Building It Our Way

The beginnings of a new kitchen island for Sloss Castle

The beginnings of a new kitchen island for Sloss Castle

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we will be chatting about how frustrating it is to be looking for that perfect piece of furniture, but you can’t find it anywhere–no matter how many stores you visit or online hunting you do…nothing is quite right for that awkward space.  So, go grab a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine and sit a spell with me as I share my own furniture struggle + give a bit of a sneaky peek of what is happening right now at Hathorn Hall.

This is the before of the kitchen at Sloss Castle. The hubby and I spent over a year renovating a 1980 hot mess. We learned a lot about full renovation and ourselves during that adventure!

This is the before of the kitchen at Sloss Castle. The hubby and I spent over a year renovating a 1980 hot mess. We learned a lot about full renovation and ourselves during that adventure!

A little back story…In December 2012, the hubby and I bought a 1980 time capsule that was in desperate need of attention and love. The bones of the house were excellent. The house was charming with lots of potential + we had big plans for her. Now, long story short…we succeeded, but it almost killed our spirit.

The kitchen was not awful, but it was not so great either…light mauve counters, floating cabinets that blocked the view, white tiles with fruit impressions, and a large, awkward space where nothing existed.

The hubby and I knew that an island was the perfect solution for the space big enough to land a helicopter. We took off to find and buy an island. How hard could it be for really picky people to locate the perfect piece of furniture on an unreasonably low budget? NOTE: This budget was set by the hubby, who thinks everything is overpriced. And I do mean everything! Any who…after countless hours of shopping, our ideal island was not found. We had no choice. We had to make it ourselves.

The hubby designed the island and built the island. I was very specific about what I wanted from an island. He accomplished all my requests and more!

I was very specific about what I wanted from an island. The hubby was very sweet to design it with all my requests and more!

I absolutely hate looking at trash cans. They gross me out. Out of sight, out of mind. My number one request for my island was for it to house the trash bin. But, it had to be easy to get out--so I could scrub it..and disinfect it...often.

I absolutely hate looking at trash cans. They gross me out. Out of sight, out of mind. My number one request for my island was for it to house the trash bin. But, it had to be easy to get out–so I could scrub it..and disinfect it…often. P.S. I am currently begging the hubby to solve my kitchen trash can problem at the new house….

I wanted a place to chop veggies + I wanted to use a piece of vintage marble that I had bought many moons ago. The hubby accomplished that + added wine bottle storage. Truth be known...I used it to store my two-liter Diet Pepsi bottles.

I wanted a place to chop veggies + I wanted to use a piece of vintage marble that I had bought many moons ago. The hubby accomplished that + added wine bottle storage. Truth be known…I used it to store my two-liter Diet Pepsi bottles. P.S. the hubby just finished a fabulous piece of furniture for our new dining room that will only hold bottles the size of a typical wine bottle…Hmmmm…is he trying to tell me something?

We decided to paint the island a pretty cinnamon and mint green top. We glazed the top with the same espresso color we used on the cabinets.. The same glaze color used on the cabinets.

We painted the island a pretty cinnamon and mint green and glazed the top with the same espresso color we used on the cabinets.

The island turned out pretty fabulous + it became the gathering spot in the kitchen.

The island turned out pretty fabulous + it became the gathering spot in the kitchen.

Looking back, the sleepless nights...loud, creative discussions...and the back pain were all totally worth it. P.S. I am so glad that I do not have to do a major kitchen renovation in my new house. P.S. the hubby painted the walls + we put a new top on the island. I cannot wait to tell y'all about it!

Looking back, the sleepless nights…loud, creative discussions…and the back pain were all totally worth it. P.S. I am so glad that I do not have to do a major kitchen renovation in my new house. P.S.S. The hubby painted the kitchen walls + we put a new top on the island. Hathorn Hall is slowly coming together, and I cannot wait to tell y’all about it!

