Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Power of Love...


I fall in love with The Old Girls over... and over... and over...  For those of you who don't know, The Old Girls are our multi-family treasures in the National Historic Districts where we live.  This one is a duplex built in the 20s.  People frequently ask if they were originally single family; the answer is no.


There were some amazingly elegant duplexes and fourplexes built in Tyler during the early days of its growth... and the oil boom....

Then, there was the decline of this wonderful old neighborhood, just as in many others across our country.  Revitalization slowly began in the late 70s.


Even after the revitalization of this area and the designation as historic districts, the multifamily properties often languished... disdained by neighboring homeowners and bled out by uncaring investors.  I hated them too... however, I've always believed if you don't like something, you need to work to do something about it or quit your 'fussing'.  ;)


So, six years ago, this was our first Old Girl to "bring back".  The floors were sagging and covered in filthy carpet... the walls had cheap paneling... what paint there was was curled and flaked... F.I.L.T.H... and neglect. 

But her ailing bones were magnificent.


While we did have to add these things to modernize the kitchen, there are still the original cabinets, sink and countertop (had to add dishwasher... who wants to wash the dishes)... 


My one regret was the choice of this vinyl for the kitchen, bath and utility room.  Still hate it.


We had to replace the sink and toilet, but retained the tub and added subway tile for the shower surround.  We almost always add beadboard to the baths along with the sheetrock.


We added crown molding to every room (I cannot have rooms without crown molding), sheetrock to the walls, ripped out the carpets and had the floors stained and refinished.  We won't talk about the jacking up of the floors and adding piers or the plumbing issues or the electrical work.  ;)

As Evan and I walked through it last week getting ready to lease it again, he said he STILL can't believe how it used to look and how it does now... I just fall in love all over again...

Such a sweet, young couple... full of hope and dreams... bright and shiny stars... moved in this past weekend.  We have been so blessed by the people we have met and by the honor of being caretakers for these beautiful Old Girls. 

The power of love is a good thing.

blessings ~ tanna

35 comments:

Chatty Crone said...

That was such a beautiful home - condo. Wish I could live in something with such great history. Looks so spacious! Sandie

TexWisGirl said...

truly gorgeous property, tanna! you've done a wonder of good in restoring these girls. :)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Lovely, and well loved!

Terra said...

Tanna, these old girls are very handsome and you did great work in bringing them back. So good a nice young couple is leasing this one.

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

Oh my goodness...can you hear me shouting for Denton Texas!!!! First of all I want one for my daughter...will there be any open by March?
Second, our second son just bought a 1920's home in Dallas and our first son just finished renovating it...I must send them this post and one day brag on that house on my own blog.

Oh I just love these...great job, so glad you rescued the girls.

I would so love to do this!

Donna said...

Oh, Tanna, I love what you do with these homes...the promise you see and keep. The work you do and the love you share! Amazing.
So happy for you and the Old Girls and the new young couple that is going to love this one for a time.

Kelly said...

I don't blame you at all for falling in love with it all over again. It's beautiful now! I love the white painted fireplace, hardwood floors, beadboard trim, charming old fashioned kitchen and the overall character of the house. I'm sure the new renters are loving it too! You put alot into it, it sounds like.

Kate I said...

So Beautiful Tanna...and the love and dignity with which it was restored is so evident. You have a gift for encouraging beauty to shine.

Betsy Brock said...

I love it! And the outside is as adorable as the inside! My sister did a few 'flips' so I know how hard the work can be!

Wanda said...

Oh my, I'm so impressed with your Old Girl. And tickled a young couple can make it their home.

You do good work dear!!! Want to come to CA?? HaHa.

The Little Adventures of LueLee said...

I sure have missed your blogs Aunt Tanna!!!!! I am glad to see that you have made new post!!! Especially this one!!!! Your little Gals are always so Beautiful and well loved!!!! I love you and Unk pass some hugs around xoxoxoxoxox

Pondside said...

Bringing these old girls back to life must be immensely satisfying - I'd say it sounds like a cross between an all-encompassing hobby and a vocation!

podso said...

Just sighed over the beauty of these, and the exquisite work you have done on them. The colors are so lovely too! I see so much sunshine!

Diana Ferguson said...

Great job, girl!!!

