restoration

Mt Vernon House

A Historic Renovation Introduction: The Mount Vernon House

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Everybody, meet the Mount Vernon house… Years ago when the real estate market didn’t have a monster face (remember those days?) and I had already cut my remodeling teeth on my own home, an old boarding house went up for sale. The Mount Vernon house is an imposing structure, built in the Queen Anne style at the turn of the century. It was originally a boarding house which actually served as a sanitarium called Pineshire Sanitorium. I’ve been told that the residents staying at the Pineshire would go up into the cupola where they had a clear view of the railroad station and could see when their friends and family arrived into town on the train.  Its unclear how long Mount Vernon was a boarding house but I understand that it was separated in to apartments sometime in the 1930s. The Mount Vernon house changed ownership a few times in 105 years and sometime in 2004…

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Grout AptA Bath Before After

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Bath

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We started with a shell of a bathroom. When I say shell I mean just framed walls with plywood because the previous owner had at some point demolished the entire bathroom and was in the beginning stages of putting it back in. The shell of a bathroom that we had to work with was not quite big enough so we widened it and gained a few more feet. I also added a window in the bathroom because I just don’t like bathrooms without windows–that really goes for any room, natural light is always a good thing. I had a little fun and tried out a vanity in a color other than white in this bath. I waffled for a while about doing a gray vanity or a camo green vanity but finally settled on blue. The vanity is Benjamin Moore’s Stratton Blue mixed in Pittsburgh Paint’s Breakthrough paint line.  …

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Apt A Living Rm Entry Compare

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Living Room & Bedroom

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Apartment A is the downstairs apartment of the historic Grout Cottage. It is a two bedroom apartment with an eat-in kitchen, one bathroom and a laundry/mudroom combination. In addition to the interior transformation, we also added a deck on the back of the house for the residents of Apartment A to hang out on and enjoy. In the beginning, Apartment A had a pretty odd layout. The apartment had two entrances from the front porch, one that entered the bedroom and the other that entered into a living room. Originally, if you wanted to go to the kitchen and you were hanging out in the living room you had to walk through a bedroom to get there. Obviously one of the first orders of business was to re-work the layout of the apartment. This is the future living room originally functioning as a bedroom with a small existing closet, a…

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Grout Queen of Hearts top

Grout Cottage: Exterior Reveal

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The Grout Cottage was built in 1895 for the Grout Family, who actually utilized it as their guest house. C.B. Grout and family used the early resort cottage for their guests in the early part of the 20th century. The house was converted to apartments some time in the 1930s. The earliest photograph that the Moore County Historical Association has of the Grout Cottage looks like its from the 1960s, so we can’t see it in the early 1900s to determine what parts were original and what was patched over time but we have a pretty good idea that those clipped gables, sunburst motif and paneled cornices are original. We bought this “fixer upper” in the fall of 2012 and before Christmas of 2012 we had started demolition. When we bought the Grout Cottage it was a duplex with two apartments, with an old dilapidated carriage house in the rear,…

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Grout front June

Grout Cottage: End of June Progress

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To review… the Grout Cottage is a Queen Anne built in 1895. It is a duplex that we began remodeling in December 2012. Here’s the introduction post to the house. It’s high time we check in with the Grout Cottage project, there have been some Instagram snippets here and there but let’s talk about a few details. On a good day the Grout Cottage still looks a little like a haunted house but that’s because the exterior transformation hasn’t really happened yet. Earlier this week a young couple drove by and stopped to look at the house. I chatted with them and they said they liked to stop by periodically to see the change happen. They asked me if we were going to paint the exterior and of course I said yes…what color do you think? I said maybe blue/grey, they agreed that would be a good one. After that…

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grout cathedral

Grout Cottage: Checking in Upstairs

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To review… the Grout Cottage is a Queen Anne built in 1895. It is a duplex that we began remodeling in December 2012. Here’s the introduction post to the house. While Apartment A (downstairs) of the Grout Cottage is getting the finishing touches, Apartment B (upstairs) is getting new frame work and a new layout. It doesn’t look like much now but this is the current state of Apartment B after demo is complete and re-framing is well underway, This is what the living area looks like now, The future site of the bathroom and kitchen, And those bedrooms now have real closets with average size doors. So we’re getting there, you have to get through the important structural stuff to get to the fun stuff.

