A Happy Ending to A Sad Story: My Sis and Mom Have a New Home 2 yrs. After the Fire

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A Happy Ending to A Sad Story: My Sis and Mom Have a New Home 2 yrs. After the Fire

Well, Hello! I know, I know!! Four whole days with no post! Well..when you have to choose between a friend or a post, of course the friend wins out, but don't worry--it just means some extra fun posts for the future.   Rebekah and I made our LAST trip to Dallas (for at least a little while I hope) to meet with an accountant and get the title changed to the car I inherited from my father. We got a lot done! We were gone two days and the next morning headed to a friend's home to help clean before an upcoming inspection by the mortgage company. We just got home this afternoon after working very late yesterday.

 In a few days I'll share the photos from my friend Laurie's stunning new home, but today, I thought I share photos of my mother and sister's new home. They re-built it using insurance money from when their home burned down two years ago (a week before Christmas!). 

 For those who don't know the story, my sister and mother's home burned to the ground in about 20 minutes..almost two years ago. It was awful...and heartbreaking.  I had just met Heather in Fairfield (exactly 2 hours from both our homes) to pass on our family's dogs for babysitting. We were headed to Germany for three weeks and leaving in two days. By the time I got home, the phone was ringing and all I could hear was my sister sobbing, "It's gone! It's gone!". Her and George's home had burned to the ground while we had lunch.. I felt just sick at heart for her. There just aren't words to express how terrible it all was.

This post is a tribute to the wonderful comeback they have made and the beautiful result of 2 years of hard work to recover from it all.   All their family heirlooms and treasures, antique furniture vanished in such a horribly short time, along with precious pets...but so much has been restored..even rescued cats from the neighborhood.  


Tim and I and the teenagers helped my mom, sister, and brother-in-law move in just a few weeks ago and I was so glad to finally get the cushion covers delivered for their 'new' thrift-store daybed. I thought that while I was in the neighborhood (3 1/2 hours north of home) that I could bring them by. Boy, were they ever excited!

My favorite room in the house...Heather's Bathroom.
Rather than buy new things for their home to replace everything that burned, they hit the thrift stores. This home looks like it has been here for years..rather than having been built and moved into only a few weeks ago.  I was impressed with how they used bargain granite to do the bar and used the extra for the livingroom bay windows. The two claw foot tubs had been stored outdoors and survived the fire. These were refurbished. Antique dressers were turned into sinks with cabinets. More photos below.


There were lots of things they dreamed of that I thought were very good ideas, like the plate rack, the closets,
and the pretty Tiffany lamps.

They wanted a huge island in the main living area (very open floor plan) but had to have a hood over the stove. It was a huge, ugly, shiny pipe, but my creative mother painted it solid black and applied these tiny little tiles all over the shiny aluminum ring.  


It didn't take long for them to come up with appropriate collectibles. Mom loves colored glass and tile...(the amber vase was given to her by me at Christmas.)  I also gave Heather and George the unusual ashtray which I never could have imagined would match the tile. It's from an African village.

 I have to say their house is really well done and they were very involved with all the detailing. But even more amazing are the things they have collected--furniture and decor. Their house looks as "Arts and Crafts"  and mission style as it ever did.

   I really LOVE Mom's bedroom! Especially the bay windows! A good friend painted the iron bed and she picked up the quilt top (all batiks!). Love that quilt top!

However, I'm afraid that I don't care for the pink in the bathroom at all, (so sorry Mom!!) but I do love the  the antique baker's rack and the sink she had installed in the dresser. Mom has a VERY eclectic style...  :o)


And since the claw foot tub didn't have feet..they mounted it to blocks. Great idea!  The pocket doors were a great idea too. We want to put one in our entry way/ laundry room.

Because they saved most of the replacement money for their possessions, they were able to use the savings to build a very environmentally friendly and 'green' home. This was hubby, George's, dream.  This house will not burn down again--that's for sure! The walls are cement (12" thick), there is insulation a foot thick on the RAFTERS of their attic, so even the attic is cool. I would love to have their electric bills! 
Their  house is VERY quiet.

