Our Old Building

In keeping with my apparent theme for April of avoiding my dining room redo, here is another 'Tour de Distraction'.  Our old building.

Some of you know that a few years ago I bought an old building to renovate.

Saying I bought it is accurate, saying I'm renovating it makes my nose grow.
Gotta give credit to Brawn and the boys for 90% of the manual labor.  Ok.... 95%.

Before & During
The building is in a great location on a main street and it has a view of a lake out the back.

It has a gutted top floor.  We did this, and enjoyed every minute of it...till clean up.

Many of you might covet this vintage wallpaper.  I am not one of those.
I repeat....

I did however rescue the old Kelvinator stove.  It's in good shape, just dirty.

Doesn't the sight of that in black and white make you feel a bit Betty Crocker-ish?

It came with old lights.  The dirt was a vintage bonus. 

These sconces hang on the main floor above the barber work station.

The upstairs living quarters had these lights and this ugly faux ceiling.  One of those two is gone.  

Put your money on the ceiling.

Three schoolhouse lights hang over where the barber chairs were.  We will reuse them. I am willing to bet that the dust on top of these lights is as old as the building.

There is a covered stoop where you enter the main floor or stairs to go to the living space above.  The outside entry floor is covered with these tiles.  I think with a good cleaning they will look nice.  I like the colors.

A very large, shallow cabinet, just big enough for hair care products, is along one wall.  It will either be repurposed and used in the upstairs apartment, or it will come home with me to replace where the barber shop sign I made hangs in our master bath.  

This barber sign IS going to the new bathroom in the old building.  
When we have a bathroom somewhere in the old building.

Also in the master bath is the antique ceramic scissor sterilizer.  Say that fast 3 times.

 And the old scissors.

The store front currently houses a photography display - it's a regular winter wonderland.  
In April.  
I have to get up there and remove the melted snowman heads.  

Or maybe not, the weather man is predicting 6 - 12 inches of snow for us today.
The middle of April.  Yuck.

The front has come a long way since these guys helped dad hold windows in place.  Brawn came back two hours later to find them still holding the window.  

Just kidding!!!  

If you look at the reflection in the glass it looks like R is wearing a lampshade on his head and has a thick black mustache.  Neither are true.  #3 does however have a dark beard and is sporting a beanie on his noggin.  He sort of looks like he's from Duck Dynasty.  My other son is doing a pretty good mime imitation huh?

So this spring, in addition to hopefully getting the never ending dining room redo done, we will also be putting the upstairs of this building back together.

The main floor will have to wait, because there is lots of strumming going on in there.....

The main floor hosts the main attraction - #3's band.  (Check out that awesome original tile floor!).

So either #3 or me has to start making better use of the building so one or both of us can put some green backs in this.....

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  1. Lovely old building

  2. Loved reading this whole thing. Your humor cracks me up. The salvaged items are really cool too.

  3. You're either the coolest Mum I know or the craziest.....SURVEY SAYS!

  4. Oh My Gosh!!! I LOVE it! What a great little shop this would make!! It has such wonderful vintage character! I'm glad you saved it before someone tore it down and put up a 7-11!! I LOVE renovations...wish I was closer, I'd roll up my sleeves and come over!

  5. My are killing me. I'd love that building. I'd really love that cash register and the barber chair you have, and that scissor sterilizer and that barber pole!!! I'm actually working on a barber-inspired project right now!

  6. I do love your building -- what fun. Just keep your distance to avoid any further 'incidents'!! Keep Band-Aids on hand too. Looking forward to the spring photo display and the actual spring - if it ever arrives!! ;)

  7. SO freaking cool! I love all the old stuff you saved...those light fixtures are so so cool! Jealous. Livin' the dream! SO cool!

  8. I vote for cool AND crazy!
    Looks like so much fun, though.
    Very cool family project- I'm looking forward to more peeks
    and projects there.
    I'd be over there poking around, too, if I lived nearby.

  9. Wow, just the kind of building I would like to rent and live in!

  10. I love old buildings but not all that work! The stove is awesome and so are the light fixtures. Can't wait to see it all done. Can't wait to see the dining room either!

  11. Oh I love the tour de progress!! The possibilities....... The tile is really great and the old's all so fab!! I was wondering where you'd gotten off to. ARe you sure somebody wasn't photobombing in that one strange photo?

