Trammell House Master Suite

Although this house looked pretty great from the before pictures, the inside layout was a hot mess. Basically, they decided to “add on” a sunroom in the back, but didn’t close off any of the windows to the rest of the house. So, the interior bedroom windows looked onto the sunroom. The sunroom was also not a conditioned space. It was awkwardly attached with a half bath and just didn’t make any sense. There was also an exterior door which was going to make our project require a lot of thought to make it work.

We decided to take the sunroom and adjoining room with just a toilet and convert to a mudroom/laundry with exterior exit to back yard and reconfigure the rest of that huge space into a master suite including closets, bedroom, and master bathroom. We tackled this space first because we really wanted our kids bedrooms to look normal (no more windows looking into other bedrooms) and also have our own space. Also, it was not fun having 5 people share a shower so we were motivated.

Here is the progression, check out the window movement closely! Liz Sicard has been our design help and her slides are below, I would pick out everything white or gray so I’m thankful for the color she has brought in!


The finished….

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The Trammell House Before Pics

Shortly after finishing our “forever home” (wink wink) on Hope Street, we had some dear neighbors that were moving off the street. We drove to see their new project and on that same morning driving back home, we cut down Trammell Street one week before Christmas 2019…….

We saw a for sale sign in this bungalow right off the historic Marietta Square that was 100 years old and had a contract fall through and hit the market again. Rumor has it, Alton Brown had it under contract for commercial housing for visiting clients. The house boasted historic windows, floors, plaster walls, and a huge lot with endless potential. It was love at first sight. We both saw it in its completed state, but it would be another marathon. It was lived in most of its life by a couple that lived into their 90’s. The husband was a blacksmith and the wife was a seamstress. His blacksmith equipment still in the detached garage/ barn/carriage house. We have plans of keeping the downstairs a garage and renovating the top floor into a finished one bedroom/bath with family room, kitchenette, separate entryway, own driveway to the street behind us, carriage house. It would make a perfect space for our growing teens and ultimately a really cute Airbnb. Luckily, it is grandfathered in because of new code and city requirements.

We decided to immediately make an offer, went under contract the next day, and closed 2 weeks later. It was “move in ready” with a cosmetic finish, but a logistical nightmare and every system needed to be replaced (electrical, plumbing, hvac).

There were 5 bedrooms with 3 not making sense, an unfinished upstairs bungalow that Mackenzie has claimed as her room, and a stairwell to the dirt floor basement, but high enough to walk around. Also, only 1.5 bathrooms. We immediately got help with a plan and the 5 spaces became 3 normal sized bedrooms including master with new bath, one office, and one mudroom with an exterior door to go out the back. Currently, Mackenzie is living in the office until we renovate the upstairs. We immediately dealt with putting in brand new hvac, a new driveway, drainage issues in the yard, and decided to take on our master bedroom. Check out our post on Trammell House Master Suite. I know I always say it, but this might truly be my forever house 😉



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The Hope House: After

We sold our beloved Hope Street House on April 1, 2019 and here are the final photos of it staged. See Hope Street Tab for Before photos and our investment.

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What’s for Dinner?!

74 Days without a kitchen and we made it!!! I don’t think I need to blog about the details and stress about gutting your kitchen in the middle of life…. pretty sure I’ll leave this one to your imagination. You can just picture your life without a kitchen, construction, and small children 🙂

But, it was SO worth the wait and the effort! No more hot pots, griddles, George Foreman, fridge in the dining room, toaster oven, waffle iron, or any other wedding gift we got 10 years ago! I have REAL LIVE appliances. And it is a happy day.

We think it turned out pretty great!! Praise the Lord!

Obviously, a lot more pictures to follow, but here is where we are! (We have a lot of small finishing details to do…. trim, crown molding, toe kicks, cabinet hardware, ect…. but here it is!)

We also were able to finish on budget. Kitchen was $7,000 which brings the entire renovation to a total of $15. We were able to refinish the bathroom high end, create a mud room, foyer, and finish a huge addition that was built and make it a great living space. We have some small outdoor projects left. We plan on renovating the master bath maybe in 6 months and doing it for $1,500. We are also enclosing an office soon for probably a couple hundred dollars.

