There’s an old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. He must be chuckling a lot at me lately. Since moving back to my home state two years ago, Hubby and I have been looking for just the right house to buy. We knew we wanted a house that “spoke to us”, had character, and was something that we could put our own mark on. We decided to take our time, pray about it, and knew that with patience and faith the right house would reveal itself to us. As months went by, we looked at many different houses but nothing seemed to be “the one”. We researched all of the surrounding communities, staying open to whatever felt right. However, one thing I was not considering was buying a home in the small town that I was born and raised in. After all…… it was a Mayberry! Very little had changed since leaving there 30 years ago. I had even stated on several occasions, “I won’t ever be moving back there!”………but…..as it is so often the case,when I tell God what I want……and exactly how I want it……… and exactly when I want it…….sometimes His answer is not the one I expect.
While going through my daily ritual of perusing real estate sites to see new listings, I came across this house. Immediately intrigued, I felt as though it was familiar, that I somehow knew this house. Then I realized that I did recognize it, because……it was in Mayberry…….my childhood hometown……..you know,………the town I would never move back to. As a child, I remember driving by this house with my mother, and wondering what it must look like inside, just knowing that those big spacious rooms were beautiful. Ms. Irene built the house with her husband in the early ’70’s, a prominent businessman in Mayberry at the time, but she ended up moving into the finished house as a widow when her husband suddenly died right before the house was finished. She lived out the rest of her life there, and as the one and only owner, she finished it with her own personal tastes in mind. When Hubby and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and viewing the online pictures over and over, we decided to go see the house in person. And, of course, we loved it. But it was in Mayberry! We ended up going back several times, each time trying to convince ourselves that it was not “our” house, because after all 1. it was in Mayberry, and 2. it was a total renovation, way more than we wanted to tackle. But, it didn’t work. I could hear God chuckling through every room of that house…….
It didn’t appear that it had been updated since it was originally built and would need extensive renovating, but undeterred, Hubby and I both started dreaming about what the rooms would look like when redone. So…..to make a long story short, yes……we bought it. Yes, it’s true…….God is laughing and I am eating my words!
Here’s just a taste of what we saw when we looked at it the first time. You can definitely get a sense of Ms. Irene’s taste in decor………..she loved pink, turquoise, and green.
Ms. Irene even painted the trim on the windows turquoise…………hmmm……love a little bit of turquoise myself, but this will definitely have to go!
Pink shag carpet was in several of the rooms, including the formal living room and the master bedroom. Custom draperies were throughout and probably cost a pretty penny when they were put in, but they will definitely be replaced. Chandeliers were in every room…….now that’s something Ms. Irene and I can agree on! And many of the rooms had original lead glass windows!
The Master Bedroom is huge……and it was wall to wall pink shag carpet. It was one of the first things we took out. And Ms. Irene dearly loved wallpaper…….and roses…….did I forget to mention the roses? This entire bedroom, including three closets, is completely covered in pink and green rose wallpaper. Oh my. This should be fun.
One of the four bathrooms……..this one is pink in theme……….I also have a green one and two blue ones. However, there is a positive in this bathroom……..the original marble countertop and lovely leaded glass window!
I would have probably bought this house just on the foyer alone. It is beautiful with a gorgeous curved staircase with iron railing that was hand forged at the local foundry when the house was built. Planked ceiling…..yay!………and did you see the chandelier………it’s huge……….Ms. Irene had very nice taste in lighting!
The wood paneled study is simply beautiful with the original parquet floors. This will be my office when it is finished and I can’t wait to get started on it! There are fourteen rooms in all so this is just a little taste, but you get the idea……….they are all stuck in 1973!
Renovation began with the kitchen. This is a major leap for Hubby and I. We are basically DIY virgins when it comes to home renovation. I have always painted and wallpapered…..you know, the easy stuff……..and Hubby?……..he’s completely allergic to any kind of home remodeling. Or at least he was. I’m not sure what has come over him because he is loving the entire process! Well…..except when he runs into something that he doesn’t think he can do (like electrical). I just tell him, “How hard can it be?” and hand him a YouTube video to watch! So far, it’s working!
Kitchen cabinets have come out………………….
Tile floors have come up………not easily……..but they did come up!
And the popcorn ceiling has come down. Ugh.
Now it’s time to start putting it all back together…………..my absolutely gorgeous farmhouse sink is finally in……………we had to literally modify the sink cabinet for it to fit.
We have covered all the soffits with wood which will visually extend all the cabinets up toward the ceiling.
And we have finally finished planking the ceiling, adding the crown moulding, and decorative trim to the existing cabinets.
And we have hung a couple of chandeliers………Ms. Irene is surely smiling about that! I am going to pickle the planked ceiling and next week the oak hardwood floors will be going down. And….surprisingly…….we have done all of it ourselves…..and on a tight budget! We have not run into too many snags that we couldn’t fix, the word “divorce” has only been mentioned once, and there has only been one injury………..it was his fault really………and yes, it probably did need stitches……….but the frog tape from Lowe’s worked fine and we were able to continue with the renovation without interruption!
Stay tuned for more updates!