Thursday, May 17, 2018

Home Tour

Y'all come on in. Yes, that is truly how a Texan welcomes you to their home! Although the TV show Dallas put a lot of attention on our City in the 80's, there is a lot about that show that is not really Dallas.

We don't all wear Cowboy boots, or Cowboy hats. We don't all have an interest in oil and certainly don't all have a ranch!

But, it also brought to the attention that Dallas could have style. Not just in the way that people dressed, but in their homes.

The 80's brought Texans to attention and we have continued to embraced our homes and demanded that homes have style, details and a sense of comfort for our families. A place to easily entertain. We love to host a party! We like our brick and stone. We want a mix of materials to keep things interesting.

I've been fortunate to live in many different cities and states over the years. Including Tampa, Denver, Atlanta and at least 4 different cities in Texas. I am always surprised at how Texas homes and buyers are more demanding in what they want. Other homes in other states are often dated, boring and priced at much higher price than the homes in Texas.   HGTV has brought attention to stylish homes and the value of a good design to the World.  So y'all the gap is closing! We now see the value of a beautiful home, maintaining our investment, and keeping things current.

All that to say, come on in y'all and take a look around....let's step inside. I love how you can quickly see all the main areas of my home when you enter the front door.

Welcome to my living room...I'm not all white sofa's and chairs over here. I do love that look, but, it's just not practical in my world. I have pets, kids and since we move a lot because of my husbands job, I need durable. Pieces that will hold up well and look great in many different scenarios. So I choose my neutrals in darker colors, leathers, chenille's, dark wood...

I am also a big fan of dark wood floors. As time marches on I also tend to become more aware of our environment, so, when we move to a home and it needs an update I look for low VOC and sustainable materials. I can't always afford them, but, I look for the best option in my price range. There are many ways you can update and be respectful of our Earth. With that said. Wood floors are an investment for any size home. So, I want them to look great, add character and warmth to a home. Mine are NOT hard wood in this case! I chose Cali Bamboo floors, they met all the requirements. LOVE them! I chose the Distressed Java 5" 5/16 width. They are a nice medium color that lend themselves as a great backdrop to many different styles and colors. They have a 50 year warranty, are equal to hard wood floors and look and feel great.

and no we really don't have many reasons to light a fire but we love to decorate a mantle and make things cozy in the winter time. I like plenty of room to stretch out with a good book or have my 4 kids and their friends over. So I chose two complimentary sofas and a big over sized chair for this room. Our home is open. The previous owner loved dark colors. Possibly a left over to the late 90's Tuscan themes. Those colors just were not me. I knew I wanted the home to feel light, bright and comfortable. We got rid of the light brown ceilings and painted them crisp and white. I know not everyone likes a white ceiling but I like light to flow through my home, a white ceiling allows natural light as well as lamp light to flow easily from one space to another.

From our living room we can easily walk into the breakfast room and kitchen. Pull out a chair and sit for awhile with a glass of ice tea. Yes, y'all it is sweet and cold! I'm a bit traditional, I bought my first antique piece when I was 16 years old from the money I earned at my first job. It was a lovely piece from a local estate sale. My friends thought I was crazy. LOL. I love old wood and the history of a beautiful piece of furniture. My kitchen table is Tiger Oak and was hand made in France by my husbands great, great grandfather. They brought it with them to America. I love that we have the documentation and history of this table. The Antique ice box was my grandfathers. It was in the house he grew up in. Covered in a hundred layers of paint, he was using it to store dog food for his hunting dogs when I spied it and bartered him out of it! The new containers for dog food and the hours helping him at the dog kennel where he raised his Walkers and Beagles was worth it. The bonus was my momma spending the rest of the summer helping me strip it and bring it back to life. I refinished it in 1985 and it still looks beautiful today. I love the pieces and the memories they bring.

Another thing that is important to me in a home is LIGHT! Good lighting is so important. When we bought this house there was a single bulb fixture in every room and/or a ceiling fan single light in the bedrooms and living room. It was dark. I added the can lights in the living room, kitchen, and Master bedroom and upstairs game room. I also added under cabinet lighting, the two birdhouse style pendants over my kitchen island. I love lamps too. I want to be able to see to do a project with these old eyes of mine or turn things down and cozy up with soft lights and snuggle with my honey.

