Two Years.

We’ve had the keys to Martin Place for just about two years. In terms of traditional anniversary gifts, we should buy the house something made of cotton. My brain in percolating as we speak… I’m sure I’ll find something lovely.

But really, two years since we made the – easy – decision to put our lives in a blender and see what happens. We decided to save this house, and make her gorgeous again.

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We consider ourselves very, very lucky to be living in a community that supports and loves historic preservation. For the most part, homeowners take care of their houses, there are some FANTASTIC homes to see, and there is an active preservation organization in Franklin Heritage.

We love living here, and thankfully, it seems the community thinks our house is pretty okay, too. And they have cheered us on and encouraged us to keep going. It has meant so, so much.

In May, we were humbled to receive an award at the City Council Meeting from Franklin Heritage. Our house was awarded the “Best Renovation Project of an Existing Historic Structure.” Which, is really cool, especially considering how many amazing transformations are taking place here in Franklin each year.


The meeting was, well, a meeting. But the part that recognizes historic preservation was super fun!


We met the Mayor….

Director of Franklin Heritage Rob Shilts, Doug, Me, and Mayor Joe McGuinness.

….and hung out on the steps of our GORGEOUS courthouse.

The GORGEOUS Johnson County Courthouse, just a few blocks from our house.


So when Franklin Heritage asked us to be a part of this year’s Historic Home Tour, we said ABSOLUTELY. The home tour is every two years, and in 2012, we were thrilled to have both Jackson Street and Martin Place featured. We only had the keys to Martin Place for three days – I think I may have had a chance to dust, and that’s it. Nothing was moved in – it was truly “as is.”

It’s funny – I look around the house and think equally : “Wow. I can’t believe that we haven’t gotten more done in two years,” and also, “Holy Cow. How did we get this much done in two years?”

In two weeks, you can come check out the house – the Franklin Heritage Historic Home Tour is Saturday and Sunday, September 20-21. Come see our house – and 12 other amazing homes/buildings in town, and help support local historic preservation! If you live far away, check out your own area, and see if there are tours near you, or if there are other ways you can support the preservation of our history!

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The local paper did a great feature in their Home Magazine on the restoration in preparation for the Home Tour. I’m a proud mama – so excited to see the house shine and be noticed (and thrilled they used my own photographs for the story, too!). You can read it here :

Franklin Daily Journal : Your Home Inside and Out Fall 2014


For the people who come to the Franklin Heritage Historic Home Tour in two weeks, who also saw the house in 2012, they will see 5 spaces that have been – mostly – finished. The rest of the house is really a storage unit and construction zone – but it’s a real glimpse into a home undergoing restoration! Here’s what’s been done in two years….

The Kitchen

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The Butler’s Pantry



The Laundry Room

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The Bedroom with the Balcony

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The Exterior

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The past two years have been hard, rewarding, challenging, fun, and above all – worth it. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next two!!! (Also, I promise – I will try and get better with making sure my “before” and “after” shots are taken from the same spot. Sheesh….)


  1. Hi there! I’m a former student of yours from Westfield, (you may not have very fond memories of me :], please excuse that!) but my older sister, Courtney McNutt, directed me to your site because I love DIY and renovation projects. I’m really enjoying reading all of your stories! Do you have a place I can go view all of your before/after photos? I might be overlooking it, so please excuse me if it is right in front of my face :].

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