Renovating a Tme Warp

There’s an old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”.  He must be chuckling a lot at me lately.  Since moving back to my home state two years ago, Hubby and I have been looking for just the right house to buy.  We knew we wanted a house that “spoke to us”, had character, and was something that we could put our own mark on.  We decided to take our time, pray about it, and knew that with patience and faith the right house would reveal itself to us.  As months went by, we  looked at many different houses but nothing seemed to be “the one”.  We researched all of the surrounding communities, staying open to whatever felt right.  However, one thing I was not considering was buying a home in the small town that I was born and raised in.  After all…… it was a Mayberry! Very little had changed since leaving there 30 years ago.  I had even stated on several occasions, “I won’t ever be moving back there!”………but… it is so often the case,when I tell God what I want……and exactly how I want it……… and exactly when I want it…….sometimes His answer is not the one I expect.

While going through my daily ritual of perusing real estate sites to see new listings, I came across this house.  Immediately intrigued, I felt as though it was familiar, that I somehow knew this house.   Then I realized that I did recognize it, because……it was in Mayberry…….my childhood hometown…… know,………the town I would never move back to.   As a child, I remember driving by this house with my mother, and wondering what it must look like inside, just knowing that those big spacious rooms were beautiful.  Ms. Irene built the house with her husband in the early ’70’s, a prominent businessman in Mayberry at the time, but she ended up moving into the finished house as a widow when her husband suddenly died right before the house was finished.  She lived out the rest of her life there, and as the one and only owner, she finished it with her own personal tastes in mind.  When Hubby and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and viewing the online pictures over and over, we decided to go see the house in person.  And, of course, we loved it.  But it was in Mayberry!  We ended up going back several times, each time trying to convince ourselves that it was not “our” house, because after all 1. it was in Mayberry, and 2. it was a total renovation, way more than we wanted to tackle.  But, it didn’t work.  I could hear God chuckling through every room of that house…….

It didn’t appear that it had been updated since it was originally built and would need extensive renovating, but undeterred, Hubby and I both started dreaming about what the rooms would look like when redone.  So… make a long story short, yes……we bought it. Yes, it’s true…….God is laughing and I am eating my words!

Here’s just a taste of what we saw when we looked at it the first time.  You can definitely get a sense of Ms. Irene’s taste in decor………..she loved pink, turquoise, and green.

The outside of the patio area.

The outside of the patio area.

Ms. Irene even painted the trim on the windows turquoise…………hmmm……love a little bit of turquoise myself, but this will definitely have to go!

The kitchen with all the original avacado appliances.......remember those?

The kitchen with all the original avocado appliances…….remember those?




This cabinet sat right in the middle of the kitchen and gave it a very tight, closed in feeling.  It has to go!

This cabinet sat right in the middle of the kitchen and gave it a very tight, closed in feeling. It had to go!

The formal dining room with original parquet floors, built in hutch, brick wall, and stain glass window.

The formal dining room with original parquet floors, built in hutch, brick wall, and stained glass window……….and of course, green “flocked” wallpaper!

Beautiful original French chandelier.......very excited about that!

Beautiful original French chandelier…….very excited about that!

Pink shag carpet was in several of the rooms, including the formal living room and the master bedroom.  Custom draperies were throughout and probably cost a pretty penny when they were put in, but they will definitely be replaced.  Chandeliers were  in every room…….now that’s something Ms. Irene and I can agree on!  And many of the rooms had original lead glass windows!

Formal living room with original pink shag carpet......

Formal living room with original pink shag carpet……

Master bedroom

Master bedroom



The Master Bedroom is huge……and it was wall to wall pink shag carpet.  It was one of the first things we took out.  And Ms. Irene dearly loved wallpaper…….and roses…….did I forget to mention the roses?  This entire bedroom, including three closets, is completely covered in pink and green rose wallpaper.  Oh my.  This should be fun.



One of the four bathrooms……..this one is pink in theme……….I also have a green one and two blue ones.  However, there is a positive in this bathroom……..the original marble countertop and lovely leaded glass window!




I would have probably bought this house just on the foyer alone.  It is beautiful with a gorgeous curved staircase with iron railing that was hand forged at the local foundry when the house was built.  Planked ceiling…..yay!………and did you see the chandelier………it’s huge……….Ms. Irene had very nice taste in lighting!

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Wood paneled study with original parquet floor.

Wood paneled study with original parquet floor.

The wood paneled study is simply beautiful with the original parquet floors.  This will be  my office when it is finished and I can’t wait to get started on it!  There are fourteen rooms in all so this is just a little taste, but you get the idea……….they are all stuck in 1973!

