Time For Change

So after 7 years, our home, Casa Real was ready for a little facelift.  Thanks to a horrible hail storm in April of 2011, we ended up with a long list of things that needed to be done.  The major projects were to replace all the windows and exterior doors, as well as the slate roof.  Our contractors, Schmid and Rhodes in Knoxville, TN, asked us if we would clear out some of our “stuff” to make the process a little easier for them…..and we thought that was a fantastic idea in order to provide the most protection for our artwork and antiques.  It also opened the door for the list of things that needed to be done.

The list grew, as most projects do, and now includes the following:

*Reconfigure the former office and create a media room, office, and entertainment area that services the pool

*Create a new storage and display piece for the new media room that will house part of our collection of antique accessories as well as new components for television and sound

*Create an updated mantle and overmantle for the new media room

*Eliminate the horrid track lighting in the office, and in so doing, create a sensible lighting plan, and install a new wooden ceiling

*Replace the marble floor in the kitchen….which continues to crack despite our efforts to correct it….with antique heart pine, and while in the process, replace the parquet floor in the den with the same flooring; thus unifying the entire main floor.

*Replace interior door hardware with lever handles appropriate to the style of the house, and add detail to the door painting

*Fresh paint colors for the green guest room, master bedroom, and laundry room

There are probably other things that will pop up along the way, but this is the bulk of the list.  My goal is to document the project as it goes along, and provide before, during, and after photos of the work.

Our goal is to give our home a fresh look.  As a designer, it is easy for me to look at a client’s home in a fresh light.  Since I am so attached to this place, and spend so much time here…..it is really hard to do that with my own home.  The repair work forced us to remove the majority of our “stuff” and it is giving us an opportunity to “re-think” exactly how we want spaces to function, and to really look at how things can be put together differently.  We are adding some new pieces into the mix as we go along, mainly with the goal of creating more storage space for a growing collection of antique accessories.

One of the first things we did was to remove all of the artwork and accessory pieces.  We packed many of them, but there were two bathrooms that were getting no work at all other than fresh paint on the doors and trim….plus the new door hardware.  A few weeks before we started on the major project, we had those areas completed, so we could start packing them with “stuff”.  Next, the movers came and packed up what was left and we carefully moved everything to a climate contolled storage facility.  Then, up came the rugs which have gone out for cleaning and any needed repairs, and finally, Prestige Cleaners came to get all the draperies to get them back into tip top shape and to store them for us until we are ready for installation.  The process took time, but it was a well organized plan, and we worked on it a little bit each day for about a week, it became a manageable task that way, and it did get completed.


The above photo is of the upstairs hall bath filled with paintings and lamps.  It is best to store paintings vertically, and when you can, put them back to back and front to front.  This really helps minimize frame damage from hooks and wires rubbing on the finished part of another piece.

Today was the first full day of work, and most of what happened was protection for the surfaces we were not changing.  The upholstered walls in the dining room were covered, floors were covered, and the few pieces of furniture we were able to leave in the house were covered with foam board to protect them.  This will be an exciting process, at least for Bobby and me, and I hope that you enjoy reading about our newest adventure.