Thursday, August 13, 2015

This house was built in the 1990's, and the house plans were definitely tampered with.

The Previous Owner acted as his own general contractor. His version of "upgrade" was building the whole thing with steel, like a commercial building. He also did some odd things to the interior but today I'll stick with the outside shots. ;)  The inside is where the really crazy stuff is - don't want to get ahead of myself.

The basic architectural style is supposedly "neo eclectic" which means a mix of North American modern mansion + some (i think) mediterranean elements. (As far as I can tell. I am not an architect but I did some freelance CAD work for my architect who designed the Tybee house, and he taught me a lot.)  The exterior is not finished, though. And the railings are all wrong. and the color of the brick... Le sigh. (It is a very yellow beige, these pictures aren't doing it justice.)

Previous Owner also installed tons of cameras and everything was connected to his "control room" where he had a computer and could monitor all the cameras.

Ok so I'm getting ahead of myself now...

I've never lived in a house this size, or with this many issues. It's overwhelming to me because I'm not an organized sort of person. My first task is to come up with a to-do list (6 miles long) and then we have to put everything in order of priority.

So far I've had the plumber out here 5 times just so we have hot and cold water and all the toilets work.

I feel like all these (rotten and leaking) patio doors and windows will be next but... that's just a guess.

Looking at these photos, you can think "wow - looks cool!" - One of the big lessons I'm learning is that a mansion can hide gigantic problems, and fixing all the issues won't necessarily make this a good investment. Because even if you fix all the problems, you've still got the aesthetics to worry about, such as:

oh but there I am, getting ahead of myself again.

Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I try to focus on the view.

None of these are "real" problems, and thanks to the last 12 years I will never lose sight of that. This is a house blog, though, so money + time = possible gigantic waste of resources. And I am very good at analyzing all the potential disasters ;)

This is our local road warrior - we see him out and about quite a bit. Seems like he needs a name..

look at those forearms! I'm thinking King Koopa?

Posted by Katy On 4:09 PM 10 comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Everywhere I look:

grout lines from hell... I cannot slide my chair across the kitchen floor.

Grout smeared across the painted trim. When I step on the special tiles, they rock under my feet to say hello. Sometimes I play hopscotch.

I like the geometric ways that they connect, different colors, angles, and then -- Wood!
But why?

the older tiles, the ones that were here in the beginning and saw things before the flood -
sometimes they crawl up the walls for no reason and then ... stop.

and they don't need to apologize. They didn't have any power in this. They are a testimony to cheap manufacturing and horrendous taste and maybe a man who had lots of money but refused to spend any of it on a professional.

The tile stretches down the hallways

like the snakes I catch outside

I am surrounded. Where will my help come from? I lift my eyes and ---

He says busting up the tile can't happen all at once because there are other priorities. Like leaking windows and doors.

I will get a jackhammer while he is at work.

Maybe he won't notice...
Posted by Katy On 9:07 AM 5 comments READ FULL POST

Monday, August 3, 2015

So a lot of crazy stuff has happened this year and I can't even blog it all, so let's just skip right to the good parts. Right? Because after the past 6 years of drama and anxiety, this blog (and my life) just took another turn. Praise Jesus, I can finally stop breathing in a paper bag before I hit "publish" around here. I don't even recognize myself y'all.
First: I got married
in Las Vegas! to the best guy I've ever known :)  and then, I sold off my houses (he told me I didn't have to sell my Tybee cottage but honestly, I started feeling like it was more of a burden than my daydreams used to tell me, and I think in the end it served its purpose. It got me through the last 4 years and it will always hold a special place in my heart).
So I moved... me and all my kids into Prince Charming's mansion:
Except that this isn't just any old mansion. It has...... issues. A 400 page inspection report, only one working shower for 6 people, and boiling toilet water, to name a few.The previous owner (who built this house in the 90's) was a little afflicted.
It reminds me very much of when I bought the shack on Tybee and had to go through the (deceased) previous owners' junk. The (deceased) previous owner of this house also had some weird things...
like cameras in every room and corner of the house. There's so much more to show you.

But I was thinking today, about these men and the stuff they left behind. The porn collections, the makeup collections (one of them was reportedly a crossdresser), the general filth and mess. I think the big question is: if I drop dead tomorrow and my children had to sort through my junk, would they find anything that would scar them? Would they find anything that would reveal a hidden side to me that they knew nothing about?

Thankfully at this point in my life I am not trying to hide things, but my oh my. It is a good thing that all we leave behind is our closets and not all of our thoughts and memories. Closets can be cleaned out at least before our house lands on somebody's remodeling blog.

Now I must run outside and check the snake traps. (!)  more to come. xoxo

Posted by Katy On 2:18 PM 17 comments READ FULL POST

Friday, May 22, 2015

I closed on this house yesterday. I know. MOMENT OF SILENCE PLEASE! This is my goodbye-post for 15 Wilson Drive, Tybee Island Georgia, the center of my existence for 3 years. :P
I never even got to finish all my custom window treatments etc etc etc. I will probably always be sad about that.

I heard the new owners are renting it out this summer, and I left all the furniture there - so. Check it out if you want to go to Tybee. I hope the new people love this house as much as I do :)
(and yes I have an extra kid in this pic)

Let's all just take a deep breath, open a box of wine, and try to get past this. To the next project.. do you think I can top this? I'm not sure. We'll see.

I'm grateful that I had the chance to chase this dream, EVEN IF IT WAS ONLY A STINKIN DREAM RIGHT.  xoxo
Posted by Katy On 1:50 PM 9 comments READ FULL POST

Friday, April 17, 2015

Things are moving - literally.  I've put up my house for sale, and it's been a little surreal cleaning out the years of accumulated junk. I can't believe I moved here 6 years ago (that's also when I started this blog). I also tentatively sold the Tybee cottage. Soon I will be homeless! (not really ;))

Here are some listing photos (but first a picture of the kitchen when I moved in) -

I am still in love with my bird cabinet, I want to build another one. I seriously need a carpentry business but nobody will pay the prices I would have to charge :P

and my pallet wall is still alive, although the room has been emptied so I wouldn't exactly call this "livable" -- showing a house and living in it are always very different things.

Okay, so !!  On to the next thing!  And HGTV wants to put the Tybee cottage in one of their magazine publications this summer, so that is cool.

Once I am homeless I will show you my new project. ;)

AND... in case you need a Mother's Day gift or graduation gift for a girl in your life -- Give Her Wings is offering this exclusive cuff bracelet for sale. All proceeds go to their April & May mamas and their children. If you feel moved to help out some more victims of domestic violence (or just want a snazzy piece of jewelry by Monique) - please check it out here.

I hope y'all are surviving this insane spring monsoon, stay dry and I will be back with more soon. xoxo 
Posted by Katy On 10:03 AM 7 comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, February 21, 2015

If there is anyone still reading this, I thought I would update :)

Last year when my life blew to bits, it took a while to process everything and I dropped this blog (because who's got time to post remodeling pictures when you're busy picking out your cot in the homeless shelter?) - but no. Things did not get that bad. In my head it got that bad, but in real life things are much better now.

For example. Instead of an engineering job that makes me want to cut off all my hair and burn my clothes (Old Testament-style despair, oh yeah) - I work for a non-profit. I'm the Technical Director for Give Her Wings.


Now I spend my time working on something I care about, and the difference is incredible. No more stress & panic.

And yes, the little beach house is still there, and yes I have a new project on the horizon. 2014 was horrible but 2015 is going to be amazing. I can just feel it! And even though we're all still braving the cold wind, I can taste spring right around the corner.. can't you?

Are you feeling hope for this new year? I am trying to get back into a routine where I can visit all my familiar bloggy friends and catch up on all of your projects. I have missed that so much. If you have anything you want to share, leave a link in the comments. :) 

Posted by Katy On 8:11 PM 31 comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I was at the house this past weekend, and decided to take a few more pictures since the exterior paint is finished and I actually put up some bedroom curtains. But first, for funsies, a little blast from the past:
What a wild almost-3-years this has been. Now that it is mostly over, I am finally enjoying my kids' reactions to things.
Siding: Pantone Sweet Lavender, Doors: Pantone Dewberry

When I was in a mad dash to get the house furnished and "staged" I didn't have time to use any of the fabrics that I collected and planned... instead I literally threw together whatever I could get my hands on. The curtains are from my kids' bedrooms at home & the bedding is from my neighbor's linen closet!
Long time visitors to this blog might remember the vintage humidor and lamp - I dug those out of the trash in the shack before tear-down. The iron bed is an 1880's antique, painted with "Viper blue" car paint. The rug is from Walmart ( I was in a hurry!) and the art is from Etsy.
It turns out that I kinda like the bedroom like this, even without my darling pre-planned fabrics.
A close-up of some of our new little friends:
All of the kids' beach treasures are piling up in the windowsills: pelican feathers, crab claws, oyster shells ~
 I am finally letting myself relax and enjoy.  (I realized that in all the categories I had for my blog posts, I had several related to "depression and woe" and "anxiety", and no labels for happiness. So I fixed that - I'm filing this one under JOY.)  :)
Posted by Katy On 12:17 PM 19 comments READ FULL POST

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I used to be a mechanical engineer and a single mom of 3. Suddenly I am now a married mom of 4 (8,10,11,& 12) and I'm working full time on remodeling my latest gigantic project (lake house). I previously built a tiny house on Tybee Island that I sold in 2015. Stop by for the house stuff, stay for the panic attacks. (kidding. maybe. ha. ha....)

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