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.

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