More photos to come after we are 100% done! And details of the budget 🙂

Before: We took down an 8 ft section of the wall to the right and that is now open to a pretty dining room. Our goal was to open up the space.

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Raw Renovation: BEFORE TOUR

So, I have held onto this video for 10 months. We moved into a 1950’s FORECLOSURE and there was a meth lab in the porch. Before even unpacking, we ripped out the porch and got all of that OUT!
We were hoping to live in Nellie Mae for a little while and work on the Hope house and then move in… that did not happen! We found a renter and she needed the place asap- so we just literally threw our stuff inside the house. This video is right after we moved in- the truest state of the house- me unpacking- and Tim ripping stuff out. Doesn’t get anymore real than this.
It was obviously in terrible shape. The bedrooms were fine- everything had a fresh coat of paint and we scrubbed the hardwoods really good. However, the house was a nightmare. Tim fell through the bathroom floor. The addition was built onto the house but never finished… there were sliding glass doors in the middle of the house.

We are 2 weeks from being done with the kitchen. Check back for an after video-
Here is a current shot of the kitchen… we are getting appliances and cabinets this weekend! please ignore my pink beach towel- still airing out the house from polyurethane floors.
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Here is the finished addition and new front door… you can also see older posts for more completion pictures…

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The Addition

Holy moly this has been a long road, but I am finally updating the renovation!! Okay! The great news is we are on budget!! Thats what happens when you live in the project, shop out everything, and do all the labor yourselves. However, this is one project that we don’t plan on repeating “this way” again. We really do love the renovations, but the extreme to which we are doing and living here is out of the question again. And that is Tim speaking mostly- not just me, his crazy wife.  For him, since he does most of the labor, a home is hard when its also a job. The labor intensity of this house also caused a pretty serious physical injury for me, but now I am good to go! Anyway, we plan on more houses in the future …. just off site. Real estate is deep in our blood now!

Anyway, our entire budget for the house is $10 to $15k. That includes a complete bathroom renovation down to the studs, same with the kitchen, and same with this “addition” we just finished. We spent $1000 on the bathroom and $3k on this room. We also had to put in an entire HVAC system. Tim put a very high efficiency system in for $2k. Our biggest expense is the kitchen that is left, but we are on track! Basically the dining room and bedrooms we are leaving alone. We did turn the old den into the new dining room. It will also have a small office space framed in that is just down from the bedrooms, so excited about that!

The picture you are looking at was the infamous “Addition” that was added onto the house…. and never finished, no telling how long ago. The fireplace is not real- its a heater with a mantle. The sliding glass doors were classic in the middle of the house. The drywall was bad. The room had leaks and you could see outside through the cracks. It was an electrical nightmare. We ripped the room down to the studs and the floors down to the cement. Here is the before… And yes, I sold everything you see on craigslist! Love to sell and love recycling.

Hope 034Here is a view standing in the kitchen looking down through the sliding glass doors. The door the kids are standing in was in the middle of the room… and there was a lovely HVAC window unit above the door, along with a massive window that looked into the garage. Because who doesn’t want windows that look into the garage??

Oh my. We ripped out the HVAC unit (before Tim had a heart attack), door, and massive window. Instead, he made that double window into french doors that lead out to the cute little porch!
Hope 033Those windows became french doors and he turned the other window into a cute sitting area with a window seat.Hope 003

This was the first exterior wall to come down. Bye bye garage window, door, and HVAC unit! And hello outside world!
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Next, we re-wired the whole room. Thank you John Weaver (and thank you Uncle Bob!) for the help again and knowledge you gave. The room also had zero insulation so this picture shows the new electrical and insulation. Also the framing for my window seat! Oh! And the floors- we ripped out the carpet, plywood, and scraped them smooth.
IMG_20121129_084356Tim was very proud of himself for re-wiring this room!! Let there be light!IMG_20121121_222102

Lord have mercy, this was a giant mess. Out went the wall, window, and brick!! Here is the lovely porch! There is something now laid back in me about when someone leaves the door open. It really doesn’t bother me anymore because… Hey! We had exterior walls down for small periods of time. Good times.IMG_20120915_125600This was getting it all sealed up and ready for drywall. This is a shot of the sliding glass doors that were gone, yay! Also, to the right of them used to be the front door. Tim re-worked the front of the house and made me a foyer and way prettier front door.IMG_20121129_084152This is the drywall going in!IMG_20121129_101635Drywall up!!2012-11-30 17.25.41Sliding glass doors now a distant memory and ready for the new built ins Tim made me.IMG_20121201_142549He has become quite the carpenter…IMG_20121210_211839Love this man.IMG_20121228_222452

