Remember when I was renovating Cindedwella and all of the princesses came over and I completely choked because I fear the famous… (no? you can read about that disaster here)? Anyways….. you can imagine how nervous I was when I was asked to renovate a home for these gals.
That’s right!, “THE” sister beagles! With over 5k followers on Instagram and legendary notoriety among the patrons of Hounds Hideaway, these ladies and their other four-legged friends have reached a level of fame that I can only dream. So when Lacey, aka Human Mother, reached out to me to see if I would be interested in renovating a home they had found on Beaverfork Lake, I was tempted to tuck my tail and run…. but then she sent me this link to the listing …..
And…..well…. my love of old houses won out over my fear of the famed. I mean did you see those rock floors and the fairy tale wooded lot? And what about the 70’s rock adorning the exterior and interior fireplaces.? This house had all the right kinds of ugly to make my heart go aflutter (I mean that in the nicest way- ugly is a term of endearment when I’m looking for a home to renovate).
To prepare for my initial meeting with the Sisters, I studied up on famous beagle architecture:
From my research, I concluded that beagles appreciate minimalist, industrial design that is highly functional and adaptable with elements of surprise. Hmmmm, not sure how that will translate to the house on Beaverfork but I decided to just approach our initial walk-thru with an open mind and hope that the Sisters had a few ideas to help guide the overall design of the house.
On the day of our walk thru, I couldn’t have been more nervous. But as soon as I walked thru the door I was nearly tackled by friendly greetings from not only The Sisters, Yellow and Brown, but also their canine friends Gunner and Jetta who also reside in the Vance home.
After introductions, I went total fan girl and asked if we could take a quick selfie before we started the tour.
The second the picture was snapped the four of them went straight to business and began sharing their ideas and expectations for the renovations. (And I had been worried they might not have ideas- HA!)
I hope you can read my writing- I was writing down their ideas so fast, I swear smoke was coming from the lead of my pencil. I’m sure I missed a few things but here is what I managed to jot down:
I honestly have no idea if half these things even exist and as I’m sitting here reviewing the list, I wonder if I even heard them correctly. I mean, what is a toad eradication system? And who in the world is the Kitty Cartel? And if this list wasn’t overwhelming enough…. near the end of our meeting Brown slips me a note and tells me it’s from the cat (apparently there is a cat in their posse who could not be bothered to come to the meeting but sent his list of demands).
Oh geez, what have I gotten myself into!!
In an effort to guide the design meeting into more familiar territory I pulled out my Sherwin Williams paint deck to see if we could at least nail down a color theme.
At this, I got the distinct feeling that Yellow and Brown were sneaking “bless her heart” glances my way. I wasn’t sure why my efforts were getting the cold shoulder until Gunner finally spoke up and informed me that dogs are colorblind.
After this revelation, I quickly packed up my fan deck and suggested they take me on a tour of the house.
The tour allowed me the opportunity to not only get to know the house but it also gave me greater insight into each of the dogs personalities. For example, before we even made it thru the main floor of the tour, Jetta caught the whiff of a rabbit outside and was off on the hunt. I’m not sure if she was successful in her hunt but I do know the effort must have worn her out because I later found her snoozing in the sun on top of the old hot tub cover. I get the feeling she will be spending a lot of time outside and made a mental note to do something special for her out there.
As far as the sisters, Yellow and Brown, from what I can tell they are almost always together.
Let me just tell you, these two are clearly the Boss Hounds of the group. What they say goes, and I get the impression the rest of us are just tolerated to do their bidding. They were not shy in letting me know I was not their first pick for the job- but apparently Nate BARKus was tied up on another Oprah home makeover. The only reason they called me was because their friend Pickles from the NOLA House on Davis gave me a good referral for the work I did on his beagle abode. I tried to win their favor by throwing out a few ideas that came to me while we were walking around but every idea was met with this look:
I’ll admit my “beaglese” is a little rusty but I don’t think you have to be fluent in the language to interpret that look! The chronic pleaser in me was just about in full-out panic mode when a leftover cookie fell out of my pocket and the entire vibe of the meeting changed. Suddenly the two were looking at me like I hung the moon and I swear I could have recommended a room dedicated to clipping nails and vaccinations and they would have been on board. From that point on anytime I felt like I was losing them I would drop a crumb and lead the conversation back to how my design would ultimately lead to them getting fed. Without a doubt, the kitchen/pantry will be where I focus my attention for these gals.
While the beagles in this group take center stage and I’m quite confident will be responsible for converting the entire Beaverfork hamlet into a Beaglefork nation, it was the non-beagle member of the clan, Gunner, that I felt an immediate connection to. He seemed a kindred spirit, if you will. I’m not sure if it’s the gray in his whiskers or his laid back demeanor but I just get the feeling that he is wise beyond his years and will be a valuable mentor throughout this renovation process. In addition to helping me out with the whole colorblind issue, it was Gunner who climbed into my lap and whispered “don’t worry…they’re all bark and no bite” when I was feeling especially overwhelmed with the demands and judgy eyes of the Sisters.
I want to make sure I design a special space for him to sit and pawnder the goings-on of his world.
Almost as an after thought, all four of them agreed I should throw in something nice for their Humans especially the human puppy who they can always count on to share her snacks and snuggles. I assured them I would keep them in mind;)
Needless to say, this should be a fun renovation and I am so honored they have entrusted me with the project. If you would like to stay up-to-date on the progress of this renovation I would encourage you to befriend Human Mother- Lacey Vance on FB and/or Instagram. I’m personally living the renovation and I still find myself getting excited to read her progress reports on the house- she is quite the writer and storyteller.
As I close, I will leave you with some more “before” pictures of Beaglefork: