Sunday, September 21, 2014

She has a name

First of all, I must sincerely apologize to everyone who participated in the 'house-naming' contest.
I was going to go with 'Ashby'.
But at the end of the day it still felt so....pretentious.
When all the construction, painting and decorating is over, the  house will have more of a formal-ish feel to it, but still... I am not in Highland Park nor Lakewood.
(Beautiful, hi-falutin' hoods in Dallas. So not me)
I am 25 miles down the road in Rowlett where our population may be 57,000 and we might technically be considered part of the metroplex, but if you drive through our downtown you'd swear you were in Mayberry RFD.

And in my neighborhood while the houses are very nice, we still look very Texan, not Downton Abbey.
Then out of the blue, a light bulb came on, and I thought 'Richmond'. Yes!  Perfect! What better way to honor my Virginia roots than Richmond? It's not only the capital city, but was once the Capital of the South. Wonderful.
I just could not envision 'Richmond' on the customary sign that all houses with names  invariably have. Actually, that's not quite true. I'm very creative and I could picture it but I am pretty sure most people would not 'get it' and I'd always be busy 'explaining' which would get tiresome.
"Richmond? But, I thought your name was Truitt".

Or: 'Why d'ya have to go and name your stupid ol' house for, anyway?'

Yes, I got that thrown at me a few times during the naming contest/process. It made me smile.
Why, indeed.

Because when we are finished - when we have done everything that needs to be done with her (our estimated time of completion is springtime) she will be a destination.

 A place we will entertain our family, friends, clients, publishers, publicists. designers and artisans we know from all over the country.

I want to host authors, book-signings and writing work-shops.

Next month she is playing Bed/Breakfast to a bride and her bridesmaids the night before the wedding.

A destination must have a name.

But most of all, when I treasure hunt all across Texas and take you with me I need a name in which to refer to that isn't just 'the house'. Or 'my house'.

After much speculation and suggestions (thank you everyone), I knew I needed something 'special'. Something with personality.
A name that just slips off the tongue, makes folks smile and maybe piques their curiosity just a bit.

"Hillbilly Hacienda" 

It was right there the whole time. I've been calling her that in every blog post and it just seems 'right'.

Even Mr. T likes it.
(Or maybe he is still mad over the tailgate debacle and he's just humoring me)

We are nowhere near finished, but we are making strides. Short, sweet strides, but strides nonetheless.

I'm trying not to be too hasty in my decisions. I want everything to be perfect, which explains the empty dining room.

Ralph Lauren 'Blue Chalk'
Waiting for the perfect dining set

I am looking for that 'just right' table and chairs.

I don't have near enough artwork
(and it's driving me absolutely insane).

And with 3,000 square feet there are a LOT of walls - including one pink one upstairs that is going to give me a nervous breakdown if I don't paint it quickly.
Disclaimer: If you remember my last house, I am a lover of all things Shabby Chic (pink/white) but this isn't the shabby chic type or architecture.

We've torn apart kitchen counters and are putting on new ones. Back-splash will have to wait until the House/Senate break for Thanksgiving and Christmas when Mr. T will finally have time to do that and


Yeah. Remember this wall from earlier in the summer? It's still there. I guess he's afraid to fix it because that is where I wanted to put a table with the tail-gate propped up.
By the way, that blasted thing is STILL taking up space in my back yard if anyone wants it.
(Dang, I can't even give that thing away.)

Every week I try to buy just a little something for the house -

like this cute little night light right here. This provides just enough light to keep me from bumping into walls when I make my midnight trek to the ladies room.

If you're like me and a book collector/avid reader, consider placing your books throughout the family room for a combination den/library.

I'm not sure I want the permanence of book shelves just yet, so I've stacked my books all over. I also plan on taking a few awkward corners, placing comfy chairs and a lamp to allow for various reading nooks where guests can relax and curl up with a good book.

