Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Don't Bet the Farm...Sell It!

This is the fourth time I've written this post without publishing it. Patience is not my strong suit. Recently I read if you ask God for patience, He will only give you more opportunities to practice it...I no longer pray for patience. 

So for those of you that don't know, Harbor Farm is sold!!! 

The house was listed in August and had a buyer before the sign was even put in the yard. It has been on the typical real estate roller coaster ever since. Then life went on a little roller coaster ride of its own, but the house finally closed and it's time to find another project!

I have been struggling (all my life really) with where to live. Fortunately, my parents have always been very supportive and embrace the opportunity to visit no matter where I land. Usually school or work answers the question of where to live for me, I pack the red suitcases, rent a truck, send a group email and I'm off. Now the universe has turned the tables and the decision belongs to me. 

Maybe the question will never get answered and I'll get to retain my vagabond lifestyle until I finally make platinum-diamond-studded-dipped-in-dark-chocolate frequent flyer status. Or maybe I'll just buy another project, move in, and appreciate wherever I am and being surrounded by friends.

A great big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to the Harbor Farm rehab and encouraged my first flip!!! There wasn't much time at Harbor Farm, but it was always filled with laughter, friends, fabulous food, and amazing wine---and so too will be the next place.

5 Dec 2011 - 18 Dec 2012

Everybody always asks what I learned or will do differently next time. Aside from the actual tricks-and-tips of the reno work, there are only two 'lessons learned' I really take away form the overall experience; (1) Don't hire a GC, and (2) Don't ever EVER think living with your parents for "just a few weeks" in between flips is a good idea...not ever. Love you Mom and Dad!
One last note...I'm keeping the blog, but it will probably get a new title. Keep reading!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Farmhouse Dining

Or 'Every Girl Needs a Pocket Jig'.

You know you've finally "moved in" your new place the first time you cook a meal, or in my case, build furniture. After so many months of sawing, nailing, caulking, and painting to bring the house back to life, it is time to furnish. But furniture is expensive and I've contributed enough to Ikea stock this year. Besides, shopping for furniture is time consuming and nothing is ever quite what I want (probably another blog post in that metaphor somewhere).

Until I moved to Florida, furniture consisted of three suitcases and DIY coffee tables long ago passed down to the next generation of grad students. Tools are also an issue. I have none. Slowly G&D have been stocking the toolbox, but fearful of not being needed to complete projects (or the loss of my fingers), Gus avoids gifts of power saws.

A quick trip to the Pawn Shop (I just love saying that) solved that problem. If you've never been to  a pawn shop, you should check one out. They're pretty cool. Granted the shopkeeper wears a Glock and has to eyeball you head-to-foot before unlocking the door, but really unique stuff and great deals.

Here are pictures of bringing the new, counter-height, farmhouse dining table to life:

Inspiration Table

Old boards found in the barn

Cedar legs

Slightly tapered

New Pocket Jig!!!

What Is Not to LOVE?!

Not to shabby...
Shabby Chic that is.

Eventually it will make it inside.

Celebrating Success---with homebrew of course!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Last Room on the List

It has been awhile. Not for lack of effort though! The finish work on the front porch has taken longer than expected, but it's almost finally done. Done enough at least to where I have wanted to tackle other projects. Finishing work included tightening the screens (we're not professionals you know!), adding the kick plate, the bar (of course), and getting furniture (merci Targét).

It brings me tremendous pleasure to now be able to read Wine Spectator while watching the traffic and local drug deals.

Southern Charm...

Meets Functional!

Another project included replacing the old, rotten fence in the backyard. More expensive than labor intensive considering all the posts were already set (and obviously more termite resistant than wooden panels).

Old Fence

New Fence
Sometimes it's nice not to have to wave to your neighbors from the bathroom!

It hasn't been all DIY though. The subcontractors were happy to return for 2 days of much needed window installation on the side porches. Now the nicest windows in the house, these lovely sliders with Colonial detail replaced the scary, filthy, drafty louvers (or jalousie depending on what part of the world you're from). Doesn't matter, either way I'm sure it's French for ugly.

More Hideous

They're actually even cuter since I painted the bare wood.

Super Cute Screen Door Too!

But the biggest project in the last few weeks was the last room on the list, the kitchen. Work in the kitchen involved replacing the countertops and adding the slate backsplash. I love the slate Gus and I put down on the kitchen floor and was instantly attracted to a "mini" version for the backsplash. For several months I was set on installing concrete countertops, but the period and style of the Farm just couldn't support that style. Maybe for my next project!

Hideous Lavender Laminate

Beautiful Classic Butcher Block

And let's not forget about that backsplash!

So Complimentary with that Floor!

This space has come a LONG way. One day there might even be cabinet doors!

Monday, March 26, 2012

That's a Wrap!

Renovation Realities requested some 30-day "After" photographs. I was hoping we'd be completely finished by now, but that is not the case. Oh well--they're still the nicest (only) screens in the whole house and I love the porch!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Surreality Television

Gus and I finished the front room demo/ front porch reno this week and happily bid farewell to the camera crew. It's one thing to have a camera literally pointed in your face for 10 hours a day, but a whole other ball of wax to have someone telling you what to do and say---especially with regard to manual labor. While being a tv show star was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I was more than ready to return to the office. On a high note, the porch looks fantastic!

We still have about a day's worth of finishing work, and furniture to buy (my favorite part of course), but the porch adds 128-sqft of functional and adorable living space to this old house. Gus grew up in a old farmhouse in NJ and says so many things about Harbor Farm remind him of that place. Now he says, because you can stand in the kitchen and look all the way through the house to Main St., it's even more reminiscent of his childhood home.   

Through all our days of hard work, Denise was forced to remain virtually silent--lest any outside sounds be carried over to the tape. She used her time to unpack and organize the kitchen, as well as fill it with its first aromas of slow food. I am constantly reminded of all my blessings!

Here are some pictures from the shoot: 


Dark and Scary

Day 1 - Demo

Day 1 complete

Renovation Realities shoots Harbor Farm
Make sure you get his good side

But what I really want to do is direct

Finishing touches

Day 5 - Mostly done

Light and Airy

Thanks Mom-o!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Almost Done

It took a week, but I've almost hauled all the boxes in from the barn. Hard to believe I moved to FL a year ago with nothing but seven boxes and my suitcase. Having an industrial dumpster in your yard certainly makes taking the trash out more exciting, but the subcontractors should be done this week and with them the dumpster. The exterior painting is almost done too. There's a lot of 'almost' going on here---but that's always the most accurate way to describe finishing work.  

The most exciting event this week will be the installation of the shower glass! Just kidding, though I did design the guest bath around my vision of that single piece of glass. This week Renovation Realities starts filming the front room demo/front porch reno!!! 

Under the contract with the show, you're not allowed to alter the room slated for demolition prior to filming, so everyone has spent the past 9 weeks resisting the urge to peel off loose, termite-eaten paneling or remove the weathered blue shutters. At this point I am dying to bring the reciprocating saw to life and start swinging the sledgehammer!  

And yes, I am having a housewarming party, probably in March before the travel season takes over my life. Here's some pictures from the past week...

Love the residing on the right-hand-side.

Countertops and cabinet doors are next month's project.

So close to the inspiration room I scare myself.

Living Room

View of dining room (computer desk is acting as dining table).

Just waiting for the glass!

Come visit the Farm!