Month: September 2012

decorating, home, Houston Heights, lifestyle

our own Granville place

“Old Granville place”- It’s a Wonderful Life

George: You see, you make a wish and then try and break some glass. And you got to be a pretty good shot nowadays, too.
Mary: Oh, no, George, don’t. It’s full of romance, that old place. I’d like to live in it.
George: In that place?!
Mary: Uh-huh.
George: I wouldn’t live in it as a ghost. 

Day One

 

Okay, so it’s not quite the “old Granville place” but, there is a broken window upstairs. Besides, Lark and I have always loved “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  FunFact: We actually have a picture of “George and Mary” in our house. 

Pressing on.

Day one was a successful romp through the plans and procedures of what is to come. Trying to decide what walls stay, which walls go. Can we add a bath here? Is a clawfoot tub really practical? Should Juliet get her own room? These are the questions.

The first floor, not so bad. It looks harmless. Nice floors. Pull up the carpet. Reconfigure the space.

Sand, paint and, oh, yeah…add a kitchen! Enter Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.

 Yep. This is the current kitchen. You can tell by the paper towels and wine.

The second floor has plenty of room for creative control. From the bank of windows, I can see Russia! Sorry. But, we do have a fabulous view of the downtown Houston skyline. Probably going to need a good tree trimming service, though.

Our Master suite is sounding pretty sweet. My one big add-on today:  coffee bar upstairs. As we get older, navigating the stairs in the morning, on the hunt for precious caffeine is getting quite dangerous. Better to be safe.

Ellie, our architectural designer; Scott, our contractor and Jack, our lender with Larkin. Lots of discussion on “what will be” and when the first party will be.

The ivy drapes will not be. Already in the dumpster. I don’t do vintage drapes. Something about the dust…and smell. But, there are little treasures here and there. Fixtures, old glass, gorgeous doors. Restoring an old house is something I have always wanted to do.

It is going to be a lot of work, but I am so excited that I can hardly stand myself.

I am telling you, this house has the potential to be “Before and After” porn.

But, we’ll keep it more “It’s a Wonderful … Read the rest

decorating, home, Houston Heights, lifestyle

we bought a zoo

Not really. But, life is going to be just that for the next several months.

Larkin and I have decided to purchase and restore a c.1900 home in the historic Woodland Heights neighborhood, part of The Heights in Houston,Texas.

We will close on the property next week. This weekend, however, the house will serve as the setting to a fundraiser benefitting the re-opening of the Historic Houston Salvage Warehouse. Historic Houston is a resource for reclaimed historic building materials.

In the country’s fourth largest and “coolest”city, according to Forbe’s magazine, it is vital to preserve our historic places, while growing, building and modernizing. You could spend hours and hours on the internet, reading stats and graphs documenting all of the benefits of using salvaged and reclaimed materials.

To me, however, the benefits are simply fundamental. Reusing, reclaiming and recycling while “re-storing” is just common courtesy, no?  Helping out the planet, our Mother Earth, as she has taken care of us.

Let me be quite clear, though. We are not building a “green” house or going off the grid. Just sensible salvaging, wherever we can, while restoring the beauty and integrity of this vintage home, with a little Living Lola style, of course.

For those of you in the area, interested in seeing the “before” and helping out a great cause, I am including the details for this Sunday’s event.

I will be updating and posting pictures of our chaos, I mean, progress.

Lola in a hard hat. This should be stunning.

Please join Ashton Martini of Martha Turner Properties for a fundraiser benefitting Historic Houston at 2615 Beauchamp in Woodland Heights on Sunday, Sept. 23rd from 3-6 PM. Help “restore” and re-open Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse and tour this c. 1900 home in the early stages of its own restoration. Enjoy good food and wine and take this opportunity to make your donation to help re-open Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse as a resource for reclaimed historic building materials in Houston. Bring your friends and support this great organization! Read the rest

lifestyle, marriage

living wide

www.LivingLola.com

September. Almost the middle, no less. Wow.

Larkin and I have had some big decisions to make lately. Some were made for us. What happened to the lazy days of summer?! Business life, family life and our personal life have all posed big crossroads for us.

“What do they call it…when everything intersects? The Bermuda Triangle.” – Sleepless in Seattle

When a challenge appears, you can look at it as a speed bump to slow you down or an adventure to live and learn from.

After almost 25 years together, I know this much is true about our relationship:  Lark and I will always choose adventure.

It’s a main tenet of Living Lola. When faced with a challenge, presented with a slight chance at a dream or risking it all for what’s behind Door #3, we are just crazy enough to do it.

The doubt, fear and uncertainty usually lasts…about…9… seconds…then, we are all about, “Oh, we can so do this!” High-five-ing, trash talking ensues. Nobody is a bigger fan of Jack & Lark, than we are.

Don’t get me wrong. We practice The Art of Doing Nothing like a freaking religion. Just ask the “family” bag of M&M’s and “family” box of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies we can put away, lying in bed, watching movies and DVR essentials. We celebrate our down time, full-out. Also, a Living Lola tenet.

Just when it gets comfortable and settled for a length of time, boom! We can shake things up pretty quickly by taking a sharp left turn, that wasn’t even on the map.

“Hey, let’s get married!”  they said, after only knowing each other for two months.

“Let’s put our kids in private school and move to the city!” they said, soon after they moved into their new suburban dream home, that they had built.

“Let’s buy a vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard!” said the couple who lived 2000 miles AND a ferry ride away.

“I know! We can sell our big house and get rid of all our stuff and get a grown-up townhome!” they cried, when their kids left the nest…and kept coming back.

Yep. Adventure is calling. I can feel it coming. Something is in the hot, September Texas air.

Read the rest