Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rattlebridge Renovation Diary--Episode 1

My husband, Dr. G, cordially invites you to the first episode of ...

Rattlebridge Renovation Diary

Here's a transcript of the dialogue between me and Dr. G.:

Dr. G: The foyer is dark and small. I hate it.

Me: It'll look bigger and brighter with white paint.

Dr. G: Are you sure?  Can white paint work miracles?

Me: To a degree, yes. It'll work in the foyer, I promise.

Dr. G.: What about the dining room? I don't like it, either.

Me: Can you be more specific?

Dr. G.: I just don't like it.

Our son, Bandwidth, came up with a solution.

Bandwidth: Why don't you enlarge the opening between the foyer and the dining room?

Dr. G. and me: Brilliant idea!

So we told the contractor, and he removed the wall.
Dr. G thinks the space looks bigger and brighter (without white paint).

The 6'8" opening is now 8'. The foyer walls will be covered with beadboard
(painted SW's Snowbound). The curved staircase post will be replaced with a square one.

In keeping with the square theme, columns (see below) will eventually flank each side of the mammoth opening.

 Me: I don't know.
Maybe we should have left these walls alone.

Dr. G: Now you tell me!!

Let's move to the kitchen/breakfast space.
(You can see Dr. G in the family room.)

First, I tried the old farmhouse table (it's used for outdoor meals).
It looked pretty good with Midcentury Modern chairs.

Needlepoint seat covers may be out of style, but I grew up with them. 
Each cover has a different design. 

 Transcript of conversation between Dr. G and me.

Dr. G.: What's wrong with that table? Can you paint it?

Me: Gosh, no. I'd ruin it!

Dr. G.: But it's already ruined!

Me: Farm tables are hard to find.

Dr. G.: Maybe that's a good thing. (Ducks and runs).

So we auditioned my father's old cherry gateleg table.
 The painting is very dear--it represents my two sons at the "fishing hole." 
Beneath the painting is a cherry library table. It came from Ballard Designs (about 10 years ago).
Dr. G. put it together and ended up in the emergency room
(the knife slipped and he came home with ten stitches).

Me: I love how items in a home are infused with good and bad experiences.

Dr. G: I don't.

Once in a blue moon, the "bad" makes the item a keeper. It reminds you of how hard you tried. Yes, you got hurt, but look at that pretty table.

In this case, the painting is too top-heavy for the table. I need something longer.

Tomorrow I'll audition this sofa table. It's a bit ornate, one leg is wonky, and the surface is damaged.
Maybe a coat of paint would help.

I'm not ready to work on the family room (above). I'm thinking and thinking.
Do you have any suggestions?

We inherited the pale blue sofa, chairs, and rug. The curvy sofa table, mirror, pillows, throw, and lamps came from our basement. Three walls are beige; one is covered with grass cloth (I thought about painting over it, but I'm worried that the texture on one wall will look strange--so the paper will probably come down).
The ornate mirror will come back to Bald Hill Farm. I'd envisioned a "Something's Gotta Give" type of living room, but it won't work with the breakfast room.
That said, paint would make a difference.

Dr. G: Here you go with paint again. (chuckles) Hey, if you leave off the "t" in paint,
what do you get?

Me: Take two Advil and call me in the morning. (Winks)

Before and (sort of, for now) After--

I love a black-and-white kitchen.  We will eventually paint the cabinets Snowbound and add black granite counters. It would take gumption on my part, but I could paint the table and chairs
and hang black and white checkered curtains. 
(I am thinking/decorating out loud.)

Photo credit: Country Curtains

I've been saving this walnut table for the dining room.

But I could use other elements in the breakfast area, like the bug prints.
The lovely painting could go in another room.

Decorating is hard.
It takes trial and error for a room to come together.
But I have one quick, easy solution:

When one is faced with too many design decisions,
eat chocolate.

I made another change today. Bandwidth and I removed the painting and small table and brought in the sofa table and bug prints. I also took white linen curtains out of storage
(they used to hang in our master bedroom).
This is what I ended up with--cost $0.

I like zero-dollar decorating,
so I might not order those black and white buffalo checked curtains just yet.

It's time to ponder.

Stay tuned for future episodes ...

a fresh coat of white paint (on the beadboard)
staircase makeover
porch before and after
kitchen revamp

A Metamorphosis Monday contribution.
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  1. Haha, you are SO FUNNY!

    I truly enjoyed your post!

    I am so excited for your refurbs - gonna be awesome, do NOT have trepidation! gonna be AWESOME!

    Can't wait for more!

    Rooting for you, Doc and Bandwidth!! (And the painter, haha)

  2. I like what you've done and I like your cherry table! And I adore the needlepoint seats!

  3. Oh my! To many decisions for me. :-D I do like the wall removed - looks so much more open. From what I am seeing, I like the cherry table in there best. Bottom line - You and Dr. G are the ones that will be living there - do what makes YOU TWO happy !!! I have been dragging my feet just getting a list ready for the handy man to come in and do - such as painting and simple repairs.
    Have a great week !

  4. What a fun post! Dr. G and your conversations totally cracked me up! I liked your father's cherry gateleg looked really good with the chairs in the photo. Love the library table. It is so things in our home are infused with the good and house has both throughout. Such is life...gotta take the bad with the good, I guess. This is so much fun following your new house adventures!

