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    Charges certified against owner of Roanoke home renovation company accused of taking money but not doing work – Roanoke Times - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Four felony offenses were certified this week against the co-owner of a Roanoke home renovation and roofing company who is accused of failing to do construction work he was paid to perform.

    Nathan Jay Laurain is a partner in HomeFront Renovations on Colonial Avenue. The four active counts against him are scheduled to be considered by a grand jury in October.

    At his hearing Thursday in Roanoke General District Court, Laurain, 37, also saw the dismissal of five misdemeanor counts of working without a license.

    A state police search warrant filed in July said that at least six HomeFront Renovations customers have claimed they paid for work that was not done. It claimed the operations in question had been undertaken in Botetourt, Bedford, Giles and Roanoke counties, and in the cities of Roanoke and Salem.

    The warrant also says that since last October, the business has banked more than $1.25 million worth of checks.

    On Friday, Laurain was also indicted in Salem Circuit Court on one count of construction fraud, according to Commonwealths Attorney Tom Bowers. A court date has not yet been set.

    In August, Laurain resolved an embezzlement charge involving another company, ZJ Home Improvements, by pleading no contest to a reduced count of grand larceny. The three-year prison term he received was suspended in its entirety, but he was ordered to pay $45,000 in restitution to the company at a minimum of $300 a month.

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    Charges certified against owner of Roanoke home renovation company accused of taking money but not doing work - Roanoke Times

    Couple turn the corner on restoration of Tower House – Valley Breeze - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder


    Paula Keefe, right, explains how a retaining wall and old stone stairs were restored at the old Tower House on Mendon Road. Partner Jeff Polucha is at left. (Breeze photos by Ethan Shorey)

    CUMBERLAND Two weeks ago was the low point for the local couple restoring the Tower House at 2211 Mendon Road. Endless jackhammering of ledge in the basement and chipping of old mortar from some 6,000 bricks had led to deep discouragement, said Jeff Polucha and Paula Keefe.

    But the two say they have turned the corner, getting a second wind after a new floor was poured in the basement and they reached the point of starting to put the 1825 home back together after a demolition phase of three months and the reinforcement of the homes main floor.

    This week weve turned a corner, said Polucha during an impromptu tour of the property last week.

    The couple said people stop by all the time, curious about what theyre up to after watching the home sit vacant for decades. They say theyve received all kinds of offers to help, which they appreciate but most of which they cant take people up on.

    The main level of the home is now shored up and most of the rot has been removed. Polucha and Keefe have scraped off nearly all of the paint from the home and built a 12-foot by 13-foot new addition to function as the mudroom.

    Polucha and Keefe say theyre getting closer every day to deciding to move into the home themselves but havent yet made that commitment.

    The home, they said, will be perfect for a professional who works from home, with the basement/walkout level, including an entrance under a unique second-floor porch, having an ideal layout for living and working. It would also be great for either an in-law space or game room, they said.

    Much of the granite around the property will be repurposed in the outdoor entertaining areas and other parts of the property, and four new granite posts have been added to the front of the property, running past a new driveway now located to the left of the house.

    Keefe and Polucha say there has been significant interest in their corner lot next to the home, which was created by the town to help facilitate the old homes redevelopment, but so far havent sold it.

    Extensive tree work has also been done, and piles of bricks and old lumber are stacked outside awaiting potential re-use. The two said they probably wont be able to use all of the granite on the property, but will certainly be able to use a lot of it, including in the outdoor space next to the new front door off the main driveway.

    While some items will see major modern upgrades, including a new gas fireplace, other original features will be maintained, including a 42-inch front door thats something special, said Polucha. The old windows next to that front door arent salvageable and will be replaced by wooden Anderson 400 windows previously discussed with members of the Cumberland Historic District Commission. Two new doors will also be added.

    The pair removed a cement apron around the foundation that they said was functioning to retain moisture and harbor insects. Old stone stairs have also been rebuilt. The owners dont plan to put a new fence back up near the street, instead sticking just with the old granite posts.

