Before and After

Ok, it’s been quite a while since I have blogged. Mainly for two reasons: 1) I always felt compelled to write a story like I do for my corporate clients – with a great lead, inverted-pyramid reporting and a fantastic ending paragraph or closing quote that sums everything up and 2) I ran out of things to say because I decided not to talk about politics and religion in my blog.

But now I’m back.  I realized the blogs I enjoy reading are personal and more conversational in tone, and include pictures. (A shout out to Rachel Blanton Cherry’s Happy Healthy Runner, Mary Wiggins’ MaryWig, Georgette Sullins’ blog and my sister Kathy Duvall’s Rock Cottage blog). And now I have something big to report that’s neither political or religious (although those topics are now fair game):  Our cabin renovations!

A little background: Five years ago, my husband got a bee in his bonnet to buy a lake house near Palestine. He found a little one-room place out in the boonies on a private lake called Lake Ioni (pronounced Eye-O-Ni). Before you become too impressed, let me just say now that it was one step above camping. But this was the view from the GREAT front porch, so I went along with it.

We had occasional cookouts there. Frank and Byron would “camp out” during the fall months and sometimes during the winter. (Did I mention there’s no heat in the cabin?)

Earlier this year, we decided to give the cabin a facelift: new roof, paint on the inside and outside, new electrical wiring. After staying at a beautiful farmhouse near LaGrange last spring, I got this bee in my own bonnet that I wanted a kitchen with the 1950s Youngstown metal cabinets and built-in farmhouse sink. My grandmother had something similar in her home. So I began searching the internet and found a website devoted to this type of kitchen cabinets.  But I eventually found the cabinets on eBay and had them shipped to Palestine from Kansas City, Missouri. That set things in motion for what i call our “Funky 50s Texas” decor. You’ll see what I mean as you scroll down.

After three months, the place is looking fabulous.  Here are some before and after pics:

Side view of cabin before and after:

Front view, before and after:

Porch before and after, featuring the wonderful metal glider and chairs I found on eBay from a seller in Alabama:

Another look at my great eBay finds.  Love the red and white!

Inside pics of cabin before and after:

Bathroom before and after:

Another before and after view:

Another view of the den:

View of bedroom area after:

Here is a closer look at the coup de gras–a 1950s refrigerator find from, where else, eBay! This was from a seller in Eastpointe,  Michigan who was clearing out the home of her grandmother, who passed away in January. The grandmother kept the 1950s Norge refrigerator upstairs in a guest kitchen and didn’t even have it plugged in. She was storing her purses in it!  It looks like it came off the showroom floor and even came with the original metal ice trays and an owner’s manual!

Love the graphics in this instruction manual:

A final pic of my ’50s-style kitchen. The yellow ’50s formica table was purchased at an antique store, Duncan Depot, in Palestine:


I guess you can tell by all these pics that I’m pleased with how things have come together.  There are a few things left to do. Brother-in-law #1, who owns an AC/Heating business, is going to install central heat and air this fall or winter when business slows a little. (A shout out for George Torma Heating and Air!)  We will also be installing a wall of antique doors to separate the bedroom.  We got the idea from this antique store:

Here are the doors we purchased at Pandora’s Box, an antique store in Frankston, to form the wall. We bought four, but will probably only need three.

And there’s still a little bit more accessorizing that needs to be done. But all in all, I love the place. I may even spend the night there every once in a while. Special thanks to my good friend and college roommate Linda Heard from Austin, who helped arrange furniture and hang pics. And of course, thanks to Frank for agreeing to my quirky pursuit of all things ’50s on eBay.

He’s happy before and after with the cabin:

Y’all come visit me again soon! I promise to write a little more frequently in the future.


6 thoughts on “Before and After

  1. This is wonderful! I didn’t realize you had a blog. Now I know and I will note updates on fb as often as you post. I have some reading to catch up on. This, the cabin, is wonderful, too. You have done so much work and it looks absolutely cozy. You will need to heat it soon; I’m being optimistic that this drought and heat will play itself out soon. Until your next post…oh, and thank you for the shout out. Everyone is invited over to my place, too.

  2. Beth Miller says:

    That’s not 50s quirk, it’s very fashionable, and cool. Who wouldn’t love it. Thanks for sharing – b

  3. MaryWig says:

    What a great cabin! And new life to a refrigerator that used to store purses! Also love the porch furniture and red/white. Looks fabulous!

  4. Angela Young says:

    How gorgeous! I love it. I’m a city girl, but that looks like a place I wouldn’t mind visiting some day.

  5. Hey that’s me!!! 🙂 Thanks for the shout out!!! I’m gonna go on ahead and add you to my Google Reader now!

  6. Hattie Horn says:

    Tracy, I love the cabin’s face lift, inside and out! What a lovely oasis to hang out at. I’m inspired!

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