  12. I love this old building! I'd love to live in something like that...if I didn't love having my chickens...hmmm...a view of the lake does sound nice.
    As to the 'ugly faux ceiling'... well, I put my money on it. Glued it, nailed it, and trimmed it...I hate it :\

  13. LOL, so much fun!!! What a cool old building and I can only imagine how fun it would be to have such a large pallet to work with. Can only wait to see what magic you make of it, Bliss!!

  14. I love seeing the before and during looks like a great old many possibilities...

  15. That building is awesome, Bliss...looks like you all are having a lot of fun working together! I am hoping that snow decides to go somewhere else...we had 3 inches overnight last night already! We really don't need another foot...

  16. I loved seeing the famous barber shop. I have read about it a few times but I had no idea it was actually on a main street. That makes it so much cooler. Even in its current state, that is a cool old building.

  17. Main St. front and lakeview back? Awesome! Can we have a blogger conference there? I love seeing all the old stuff inside. Funny about the reflections...I would never have noticed!! I'm envious of that old cash register too!

  18. Old buildings are so charming but they are a lot of work. I love the white tiles and all the extra accessory goodies that came with the building. Great cash register!

  19. :) You are so funny. Yes let's talk about procrastination, oh let's not and say we did. I've been procrastinating for 8 months on installing a door jamb and door on my bathroom. Who needs doors anyway? Highly overrated luxury imo.

    Love your old building and all the vintage cool that it contains. Keep the lampshades away from the help. Usually there's booze involved with lampshades and you could wind up with broken vintage cool. NOT cool.

    Have a great night!

  20. love the story, the store and the family adventure and a lake view on cool

  21. You have so many great artefacts saved that will look fabulous in the renovated building! I know it's a lot of work but it's going to be amazing when it's finished.

  22. You have a great way of making old items look polished and cool -even sleek.

    I abhor that wallpaper- anything with browns and oranges screams sadness at me. I love Mad Men but have had a hard time with the period correct 70's decor. Huge bummer!

    I'm waiting on the same craptacular winter storm here- the snow just melted. I go from angry to bored about the constant winter. :/

  23. That is so cool!! I say I would love to do the same, but then I see that dust and I've decided I'm just happy that someone else is bringing some new life to a fabulous old building that deserves better! Keep us updated.

  24. Wow ! I love what is going on here.
    Very neat project.

  25. My mouth is hanging open. I'm in awe, in a daze. This place is beyond fabulous. You all are the perfect people to have gotten this, obviously. Top to bottom amazing stuff from back in the day. I love when you procrastinate because you always find something incredible to help distract us from the work we don't feel like doing either.

  26. First of all that building and all the treasures inside is awesome. It's like stepping back in time!
    Secondly, thanks for the laugh this morning. I have tears rolling down my face laughing at the lampshade
    guy... I didn't see it at first and then when I did I couldn't stop laughing... the mime too... are you this
    funny in real life?!!!

  27. I think redoing the dining room might be less work than that building! LOL! I love the old charm it has though. The old school house lights are fantastic! I know you will be keeping them.

  28. Lots of vintage goodness there, Bliss -- that tile is amazing! Now get back to work on your dining room!
    xo Heidi

  29. I love seeing the photos ~ my husband collects vintage razors {and such i.e. other stuff I don't know the names of} ~ he would love a lot of what you have there. Maybe I'll show him this post and tell him that's my good wifey deed of the day.

    Have a great week!

    Mary Beth

  30. I love this old building and all the charm....except for that wallpaper. What a great find with the sconces and the register. Thanks for sharing this.....keep trying to work on that dining room.


  31. I remembered this building from the first time you introduced it here. I lo-o-o-ve it (how do you spell love when it has 3 syllables?). I noticed the wallpaper immediately upon getting to that photo, it definitely gets your attention. The rest of this building is like an enormous treasure chest.

    (It's raining here and this morning our weatherman man says "rain will turn to snow overnight" so I guess we're going down the same weather road you are.)

  32. Oh my what a gorgeous building.. Love the pieces you have salvaged. I am with you on the wallpaper. Look forward to see how it turns out. Really enjoyed finding your blog.

  33. Wow, what a fabulous old building...especially with that view! I am in love with that cash register...I need one, it's gorgeous!!
    Debbie :)

  34. How gorgeous is that building - and with a lake view in the back???
    Those lights in the living quarters are simply beautiful - and the tile on the front stoop?
    Sigh -
    What a fabulous tour - I so want to be there to see it in person - I'd be jumping up and down
    all over the place ( because I'm neurotic, don't you know? )
    And they're calling or snow here tomorrow -
    repeat after me................