    New utilities were also added during the demolition phase, with sewer pipes running under the newly poured concrete floor in the basement.

    The 2,100-square-foot home will have three bedrooms and two full bathrooms when complete, with a storage/utility room included in the back of the basement. That room will be important without a garage or shed space, said Polucha. An old outhouse will be restored, likely as a small shed space.

    Despite all of the issues with the home, including immense damage from insects previously compromising it, the home overall has proven solid with its post-and-beam construction, said the owners.

    Riva Homes, which specializes in restoring old houses, is the contractor on the project, and Cruz Construction of Cumberland is doing much of the exterior work.

    Keefe and Polucha, Cumberland residents who enjoy restoring homes as a hobby, say they have no regrets about tackling the project, saying theyve been fortunate to have the the right people around them advising them on the work. That said, a project of this complexity brings never-ending issues.

    We had identified all possibilities, and all possibilities did come to fruition, said Polucha, laughing.

    Jeff Polucha stacks some of the old lumber taken from the Tower House in Cumberland, much of which will be reincorporated into the home. At rear is an old outhouse that will be restored as part of the project.

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    Couple turn the corner on restoration of Tower House - Valley Breeze

    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority House Renovation Creates Added Visibility – University of Arkansas Newswire - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

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    Lambda Theta Chapter President Skyye Robinson and First Vice President Ranique Daniel.

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. The Lambda Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta SororityInc. started the semester in a newly renovated house. The renovation, which was completed over the summer, has already created better visibility for the sorority, which residents believe will also impact equity for other historically Black organizations and African American students at the University of Arkansas.

    The project, overseen by Facilities Management, transformed the original duplex into a modern multi-level sorority house. Contractors merged the two spaces, converted one kitchen to a living space, added an accessible bathroom and spare room, and made modifications to the existing bedrooms and bathrooms.

    The sorority's previous house on North Duncan had been the place of many fond memories, but extensive structural damage to the building and maintenance concerns forced the switch to the duplex on Stadium Drive. Although initially hesitant about the move, the completion of the project has the tenants excited about the future possibilities of the house.

    "We were just so excited to see the vision that we had been talking about with Facilities Management come to life," said Skyye Robinson, president Lambda Theta Chapter. "Honestly, they exceeded my expectations. What I expected was a great looking house that was livable, but I got much more than that. We got much more than that. We will definitely miss the history from 3 North Duncan, but we'll always have that. So we're grateful for this new beginning and extremely excited with the new relationship we have with Facilities Management because of the work that they've done here."

    "I am extremely pleased with the renovation and teamwork from across the University to make this project a reality," said Parice Bowser, director of Greek Life. "For years, the Lambda Theta Chapter has continued to pave the way for many African American students on the UofA campus. They are actively involved and work diligently to make a difference in all they do through scholastic, social, and educational programming efforts. It's a joy to see them excited about their new home and the memories that will be made on Stadium Drive."

    Involvement in a renovation process was a new experience for the women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and the short timeframe made it additionally challenging. However, they credit the success to the relationships built with Facilities Management, the coordinators involved, and the expectations set by Vice Chancellor Mike Johnson.

    "Mike really set the tone, and I think that makes all the difference. His leadership from day one laid a path for his team to follow," said Karrie Claybrook, primary advisor of the Lambda Theta Chapter.

    "It also speaks to the value of having diverse coordinators on all university projects," Claybrook said. "Take Vel for example (Vel Moses, construction coordinator). As an African American, he brings a different perspective to the team. His understanding of our organization's rich history including the inequities the chapter has overcome in the past, shows in his attention to detail on the project."

    The new house is located closer to the other sorority and fraternity houses on campus and is expected to help with awareness of the sorority. The women believe this will go a long way in increasing minority representation on campus.

    "We're more visible," Robinson said. "Our presence has grown stronger just by a location change. And like I said, just being able to see us will make [other students] go research us to see what we're about and what we stand for."

