Hey y’all! I hope all is well with our friends and family out there in Cyberville! As for the Ellsworths, we are filled with ANTICIPATION! Yes, we are nearing the finish line. Can you believe it? We hope to receive our Certificate of Occupancy Monday, December 12.

It’s hard to imagine that just six short months ago our house looked like the photo below. And this week we are calling the moving company and ordering curtains. 🙂


David and I are a little shell shocked by it all. We must have thought this would go on forever. Just the other day our contractor Marc Engelke, told us that if we had the ceiling fans we could bring them over to be installed. We both were a little caught off guard. David said, “But… you said you didn’t need them until the end.” Marc said in his most kind and understanding voice, “This.. IS… the end.” That was our wake up call.:)

So much has been happening everyday. And ya know, that’s how it’s supposed to work, right?  You hire a contractor. The contractor has subcontractors ready to schedule, perfectly timed like the conductor of an orchestra. No, for this metaphor let’s use a train conductor instead. That’s more befitting to Marc. And before you know it the project is complete.

At least that’s how it’s suppose to work.  But rarely is that the case. Not this time. And not the last time from what we hear. Our contractor says he has never had a renovation last longer than 7 months. I would say feel free to reach out for his contact information but I bet you won’t be surprised that he is a pretty busy fellow. We can’t say enough good things about him and the artfully skilled teams that work along side him.

For example, take a look at the hardware as it appeared when we bought the house.

The door knobs had to be replaced but they scraped and painted the plates and reused them on all the upstairs doors.

Once again, after ripping out so much of poor Sutherly’s soul due to the horrid condition we found her in, we have  tried to reintroduce as many of her original elements as possible along the way. These are the same doors and back plates shown above.

Another demonstration of the care, skill and painstaking attention to detail is shown below. Notice how Brice took the time to trim out the window shelf so it would fit perfectly underneath the trim on the kitchen window.

Sutherly got a couple of new bracelets this week! The handrails are not only beautiful but also necessary. Their simplicity and elegance make the entrance feel very Charlestonian, don’t you think? They were created by another talented Charleston craftsman.


Moving right along, did I tell you how hard it was to pick out light fixtures? “Hard” may not be the correct word to use here. Maybe exasperating, exhausting or maybe even insurmountable. Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic. I know what I like. I just couldn’t find them!  I bet I have looked at every light fixture known to modern mankind at least 10 times each. It was difficult finding the fine line between staying true to the history of the house, remaining somewhat current and staying true to my own taste.

I finally made it. I love each and every one of them. They are period in the sense their theme is based on an era gone by. They offer a touch of industrial which I surprised myself by loving.

Let me introduce you to my appliances. 🙂

David chose them all and I think he did a great job. Once again, there was a little snafu when it came time to order the appliances. David had done all his homework. He had planned to order from Lowe’s and was told to wait to order until a week before you need them because they did not like to hold them in the warehouse for very long. We were even going to get the Black Friday sales prices early and save over $2000. Sounds good, right?

So…we bop on over to Lowe’s a week before installation and SURPRISE! Oh, Mr. Ellsworth, if you want that dishwasher it will take 2 weeks to be delivered. Same with the ovens! Oh no. Then comes the dreaded phone call to Marc to ask his advice.

Now mind you it is not dreaded because he would be mad. It was dreaded because we have a certain amount of responsibilities to keep that well oiled above mentioned choo choo train rolling and we hate it when we drop the ball.

As usual, Marc talked us down off the ledge. With a little scurrying around all the appliance arrived in plenty of time. Have I mentioned that sometimes this can be stressful? 🙂

One of my favs so far is the kitchen sink. Our house on Seabrook had a farmers sink that I loved. It was a double sink which makes kitchen cleanups a lot more efficient in my mind. I fell in love with this little sink. I justified forgoing the efficiency by telling myself I don’t cook nearly as much as I used to and it would be fine. It’s kind of like the line women use about dressing sometimes. Beauty before comfort.

The faucet was changed from an efficient one handle model to the less efficient, but more fitting to the sink style, bridge model.


Well, the meter is running I better scoot on out of here. As I’ve said before, sometimes it’s hard to get me started but when I do, it’s hard to know when to shut down. There will be other blogs to write, right?

As always, I cannot tell you how much it means when folks take the time to tell me that they are living this journey with us via this blog. You have no idea how much that means to me. Truly, I thank you.

Take care! Peace out!

Don’t forget to listen to the song!

Note: As we are nearing the end of the renovation I am preparing a special edition of Simply Sutherland – The Rebirth Of A Charleston Home.  It will be filled with lots of before and after photos taken from the exact spot. It should be fun!


5 responses to “ANTICIPATION!!!

  1. carolyn


    we stopped by yesterday but missed you. looks like your landscaping is all happening! what do you mean by the handrails being not only beautiful but necessary? is that an insurance thing?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Betty Bogue

    Wow! just wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Betsy Turner

    Cindy, it just looks so beautiful! I think you should consider publishing your photos and commentary as a little book. It’s a perfect topic and you have documented it so well.

    Liked by 1 person

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