Tag archives for Living

Renovation Story Part III: Interior Floorplans

At the time of purchase, I did plenty of internet research about the history of shotgun houses. I want to share what I learned with you. Part of what makes this neighborhood historic was the period these houses were built along with the traditional layouts and floor plans.

A classic shotgun style home would have only 3 rooms: Front Bedroom, Kitchen, and Living Room. Occasionally, the living room would be located at the front of the home.

Historically additions were added as fourth rooms to the side of the home. In this case, our home had both an addition and an upper floor, which offered 2 additional bedrooms.

You may remember from the previous post…this upper addition of a second floor over the back portion of the home is referred to as a “camel back”. So our home has 2 additional bedrooms.

The interior doorways would traditionally all line-up so that a single mythical “shot” could be fired into the front door and exit out the back door…our house was a little more chopped up than this…here is the original floor plan below.

You may notice the tiny bathroom on the North side of the property. This was likely an addition to the home. Although bathrooms did not exist within these homes at the turn of the 20th century, they were added to large hallways as indoor latrines became more commonplace. Not only did we decide to expand the kitchen into the original bathroom, but I designed a Master Bath to occupy the unused space in a large and grandiose hallway.

The hallway was really unique because of it’s high ceilings. There was evidence of really interesting hardwood floor tiles, but they had deteriorated so badly that I felt adding a Master Suite with a bathroom would add the most value to the house for a modern lifestyle. The high ceilings in the Master and Guest Baths also lend some charm to the rooms themselves.

The updated Floor plan below shows how we decided to open up the Living Space and Kitchen. We expanded the kitchen into the small bathroom to provide an open L-shaped work triangle. Next, the guest bath was shifted into a small section of the hallway and we constructed a linen closet at the base of the stairs. From the front of the house to the back we lined up the interior doors, which allowed us to move the exterior side door back into the original placement within the property.

Doing a floor plan remotely is more challenging than you may think. There are additional windows on the South side of the property that I only discovered upon traveling to see the residence early Autumn of 2013.

Here you can see how the crowded kitchen looked before the renovation.

and large hallways…as you can see, the hallway was large enough to be used as a dining room at one point.

Once the demolition began, we had lots of dated wood paneling, ceilings and floors to be removed!

If you missed my first 2 Renovation Story posts…you can begin reading here.

Come back next week, for an updated look at the interior demolition.





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Gratitude + Those who Inspire Us

I can’t help but feel a certain indebtedness and gratitude to others who inspire me around the web.

On days, weeks even, when the writer’s block is setting in, I look to others around the world for inspiration. I thought I would spread the link love and all that has kept me moving forward this week.

I found a fun rainy day activity to do with a friend or significant other over at Cherishing hopes and dreams. It’s always entertaining to find out more about your closest friends and loved ones.

Which brings me to part 2, lately, I have felt compelled to begin journaling and art journaling at that. There is the ever famous, Sketchbook Project. I’m curious, are any of you already participating in this? If so, how have you grown from it?

One of my clients has been writing down her goals and photographing them as she accomplishes one after the next. I love this concept as a source of encouragement and a way to set benchmarks for personal success.

The next one is yummy! Ever since my trip to Chicago, I have been on a healthy eating kick due to the fact that my husband and I calculated our BMI at a local CVS there. When I found Green Plate Rule with it’s recipes and healthy food ideas, I knew I wanted to try this.

This morning, I felt inspired to focus on craftsmanship more than ever after reading about the this shop Art & Manufacture.

If you still haven’t seen enough of all the handmade goodness that is out there these days. Here is a treasury of My Favorite Things that I curated to express my thanks to all the artisans designing objects by hand. (I’m going to bookmark this one for my future holiday shopping)

I hope you all have enjoyed these links, as much as I have. Next week, I am going to show you 2 new chairs that I am reupholstering, along with a link to an article I am writing for a new lifestyle blog.

Happy Friday friends!





Posted in Green Living, Inspiration | Leave a comment

Jewelry Palette

When I got home today, I was thrilled because the order I placed last week finally arrived!

I decided that some porcelain palettes and nesting bowls would help me get my dresser top into order and provide a welcome change. Sometimes all the junk tends to pile up here in the bedroom and this one of my favorite spaces to showcase.

While it’s super embarassing that I’m showing you all the clutter on my dresser, I think I am liking the way these palettes can organize the space.

I first saw the idea of using a porcelain palette in Martha Stewart Living. Since I am a painter, who also makes jewelry, this idea immediately appealed to me.

I looked around at all the local art stores for inexpensive porcelain palettes but found them to be all overpriced! $23 for a palette, C’mon, I know there’s gotta be somethin’ on Amazon. As it turns out Blick online had the most affordable option and I even scored some nesting bowls.

Kinda’ cool that we have nesting dolls (top pic), nesting tables, and nesting palettes all in one room! Which means you can stack them up, like the one pictured below right.

Although, they are originally intended for paint, I think they’d make a great storage for beads. There are even grander palettes out there that could store lots of tiny earrings and necklaces. I could see them going in fabulous directions!

Having things all tidied up reminds me that I own a unique pocket watch from Malaysia! It is probably not valuable, but was the sweetest gift that my boyfriend got for me ’til date. While on a long layover in Kuala Lumpur, we ventured out to bargain for lovelies out in the market. I tried to haggle my best, but couldn’t get the vendor to budge a bit on the price of this watch. As foreigners, we knew were being had, so sadly walked away from the piece. As a surprise on a return trip alone, he went back out in to town an scored the same watch for me!

Now, I should really find more occasions to wear it!

Here are the lastest pieces that I’d love to add to this sweet little collection I have got going.

Do you know of some great jewelry designers or organizers?…please share the link!

Posted in Inspiration | 2 Comments

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