Posted on by Christina Baker

I know what you are all thinking.   I had 3 blog posts, ghosted y'all for almost a year and now I am back writing about the house again.   Seems like I just got lazy and decided to pick up a side hobby again, right?   I WISH!   To refresh you in a very quick nutshell, the historic house we have used for the last few years as our interior design studio/crash pad while we figure out our forever home was absolutely wrecked during Hurricane Florence.   This happened in September of 2018.  Not that we were counting or anything, but that was 15 months ago.  What ensued for the last year was a full out battle royale with insurance to get the funds to put the house back together.  I am happy to report that we have finally settled with insurance and we can put our sweet little slice of Beaufort history back together.   Because we have signed an agreement that literally says "this payment is in order to buy your peace," I am not really sure how much I can share in a public forum about what the insurance company put us through; however if you are going through a situation like ours please feel free to direct message me, and I will try to help as much as I can.   Here we are holding our happy news!!

 

 

Just to recap on the the property, it is smack dab in the middle of town, which means I can see the shop from the back porch and have to pass by the house multiple times per day.  I would be lying if I said passing by it and seeing it sit untouched for so long was not hard.  Rather than focusing on the arduous road we just went down, I would rather shift that focus to the brain capacity I just freed up to allow my creativity to flow into the restoration of this historic property.   If you are a creative, you know that the more you use it, the more you have.  This past year was full of paperwork, not paint decks and I cannot wait to reopen my left side brain. 

As far as work already preformed since the storm, the back of the house has been gutted, we resided the back of the property, and we put in new windows. My favorite window being the oval one in the back of the house with the spider muntins.  The place looks absolutely stunning from the outside, and even has a fresh "Beaufort White" coat of paint.  Of course, the paint didn't go without incident and they painted it the wrong color the first time.  Semi meltdown behind me, I called the contractor and it was fixed within the hour, all before the neighbors, and more importantly the hysterical, I mean historical society could fine me.  :)   Here's a pic showing the lovely dingy white prior to being painted the true "Beaufort White."  If you've ever had to pick out a shade of white, you totally understand where I am coming from here... 

 

Also, here is the oval window that I mentioned.  One of my dearest friend's father's is an architect, and he said to let any ghosts out, you need a port window on the back side of the house.  He mentioned something about west, or maybe it was east?? In any case, that was my excuse for the round window.  If I knew how to insert laugh emojis into this blog format I would right here... but also I am serious, see ya later ghosts, this is pretty much a pretty "port" window, right??

 

 

So since we've seen the pretty outside of the digs... let's turn to the inside of the house.   We tried everything in our power to save the original front portion; however the moisture was just too devastating and it all has to come out.  This next photo makes me pretty sad.  The walls are still the original horse and ox hair plaster, and the trim is all hand numbered and hand carved, ordered from the Sears Kit that was assembled in 1914. I must also add that I had just hung beautiful grass cloth wallpaper in a large portion of the front part of the home RIGHT before the storm.  Well it all must go.  This photo shows the current state of the interior ::

 

 

It's definitely a tough image to process.   That foyer has seen many a happy dance after we have closed big interior deals, it's seen my sons first steps because bless his heart he lives at work with us, and it has thrown some pretty Bad-A parties. Instead of remembering this grim image, let's focus on a happy one like this below of my sweet baby boy at his first birthday party.

 

 

So with the mushy gushy behind us, let's talk about this journey we plan to document!!!   Starting December 9th the entire house will be gutted.  Nothing can stay, well we are praying the floors can, but at this point I am realistic.  My nightly prayer... that we find gold bars in the old walls.   Although insurance did buck up and give us some money, we will still be out of pocket quite a bit, and it'd be pretty cool if the owners decided to bury their fortune in the walls and forgot about it.  Highly unlikely, but I will surely post whatever weird and cool stuff we find in the layers.  After that... the FUN begins!    We have found the original Sears Kit pages for this house and we are implementing some of those same design elements in new funky ways.   Think black and white penny round tile kitchen floors with mixed wood cabinetry, paired with updated funky woven light fixtures.   Since we can't save the original elements of this house, we plan to put back as many true to the time period nuances as we can.   Our hope is by documenting this we will have a way to look back and reflect on what we did, and also cast a wide net and reach others who have updated older homes and have some cool tricks and tips to share.   Either way, if only 3 people read this, it will be a very cathartic exercise to help unwind from the insurance fight.   Now that we are back on track, we can't wait for y'all to join in our journey of bringing this slice of Beaufort history back to life!!  Cheers to you, old girl!  May you come back even more handsome than before.  

 

 

- Christina