Akram's Ideas

Home Remodel Project 2014

Sometimes an opportunity comes about that is simply too good to be true. Things you thought you’d never own you suddenly find that you have in your possession. It maybe that it’s old, out of date, and in some cases even out of style, but that doesn’t make it any less “awe”, or at least from your perspective.

This is why I love vintage/antique finds. Sometimes you come across amazing things, that might need a little work, but could be beautiful once restored, all it takes is a little elbow grease and some love.

When me and my hubby purchased our home three years ago, we knew we had something special.

Click the image to read the story about our 100-year-old Victorian house.

How many times in one’s life do you get the chance to buy a 100-year-old Victorian house? One that is not falling down (yet, crossing fingers) and is actually in your price range? 

Rarely, and even if you did most people would rather get the modern Pottery Barn model home, but not me I want something with character.

Slowly we’ve been working at updating the house. Right after moving we got started on a couple of home remodel projects, starting with replacing the front door so we could get our sofa in, you can read that story here.

Our beautiful red front door

Then that fall my hubby worked on transforming one of the small upstairs bedrooms into the closet of my dreams, for my birthday. For the full story click here.

My Pink Paris Closet
My Pink Paris Closet

After that project we’d worked on minor repairs throughout the house, mostly painting and the like. Last summer I worked on my upstairs craft / office space, I call my happy room. Read more about my happy room here.

My Happy (craft) Room
My Happy (craft) Room

This summer we plan to continue to work on restoring the charm of our home, with so many projects, I can’t even begin to count. 

A few weeks ago I mentioned working on our new front flower beds (read about it here), we were using authentic Pittsburg bricks that we had collected from the back yard and the like as the edging for the flower bed.

Flower Beds
Flower Beds in progress

Unfortunately we didn’t have enough, and our ultimate goal was to have a retaining wall built from it. 

Just when we thought we’d have to spend $100’s of dollars or more on new bricks, our neighbors told us about a Facebook friend who was giving away their old Pittsburg bricks, from their patio. It was first come first serve, and you had to haul them off yourself. 

Our neighbors was even nice enough to let us borrow their truck and help us load the bricks. We got over 1000 bricks that day. 

We wasted no time finishing up the beds, with the new bricks. 

Flower beds with completed brick
Flower beds with completed brick

In the photo above you can even see our brick stash by the front of the house. We’ll be using the left over for the beds on the side and hopefully a retaining wall. 

While working on the beds, I also added a few annuals to the porch. Starting with these adorable patriotic petunias I got at Wal-Mart. 

Hanging Patirotic Petunias
Hanging Patriotic Petunias

Fourth of July might be a month or so away, but after hanging the red, white and blue petunia’s I had to put up my star wreath. 

Red impatiens frame the front entry.
Red impatiens frame the front entry.

I traded some terra-cotta pots I had with the neighbor for these plant stands (see above). I used the stands to hold my new set of impatiens, which frame out the front door.

I also have a pair of knock-out roses in some nice planters by the porch steps. 

While the yard is defiantly starting to take shape we still have a lot of work to do on it. And wouldn’t you know sometimes you start a project and a new one falls into your lap.

I sent my hubby on a mulch run, and he decided to stop by the local garden center to see what plants they had, and came across a 1910 marble fireplace for sale. 

Antique Marble Fireplace
Antique Marble Fireplace

The fireplace face and mantel had apparently come from some historic Joplin hotel. Who knows how long it been setting outside, the garden center was going to set it up as an out-door fireplace but were willing to sell it once my hubby inquired about it. 

We have a very ornate wooden fireplace in our family room, but the one in the dinning room is just a wooden mantel, definitely not original nor as Victorian as the other one. We had always intended to replace the fireplace front in the dinning room, but most wooden frames we came across were expensive and not as ornate as we wanted. 

Luckily however, this marble fireplace was just what we were looking for and in our price range! How is that even possible? Sometimes you just get lucky I guess. 

Just look at that detail on the marble
Just look at that detail on the marble

We had already scored a large golden chandelier to place in the dinning room, it needs rewiring and polishing, but for under $100 dollars you can’t go wrong. The chandelier paired with the marble fireplace, all I can say is it will be epic! 

So, aside from the yard, we now have a dinning room summer project. However, before we can start the dinning room, I have a whole lot of Christmas storage that has been occupying our spare room. Which because I now have way too much fabric to store, I plan on converting to a sewing room. Thus, the Christmas storage needs to go somewhere.

My husband suggested the attic, and when he went to peek around he discovered that there was a lot of space up there. All it needs is a proper ladder installed, some cleaning and a plywood floor. 

So, our home remodel plan for the summer is to redo the attic, move the Christmas storage up there, move the dinning room contents into the spare room, redo the dining room, then remake the spare room into a sewing room. Plus, the outside retaining wall and fences, and more flower beds. 

I’m probably forgetting something.

Anyways, with a project list this big, I might find myself a little preoccupied this summer. So, if the blog get’s a little spurs you’ll know why. I will however, try to keep remodel updates on social media, so defiantly follow Akram’s Ideas on Twitter and Instgram or like me on Facebook.



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  • Your house is enchantingly fantastic! I dream of one day own a vintage or heritage home of my own, as – like yourself – I’m not overly keen on the cookie cutter-ness of so many modern abodes. That, fuelled with memories of living in an Edwardian house from 1909 for a few years as a child, will ensure that when the time comes to move next, if our budget will permit, we’ll be hunting for either a genuine vintage house or one that embodies a similar timeless spirit.

    Best of luck with all of your reno plans this summer!

    ♥ Jessica

Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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