We then decided to stain the concrete floors ourselves! We cleaned, sanitized, and neutralized the concrete and then went to town! They turned out great and it only cost $80.  We kind of fell in love with the exposed brick so we are leaving it.IMG_20121229_181822Here is the after shot of the addition!! The hallway to the left of the front door leads to the kitchen (directly behind this room) and that is all currently being drywalled after we ripped all of that out.  The doorway to the right goes to a mudroom Tim built me and has a door out to the garage! This room just flows and makes so much sense!! Something I thought would never happen!!IMG_8745

Front entry way! As you can tell the trim is not in and the floors are not done yet. We are going to slate the foyer-IMG_8751
Different angle of the family room! No more window to the garage and no more door in the middle of the room!IMG_8742Loving the french doors with all the light that comes in. We can go straight outside to the screened-in porch that looks out to the backyard.   IMG_8757

And really, really love the beautiful window and my window seat! The backyard is fenced so I can easily watch the kiddos from this room as well.

The room is painted Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige. We mixed the paint up ourselves with my awesome mother in law! Would you believe I am still using all the paint we got off craigslist for $40 back at Nellie Mae? We haven’t spent any money on paint this project and I have painted a bathroom, 2 bedrooms, and the addition. Crazy!
And thankful!
Kitchen should be done in a few weeks. I am going to post a walk thru video soon and also the blueprints Tims architect cousin did for the new floorplan!

So thankful for family and friends and our sweet Lord that really does look after us every step of the way. When we literally have no strength left, He steps in and has given us the passion and energy for our eachother, our children, this home, and ultimately our dreams.

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Shut the Front Door!

I am very behind in blogging! I have so much to catch up on that I am going to just try really hard to make it happen! The other problem is posting pictures means that restoration is happening…….. and we have just begun that uphill curve. We have been tearing out, ripping apart, and gutting for a while now!

We had to take a time out and Tim re-did our whole entire HVAC system. We knew that it was going to need to happen, but we didn’t know it would be so soon. He talked to his company about our house and the whole house project and they were so nice to give him a really awesome deal on a brand new high efficiency system and everything to do it. (He does commercial now so he doesn’t just have on hand everything for residential). Anyway, it is awesome. The house didn’t have the right size system so it wasn’t keeping up…. and given the history of our home, he just tore it all out and put everything new. We did budget for that and since he does it for a living, we didn’t pay for labor…. we spent $1800 which would have been $7,000 if we contracted out what he did.

Moving along…. I have been trying to give this lil old house some curb appeal. The carport, meth shed, and bushes covering the windows weren’t really that inviting…. So, this summer we ripped out all the bushes…. yes red-neck style with a chain and a pick up truck. Don’t worry, we checked to make sure roots weren’t wrapped around pipes. Take mental note of that.

So, after we ripped out the bushes, we found the front door. But a super awkward front door. You would go up steps and just face a huge window and then to the right was the front door. It just did not flow. So, Tim actually had the idea to move the front door flush with the house. (I’ll go into inside details later but basically that space turned into a foyer).

So, I had to find what I wanted. Thanks to Pintrest for the idea, I was able to go on craigslist and find the whole entire door frame for $200. I went to home depot and come to find out people pay around $1500 for these. *** However, I didn’t like the full glass door that came with the craigslist set and decided to make that door the new mud room entrance door. (Picture later). So, I went back on craigslist and found a perfect 3/4 glass door like my pintrest picture out of a Buckhead home for $150. So, we solved both doorway entrances for $350! And I already had the paint so we went to town!

We matched the grey mortar outside and have started painting the house grey. It isn’t finished. But it looks worlds better than the light yellow. I’ve had a hard time staying motivated to cut in and paint the entire outside of the house. :/ Tim used a sprayer for the big areas.  Sweat equity, right?!

Last but not least, I found new shutters on amazon, go figure, for $30 and replaced the front with fresh ones. I then found a carpenter on Etsy that made us some super cute cedar flower boxes for $40 each. We love them and they made the front of the house make sense.