    Ranique Daniel, first vice president of the Lambda Theta Chapter, added, "It's what we needed to be able to head in the right direction towards creating equity for African American students as well."

    Reflecting on the process, Claybrook said she believes the experience was an opportunity for personal growth for the women, which will impact them and future members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for years to come.

    "I can see a change in them and their confidence and their belief in who they are and what they can accomplish. That's what a house can do. It's so small. It's so simple, but it's powerful."

    About Delta Sigma Theta:The Lambda Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. was established in 1974 on the University of Arkansas campus as the first National Pan-Hellenic Council organization. A private, not-for-profit organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sororityis focused on the constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community.

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    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority House Renovation Creates Added Visibility - University of Arkansas Newswire

    Glimpse inside the Perfect Home of ‘Fixer Upper’ Stars Chip and Joanna Gaines – AmoMama - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Magnolia owners built a business based on what they love the most, so there is no doubt that their house is more than amazing. Their place is exquisitely decorated and filled with lots of love from their adorable family.

    The home renovation gurus 45-year-old Chip Gaines and wife 42-year-old Joanna Gaines are usually sharing snapshots on their social media to show their fans and interior design admirers a glimpse of their gorgeous house.

    The former Fixer Upper hosts are the owners of a Victorian-style house in Waco, Texas, which they bought in 2012, and sits on more than 40 acres. The residence, which they called The Farmhouse is home for them both and their five beautiful young children.

    Being the favorite renovation and decoration expert duo in recent years, it is not surprising that the couple put all their hearts into remodeling their own house. So they did not move into the property until one and a half years later when they finally turned the house into their dream come true.


    Originally, the house had two bedrooms, but the Gaines brilliant ideas turned the place suitable for Drake, Ella Rose, Duke, Emmie Kay, and Crew, their lovely and playful kids. Three bathrooms and a couple of sitting rooms are perfect for the bunch to play, study, and even build puzzles together.

    The kitchen must be Chip and Jos favorite place. It is big enough to even have the kids around while the parents make their meals. It is decorated in a white country-style, has a perfect marble island in the middle, and features lots of space to keep their stainless steel appliances.

    Inside the house, the different spaces are open and filled with natural bright light during the day. White walls and neutral tones are key in the decoration but there are many details all over like a plant, a lamp, or a big picture. The residence also features large outdoors with gardens, a greenhouse, and a chicken coop, where the kids love to spend time playing around.


    The couple met after Chip knew Joanna was the daughter of the owner of the place where he used to fix his cars tires. He found a way to ask her out, and in 2003, a year later, they were getting married.

    They joined forces as Chip had a love for renovating homes and Joanna for decoration. Their first project was their first house, and from then on they built their successful path. However, they have been open about the importance of family and that their kids come first.

    See the article here:
    Glimpse inside the Perfect Home of 'Fixer Upper' Stars Chip and Joanna Gaines - AmoMama

    Inside Towie stars Georgia Kousoulou and Tommy Malletts incredible home renovation as they build dream m – The Sun - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    TOWIE stars Georgia Kousoulou and Tommy Mallett have revealed their incredible home renovation as they build their dream mansion in Essex.

    Georgia, 29, and her beau Tommy, 28, have walked their fans through every step of the mega project on Instagram - even sharing photos of homes that inspire them.


    Georgia, who joined Towie in 2018, told fans: "A lot has changed today"

    Her latest snap reveals her dream home is in its very early stages, with the stars building an extension onto the side of the house.

    Bricks and timber are layed out on the patio as they work on the shell of the property.

    Showing fans inside her home, Georgia has posted photos of her dream bathroom and hallway and revealed how she hopes they will look after she transforms them, sharing her "inspo" pics.





    The reality couple have a dedicated page @GeorgiaKHome for the renovation, which has already clocked up over 140k followers.

    From flooring to wall colours, Georgia has been sharing all the gorgeous little details shes been adding to the swanky pad.

    One detail that is already compleye is a kitsch, old fashioned dial-up phone, that Georgia revealed is taking pride of place under the stairs.

