Something Old, Something New

Restoring a piece of history is nothing new for our long time friend Karen Tillery, but her latest log cabin restoration got the attention of Mark Bowe, host of DIY’S popular show Barnwood Builders. Upon purchasing this property in Langston, AL, Karen began her quest to renovate and restore this neglected home. The home was originally built around a log cabin that came from Chatsworth, GA. Rumor has it that the cabin was actually located on a battlefield from the 1800’s. Since the home was not large enough, Karen planned to add an addition to the back of the house and used the logs from an old go-trot cabin she had purchased, torn down, and stored six years prior. After discovering that the logs had been stored improperly and had now compacted, she contacted Mark to see if he had a log cabin that might work for the plans she had already drafted. He was so intrigued by Karen’s story that he thought it would make for a great episode on the show. On may 29, 2016, their episode aired on DIY’s Barnwood Builders and you can find it on Season 3, Episode 7.

As part of the restoration, a kitchen renovation was in order and Karen began designing a modern kitchen with a rustic flare. For most of us, finding the right mix of styles can be a challenge, but for Karen, it comes easy. She uses these elements with a design and purpose in mind.

“For me, in decorating 1800’s log cabins I strive for anything but the expected. I mix contemporary pieces with antiques and classic pieces with rustic pieces. I use natural finishes and elements and combine them with handcrafted up-cycled furniture and accents. When looked at separately, these things seem totally unrelated. When combined together ¬†they give an eclectic, time worn look, with a warm and inviting atmosphere that screams “home”. Because the log cabin itself is such an incredible structure, a work of art, my approach to decorating is to compliment these beauties.”

And that’s just what Karen did when designing this kitchen. She completely gutted what was an old, 70’s style kitchen and turned it into something just short of a piece of artwork, blending contemporary shaker style cabinets and quartz countertops with antique and rustic elements… one of which is the original brick floor that became the color palette for her masterpiece. “My starting point for the design was the mortar in the brick floor. It’s grey hues became the inspiration for the cabinets and the countertops giving light and balance to the dark space.”

Karen’s designs are always unique and definitely one of a kind. Designing the kitchen island around an old pie safe and incorporating some of the original cabinets into the new design, she was able to create both functional and focal pieces for the room. She lets nothing go to waste and brings old pieces to life again while embellishing the charm and character of the original cabin. Her projects, while sometimes challenging, always expand our strengths and exceed our expectations as a company. For over twelve years, we’ve worked with Karen designing and creating a “new” piece of history and every project is an opportunity to think outside the box, or in her case, “outside the cabin pen”.

While filming final parts of the episode, Mark Bowe jokingly made the comment that they should continue working together and Karen’s last comment was, “Of course, but you get to be the boss on the outside and I get to be the boss on the inside.” Little did she know then , that less than one year later, she would be working along side Mark and the Barnwood Builders. Karen is now the Conceptual Designer for Barnwood Living. What began as a passion for pieces of history, has now become her new-found career. With a degree in graphic design and fine arts, Karen now has the opportunity to help clients conceptualize and visualize their dream by hand-sketching floor plans and design ideas on paper. Through water colors and ink pens, she brings every design to life.

If you would like more information about Barnwood Living, you can visit their new website and showroom at barnwoodliving.com. If you’re interested in renting any of Karen’s beautiful log cabins, visit restorationlogcabinrentals.com.

For questions on the products or information in this article, you can Haley’s Flooring at 256.536.8086 or come in and see us.

Remodel Ready?

If you turn on HGTV or the DIY network, house flipping, home staging and fixer uppers are inspiring people every day with interior design and great remodeling ideas. However, when it comes to taking on a home renovation project, you need to ask yourself… Am I remodel ready?

Whether you’re buying a fixer upper to make your dream home or you’re remodeling to sell, there are a few things you need to think about that can make all the difference with your project.

We recently had the pleasure of working with Lindsay Benton and Jennifer Helton of Helbent Properties, an up and coming remodeling team, on a home renovation project in South Huntsville. Together, we’ll share some tips that will help to ensure the success of your project and hopefully make the process a little easier.

1. GET A BASIC PLAN TOGETHER

Whether you’re giving your home a cosmetic face-lift or it’s a complete gut-job like Lindsey and Jennifer took on, you need a plan for the entire scope of the project. Both small and large remodel jobs require lots of decisions like paint colors, flooring, countertops, lighting, and fixtures just to name a few… So, having project plan in place ahead of time will help save time and money in the long run.

2. CONSIDER THE STYLE OF THE HOME

When remodeling a home, you need to take into consideration the style and layout of the existing structure. You want to add transitional styles that both compliment and add to the value of the home without taking away from the original design.

3. DETERMINE A BUDGET

Once you have a basic plan, you can begin putting together the budget. Lindsay and Jennifer suggest setting aside at least 20% of the budget for unforeseen expenses. “We learned that the hard way…no matter how much planning you do in advance.”

4. REMODEL BY THE RULES

They also suggest contacting your city or municipality to determine what permits are required and when you’ll need them. “Most projects require a city permit and you can be fined for doing the work without it, even if you’re the homeowner,” says Jennifer.

5. GET QUOTES

According to the Helbent Team, “When pricing a service, always get at least three quotes and remember that the cheapest is not always the best. Only use contractors who are licensed, insured, have a good reputation, and who always obtain copies of their license and insurance prior to beginning any work.”

6. RESEARCH YOUR LOCAL REAL ESTATE MARKET

Know what local homebuyers are looking for in a home prior to your remodel, even if you don’t plan to sell in the immediate furniture. Lindsay suggests, “Buying the most expensive and trendy lighting, installing the most expensive floors or adding over-the-top amenities, won’t translate to extra dollars in your pocket down the road. Go for functional spaces, maximize storage and choose quality products that make the most sense.”

And of course, when in doubt, consult a professional. DIY projects are a great way to save money, but you’ll save more money in the long run by hiring someone before you make costly mistakes.

For information about the Helbent Team or questions about this article, contact Haley’s at 256.536.8086.