Whew! I am getting tired just looking at the before and after of the Sloss Castle kitchen. Sometimes, it is hard to believe that the hubby and I tackled such a project. The good news is we learned many lessons that will help us with our new house. One of those valuable lessons is to not waste countless hours shopping for a piece of furniture…we just sit down, discuss, design, buy materials, and build.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. I am off to help the hubby with a furniture project…I am so excited about this darling table that we are building for the dining room…Someone needs to duct tape my big, Southern mouth before I spill all the beans!

 

A Big Fixer Upper: Challenge Accepted

photo 5-2After many months of prayer and searching, the Hathorns finally found a place to call home in Alabama. It was not the move-in-ready, cute-little-cottage that was on the list; however, the deal was too good to pass up and the location was absolutely perfect.

The ideal location and gorgeous views will make all of the work ahead of us totally worth it. A big fixer upper? Yes. Do the Hathorns accept the challenge? Yes! Now, it is time to get this reno party started *wink*

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This photo was taken the day of the open house. Stan’s job was to inspect, measure, and figure out if the project was doable. My job was to document with photos, take notes, and figure out how to turn the ugly into pretty. Abby’s job was to be silly, assist, and use her Holmes on Homes skills to point out possible disaster.

After months of house hunting and countless hours of looking on the internet, we decided our ideal, move-in-ready house did not exist. We would either have to build (which really wasn’t an option) or buy a house in need of some love (which is really code for lots of renovation).

So off we went to an open house that would change everything.

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This is the before picture of the kitchen. Good news is new stainless appliances; bad news is pink Formica countertops and a section of floating cabinets that block the view!

Before and During Peek of the kitchen

Before and During Peek of the kitchen

We accepted the challenge of restoring this home to its former glory.  There was no doubt it was once the jewel of the neighborhood.  The bones of it are strong, the views undeniable, and the potential ever so glorious.

This is a little before peek of the master bedroom. The room goes beyond the French doors...once again something is blocking the view!

This is a little before peek of the master bedroom. The room goes beyond the French doors. Once again something is blocking a gorgeous view!

Abby having a bit of fun with the destruction of the master bath. Don't worry...Stan was near and supervising carefully.

Abby having a bit of fun with the destruction of the master bath. Don’t worry. Stan was near and supervising carefully.

photo 2-2Lots and lots of leaves had to be raked and bagged. Seriously, lots. Around 100 contractor-sized bags.  Honestly, we lost count! **p.s. that number does not even include the leaves Stan blew to the curb.**

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So far over eight tons have been hauled away...by far the old, dirty carpet was my least favorite item to remove...just yuck!

So far over eight tons of dated and ugly have been hauled away. We all agreed the old, dirty carpet was the least favorite item to remove. Gross + Yuck!

First project on the very first night...removing all the mullions...

First project on the very first night–removing all the mullions.

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 Hello, gorgeous new floors! More details in future posts.

All baths were stripped back to bare bones...four full baths and a powder room...

All baths were stripped back to bare bones. Four full baths + a powder room.

photo 2-1Stan, Abby, and I did all of the demo work ourselves, and we are planning on doing most of the renovations ourselves. I do believe we accepted the challenge *wink* I also believe we are going to need lots of coffee!!

The backyard captured our hearts...it will need new landscaping and a deck, but we are up to the challenge.

The backyard captured our hearts. It will need new landscaping and a deck, but we are up to the challenge.

Another peek at the kitchen-the island that Stan built is amazing and I cannot wait to share it in a upcoming post!

Sneaky peek at the kitchen and the island Stan is building 

The before photo of our new place...stay with me as we reveal the during and the final photos.

The before photo of our new home. 

It has been 78 days since we accepted this challenge.  There are many more days–more like months to go before the mission will be completed.  We have accomplished many projects since day one, and I will be sharing some of them with all of you in future posts.

I want to say a big thanks to Joyce Tippen of Re/Max Marketplace, Trussville for being such a caring and patient agent!  We also enjoyed meeting Bonnie Hicks (Re-Max) at the open house.  Those ladies do an awesome job.  If you are in the Trussville/Birmingham area or looking to relocate to this area, check out Re/Max Marketplace at www.trussvillemarketplace.com and give Joyce or Bonnie a call!