The story of our home.

This is the story of a young family embarking on a total house renovation. It’s a story you’ve heard before. Let’s begin. 

Chapter 1: Boy and Girl get married. They live in a cool downtown loft where nights and weekends are spent bar-hopping, socializing and eating their way through one of the South’s great food cities – Birmingham, Ala.

At Matthew’s Bar & Grill on Morris Ave.

Chapter 2: Girl comes home from work one day with an 8-week old rescue puppy. An important note: said work is a marketing firm, not associated with animals in any way.  Couple quickly realize that Pup would do well to have a yard.

This is Roux. His breed is muppet.

Chapter 3: Boy and Girl buy a house. Kids are planned, so a sweet bungalow-style house is found on a great lot in a family-friendly walkable neighborhood.  The very desired location could not be more perfect.

Taken the day we moved in, November 2013.

Chapter 4: Baby daughter arrives. Couple starts dreaming about making this a forever home. Plans are drawn up with an architect. But, hold up, Girl first has to battle non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Plans put on hold. 

Me and Little Bit on my 32nd birthday.

Chapter 5: Girl wins. Baby son arrives two years and nine days later. The family of four + pup soon start house planning again. 

And our family was complete.

Chapter 6: April 2020. Renovations begin. 

And here we are. In the midst of a global pandemic.

I’m Mary. Wife, mom and house dreamer. While I have been looking forward to this renovation for years, I have held true to some pretty big ground rules. 

  • We did not tear the whole house down only to build a brand new one in its place. 
  • We will maintain the 1930s charm and character as much as possible. The goal is to refine it with some modern aesthetics. Hello #moderncottage
  • I am determined to keep the legacy of the zebra-print staircase going. 
Taken on moving out day. The last picture on these stairs.

The zebra stairs are courtesy of the home’s previous owner. They are the focal point of the whole house and I love them.  So do our friends, as evidenced by these amateur portraits.

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