Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Morrow House {Part 2}

Welcome back to Part 2 of this incredible renovation story. If you missed Part 1, you're going to want to read it first - trust meI don't know about you, but there are pieces of Amy's story that I don't think I'll ever forget. Sweet truths are tucked into her faith-filled words that bring so much encouragement and comfort to whichever stage of life we find ourselves in. And then there's the dream and determination to renovate a historic home that happened to be scheduled for demolition in just days! Let's continue...

We left off with you telling us about how you wanted to do this renovation on your own, but it was too expensive to have your crews from Fort Worth (where you live) drive to Waco every day for work. So you hired some local help and got to work. Tell us about that process - the highs and lows, and the community you got to know along the way.

The neighborhood rallied around us and would come often for tours to see our progress.  Many older folks in town had taken piano and violin lessons in the home, and wrote to us, thanking us for restoring this historical beauty. 

The family that had once lived in the home for many years, reached out to us and sent pictures and fond stories of their many memories there. They are all gathering this summer for a family reunion at the home, and nothing could make me happier.  

There were times I was so panicked and worried we would never finish, or that we would run out of money, or that no one would come if and when I ever did finish. But then we would have someone stop and thank us for our work, or tell us a story about those that used to live there, and I would get back to the grind again, believing the work would be worth it.  

Originally, you thought your two oldest daughters, who attend Baylor, might live in the house. In the end, what did you decide to do with the home?

The home was too far away from campus for my girls to live there, and I was not about to flip the home. I just couldn't sell it after I had put so much effort into it, and we weren't moving to Waco. So, I joined the new trend in Waco, and decided to use the home as a vacation rental. Believe it or not, Waco is now the second most visited city in America, thanks to the Gaines'. I had no clue what that would entail! But, I rolled up my sleeves and figured out how to create a great little place to stay.

So, I started out to restore an old home and fell into the vacation rental business. Interestingly, that has opened the doors for other opportunities - like using the home for print ads and commercial work for photographers. One thing led to another. I could have never imagined anyone even wanting to sleep there in the beginning, much less paying me to sleep there!  It's been sweet and hard, and I guess that's really the only way anything worth having is. It's been a blessing. I love sharing the home with people and giving back to the neighborhood.  

What do you love most about the house?

I think I love the exterior windows and the original trim around them best. If I ever build a house from scratch, I will do them exactly the same! 

I love that we kept the old interior doors. They are all stained and scrappy, but they are reminiscent of what once was. The doors were missing all the handles, but I loved how we found some period knobs and hardware; they really turned out nicely. 

I love how the kitchen cabinets go to the 12-foot ceilings, the Anthropologie chandelier in the living room, and the peaceful bedrooms. The custom 9-foot tall shutters that flank the windows in the bedrooms are also a favorite of mine. They are noticeable, but not showing off. 
I think the Frank Sinatra picture in the hallway is my most fun, and unexpected element in the house. It came from my decorator/friend's home.  I had been wanting it for years off her wall, and when she showed up to help me install the home, she had tucked it in her things as a surprise for me. Her name is Lisa. And everyone should have a Lisa. She consulted on the home from the beginning and helped bring life to my ideas. We collected all the décor, furniture , art and bedding...from her warehouse, her home, my home, Target, Homegoods. Restoration Hardware, Simple Things (my favorite décor store in Fort Worth) and little shops here and there.  We spent the main part of our budget on the sofas and the chandelier, and the rest was really affordable accessories we collected over the 9-month period of the remodel. We installed the entire home in one, long 12-hour day while the paint was still drying. (We are still trying to recover from doing that!) Without Lisa and my daughter Reily, that would have never been possible.

We touched on it in Part 1, but what is your Fixer Upper connection?

For some reason, Jake (my Magnolia realtor) still talks to me! Even though I was a really annoying potential client that wasted 8 months of his time, and he didn't even get the sale of the house, he's still a good friend. In the middle of our construction, he called and asked if the show (Fixer Upper) could borrow our home and film there. That was a dream come true. I got to meet the Gaines' and that was a highlight in the middle of the mess! It was featured on Season 5 (the last season), episode 1. It aired the week of thanksgiving 2017.  

Joanna had some great things to say about the home on the show and was complimentary when we met. I'd love her to come back and visit now that the home is completed.

Christmas at the Morrow House, Courtesy of 7 Sisters Photography

Christmas at the Morrow House, Courtesy of 7 Sisters Photography

I have submitted pictures and stories to some national magazines, including Magnolia Journal, in hopes to keep telling the story. I am not sure if the story is about an old home restored, or old dreams recovered. But either way, I hope it inspires other women to see the things they have in their hearts come to life...

Whether it be the dreams she has for her kids and her husband, or dreams of shiplap walls and subway tile!

Well-said Amy. Thank you for sharing your heart, story, and home with us.

And thanks to each of you for stopping by today!

Planning a trip to Waco?
You can find out about booking a stay at The Morrow House here.
And you can follow along with Amy on her beautiful Instagram feed here.


1 comment:

  1. This place doesn’t have any 'i'm too cool and busy for you' wait staff. As per me, everyone at Chicago event venues is nice, friendly, and helpful and they really seem to like their jobs there and that is important to me. We had an awesome experience here.


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