• Guest My Nest – Maple Street (During)

    Remember the Maple Street house I blogged about last year?

    Kevin and I used to walk by it every morning and just dream about what it would be like to live there.

    It’s one of those houses that always smiles at you as you stroll by.

    It’s one of those houses that never looks lonely, even if no one is living there at the time.

    It’s one of those houses that makes you feel all sunny inside.

    Shortly after I published my first post about it in April of 2009, I got an email from the couple who had just made an offer on it. They happened upon my blog post while searching Google one afternoon, and said they’d love to have us come by for a visit some time after they moved into the house.

    Fast forward to this past Saturday. Tony, Lisa and their daughter Madelyn have been living in the house for a couple of months now, and we were so excited to meet up with Lisa to see what they’ve been up to lately.

    While Kevin ran around and shot photos and video footage of the house, I chatted with Lisa about her experience buying and living in it.

    I was dying to know what she thought about the house the first time she saw it.
    She told me she had been in love with the exterior of it for about a year, but it wasn’t until she entered the home for the first time that she realized how much work the old place needed. As she and Tony walked from room to room, she wasn’t sure if he was going to be up for the challenge of renovating it. But much to her surprise, at the end of the walk-through, Tony looked at her and said, “I think we should make an offer”. That was exactly what she was hoping he’d say. :-)

    She went on to tell me that the house was built in 1898 by a relative of Daniel Pratt.

    Mr. Pratt founded the town of Prattville in the 1830’s, and his cotton gin factory quickly became the largest producer of cotton gins in the world. Before becoming a successful industrialist, he worked as an architect in Georgia, designing huge plantation homes for wealthy planters in and around Milledgeville and Macon. Apparently, his homes were some of the most beautiful in the state, featuring large white columns, broad hallways, and spiral stairways. I would have loved to have seen the home he designed for himself here in Prattville, but unfortunately it burned down at some point in time. I searched for information about it on the internet and found an article that described it as a “white frame house that featured New England architectural elements characteristic of Pratt’s style.” It had a narrow, two-story portico with a balcony, an art gallery in which he displayed paintings by southern artist George Cooke, and a grape vineyard on the hillside behind the house that provided Mr. Pratt with wine for entertaining. Sounds pretty dreamy, eh?

    Well, you can imagine how happy Tony and Lisa were when they found out one of Mr. Pratt’s sofa’s was included in the sale of their house…

    Isn’t it beautiful? It’s still got the original upholstery on it, and it’s in perfect condition. Lisa said she’s going to use it under the large window in her dining room.

    Which, by the way, is far from being finished- but has come a long way from when they first moved in…

    Lisa has plans to repaint the walls, refinish the original wood floors (which I think look great already!), remove the previous homeowners window treatments and display her gorgeous china in a big, old china hutch. She’s also looking forward to moving her plants back onto the porch as soon as it’s warm enough. :-)

    Just off the dining room there’s a small butlers pantry…

    Such a neat little surprise of a room separating the dining room and kitchen!

    And speaking of the kitchen, Lisa also has plans to have the 1930’s metal, art deco-style kitchen cabinets professionally re-finished, but I think she’s done a great job of updating them in the meantime, don’t you?…

    Here’s what they looked like when she and Tony moved in…

    I have to admit, I think the seafoam green was pretty too! :-)

    While we’re talking about the kitchen, check out the beautiful blue beadboard inside the pantry…

    And get a load of the old liquor cabinet located near the floor…

    It still had the original key in it!

    The day we stopped by, Lisa was working on what will eventually be their master bedroom…

    She said they had recently removed lots of wallpaper and bleached the walls. The day we were there she was in the process of re-plastering parts of the walls that had been damaged over the years.

    Once she’s done re-plastering, she’s going to paint the walls a dramatic, smokey blue color…

    Since it’s not a super huge room, she’s going to keep the furniture to a minimum. All she plans to use is this antique dresser and a huge, four-poster bed.

    (check out the fireplace in the reflection!)

    Her goal is to have the room finished by Easter, and she promised to let us come back and take a look at it when she’s done. (Woo hoo!)

    For now, they’re calling this room their master bedroom…

    It looked like this when they moved in…

    Quite a transformation so far, huh? It’s located on the back side of the house, and because of all the windows, it had a very “sleeping porch” feel. When Tony and Lisa move over to the room that will eventually be their master bedroom, they plan to use this room as a guest bedroom. (Lucky guests!)

    Just outside the room they’re currently sleeping in, there’s a small sitting room…

    With an incredible built-in cabinet…

    Lisa got the chairs at my favorite flea market (J&G) for $15 a piece. She plans to give them a mini face lift at some point, as well as remove the wallpaper from the walls, paint and refinish the wood floor. (I bet those bin pulls on the built-in cabinet would look gorgeous stripped of the paint that’s covering them too!)

    Since this sitting room is also off their daughter Madelyn’s room, they plan to use it as a den for her and her friends to hang out in.

    Other projects on Lisa’s list include removing the paint from the transom windows and french doors in the parlor…

    (Can you believe someone painted over them!?)

    Replacing all the old window treatments…

    And decorating with lots of pretty, antique elements…

    But other than tearing off the scalloped trim across the front of this mantel, she’s leaving the “man cave” alone. This room is strictly Tony’s domain and Lisa said she’s going to leave the design decisions totally up to him.

    Check out that old swing-arm pot holder!

    We had a lovely time touring the house with Lisa, and enjoyed meeting their 16 year old dog, Bernard, too…

    He is an absolute sweetheart, and you’re going to love his appearance in the video Kevin shot…

    We look forward to hanging out with Tony, Lisa, Madelyn and their precious pets again sometime, and we can’t wait to see all the changes they make to their “Maple Street Marvel” too!




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