Do you spy my corbels? I have lugged these around to the last 4 houses I've owned. I bought them on clearance and knew they were perfect for a project...I just didn't know it was going to take me so long to find the right project! husband shakes his head when I bring these things home. I love how such a simple detail draws your attention to this bar area. I also chose to have my counter increased from the measly 12" it was so that you could really sit and eat or lay out a buffet! I don't know why builders always make the bar area more like a shelf than a place to actually sit and eat?!

The tile floors were original to the home. I like to choose my battles and expenses! Like I said we move often and this home might be a 2 year, 5 year or forever home. We will see. The floors were in good shape, no broken tiles and although I prefer something a little more modern and lighter, they worked well with all the choices I made for the home. So they stay.

I love white kitchen cabinets! I love that the look and feel clean. Love that they stand the test of time and it's so fun to decorate with such a bright backdrop. My counters are a leather finish of Quartzite in Fantasy Brown. Y'all, I LOVE my counter tops! I would have loved anything that was the green with pink flecked laminate that was there previously but when I saw this stone I knew that was it. It holds up in the kitchen. We cook a lot. We have 6-7 people busy in this kitchen at times, so spills and messes happen. With a simple wipe all is forgiven. They are beautiful in every light. I wanted to do a butcher block counter top for a long time. I decided this was my opportunity to shake things up and install a warm piece of butcher block on my kitchen island. It's been great. I sealed it with Watco Waterlox sealer. It is been in for over a year now and has warmed up even more but handles the day to day abuse my family throws at it.

Come on over to my dinning room. This is where our family eats 50% of our meals. We eat breakfast and lunch mostly in our breakfast room. But, we have an extra mouth or two on most nights so we usually wind up in the dinning room.

This room used to have a door coming from the kitchen and a door to the office. The doors hit each other and limited the space you could use for your table and chairs. I removed the door from the kitchen because I knew it would never be closed and just was in the way. I also removed the door to our office and added a barn door there. I wanted something that was interesting to look at and wouldn't cause a disruption to the flow of the room. My barn door is new. Yep, it is a simple pine shaker door. I bought the barn door hardware and installed it. I then took my new door and debated about a minute with painting it white or a pop of color. I then decided I really wanted an old door but y'all they are crazy expensive in Texas! A good reclaimed barn door can run from $800 on up and they don't last long. You have to be willing to buy them on the spot. So, I took nails, chains, screws and hammer and went to work beating up my "new" barn door. My dad wondered several times why I was beating up a perfectly good door. I then took 3 colors of Minwax stain, walnut, honey and classic black. I love how the door turned out. It works for me and I don't have to worry about it getting scuffed, a dog rubbing against it or children slamming it. The more dings the better.

Speaking of offices, let me show you ours. It is tucked behind that door and works perfectly for a place to work outside of the hustle and bustle of our home.

My husband offices from home so this space is used everyday by one or both of us. I chose a color that would be stimulating but still relaxing. This is SW #9057 Aquitaine. It is a lovely blue gray with just a slight green undertone. We also decided while we were doing the work we would add 6" baseboards to this house. Do you like large baseboards or do you prefer you baseboards to be smaller? I really like the beefy baseboards. I recently had the honor of restoring my childhood home. I realized that the original baseboards in that home from 1940 were 5". I guess that is why I always prefer them larger. It's what I was used to seeing.

Speaking of color. You probably noticed that the rest of my home, accept this office and my daughters bathroom are all the same color. I do like to use a "whole" house color. It creates a nice backdrop for your home and allows you to choose colors or trends by incorporating them into your furnishings and window treatments.  I chose SW #7036 Accessible Beige for my home. It is a Greige not a gray. I tend to like a little more warmth in my home. I had it lightened by 25% for the majority of  my home. I used it at regular tint for my media room and upstairs bathroom and carried the color across the ceiling in my upstairs rooms. I wanted to carry out the "media" room feeling of a little darker and cozy space.

Let's run on upstairs and look at that space before we head back down to see the bedrooms and baths downstairs.

 Here you can really see the way our Cali Bamboo floors have such a rich color variation and you can see the character of the distressed wood. We use this space for family movie night, to work out and hang out. In a pinch we can add the air mattress and have a fully guest suite for our out of town visitors. This space really is the definition of flex space.

