I’ve wanted a school bus since the first day I stepped foot on one. For years, my dream was to be a school-bus driver, but as I got older, I had to forgo that dream since I’m not very tolerant of children.
Now, 30+ years later, it lives again!
We recently bought a Ford B-800 short bus and plan to convert it and join the #vanlife crew on the road. However, it’s in Jacksonville and we are up near Pensacola, so stay tuned for the journey home and the Redneck Renovation soon to come!
“I supplement my outdoor decor with colorful, durable elements that brighten my day.”
Living in a small space means making the most of every square inch, so at KearceCrafted Farms we love our great outdoors.
Here in northwest Florida, we spend most of our summer outside, and while I love pretty flowers, my green thumb sometimes goes dormant. So, I supplement my outdoor decor with colorful, durable elements that brighten my day. These pops of color and fun do not, thank goodness, need to be expensive. The copper-colored sunflower above, was a hand-me-down from my mother, and she probably bought it at Ace Hardware years ago. It wears its age well and is a cherished addition to my outdoor decor.
Believe it or not, someone abandoned this broken boogie board on Panama City Beach last year, so, of course, I salvaged it. What a perfect tray table for the redneck hot tub, a 100-year-old claw foot tub that we bought at T&W Flea Market and have cherished ever since.
While this round chaise lounge has been with us for quite some time, it’s original upholstery was bland and boring, so I dressed it up with an old bedspread and throw pillows. Now it brightens my back deck and my day!
“We don’t want to make them shiny or chic. They have become a part of our life and our decor as they are. So, I’ve decided to call this style Rustic Renaissance. ”
For years James and I have been collecting old things that we use for purposes other than what they were originally intended. Some become art while others take on a new life with new purpose. From old camera equipment to a bird bath rusted through, we find them beautiful as they are and use them to decorate KearceCrafted Farms.
During the past few weeks I’ve been trying to decide what that style of decor is called. We see it everywhere: restaurants, retail stores, television, photography… But it doesn’t seem to have a name.
Shabby chic is the closest style I can find, but even that dresses old items up with paint and accessories to make them “chic.”
We love these items when we find them and don’t want to reinvent them.
They have become a part of our life and our decor as they are. So, I’ve decided to call this style Rustic Renaissance .
A Blast from the Past This week we revisit one of our first Redneck Renovations, Tiger Lily II. She is a 1968 two bedroom/ one bath mobile home with a 360 sq. ft. addition which includes a master bedroom, living room and Florida room. She is vacant once again and about to get a KearceCrafted facelift.
When we started, she didn’t need much. But by the time the renovation was over, we had gutted the bathroom down to the studs in order to reinforce the tub and subfloor.
After many hours of work and much love, the bathroom shines with a custom tile floor, tub skirt, shower surround and toilet.
In the kitchen, we found four layers of old linoleum. Between two of them was a newspaper article about the Watergate Hearings. Ironically enough, it was election day 2016 (absolutely no judgment intended).
We took down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, creating an open concept for the small space. I cleaned the original cabinets with a mixture of mineral spirits and Old English Oil to bring out the natural patina and seal them for future use.
Because of past water damage, we also wainscoted the walls with Luan plywood, which is a tropical hardwood plywood product. At $22.48 for a 4’x8′ sheet, it is a durable, attractive and inexpensive option.
Unfortunately, we stained the wainscot a color that doesn’t match very well. So this time, we are going to give it a coat of bright white paint with a decorative chair-rail and trim to lighten and brighten the walls. We are also going to pull the carpet out of the addition and replace it with matching ceramic tile, remove the ancient gas heating unit and build a coat closet in the hall.
Again, we are telling each other, “She doesn’t need much.”
In the course of the past week, James has rebuilt the Treetop Loft’s front porch, a.k.a. the Upper Deck, which is now bigger and stronger than before.
The Treetop Loft was built with a ship’s design in mind. There are custom built bookshelves, cubbies, nooks and crannies throughout the house. We have porches on the front and back, which serve as fore and aft upper decks.
Downstairs we have a 1,000 sq. ft. back patio (the Lido Deck) made of brick pavers, forming a cobblestone patchwork. However, there will be no photos of that until after the KearceCrafted Clean Up when we get the grass cut and the patio ready for the summer season. Maybe next week.
For now work continues on what James calls the “Stairway to Heaven.”
This week James is applying his home-improvement skills to our very own Treetop Loft in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, overlooking our 50-acre farm.
I use the term “farm” loosely, since we have no livestock and usually only a small garden. Most of the property is planted in pine trees, so it is (sort of) a tree farm, and we have a large population of animals who choose to live here with us.
We have deer, at least two turkeys (named Crispy and Thursday), quail, alligators, at least two hawks (named Comanche and Geronimo), three dogs and a host of other residents too numerous to count.
Unfortunately, the front porch of the Treetop Loft has recently succumbed to the elements, becoming unsafe and in much need of some Redneck Renovation. So, James demolished the original porch by cutting it loose from the house and deconstructing it piece by piece.
“Those guys who go in with sledge hammers and demolish everything aren’t working alone, 10 feet in the air and thinking about salvaging their materials,” he says, “But I am, so I’m careful.”
After two days of careful demolitions, all that remains are the stairs, leading to a 10 foot drop. Needless to say, we’re keeping the front door locked….
“We are in the business of what I affectionately call Redneck Renovation.”
At KearceCrafted, we refer to our rental properties as mobile “homes,” not trailers. Although they are technically trailers, children who live there will remember the place with the huge sand pines in the yard and the storage shed where their parents hid the best Christmas presents.
And parents will remember the place with the great storage shed for hiding Christmas presents, the cozy nursery where they brought their baby home and the kitchen where they cooked their first holiday dinner.
They are homes. Not just any homes, they are KearceCrafted Homes.
Welcome to our website! We are James and Tammy Kearce, and we own and maintain a small fleet of rental properties in southeast Alabama and northwest Florida.
While we both enjoy home-improvement television, we live in the deep, rural South where mobile homes are the equivalent of metropolitan apartments. So, we are in the business of what I affectionately refer to as, “Redneck Renovation.” Our mobile homes range in age
from 25-50 years old, and have aged quite well. So, we give them some much-needed TLC, renovation and design.
As a retired builder/contractor and hard-surface flooring installer, James renovates all new additions to the KearceCrafted Rental Fleet and updates existing fleet members as needs arise.
Stay tuned as we tackle a new project, soon to be announced… Tkearce