    The Towie cast member also shared with her fans the current look and feel of her and Tommys huge kitchen, which she revealed they planned on doing up and changing drastically.






    She wrote under the series of photos: Current kitchen space .. swipe to compare the new plan! As you can see the current kitchen [sic] is beautiful & very well done!

    The only problem for me is the space .. I like an open plan space & this kitchen is currently long and not sociable.

    Georgia went on to reveal they planned on moving the utility and bathroom to where the kitchen is, and knocking down two walls to extend the room and make it open plan and airy.

    She revealed work had already begun to make their kitchen, with a heavy duty digger lifting out a large chunk of their back garden and patio.





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    Georgia and her beau Tommy Mallet, 28, are a staple feature of the show.

    Despite an initial shaky start, the pair have grown stronger together with characteristics like his fierce loyalty and clear affection for Georgia earning him a place in viewer's hearts.

    Georgia joined the Towie cast in 2014 for the 11th series and was recently spotted filming for the new season.


    Continue reading here:
    Inside Towie stars Georgia Kousoulou and Tommy Malletts incredible home renovation as they build dream m - The Sun

    Restoring your surge capacity in the time of COVID-19 – MercerMe - September 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Are you suddenly feeling overwhelmed, depressed and worried when you had been responding to the new pandemic normal just fine? Many people felt kind of energized and easily able to keep calm and carry on during the early months of this crisis, but recently, for quite a few people, this ability has waned. Six months into these unprecedented times, there is a neurological reason for this burn-out and part of it has to do with the way your wonderful brain is always working to ensure your survival.

    Take the fight-or-flight response, for example. Your amygdala, the temporal lobe of your brain, is always automatically surveilling the premises for danger. Its like a smoke alarm surveying your environment so that you can respond effectively to danger. It is why, without even consciously thinking about it, you swerve like a stunt driver to avoid a collision, or why you can acrobatically throw yourself out of the way to avoid the unexpected appearance of oncoming bicycle in a crosswalk.

    The amygdala is a primitive part of the brain that has kept our species from extinction. It is part of our survival instinct. Everyone has experienced that fight-or-flight response to perceived danger at one time or another.

    When the fight-or-flight response is triggered, your heart rate, respiration and blood pressure automatically increase. You tremble and your hands get clammy. Your senses are heightened and you are keenly aware of what is going on around you. Adrenaline circulates throughout your body, giving you a surge of energy to respond. All of this is your bodys plan to keep you alive and safe.

    But fight or flight is not the only scheme your body and brain have to respond to stress and danger. Ann Mastin, PhD, a child development professor who studies resilience, coined the term surge capacity. It is a complex system of mental and physical adaptive systems. She documented it as a response that humans typically access for short-term survival in natural disasters and other high-stress situations. It lasts longer than fight-or-flight, but even crises like earthquakes and hurricanes occur over limited time frames and then recede. Recovery can start as soon as the catastrophic events end and people relax somewhat, when they can start to rebuild.

    In her excellent Medium article, Your Surge Capacity Is Depleted Its Why You Feel Awful, science journalist Tara Haelle discusses Mastins work on surge capacity and its limited duration as a coping mechanism. She analyzes her own sudden burn-out she went from coping amazingly to finding she was having trouble concentrating, getting her work done, and had become exhausted and unmotivated. I couldnt make myself do anything work, housework, exercise, play with the kids, she notes. She pinpoints depleted surge capacity as the cause and points out that People can use their surge capacity for acute periods, but when dire circumstances drag onyou have to adopt a different style of coping.

    Unfortunately, the pandemic is different than the kind of crisis that surge capacity is designed to respond to. Although we were told that we could beat COVID-19 if we sheltered-in-place, wore our masks and washed our hands, confusing political and social circumstances have sabotaged a successful, coordinated response to infection in the US. Attempts to manage the pandemic have been fraught with politicization and misinformation. Additionally, our government was very slow to respond to the crisis. Unlike other countries, the U.S. has failed to reduce the infection rate in many areas, so the guidelines have stayed very restrictive for six months. With 6.17 million total COVID-19 cases so far in the US today, it is hard to imagine an end to our disaster. It is taking a long time for science to provide an effective treatment and a vaccine for Coronavirus. Our minds have not been able to experience the closure that normally occurs in the aftermath of a typical catastrophic event.

