Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Lesson at Dianne's House

This is Dianne.

She & I have worked together for many years.

I learned a pretty big lesson at her house last week.

And I wanted to share it with you.

It all started with an idea.

Instead of doing a staff workday the office.... this year.

We decided to do something for one of our co-workers.

Dianne was the perfect choice.

A long time veteran of the agency.

She's caring.


A little sassy.

And completely dedicated.

I'd long admired her house in Abbeville.

A cozy.  



Built in the 1920's.

After talking with some of my staff,

we agreed to take it on.

A complete makeover of the exterior of Dianne's home.

And in that makeover last week.

I learned the most valuable lesson.

When a small group of people come together.

With a common purpose.

They can make a difference in this world.

And in someone else's life.

It's not that hard to do.

Pay attention to who's around you.

And reach out.

Pour yourself out for somebody else.

That's why we're here, I believe.


To the very generous people I work with.

That pitched in to help last week.

The workhorse on my staff.

That would be Kim.


The one who's game for anything.



That would be Tracey.

And without her dad, affectionately called "A.B."

We might never have gotten this off the ground.

For Hattie & Dot & Brawley from the Meals on Wheels kitchen.

Good people.

And Diane Clifton.

She's the very heart of that place.

For Cozetta.

Who sacrificed so much to be with us that day.

For Nancy & her husband, Mike.

Who clearly should be on payroll as hard as that man works for us!

(And all the crew he enlisted from his church.)

For Mike and Stan.

From our transportation staff.

For Kathy (W.) who keeps us running so smoothly.

Who enlisted her husband and two girls.....again.

And to sweet Melissa.

Who brings nothing but a positive outlook to every situation!

Thank you.

For teaching me.

What's possible.

When good people come together.

These are the "Before & After" shots.

A day well spent at Dianne's house.

Before:  Dianne's back door & patio

After:    Back door & patio;  filled in the brick planter with soil and added flowers; trimmed the ivy growing on the patio; downsized her patio furniture;  painted the backdoor & removed the old aluminum awnings from the windows.

Before:    a view from the front

After:    A new sunny yellow paint color & "berry" accents; added  new shutters; new pillows on Dianne's retro glidder, cut down the very mature shrubs & added pine straw.

Before:   the side view

After:  the sideview (including the addition of a bottle tree!)
Looking back.

I have no idea how we got it done.

Except, the work and the day were blessed by God.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Official "Before" Renovation Photos


In the words of my friend, Sarah Hartung.

"If there was ever.....any doubt......that Scott Dublin loves you......
  this settles it.....right here!"

And......she is right.

But, it was more than just love.

It helped that "knowledgeable" people weighed in on the house.

And assured him it was a good investment.

Our home inspector.

Our insurance agent.

The general contractor that will do the renovation.

"Well built."


"Great potential."

All the kind of words you want to hear when you're considering an old house.

And with the encouraging expert advise,

came an incredible price.

Just $57,000.

I know.


My head can definitely be turned by an old house,

but at the end of the day.

I'm very practical when it comes to money.

And  as we prayed about the decision.

Doors just kept opening.

And we bought it.

And here we are.

Six weeks after closing.

We've been clearing it out.

Room by room.

The Estate Sale is done.

Leftover items have been given away.

Demolition begins next weekend.

So, now....... it's time.

To share with you.

Our official "Before Renovation" pictures.

Come inside # 8 Bonner Street in Due West.

And let's walk through.

Layers of paint on the front porch lead up to the front door.

I'll be looking for a radius door to replace the "doctored" one that's been fit into this space.

I don't know how it's survived all these years, but even though it has a hairline crack, I'm using this original emerald green fixture in the renovation; it may just be moved inside for it's protection.

When you step into the foyer, part of our plans is to remove the door in the middle and open up the wall so you can see the stairway -- which is just on the other side.

