Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines day special - A Historic Home Renovation - "gift of love"

As a valentine day special - I want to get to you this post which will portray a real love story . You definitely have to fall in love with this ruins as it stands to be able to take up renovation of this place as these homeowners did. They reconstructed a neglected Mississippi home in an epic three-year renovation project,and the results are stunning .

When high school sweethearts Maria Teresa "Tere" and William "Mac" Thomas, married for 39 years, began searching for a getaway near their hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. Thomas's, had a hunting camp in mind. After a broker showed them the 680-acre property with rolling, wooded hills and a three-acre lake, they loved everything ... except the broken-down shell of a house that came with the parcel. "It was nothing that a match couldn't cure," jokes Mac. And so began what Tere calls Mac's "gift of love," a three-year gut renovation.

"If we were going to do it, we wanted to do it right," says Mac. That meant hiring a crew and crane to lift the 2,770-square-foot house onto supports, where it sat for more than a year during repairs to its foundation and the installation of new insulation, plumbing, and electricity.

The Thomases knew that their 1820s home was about to be brought back to life. The couple already had big plans to transform Laurietta, as the Fayette, Mississippi, plantation is known, from a dilapidated nest into a roost where their extended family—four grown children, plus their spouses and eight kids—could come together for weekends and holidays. Hold your breath to see the stunning outcome of this renovation!!!!

WoW is the single Word that comes out after looking at the end product!
In this photo: The couple rebuilt both chimneys and added a hand-crimped aluminum roof.

Kitchen --- After
In this photo: Buck—one of the family's five dogs—sits in front of custom kitchen cabinets painted Benjamin Moore's Gentle Cream. The Thomas's re-purposed cypress wood from another part of the house for the island. The stove is by Wolf; the rugs from Lowe's.

Curious about the history of the home—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—Tere visited the Historic Natchez Foundation, a preservation organization located 25 miles away. Expecting to find records and renderings, at best, she was stunned to discover Laurietta's original fanlights, banister, a porch column, and a mantel in the nonprofit's basement. She also learned that a second mantel had been adorning a fireplace in a nearby house; its owners returned the piece upon hearing of the restoration.

Before: Living Room
Each wallboard was removed and numbered, then put back in place after the electrical updates. Scraping away decades of paint revealed original artistic details, including marbleized baseboards and faux bird's-eye maple panels, which a restoration painter was able to revive.
A trip to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History turned up a journal kept by the daughter of the man who built Lauriettait detailed not only daily life on the property, but also descriptions of the interiors. Inspired, Tere and her daughter, Erin, an interior designer, re-created the home's original white and wood palette, and the salvageable heart pine floors received only light sanding, so as not to erase history. "There are still scars and burn marks around the fireplaces, but I didn't want to replace all the floors," says Tere. "Those imperfections are part of the story. Besides, Laurietta's not a grand house."

After: here is the transformed lively living room...
In this photo above: Pottery Barn pillows adorn slipcovered armchairs by Lee Industries. Tere bought the set of framed prints at a flea market for only $94

Cherished Collection Old bottles unearthed on the property are displayed in the living room.

Before: Staircase
Though the rotted floor in the hall had to be replaced with reclaimed heart pine, the Thomases were able to restore the staircase using all of its original components.

After: To this ...
The couple found the spindles, newel post, and banister of their new staircase in the offices of a local preservation organization. Tere decorated the hall with a high-low mix: A custom tiger-maple table pairs with bargains like a terrarium from T.J. Maxx and artwork scored on eBay.

The Thomases converted the second story into sleeping quarters for their grandchildren, adding a bathroom to the larger of the two rooms. So what used to look like this was transformed into..

After: this.. "Girls Room"
In the girls' room, linens by Simply Shabby Chic for Target dress trundle beds by Young America; Tere also found the lamp at Target.

After: and this.. "Boys Room"
The boys' Young America beds sport Americana Collection quilts from Dillard's; the crocheted mushroom ottoman is from Anthropologie. Bright idea: For a purposefully casual display, hang artwork with clothespins clipped to the length of fishing wire.

Laundry Room:
Once a tiny bedroom, now converted to the laundry room houses a touch of Tere's own history, her grandmother's washboards. The baskets are from Kmart and World Market.

Master BedRoom:
A headboard from Pottery Barn, plus a silk quilt and shams by Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill, brightens Master bedroom.

Though restoring Laurietta (this house) took plenty of labor, thought, and money, the Thomases have been richly rewarded for their efforts. They've won two preservation prizes. And they now have a storied, deeply personal home that respects the past, present, and future.
In this photo: The grandkids enjoy an extra-long swing made of reclaimed cypress.

The Thomases
Mac and Tere Thomas join their family on the front porch. Top row, from left: daughters-in-law Summer and Nicole, Mac (holding granddaughter Khloe), Tere, son Barrett, son-in-law Eric Haik, and son William. Bottom row, from left: grandchildren Katelyn, Londyn, Anna-Claire, Maria, and William IV; daughter Erin Haik; grandsons Bennett and Thomas; and son Grant.

Images Credit: Story inspiration and Images from Decor Mags.

Have a Wonderful Valentines Day!