    If you are suddenly tired and feeling overwhelmed by managing your childrens virtual education, or hybrid, schedule, shopping for food, attending Zoom meetings and working from home, it is not your fault. You are not alone. When Haelle posted her burn-out symptoms on social media, she found that many others were also suffering from what she called anxiety-tainted depression mixed with ennui that I cant kick. She corresponded with fellow sufferers, and from their feedback she created a profile for those most susceptible to surge capacity depletion: high achieving problem solvers who like a routine. This personality type is now out of their element and especially vulnerable to hopelessness and helplessness because they cant function the way they are used to.

    Whatever your personality type, the fact is that we are not built for this kind of long-term stress. When your surge capacity is depleted you need to take steps to refill your resilience bank account. There are some specific steps that you can take to restore your fortitude ad ability to cope.

    Dial Down Your Expectations

    As Americans, we tend to approach life as a never-ending quest to challenge and improve ourselves. Our self-improvement options are limited now and setting difficult goals during this stressful time can be very draining. Under pandemic restrictions we are deprived of our usual support systems because of physical distancing requirements. We cannot interact the way we used to with friends, family and our community, or access art, sports or religious gatherings that used to inspire and replenish us. If we are too hard on ourselves and set up strict resolutions that are difficult to achieve, it is easy to become discouraged; it depletes us if we cant meet our goals. We dont really have the same resources in these times for nurturing and encouragement that we have had in the past. It is ok to listen to your body and mind and consider taking some time off from your self-improvement routines if they start to feel overwhelming. Increase your self-care, your rest. Before COVID, I found that my anxious and depressed clients lives were often so demanding that they could not even remember the things they used to enjoy doing. Things have slowed down quite a bit during the pandemic for most of us, so get back in touch with those non-productive pleasurable activities you used to like. Listen to music, draw, paint, write, take naps.

    Practice Radical Acceptance

    Give up the fight against what is. Notice thoughts like: this isnt fair, I shouldnt be so upset about this, or it shouldnt be this way. These thoughts are a kind of denial that block you from accurately identifying what you can still do and finding creative ways to find contentment during the pandemic. We are all grieving for our lost former way of life. It is ok to feel sad or angry about it, but protesting reality is unsustainable. Accept that this is a difficult time, and that we are facing frustrating restrictions that we have to adhere to keep ourselves and our families safe. Accepting reality and processing the accompanying negative emotions opens your mind up to adaptive thoughts. It leads to finding more ways to comfort and support yourself and your loved ones. Acceptance does not mean that you approve of the circumstances of the pandemic or accept defeat, rather it frees you from expending energy in a fight against reality and lets you use that energy to focus on figuring out what you and your loved ones need and how to obtain it.

    Reality Test Your Catastrophic Thoughts.

    When you have thoughts like This crisis will never end or The new normal is completely horrible, examine those thoughts. Are they realistic? You can do this by yourself or enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member. Is it possible for the pandemic to last forever? That is doubtful. Generate some other more realistic thoughts. Historically, all epidemics have come to an end. Even with the limited medical resources of 1918, the Spanish Flu came to an end. Medical science and the pharmaceutical industry are doing everything they can to find a treatment for COVID and a vaccine. Although the new normal is very difficult, there are some silver linings to it. Families are reconnecting and bonding in valuable ways because of sheltering together. People are being more introspective and defining their values because they are less distracted. Most people are becoming more aware of their interconnectedness and are being more altruistic. Mask-wearing and social distancing are things that the majority of Americans are doing to protect the weaker ones in their communitiesthe elderly and immuno-compromised. Be skeptical of any extremely negative, depressing thoughts. Dont believe everything you think.

