Work has begun in earnest on Abby’s house in Black Mountain. As Friend Fred Morgan told me recently, “We all need partners like RonDavis!” This is true. Ron with the help of his guys has begun a magical transition of what was a cute but rather decrepit little house into a charming and welcoming cottage.
When we first entered the house it was daunting. The old windows leaked cold air, and the people living there had hung dark curtains blocking out any light and stuffed rags into the gaps. New windows have been ordered. The stained rugs held decades of spilled food and animal smells, and someone living there seems to have bathed in Ax Body Spray, a sickening sweet smell which laid over the mildew stench. The rugs have been pulled up and discarded. The walls were covered in dark fake wood panelling. The ceiling was lumpy, cracked, and coated with popcorn.
The kitchen, while laid out nicely and in a desirable “open concept” layout with the living room, needed lots of work. The existing appliances were sticky with old jelly and burned on meat. The cabinets appeared to be made of thin plywood. All the cabinets have been pulled out and trashed, and the filthy appliances have been picked up by people who responded to Abby’s posting on Craig’s List for “Free Stuff.” Abby bought unfinished cabinets at Home Depot and has painted them a beautiful jade green. They are ready to be installed when the new appliances arrive and the room has been painted.
The little bathroom had a molded fiberglass tub surround, hideous wallpaper, and a nasty linoleum floor, but the tub, sink, and toilet seemed sound enough to keep. Hanging crookedly on the wall above the sink was a poorly handmade cabinet designed to hold lots and lots of pharmaceuticals. It stretched from one side of the tiny room to the other and stuck out too far. The tub surround and the cabinet are gone, and new wallpaper has been chosen to cover the stuff that’s there that doesn’t want to come off. White tile will soon surround the tub, and pretty tile will cover the floor.
Abby’s bedroom faces south with a small deck leading off it. The deck overlooks woods and a stream running at the bottom of a wooded ravine. Access to the deck was limited to a shabby little brown door, though, and the room was dark. One of the first transformations to the house came when Ron cut out the little door and installed big double glass doors, allowing light to flood the room and opening the room to the view. It made the room seem to double in size.