A Reclaimed Home!!

May 09, 2011

I just couldn’t wait to see my friend Lisa’s rebuild of an original, 1880’s homestead on her property in Round Top!!!! I had been lucky enough to go on a shopping spree with Lisa at the previous Marburger Farm Antique Show to shop for the house and couldn’t wait to see it all done. I was absolutely amazed to see the final product with all her brilliant work that integrated the home’s rich history with some modern country touches. Lisa’s mission in rebuilding the site was to not only provide a space for her growing family to gather but also lovingly restore a little piece of the past that resided on her land. She did a beautiful job saving, restoring and using as many salvageable materials from the original homestead as possible. 

Here is the old Wagner House. To stay true to the original home, Lisa enlisted Cairinn Higgins to draw the plans, Barry Brown to reconstruct the abode and Scott Berry to salvage as many materials as possible.  This symbol of Round Top’s quaint countryside has numerous tales of its past, from the swimming hole in front of the house that was once used by the local children on their way home from school to the hand-stenciled designs in the master bedroom. Lisa felt that it was only right to preserve this lovely treasure.

With such beautiful woodwork on the walls, Lisa and Barry meticulously recovered all of the original wood, so long as it was not rotting or infested with termites.  The renovation revealed several fascinating historical markers such as pencil signatures dating from when the home was built. By repurposing and reclaiming these fragments, Lisa added so much charm to the new house.

The rather dilapidated homestead had a 20 year-old hole in the roof, causing the rain to take quite a toll on the homestead.  Finding old newspapers on site, it seemed the house had been abandoned since the early 80’s.  Well, abandoned other than the two resident baby buzzards that Lisa found – Say “hi” to Heckle and Jeckle!

Making a few modifications to the floor plan, the new cottage features wrap-around porches that Lisa and her building team added on to the one small front porch that formerly adorned the home.   Keeping most of the homestead’s original architecture, however, the old beams that now serve as tresses were previously support beams used under the home.  All the old cement steps from the old Wagner house were reclaimed around the fire pit so you can sit on the steps and roast marshmallows!  

There is me and Karen cozying up on the couch and checking out the book Lisa found that served as inspiration during the building process called Building with Reclaimed Materials by Wim Pauwels.  The den is so cozy with this reclaimed wood coffee table, wonderful wood centerpiece from friend Becky and country spinning wheel that Lisa rediscovered in her attic.

All the kitchen cabinets, baseboards, trim moldings and entertainment centers were constructed from reclaimed wood of the old Wagner homestead. Using the aforementioned original pencil signatures that read “October, 1916, Walter Wagner” and “October 6, 1916, Robert Wagner”  to frame the kitchen window lends even more history to the new place. 

The home formerly had no beams anywhere in it, however it was built on pier and beam, so when the house was taken down, these incredible old, original beams were left in wonderful condition.  They were re-used in the main room and also in the master bedroom.  The original Czech “gingerbread” from the outside of the house is prominently displayed in the main room above as a reclaimed beam.  The beams add warmth while still modernizing the house.

Even the window that’s now displayed as a mirror came from the original house.  Following the theme of using referbished materials, Lisa made a parking meter into a lamp and found a stainles top table at Ikea to which she added wood and old table legs discovered in ther old house.  Mixing them with new accessories and stainless chairs she brings a contempory look to the space.  Brilliant!!!!


This cow painting on a reclaimed door was one of Lisa’s and my great finds at the Marburger Show–We both saw it, looked at each other and knew she had to have it!! Lisa named the cow in the painting has been named:  “Bessie”.   The door has a secret dual purpose, though, it hides the refrigerator and adds so much pastoral charm! The kitchen was too small to build in the fridge, so this works perfectly!  MOOOOOOOOOO!!!  The stainless top/wooden bottom “island” is from MAI Consignment. It fits in well with the homes reclaimed elements.

This charming breakfast room is centered around the family table, a gift from Lisa’s parents. The stainless steel utensils are from Pier 1 and the basket  was found at Warrenton and made into a hanging light fixture. How creative!!!

This was another one of our Marburger Farm antique show treasures– an aluminum “trough” made into a sink.   The small French shopping cart from The Whistle Stop, Giddings, TeXas; black table from MAI consigned and the linen basket from Wildflowers, Austin, Texas create charm in this wonderful powder!  Notice the mirror frames, baseboards and windows–Yes, from the original home!!!

Wanting to bring in a sense of her family past into the home Lisa found this “Wabash Apache” jacket from an antique store in Wabash, Indiana, where her parents grew up. Tin man and shelf from the Warrenton Show.

Such a fun combination in this guest bedroom!!! Lisa combines this custom duvet with a tablecloth purchased in Mexico that’s used as a bottom blanket, and pillows Lisa’s daughter selected from Pottery Barn.  Maybe she is following in your footsteps, Lisa!! What a wonderful mix!!

These medicine cabinets were made from original wood by the trim carpenter – boy, it’s amazing they had any wood left!!!  The iron sink “holder” is another fun find at the Marburger Farm Antique show. What do you think this was used for before?


All the wood in this new guest suite was painted paneling from the home’s former master bedroom.  Lisa loved the worn royal blue wall coloring with strawberries and vines stenciled as a border at the top. Taken down one by one during demolition, the boards were numbered so they could be reinstalled in the new home in the same manner they were placed in the old home.    The ceilings also display the original finish from the old home.  Remember friends, this just goes to show that a good decorative paint job never goes out of style!!!!

I absolutely love the antique doors inside, each one different, none matching, clearly the Wagner family cleverly used whatever they had available.  Brought in to consult on how to preserve the finish, I suggested the doors be sanded, heavily cleaned and then sealed with an acrylic foor sealer.  This method takes off loose particles and also seals any lead paint. New safty glass was also installed.


The little sleeping area Barry created in an open area above the first floor is wonderful!!!  Lisa has her granddaughter’s doll house up there so it’s a fun play/spend the night area for the kids.

My dear friends on “Cherry” the mule!  Fun times!  A special thanks to Anne Csorba  who took all these wonderful photos for me while I was visiting with the gals!!  I would love to hear all your comments on this charming home!!!

I hope you had as much fun as I did seeing how reclaimed materials can add charm and character to a home!!  Hats off to Lisa, she did a wonderful job. Next week we will visit Boxwood, an AWESOME store, and get the low down on Farrow and Ball Paints and my picks of their favorite colors!!  Have a super week!!!

1 Comment
  • Garage Equipment
    Posted at 05:42h, 01 March Reply

    It's nice to preserved ancestral house because it gives meaning to your childhood.The good memories and bonding with the family is the one that really treasure.That's why it is keep and cared and also preserving the value.

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