    Build and Reinforce Important Relationships

    Make a big effort to stay in contact with friends and set up socially distanced activities. It is not healthy to isolate. Call, FaceTime, o Zoom with friends and family. Check in with your colleagues and relatives; reconnect with the ones you have not seen in a while. Schedule a Netflix watch party or a virtual happy hour. Make plans to meet friends to social distance in parks or at socially distanced outdoor dining. Take an interactive online class or form one. If you are struggling with depression or other mental health issues, join a support group or connect with a therapist or psychiatrist who conducts virtual appointments.

    Reaching out to help others is another way of building relationships. Helping others even when you are feeling depleted can improve your mood. Becoming a helper can restore your sense of control and combat feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. Volunteer to drop off groceries or check in by phone with the elderly who are living alone. Prepare crafts for children who are bored and have limited resources. Virtually mentor a child or a returning citizen. Counterintuitively, research confirms that acting to make things better for others can make things better for you.

    You are hard-wired to prevail in crisis. It is part of everyones strong survival instinct. As the pandemic lingers, though, it is important to know that you can overtax your resilience capacity. We must all find or rediscover the activities that fulfill and encourage us.

    As you take the steps to nurture yourself, accept reality, scrutinize negative thoughts, and creatively build connections and relationships, you are setting the stage for your resilience account to fill up. As this happens you will find that your balance and motivation gradually return, and your focus and feelings of competence improve. The key is to find your personal strategy to recharge and renew so your innate resilience can return. This takes some time and hard thinking to achieve but the work will be worth it.

    Contributed by Lucia Smith, MA, LPC, CCATP, who is the owner of Clear Mind Counseling, located in the Straube Center in Pennington. She can be reached at or 609-902-3271

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    Restoring your surge capacity in the time of COVID-19 - MercerMe

    Family Gets Home Renovation Fit for Superhero – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - August 17, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Habitat for Humanity of Collin County finished a home repair and renovation project in McKinney that helped make the McKeever house feel like home for everyone, including their 12-year-old son Mason.

    "Mason was born with spina bifida," Jessica McKeever said of her son. "There is no way we could have done this on our own."

    "I was a young man once. I certainly understand the need there," Scott Blackburn, construction coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Collin County said. "We knew we could do some good."

    The latest news from around North Texas.

    Habitat built an accessible bathroom addition for Mason, who uses a wheelchair. They also gave him his own room.

    "Mason's always loved Batman, so when you walk into his room it looks like a Batcave," his mom said. "He is the happiest 12-year-old because he can shut his door and keep his 4-year-old sister out of his room!"

    The project was not without challenges. The pandemic has made it difficult to get volunteer work, something Habitat for Humanity relies on to minimize costs.

    "We don't want to fill someone's house with volunteers. We've had to use contractors to take care of some of these needs, and that costs a lot more money," Blackburn said, pointing out the need hasn't changed. "No, not at all. If anything we're the busiest I've been in my six years here."

    The superheroes always come through in a crisis.

    "I get to help people for a living," Blackburn said. "You go home feeling pretty good most days."

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    Family Gets Home Renovation Fit for Superhero - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    Home Sweet Home Chicago (08/15/20) David Hochberg with Next Door and Windows Justin Bartley, Jill Van Riet Associate with Baird & Warner, Corey… - August 17, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Click here to visit the guests featured on Home Sweet Home Chicago.

    This week, Tom Jahnke kicks off the show by talking about Farmhouse Sink Vanities that Builder Supply Outlet supplies. Then, our credit expert, Gary Novel, talks about how he was able to help a listener from Chicago get one point on her scores in 4 days so she could qualify for a lower rate on her mortgage loan. Next, the taxman, Steven A. Leahy, gives us the 411 on property tax appeals in the year of COVID-19. Mike Huston from Lindholm Roofing talks all things roofing and the most energy efficient roofing work to get done for the upcoming months. And obviously, throughout the show, listeners call in asking their questions and getting the information they need for the best outcome!