From the Kitchen said...

I've just decided on furniture placement in that charming living room! When we did work on the kitchen of our 1921 "old girl", we decided to keep the kitchen cabinets. We found out they were built on the spot to fit the kitchen!

So glad you are back. I figured all was well from the constant smiles appearing on the "little men" from post to post!!

I've been keeping up with "our" city but didn't go this year because of library opening festivities. Had I gone, I would have been driving back through a lot of snow!!

Best,
Bonnie

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

If only there were more people like you two in cities and towns all across the US who would do the same thing. There's so many neighborhoods that could do with a bit of revitalizing. Such a shame to see old homes just left to rot away. Ya'll have done great work and anyone would be very luck to live in one of your old girls. :) Hugs and blessings, Tammy

Tricia @ saving room for dessert said...

That is a well loved home - not just a house. Great job - so happy I got to see those photos. You do an amazing job revitalizing those with potential - do you think you could do that for me??? I think I've got potential!

Jen Price said...

It's beautiful! What fun to fix up!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

What a wonderful thing, to be able to bring life and beauty back to the girls once again!! Such fabulous work! Any one would be lucky to live there.

Marie said...

Love the restoration! Great job. I love the character in the older homes.
Love,
Marie

Deborah said...

She is beautiful. Thank you for saving her.

Judy S. said...

Awesome jjob! Your renters are so lucky!

Dianne said...

I LOVE what you have done! What a beautiful, classy home. The young couple who have moved in must be delighted!

Debbie said...

BEAUTIFUL JOB! Gorgeous home! Love the colors and the bright kitchen. I hope your young couple will appreciate the work you did.
Rick and I did this type of work for ten years in Texarkana and brought back a few of the older homes in the historical district. One house particularly I loved. Wish I could have moved it to the country and lived in it myself. LOVED IT and wish my house had a few more "historical" features in it. We're adding the mouldings and putting new hardwood throughout. I'll have pictures as we get the work done. This weekend, we're laying insulation under the first floor and laying the subflooring. Big job ahead this weekend.

Debbie said...

It's just beautiful, Tanna. I love what you said about not whining if you won't do something about it. I agree. I have long wanted to live in an "old girl", but it never has happened. I finally decided to love the place I was in. But still, I love to look at them.

Kerin said...

Great renovation job, Tanna.
I really can appreciate the amount of work, and love that goes into a project like that.
We old house people totally "get it!"
It's always more expensive, and takes so much more time to get it right, than it does to tear it down and start over.
The historical value in these old homes and properties are SO worth saving!

Ok.. now, I'll climb off my soap box, and send warm wishes your way, and a hearty "great job!"

Smiles :)
K.

ImSoVintage said...

I love, love, love this. I am so excited to have found your blog through a comment you left on the Essence of Home. Can't wait to read more.

Hugs,
Laura

Mary said...

Tanna, I really do believe that everything you touch becomes more beautiful. I'm so glad you have found a young couple who will appreciate this old girl. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

I can see why you fall in love all over again... it is beautiful!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love an older homes like these that has character! I think it's wonderful that you've restored these "Old Girls" to their past glory and allowed them to be enojoyed again by future families. My son's firts house in Denver looked very much like this one --it was built in 1903!

Cindy said...

I guess love allows us to see beyond the ugly and see what can be. I had to do that when we purchased our little bungalow, it was dark and had an ugly kitchen. I don't think it's quite as lovely as this little place, but it looks more like it should now, I think.
Hugs, Cindy

California Girl said...

Even though you still "hate" the vinyl, you know you learned from it. I bet your last project had few misses.

Who wouldn't fall in love all over again with a beautiful place like this? You just have to "see" the potential. My husband is very much like you. I have to be coaxed & convinced.

Amanda Fowler said...

Hi Tanna,
Can you share what paint color you used for the living room/common areas? I have an old home that we are currently renovating and having a hard time picking interior colors. Your projects look great!!

Amanda

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

The interior color of the LR/DR is Snip of Tannin by Kelly Moore. =)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

So sorry, Amanda, I can't find a way to e-mail you the paint info... so, I have just put it here (above). Thank you so much for your sweet comment and good luck with your project! I love folks helping restore the Old Girls to their rightful beauty. blessings ~ tanna

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