Our bathroom is perfect for this space. The plumbing was here but the space was left incomplete. So we enclosed the space with walls, added a shower and created the perfect 3/4 bath for our needs. Through those double doors is a fabulous 6' X 11' Storage closet! 

Let's head back down and we will wrap this tour up with a view of our bedrooms and other bathrooms.

First we will peek into my teens room and the bathroom that she uses daily and also supports most of our guests.

 We have fairly generous rooms in this home. The secondary bedrooms are 12' X 13'. That allows our daughter to have her desk in her bedroom. She likes that she can use it as a vanity space as well. Since we chose a whole house color I asked her to work with me and not against me. You know what I mean. At first she was bummed and wanted to really make this room her own. So we started discussing ways to do that. She found these fun gold circles by Wallpop and added them to her room. She then found the cute jewelry holder shaped like a dress form at a local garage sale! Yep, she is her mother's daughter. Shhh...she likes to pretend otherwise! Her bedding was where she could really bring in her favorite colors and patterns. All in all she loves her room and I'm happy that it is easily to transform with her as she continues to grow and her taste change. The other fun little update we did for this room was add the cute flower shaped fan. Isn't it fun?

She loved the Aquitaine color we used for the office so we chose that for her bathroom. She thought it was meant to be when a shopping trip to Target turned up this gold polka dotted shower curtain. So fun. You can't really see her beautiful quartz counter tops in this picture but she chose Calacatta Classique for her vanity top. I was able to find it as a remnant at the stone yard so the savings allowed us to add this higher priced material to her space.

And if our guests want to stay on the main level we have a room just for our guest.

This room is a generous size, again it is 12' X 13', but I wanted to use a queen size bed for our guests. that proved challenging with the way the room was designed and where the doors and closet were. I usually don't like to put a bed in front of a window, but in this case, it truly was my only option. I ended up using my traditional canopy bed. framing the window as the back drop of the bed.

Now if you'll walk across the house with me I will share my Master suite with you....when you step in from our hallway this is what you see. Again, I love how open the house is.

 I've read that glass block is passe. However, I find that it really works well in a bathroom to allow light and privacy. I also like the texture it adds to this space. So I kept our glass block. This bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub that was leaking and a prefab shower that was tight and dark. Only one single bulb light fixture in the room. I added lights above the vanity, above the tub and above the shower. I also chose a tub that is new but touched on the charm of the past.

Marble tile in a warm beige/gold color make this room feel inviting. I liked adding the modern vessel sinks to mix it up and keep it a little more interesting. Do you like to mix old and new? It keeps people on their toes.

My husband is just over 6'2" so I raised his vanity slightly and he loves not having to stoop to use his sink.

Again, I love my floors!! Never tire of feeling the smooth finish under my feet or enjoying the beauty of them. I don't use a lot of area rugs. I have in some homes but I don't want to hide the beauty of these floors. Yes, my 130 lb. Great Pyrenees is indoors most of the time, especially in the summer. The floors are so durable they don't get marked up at all by her big paws and claws! Now that is something to like.

This room is where my husband and I unwind. We like to read, watch a little news, chat and catch up. Of course we also sleep here. ;) We've often had a very small Master bedroom. Not every home allows so much square footage to be in a bedroom. I love that this really feels like a Master Suite. We have room for our necessities and a sitting area. My pink lamps are my "girly, girl" item in this space. My husband doesn't like a lot of frills, so I keep the room comfortable for him and add the lamps for me! I've also heard padded headboards are OUT, people! Can you believe it? Well, I'm hanging on to mine for awhile. I love to sit against it. I often wonder why I didn't have one sooner. This one is 6 years old but is still in great shape. COMFY! In my book that is worth keeping awhile longer. Do you listen to all the in's and out's of design. Since I design spaces for clients, I do keep up with them, but, like I tell my clients, your home is your home! It has to work for you and feel comfortable for you.

Having pieces that make you smile or feel comfortable to you are part of making your house become your home. If you invest in good quality pieces you can have those for a lifetime. My canopy bed is 25 years old and the night stands still by my bed today are from that set. They are in perfect condition so I don't feel the need to replace them and I like the size function they lend to my space. Again, use what you love in your home.

Now, if your not afraid of a little Texas heat, let's step through my bedroom door and take a look at the back patio.