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    Home Sweet Home Chicago (08/15/20) David Hochberg with Next Door and Windows Justin Bartley, Jill Van Riet Associate with Baird & Warner, Corey...

    Restoration of Norfolk hall uncovers Tudor and Elizabethan finds – The Guardian - August 17, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Everyone imagines that lifting the floorboards of an old house will uncover hidden wonders but perhaps not as plentiful as a page from a 600-year-old illuminated manuscript, hundreds of high-status Elizabethan textiles, fragments of 16th-century handwritten music and an empty box of Terrys chocolates.

    The National Trust on Monday revealed remarkable details of one of the largest archaeology hauls ever found under the floors of one of its properties. The stash in the attics of Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, which dates back to 1482, has astonished the team working on the project.

    Thousands of objects have been found casting fresh light on the history of the houses owners, the Bedingfield family devout Catholics whose history includes periods of persecution.

    The finds were made because the house is undergoing essential roof restoration work. The intention was that a team of volunteers would be on hand as floorboards were lifted to repair joists but because of lockdown, Matt Champion, a freelance archaeologist, has been working solo.

    Anna Forest, the National Trust curator overseeing the work, said: As the floor boards have been lifted, Matt has been doing a fingertip search of all the dust and crud underneath those boards.

    Youd expect to find things like cigarette packets and coins and scraps of newspaper but he began to discover a treasure trove of extraordinary, very early things.

    One was a rats nest made up of more than 200 pieces of historic textiles, including silks, satin, leather, velvet, wool and examples of embroidery which date from the Tudor, Elizabethan and early Georgian periods.

    Forrest said: Because they were beneath the floor, out of the sun for centuries they are in incredible condition.

    Also in the rats nests were scraps of handwritten music dating from the 16th century.

    One of the star finds has been a page from a late 15th-century illuminated manuscript, still with the glimmer of gold leaf and bright blue. It is just the most exquisite thing and to have found it literally in a pile of rubble is probably well, its unheard of for the National Trust, thats for sure.

    Two weeks ago an intact book of psalms with an embossed leather cover was found, dating from 1568. Again, it was just a knocks-your-socks-off find, said Forest.

    There are also far more mundane discoveries such as a box of Terrys chocolates dating from the second world war. The wrappers and tissue paper remain but not the chocolates suggesting it was hastily hidden by someone with a guilty conscience.

    There are also lots of old newspapers, crisp packets, cigarette packets and ping-pong balls, suggesting there was once a table tennis table in the attic rooms.

    Oxburgh Hall was built by Sir Edmund Bedingfield in the late 15th century. The Bedingfields were once rising stars at the Tudor royal court but they were also devoutly Catholic and were ostracised and persecuted as a result.

    Curators believe the manuscript parchment and other objects may well have been used in illegal masses and hidden deliberately by the family.

    Russell Clement, general manager at Oxburgh Hall, said the finds were far beyond anything they expected.

    He said: These objects contain so many clues which confirm the history of the house as the retreat of a devout Catholic family who retained their faith across the centuries.

    This is a building which is giving up its secrets slowly. We dont know what else we might come across or what might remain hidden for future generations to reveal.

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    Restoration of Norfolk hall uncovers Tudor and Elizabethan finds - The Guardian

    Tudor Home Renovation by VEIN Design and Bungalowe – Dwell - August 17, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A 1928 Tudor in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles is back on the market after a multiyear renovation led by Bungalowe and Vein Design. The home was last sold in 2018, and its formerly dated interior is now a sleek blend of contrasting black and white tones. The home has also more than doubled in size thanks in part to the transformation of a previously unused attic into an airy second floor with 13-foot vaulted ceilings.

    For their first project, Los Angelesbased Bungalowe teamed up with designerNicole Palczynski, founder of VEIN Design. The exterior of the 1928 Tudor received less substantialchanges, as the teams wanted to respect the neighborhoods cohesive aesthetic.

    Inside, the newly renovated living area features a large picture window, arched doorways, and a custom-made front door with inlaid capiz shells. The top-to-bottom renovation expanded the interior from around 1,400 square feet to over 3,200 square feetincluding a studio/office space.