Renovation began with the kitchen.  This is a major leap for Hubby and I.  We are basically DIY virgins when it comes to home renovation.  I have always painted and wallpapered… know, the easy stuff……..and Hubby?……..he’s completely allergic to any kind of home remodeling.  Or at least he was.  I’m not sure what has come over him because he is loving the entire process!  Well…..except when he runs into something that he doesn’t think he can do (like electrical).  I just tell him, “How hard can it be?” and hand him a YouTube video to watch!  So far, it’s working!


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Kitchen cabinets have come out………………….

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Tile floors have come up………not easily……..but they did come up!

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And the popcorn ceiling has come down.  Ugh.

Now it’s time to start putting it all back together………… absolutely gorgeous farmhouse sink is finally in……………we had to literally modify the sink cabinet for it to fit.

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We have covered all the soffits with wood which will visually extend all the cabinets up toward the ceiling.

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And we have finally finished planking the ceiling, adding the crown moulding, and decorative trim to the existing cabinets.

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And we have hung a couple of chandeliers………Ms. Irene is surely smiling about that!  I am going to pickle the planked ceiling and next week the oak hardwood floors will be going down.  And….surprisingly…….we have done all of it ourselves…..and on a tight budget!  We have not run into too many snags that we couldn’t fix, the word “divorce” has only been mentioned once, and there has only been one injury……… was his fault really………and yes, it probably did need stitches……….but the frog tape from Lowe’s worked fine and we were able to continue with the renovation without interruption!

Stay tuned for more updates!




Sneak Peek at the Latest Finds

Last week saw hubby and I hit the road for some pickin’ to find some new treasures for Edith & Evelyn Vintage.  We picked up a few things locally but  found much more when we headed into the deep South, which just happens to be my favorite place to junk hunt.  I’m never disappointed in what we find there and this time we brought back a trailer load!




Buying only what I love, and would use in my own home, is sometimes a double edged sword, because I want to keep it all!  But I don’t……….usually!  Once in awhile I find a piece that I absolutely can’t part with and it needs to live with me for a little bit.  Sometimes I end up selling it a few months later or swapping it for something I already own and putting that piece into the shop.  It’s a way of trading up!


We found some lovelies on this trip…….this cherub candelabra lamp was a real find and hubby is actually the one that found it!  I didn’t even get a chance to get a good look at it until after we had returned home and unloaded.  It’s a beauty!  Looks like my “hubby training” is finally paying off!



We found some gorgeous old original wood Italian Florentine tables, a stunning signed French bust, cherub statuary, several great chandeliers, and some beautiful religious prints.




One of my favorite pieces found on this trip is a lovely old Madonna statue in gorgeous white and blue colors.  I believe she was once housed in a shrine that hung on the wall but now the statue is all that is left.



And of course, I can’t seem to be able to resist a good French chair.  These two came home with me and will get some new upholstery, perhaps grain sack or linen.  And they may even end up in the shop……..we’ll see……….Hubby feels like I’m becoming a hoarder when it comes to frenchy chairs……. I feel like I haven’t quite reached that status…yet…but perhaps if I sell a few along the way, he will feel better………



We also have restocked the antique European dough bowl trenchers and European grain sacks, they will be back in the shop in the next few days.  This smaller size European scale with the original brass pans was also a great find.  I don’t see these very often, especially with the fabulous writing on the side!



Something else we loved finding is a pair of old tole bed crowns, you can see a little peek of them in this photo with the white metal leaves and flowers.




Now it’s time to get everything photographed and listed in the shop.  I’m not planning on keeping any of these goodies, so they will all go to Edith & Evelyn Vintage!






Grain Sack Inspiration

Today has been a grain sack inspiration day around here!





I love antique European grain sacks and they can be used for so many different things…….pillows, table runners, upholstery projects, Christmas stockings, tote bags, lamp shades, and much more that I’m probably not even thinking about.





I upholstered my first set of chairs several months ago using some antique grain sacks from Europe and now I am hooked.

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I have renovated a French sofa in them, several more chairs, and quite a few footstools.  I’ve also made several pillows out of them.  I love the way the finished product looks and it gives an instant French look to the home.


My favorite grain sacks are the ones from France and Germany, though if they have graphics on them they can get quite pricey.  The sacks with initials monogrammed on them are also sought after and prized highly, their prices reflecting  that.  Hand stitched with the original owner’s initials, these sacks look beautiful when used in a way that showcases the monogram.





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I was recently asked if the upholstery is “itchy” but it really isn’t.  Unlike burlap, most of the European grain sacks are made of a very heavy, nubby fabric and when laundered, they end up with a very soft feel.  And because they are so heavy duty, they are perfect for upholstery projects.

Miss Mustard Seed

Miss Mustard Seed






Come visit our Pinterest board for more inspirational photos!  We are down to one set of antique European grain sacks in the Edith & Evelyn Vintage shop, but we’re bringing more in next week!  What kind of projects could you use them on?