Making historic renovation approachable
There are a heck of a lot of historic renovation/home renovation blogs out there but we’ll wager there aren’t any with as much heart as Mandi Gubler’s. For years now, Mandi has renovated and redecorated newer homes and chronicled the process in her blog Vintage Revivals for readers who love her unabashed enthusiasm.
Whether it’s finding just the right color of paint. Or just the right piece of furniture. Or why it’s important to make the front entryway stand out, she makes it fun:
“The entryway is currently rocking a Beatles piece of art and THE MOST AMAZING FRONT DOOR EVER.”
“ I mean this project will cost you $8. Booyah!”
But more recently she has done something different. She and her husband Court bought a 100-year-old mercantile in their town of Santa Clara, Utah. It had been a grocery store and a gas station and a post office. For a time, it was the last stop for gas and supplies on the way to California in their neck of the woods before I-15 in St. George went in.
It was old, far from perfect, but it had that something that you can’t find in a new house. The original windows were wavy, single-pane glass made by a glassblower and they needed attention. It had history, past lives and a sense of continuity and Mandi just new – immediately – that they needed to buy it. Even though her husband’s first reaction was “No way!” which, we should point out, is not an unusual reaction. People often shy away from historic renovation because they think it’s going to be too hard, or too expensive or not “new” enough in a culture that celebrates new.
Fearless Historic Renovation
The cool thing is that Mandi is showing how doable it is and why it’s worth the effort. She’s detailing every last turn of the screw for a reason: she wants people to know what they’re getting into with historic renovation so that they stick with it, because the payback is tremendous. She writes:
I just wanted to drop in a quick thanks for being so supportive of all of my nitty gritty detail sharing on the boring behind the scenes stuff. I know it’s not the funnest to talk about (can we get to the design stuff already?!!) But it’s really important for me to share that there are actual real life issues that we had to deal with and overcome. That way if you ever find yourself on this journey, you won’t be discouraged by the quirks and roadblocks that come from saving an old building. Because man alive are they worth saving. There is almost 100 years of history here and it’s safe to say that none of the previous owners thought “I shouldn’t sign this easement because in 20 years someone might want to buy it and rip out the parking lot and turn it into a yard.” and guess what? That’s ok.
Next steps for this historic renovation project
And now she and Court are in the trenches turning this old building with a past into a home and office, bringing back to life something that had been so important to this town. And Indow is happy to be helping! The Merc is on a busy road, the noise of which goes right through The Merc’s single-pane windows. Mandi knew right away the windows were key to the spaces character and so she wasn’t about to remove that wavy glass.
So she’s using Indow Acoustic Grade inserts and keeping the windows intact!
Learn how they fit into the journey of reinvigorating the Merc. Please join us Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. PST for a Facebook Live Q & A with none other than Mandi herself.