Monday, October 31, 2016

Revisited: Reclaimed Beauty in a Tennessee Mountain Home

A few weeks ago, we took a look at a cabin in Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains and the DIY transformation the owner completed a few years back. This blogger recently had the opportunity to visit the cabin and see how the heart pine flooring, from Albany Woodworks, was holding up to wear and tear of mountain living. We also explore the unique wood accents the homeowners created using some of the spare wood flooring. The result is an utterly charming mountain retreat.

(Pictured above) The living room space, complete with a fireplace, is cozy and warm with the reclaimed heart pine flooring installed several years back. It is still in beautiful condition even through years of the owners residing here and rentals to mountain seekers. The flooring ties in beautifully with the natural wood trim, beam encasing and fire place mantle.

(Pictured above) The owners opted for eclectic furnishings including this natural edge table. It complements the color of the pine flooring nicely, giving plenty of rustic ambiance to this room.

(Pictured above) The log bed frame, custom closet door and natural edge bedside tables in the master bedroom really embrace the feeling of mountain living, imitating the wooded surroundings of the cabin.

There were plenty of hidden gems of reclaimed wood accent walls from the kitchen (pictured above), where the salvaged lumber became a creative back splash for the sink area, to the bathroom, creating an airy atmosphere full of character (pictured below).

The huge walk in shower included a beautifully painted octagonal window with the perfect hint of reclaimed wood as a frame around the top (pictured below). 

Of course, no vacation home is complete without tokens from your home state. The owners tied in the Deep South with folk art from Louisiana. The rustic wood back splash provides the perfect backdrop, giving it a homespun feel. 

Want to get the look of this mountain cabin? click here

Want the opportunity to stay in this peaceful mountain retreat? click here 

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Unique Home Remodel for A Life at Sea!

Choosing quality materials for your home remodel is always an important decision! But what if your home was a boat?! Frank and Doreen Schooley, longtime friends and owners of Florida-based business Tropical Kitchens, accepted that challenge when they took a chance on a dream. They bought a Chinese Junk sailing ship in New Orleans in 1980. The term "junk" means ship in the Chinese culture. However, it is commonly associated with a sailing ship of a particular design. "The boat had been wrecked, sunk and abandoned and needed to be totally rebuilt when I found her," said Schooley. "It was love at first sight. When I first saw the boat, I knew she was in trouble but I knew I had the skills, the tools and the desire to fix her." The Schooley's set off on one of the most unique home remodels of them all, turning a wrecked, oriental sailing ship from the 1960's into a home!

After 3 1/2 years of restoration, the ship named the Concubine was ready to set sail (pictured above). Owner Frank Schooley had completed most of the rebuild with his own two hands. The final result was a masterpiece of solid wood inside and out. The exterior of the ship was built out of teak with bronze fastenings. Interior was a collection of fine woods, including heart pine, walnut, cherry, redwood , juniper etc. all bronze fastened and  lovingly built by the Schooleys. Reclaimed flooring business, Albany Woodworks, was lucky enough to play a role in this amazing rebuild by supplying cherry and heart pine.

(Pictured above) Cherry cabinets with heart pine flooring. (Pictured below) Black walnut cabinetry was placed in the galley along with matching stairs. 

The Schooley's sailed on the Concubine for thirteen years, traveling from the Caribbean to the Virgin Islands and everywhere in between. A life at the sea does not come without its trials and tribulations. "We were glad we used solid timber throughout, no plywood. It held together perfectly through years of abuse, including a couple of partial sinkings and hurricanes." The adventurous couple enjoyed their life at sea, but eventually gave it up to settle in Fort Myers, Florida to re-invent themselves as land-loving entrepreneurs. However, there will always be the memories for all involved, including this blogger who was lucky enough to spend time on this beautiful vessel as a child (pictured below). 

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Look at the Amazing Woodwork in the Brevard House in New Orleans

Many may know this home as the Anne Rice mansion. Located on First St in the Garden District of New Orleans, the Brevard House is a historic landmark among the grand homes of this area. Completed in 1850 by Albert Brevard, the home is built as a mix of the Greek Revival and Italianate styles. It wows all with its columns, intriguing  windows with wooden, louvered shutters and sprawling porches.

However, the extravagant custom mill work inside is where the home really shows off its luxurious origins.

The home is full of floor to ceiling, custom wood encased windows giving the owners plenty of natural light and beautiful views of the gardens. The giant custom, solid wood pocket doors create an elegant transition between rooms.

The original wood flooring throughout the home highlights the popularity and abundance of huge, ancient trees that built cities like New Orleans. The custom mill-work continues to shine through this sitting room with the custom wide width baseboards, lavish wooden mantle and custom windows.

Although the kitchen has clearly received some updating, it would seem as if the original uniform width antique flooring was kept along with the stained glass windows and solid wood doors.

 With all its old world beauty, we can see why Anne Rice was enchanted by this property, even going as far as making it the setting of her book "The Witching Hour". Finding quality custom mill work in new homes is hard, which is why it is so important to preserve and appreciate these grand examples of Southern History.

photos from

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tennessee Cabin DIY Flooring Transformation

A customer shared step by step photos of turning their Tennessee cabin's flooring from drab to fab!

When the owner purchased the cabin, it had a dated green carpet in the living room. Inspired by the surrounding woods, the owner decided a hardwood flooring update was much needed! They began tearing up the carpet and padding to get to the sub floor. Baseboards were also removed. 

Once the carpet was removed, it revealed a plywood sub floor. It is important to check the subfloor for any damage and make sure it is level. After cleaning any dirt from the carpet removal, the sub floor is ready for its wood flooring! 

The flooring was delivered from Albany Woodworks' mill in Louisiana on a flat bad truck. A forklift truck is typically required for unloading the pallet of product.

The owner of the cabin installed the flooring himself. He first put down a felt paper since it was a nail down installation. He then began laying the flooring pieces against the longest wall, which is recommended. 

Using a nail gun, he began nailing the floor down, starting closest to the wall and working his way back. The flooring was tongue and groove so the next row interlocked and was blind nailed. This process was continued until the room was complete!

A professional flooring installer came in to finish the flooring for optimal quality. A semi-gloss finish was used. 

Once the multiple coats of finish were complete and dry, the baseboards were reinstalled and furniture was placed back in the room! The result is stunning. The owner picked a beautiful pine flooring that brought a modern touch to the Tennessee Cabin with a stunning view.