This is where we kick off our shoes and chill during the hot days of summer. I recognize that a pool is a luxury and we didn't always have one. This is a sport pool (only 5' deep in the center) just big enough to swim a little, play some water volleyball or get cooled off. We also have a hot tub to warm up and relax those tired muscles in the winter.

Do you spy my little pool cabana? I'll write a post on it soon. I love it. However, my HOA does not. We have neighbors that have heavy plastic lawn sheds and several play houses. One play house is 8' tall! But, my little pool cabana is frowned upon. So, I'm not sure how much longer it will be here. But, it is a fun little spot. I can't wait to show it to you and let you see how we created a little hang out space for teen or adults alike.

Well, thank y'all. It was so nice to spend time with you and have you take a look around. I hope you enjoyed your time here. Come back anytime. I'm not Motel 6, but, chances are I'll have a light on.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Home Tour! Lovely West Kessler located Oak Cliff.

Home Tour!

Wow, it's been such a journey. I was able to purchase the home I grew up in from family friends who bought it from my parents 27 years ago. Hard to believe it's been that long, but the calendar proves it has. This project allowed me to act as both designer and General Contractor. I was able to stretch myself and tackle a personal and professional goal. I took the home back to it's studs. Updating all plumbing including the sewer line, electrical, added insulation and re-worked the floor plan for today. There wasn't a single area I didn't touch.

This is how the front looks today.

This is the front of the house when I bought it and how it looked when I was growing up. I've always LOVED the old Austin Stone around the front door. Yes, that is a front porch that is 4' off the ground and does not have a railing of any kind. Oddly enough no one has ever fallen off or been hurt on that porch. Now I do know two rowdy twins that used to jump off it across the bushes to see who could jump the best.

I wont share ever before picture at this time. Maybe on another post. I also have lots of childhood photos in this home. I could share but that might be a bore. Right now I'd like to invite you in to take a look around at this lovely 1940's Kessler Tudor (Architect George Kessler designed the master planned area of  Kessler Park in Dallas, he also designed many of the homes.) This home wasn't in Kessler proper but it was one of his designs. The house has had 4 owners. Do you have areas like that where you live? Old enough that people refer to a house as "The Stephens" house, or the "Stark Sisters" place? That is what Oak Cliff is like in Dallas. It is an area rich with history, art and culture.

I didn't want to make this house a "new" home. I wanted to respect the character and charm of what it was and where it is. That dictated a lot of my design choices. I wanted it to keep that story book feeling it has always had but make it work for how we live today. Tell me what you think and if I accomplished that goal.

This is the view when you walk in the front door. All the wood floors are original to the home. We removed 2 large Coleman Floor furnaces. I am blessed to know a true artists with wood floors. He took pieces we salvaged from another room and pieced them in seamlessly where we removed the stoves and removed walls or widened openings. The home is not truly an open concept house. It was like most homes of that time that every room was it's own space. We did have an arch to our dinning room. I took the arch out and both increased the width and height of the opening from the living room to the dining room. I also took a wall out between the dining room and kitchen so that the rooms are more open to each other and lend themselves to the way we live and enjoy our homes today. No one wants to be blocked off from where everyone else is. Unless your asleep, ha! I also took out a coat closet that made the entry feel tight and closed.

This home, like many, had 8' ceilings. We had an abundance of attic space in this house. So I raised the ceiling in the living room. It's amazing how raising the ceiling in just one room and increasing the height of the doorways can make all the ceilings seem higher. I chose a soft antique white with just a hint of yellow through the main part of the house. I carried it onto the ceiling in this room. The ceiling height is now 14' which also allowed for can lights and a fun and modern over sized fan!

The large picture window that was functional when I grew up in this house had seen better days. The old cloth pulley's had broken and the window had several layers of paint. I replaced all the windows in this house to a more energy efficient home. I decided instead of adding a non functioning picture frame window to this room I would add a sliding door to the porch. It was a great idea. So more useful.

We kept the original fireplace but added a gas stove. The windows stayed in their original location beside the fireplace but I was able to add a pretty leaded glass to this area. 