The room to the left of the foyer will be our Study.    We'll be taking down the black marble (not original to the house) & adding bookshelves & storage for Scott's guitars.

love the french doors in this room!

along with really good natural light.

to the right of the front door is what will be our living room;  
the curved doorway is one of my favorite parts of this house.

the maple hardwood floors are original; they'll be stripped & refinished in the renovation.

again...the black marble fireplace will be resurfaced &
built in bookshelves are planned for each side
of the fireplace.

when this wall comes down, it will really open up this area.

on the backside of the study is this room -- which will be our dining room.

the tile on this fireplace is very nice & neutral;
and these windows are my favorite in the house.

this door goes into the kitchen;  we hope to open up this wall
and create a more open entrance to the kitchen (which is on the other side of this wall.)

the kitchen was added on to the house at some point;  its already
been gutted & the cabinets have found a new home.

yeah.....that spot in the flooring is where I got curious one night to
see what was underneath.   still don't know for sure -- some kind of wood;   this area used to be a back porch at one time.

this was the grossest area of the house when we first saw it;
believe it or not, the washer & dryer were on the other side of this water heater.
it was packed full of shelving & tools; scott worked most of a full day to clear it out to this.

this is the back porch leading off to the back yard;  we'll be rebuilding the back of the house
& converting it to a mud room and back entrance way.

back to the stairway;  the door you see leads to the back porch in the previous picture.
and before you get to that door, the master bedroom is tucked away under the stairs to the right.

The only bedroom downstairs; this room will likely be our Master bedroom.   The floors were painted brown at some point & a doorway currently leads to the porch.

cool desk, huh?   it's been too heavy to move so far & we plan to use it in the study;
this room has great windows too -- overlooking the porch & backyard.

our challenge in this room will be carving out closet space, but we have a plan! 

back in the hallway, we'll now go upstairs.

one of the coolest features of the house; and rock solid!

at the top of the landing, there's a window over the stairs
& beautiful detail on the bannister;   just more painted hardwood floors.

the upstairs landing

the first of four bedrooms upstairs; this will be our guest bedroom.

great light in these rooms too & heart pine floors;  thankfully, they were not all painted.

decent size closet & the fireplace has been covered over; hope to open it up & find
some beautiful old brick behind it.

taylor has claimed this bedroom for herself;  the wall paper is in great shape, but
it will come down too.

her room faces the front of the house; great windows.

decent size closet & another unique mantel.

the house was used years ago as a dormitory for Erskine students,
which explains the dual sinks;  this is one of two bathrooms upstairs.

good space

total gutting planned for all the bathrooms too.

this fixture is in the bathroom & is original to the house -- love it.

this bedroom will become kate & josh's room when they visit;  it's taken quite a beating;
it was being used as an indoor workshop when we bought the house; complete with a
table saw! 

the floors are really beaten up; but it'll look beautiful when it's restored.

located on the front side of the house.

the last bedroom upstairs will be converted to my art studio!
so excited to put my glass & supplies out so i can just walk in and work on them!

this room looks pretty rough too;  the built in sink & shelving will come out;
great windows overlooking the backyard;  every window you look out of in this room reveals a tree;
i like that!

hope to create lots of stained glass in this room in the years to come!

one of the few original light fixtures; this one in my studio.

the second of two bathrooms upstairs.

it's been updated at some point; but it will be gutted too.

great window space in this bathroom too.

so, that's it for upstairs;  headed back down with this view of the stairway.

and we'll head back outside.

we're already making progress cutting down the mature shrubs; the home inspector
suggested it; as roots will begin to infringe on the foundation of the house.

i love a screened in porch; this one is on the side of the house & there's always a great breeze;
love the detail in the wood.

3015 square feet altogether & a wrap around porch hiding behind the jungle there.

the backside of the house.

just behind the house; the backyard goes back to the power pole;
buddy will have a great area for a fenced in backyard.

Thanks for walking through with me.

I'll give updates as work moves along.

And at some point in the months.

I hope to share our "after renovation photos" too.

Blessed.     Excited.       Thankful.

Let the renovation begin.