    "We wanted to stay true to the original character of the house," says Sapna Aggarwal of Bungalowe. "The neighborhood is lined with English Tudors and Spanish-style homes, so it was important to us that we keep it that way." Subtle changes to the exterior retained the Tudor style, while the interior received the bulk of the teams efforts. "There was no way of achieving our interior goals while keeping the original layout. Our challenge was to modernize the space so it would appeal to families without stripping away the charm."

    Before, much of the interior was overwhelmed by dark wood floors and trim.

    A look at the original kitchen reveals a mix of wood tones in the cabinetry and ceiling.

    "Even though this was our first project, we came in with a very clear vision for the overall style," explains Sapna. "We wanted to create a sophisticated look without it feeling cold."

    The team opted to give the home a cohesive look with a palette of contrasting color tones with natural wood accents. Finishes of satin brass and sage green complement the look. "We also didnt want to risk overlooking subtle nuances due to our lack of experience. Nicole at VEIN Design was the perfect partner on this project."

    The revamped living area features an updated fireplace and sconces. Light hardwood floors run throughout the home, reflecting the brighter new aesthetic.

    The dining area sits between the living area and the kitchen. French doors lead out to the side yard.

    The all-new, European-style kitchen features custom oak cabinetry in contrasting finishes, open shelving, and a large central island. Bertazzoniappliances, marble counters, and cabinetry hardware from CB2 complete the look.

    "The functionality of the space was very important to us," Sapna explains. "The existing layout was far from spacious, with tiny bedrooms, extremely tight bathrooms, and a very choppy floor plan. Having Nicole on our team helped us execute a perfect flow."

    The team added approximately 600 square feet to the lower levelcreating a new den at the back of the kitchen, as well as a separate laundry room. The transformation of the unused attic space increased the floor plan by another several hundred square feet. "Adding the extra space allowed us to define each room and maximize utility. The kitchen is spacious without sacrificing the warmth felt in traditional Tudor kitchens, with features like a cozy breakfast nook and apron-front sink."

    A six-burner Bianco range takes center stage along one wall. Matte black accents contrast with the stone and natural wood finishes.

    In one corner of the kitchen, a small breakfast nook features built-in seating.

    The kitchen offers 17 feet of total counter space, as well as a large pantry at one end. Light fixtures and design accents throughout the home were sourced from Anthropologie, West Elm, Pottery Barn, CB2, and Rejuvenation, among other retailers.

    The lower-level addition created a new den off the kitchen, as well as a rooftop deck for the principal bedroom above. French doors lead out to the backyard.

    "The most exciting and challenging part about the project was the scope. Not only did the existing footprint need to be completely reimagined, but there was an entire attic space with stunning vaulted ceilings that wasn't being utilized at all."

    The newly reclaimed second floor offers a principal suite, as well as an additional bedroom and bathroom. In total, the property has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and 3,201 square feet of living space. A private walking trail branches off from the nearly half-acre lot and leads to a hilltop with views of downtown L.A. Keep scrolling to see more of the property, which is currently listed for $1,899,000.

    An upstairs bedroom features 13-foot vaulted ceilings, which give the former attic space a surprisingly airy feel.

    Hand-cut zellige tiles fromClline the bathroom.

    The principal suite features a large dormer window and French doors leading to a private rooftop deck.

    Finishes in the principal bathroom complement the rest of the home, with black cabinetry, a marble vanity top, and satin brass accents. All of the interior doors feature knobs and pulls fromEmtek.

    A look at another bedroom on the lower level.

    A view of another bathroom with zellige tiles and satin brass hardware.

    Outside, an alleyway between the garage and the house leads to the backyard.

    The home also offers a private, 205-square-foot workspace/studio.

    The landscaped yard was designed byJonathan Froinesand features private hillside steps leading up to a picnic area with views of downtown Los Angeles.

    Visit link:
    Tudor Home Renovation by VEIN Design and Bungalowe - Dwell

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