Flashback Fridays: Danika of Gorgeous Shiny Things

As promised, I have another blogger flashing back today. Aren't you glad? I don't know how you could possibly tire of all my reminiscing, but I for one am thrilled to follow someone else down memory lane.

I've already sung the praises of Danika and her blog Gorgeous Shiny Things, and I'm so happy to have her here today. She is a DIY queen, we happen to love all the same lamps (she even has a pair JUST LIKE my genie lamps in this recent flashback, which neither of us has ever seen anywhere else before), and I loved hearing the story behind one of her previous homes. Come along!

Love that space: Salem, MA Carriage House Renovation. 2004-2007

The Vision: Traditional/Industrial

This property is smack in the middle of the historic district and we had a lot of issues with what we could and couldn't do. The exterior had to be exact to original (super traditional/ Federal), the interior not so much. We both wanted an open somewhat urban loft like feel, and believe it or not we actually found some of our inspiration from a Pizzeria Uno's dining experience one night. We liked the exposed brick & more rustic/ industrial feel. My husband collects old signs (he used to be a signmaker), and wanted to incorporate them.

The Elements:
We had to gut the entire space. It was once used to house carriages and horses, and had been used as storage for decades and was pretty rotted out. We kept all the old doors and paneling and reused them throughout the house. We also found a huge bench that was over 10' long inside that I reupholstered in a houndstooth. I still have that today in my kids playroom.

The Huh? Factor:
We went from a 1200 sq. ft condo to 4000 sq ft, which created a lot of scale issues. Our bedroom was ridiculously big, and it always looked naked because we didn't have much furniture.

Also, because it was one big open space I kept repainting areas trying to make it flow. The fireplace wall and fake clock doors that hid the TV got painted many times. The "colorful checkered wall" is a big HUH?

I was also pregnant and working like a mad woman for the majority of my time here, so I didn't have a lot of time for my normal crazy project/decorating mode. Babies and clients came first. We rearranged a lot, my office became the dining room after the second child came... the office moved into the living room, toys started taking over (the biggest drawback to open living). The biggest and best "huh?" was probably the urinal in the downstairs bath.

I wish I had it now with all my boys, seriously a great investment and I hope to get another soon.

The Analysis:
My husband purchased the property to convert to condos. It consisted of a huge brick Federal mansion that had been made into a boarding house and this carriage house out back. Our original intentions were to sell it all, but during the reno we decided we really loved the carriage house and wanted to keep it. I just remember when we moved in thinking "Do we really live here?" It was a very fun and cool space, but after having our second child we decided to move from small city downtown to a more residential neighborhood with a beach a town over.

What Remains:
The big bench, sofas, brown and white rug, club chairs (now slipcovered), dining room table and bed. Most of the signs. We actually have some of the original windows and architectural elements. I hung one over my sofa in my current living room. (blogger note: check it out here!) We hope to use them both as sliding doors for our kitchen pantry when we remodel.

My Two Cents:
Besides being impressed by the enormity of this project, I have to say I love how ahead of the curve Danika was with certain elements, like that bold striped wall. Horizontal stripes like this are EVERYWHERE right now. Well, Danika did it first.

Thanks Danika!

If you haven't already, hop on over to her blog and say hello.