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