Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Making Our House Our Home: Part I

I'm able to post some of our progress on our new home.   I finally found time to transfer and organize all the photos from my phone!    It's been fun to work on the house and make decisions, but it's been different from earlier homes because we were making several big changes to surfaces.   I had to make sure that my choices would work together and fit with the overall look and feel I was trying to achieve.   And I had to shop around for the best deals!   I am so thankful for a floor plan that works so much better for our family.   Home schooling has been so much easier and I realized I was fighting against our old floor plan.


So, starting at the front door:

This is a picture taken before closing.   The house was very cold and contemporary.   Believe it or not, this was just a dorm for the owner and her children while they attended university, so it was sparsely furnished.   I knew we could make it more welcoming and cozy with some changes and the addition of our cherished furnishings; the house has great bones.  The entry is a great size, I think.   Our old house lacked a designated one, so I made the interior area at our front door as pretty and welcoming as possible.


Before: entry as seen from the living room.  


After: at Christmastime  

 
 

Hard to get a good picture with all the sunlight;)

I love the natural light and the front porch is deep enough that there isn't too much heat coming in through these windows.   So, the biggest changes were paint and flooring.   We had the carpet in the living room and three bedrooms removed.   We replaced it with engineered hardwood floors.   We managed to find a wonderful family-owned flooring company, thanks to a friends' recommendation and we got a great deal on the floors.   The brick floors make the entry--maybe even the whole house.   They tie the home in with all my "old stuff."   They remind me of the deep south and the entry has a decidedly Louisiana feel.   Another unexpected quality of the brick is that it gives the entry a very cool feel as you enter the house, especially coming in from our shade-less front yard.   The brick floors were my splurge in the house.   I hesitated to tear out the carpet, but I knew it would help E's allergies and it has made a huge difference (for me, also).   The bricks are concrete pavers installed just like tiles.   They have the authentic uneven quality of real brick, so we decided not to carry them through to the dining room.
 

 





The inspiration for my brick floors (and why they make me smile): 

During the summer before my senior year of high school, we moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana.  Pictured above is the brick-paved Front Street that runs along Cane River in beautiful downtown Natchitoches (Steel Magnolias was filmed there).    In the 1970s, the city was going to pave over these beautiful bricks and the ladies of the Historical --nicknamed by some as Hysterical-- Society lay across them, not allowing the machinery and trucks to pass.   Thank you, ladies.


It really is balanced; the front door opens into the space on the left.
  
  I've have had this Audubon poster since before E. was born.  I never had room to hang this poster and we are so happy to finally see it on our wall.   The frame has a texture that reminds me of a bird's wing, so it was perfect.   I grew up in the area of Louisiana known as "Audubon's Happyland" because he tutored daughters of plantation owners and produced many of his paintings there.   This one has a Louisiana plantation in the background, but we have not found out which one.


Updated view at Christmas, 2013: the candles on either side were bought at the church garage sale: $10 for the pair.


 These are grouped on the wall leading from the entry to the living room.   

Mama painted all three.   Geraniums (particularly red) were her favorite flower and she painted them often.   I found the geranium painting stored in a chest when we finished cleaning out my parents' house.

Close up of one of the other two: a sand painting.   

Mama glued sand to the canvas and painted on the sand.   I always admired these as a child and they have hung in our home since Mama passed away.   She didn't sign everything she painted, so I love having signed paintings. 


Next post: Living Room Before and After


















5 comments:

  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the brick. Brick also reminds me of Louisiana as well as two homes we had growing up in which my parent put brick on the floors. If we ever get around to doing major things around our house, I'm stealing the brick in the entry. WEll, you know I"m actually not stealing.

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  2. I was so enamoured (sp? and it's too early to look it up) by the brick to say that everything looks so beautiful. I love the darker color on the walls.

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  3. Thanks, Erin! No, it's not stealing for La. girls, is it?! It's still being done in new construction there. It's beautiful outside on patios there, also.

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  4. Love the before and afters! Great work!

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  5. Wow, it looks wonderful! Makes me get more excited about our upcoming move and fixing up a different house! Love the bricks!

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Your comments are welcome!

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