Monday, September 9, 2013

There Is Nothing Plain About The Plains Of Auburn, Alabama!

Jim and I went to Auburn this past Saturday with one goal in mind….to enjoy being with Miller and Sarah and TRY to enjoy the game in the sweltering heat!

We enjoyed a yummy lunch at a long time favorite spot and then spent the afternoon in Auburn…literally! We went from tailgate to tailgate and then finally it was time for the game. After the second quarter I HAD to get up…thanks to a back issue! 
Whew…that back issue came in handy during some very oppressive heat! 
We met Miller and Sarah in the parking lot and began the short drive back to his house. We passed a very unusual sight in my opinion….a dad….three kids…and what appeared to be to me an abandoned lot with a building on it! 
Miller actually said to me, " I think someone lives there…I don't know why, but I think they do!"
 In my very limited brain I was shocked! Really??? Who would live there? Only 3 houses down from Miller…and it looked like an old, abandoned building to me! Little did I know!

While getting ready for church on Sunday morning…I opened my Birmingham Home and Garden Magazine for the second time…yes, I had read it once but obviously didn't pay attention! I saw the 'Auburn' headline and tuned into that. 

When I saw this opening picture my entire being snapped into gear! I was practically screaming for Jim! Even he recognized this family that we had seen outside of the "abandoned" building last night!

David Hill is the architect…in fact…he's the father and husband that we saw playing with his precious children! He accepted a teaching position at Auburn University and then began his hunt for a home…wow, he landed the big one on this hunt! The former pool hall, grocery store, nightclub, recycling center, cab company and church is now the beautiful, functional and memory making home to David, his wife and three children. What a story they will be able to tell! The rest is history as they say! I am blown away by this awesome young family that has had the nerve, the guts and the talent…mainly the turn this 1920's by-gone building into a home! How fun is that?

Jim and I often talk about finding a spot that would be different…one that we could escape to where no one else could find us! I certainly would not have thought of this... but NOW…you just never know!
 ( did you realize that these hanging pendants are actually floor lamps?) 
I sure didn't until I read about them!

I am not sure I would've had the drive to do this when my children were young. I sure wish I would have, though! I can see the benefits from it. From being a family set apart…one having your standards and values established…making family memories and making family the most important element of why you "do what you do"! As well as a teaching tool for your children about turning something old and broken down into something beautiful.

I am pretty sure my kids would've loved having their own "big screen" in our backyard! In fact, the article says they invite friends over for movie night in the garden! I'm thinking that Miller and his roommates need to make friends with this cute family immediately!

I love the old sign that was found on the property. Proof of a long ago cafe that once was housed in this same building. And of course I'm loving the exposed brick in this home…it is something I always will want in any house we live in! When we built our home that we are in now we made sure to have brick floors and exposed brick columns in our sunroom. It is still my favorite room.

The photos above give us a glimpse at the hard work and the undying efforts of David, his crew and his family. Their cat is simply enjoying the ride!

The metal door seen above slides in order to open up the kitchen area into the t.v. room. What a great feature for entertaining purposes as well as creating a quiet space when needed!

More photos above show the project getting closer to the finished product! I love the ceiling they are installing!

The kitchen is just beautiful! The article talks about the many awards David has won throughout this project and one of them was for the kitchen. I can see why! I'm loving the mix matched chairs, the table made from saw horses and the floor lamps used as hanging pendants again!

The master bedroom while still having an industrial feel to it is warmed up with cozy colors and lots of windows to let in natural light.

The article also talks about things being demolished and thrown into stockpiles while they were working on the home and then how they would find themselves getting supplies back out to re-purpose throughout the project. The table below was made from an old shed door and now sits among the beautiful wildflowers. That was another thing that struck me about this house when we saw it just two nights ago. The flowers! They were abundant and didn't fit the mold for an abandoned building. Now I know why! This talented architect has made a name for himself not only in Auburn but also with the firm DIRT Studio, Inc. where David is now a principal.

That same firm is also responsible for turning an abandoned Naval ship yard into the headquarters for Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie
And to think I thought it was just another abandoned building on Bragg Avenue just three doors down from Miller! I am most definitely going back and knocking on their door next time I'm in Auburn! I would love to meet such a talented family! 
Have a wonderful Monday!


  1. That is so neat! I love innovative thinkers and they clearly "have it going on"! Always so fascinated by people who can see the beauty in just about anything and turn it into something functional and wonderful...fascinating. And think about the example they are setting for their kids:)

  2. Wow...what a fun house..everything about it screams creativity!

  3. Carolyn talk about serendipity!!. They have done an amazing job on this building!
    You can see how much the kids love it too!

    2013 Artists Series

  4. What a fabulous home! I watch a show called extreme homes and people are making everything over and into a home. I love it! I'm back from the fields


  5. Fantastic! What a great article - he is a visionary. Hope your back is feeling better. I have a chronic issue as well but can usually keep it under control.

  6. Hi Carolyn,

    What a heartwarming and incredible story of ingenuity and recycling!! What's old is new and hip! Truly impressed with this young family's vision and moxie. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    And, love that you were tailgating. Gotta love football in the South!!!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  7. What a find Carolyn! I love what they did to that lovely old building! Nothing I like better than upcycling an old building and turning into something fantastic!

  8. That is such a cool story, and what AMAZING interiors!!! I love this post

  9. What a great story. It is amazing how creative people can be!