate of things chooses the burbs movie

Whats your take on the tub in the master? Necessary, obligatory, unneeded amenity? And I already know what your answer is Betsy!


Indiana Project: Outdoor Lighting

It is time to select the outdoor lighting for both the front and back of the Indiana house.  As we approach completion, finish electrical and plumbing work are next on the list.

I usually purchase both the interior and exterior lighting from various online sources. One retailer that I often return to is CSN Lighting. CSN Lighting offers a variety of lighting ranging from landscape lighting to interior track lighting.

I’d like for the fixture to have a little of the craftsman element but not too obvious. Do you have a favorite here?

Indiana outdoor lighting


1. Sea Gull Lighting 2. Craftmade Outdoor 3. World Imports 4. Kichler Alameda 5. Progress Lighting Aberdeen 6. Minka Lavery Townsend 7. Maxim Lighting Cubes 8. Maxim Lighting Craftsman 9. Martha Stewart Arts & Crafts 10. Thomas Lighting Mission 11. Arroyo Raymond 12 Arroyo Berkeley 13. Sea Gull