My Vintage Pad Home Tour: A Home Restoration in Huntsville, AL
Vintage Indie would like to welcome Ashley and Andy as they share their beautiful home and unbelievable restoration with us.
Our first home together was a ranch house that needed a little bit of work, mainly cosmetic. We had a blast fixing it up, and that was right around the time of the restoration TV shows "boom" that happened a few years back. We would watch people transform these dilapidated houses into the most stunning homes. Andy (my husband) mentioned his dad had property in our favorite part of town, called Five Points, that needed serious repair. His dad had owned it since the 70s as a rental property, so the tenants didn't take the best care of it. Without even seeing the interior, I became obsessed with the idea of restoring the home back to a single family residence and creating the perfect home for us. After a year of convincing his parents that we really wanted to do this, they finally gave notice to the tenants that they were selling, and handed us the keys. Even with the puddle of pee that was in the kitchen, and the alligator (!!!) cage that was in the bedroom, and the mold all throughout the dining room, we knew it was perfect!
What is your favorite part of each room?
Overall, my favorite thing about the entire house is the lighting. I love how our bedroom faces East, so we wake up with the sun. There are a couple of hours in the morning where our bedroom glows. It's hard to wake up on the wrong side of the bed when it's so beautiful. Our living room gets the afternoon light, and it pours into the house, making the whole room look warm and cozy. The dining room houses two very important antiques - Andy's great great grandmother's dining room table, and my grandmother's piano. It's also where my extensive camera collection is stored. I love that our family's furniture blends so nicely with each other to create a comfortable room. All three of these rooms - bed, living, and dining - have fireplaces. We have 6 total in the house, and I love the character element they lend to each room. Not to mention the mantle space to display some of our favorite collections. And our kitchen and bath probably received the most amount of TLC thus far. We had to basically re-build the entire back part of the house, so it's been a true labor of love. Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted black and white checkered floors, so it was wonderful when that little dream became true! I also love that the entire kitchen is basically windows and it provides a nice place to start our seeds each year.
While nothing was particularly "hard" about the restoration - everything was a learning process for us - we did live without water for 3 weeks. We became great friends with the gas station attendant down the street! We also didn't have electricity for 2 months when we first moved in. We lived upstairs while working on the downstairs. Since the house was a duplex, there were two breakers. In fact, the upstairs was on a fuse box that was a fire hazard, so we had to wait until the electricity was run downstairs, and then the electrician dropped us a line to use upstairs via a long, long extension cord. It was fun squatting, I mean, "camping out" with my husband.
Where do you find inspiration for decorating your home?
When we didn't have walls, insulation, electricity, and water I poured over Domino (RIP) and This Old House magazines dreaming of the day when I could focus on what kind of flower would go into what vase. When the time came to actually start picking out colors for rooms, I went with my gut. The main colors I used basically screamed at me among the pile o' paint chips and I never looked back. And it's like that with about everything in our house, when I came across it - whatever it is - it just jumped out! When I found our kitchen cabinets (after getting quotes of $10k for lower cabinets for a 5x6 area) sitting there together, all for $1,200 my eyes totally teared up. It's like this house is sending me out to find all of its lost pieces!
How do vintage things play a role in your room/home?
They basically make up our entire home. I think I could only find 20 items that were bought new, and I'm sure some of them came from our wedding registry haha. My husband and I eagerly wait for the estate sales each weekend and scour thrift stores to find the treasures. I absolutely love seeing all these random things that we like come together to make up our home. It's so much more exciting than going to a store with mass production of the same items. Sure, I appreciate the design of some of today's top selling name brands, but I love the "hunt" of finding things vintage.
You have to really want it. Like, I dreamed about this house every night the entire year before it became ours (whole new meaning to 'dream house' haha). We knew this would take a lot of time and money, but we decided (together!) that this is what we wanted. We wanted this plot of land and this house to become our home, no matter what it took. Honestly, we didn't have a lot of capital when this project started, so we did what we could, when we could...and we still operate like that. We didn't really plan out a budget because we knew it would get done someway, somehow and as long as we stayed out of debt, we would be fine. So while we are still working on this house, we both have our sanity - and most importantly - each other, still! You just have to make sure you know what you are getting into and try to plan accordingly, or at least not fret over every small thing. There will be small things and big things that go wrong, but it's all part of the process.
Thank you Andy and Ashley for sharing all of your hard work with us, I
can't even imagine all of the sweat and love you had to pour into this
home. The outcome is simply stunning.
Visit their website The Real Vertical House for more photos.
Thanks again Andy & Ashley!
What a wonderful job, I think your home is beautiful, congratulations.
Posted by: Painted Fingers | May 20, 2010 at 11:58 AM
oh wow this is awesome! thank you so much! perfect timing as today is our four year anniversary!!! you're good ;)
Posted by: Ashley at The Real Vertical House | May 20, 2010 at 03:25 PM
wow...what an awesome and inspiring job! beautiful!
Posted by: Chandra | May 20, 2010 at 03:27 PM
Now THAT is inspiring! what a gorgeous home you have created....just lovely.
Posted by: shelbi | May 20, 2010 at 03:42 PM
Congrats on a job well done. I especially love those black and white checked floors in the kitchen!
Posted by: LuAnn Smith | May 20, 2010 at 10:09 PM