One result of the thick walls that I especially loved, was all the bay windows. But George's favorite part, which cost the sacrifice of three fireplaces, was the solar panels which provide much of their electricity.

Well, I still need to cover the little sofa, but it's nice to find out that the cushion covers I sewed worked out so well. I've got a banner to make this next week, so the second couch will have to wait. In the meanwhiles, George (who apparently was the most anxious about the couch), will be sitting in comfort in a cool, tranquil, and lovely new home.

I'm so glad this tragic story had such a happy ending! Aren't you?

Happy Homemaking!


nannykim said...

I so love the blue bathroom!

Ky said...

They've done a wonderful job rebuilding and decorating! What an absolutely painful experience they'be been through. I can't imagine losing your whole 'life' in minutes to fire.
The cushions look fantastic on the daybed too Donna. I just love that deep red colour.
I have to say, I'm with you on the pink bathroom. Gorgeous vanity area, but the pink...
Ok, so bikkies is short for biscuits which is what we call cookies here in Oz. My kids use both terms as we have a lot of american shows here and therefore they pick up the words that you use for things. Like napkins too. In Oz we call them serviettes, but my kids call them napkins. I do try very hard to correct them so they dont lose their Ozziness, but...
Also, elevensies is a real term, but, it's actually English for morning tea. I think it's a very cute way of saying it and seeing as we were having bikkies and tea at around 11 that morning, I thought I'd call it elevensies.

Love Ky xx

Donna said...

Thanks so much Ky! Now I can tease my daughter back when we have tea in the early afternoon. It's not just ME having elevensies!

How interesting? I love learning the meaning of the English words you use.


GlorV1 said...

Hi Donna. I didn't know about your mom's and sis's home. So sorry about that. They have done a wonderful job with everything. The pink bathroom isn't too bad. Your mom likes it and that's whats important. I love the hood for the stove. Your mom did an excellent job. It's awful when you have losses such as they had but thank God, your mom and sister are fine and well. The cushions covers came out great. You are a good girl Donna, take care.

Maria Killam said...

Hey your mom is very forward with that pink, it's very clean and fresh!! I love this story and that blue bathroom with the clawfoot tub really is fabulous!
I love your blog Donna, your sweet and generous personality always shines through it!

Needled Mom said...

What a labor of love. It has been worth every ounce of energy they have put into it. I have to agree with you on the pink bathroom!!! WOW.

Donna said...

How did I know Maria would love the bathroom colors. She actually knows what is 'in' or current. Earthtones are popular at the moment..but styles are changing. The new colors are deeper and brighter.

My mother stands vindicated! Tee-hee..

(But I still don't care for the hot pink and green.) I think she does a GREAT job with it though. Each to his own colour scheme--I always say!

Caroline said...

Welcome home! What a lovely house. Kevin would be drooling over the energy efficient features, -- he would love to build something like that someday - but under different circumstances. I love the corner bathroom with huge windows .....

Anonymous said...

Donna ~ Such a charming home that has come from such tragedy! Thank you for sharing this story about your family! Blessings to you and your family! ♥ Teri

Jill said...

Hi Donna,

How wonderful for them, everything looks great!

When you get a chance stop by my blog, I have an award for you!

Have a great weekend!


Carolyn said...

Ooh, boy, I felt a bit teary reading this story, but a happy ending to a truly awful tragedy. I think it would kill me to lose my pets... but to lose everything else too... my gosh. Their new home looks so wonderful and cosy and full of lovely homely goods, so your family did an amazing job!!
And thankyou so much for visiting my blog and for your kind words!

Mamaw's Place said...

What beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

First time visiting today and I am so glad I did. What a beautiful and creative blog!!! I will be following along too.

Thea Ester said...

Wonderful news!

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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