Friday, December 5, 2014

I Can See The Light! A Tale Of Updating A 1940's Duplex

Welcome to the shared foyer. The new tile has been installed and the walls havebeen painted.  This view is looking into the "A" side of the duplex. The outside porch has reddish tile, so I chose this modeled one that would blend with it, the black front door and the hardwood flooring in the units.
I have tried to keep in mind this is a rental and make choices that will hold up to wear and tear.  
The reason this duplex appears to be a single family home, on the outside, is the shared foyer. This view is looking into the "B" side.
This has been an extensive renovation! The windows have been replaced, the electrical system has been upgraded, the central heat and air conditioning system has been upgraded, the hardwood floors have been repaired and refinished, the plaster has been repaired and lead based paint has been remediated. Currently, the inside is being painted. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! 
The living room is similar to the "B" side with the exception of the study to the left and the built in. 
The study overlooks the screened in porch. One big change I made was darkening the stain on the flooring. I didn't want golden oak again.  Darkening the stain was also very forgiving when there were flaws. 
The dining room also has two corner china cabinets. For some reason these have required four coats of paint to get them white. You just never know what you will run into when you update an older home.

The kitchen is the last room to be primed and painted. We did add the cabinets on the far wall and above on the wall where the range will be placed. I chose the same granite that I used on the "B" side. It's such a great neutral color. I have found that neutral is "the name of the game" in updating a rental! 
The guest bedroom is upstairs, We have installed new ceiling fans, door hardware and door stops, but tried to keep the vintage look that the older ones had.

This side has blue tile, not green like the "B" side. Please excuse the mess! The medicine cabinet,vanity and faucet have been installed. An overhead light and outlets have also been installed. Remember these older homes often had outlets in the light fixtures that were not set up for hair dryers, etc. I had planned to re-glaze the original sink with the tub, but the sink had too much damage and became cost prohibitive.
The most difficult part of this journey has been  keeping in mind it is a rental unit and trying to retain the vintage appeal and charm of the original items when they had to be replaced.  I only had one color change in this room; color changes cost extra money.
We hope to have this side complete by December 15th! The "B" side is now leased! Next is the garage apartment! Pardon me, but "you ain't seen nothin' yet"!
Thank you for stopping by! I appreciate your kind support during this adventure!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


This is an update on the 1940's duplex I have been updating. We have completed one side and have moved to the next side. It has a similar layout with the exception of an additional study and a large screened porch. 

The plastered wall repairs have been made and the floors are being sanded! Stain is being added to new pieces of wood that have replaced bad older pieces. This will age them before the final stain is added.
The new thermal pane windows are installed in the study.  All the electrical system  has been upgraded and new outlets have been installed throughout the home. This unit already had central heat and air conditioning, but we  replaced the entire system due to the age of the former one. The previous tenant also burned up the upstairs unit. :(
The dining room- the french doors have been rebuilt. These doors lead to the screened porch.

The master bedroom ceiling has been sheet rocked. The structure was missing a beam; therefore, we had to demolish the entire ceiling and add one. Yikes!
The  upstairs floors have been stained and top coated. Sorry about the flash spot!

The cabinets have been stripped and the granite and tile have been installed.  We were able to add another set of cabinets for extra storage. 
The laundry room has been sheet rocked and tiled-  tile grouting is next.

Disregard the yucky brick- we're waiting to clean it last. The number plaque, new door hardware and exterior lights have been installed. The brass kick plate will be installed later. 
The outside has been painted. The brick will be cleaned by hand. We opted not to pressure wash it due to it's age.  New shrubbery is next. Fall is a great time for planting here.
Thank you for following along on this journey!  

Friday, October 17, 2014

An Update On The "A" Side

You may remember that we began renovating a 1940's duplex, in May, that my Grandfather built. One thing I have learned is patience! Surprises may be around every corner! Renovations can take longer than building a new house. I think the most difficult part has been that this property is two hours from our home.  I need to be there and here at the same time!
The road or "B" side unit is complete and can be seen here
The former management company removed this railing when they had the roof replaced. I'm thrilled that it has been built back. We are letting the pressure treated wood dry before painting it. 
Once an older property is renovated current building codes must be met. Now, a handrail is required. It mirrors the railing on top of the porch and flat roof of the study.

The left side ("B") screened porch was turned into a laundry room. The "A" side had a laundry room, but we made it match the "B" side. The yellow color is the primer. The outside will be painted with white trim and black shutters.  Repairs will be made to the brick, as needed. 
Welcome to the "A" side.
This is the living room. This side also received new thermal pane windows, upgraded wiring and new central heating and air conditioning.

