Tell It Like It Is


Elephant 717

Hi, y’all! Hope all is well with everyone.

We are back from our whirlwind trip to Ohio which was followed closely by a fun-filled (hot) day at the Charleston Farmers Market. With all the details that need attention after such a busy week, I am anxious to fill you in on all that’s new on Sutherland Avenue.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought the last few days as to how to go forward with this blog. So far, other than the delay from the Charleston Board of Architectural Review (BAR), everything has gone smoothly. So the question I’ve been asking myself is this, “Am I going to be open with you about the bumps we encounter along the way? Or am I going to paint a rosy picture like it’s all a piece of cake?” For those of you who know me personally, you won’t be surprised that I decided to just go ahead and Tell It Like It Is. So here we go.

This week we had a bump.

You’ve heard of the proverbial elephant in the room, right? Well, we have one in our kitchen. Of course it is not a large mammal, it’s a chimney. A beautiful, but awkwardly placed architectural feature you can see in the photo above..

Not only did we want to save it, the BAR did not want us to tear it down. It sets near the area we planned to put our breakfast table. What makes it even more awkward are the kitchen stairs which are just a few feet away. We measured and measured and decided once the back wall was torn away, opening up the 7 foot addition, we would have room for the table.

Last week the back wall was removed and the 7 foot addition was framed in along with the installation of the flooring. Knowing that this much-anticipated  part of the renovation had been completed, David & I drove straight through with minimal stops Thursday in order to get home and see the results before dark.

We pulled up in front of the house around 8:15. It was amazing! You could stand in the front yard and see straight though the house to the backyard.The back wall was gone and the floor of the addition was in as expected! Then it happened.

We walked into the kitchen and there it was, the elephant. The removal of the wall did not help. The additional floor space did not help. There was no way we could place any size table there without compromising the traffic flow to the screen porch.What were we thinking?   I was totally discouraged. The kind of discouraged that causes me to fall silent. This rarely happens. (The silent part.) 🙂 And, when it does, David feels sorry for me. This rarely happens also. 🙂 But when he feels sorry for me you know I must be really sad. Not crying sad, but sad. We’re spending all this money on the house and we don’t even have a good place for a kitchen table? I was certainly discouraged to say the least.

I just hung on to the fact that we were meeting with Marc the next day. I knew that meeting could be a game changer and it was.

When we arrived at the house I could see that Marc realized as did we, that the plan for the table placement was not ideal. But what would we do? We toyed around with going back to the BAR to ask about removing the chimney again. We knew that we wanted to bring in Shane from Coastal Cabinet Company to get his input as to how to make changes in the kitchen cabinet layout.

Marc’s continued assurance that historic Charleston homes are never perfect with all their tweaks and oddities. He also pointed out that our home has many opportunities and options to make some adjustments. That, along with the affirmation that the chimney, and also the kitchen stairs, were not only going to bring character, but also much value to our home helped to rebuild my confidence.

The decision was made to stick with the chimney leaving no need to involve the Charleston BAR any further. It was all going to work out. I once again felt happy and excited about our new home. Thanks, Marc!

I am certain this will not be the last challenge. I also realize that those challenges are what will make this journey rewarding. How boring would a smooth ride be anyway, right?

So there you have it. As you and I both know, this will not be a bed of roses. There will be bumps, issues and unexpected changes that will come along the way. But I promise to share them all. I couldn’t do this any other way.

I have some additional photos for your viewing pleasure below.

Thanks for tuning in. And don’t forget to sign up for email notification of future posts if you haven’t already. I’ll be back soon with the latest happenings at 10 Sutherland Avenue. Until then, y’all take care!

On a side note, as I mentioned we just got back from a trip to Ohio to visit 6 of our grandchildren. As those of you who have had the “pleasure” of talking with me in person  know, I have quite the southern accent filled with “y’all” and “bless your hearts.” I was a little caught  off guard when our Yankee granddaughter, Frances had a question for me. “Gree, why do you talk like a cowboy?” I’m thinking to myself, “Cowboy? Whatever does she mean?” So I answer with a question, “Why do you think I talk like a cowboy?” Her answer: ” Because cowboys say “Y’all” and Liiiiike just like you!”  I’ve been called a lot of things but Buzz Lightyear is a new one!

Grandchildren say the darndest things, don’t they? 🙂





Hurricane straps



Back 717


Screen Porh




10 responses to “Tell It Like It Is

  1. Tiffany

    Finally catching up on your blog, it looks amazing!
    WE need to catch up soon. Keep telling it like it is…that’s what we love about you😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vicki Cook

    I love following your blog. It is a real life reality renovation show without the cuts!! Thanks for sharing!


  3. carolyn

    hey cindy

    we were in town for one day only and we stopped by in the afternoon. sadly you weren’t there so we couldn’t meet for real just yet. but i did walk all around the house. you’re very brave!


    • I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I say that you are not the first person to say that. 🙂 I’m not sure if we’re brave or crazy! Maybe a little of both.

      I’m so sorry I missed you. Please let me know the next time you are in town and I will be sure to be at the house. I’d love a tour of your beautiful home.


      • carolyn

        we’ll be back on august 25 for another day. hope to meet you then and of course, we can tour our house- which is not very beautiful at this point!


      • I am making a reminder to myself! I hope we have a chance to meet. Even if it’s just to say hello!

        Have a nice weekend!


  4. Patricia Balduff

    Cindy…I cannot believe a girl from Jackson County has taken on such a project. You are doing a great job and I so enjoy following the progress. Can’t wait for the next update😀


    • Thank you so much, Tricia! Now you don’t think we’re physically doing this ourselves, do you? I only ask because I have had several people that said they thought we were doing it on our own. I do not have any such skills. 🙂 Beyond that, I am truly having a blast. Thank you for your interest. You will have to come for a personal tour! Take care & thanks for your comment.


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