The dinning room is basically the same as it always was accept now the wall is open to the kitchen and the door that used to close off the upstairs is gone. The beautiful chandelier is not original to the home. It had a brass one. This one was an anniversary gift to my mom for their 15th wedding anniversary. They've now been married 62 years. You do the math. ;)

I added a little plate rack where a recessed area used to be for the doorbell chimes! We actually had long brass chimes that were the door bell. I had to widen the space and then I added trim, glass shelves and dowels to hold the dishes.

Isn't that chandelier pretty?!

You can also catch a glimpse of the kitchen. I had so much fun with this kitchen. It had a wall with a swinging door that closed it off from the dinning room. There was only 4' of counter space. A tiny L shape of cabinetry in  a galley kitchen. The hot water heater took up half the pantry and the niche fro the refrigerator was only 4' tall!  My parents entertained a lot and hosted many family gatherings. Often feeding 40-50 people. The previous owners used to host large community gatherings and she catered. I take my hat off to these women. I honestly don't know how they managed. But, I love how the kitchen turned out. First I wanted a statement piece. I had old flooring and I loved the way the bottom looked. So I attached it to the ceiling exposing all the grooves and age. It turned out beautifully. I then gutted the space and began to design a plan that would maximize the space, storage, and counter space. I needed this kitchen to perform and wanted it to look fabulous in the process.

I stuck with a black and white color theme. It allowed me to keep the vintage charm but still appeal to today. It is a timeless kitchen color combo for good reason. Classic shaker cabinets were chosen, a honed leather counter top in black granite came next. LOVE it! Feels great, easy to work with. Most people think it's soap stone, but, without the fuss. It's just a great counter top. We added this a fun vent a hood  to top off this great Samsung 5 burner gas range, and do you see the corner of the drink refrigerator? People this kitchen has everything you need. We tucked the microwave into a lower cabinet. Added a high performing pantry in black with slide out shelves, so nothing gets lost in the back.

And the marble back splash is pretty but OH be still my heart when I saw this back and white marble diamond pattern tile! This tile is sharp and a little sexy. It really draws your attention towards it.

The floors are done in a black porcelain faux slate. I chose a more modern size and they really do work well. This kitchen has so much storage. We moved the back door over, added a window above the sink to match the two existing windows, took out a tiny little 3/4 bathroom that served as both master and guest bath. It used to open to the kitchen and the master bedroom! UGH. Not a fan of that design but I guess it did work for years.

The old bathroom is where the pantry and back door are now. Do you spy the pantry? And we now have space for a large French door refrigerator! There are cabinets for everything. I truly do love how this kitchen turned out. Sticking with the foot print of the home and due to the location of the staircase, my options were that this would still be a galley kitchen. But, now it is a galley kitchen that can manage anything you can cook up. ;) Pun intended.

I added the leaded glass doors to this area and a shelf for our coffee cups.

Ok, I'll hush about the kitchen. Come on back to the hallway and we will look at the bedrooms, bathrooms and office.

 This bathroom feels like it could have been the original 1940's bathroom. It is in the same location and I decided to keep everything in it's original location. This was the main and largest bathroom in our house growing up. I used some of that beautiful marble black and white diamond tile to accent the top of the bath. What isn't here anymore is the window that looked out onto the long ago enclosed porch, the wall heater, the pink and burgundy tile, the cast iron plumbing, the knob and tube wiring. You get the picture. I did choose a beautiful mosaic marble floor tile in a very traditional pattern. I love the variation of colors it gives to the room. The walls are a soft green. You probably noticed the kitchen is a burnt orange. This home and arts district area lend themselves to a little more color and fun. I was going to replace the linen cabinet, but there was nothing wrong with it and I would have had a custom one made to fit the space. So instead I had all the old lead based paint stripped away and did a little McKenzie Child inspired paint technique. I wanted it to be folksy and whimsical. The vanity was a fun steal of a deal at our local Lowe's! It was a display that was being phased out. the marble top was perfect for this room and since it was a former display the faucet came with! Don't you love it when you find a great deal that works for your home?

Just behind this bathroom in the hallway is the new indoor laundry! Now, before you get all excited this is a sliver of a space that originally was another coat closet or the vacuum closet as we called it when I was growing up in this house! But, the house had never had an indoor laundry space. It was inside the garage. Always. When I started the project I had envisioned enclosing the space between the house and the detached garage. That quickly became a complicated and expensive idea. Don't you hate when reality rains on your parade?! Well, I had to find an indoor laundry option. It's one of those modern conveniences that we've all kind of gotten spoiled to.