  35. So, what will the first floor become? A shop where you'll sell dining room furniture????


  36. I can just imagine how you would fill that building with all of your creations!
    I always think that too, but then there's a matter of TIME.
    Loved seeing your guys! Funny descriptions : )
    Have a great day,

  37. I want an old building where I can find all kids of cool old things! And to have your very own mime helping you renovate is just icing on the dirt and dust encrusted cake!!

  38. The residents of your town must be thrilled to see your building brought back to life. What wonderful pieces of history you've found inside! I guess you've earned a reprieve from your dining room reveal. I haven't touched the guest bedroom in weeks, so I can totally relate. :)

  39. That building is awesome! It's absolutely gorgeous! I want one!

  40. I'm in love w your building! Just gorgeous...can't wait to see more! Xoxo

  41. What a great building! I had to laugh when I saw the wallpaper. It reminded me of the wallpaper in my sister's bedroom back in the 70s!

  42. Love your building and the treasures you have found. What fun ... more fun than painting the dining room. Looking forward to the finished pictures.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  43. Love it! So many great treasures in there...the lights, the floors, the signs. I wouldn't say that about the wallpaper. LOL

    Can't wait to see what you do with it!

  44. Oh there are no words. It's been a crazy week so seeing this in my inbox was such a bonus! Love this so much… What an opportunity to renovate an amazing old building and I just can NOT believe the "relics" you got to keep inside.
    The Hubs and I opened an upscale barbershop (we did a complete new-con build out) on the side 7 years ago. We sold it a few years back but having sourced vintage barber shop stuff on eBay and all over the web I am just DYING at the items left in there. That "ceramic scissor sterilizer"? Holy cow. (and the light fixtures.. and the tile.. and the stove… and the sink…).
    Love this post. A little trip down memory lane, for sure.
    - Claire
    PS: Are those guys still holding up that window? I feel like I should take them a sandwich or something…

  45. What a cool spot! Are you going to use it for a shop for yourself?

  46. I CANNOT wait to see what you do with this space!! It is going to be so so so stinking awesome! And your boys are fiiinnneee!
    Yes, I did just say that :). Girl...get going on that dining room!

  47. I loved every little part of this tour of your building. How COOL to own an old building, and not just an old building, but one that came with some of those wonderful little kitschy antiquities (wallpaper....). The picture of your boys is very cute. If they need another guitarist and Trombone player, I will send my boys their way. Cannot wait to see what you do next. -K

  48. I loved taking a look inside your building. So very cool! I can't wait to see the finished product!

  49. Dust and dirt? P'shaw! That's patina and ambiance!

  50. I neither want a building or the work that comes with it. And the snow? You can keep that too! :) Bring on Spring/Summer.

  51. Oh Bliss, this is so cool! What a neat building and all your {Brawn's} hard work is paying off. Love the school house lights!

  52. I would kill for those schoolhouse lights! Well, maybe not kill. Fight. I would fight for those lights! So I take it you will be renting the top out as a living space?

  53. What an amazing building! You and the Pioneer Woman have great taste!

  54. I showed this to Dallas because he's always talking about buying up old buildings to rehab. To what end? I do not know. Great old building. What are your plans once it's up and running?

    PS - I see your sons take after their daddy. Rawr.

  55. We've got an albatross like that hanging around our necks: a boat The Capt saw fit to buy and store 7 years ago, that will never see the water again. A BIG boat. I can't look at it without feeling queasy. Fortunately it's stored miles from here so I seldom see it, but The Capt has a bad case of 'outta sight, outta mind' and only thinks of it when it's time to pay the monthly storage bill. But I think you'll eventually make something of your albatross, I can see some progress already and you've got a whole crew, not just an almost-70-year-old delusional dude. You don't say what you plan to use it for, assume it's all going to be for rent, a store downstairs and apartment upstairs? Could be a real moneymaker.

    1. We justify no progress by saying it's too cold in winter and too hot in summer, which leaves spring and fall of which we always say there is so much other stuff too do. But you are right, both could be earning money and that should be a motivator. We have lots of ideas for what it could be, but for now all it can be is a mess.


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