So….. I wouldn’t call these finish photos, but progress!

Yellow paint. Bushes. Ummm, just noticed Tim with a chainsaw in the back. Not sure that was necessary. Fun, but not necessary.

And more bushes.

Oh! And there is the front door back in there to the right!

Found the door I wanted on Pintrest…

We have begun painting the house grey…

Tim and his dad re-framed the front of the house and installed the front door.  It was brown and white before I repainted the whole set black. Irritating my flower pots are on the wrong steps in this photo, haha!

The new front door up and the day our hardware shipped to us! Found off amazon for a steal! The kids were so excited about the door and walked in and out about 50 times. And I let them.

Flower boxes mounted!

So, we are rolling along here! Good news: we are on budget to complete the whole house renovation for $10k. Bad news: we are so tired! Tim thinks we may throw another $5k at the budget  and hire some stuff out if we feel like we are sinking! The roles we take most serious is being a father and mother. We often throw projects to the wayside and go apple picking, to disney world, and this summer to the lake. You kind of have to, to stay sane. Then, we both work right now. Tim full is time and I have squeezed in some event planning jobs somewhere in there. Which I’ve realized our whole life is just one crazy event. One after the next.  Anyway, our spirits are high. We are high energy people. We are close. The addition to the home was like renovating a mini house. That is the part we have been working on the longest. The section from the front door over to the left side of the house was all just added on and not finished. Tim has been re-framing, running HVAC to that part of the home, running electrical and plumbing to it because it includes my mudroom, and installing french doors that lead out onto the screened in porch to it. We have come very far with lots of details, but have a ways to go! Still shooting for a Christmas completion. We are going to need lots of coffee, hope, and possibly a miracle to pull it off 😉

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Ode to Bob

My sweet uncle Bob who was a retired electrician and was a huge part of Nellie Mae passed away suddenly this morning. We grieve his loss… technically some would say he just wired our house, but he did way more than just wire our house.
Bob gave his summer to get us into gear. He stepped in our lives at a time when a lot of people would have wanted to step out. You all saw Nellie Mae Pre-Renovation. Bob was there from the beginning with us and saw Nellie Mae at its worst. And well, he saw us at our worst. The days we told him about how Tim had lost his job. How we were starting over. How Tim was working, going to HVAC school, and renovating that darn house. How all our things were in storage. How nothing we did have in storage was going to fit into Nellie Mae anyway. Bob would listen. Offer advice. But mostly, he was just there. He just wanted to be there.  And keep us focused on what needed to be done. Day to day. I owe Bob so much. On days I knew Tim wanted to just roll over and not move forward… because it was so hard to move forward… Tim would say, “Bob is going to be at Nellie Mae in 30 minutes! And he is going to want coffee! I have to go!” Bob came over daily the mornings we were in the electrical phase. Without fail. He wanted nothing in return for helping us. Tim figured he could try to pay him in coffee, so every morning Starbucks would have the order ready. We also opened a home depot fuel points card for him hoping he would have eternal rewards with all of our purchases!
Bob had a sweet spirit, a gentle and kind heart, and he just loved people. He was also there during a time of celebration with us. When we finished. When we celebrated at Stoney River. When Tim got the big job. And heard the news when we were ready to do it all over again! He was excited about our current house project and I am only sad that he won’t get to see it finished.
Yes, he did more than wire our house. He was more than an uncle to me. He took us in like we were his very own. I have no question that Bob is sitting with Jesus right now because at a time in our life we needed Jesus the most…. Bob was a very clear reflection of Him to us. We love you Bob.
We also wanted to post pictures of Nellie Mae, Renter style… We had the most perfect sweet renter move in and it looks like a dollhouse. A young girl with a son are living here. Her style is “shabby chic” and it is absolutely adorable. The house looks like it was made for her. With her permission, here are some pics.
Thank you to Bob for not just making Nellie Mae a home and place of hope for us, but now for many that will reside there.
I love that our renter has a sign on the wall that says, “Welcome to Nellie Mae”. Blessings are poured onto this house because it was built with so much love.


Our sweet renter and son. We found our way here…. and pray that many will too.

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Bathroom Finished!!

