Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I'm going to take a little break from the house tour to express my deep and fervent wish that our other house sells QUICKLY. It's no fun to have V living there and me living here.....not to mention the headache of having two mortgages, two of each utility bill, two phone bills. Real fun.

In a cruel twist of the fates, it's already a slow time of year to sell a house, especially one that has a lot of good selling points (nice floor plan, good decor) but some major drawbacks from a buyer's perspective (no garage, kind of small, very little storage) as well. We have moved almost everything we own into the farmhouse, hoping that the lack of our stuff, with just a few life-neccessity items left for V, will help our house in the 'hood seem a bit bigger. We priced it quite a bit lower than what it's probably worth in an attempt to move it quickly.

Suddenly, those past episodes of "Sell This House!" and all of its relatives seem very, very important. C'mon, buyers!!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Drum roll, please

At long last, I give to you....the kitchen! I know, I know, I spoiled the whole surprise by putting a picture of it into one of my very first posts. Still, the shock value is pretty good, don't you think? I've heard other bloggers refer to it as camping with a mortgage. We're definitely not quite at that level, but this is pretty primitive for us.

This picture doesn't show it, but when we moved in there was a built-in pantry/cupboard structure right about where I stood to take this picture. We had discussed in general terms taking it out and maybe moving the DR cupboard into its place, to liven up the kitchen and to make some room in the DR for our own furniture! Imagine my happiness when, one day, I drive up the lane to see a large pile of orangeish-yellow (same color as in the picture) wood next to the kitchen door. My absolutely amazing hubby had called upon his mighty powers of demolition and had removed the offending cupboard in its entirety! Moments later we were moving the DR cupboard into the kitchen.

What you see in the picture above is the extent (excepting the cupboard) of our cabinetry. It's a Youngstown metal cabinet with built-on sink. LOVE the sink. In fact, I have long had my eye out for one "just in case," but it doesn't look like I need to do that any more. The stove is in great working condition and just needs to be cleaned up. We had a vintage stove in our first house, and I bemoaned having to leave it behind. So knowing this one came with the house perked me right up!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The tour continues! Right this way, please...

Well, we've covered the parlor and some generalities about the downstairs. Now on to the drawing room and dining room. The kitchen might be entitled to its own entry. :)

First, the drawing room. This is the one with the painted slate mantel. This is also the room with our favorite wallpaper of all the existing wallpaper in the house. In fact, we like it so much we are considering using something similar when we redo this room. It's a nice warm gold that seems to go with everything. Who doesn't love that?

One of the most interesting things about the drawing room is that it has five--count 'em, five--doors. There is a door that leads to the cellar, one that leads into the parlor, one that goes outside, one that leads into the dining room, and one that leads into our funny trapezoidal-shaped hallway at the base of the stairs. It's doorapalooza!

The drawing room is a decent size, but because of the plethora of doors and windows, it's been difficult to furnish and will be a little more challenging to decorate. Right now it's our living room and we will probably continue to use it that way.

Before picture (no afters yet--someday!):

This is taken from the cellar door. Note the beautiful gold of the wallpaper. Note also the dark mossy green-gold carpet. That'll go, hopefully to be replaced by the still-underneath-that-carpet heart pine hardwoods. We know they're still there because they're visible at the edges of the vents and at the edge of the cellar stairs. We just hope they're in decent enough shape. The others in the house are positively wonderful, so we anticipate that these will be as well.

Next up, the dining room. This room has some awesome features! Let's start with the moulding panels underneath the windows (probably can't see them in any of the pictures). There are also three doors: one to the front porch, one to the trapezoid hallway, and one to the drawing room. Mystery #1--the door to the front porch does not have glass in it, whereas the other two doors to the front porch, from the parlor and drawing rooms, do have glass in them. Yes, we have three front doors not counting the door to the kitchen. Anyway, this door is a six-panel like the other interior doors. We're scratching our heads a little over that one.
Here's a picture of the DR. The wallpaper will go. Check out the painting that appears to have been made for the spot between the doors! It, like all the other things in this room, came with the house.