I finally have beds in 2 of the 3 spare rooms. They're nowhere near ready for that above mentioned bride and her bridesmaids, but hey, it's still 3 weeks away.

I have pleeenntty of time.

Til next time,


Friday, September 19, 2014

"The Hillbilly Debutante's Guide to Decorating...."

or "The Tail Gate that Brought Down a Marriage"

My first weekend in Rowlett (Texas) my cousin Mel took me junking - my favorite thing in the world to do. Well, next to decorating. And maybe writing riding.
Lo and behold we stumbled upon an out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere place that had at least an acre of old gas station signs, antique car doors, furniture, dishes. You name it, honey - he had it.
And that, my friend is where I found the above treasure. Isn't she a beaut? A real find?
 'Hillbilly Hacienda' is going to be a bit more formal than my previous house, but I still want to have a few 'fun' pieces.
You know - like the bull horns in my previous post.
(With a name like 'Hillbilly Hacienda' you can't take things too serious, don't you agree?)
I just knew this tail gate, sitting on top of a long, ornate, formal table and propped against the wall, would be the best conversation piece EVER.
''Kathie, I am not spending thousands of dollars on this kitchen for you to put a stupid tailgate in here."
Then- and I have to take a deep breath and collect myself before even continuing this story. Give me a brief moment, please - whew...Okay. I'm ready. Then he said a word to me he has only used maybe one other time in our 32 years together. Well 34 if you count our dating years.
 ''No! (I cringe) it's not happening. Good grief, Kathie - It's not even a cool year of a vehicle.''
Me: "Well, if that's all that's bothering you, there is a really, really cool 1960-something Volkswagen Beetle door that would ---"
Dang! There it is again. That awful word.
So....if you live in the Rowlett, Texas area and are in the market for a 1974 Ford Tailgate....she's free to a good home.
Til Next Time,

Monday, September 1, 2014

More changes at Hillbilly Hacienda - or whatever the heck her name is....

There have been so many changes here... where do I start?

We've decided to wait until late fall to lay down sod but neither one of us could stand those awful shrubs a day bye-bye!
Our landscaper, Miguel and his crew got the job done in about 3 hours. It took 3 men

and a pickup pull up those stubborn trees and pesky roots, and although it was dusk by the time they were finished I couldn't resist a picture.


 Bit by bit she's coming back to life.

Remember these 'before' pictures?

Well, here is the living room 'almost' finished. I laughed before I even got that sentenced typed out. Y'all know me - I'm NEVER done!

Ahh - see those gorgeous bull-horns on the wall? I bought those at Shepler's Western Store in Mesquite. You know - Sheplers? The store I had my heart set on working at yet they don't seem to be as excited about that as I am? Anyway, I was in Fort Worth all week and when I got home on Friday, Mr. T had them hung! Now, I need a picture to hang underneath....hmm. I also need a picture for the wall on the left - that's a big space so it really needs something 'special'. I'll find something, I'm sure but back to the bull horns. I'm planning on having a pair in every single room.

I've been so busy with projects here that I haven't had as much time to shop as I'd like. I still need a dining room table and a kitchen table! I took advantage of Labor Day sales to buy two Queen-size mattresses. (Mattress Stop in Rowlett for those of you in the Dallas area). Plus, I still have an upstairs hallway and a bathroom to paint. I did, however, take one weekend to go to Quinlan, a small, charming, country town about 30 miles east of Rowlett - but it's late here at the Hillbilly Hacienda and this girl needs some shut-eye.  You know, I really hate calling her that - Hillbilly Hacienda - she is much too grand for such a simple name. But I have yet to think of a name that suits her. Some of my readers have suggested 'Greystone' because while exterior is pink brick there are large obvious grey strokes throughout. But as much as Hillbilly Hacienda sounds silly,  Greystone sounds pretentious. Guess I'll have to give this more thought.
I think the deeper I get into remodeling and decorating she will let me know what she wants to be called. What? You don't think houses have personalities? Stick around....I'll prove you wrong.
Til next time,