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Grout project: Restore

Grout project: Restore

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It’s finishes like these that bring a smile to a remodeler’s face. When we started the Grout Project, the dark hallway had only a little sliver of an original stained glass window. I decided to keep that little window and expand it in to a larger window to let some more light in. I’m pretty happy with my decision. The big reveal is on the horizon.

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grout b entry

Grout Cottage: Apartment B

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To review… the Grout Cottage is a Queen Anne built in 1895. It is a duplex that we began remodeling in December 2012. Here’s the introduction post to the house. Good Friday Morning and welcome to Apartment B. It’s the upstairs apartment at the Grout Cottage. Let’s hope the stairs can get us safely to the front door. We started tearing the place out this week. I got to it with my camera after the crew had already removed the mounds of personal belongings left behind by the previous tenant. The whole place is clad in beadboard, walls and ceilings. There are angles everywhere. Charming kitchen with open shelving that little shelf below is mounted on a chase that used to house one of the chimneys, you may remember that we have already removed all three chimneys. We had to remove the chimneys that ran from the downstairs all the…

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Grout front

Grout Cottage: Meet & Greet

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I’d like to introduce you to my newest project—the Grout Cottage. She’s hurtin’ and the people in the neighborhood are delighted that we plan to rescue the house and so am I. For a proper introduction– here are some basic stats, Built in 1895 (the oldest property we’ve renovated to date) Two story, Queen Anne Duplex; two apartments both two bedroom, one bath Has some original stained glass windows German wood lap siding metal roof has small dilapidated carriage house in rear w/ dirt floor Queen Anne architecture will incorporate bay windows to avoid smooth surfaces, one of the unique features in this house is the single cutaway bay window on the right corner with bracket detailing. Moving around to the rear, this is lovely isn’t it. I’m looking forward to improving that upstairs porch. If you’re thinking it looks structurally unsound…you’d be correct. the old carriage house, up close,…

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May Bath Renovation

May Bath Renovation

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I’ve been working on a bathroom renovation for a couple of weeks now. My camera battery went dead before I got to the bathroom so I had to resort to the Iphone. Here’s the bathroom before it got the demo treatment, Nice 80’s shiny brass fixtures and linoleum floor, the conduit running across the baseboard is pretty hot too. How about that random box next to the tub, what does it do? Answer is- nothing really and it was on casters–gone to the dumpster. I think there is a milimeter of clearance between the door and the edge of the vanity. Love the six panel doors in this house. Here’s the plan, shift the toilet over towards the window to allow for a larger vanity new tile floor wainscotting yes, tile or beadboard? custom tiled shower new drop in tub built ins added to use dead space on slanted wall new electrical new…

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Completed Indiana Project

Dear TEOT: Renovation Referrals

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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 HVAC 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…

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Indian Project

Indiana Project: Interior Reveal

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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. Betsy showed you the front of the house yesterday. 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.   After 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…

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Indiana Project: Exterior Lighting Selected

Indiana Project: Exterior Lighting Selected

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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, 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.

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The Estate of Things Indiana House Front Door

Indiana Project: Front Door Color

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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. 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, And your vote is?

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Indiana Project: Master Bath

Indiana Project: Master Bath

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In the beginning the master bath was an extra room off the downstairs hallway that was being used as a den. We knew instantly that this space was wasted as a den and we needed it to become part of the master suite. This was the master bath in mid-April, To create this room, the door in the hall was eliminated, today the shower is now where the door used to be. You no longer enter this room from the hallway. It is now accessed by way of the master closet. Both original windows were removed. I was inspired by a number of custom bath vanities I saw in designer’s portfolios scattered across the internet. Molly Frey Urban Grace Interiors Leverone Design Source unknown Remodeling magazine Traditional Home I didn’t want to buy an off the shelf vanity and I needed a double that fit snug in to a custom…

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