The past month has been a super stressful waiting game – we’re in the process of applying for a home equity line of credit to fund a big portion of the renovations we’d like to do this summer. Having never applied for a loan in my life, I underestimated how much time, effort, and stress is involved!
I thought — “Hey! The house has no mortgage! We can use the equity! We have no debt! Easy peasy!” Wrong!
The biggest undertaking at the house is no doubt the kitchen. As in most homes, this space was really the heart of the home. My great-grandmother, Myrtle “Marm” Day, used to host family baked bean supper every Saturday night and according to lore, you had to have a very solid excuse to miss it. She was a master cook famous for her donuts and perfectionism. My mom once told me she saw her fling a pie like a frisbee out the back door because it didn’t taste right.
You enter the house from this infamous back door directly into the kitchen and the dining room was located through a doorway to the left. One of the first things we did at the house was remove this wall to create one big cooking and dining space rather than keep the two cramped spaces separate. It’s a miracle they fit so many people in there for supper every week, and we’re looking forward to accommodating a big group again, but this time maybe a bit more comfortably.
We took the wall down on a bit of whim when my sister and I walked through the house with my dad telling him our plans, which resulted in us demo-ing this wall in flop flops. My dad was not fazed, because he is a tried and true Mainer and tough as nails, but I do not recommend! We made some fun discoveries when taking down this wall including amazing retro wallpaper behind paneling and a tin patch in the plaster that included an old motor oil can.
Wallpaper peaking out from behind the paneling, and Uncle June’s old boots and hat.
You can see the silhouette of the coat rack faintly on this image of the wallpaper behind the paneling. All the walls are stained from smoke residue either from the open fireplaces, or in this case, the kitchen’s wood burning stove.
Where do we start? There were so many things to make this project feel really overwhelming to me.
1. It’s a mess. Due to several generations of hoarding tendencies, the house was chock full of stuff — furniture, clothing, photos, books, even 50 year old jars of pickles.
2. It’s feels like it’s falling apart a bit. Because no one lived there for so long, the temperature was unregulated and there was a moisture problem. The plaster in some ceilings and walls were in serious disrepair and seeing big holes in the ceilings of two rooms made me feel like the whole thing was going to cave in. Continue reading
Meet our little house — a modest cape sitting on a slight hill just up the road from the Benjamin River in the small coastal town of Brooklin, Maine. Built in 1860 by my great great great great grandfather, Moses Day, she has been home to generations of red heads and boat builders. My husband and I are lucky enough to be the seventh generation to inherit the house we now call our Brooklin Heirloom.
The house has been sitting lonely for the past 11 years after my Great Uncle June died in 2005. This past summer we have started the long task of getting her back in shape during weekends away from our city life in Boston, Massachusetts. Because my relatives were meticulous keepers of anything and everything, our little heirloom has so many stories to tell, so many old photos sleeping in boxes and albums, and so many new beautiful vignettes to show off, I’ve decided to chronicle all of that here.
I know the “blogosphere” is so saturated these days with carefully curated snippets of people’s lives. So what can you expect from this tiny sliver of the internet?
- Design inspiration and planning
- Musings on Maine
- Renovation plans and progress
- Updates on new vintage goods featured in my online shop (funds go towards our project).
My goal is so show the imperfect, authentic, emotional, exciting, and exhausting aspects of renovating not just a home, but a family heirloom. I hope you’ll follow along in our journey!