Just so you know, I started writing this post over 3 weeks ago but got sidetracked by life and never finished it; therefore, this post is a little outdated. However, I fear if I tried to get you completely caught up I might never get this thing published, so just know there is more to tell ya, but I’ll have to do that another day.
Bottom line: Things are looking up at the Caldwell project! We have OFFICIALLY turned the corner and are heading into put-back-together mode. PTL!!!
The outside has taken on a major transformation the last
couple of weeks month. Just for kicks let’s take a walk down memory lane:
Remember what the place looked like when we adopted her:
And what a difference it made just cutting down the brush:
Well about a month ago Cole started ripping down the old rotted board and batten so the boys and girl of DNV could start hanging the new Hardie Board and Batten and boy what a difference it made.
Don’t worry, Richard Kendrick is coming to the Manor next week to put a couple shiny new decks on the place, so just ignore that ratty lattice.
Ok, let’s talk about that brick! If your commute to work takes you down old town Conway then you might have seen the brick undergo TWO major transformations. First, there was this:
My new friend, Eric, of Wills Stonework, worked in the hot sun carefully applying a mortar wash over that old brown brick for four days with me standing on the sidelines giving him two big thumbs up and assuring him “yes! it’s exactly what I want!” It wasn’t until the job was completely done and Eric was packing up that I realized I didn’t love it. It’s not that it didn’t look good, in fact, I had several people stop to tell me they loved it; it’s just that it didn’t fit my story. Y’all, I’m not kidding when I tell you that EVERY SINGLE design decision I make is run thru the filter of the story- I don’t know how to approach these renovations any other way. To me, the finished product with the brown patches read English cottage rather than English Manor and this unexpected transformation seemed to paralyze all my rational brain cells. All I could think about was how I had designed the entire inside to reflect a modern day Manor and now I would need to completely start over to make it a cottage. Not only was I worried about the time and money this blunder would set me back, I was also dreading telling the main character in my story that with my one poor design choice her home had been downgraded from a Grantham worthy Manor to a cute but lowly cottage. (I’ll tell ya the full Caldwell story is just a few short weeks- it’s a doozy, with elements of both scandal and redemption, so stay tuned.) I ended up fretting over this dilemma for 2 sleepless days and nights before I weepily broke the news to Rory that I had ruined our Manor and now we would need to eliminate the formal dining room and library from the floorplan and return most of the fixtures I had already purchased. And guess what my husband and Storybook partner who, incidentally, loved the brown spots, said in response to my well thought out and stressed over plan? “Um, why don’t you just have Eric cover over the brown spots?”
Huh…that could work too.
Sooooo I ended up calling Eric back and after 2 more grueling days in the sun, Ta Dah! The Manor emerged.
To me, the full mortar wash lends to the feel of an old stone Manor more so than if we had just painted or stuccoed the brick. Just go with me on this one folks.
Ok now dial your expectations waaaaaay back. I’m just trying to capture the essence of a Manor, not the austere grandeur.
Once the brick was just right, I went thru a gazillion paint samples to figure out the board and batten color and then Nicolas’ team went to work risking their lives to get her caulked and painted up.
I don’t have an updated picture of the painted dormers but I went with a color that matched the brick to give it that monochromatic look of my inspiration manor. Still more to come to the exterior but that pretty much gets you up-to-date on how she sits now.
Meanwhile, the inside is FINALLY ready to be put back together. After a little drama with the drywall, a second crew came in and finished it up making the house feel brand new. Ahhh. The day after the final texture was applied to the drywall, I brought Dad in for our “Work with Yo Wittle Woman” project for this house. He didn’t say it out loud but I think he was relieved to not be installing “shiplap” like our last 2 WWYWW projects. This time we were working on a feature wall for the master bedroom. You know I don’t like to show too much of the house until the final reveal but Dad worked so hard, I think I’ll give you a little peak, just to show off his work.
This was what the wall looked like before we got started:
Here are a few pictures that illustrate the progression of the project.
And just to prove I was working too:
And 7 hours later….ta dah!
It may not look like much now, but just you wait to see how this wall pops when painted. As always, a HUGE thank you to my Dad for coming down to Conway to help me with yet another project. And guess what? This generous Dad of mine, is coming back next week to help me with one more project. I certainly hit the jackpot in the Dad department.
And last, on the Sister front. She is still not sold. I’m beginning to think she is getting cold feet and trying to sabotage the sale. Two weeks ago, right before we were about to show her, I noticed a hump in the floor in the kitchen. What?!?! Yep, it turns out the dishwasher leaked and buckled the wood floors. Lovely. The good news is now Sister has a brand new dishwasher- and I upgraded to a Bosche. The bad news is we have a hill in the middle of our kitchen. Now we are trying to decide if we should go ahead and replace the wood with tile OR just offer a sizeable flooring allowance to the new home owner. If it was me, I would prefer the flooring allowance so I could pick out my own floor but I’ve talked to a number of people who have said they would not want to mess with it and advised for us to go ahead and replace. Decisions, Decisions. And I really need to make the decision by Monday because Marcos, my flooring guy, has a small break in his schedule before he starts rolling out the flooring on the Manor. Soooo, I guess what I’m saying is, if you have given even the slightest thought to adopting Sister and love the idea of picking out your own flooring- please speak up before Monday!
Oh and guess who decided to show up late to the party.
The right side Hostas! They’re only 2 months behind the left side..
Have a great weekend.