My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

House Updates

This has been another busy week!
Hubby is home working on our Home Renovation!
It seems like he's jumping around but it normally has something to do with
"This has to be done before we can do this"
SO far....
We have  a new window in what will be the kitchen (This was once our living room)

And dining room (Also our former living room)

The new window in the dining room is much larger and the light is fabulous!

He then went back outside to work on the front porch!
This is where he is right now!

Much to his dismay...I asked if he could reuse the original beaded board ceiling
Since we are creating a front entry on half of the porch  it will not be as much  going up as came down!
Along the way we discovered That there was once another enclosed area here on the porch!

In almost the exact place we are building ours!

The original porch was added onto sometime in the early 20's ...about 4 foot along the entire North side of our porch. Our porch is an amazing 21 foot long!

Here are the first bead board planks  back going up.
It would have been so much easier to  have just bought new...But I love the color and patina of the old!

In  the long run...we will be glad we just can't duplicate this kind of age and color!
The layers of paint's just cool!

While I was working out in my studio...he started removing the last of the tar paper from our original hard wood floors in the new kitchen...

Dining room and library! Okay, so really it was only for an hour or show me what we need to do.
I will take over now that I have finished shipping pumpkins for the moment!

Restoring the original hardwood floors is another one of those things I really wanted to do. I love how they were patched over time...the nails where the boards popped and they would nails them back down...
and the areas where huge rugs were laid. I only recently found out that in  alot of older homes like ours the floors were never finished under these area rugs. That's what we have ran into here too!
I think the floors will be really beautiful when they are done!
Now all I have to do is decide what color to stain them!
Any ideas? I was thinking  a warm grey or weathered finish ...what do you think?

This is where you will likely find me for the next few days!
Until next time...


  1. Bless your heart! There are so many projects! I can't wait till you guys get it all done cause I know it's gonna be a show place! Have a great day!

  2. It's so fun to watch this all unfold. What a treat that you have those old hardwood floors under all that tar paper. Like discovering treasure... I love old houses, they're so much more interesting than the new homes being built.


  3. What big jobs you have taken on...but it will all be so worth it when you are done. We have rehabbed 14 houses over the years and just when we thought we were finished there was always just "one more thing" to do...that's why I kept moving!;>)

    I hope you have a few moments to enjoy Fall! Hugs- Diana

  4. Gosh girl, you guys are really going to have a porch to be proud of...who needs a house with a porch that size?! I love porch living, don't you Donna? Dale and I live out here in the warmer months. Dale even sleeps out here a lot of the nights, when the house is too hot.
    I love seeing how your house is coming Donna.
    sending much love...

  5. You would be 2 hours farther along if we didn't chat so long! lol
    It will be just wonderful and all your hard work is imbuing every board, every slat with love and warmth that will last for generations.

    I can imagine the cool breezes. I can only imagine mind you, because we NEVER have cool breezes...sigh.... or front porches for that matter, but oh, I do remember....

  6. Oh This is the start of a new beginning. I bet the result will be worth it. I keep house renovations...
    good luck for now!

  7. You two have a lot of patience for these jobs. Especially that ceiling but it will be worth it. I had to take tar paper off an old 1881 kitchen floor, and it was sooo bad, I ended up hiring a floor guy to come in and sand it off. I couldn't get it off...they were pumpkin pine floors and we left them natural and they were lovely!

  8. Lots of progress! A 21 foot porch? - so jealous!

  9. I love how he indulges your requests. What exactly do you do to get that...and can you ship the formula out with your pillows?
    Haint blue...what great color on those old ceiling boards.
    This is such a huge undertaking of love and commitment...kinda like a marriage...huh?

  10. Good morning, Donna!
    Wow! You and your hubby are renovation rock stars! So much treasure is unfolding as you share your stories with us!

  11. Hi Donna,

    What beautiful natural light your new windows provide!!
    All your hard work will be so worth it...
    I like the idea of your stain choices for the refinished hardwood floor!
    Have a great weekend!

    All the Best,

  12. I LOVE your house updates!! I'll come stay with you for awhile and help ok?? hehe :)

    Grey would be beautiful for those floors, and I'm so glad you kept the original beadboard! It's going to look amazing in the end!! :)

  13. Donna,
    How exciting to have all these projects going on. I'm sure everything will turn out beautiful.
    I honestly can not wait to get a house and make it my own... fun!


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~Donna Reyné