Well holy moly our bathroom is finally done!! The walls are grey to match the grey hairs we both probably have by now! No grey hairs yet, but this bathroom has seemed to DRAG along!! Mostly because this summer we moved 2 months ago, became landlords, Tim hit record hours with his job because of peak Heating and Air season, I took on a very part time job with Marietta Farmers Market, our oldest is about to start kindergarten, and we like to feel like we have a life outside of renovating a house!!

The depth of details was a pretty big deal this go around. Never underestimate the amount of time that demolition takes. It is a huge factor that requires a lot of time, clean-up, and preparation. When you hang slate, there is a sealer you have to apply, wait, then grout, and then seal everything again. I hand picked every piece of slate in the order we hung it so that it would look random, but still flow together. We cemented the underneath side of the bathtub which is a really neat way to stabilize it so it feels really solid. Tim watched drywall videos on You Tube and that was a tough job. It turned out great, but we will stick to hiring that out for future projects because of the time it takes. Drywall really does take extreme skill because you can tell if it looks crappy! In most cases, other than a small space or repairs, hire it out!!

Either way, an hour here, an hour there, a few hours on the weekend…. and BOOM! The bathroom is complete!!

We were a little discouraged we were thinking we would hit right at $750 for the bathroom, but it came in right under $1000.00. I know all in all that is pretty good for a brand new high end bathroom, but plumbing was expensive. I will start a budget breakdown but the $1000.00 included: New studs and sub-floor, wonderboard, drywall, new plumbing for sink, toilet, and shower. New electrical for lights, outlets, and vent fan. Vanity with granite, slate floors and shower, all Kohler appliances, and Venetian Bronze Delta hardware for everything.

We are very in love with it. And very grateful it.  The slate looks incredible, I love the wall color, and the dark venetian bronze matches some of the flecks of granite. Ahhh! You saw what it came from, so needless to say… we are excited to actually enjoy showering here =) It was really fun to do an expensive renovation as well. We actually have no idea what the exact value we added was, but we think it would have cost a normal person around $5000.00 – $7000.00 turn-key.

Our next project is the entrance to the house and the addition.



The Journey:


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Boats, Bugs, and Beemers

What is it like having an almost 6 year boy old in the house? Well, anything related to boats, bugs, and beemers and you have his full attention. *Note: we do not own a beemer, but somehow our son was born knowing about them and wants one.

Anyway, we had to incorporate all those things into one room. He also has a huge spiderman tent that he prefers to be up at all times in the middle of the room. I did take it down for the photo shoot. I bought for this rug from Pier 1  on clearance and with a 20% off coupon it was $43. I also bought the shelf above his bed from a yard sale months back for $5. The nightstand was from Goodwill for $15 that I refinished. Baskets are from Target on clearance, $5 and $10. His bedding is the boy version of Mackenzie’s quilt set also on clearance at Target, $40 for each of their quilt sets.  I had the Ikea cube shelf already as well as the curtains from Ikea. The paddles are from Tim’s old canoe. Ask Tim about what happened to his canoe sometime. I’ll give you a hint. He went down some rapids with it. Anyways, he told me I could have the paddles. So I painted them and drilled holes through them into the wall…. we don’t want paddles falling off the walls now do we?!? David is pretty happy. Since he will be a rising little kindergartener, we threw in the map and a place to hang his back-pack! (1 of the 5 backpacks he thinks he has to have on a rotation).

Here is little man’s room!

And, what do normal couples do on a date night? Dinner? Movie? Romantic Getaway? Well, over here in Renovation Land, we are going to finish the bathroom while our 2 little ones go to grandmas overnight! Laying slate, spreading grout, and getting our new bathroom in will be a huge step forward in this project being one step closer to DONE!

We still have a huge section of the house that is not live-able. The “addition” is our next demo and restore phase. It includes re-arranging the floorplan and a new front door. We wanted at least one of the bathrooms to be finished before we did that. Rooms that are done so far: Family Room, Mackenzie’s room, David’s room, and almost the bathroom. Rooms liveable, but not how we want them: Master bedroom and bathroom and Kitchen. Rooms completely out of order and not functioning- everything in the addition- dining room, sitting area, & mud-room. After the addition is finished, kitchen and master bath will be last. We are planning on being completely done by Christmas and we are on budget so far, come on Hope House!!!

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