A Reflection on Hurricane Harvey One Year Later
Just over a year ago, Jamie (@whitetailfarmhouse) and her husband were in the final stages of completing their new home in a small town in southeast Texas. The couple served as their own general contractors throughout the process, hiring trades as needed, but completing much of the work themselves. The quiet town, situated near the coast, was an idyllic setting with plenty of family members living nearby.
Jamie paid little attention when the tropical system that would become Hurricane Harvey first spun off the coast of Africa. But as it churned into the Gulf of Mexico, the family began to take notice. With no call for evacuations, they got a generator and hunkered down in their new, yet not quite completed, home with some extra food to ride it out.
The storm stalled and dumped more than 60 inches of rain on their town. The storm is tied with 2005’s Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record and holds the record for the wettest tropical cyclone ever in the United States.
“Our generator kept the refrigerator going, one TV to connect us to the news cycle that was 24/7, and a cord to charge our phones to connect us to family. We were surrounded by water, bridges collapsed, and our towns were like islands. We were isolated.”
When power was finally restored, Jamie was thrilled when their recently installed Wilcox Gooseneck Lights on the front porch lit right up offering a beacon of hope for the months of cleanup ahead.
“As a young girl, I adored houses that were elevated with a brick skirting and had stairs leading to the front porch,” Jamie notes. This vision led the couple to create a solid foundation 38″ off the ground for their new home which helped alleviate some of the damage from flood waters. Unfortunately, most of their belongings were still in their former home and were lost. As they marked the one-year anniversary of the disaster, Jamie chatted with us about their experiences over the last year.
“My goal was to create a home that stayed true to the farmhouses of old, yet with modern amenities included for function and ease,” she notes. “I took in all of the farmhouse elements from yesteryear for inspiration. I wanted the airy feel of the big porches, simple gables, exposed beams, ship lap, board and batten, and barn light fixtures.” When choosing her exterior lighting, Jamie searched for fixtures that had a vintage feel but were American made of high-quality materials.
“To me, lighting is the final feature that helps tie your home together,” she explains. “It’s the touch of fine jewelry for the home and, I believe, has the wow factor to transform a home.” Jamie went with the classic Original™ Warehouse Gooseneck Light for her carport and the front gable side of the home.
“Nothing is more iconic and timeless than the Original™. They have vintage written all over them!” Jamie says. “They remind me of the old storefronts, industrial warehouses, and American barns.” She customized these barn lights with 14″ shades and a Vintage Green finish. She chose the G24 gooseneck arm for the fixtures on the carport and front of the house but used G13 arms for the gooseneck lights on the side of the house to bring more light to the windows.
“I like to create a more evolved, curated look so I don’t want everything to match,” Jamie notes. “Barn Light Electric offers so many options which makes it a great place for one-stop shopping for lights.” For the porches, Jamie chose the more modern, deep bowl style of the Wilcox Gooseneck Light.
“I wanted to create a bigger statement piece with the lighting in that area. I love the modern yet simple design of the Wesco bowl,” she says. A 10″ shade was installed on the outdoor brick fireplace, two 12″ fixtures flank the back door, and three 14″ lights are installed on the front porch. These are the fixtures that were shining brightly the night they returned home after the storm. All of the exterior lights are finished in Vintage Green.
“When I was doing my research on the old farmhouses and barns of yesteryear, I kept seeing vintage green over and over,” Jamie explains. “Green is a favorite of mine so I wanted to add that pop of color to our white farmhouse. I feel strongly that the vintage green makes our house stand out and tells a bit of a story.” In the rear of the house near an exterior door, space was more limited for lighting. Jamie came across the Arlington Wall Sconce and realized its compact 8″ shade would fit perfectly.
“I wanted a fixture with the same character as the other lights, and the Arlington Sconce is perfect,” she says. “And there is the added bonus of getting it in the same Vintage Green color which is the icing on the cake. It is the cutest light, and even with its smaller features, it still packs a statement!” With the months of construction followed by months of cleanup from Harvey behind them, Jamie and her family are enjoying making their house a home again.
“The lights complete our farmhouse with the charm and character of the past and I’m even more in love with that vintage green color,” she says. “We love that every detail in our home tells a very intentional story with the handiwork of our family intertwined.”
Photos courtesy of Candice Craig Photography