6 Month Update!!

AC Units. In the midst of bricking the kitchen floor, the heating and air units arrived. 

The Southern House will be cooled and heated with LG Mini-splits; a 54K BTU with four heads, and a 24K BTU with three heads.  We’ve been asked several, SEVERAL times why not central heat and air.  The answer is simple: the Southern House is simple, as we desire our own lifestyle in the Southern House to be.  To be the least invasive, and the most efficient, we chose mini-splits.  Each room is controlled with it’s on header, to be cooled (or heated) individually, or the door shut and the head turned off.  This eliminates the cost of heating and cooling an ENTIRE household, isolating the need to just one or more rooms at our discretion.  Another plus? No duct-work.  Pipes are run (through the walls in our case) and connected to the outside unit.  A small hole is cut to allow the pipes to enter the wall at the head, and then another hole is cut at the bottom to the outside for the pipes to exit and connect to the outside unit.  And no floor vents on the first floor!  All heads are positioned to heat and cool each room efficiently, having two separate fans to blow vertically and horizontally.  Let me not forget to mention the noise… Oh wait, there is none.  We are pleasantly surprised at the lack of noise that the headers made, as well as the outside unit; nearly noiseless.  I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get how much we love the mini-splits and how perfect a decision it was for our old simple home. 

Now for the specs.  The 54K BTU runs four heads: two 12K heads located in the dining room, the master bedroom, one 9K in the spare bedroom, and an 18K in the kitchen.  The 24K runs two 12K, one in the front bedroom (for the boys), one in the living room, and one 9K in the hallway. 

Mike faced an enormous number of challenges with the mini-splits, all of which were resolved with the help of friends, Google, YouTube, and Mikes genius problems solving mind.

And all the while, the boxes were very well used!!


2nd Story Shower.  Part of making the Southern House livable included completion of the upstairs bathroom.  Nearly everything was plumbed and ready, with a few modifications to make the shower work. 

Mike’s true nature as an artist continues to touch every aspect of this home.  And the bathroom is no exception.  With Mike’s vision, we curved 3/4 inch black iron pipe to make the shape of our unique shower basin.  3/4 inch pipe was welded to this custom curtain rod and then fastened to the wall and ceiling with black iron floor flanges.  Ordered from Hudson and Reed, the shower fixtures were a perfect vintage touch.  3/4 inch pipe runs down from the ceiling to deliver the hot and cold water separately, mixing and sent back up to the shower head in a copper pipe.

Baby Room.  Unique and endearing to our sweet home is a small room next to the Master Bedroom we lovingly refer to as the “Baby Room.”  With the limited amount of space and no closet, Mike designed and created the perfect built-in that can double as a closet for a sweet future child. 

Living Room.  Mike added in a built-in “entertainment center” (if you will) to our living room.  Repurposed vintage glass doors were made functional as cabinets to add a farmhouse touch and save money. 

Dining Room.  The damage from termites was devastating and nearly took all the beautiful tongue and groove boards that framed the bay window wall.  (Thankfully the termites are LONG GONE!!!)  And if you remember, we also replaced a very large amount of flooring in the same area.  (You can read about it here.)  A functional bench seat was designed, sheetrock replaced the rotten wood, and the overall look achieved elegance and a sense of familiarity.   

Wainscoting.  To continue to carpentry, and finishing out the trim work on the 1st story, all wainscoting was completed in the dining room, kitchen, hallway and bathroom.  Mike had every ounce of energy and development in the tiniest perfect detail.

Kitchen.  With appliances delivered and in place, cabinet shells were resurrected and a temp countertop was laid.  A bar was built opposite the stove, and included in the design was a rescued original door from Mike’s grandmother’s home, destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.  Kitchen bar lights were purchased, and Mike created much of the hardware with iron piping, tying into several pieces already designed in the Southern House.  Also added were the builtin cabinets that will encase the refrigerator and above the washer/dryer.   

In the midst of this restoration project, WE GOT HITCHED!!!  With the Southern House on the edge of completion, we took a well deserved break in September to run off and get married!  We stylishly left out in the trusty 1967 Volkswagen Bus for Hot Springs, Arkansas, before turning north to Eureka Springs, Arkansas our destination for marriage.  Mike and I were wed in the famous Thorncrown Chapel in the most perfect and intimate way.  We continued our adventure and honeymoon with a stay in a little cabin in Ponca, Arkansas near the National Buffalo River before heading back south and to the Southern House to continue building our home. 

The next project includes the attic.. I’ll post soon!


  1. Ashley, I’m so glad you are finding time to blog about y’all’s restoration experience. I sure wish I had done so! Some days I think about going back and writing about our experiences in restoring our home… But, time never permits. I know you and Mike are enjoying your journey and I’m proud he is able to do so much on his own! Good luck as you bring your house journey to a close and start a new journey with your new baby! Debbie Ferrill

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