Powered by Blogger.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Carl Stuart Update



Well....we are at the 3-week mark of put-back-together mode at the Carl Stuart house and Wow! what a rollercoaster it has been. Thank you for all the kind words of encouragement after my last post. I was in a paralyzing state of fear and panic after I saw the height and drama of the garage/bonus room but your kind words helped me off the ledge. Since starting we have had to hire 2 different crews to take off the roof, wait out a couple of rain storms (roofless) and switch framing companies, but I think we are on the right track now. 

Here are a few pics to keep you in the loop of the progress:

Just to remind you, here is what we started with:
Stats: 1800ish sq feet 3 bed, 2.5 bath, Ranch Style with hints of mid century architecture.


Here is a little clearer, close-up picture of the house after demolition had started:


And now....


The second story addition has gone up. Now I am just waiting for the right side roof trusses to be installed before I decide how I truly feel about the design. I have a feeling this will be a house you either love or hate and I fully expect there will be members in both camps, and that's ok, I just pray that Rory and I both end up on the love side.

Behind the main house is the garage/bonus room addition that cost me many nights sleep. I think it looks less monstrous now that the second story has been added to the main house, so I'm feeling a little better about it.


Here is a glimpse of the bonus space above the garage:



And now for a quick tour of the inside of the main house:

Welcome to the kitchen and living room:


 It currently feels nice and airy.

This is my feeble attempt at saving the hardwood floors from rain damage:


What do you think the likelihood my tarping will work?? Yeah, I didn't think so.

And here is the mudroom/master suite side of the house.



See all that tape? That is my attempt to show the framers EXACTLY where I want the walls to go. It took me HOURS. I have no doubt the framers were laughing at me in Spanish. They basically framed up an entire second story in the time it took me to lay out the master bedroom, bathroom, and laundry room. But here's the deal...whereas in new construction if you need more space you can just bump out an exterior wall on the blueprint before construction begins, you don't have that luxury in a remodel. You are confined within the exterior walls the house gifts you, so you have to make every inch count and each wall work double time. This is actually my FAVORITE part of renovating an old house. I LOVE the challenge of making the most of every square inch of space. Hopefully, by the end of this week I will get to see my imaginary tape walls come to life. Stay tuned.



Monday, August 27, 2018

What have I done?


Please pardon the grammatical massacre that is about to occur. I do not have time to write something clever or worry about punctuation or run on sentences (not that that is ever high on the priority list here at two-story sister). I just need to vent my worries and concerns about our Carl Stuart home before too many of you drive by and think "what in the world?!?!"

First of all.... Just so you know, as I stood before the almost finished framing of the garage + bonus room addition an hour ago, I too thought "What in the world?!?!" Followed immediately by "What have I done?!?!" Here is the deal.... it's too late to turn back now, so I feel like I should at least explain why I thought this would be a good idea..... so at least you can sympathize and still want to be my friend.

You see....From the beginning, I have felt that this house had a hint of a mid-century vibe. I think it stems from the low pitch hip roof.

Here's a better picture of the roof taken during demolition.


I'll admit it bothered me a little that the house was built in 1978, not exactly "mid-century," but then again sometimes Arkansas can be a little behind the times in design, so I could see how a mid-century house could pop up close to the 80s.  

So just like that a mid-mod story started taking shape in my head.  The challenge was the current footprint did not meet our family's long-term needs, so we decided we needed to expand.  This led to the decision to add on a second story. The problem with this decision was it would mess with the roof line that inspired the original design story. So I had to come up with a new roofline that still complied with the mid-century style. 

ENTER the monoslope or shed roofline.  



Photo cred: Pinterest

VERY mid mod but NOT something we see every day in our neck of the woods. So then I lost many, MANY nights sleep trying to decide if we should go "all in" on the design story with the monoslope roof or play it "safe" with a gable style roof. On the one hand, I LOVE to try new design styles and like to challenge myself and others to not be afraid to try new things. But on the other hand- the hand with ALL my fingers, (yes, I was born with only 4.5 fingers on my right hand- freaky I know, one day I'll show you but for now try to stay with me) I feared this highly visible house would stand out too much and read "showy." But then again, we aren't exactly in a subdivision so if ever there was a place to try out a new style this would be it.  In the end, we decided to go for it.

Aaaaaand now I am second guessing this decision.  The garage addition looks HUGE and really dramatic (thus "showy")! I am trying to not go in full panic mode by telling myself that it just looks massive next to the low pitch of the current house and that it will all make sense once the main house is renovated. But it didn't help when Rory, who is usually the one to calm me down and assure me everything is going to be ok, said, "maybe we should just bulldoze the whole thing and start over."  I'm just going to go ahead and declare this a no sleep night. sigh.

