More unique family time at the Firehouse

December 5, 2016


I’m just now getting around to sorting through the pictures from Thanksgiving at my brother’s house in Smyrna, GA and have decided there are so many new things he’s added over the last year, if I shared them all with you in one post, your computer would start smoking, so I’ll save his new outdoor area and outdoor disco shower (that’s right, you read that correctly) for another time. Today, I’ll focus on his kitchen and powder room.

If you missed last year’s story about the Old Smyrna Firehouse, click HERE to get the background info and see previous photos.


Last year, Robert had just moved in, and had a temporary stove. We had to make do with a partial kitchen and bachelor supplies. Well, this year, I got to cook on his brand new Verona gas/convection dream of a range and it was wonderful. I’d never heard of the Italian appliance company, but Robert researched it thoroughly, and I think he made a wise choice. Six gas burners on top, two ovens that switch to convection  (the 19 lb. turkey only took a little over three hours to cook and was the moistest, most delicious bird ever!). The smaller oven also has a “defrost” mode.

toolboxThe range was heavily enhanced and jazzed up by Robert. His motto is, “nothing plain” (I just made that up, but it should be his motto). The elements above the stove are mostly for show, but also house lights, a working clock and the downdraft fan. It’s a Dr. Seuss combination of a little from here and a little from there. “Flamewerx” is the name of Robert’s art company. To the right of the range is our Dad’s old tool drawer that he gave to Robert when I got the charm bracelet. I think we were both happy with the assignment of gifts. Robert cleverly stores knives, cutting boards and other flat items in the drawers which definitely keeps the industrial vibe going.

thanksgiving-02Here’s a wider view of the ALMOST finished kitchen space. Another open shelf unit will go to the left of where Robert is standing. The swing-out stools were added to the pre-made island. Lois Lane got to go with us to see her friend Mutt-hammed Ali, but Doug the Dog had to stay home.


Of course, the cabinet handles are made from motorcycle piston rods. What else would you expect?


Over the island are three old fire extinguishers made into lights. The sink in the background came from our Grandparent’s house.

roberts-kitchenThe hanging shelf and corrugated sheet metal backsplash were added just before we arrived. Another shelf just like this will be installed to the left of the sink later. 

thanksgiving-03On the other side of the kitchen is a cozy sitting nook, where a drop-leaf table waits to be used for extra space and cozy chairs are perfectly juxtaposed in his rustic-funky-retro house. To the left, is the pantry (and a real fire extinguisher on the floor). Satsumas in the foreground are from Daddy’s trees in Fort Walton Beach.

mom-and-dadEven with the nice kitchen, we went out to dinner the night before Thanksgiving at Atkins Park. This is Robert with our sweet parents.

pantryBack to the pantry with the beautiful brick floor, Robert added some old containers he found at a tag sale for extra storage. I gave Robert the crock pot as a gift several years ago, and it only took him about two years to ask me how to use it. Funny, to the far right, you can see another real-life fire extinguisher. You’ll see why there’s a need for these extinguishers. Hint: it’s not my cooking.


I know I showed you the powder room off the kitchen last year, but the photos weren’t very good. So here are a few more, and I hope they give you a better idea of how it really looks.

The barrel sink has an old water pump that is from our great-granddaddy’s house in Hartselle, AL. The floor is covered in shiny pennies (check the previous post for how he did it).

penny-floorIt’s still just as shiny as ever and receives tons of compliments from everyone who sees it.

barrel-sinkThe sink was handmade by Robert’s friend Kara. She and Robert are also business partners and build new houses and renovate old houses in the Smyrna area. Click HERE to see their web site. Robert also volunteers as the City of Smyrna’s outdoor art curator. His own artwork can be seen at his Flamewerx site, which will explain the next photo . . .

Thanksgiving at the Firehouse is never boring. We rode the 1940’s fire engine around the neighborhood, then played with Robert’s toys. Doesn’t every family include a flamethrower in their holiday plans?

Stay tuned for more in the next few weeks from the Old Smyrna Firehouse. I promise, it won’t be boring.

Update photo below: Here's a shot of the fire pole in the corner of the dining room everyone (almost everyone) uses to come downstairs. Bob mastered the Dean Martin move of sliding down, while wearing a suit and holding an unspilled drink. Cheers! Our friend Douglas, on the right is one of the few who can climb UP. They're much cooler than the young guys. 

Leave a Reply

  1. There is not a thing I did’t just LOVE!!! A creative genius. The firehouse is amazing. I just wish I had that much creativity or at least the talent to make things I think come to life. Anyway, I bet your boys love going there. Probably never a dull moment.

    1. You’ll have to click over to the previous story to read about how he found it and got it running. We all took a ride on it after lunch. He also has another firetruck that doesn’t run, but he uses in his courtyard I’ll show you another time. Very cool.

  2. Thanksgiving with the Harrison and Tarabella families is never boring! I love the pictures and the memories of a special day. Thank you for adopting me and Douglas 🙂

    1. Your picture is coming up in the next episode of “Firehouse Chronicles!” Not many people would fit in with our crazy bunch, so you are like family now — for better or worse!

  3. What fun, Leslie Anne, sounds like a great family time in that firehouse! It sure is unique and your brother is too. I remember you talking about this on your last visit and it sure is a neat place. I’m sure he must love it all. I never get over to Symrna anymore, but apparently it’s getting really cool! hope to see you again when you get back up here. Have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Thanks Rhoda, Merry Christmas to you too, and I’ll be sure to let you know when I’m up in your area of GA again! Would love to see you.

  4. Your hunky hot looking brother is a creative genius! Wow, I am so blown away by all his details and totally cool touches! That stove is a dream! Fire extinguisher light fixtures! I remember that penny floor, so cool!! You guys must have a total blast when visiting, how awesome for your boys…

    1. Yes, how awesome for all of us! It’s like we’re all big kids playing there. The house includes a downstairs workroom/shop and a fourth floor rooftop deck. It’s all in the plan for many more years of fun adventures.

  5. Oh my, I always enjoy visits to your brother’s firehouse, I always know there will be something amazing there! Not disappointed Leslie Anne. The kitchen is a wow factor, love the range! Not a thing I don’t love here. I think this home is magazine worthy, hope you are submitting this. I want to see the disco shower..

    1. It’s all coming, little by little. Robert spends so much time building other people’s houses, he gets things done on his when he has spare time, which isn’t often. I think he should definitely be in some type of magazine, but which one? Garden and Gun? Marvel Comics? Firehouse Today?

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