The Nest: Renovation Hiccups and Porch Planning

What happens when a couple of project junkies meet a tiny 1930s ugly duckling that’s just dying to be turned into a smart and stylish little swan? A major renovation takes shape along with all the ups, downs and millions of decisions.
The Story
With one little birdie already out of the nest and another birdie not to far from flying away, we’ve decided it’s time to downsize.  After years of living large (and admittedly loving it), we’ve made the decision to go small, smart and stylish.

Where:   Historic Brookhaven
Countdown:  80 days till move-in

The Cast:
Meg and Scott: the homeowners
Molly and Lily: college and high school-aged daughters
Linda MacArthur: the architect
Michael Ladisic: the builder
(…and a delightful cast of characters who make it all happen with sledgehammers, wheelbarrows, screwdrivers, sheetrock and shovels.)

Progress report: Oh no.  The hiccup we had last week sorting out a last-minute foundation issue has become seriously problematic.  As in: we are going to have to redesign the whole right side of the house.

It turns out a giant utility line that was supposed to be at least 10 feet away actually lies exactly where our new master and guest room addition is supposed to go.  We have ground to a screeching halt while we frantically try to replace that lost square footage, redraw the necessary plans and re-submit to the city for permitting.  I’ve cried my tears of frustration, stamped my feet over losing the master’s vaulted ceiling and my adorable little master closet laundry nook and have resigned myself to the fact that when it comes to renovation, you win some and you lose some.

Our pros (Linda MacArthur, Michael Ladisic and Joe Trehan, our feisty project manager) have remained cool-headed and ever pragmatic.  And, it turns out that after a couple days to look at the plans, we might have a pretty creative solution. 

Sure, we’re going to lose some square footage in the master suite, but we actually gain room upstairs so we can fit three snug little bedrooms up there: two for our girls and one for a guest. I’m actually jumping up and down about this development because the original plans had the guest room on the basement level with a separate and inconvenient entrance that had been bothering me.

So the moral of the story is this:  renovating is never a sure thing and you can get blindsided at any time with little surprises here and there.  The key is to also be open-minded to creative solutions and always, always hire people who know what they’re doing.

In the meantime, I’m using the hiccup as productively as possible —and with gorgeous fall weather upon us, I’m beginning to think a little bit about the porch we’ll be building. 

We’re huge porch fans and our laundry list includes: a fireplace, seating area, dining area, good lighting, cable, a ceiling fan (for hot summer days) and a heat source (for chilly evenings).  I think we’re good to go on all these, so I’ve been having fun imagining what it’s actually going to look like.  Take a look:

I love how simple and clean this is.  Perfect inspiration for the Nest.

I found this on Cote de Texas and immediately fixated on the fun coffee table and airy ambiance of this cozy little porch.

I’m a sucker for white slipcovers—even on the porch.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a swinging bed on the porch. What do you think?

How about this? (Southern Living via Pinterest)

Pretty dreamy.

White’s my go-to color for the Nest, so this automatically caught my eye.

Oooooh, love this.

Hardly ever a fall weekend goes by when I don’t thank the heavens that Atlanta has such a wonderful climate.  The soft air, glorious light and crisp evenings make for porch-perfect living.  What’s your fantasy porch look like?

Next week:  I’ll keep you posted on the hiccup and how we end up resolving it. And, I’m thinking about built-ins for all my precious books…

(All images via Pinterest.)

Meet Meg:  co-owner of Huff Harrington Home and Huff Harrington Fine Art.  Certified project junkie and lover of fine furnishings and décor (especially the happy marriage between crunchy antiques and modern art).  Loves all the Frenchy stuff—as well as food, wine, books, fireplaces and long quiet afternoons by the pool. She’s married to Scott and has two daughters, Molly and Lily.