22 July 2011

My Shabby Shack in the Woods


It's been a busy summer, as they all are, and often we take advantage of the time off work by getting our home and garden spiffed up.  This year was no exception and we were even more motivated to do so because of the tornado that whacked us in April.  So with all of the nasty construction work completed and a lot of the garden cleaned up too, a new project got underway...

Spring 2003

When I met my Southern gentleman in California about ten years ago and I moved to Georgia to marry him, we moved into the former home of his grandparents.

Since that time, working tirelessly, we have restored our home almost completely {however, my husband's bathroom is still in the dark ages but we just close the door most of the time}. The gardens are no longer looking like a jungle either and are more manicured, slightly reminiscent of what they used to be.
 
Spring 2003

Deep in that jungle when we first moved here, I discovered a gem of an abandoned petite Art Deco pool house, circa 1920's, which had not been used {or maintained} for more than sixty years.

I found this old photo of the pool house dated, Summer 1944.  The little girl in the pool to the left is my husband's mother.  His grandmother is in the lounge to the far left.  If you look closely you can see the ladies enjoying their cool summer cocktails!


 I knew one day that I wanted to restore this beauty {in the eyes of the beholder} and make it my own little cottage studio.

Spring 2003
{Check out the gorgeous aqua patina on the old concrete pool.}

My husband promised me that when our house was "done" we could start working on "my studio."

Summer 2003

{So much rain that summer of 2003 that the old concrete pool finally gave way and caved in.  We have since bulldozed the pool and now there is a pretty nice spot for an Italian knot garden...one day.}

The details of this little shack are marvelous and include a slate roof, beautiful mouldings and arched windows, wonderful light fixtures, and most of all its classic architecture.  I'm still stunned that when we first moved here he said that he wanted to use this as his tool shed.  Can you imagine?  Surely, he must have been joking...



This is a screened lattice window.  I plan to leave this window as it is, however I will add glazing and make it so the window open and close.

Spring 2011
{This is what it looks like now.}

Spring 2011
{Very chippy paint!}


Earlier this week, the ceilings were lifted and a few more walls removed.


You can see some of the recycled wood construction above...and lots of cobwebs and dust!  This is not a glamorous job.

I am excited to say that as of four days ago the promise was realized.  "We" {he} have {has} deconstructed most of the interior.  Dressing room partitions have been removed; shelving taken down; benches torn out; the dropped ceiling is slowly coming down and revealing more light above the rafters.  It's built like a tank and often we have found that recycled wood was used within the walls and above the ceiling.  We are also going to reuse the wood {solid tongue and groove pine} that we are removing from the walls and ceiling for the renovation.



'Love these old ornate metal ceiling fixtures. There are four of them...I'm not sure how I will place them ~ inside or out.


This is one of two wash basins...there were his and hers. I'll keep this one ~ HOT and COLD fixtures and all.


Original partitions between dressing areas and toilets.



It has not necessarily been a tool shed all these years, but it has been used for some random storage.  We have even found old dining receipts from the Atlanta Athletic Club of which Gramps used to be a member.


Original toilet ~ one of two. {That's a "new" seat though, because it's cushy.}  Not sure if we can work the new plumbing out for this... but I do love that little flush handle.  When the tornado hit us some trees fell onto the cast iron pipes that lead to the septic tank.


...two days into the project, this is what it looked like.


This shows a peek between the his and hers wall, which will be completely removed ~ knowing my husband ~ by this weekend.


Our plan is to gut the interior leaving an open floor plan with lofty ceilings with rafters from which I will hang a collection of chandeliers.


As of this morning, this is what the interior looks like.  Tomorrow we power wash the interior and take a break.

The concrete slab floor has some "issues" so I am not sure what will happen with that, however I would like to leave it as concrete and simply acid wash it and paint it white.
  
Spring 2011

As far as the facade...I will swap the front doors for French doors to allow more light to glow inside and a simple sanding is all we will do to the exterior paint finish leaving it "chippy."  The garden design will simply evolve.

Now with all this work my kind husband is doing for me, I think I ought to submit photos of his over-the-top retro bathroom {and not in a good way} to Nate Berkus or This Old House for a makeover!

{Translated ~ "Keep Calm and Carry On"}

I will keep you all posted with the progress of My Shabby Shack in the Woods.  If there are not too many surprises, it may be completed by next summer.

See you next time. 

Ciao amici,
Suzanne

~ ~ ~

P.S.
The digital graphics shown in this post and on the top of my side bar, I purchased from fellow Etsian, Graphique.  One of their designs was featured on the Etsy Front Page recently so I wandered into their shop and could not resist their fabulous art and design.  Oh, and Leah, the doll of a proprietor too!

17 comments:

maggiegracecreates said...

Hey - suzanne - the toilet can be rebuilt with semi readily available parts -

If you replace it your options will be limited because it has a 14 inch rough in.

I was at your beautiful home for Jenns first art event.

You may message me on facebook for more information (teresa atkinson)

J. Caputo said...

I'm so excited to watch the transformation of your "Shabby Shack in the Woods."

Denise said...

Oh what a treasure.....I can't wait to see what you do to the inside......love this neat old buidling!!! Sounds like your hubby is awesome!

Italian Girl in Georgia said...

Thanks friends ~ this is a project that will take some time, but I've got so many fun ideas!

Margie said...

Oh boy, can't wait to see the progress and finished project! Love the old pic of the ladies having cocktails by the pool. As with all redos, one never knows what will turn up! Good luck with that!

muse said...

So looking forward to watching how your project progresses! It's so exciting to start with great bones and breathe new life into a gorgeous gem of a space!

Angela said...

I cannot wait to see what you do with it!! Didn't this used to be called the LOVE SHACK? heehee....

JenGrenko said...

Hi Suzanne! This really is a little gem. Can't wait to see what you will do with it! xoxo, Jennifer

verofleuri said...

your "Shabby Shack in the Woods c'est MERVEILLEUX et EMOUVANT !!! Une si grande valeur que tu gardes en souvenir de cette cabane
Vivement que je verrai tout rénovée '-)

Maija said...

What a great backstory to go with this amazing renovation!!! I'm so excited for you from just looking at the photos!!!

Italian Girl in Georgia said...

Hi Friends ~

I appreciate your encouragement...we'll see where this project takes me. I always have loved a challenge and I love restoring old "stuff."

Ciao amici,
Suzanne

The White Bench said...

OH MY, Suzanne! What a gem! And it will be ALL YOURS. Lucky you! Can't wait to see it in the end.
Hugs,
Monicax.

Cydney's Alley said...

Oooh! Looks like the beginnings of an enchanting shabby studio. Can't wait to see more! Heidi

Kay Ellen said...

What a charming little building and the history makes it even more special!
I will back to check in :)

Can't wait to see what you do!

xo
Kay Ellen

Carole said...

What a little gem. It will make the perfect studio. You should submit it to HGTV and see if they'll do all the work for you!

xx
Carole

Fleur de Bee said...

Pardon me while I whip up the BUCKETS of drool all around me! Your "Shabby Shack" is FAB!!! I guess the bonus to it all is that it came equipped with a cushy seat tee hee! I can't wait to see what you transform it to. If you change your mind I know a large mountain shabby (buggy rather) shack that this would look good on for my own studio LOL!

xoxoxo

Italian Girl in Georgia said...

You all are are so great! Thanks for the encouragement...now I know I must prod along...I'll keep you posted!

In the meantime, check back soon for a third annual blogoversary give away.

Ciao,
Suzanne

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