Tuesday, November 30, 2010
“You could hardly walk through it. It smelled dreadful,” says Diana. However, she and husband David loved the old heart-pine floors and soaring 11-foot ceilings. The 1910 bungalow had been vacant for about five years. Yet, the son of the couple who originally owned this house presented a stipulation in the sales contract. Oh dear!
They not only enlarged the porch but added new French doors to either
side of the front door. New Orleans architecture inspired the old wooden shutters.
It's quite a contrast to what the couple actually bought. In fact, David says, "termites holding hands"
were all that held up that small original porch. They added the second level and balcony, too.
Elise O'Brien, a photographer from St. Louis, and I produced this spread for Remodel, but Better Homes & Garden recently featured it on their Web site. You'll see more photos of the house on the Better Homes and Garden Web site. Hope you'll check it out!
As you see, Diana and David did move forward with their plans to renovate and enlarge.
But not without some struggle. Upon insistence from the 88-year-old seller, whose sister had lived in the family home until her death, the sales contract included a clause stating the buyer would not tear it down. And at some point, termite damage and rot made David and Diana consider just that alternative. But, in the end, it survived.
David used travertine and tumbled marble to make the fireplace surround. He went down to the lumberyard and bought a 14-inch wide rough, primitive-looking wood for the mantel. They found the base for the little accent table at a New Orleans antique store. They replaced the original top with limestone.
I met David and Diana by knocking on their door. We both lived in this particular inner-city neighborhood at the same time. (We both have since moved....) I regularly walked by the house and became convinced I wanted to scout it. So glad I did!
The dining room. They purchased the furniture from El Paso Imports. And Diana's mother made the curtains and cushion; fabric is from Calico Corners. They snagged the chandelier for $300 at a designer flea market.
David and Diana totally gutted the old kitchen and started fresh.
This was an old sleeper porch that they converted into a little breakfast area.
David and Diana certainly had their own ideas for their house, but they did consult with architect Carl Brunsting. It took 10 months to restore, renovate and expand. They added an 800-square-foot master suite (sitting room, bedroom and bath) upstairs.
In the master suite upstairs.
Hope you enjoyed this home.
Two posts down, I gave you a quick tour of a holiday house featured in this month's Traditional Home magazine.
Now, thanks to the magazine's Web site, you can see it all online here.