I have more to say, but for now, I will leave it at that. 

Thanks for listening. 









Monday, August 20, 2018

Little House on Duncan Street



Hi, there. Let me re-introduce myself since it's been awhile. I'm Niki, the storyteller of Storybook Homes. Thanks for joining me here at Two-Story Sister...... Although, now that I think about it... I guess I need to look at changing the name of this blog since Sister has been officially adopted by another family and I currently am writing to you from the shared office/living room space of our rental home. As you can imagine, leaving a beloved home that was personified into my third child over the last 9 years, was VERY difficult. As we made our final walk thru our empty home each room flooded me with random memories: 

Wrestling Matches with Rory and the boys in our bedroom.


Back to School Pictures in front of the ever-changing mantel:





Boys anxiously waiting at the top of the stairs each Christmas morning for permission to come downstairs to see what Santa had brought.



Meals prepared in my dream kitchen:



All the birthday parties and sleepovers.





The Adventures of Super Fido.




And the birthplace of Thompson Bro Films and Colby's Creations.


(Did you watch that video? I do realize that I watch it thru my mommy lense but every year my boys get older that video gets both more precious and hilarious to me.)


Not to mention all the memories of the renovations and weekend projects we conquered over the years- truly no room was left without our family's mark. 

(Dear New Homeowner, Underneath the carpet in the playroom you will find this blue and white checkerboard that my boys never fully appreciated.)








Yep, Sister was very good to us and we will miss her dearly.

But for now, we are happily settled into our small rental. Ironically, Rory purchased our current home with the intention of letting Storybook Homes flip her but the story I had planned for this home did not fit within a workable budget so I stepped aside and let Rory and Cole take full control of its renovation with the goal of adding it to Rory's rental portfolio. It wasn't until they were days away from putting a "for rent" sign in the yard that I had the idea that WE should move into the home while we renovate Carl Stuart. 



Not going to lie, downsizing to 1/3rd the size of our previous living quarters has not been without its challenges BUT I think this phase of life will be soooo good for us.  For one, it is showing us what is necessary and what we can live without...... and what we thought we could live without but now desperately wish we could dig out of one of the buried boxes in the storage building. 

In the weeks leading up to the move, I thought about how I would set up our transition home.

One of my favorite blogs is "The Nesting Place" where the Nester lives by her tag line "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". I have always admired the Nester's mantra and remember being particularly inspired by how she applied this philosophy during the period of life she and her family lived in a rental home. She did not let the fact that she did not own her home stop her from creating an inviting space that she happily opened up to friends and family. I always told myself that if I ever moved into a rental I too would make sure to make the most of our space and take the time to decorate no matter how long we might live there. 

Well, guess what? Turns out I am not the Nester. Since moving in I have not hung a single picture on the wall and because I sold all of our beds and bedding in our "Sister Estate Sale" our mattresses are sitting on the floor with what looks like prison-issued blankets and pillows.




But don't worry! Although these pictures seem to imply I have taken a break from our storybook home and that I am "just getting by" during our transitional time in the rental, this could not be further from the truth. My home is still telling a story.... it's just a different type of story than your used to on this blog spot.

You see, from the moment we moved in, my motivation shifted from "The Nesting Place" to "Little House on the Prairie." If you grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books or watched the TV series you know that the infamous "little house" was not known for its' decor but rather for the love that filled the home.  Despite the modest home, there was something enviable about the cozy little house Caroline Ingalls created and the simplistic life they led. I'd call Ma's style "Utilitarian" or even "Tidy." And that is what I am going for here on Duncan Street.

Now if I was being completely honest, this style was chosen out of necessity due to the small space restraints of our rental. However, by simply giving our living arrangement a story it has given purpose to our set-up and has allowed us to fully embrace and enjoy- TRULY enjoy, this phase of living. 

My end goal for setting up house here on Duncan Street was to be neat and functional. I made sure each item we brought in served a purpose, or even two. The only fluff that made the Duncan house cut were the items of decor I was nervous might get damaged in storage. 





Instead of running out and buying cute throw pillows and curtains for our new digs I shopped for plastic storage containers and command hooks to keep us organized. 



We stack our chairs cafeteria style when not in use to give us access to our makeshift pantry. 


The no dishwasher has afforded our boys the opportunity to learn the lost art of hand washing dishes. Aaaaand the NO Frills refrigerator has introduced them to ice trays and the joys of cracking the trays just right to free every last cube. 

