Monday, October 8, 2007

A Cottage House In Nashville

Now, back to my dilapidated house—Part One of many series. Our cottage is from the 1930s, in a downtown neighborhood where you find people out walking their dogs, just like in 101 Dalmatians, where owners who are walking their dogs actually look like their dogs. Young families with their children; starving artists trying to make it into the Country Music Hall Of Fame; a few older citizens who were born and raised here -like my neighbors Frank & Eula, and a few good old boys who have realized their property value has gone up. The neighborhood has a mix of circa 1800's Victorians, 1930's cottages, bungalows, and a few new homes. They have even done a good job with most of the new homes in keeping with the character of the neighborhood. All in all, truly a wonderful mix of interesting people and homes.

Circa 1800's Victorian

A cute house around the corner

Like in most older neighborhoods, there are alleys--some paved, some not. This is where you take your trash and recyclables to be picked up every week. You never have to worry about things piling up because nothing stays back there for long. I believe some folks around here have made a career out of finding one man's trash and making it their own treasure. In fact, when I'm out jogging I have seen a few things myself, and have thought about jump-starting my career back in the antiquing world.

The house has everything you would want in an old house, high ceilings, wood floors, crown molding, French doors, lots of natural light and a decent flow plan for all five rooms. The best part was there was no bad 70's redo. No major problems—just plumbing and electrical issues that we could easily work on. We were happy the roof checked out.

Since the one and only bathroom was the ugliest we had ever seen, we decided to start there. After all, we have to have a bathroom! I came up with a plan.

I assigned the Hubby the task of going to his day job to collect checks needed for the mortgage and the repairs for the house (how easy for him!). I assigned myself duties such as general contractor, decorator, painter, and gardener.

Notes to self:
Rip out the entire existing bathroom
Add tongue and groove beadboard
Add subway tile
Add recessed mirrored medicine cabinet
Add polished chrome sconces
Add new toilet
Add new bathtub
Add new pedestal sink
Add new retro black & white floor tile
Add accordion mirror for that 1930's nostalgia look
Add train rack for towels

One magazine that I have always enjoyed since it came out is Cottage Living . What better way to start the scheme of my cottage then with a cottage magazine! I have always admired style editor Heather Chadduck for her talent and creativeness. I went back to the December 2006 article they did on her house in Birmingham, Alabama. I wholeheartedly agree with her on tongue and groove. I had used beadboard in our first house but I had used sheets. This time, I used the real tongue and groove. Overall, we did everything but the tub.

Found the black & white pinwheel tile at Renaissance Tile & Bath
Found the accordion mirror, train rack, sconces, shower curtain and trash can at Restoration Hardware.
Found recessed mirror at Pottery Barn. A closeout special!
Found subway tiles at Home Expo—four hundred and something dollars worth of tiles for seventy-five dollars. Plenty for my plumber to redo his mistakes.

When the May issue of Martha Stewart Living appeared, I was most excited. I love this look, light and airy! However, I had already painted every square inch of our interior, and knew my husband would not be happy with me for changing my mind. Nonetheless, great inspiration.

Another reason I was ready to get back into our own home was to justify adding some wallpaper! Just like Charlotte York’s Sex & the City bedroom apartment. I’ve had this wallpaper on my mind for a couple of years and was determined to have it. I searched high & low and found something similar by Farrow & Ball .

Image courtesy of HBO's Sex & City

Notes to self:
Add Sex & the City wallpaper
Paint rest of walls color from the wallpaper (maybe cooking apple green #32 or Green Ground #206)
Change god-awful chandelier
Create shoebox custom closet
Add curtains other than the Duchess Blue that I had just bought from Silk Trading Company
Keep bedding simple with white lines
Find end tables

Currently this is what I have done.

Found and installed 1930’s crystal chandelier. Found the chandelier at the Winchester Antique Mall in Franklin, TN. 615-791-5846.
Had my country music song writer wanna-be carpenter install wallpaper Ringwold Ref. No: BP 1637 .
Still waiting for custom shoe size closet.
Located curtains I like but I’m having trouble justifying to hubby.
Made my first IKEA purchase (parson end table)!

Ringwold Wallpaper

I just recently asked Lucilla for her opinion. She has designed for Pratesi (very high end linen company) and for d.porthhault (another very high end linen company) and Monet jewelry. So she knows a thing or two about design. She told me, “Put the chandelier on a dimmer, add a table with a skirt and call it a day” It’s Bella!!!! I was pleased. With that, I’ll talk about old textiles tomorrow.

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