How We Got Here

My husband and I bought a house together when we married and moved to Savannah. We were all kinds of poor. Beans and rice and Jesus Christ, bless our hearts! And mortgages are cheaper than rents in the Coastal Empire.

It was a wonderful house… if you’re not afraid of a little asbestos! And we’re not. Much. And if you don’t mind a single bathroom the size of your average inflatable raft.

When we bought it, a bum was camped out in the living room. The kitchen walls were a bad grey/yellow (grellow?) oil paint over latex that had to be peeled off in sheets like a sunburned skin situation. Everything else was purple. But we got it for almost no monies. So that was a plus.


(illustrated in felt tip pen by Walter Kawa, urban planner + landscape architect)

We moved in and right away we had a great idea! (Read: Horrible idea.) “Let’s go ahead and gut the kitchen while we have help from friends and family!” Except that we had nothing to replace the old kitchen with. The counters were on back order. The carpenter was taking his sweet time with the cabinet doors. There was no dish washer. No stove. No sink. We had a floor. That was nice.

<<Before Kitchen Picture: Currently stuck on a badly formatted hard drive. Will update.>>

We spent the first 6 months of our marriage washing dishes in the bathtub and cooking meals on a griddle in the living room.

If you’ve never lounged on the couch and cooked your breakfast on your lap, you’ve never lived. Well… you’ve never lived the life of a hobo hijacking electricity, that is.

Fun Fact: We even invited overnight guests to visit us in the midst of remodelpocalypse! Yep. We did that thing. (I profoundly blame the bright optimism of youth… which we will hitherto refer to as The BOOY.)

But it worked out. I painted everything pink. (I was annoyed that after 20-something years of living with ONE MILLION sisters, I now had to live with a dude and think about designing without flowers and sequins.)

<<After Kitchen Picture: Currently stuck on a badly formatted hard drive. Will update.>>

Being newly weds, we spent the next 6 years filling the little house (about 900 square feet) with every kind of FREE decor you can possibly recycle out of your weird relatives’ garages and back sheds. The final result was an odd semi-circa-70’s mish-mash that we’ll call “eclectic”… just to be nice.

Then we made a thing…


He was pretty great. (Ok, actually he was really hard, but more on that later.) So we made another thing…


P.S. I’m now realizing that there are waaaay fewer pictures of Thing Two… oops.

Then we bought another house!

And that’s how we got here.

Now…. let the second home renovation of our lives begin! We’re approaching this one with a little more savvy, a little more money, a little more style, and a lot more crazy.


The Kawa Mama



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