Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Janelle Mcculloch Photograph

Remember when Anna and I were frantically preparing for a photo shoot in early summer? Hurrying and scurrying around from cottage to cottage ..madly "Fluffing" and adding a finishing touch here and there. The photographer,Janelle Mccullough, was from Australia and came to Tybee to shoot some of my work for an upcoming book she is writing. She was delightful and so much fun. She stayed at "99 steps" and rode my old beach bike around the island with camera in hand. Here is an example of her talent.She captured the essence of this wonderful "new but feels old" bathroom.

I LOVE Color and I LOVE my job!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me !!!!

As a gift for my birthday, my son Bauer scanned the old 1870 prints for me to share with you. Notice the photo of the children and the woman down by the water's edge in her hat and long dress. When the movie "Glory" was filmed here,they created this very photo in living color as the movie set. It was if the photo had come to life! My son, Winn, and his friends were extras in the movie and I sometimes wonder if that was the reason he himself ended up in film. He is actually making a movie in Memphis Tenn. called "Losers Take All". He loves writing screen plays and making movies.

Once I finished the project and had moved into the house, the location scouts and the producers of the movie ,"The Big Chill" came to visit Isle of Hope in search of the perfect spot for the film. They fell in love with all of it.... the trees, the river, the house and the colors that I had painted all the rooms. They were swinging on the giant rope swing and loving all the things that we had lovingly RE-created. They teasingly told Winn he could be the corpse ( remember all they showed were his hands)( Kevin Costner did actually play the corpse).They would have had to move us out and they would all have move in and lived for 3 months while the movie was being filmed. I had not even finished unpacking all my boxes and I worried about my newly refinished floors. They ended up shooting the movie in Beaufort South Carolina in a beautiful empty house..That movie was the BEST...I should have run out the door... and said .." See you in three months"..


Thursday, August 19, 2010

My BEST Lesson !!!

This wonderful project took 1 1/2 years to complete. I was the General Contractor (in name only). Actually, I was the "GO -FOR", and the clean up crew of one, and the question asker ... 1,000,000 questions would be a good round number ! I learned where the money had to be spent and why. I made design decisions with all my pictures and my dreams foremost in my mind. I spent hours sitting under the giant oak tree in the front yard pondering and listening to this beautiful old place come back to life. We save everything we took off, bought a few new/old things and rebuilt it in the spirit of the original house. I fell in love with the process of restoring an old house. I had amazing craftsmen and subcontractors who were willing to work on an old building and be patient with me as I learned the many steps that it took to do this type of major project. Years later it still stands as a reminder of WHY one doesn't tear down a wonderful old house full of history in a wonderful historic area on the coast of Georgia..... or anywhere for that matter!!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My passion for old houses...began in 1980

Old photos ..............found this one today ...This is the before of my first project .. the house had been in the same family since 1870. The heirs gave me a photograph of the house that was taken in 1870. Once I saw that photograph, my goal was to bring it back as close to the original as possible .....The house had been on the market for two years and was covered with vines and looked so sad and neglected . It is located on a beautiful bluff on the intracoastal waterway 20 minutes from Savannah Georgia. DEFINITELY Love at first sight!!!!!! The magic peeked out of every nook and cranny...and there were so many. The house was filled with old cotton factor journals,a 1989 city directory ( guess how much it cost to keep your horse and buggy in town?) old lace.and linens and trunks and boxes and world war one gas mask and secret papers.............and sooo many "Dear john" letters. The name of the family was John McLaughlin's. How lucky was I!!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another "Before"


Discovered this on a CD today. I am remodeling my office and it has been a real mess ....years of stuff everythere. I discoved this in a box that was headed to the Humane Society Thrift Store.

( Organized people never make the amazing discoveries the rest of us do......I call this finding "Buried Treasure."

This is a "Before" of the raised cottage featured in Coastal Living Magazine's Best Makeovers. Actually, I found several "Before" which I will share once I learn all the ends and outs of loading photos. Funny, I thought "it is beautiful even in this photo!" Saving old houses, no matter where they are located, is definitely worth the effort. Seeing beyond the "ugly". That is what it takes.
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cover of Coastal Living's Best Makeovers

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I am thrilled about another "Cover", but I am more thrilled about the fact that restoring a wonderful old beach house is one of the best things there is. Having clients that want it restored as close to original as possible is even better. Having it inspire people to save old houses is THE BEST!!!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Key lime Parrot Cottage


This Key Lime Parrot cottage. After renovating it, we had no budget for the "fun stuff". When there is little or no budget one is forced to be more creative. This is one of my favorite rooms in the cotttage. The light streams in the windows and the blue and white floor just shines away. I will try to find a few "before's of this great little cottage in my archives and post them later
Mermaid Cottages.com. rents the cottage for my clients and it happens to be one of the favorites.
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