  5. Love your post and Dr. G is a crack up! Moving and redecorating can be husband hates moving!! Decorating can be stressful many decisions...trying to be sure that everybody in the family will like and be comfortable with the design is no easy task. I love all your choices and opening up the dining room looks wonderful...makes me think we should do that too! Aren't sons handy...mine are too! Can't wait for another thrilling episode staring Dr. G! :)
    Thanks for sharing and giving me a laugh!
    Miss Bloomers

  6. I love the space once the opening was enlarged, good decision. You are a dear to share your home and remodeling with us and I can't wait to see what's next.

    Mary L

  7. Good luck with all of this. It will be fun to see it all taking shape. Is the old farm sold? It looks so beautiful.

    - The Tablescaper

  8. Loved the post - u r really funny !! Love the opening to the dinning area and love the needlepoint - cant wait for next :) all the best :)

  9. Could the mirror and painting trade places? Then, maybe you wouldn't have to trade out for a longer table. Then again, it's hard to gauge how big the mirror is from pics so you might end up at square one! ; )

  10. Hi ML! I'm loving seeing what you're doing here! I like the wall removed. I know one thing for sure, I'll be back for episode II! ;)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  11. Very cute! Just chip away at it Michael, you'll get there:@)

  12. I am definitely going to enjoy your renovation diary, Michael.

    Wonderful post!

  13. Loved this post! The needlepoint seats are so very awesome! and yes, I agree always eat chocolate when in doubt about anmything!!
    Can't wait to read more about your renovations!

  14. Looks great...can't wait to see more thanks for sharing...Pat H

  15. You aren't kidding when you say renovating/decorating is hard work!!
    Your new place looks beautiful though, even in its rough stages of remodeling.
    You have so many lovely pieces to play with. Thanks for letting us peek over your shoulder as you go through this process.


  16. Dr. G's a cutie ! Keep him !!
    I love the opening you created in the foyer - it does totally change the look - I love the open, airy look.
    I also love the color of your wall in your kitchen dining area (where the 2 little boys fishing picture hangs) Do you remember the color ? Thanks so much - enjoy your blog very much !

  17. Patricia--the previous owners painted the kitchen. I will try to find out the color.

  18. I like that other painting. The bugs are bugs. I don't want to see them while I eat. I thought the scale was fine.

    I'm a modern girl, so I like them new set up. I love the table under the paintings. It looks like it has claw feet, like you'd find on a Chippendale.

    Also, loved the humor in the post. Dr. G is a hoot. White paint solves everything.

  19. Great suggestion from "Bandwidth"..really make a big difference...I like the direction in which you are going...Can't wait for more of your progress...

  20. Great idea to knock out that wall. Your conversations are so funny ~ thanks for sharing! I like what you've done to the room at this point. I also think it would look fantastic with the furniture painted and the check curtains. I know, I know...I'm not helping. :-)

    I adore black & white! I'm trying to work on my bedroom and am so very frustrated. I've lived here almost 1-1/2 yrs and it's still not a pleasing room to me.

    Whatever you choose to do, I know it will look beautiful!

  21. Hello there! So glad I found you through Designs by Pinky. I really enjoyed your post and seeing your beautiful home. I love what you've done with the breakfast room. Looking forward to seeing more of the transformation of the foyer and dining room as a new follower.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  22. Oh, too, too funny! Love the conversations with the Dr! I know the pain. I am working on one new build and one remodeling project at the same time and I went out furniture shopping today and just got more confused as I found wonderful things but would have to change the whole design!

    The opening in the foyer is a big hit! Sometimes it is easier to leave it alone, but when it is done it is worth it! That's what I keep telling myself - just glad I am not living in the remodel project!

  23. Beautiful, fun post!
    Awesome idea and I love what you did!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  24. I think you would love having a couple of hours with a designer...find one you love and it is not much for a couple of can get some great insight and some ideas you have never thought of...I think it saves a ot of money from mistakes and believe me I have made some big the wall gone

  25. So fun, Michael. I love seeing your thought process and how you are making this house into YOUR HOME! Your decision to widen the opening going into the dinning area was brilliant... literally. Looks so much brighter. Now if I can only get my hubby to agree to blow out the back of our family room wall to add a row of french doors... our room is so dark with our wrap porch.
    I am having so much fun watching all your changes!

  26. Your blog is so funny- especially the byline (for exhausted people! love it!) but this post is the best- love the "conversation" bit. The pictures are beautiful, too. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Hi Sweetie,
    Loved this post and I say go for the black and white checked curtins they would look great. Of course I love checks even though right now I have none in my home. Oh well, there is always the next one. What fun. Your new home is lovely.
    Just a suggestion, Do you know Maria of
    I have been reading her blog for some time now and her knowledge of color is amazing. Tones, hues and color in general. She has taught me so much and when I move to the next home I will definately consult with her before I do my decorating. You may want to check her out. Let me know what you think and tell her I sent you.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  28. Oh my goodness, your and Dr. G are hysterical! Love the "love" bantering going back and forth. The opening without the wall made an incredible difference. Love the table and bug prints. Your linen drapes are great, maybe the checkered ones for fall and winter? Did I miss that you have already moved? Looking forward to the next episode. hugs ~lynne~

  29. What a funny post! I'm glad that your husband gets involved in the redecorating, though :)

    Zero dollar decorating is...priceless!

  30. What a fun post. Your renovation and decorating will be a fun diary to read!

  31. I think I need Bandwith to come consult on my decorating!

  32. Oh dear, what have I missed? Did you move? When? Or is this a Renovation of your farm?