Bargeboard Double Shotgun Rejuvenation
Fourteen years later, and lots of work you can't even visibly see, this 1500 square foot shotgun double house looks nothing like it did the first day I drove by and purchased it from the owner. It was a bright yellow like I had never seen before with burgundy trim. Chain link fence, window units, white aluminum gutters, no shutters. Grass that wouldn't grow, mother-in-law’s tongue in the planter bed with mimosa trees on the side, cement steps, and a veritable ditch out front. It was a labor of love and will always be special because it was my first house. Purchased just 5 months before Katrina, I learned more about the inner structure than I even intended to know. Mantles and doors that didn't match and weren't original, a loft that had been added after a flat roof portion was added in the 1930s when piers were taken out to make the front room a corner entry Sweet Shop to serve the park across the street, along with the need for new plumbing and sewer as well as some shoring work. So I call it rejuvenation as I think it was made better than a restoration considering I couldn't take it back to the original after what had occurred to the 100+ year-old house since the turn of the prior century.
New Spanish porcelain tile was added in the front room after the floor was properly leveled and rebar was added along with red-guard. New custom Spanish cedar windows were added on half of the house to replace old leaking ones that were beyond repair along with a front door. Custom Spanish cedar louvered and paneled shutters along with Bahama shutters were created that gives the cottage the current West Indies style since it was lacking corbels and had the bump out revision. Doors were removed along with mantle that weren't original to give it a more open feel and provide more space for artwork in a space that consisted of so many doors and windows already. The family room has 14' ceilings while the remainder of the house has 12' with the exception of the kitchen which slopes from 10 - 8" with the bathrooms at 8'. The living room features a vintage French print advertising suspenders and glass art by a local artist along with a 110" sofa and tufted hair on hide ottoman and custom floor lamp by local artist.
While originally used as a traditional shotgun with tenants on the other side, it is now being occupied as a single with one side of the house being the entertaining side while the other is the private side. The dining room, breakfast room, and kitchen are done in Venetian plaster for the original plaster feeling. Custom iron railings were added while a cutout makes the family room seem more open to the dining room. The loft was converted to a walk-in closet and roll down awnings cover the articles and prevent sun damage while allowing items to be carried over the railing that would not otherwise fit up the loft ladder.
The daybed in the dining area provides a space for overflow conversation for parties or after dinner but is also a French mattress twin bed so provides extra sleeping space in the 2 bedroom 2 bath home. The buffet is an anqitue Swedish piece, the artwork over the buffet as well as the folding Swedish table are by a local artist and one from Santa Fe. The dining table is new construction from old wood. All window treatments are custom.
Mini splits were added for heating and cooling as well as dehumidification throughout the home in lieu of central heat/ac or window units.
A pull-down attic access was added to floor the attic as well as clean it out and add insulation which was quite a chore from coal burning fireplaces after two holes appeared in the roof from spin-off tornadoes from Katrina. This revealed beautifully painted and hand-hewn tongue and groove ceilings all painted in different hues which were hidden under the sheetrock but caused the sifting of coal dust everytime a truck would pass and the house would shift. So that had to be filled and sealed as well even after it was cleaned out the attic, floored and insulated.
Guest bedroom Features custom silk curtains and custom chandelier by local artist, Master bedroom features medallion light fixture designed by the homeowner and crafted by local artist. Triptych print is by local mother and son artisans.
The kitchen was completely gutted along with the bathroom and the orientation of the appliances was changed. The small doorway was changed to a cased opening between the breakfast room and kitchen. The kitchen was shored, a new diagonal floor added over the original porch floor since there was no sub-floor. Upper cabinets were nixed in lieu of floating sinker cypress shelves. Stick tile backsplash was added along with statuary marble countertops and new custom cabinets with oversized pulls. The kitchen ceiling was hand painted to look like a tent due to the angle of the ceiling.
The adjoining bath was created by sloping the floor to alleviate the need for a shower door. Vein cut marble was used in a chevron pattern to tie into the kitchen floor which also goes on the diagonal. The traditional Memoirs style pedestal sink and toilet by Kohler were used. The other bath features British vinyl wallpaper that looks like iron along with a slipper tub and a lowboy with cabriole legs that my father found by the side of the road and I finished it in chalk paint and topped it with absolute black honed granite. Victoria + Albert slipper tub and lavatory bowl, lucite pedestal and Carrera subway tile and marble floor dots complete the room.