Monday, March 2, 2015

Virginia Remodel - Master Bedroom

Today's subject is our Master Bedroom.  We took these "before" pictures during our 1st showing of this place.... before the estate sale.  The auction house folks were here tagging items, and they were very unhappy about our looking at the house.  In fact, they were downright rude, accusing us of lying about being from out-of-town to look at the house.  They claimed we were really here to preview their Sale or even to steal some this fine stuff.  Ah, welcome to the South and all that Southern Hospitality. Yeah, my tongue IS firmly planted in my cheek.
Before --
I like looking back at these shots to remind me not to become a hoarder, as the widower who lived here had become.  (Our shower stall was stacked to the ceiling with stuff.) 

What I really liked about this place was all this pretty crown molding found in each room.

Note the wall register near the ceiling.  There is another like it near the floor (somewhat hidden by all the stuff along the wall).  They are the remnants of an older heating system and are no longer functional.  We didn't think much about them at the time, but after we moved in we found them to be problem.  They are a fire hazard.  Because the ductwork in the attic was removed at some point, the uncapped wall ducts leave a channel in the wall that would act like a chimney in case of a fire.  All the rooms had the same thing going on.  Not good.  So, one of the major things we had our contractor address was to remove these grates, put a fire break in each cavity near the ceiling, and then patch the two large holes in the plastered walls in each room. 
The floors seemed in good shape, but there was so much stuff, we really couldn't tell much about the perimeters.  As it turned out, there was some staining from pets and leftover tack strips from a previous layer of forest green carpeting (which still lived in the living room).  All the rooms ended up with mold on the walls.  In this room, there was mold growing in the corners only, but in some of the rooms it was growing in larger quantities -- especially in the kitchen.  Neighbors have since told us the old man kept the windows shuttered for the last several years, so it was no surprise to them that there was mold.  However, since the walls were plastered, the mold didn't infiltrate, and I was able to remove it with a few TSP scrubbings followed by a bleach treatment for good measure.  Don't worry, I wore a mask and gloves, and worked with the windows opened (it was a mild winter that year).
More broken shutters.  Gone.  Old filthy ceiling fan.  Gone.  New ceiling light instead.  Floors patched, sanded and refinished.  Mold on textured walls.  Gone.  Strands of old carpet embedded in the trim's paint.  Gone.  Everything primed with mold/mildew resistant primer.  Now for some color....
 Ceiling painted white, trim and doors painted Gypsum, walls painted Carolina Blue. 
Sometime in January.....after the painting....Move-in Day; only one room was moved into....this one.  The contractors were still here, and there was still soooo much going on in the other rooms, but we no longer had to travel 160 miles a day to work on the place.  We could just retire to our room when we kicked off for the day.  Yeah, that's a throw blanket thumb-tacked at the window for privacy.  Plenty of room for our king-sized bed and a rocking chair with foot stool in the corner. 
After -- It's been two years, now.  We moved all our things into the house in March, 2013, and yes, we've made a few trips to Ikea since.  This is how it looks today.....
Bet you can't find those holes from the removed registers, huh.  The guy who got this assignment did a wonderful job.  That's not a zebra in the corner.  Dad used to rock me in this old rocker.  It, unfortunately, got broken in the move from Ohio.  Sad day, but I found a guy near Yorktown that repairs furniture.  Huzzah!  Its repaired now, but the upholstery got ripped, so I threw a cheap blanket on it for now.

Last year my daughter and I went antiquing in Charlotte, NC, where we found this pair of these 1970s lamps.  While in Charlotte, we shopped Ikea, of course!  The chiffarobe houses my hubby's stuff, and a matching 5-drawer dresser houses my stuff. There are two antique nightstands flanking the bed.  The one in the picture was my mom's mom and is cherry.  The other one looks similar, but its walnut.  I picked up that one at a yard sale several years ago when we lived in Ohio.
Its the small things.....Recently, my daughter came to visit.  While we were just chatting, about somethings in my closet, she turned and said to me "You know, Mom, its the small things that make a house a home".  I'm not sure, but I think she had noticed this hanger. Many years ago, I picked it up as a souvenir at Disney World, and it lived in her and her sister's bathroom while she was growing up.  I guess, in the end, Home is the collection -- a patchwork -- of history and memories. They are just things, but they are coated in layers of memories.

As usual, until next time.....

                                   ~~ Karen ~~


  1. So true about the layers of memories! How nice that your girls share in that sentiment! You and Lee have created a beautiful home, there, Karen! Lots of hard work, but so beautiful.

    1. Aw, gee, Terri. That's so sweet of you. We kinda enjoy bringing a place back to should have seen our summer place at the Beach...we literally gutted it and rebuilt the insides. Breaks my heart to see what the new owners have done to it.

  2. you've made it yours. i'm sorry the shutters were broken. they were truly COOL! :)

    1. Yeah, I'd have liked to keep a few, but we couldn't save them. the thing about shutters is that they eat up a bunch of light....each shutter takes away 4" from each window pane. once we pulled them out, the house was soooo much brighter. so, I guess in the long run it worked out okay.

  3. Great job, Karen. And, you are so right... it is the layers... of little things that make a house a home. Yours is wonderful! blessings ~ tanna

  4. I'm glad you can enjoy the fruits of your labors ... you have done so much wonderful work! And I think it's hard to find the best place between hoarding and collecting.

  5. Oh Karen how beautiful - you guys have worked so hard and done so well to make this house a home. You're so right about it being the little things -


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