My challenge was I didn't want to take away from any of the existing rooms. The house is 2100 sq. ft. It's not huge but all the rooms were nicely sized and I wanted them to stay that way. So I took a sliver from the good sized guest room closet and added the space to this hall closet! Now there is a full size front loader that is stacked. It's a vent-less system by Bosch which is awesome. There is room for brooms and a small laundry caddy. I used an original french door from the house from a doorway that was removed. Honestly people there was a at least two, often 3 doors in every room! I guess it was the original owners vision of open concept. Or it just helped the whole house attic fan that used to be in the ceiling of this hallway. We also took that out. It didn't work and isn't needed with Central air and heat. We also have great insulation in the walls and attic now! Anyway back to the door, it was fun keeping it and putting it on the barn door hardware. It is great when you want to close off the laundry.
At the end of the hall is our guest room... I think this bedroom may have been the largest or at the very least the same size as the original Master. It is a 14' X 15'. It had 3 doors!! One to the original screened in porch that was later enclosed for my brothers, one to the hall and one to the front living room. It has one now. It's now private, cozy and inviting. We replaced the original old window with a large picture frame window. It is beautiful. It is definitely one of my favorite features. It is 5' tall and 4.5' wide.

on the other side of the hall is the Master Suite. Yes, when I re-worked the floor plan I knew I wanted a master suite. Not a bedroom with a bathroom down the hall or a tiny little 3/4 or 1/2 bath. I wanted it to feel like Master Suites you find in homes today.

Let's take a look...

I shortened the length of the hall and took out a door to the original master bedroom and moved where the hallway ended and the door was. This was the middle bedroom and smallest of the three in the home. It was also my bedroom growing up. I also gutted the original closet to incorporate that space as usable space for the bedroom.

This room also had a floor furnace and a wall was removed. Again, amazing floor guy! the original hardwood floors are just beautiful. Warm and feel great underfoot.

I love the space that this room now has and how comfortable it is.

The real challenge and room that proved most rewarding was adding this master bath! This used to be my parents master bedroom!! Can you imagine?

The claw foot tub is new but is still cast iron and feels like it could have always been part of this home.

I found this beautiful old dresser that we had converted to the vanity. The vessel sinks are a nod to modern day and have a gorgeous water color design in the glass. I was very pleased that the plan allowed for a large walk in shower. The tile is a porcelain with a Carrara Marble pattern. The accent tile on the ceiling and band around the shower are a mix of glass and marble and the shower floor is a marble mosaic.

Just off the Master bedroom is the office. It was originally a screened in porch. My dad and a friend from our church enclosed it in the late 70's for my brothers bedroom. It worked wonderful for an office space.

The bonus space is upstairs. We designed it to be a loft style bedroom with a tv area and a full bath.

I used the same soft green on the walls and ceiling as the downstairs bathroom and we painted the small space behind the bed a fun aqua blue.

This room used to stop where the cork flooring is now. It was called a rumpus room. The ceilings were only 5 1/2' tall. We increased them to a hair under 8' to make it a space that passed that codes for today. The 3/4 bath allows this space to work for guest, game room, media room, whatever you need it to be.

That wraps up the inside of the home. If you follow me out back, I'll show you our garage. It truly is a blessing and a sought after commodity to have a garage. Many homes in this area did not have them. Ours is large and detached. We also have a little pergola area we added for entertaining.

I covered the space between the house and garage with a lattice and clear plastic lattice roofing. It allows enough sun in for my planter boxes to thrive and it keeps people from getting wet going from the house to the garage. Again, I admire all the years that people went out in all types of weather to get to the garage. Modern living has spoiled me and I wanted this home to feel good for those who love all things vintage but also appeal to the modern family that loves the character of older homes.

The pergola was added with left over materials. WE put a metal standing seam roof on the property. We only bought a few extra boards for the roof structure. Everything else we had. I love how it turned out.

Well let me walk you back out to our circle drive. Oh, you noticed we went across a bridge? Yes, we have a spring fed creek that splits our yard with lovely stone retaining wall with it's own observation deck. Doesn't it look like a fairy tale? I love this house and love that I was able to give it a new lease on life for another 75+ years.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Come back anytime!