Ooo Ooo That Smell

House 2b

In my last blog  I chose Stevie Wonder’s hit, “Isn’t She Lovely” as the title/theme song for the week. As I pondered this week’s topic the Lynyard Skynyard song “That Smell” kept popping into my mind. Okay folks, this ain’t too pretty a subject but the facts are Sutherly had a bit of an odor problem when we first met. If you had the opportunity for a tour during that period I am sure you are thinking… that is a bit of an understatement.

As happens sometimes when a house sets vacant, animals of all kinds seek shelter from the storm inside and who could blame them, right? Unfortunately none of them were potty trained. I think I’ll just leave it at that. No more needs to be said.

After many discussions on what was the best recourse, we decided the only  way to insure the odor was permanently removed was to tear out all the plaster which had absorbed the odor. We are still hopeful of saving most of the flooring. Again, it was not an easy decision.  I hope we made the right one.

So starting last week, the walls came tumbling down. I have attached some photos so you can see the dramatic transformation.See if you can identify some of the rooms.

Even though it was not our first choice, the removal of the walls gives us the opportunity to reinvent the space. We now have the opportunity to open up the floor plan to accommodate a more modern style of living. We still will work hard to maintain as many original elements as possible.

One of the key features that everyone is pulling for is the service stairs in the kitchen. Although they won’t be functioning, they will serve as an architectural piece that helps tell the story of the home. It lends itself to many creative ideas such as drawers in the steps or along the side. (Can you spell P-I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T ?) 🙂

Lots of discussions about engineering, support beams, footings etc.have happened this week. We need to decide if we are going to reinstall the sheet rock around the fireplace of leave it exposed? (I’d love your  opinion.) And then there’s furniture placement? And the all important question, “Where will the TV go?” My head is kind of swimming with uncertainty.

We have debated whether to bring in a decorator to help with some of these decisions. I feel like I have my own ideas but would love some input from a professional. A conversation I had with a customer Saturday at the Charleston Farmers Market helped me to gain more confidence.

Rachel and her husband live right outside Waco, Texas. They had just bought a 100 year old home and plan to renovate it. (Sound Familiar?) We hit it off immediately!  Of course I laughingly suggested that she should get Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines to help her. Turns out she and her husband are friends of the popular couple. Her husband and Chip went to Baylor together.

She said, “I could ask Joanna for help. But I think I can do this myself. I want this to be my dream.” And that is how I feel. I want this project to be my vision. (And David’s too of course!) Let’s hope it doesn’t become our nightmare! 🙂

Stay tuned folks. We’re just gettin’ started!

Footnote: Before we leave the gross subject department today, I must give you an update. The petrified rodent I mentioned last week has a new home. After carefully placing him in a plastic container he is on his way to science class with a happy little 10 year old boy. 🙂


House 1bHouse 3HOuse 4b008House7House 8HOuse 6



2 responses to “Ooo Ooo That Smell

  1. Cindy this looks so exciting !!! The stairway looks a little confusing? It seems to be coming from main floor to the upstairs and then cross over and back down to Where ? Just curious !!!


    • Good point, Mrs. Long (aka mom). The stairs go up from the front foyer and back down on the second set of stairs into the kitchen area. They call the back stairs the butlers stairs. This house however does not appear to be in the category of people who could afford live-in help.


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