Heavens, did we ever luck out! I'll have to see if I can dig up some more piccies. They're fun, aren't they?

This concludes today's tour. Tomorrow, the kitchen! The absolutely rockin' untouched unspoiled kitchen!!!! Have I mentioned how much I love the kitchen?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Details, details

When last we met, I wrote a bit about the house, but then I got off on a crazy tangent (no big surprise to those who know me....)about the tiny, tiny bathroom. Did I mention it's tiny?

This time I promise to stay more focused. Let's see, we know something about the rooms, so let's talk about the little things. The trim work in this house is spectacular. The baseboard moulding varies from room to room and is plainer upstairs (in the family-only areas) than down. All of the trim smacks of great craftsmanship, just like the rest of the house. Mitered corners are beautifully done, joineries are well-fitted, and details are scaled to fit the sizes of the rooms. The parlor has a grey marble mantel, and the drawing room has a painted slate mantel. Both were probably coal or pellet originally, and were then converted to gas at some point. Now they're shut off...we have four cats (fur and fire don't mix!), plus at this point, who knows what condition that chimney is really in on the inside?

The upstairs has heart pine hardwood floors in three bedrooms and pink carpet in the fourth. We're about 80% certain that the hardwoods are still under there, and one day we'll find out. Downstairs, there are newer hardwoods in the parlor (not sure what that's all about), and the other rooms have carpet. The kitchen has interesting linoleum. It's not really that bad, but it's not really that great.

By and large, the walls are three-coat plaster that appears to be in great shape. Our main worry is the ceilings...gravity has an unfortunate effect on plaster ceilings, and although a quick look from the attic side shows them to be fairly well keyed, you never can tell when they'll go. So we might have to make good use of some plaster washers and braces for a while. Every wall and ceiling surface in the house is wallpapered. Luckily, it looks as though most rooms have just two, maybe three, layers of wallpaper, and with any luck it's been put on with flour paste and not modern wallpaper glue. Time will tell on that one!

Fun fact about the parlor. I sent a picture of it to a friend, and she immediately responded with "that room looks familiar to me." Several minutes later she sent me the following image of a painting (shown here side by side with a picture of the parlor):

Interesting, no? I'm sure that's not our parlor, but it could be in many ways.

While we're on the subject of the parlor, check out that light fixture! Someday I'll count the prisms. Someday we'll put that fixture back up; right now we've got that circa-1920-jail-cell-bare-bulb look going. None of our fixtures were wired to code, so our electrician couldn't put them back up. Rewiring is on the list. There are many things on the list.

Enough for now. I'll continue with the house tour another day.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

All moved in. Now what?

Now the fun begins. We've got, in essence, two housesful of stuff and only one house in which to house it all. Answer? Create a storage room out of the largest bedroom! Ta-da! Brilliant! It works like a charm. The only problem is that eventually even the storage room gets a little cramped. I'll have to get a's the only way you'd believe what all we've crammed in there.

Now that we're here, it seems as though every nook and cranny has something in it. From silk flowers to books to pens and pencils, we've got it all. Obviously, buying a house contents and all is a double-edged sword.

I just realized that I haven't talked much about the interior of the house itself. It's about 2200 square feet, with four bedrooms upstairs and a parlor, drawing room, dining room, and kitchen downstairs. There is a very small full bathroom downstairs in what used to be (we think) a porch. I would be remiss if I didn't go into a little detail about the upstairs bathroom. It used to be a closet. Now it's a half-bath, but only for those who are not claustrophobic, or perhaps for those who are exhibitionists at heart. I say this because it's so small that, in order to sit on the toilet, you must do one of two things: 1) pull the door shut as you sit, or 2) just leave the door open and let all the world see your wares. Better than an outhouse? Yes, but not by much. We just don't use it. In fact, it will probably become a closet again someday.