Surprise number one, termite damage! Beware, scary photos below! 

The header and floor joist

 Yes, he's standing in the crawl space! Termites ate the header under the bay window, the floor joists and sub-flooring. They were hungry little critters! I guess they were full and left before they ate the hardwood flooring.  When renovating an older home you have to look for the sliver lining in the cloud! 
This is the view into the dining room. These units mirror each other with the exception of a study and screened porch on this side. The ceilings are nine feet and have wide crown molding. There are hardwood floors throughout on both floors.
Many years ago, my Dad added a corner cabinet to each corner of the dining room. We lived here before we moved to the county.
The kitchen will be totally renovated and updated. A cabinet has been removed to add a dishwasher. We are saving the cabinets and will add to them around the kitchen.
Surprise number two, leaking  cast iron pipes in the kitchen ceiling! The master bath is above this area. I know it doesn't look like it right now, but the contractor says this house has been well built. He is amazed by the  quality construction. The issues we are dealing with are a result from poor management by the management company.  The ceiling is being furred down to add cabinets that will match the other side.  A built in microwave/vent is also being added above the stove.
French doors open onto the screened porch. The study overlooks this area. We are adding a screening system, in white vinyl, to the porch that will make screen repair easier. I am trying to keep in mind that this is a rental and make things  as maintenance free and easy to repair as possible.
This has been an adventure; I appreciate you following along! Your comments have kept me sane and focused; thank you!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

An Autumn Walk Around The House

Thank you for stopping by today.
 I haven't been able to stop by many of your wonderful blogs and comment because my 95 year old dad fell two weeks ago. He is barely able to walk a short distance, with assistance, now. We're hoping physical therapy will be able return him to where he was, if not better.
 I had this post in draft and decided to publish it to explain my absence. I spend much of my time at the rehab facility. My Ipad isn't the best at letting me comment on your blogs. These days, I have become a Lookie Lou!
 So many of you have emailed; I appreciate your thoughtfulness and prayers for his recovery! You're very special to me!
 I am sharing some Autumn vignettes around our home.
The family tree has become one of my favorite Autumn decorating items. The branches have tiny LED lights on a timer; I love this feature! I can walk into the kitchen and the lights are on at night; they provide such a warming glow.

I painted this pumpkin sign on a cabinet door this week. Sorry for the glare; I had to use the flash.

I shared a cork pumpkin tutorial here. Lately,  I have been a cork pumpkin making fool, for my friends.

The dining room received some golden accents this year. The pheasants were in the family room last year. I did purchase the golden burlap picks form Hobby Lobby. 

The family room mantel has a few additions- pheasant feathers and fabric pumpkins that were in the dining room last year. 

I found this tray at Target (on sale); the mango wood adds such a rustic touch.

The screened porch is my favorite room to decorate. A more detailed, Autumn, decorating post about it can be seen here.

The Autumn home office can be found in the highlighted link.
 I made a deal with myself that I would not buy lots of new decorations, but try to change what I already had. I walked into my storage closet and  felt overwhelmed! I pulled all of my Autumn decorations out and what didn't go out went to a
church thrift store.
I appreciate your time in walking with me around me our home today!
Sending Autumn Blessings your way!

Linking to:
Between Naps OnThe Porch

Monday, September 22, 2014

Welcome To A Porch Party

Welcome to Our Front Porch!
This year, I made a deal with myself, that I would not buy new items to use in Fall decorating. I have far too much and really need to start downsizing my seasonal decorating collections.  You may recognize many of the same items from last year. 
This is my favorite porch. We added it a few years ago. When we designed this we tried to add something unexpected from the traditional design of our home. 

I can't use live pumpkins in this area because Mr. Raccoon likes to come in the cat door and eat things that are on the porch! 
The French trough is a staple on the porch. This year I filled it with the only Hydrangea blooms I had, pinecones and faux acorns. The cold snaps, we had in Spring, really hurt my Hydrangeas. 
My reading area- not much has changed from last year. 

Mr. Raccoon loves to bite the things in this bowl! It you look closely you may see some of his tooth prints! 
Did you notice the flames, in the fireplace, in the other photos? I have a confession- they were compliments of Picmonkey. It's been in the high 90's here and far too warm for a fire this year!
This area changed from last year. I turned the glider toward the pond and bird feeders, so we can watch the birds. They love to bath in the waterfall. I also added this Hungarian baby tub, behind the glider, to hold drinks when we have guests. 
The glider area before I turned it around.
Thanks for stopping by our Fall porches! I hope you're having a fantastic Autumn! 

Linking to: