Back in the 80's, my dad and I watched a weekly TV show called "This Old House". The host talked about making repairs to older homes and restoration projects. We talked about how much fun it would be to redo an old house. The TV was located in my dad work shop which was filled with saws, drills, hammers, levels, planers and a lathe. The floor was carpeted with several inches of saw dust and wood shavings. The walls were lined with stacks of lumber for future projects. My dad was a craftsman, designing and building beautiful furniture for our home. He built a custom sewing machine cabinet for me and also restored an antique wooden icebox that sits in my kitchen. My dad passed away on December 21, 1992.
In 2014, my husband, Richard, and I had the opportunity to purchase the house next door to our current home. It was originally constructed in 1951, same year and builder as our home. The house was structurally sound but in need to some major TLC. We knew we could save money if we did as most of the work ourselves and repurposed materials inside the house. We ripped out carpet and padding, pulled down paneling in the kitchen and acoustic tiles from the living room ceiling. Base boards, door & window trim were gently removed to be sanded, painted and put back in place. Original door knobs and hinges were sent off to be re-chromed and reinstalled. Sheet rock from all the walls and ceilings were removed. An electrician was hired to rewire the entire house and bring it up to code. With the help of a family friend, Richard removed all the old casement windows and replaced them with new sash windows. He installed all the new sheet rock and walls and ceilings all by himself. Richard also installed the new cabinets in the kitchen. I hit estate sales and resale shops for furniture. I refinished a few curb side finds to furnish the house. After months of hard work, we finally had the house ready for our first Airbnb guests.
All during the renovation, I could hear my dad's voice reminding me to sand with the grain of the wood. He is in my mind as I apply another coat of stain to a salvaged piece of furniture. Richard often says my dad would have loved helping us with this old house. I like to think he would be proud of the job we did.
Gosh, such a lot of hard work to do a whole house @Linda-And-Richard0 - well done! Thanks so much for sharing some insights into the process with us, it's lovely to see the photos too, and I certainly agree with you that your dad would be super proud of you for it ❤️
Amazing that you salvaged some items from the curb too - do you have any pics of them?
Hi @Katie Yes, here is a chest of drawers I dragged from the curb. Two damaged drawers were removed and the open space fitted with a shelf. Faux pressed tin was used to line the opening. The piece was originally much lighter in color. I used a walnut stain to refinish this piece.
I repurposed vintage yardsticks to make a coffee table, side tables and a wine bar.
I collect and repurpose old treadle sewing machine bases as side tables. Some are topped with found pieces or slabs of granite.
Our patio furniture was left behind when a neighbor moved out of state. We had it sand blasted and powder coated for less that the cost of 2 new chairs.
I found this old cigarette display stand at the antique show in Round Top, Texas. It now holds cook books and decorates a corner of the kitchen.
I made this little display stand from a found slice of mesquite wood and some 4 inch hairpin legs.
So this little house is filled with unique furniture, original artwork and one of a kind creations. It has been a labor of love and continues to evolve with each little "treasure" I drag home.
Oh my gosh @Linda-And-Richard0, these are amazing! I love the way you've repurposed some of the items too and given them a new lease of life.
I have to admit that I love a DIY upcycling video so I'm feeling inspired by your masterpieces here - need to get thinking about my next project! Now all I need is a nice workshop space to work on things...
@Max144We would love to have you stay at our little Guest House. I had planned a three week trip to Australia for September 2020 but that was cancelled due to Covid. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
wow @Linda-And-Richard0 you have done such a wonderful job there, I do hope for you that your guests appreciate the creativity and effort you have put into what you are offering! We have had the 'This Old House' programme showing here on pay TV for some years too, here in Australia, so I know the one you mean, and of course being 'the Colonies' we have plenty of the British reno programmes as well, so we are spoilt for inspiration! You had a wonderful opportunity and have certainly made the most of it. I have great admiration for the work you have put into it, and trust that the rewards will keep visiting you for many years to come!
@Linda-And-Richard0 Oooohhh how talented & creative to have that vision and make it happen. It must be so rewarding to sit back and enjoy seeing the final outcome of that vision and knowing all that hard work has paid off.
Thanks @Trudie7 There were days that we questioned if we had done the right thing. During the renovation, the previous owner's granddaughters stopped by to visit. They were pleased with how we were taking care of the property and said their grandmother would have loved the new look.
@Branka-and-Silvia0 New furniture was not in the budget for this project. We did purchase 2 new chairs for the living room but everything else is second hand or curb side salvage. My husband spotted this vintage school house light fixture just as it was about to be tossed into a dumpster. It now hangs over the kitchen table.
@Linda-And-Richard0 That is so beautiful.
I love all those original timber features and the trusty Singer Sewing Machine.
There were brilliant to use for sewing.
Some of those items were so well made and lasted a genuine lifetime.