Speaking of chores... Just like the Ingalls sisters, our boys have assigned chores to help keep our home functioning and tidy. Now, the Thompson boys have had chores for YEARS, the difference in Little House chores and past chores is I am actually "letting" them do them. You see, in the past, I rarely made it past week 1 of my boys color-coded laminated chore charts before my OCD tendencies would set in and I would take over their chores so that everything was done just right. I know! I know! This is terrible parenting and one day I will have to answer to my future daughters-in-law. (This is also the reason I have never been able to find a house cleaner.) BUT! I am determined to let this Little House style of living train me to allow others to help out around the house. So, in addition to keeping our individual rooms clean, each member has a list of weekly rotating chores. 



It's been AMAZING! While it used to take ALL DAY every Saturday to give Sister a thorough bath, last weekend we had the entire Little House whipped in 2 hours! What freedom!!!

This loosing up of control has also trickled over to my boy's bedroom decor. Colby is so proud of the cardboard box furniture he created..... and I have just let it goooo.


Seriously, I am going to emerge a whole new laid back person at the end of this transition period!

The biggest challenge to our Little House is that it only has 1 bathroom.


But this problem has been remedied by assigning each family member a set "PNT" (private naked time). The rules of PNT are that you can have the bathroom to yourself during your designated 10-15 min PNT but once that time is up, the family is free to walk on in to take care of business. 



Overall, we are perfectly content in our Little House and hope that this story will teach us to appreciate a more simplistic life and not take for granted some of the conveniences our new home will provide. Now if only I could convince my boys to trade in Fortnite for a quiet game of jacks or marbles.  


*******************************************************************************

Coming up: 
Carl Stuart Update- my hopes and fears.... mostly fears. 
The Oliver Reveal! (family moves in this week!) 
And Future Projects

Friday, July 20, 2018

Farewell to Sister and HUGE Estate Sale



Well guys, it is almost time for the Thompson's to say goodbye to our two-story sister. We are set to close in less than 2 weeks! I'm not ready to sit down and really process my feelings about leaving our beloved home, all I know is that when I have allowed myself even momentary brain space to think about moving my eyes get a little blurry and a lump starts forming in the back of my throat.... so I just don't think about it.  Luckily, the Oliver and Carl Stuart projects are keeping my mind fairly occupied so I haven't had time to take a sentimental walk down memory lane with Sister. . . yet. 

What I have been forced to come to terms with is the fact that, in addition to Sister, I will also be leaving behind my farmhouse style. Oh, this makes me sad! Farmhouse/Cottage Style is my absolute favorite. It is the style that I naturally gravitate toward and is the style that I think most closely reflects my character/personality. But, as much as I have fought it, Carl Stuart is destined toward a different path. I kept trying to convince myself that our new home had cottage roots buried deep within its history but the longer I spend with C.S. the more evident it has become that it has an entirely different style story to tell.... more on that at a later time. 

So that means I no longer will be using my farmhouse furnishings and decor. 😢 So sad for me, but if you too love the cottage/farmhouse style, this could be an exciting opportunity for you! Next Weekend, Friday and Saturday (July 27-28), 7am - 5pm.  Sister will be hosting a HUGE indoor estate sale. Basically, the plan is to move everything out that I am planning to keep to our rental so that everything left in the house will be available to purchase. (items previously purchased by new homeowners will be marked SOLD). 

I will also be bringing leftover furnishing and decor from past projects from storage to add to the mix so the inventory should be plentiful. 

I have started packing, sorting, and pricing, therefore currently my house looks like this:



So I'll go ahead and sprinkle some old photos on this page to give you an idea of what might be available at the Sale.


  
(keeping clock, family pics, family verse and a few knick knacks)


  (keeping chalkboard and maybe the baskets)


(keeping buffet)

  (keeping a few knick knacks)






See anything you might like? If not, you haven't seen all the stuff I'm pulling out of cabinets and storage.....

I'm just going to be real honest with ya, life is CRAZY right now trying to move while finishing up 1 project and desperately trying to get another project off the ground, I am meeting myself coming and going; so, if you leave me a message about a certain item or price there is a real good chance I won't see it or have time to respond.  If you don't mind, please refrain from knocking on my door prior to the sale date for an early look around- it will totally stress me out to let you into the chaos that is our current state of home. I'd rather you wait until everything is priced and organized for your sanity and mine.  I hope you understand. I am not planning on early sales but I am not guaranteeing it won't happen, either. In other words, please don't get mad at me. (people pleaser problem).

Hope to see you there! Please spread the word.

Two-Story Sister Estate Sale
Friday & Saturday- July 27th & 28th
7 am- 5 pm
1540 Haley Lane
Conway Arkansas