Sunday, March 12, 2017


After nearly 2 years, we are finally finished.  Of course, you're never actually finished with yardwork, and I'm sure I'll find little things here and there to add to the decor over time. But for now, we can say that the restoration is finished.  Here are some before-and-afters to show how far we've come.
  The kitchen and breakfast nook:

As a reminder, the tabletop is made of the cypress wood that served as the counter for the kitchen cabinets and was covered with formica.

 The living room:

I found the purple velvet chair on a street corner near Rice Village on a Sunday morning. It was moldy and still damp even from being in someone's leaky garage or storage unit for a very long time. I was by myself so putting it into the back of my SUV-let was a challenge. And because I couldn't close the trunk door, I had to tie it down with the scarf I was fortunate enough to be wearing.  After spraying it down with a combination of vinegar and bleach we brought it into the house until we could find a re-upholsterer. It was in our guest room since 2014, but it perfectly matches at WBC.

The Roman shades were sewn by Aunt Evelyn from fabric I found half price at High Fashion Home. Her MAD SKILLS are also present in the pool room cushions and shades, as well as in the sleeping room curtains. Thanks Aunt Onion!

The pool room:

And thanks to Lance and Rachael for beta-testing the place, and pointing out that we didn't have any place in the pool room for people to set drinks.  Now we have a nifty perch for beverages.

The hallway:

In keeping with the theme, I had some of my photos of the wisteria along the fence blown up on canvas.

The bathroom:

The master bedroom:

The twin bedroom:

The sleeping room:

If you are interested in spending the weekend, check out our listing on Air BnB

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

I'm going to hire a wino to decorate our home...

On the drive to work one day listening to the classic country station, I heard Dave Frizzell singing this 1982 Country Music Song of the Year nominee written by Dewayne Blackwell:

I'm gonna' hire a wino to decorate our home,
So you'll feel more at ease here, and you won't have to roam.
We'll take out the dining room table, and put a bar along that wall.
And a neon sign, to point the way, to our bathroom down the hall.

David Frizzell - I'm Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

When I heard this, I realized this is exactly what I'm doing to the cottage!  Rather than restoring the piano, we decided to convert it into a bar.  Here's how it started out.

The piano came with the house because it was too much of a pain to move.

It's a Bush & Gerts piano, and fully restored, could sell for up to $17,000 to a collector.

Unfortunately, the piano guy thought it would cost $15,000 to restore it...

But Mom found an inspiration photo that led us another direction.

These are the guts of the piano. We keep thinking we could convert this to some sort of art piece but the inspiration hasn't quite hit yet.

After removing the guts, Terry put a board to support a countertop. We found a marble remnant for just $60 that was later cut to size.

 After building slots for wine glasses and installing some lights, we now have a piano bar! It's still covered in construction dust and the wood is dry from so many years without conditioning. But she's ready for the next iteration of her life as a bar. As a side note, this is where the piano sat when the previous owner was a child.

Also much like the wino decorator in the song, we decided long ago not to have a dining room table, instead opting for a pool table. We had the pool table installed this weekend; a Craigslist find that was a bargain, but came at the cost of lots of driving.

The installers were very meticulous, and repeatedly checked the table to ensure it was level.

Even though we were trying to beat the post-Thanksgiving traffic back to Houston, I shot around a little bit.  Scratched twice, but otherwise didn't get a ball in a pocket. Clearly, practice is in order.

We are nevertheless, resisting installing a neon sign to point the way to the bathroom down the hall. Even winos have their limits.

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Move-in day!

So the restoration is not completely 100% done. There's a few little things left to wrap up, but it's close enough to start moving things in. Due to a small snafu with the truck, we had to drive all the way out to Bellaire to pick up the Uhaul. After that 1.5 hour mini-epic, we got the truck loaded with stuff from our house.

 Then we headed to Mom and Dad's to pick up the fridge and other smaller items. The fridge was so tall that once Larry and Dad got it it in the truck we couldn't open the door all the way.

We were fortunate enough to have retained some helpers who currently attend Fayetteville HS to lend some extra muscle.  Boy did those extra muscles come in handy!  Cole and Brenden helped move the fridge, the sleeper sofa, the washer and dryer, the rugs and all kinds of smaller items from the truck.

And they very politely "ooh'd" and "aah'ed" at all the right moments, especially when we took the box off of the fridge and got to see it for the first time.

 Though moving the fridge was much easier with the furniture dolly, I still think I lost a year of my life watching them bring it in and get it set up.

After about 45 minutes and a run to the general store to get felt sticky pads to level the fridge and keep it from messing up the floor, it was finally level and securely in place.

After all that work it was definitely time for cheeseburgers!

After lunch Cole and Brenden helped Dad and Larry move the sleeper sofa.  

And as our designated heroes for the day, we gave them the honor of testing out the couch first.

I don't think that's the finger Dad meant to hold up...He is adamant that this is the last sleeper sofa he's ever going to move.

After Cole and Brenden left, we put together the bigger portion of the living room. The rug is a little lumpy from being rolled up for so long.  But it should flatten out this week.

Possibly next weekend we'll have the chance to get the tvs mounted.

The master bedroom is sort of coming together, but we didn't bring any hardware to actually assemble the bed and we still need to get curtain hardware.

Truly one of the highlights of Saturday was using the toilet!  No actually have a functional toilet and running water are things we do not take for granted.

We also failed to bring the hardware for the beds in the second bedroom so that will have to wait for another day too.

But the sleeping room is very nearly done.  We only lack window treatments. I have an idea of what I want; now that most of the big stuff is done, it's time to execute the plan.

So a big thanks to Cole and Brenden, two of the absolute sweetest, and most helpful young people I have had the pleasure of meeting!

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.