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A Journey Through Time

June 4, 2011

FINALLY. I’ve spent over a month trying to get this blog up-and-running, and tonight is the night (Dexter reference, anyone?)! The stars must have aligned and time must have stood still to allow me to get to this point. And now it’s here! The pressure’s on, though, because I have to make sure this blog doesn’t disappoint. What better way to make a splash than with time travel?  Bust out your Delorian, folks, because we’re going to journey back to 1979, or so it seems.

My friends keep asking me to post pictures of our new house on Facebook, but I wanted to unveil them via this blog. However, I feel that to truly appreciate the changes we’ve made to the house, one must take a look at what we walked into. I did a terrible job of documenting the move-in state of the house, probably because as soon as we signed the closing papers, we rushed in and immediately started ripping down wallpaper (more on that later). So, the pictures you’re about to see are those taken by the seller to entice you into buying this little gem. The thing is, nothing in the house seemed like it had been updated since the 70’s, so get ready for a throwback. Ready?

This is how the house looked both when we first saw it and when we moved in. It is 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, with a “mostly” finished basement. It sits on almost a half-acre lot, which leaves plenty of room for additions, a pool, or whatever our hearts desire. Gorgeous, mature trees all around (right now, it’s like we live in a tree house, since every one of them is so lush, we are encompassed with leaves!). The house is 54 years old, all brick, and has so much character – you should see the shutters. They are wrought iron scrolled panels instead of the traditional slotted shutters. It’s the details like that, that make my heart smile.

The first room you meet once you walk through the door is the living room. This is about 3/4 of the space. What this picture doesn’t show you is the INCREDIBLE picture window. This beaut is pristine, with brand new panes, and it was just suffocated by thick, hideous drapes. Tragic. I couldn’t stop thinking about this window. Obsessed? Maybe.

From the living room, you walk into the breakfast room/kitchen. First, let me point out that light fixture. Oh dear goodness. Wood and tubey-globey things. It was a the first of many disgraceful light fixtures. You can’t tell from this picture, but the breakfast room, hallways, and several other rooms were wallpapered. Drab, linen-looking, tan-colored wallpaper. We have since become experts at wallpaper removal (more on that later). This kitchen was definitely not “Better Homes and Gardens” material, but the cabinets were quality, some appliances were newer, and there was a lot of potential. Downsides? The countertops were AWFUL faux leather textured nightmares. We have spots where the top layer has peeled off – not so cute. The vinyl floors aren’t completely terrible, but they’ll certainly be replaced once we do a kitchen reno. We noticed a lot of DIY-type quirks in the house, and among them was an over-the-toilet cabinet hung on one wall of the kitchen. Yes, it is the perfect size for spices, however, anyone with half a brain can tell that the cabinet was meant for the bathroom. At least the wood matched the rest of the kitchen cabinets – they get points for creativity and effort. Upsides? Again, new windows, lots of lighting, adequate storage, good appliances, and potential!

If I may lead you down the hall, we will encounter this little gem. No sarcasm. I LOVE the bathroom. Yes, it’s TINY (no master suite in this casa), but I couldn’t get over the sun-shiny yellow tile on the walls. So what if it clashed with the mauve vinyl floor? There’s about 4 square feet (or so it seems) of floor space in there – an easy weekend job to tile it one day. But that yellow glazed tile! So charming and happy! And a brand new bathroom window! And a ledge running under the mirror to hold my curling iron (a great solution, since the counter space at the sink is limited)! And a padded, foam toilet seat!…. Just kidding, that bad boy found its way into the trash can the second we moved in – we came to closing with a new, normal toilet seat in our car, ready to install the second we could. A little much? Absolutely not. I had visions of sitting on the seat and seeing clouds of germs and Godonlyknowswhatelse puffing up from that sponge seat. Nasty.

And on that note.. moving on to the office?

This office and someday-nursery (aww!) had a tiny, floral patterned wallpaper that stuck on those walls like it was slapped on with an evil concoction of super glue, gorilla glue, and elementary school paste. That stuff wouldn’t come off. It also had stiff, goldenrod colored curtains and some fairly decent carpet. It was in this room that we made a fabulous discovery. We inspected the closets and noticed they had wooden floors… which happened to sit slightly lower than the level of the carpet. Our hearts lept for joy at the prospect of hardwood floors throughout the room and potentially the whole house. Still, we couldn’t get our hopes up, and we were fine with the carpet for the time being. We just couldn’t WAIT to close and pull up a corner of the carpet in all the rooms to see what was beneath.

We found the same carpet in the bedroom and the same wood floors in the bedroom closets (more glimmers of hope)! We also found Gladys The Fan. Look at that beaut. This photo doesn’t do her justice, but you will see more of Gladys in her glory at a later time. Here’s a little bit of what makes her so…”special.” There is probably 1 lightbulb in the entire thing that causes this opaque, glass base with delicately painted rust-colored flowers to glow an eery amber color that wouldn’t even illuminate a closet. The blades have a lovely plastic inlay, featuring the same rust-colored flowers. I tell ya, this baby is majestic. It’s such a pity that it doesn’t match the duvet we got from our wedding registry. A cryin’ shame.  Enough about Gladys. I know she steals the show in this room, but the windows are a close runner-up. Their view out the front of the house is gorgeous – waking up with the  curtains open (our own curtains, not the peach chiffon gems in this picture) is like waking up in a treehouse bungalow. The windows light up the room and give it a cottage-y feel, which I love.

Here’s a quick runthrough of the basement – leaves a lot to the imagination, but someday, it will be spectacular.

This is the view as you come down the steps. I think the previous owner was quite a little crafter. This is the perfect setup for quilting. Too bad I haven’t the slightest idea how to quilt, so away go the homemade cabinets and workstation. The white partition shelves are pretty nice though. I’ll allow them to stay :)

Here’s the other side of the partition shelves. This could easily be turned into a 2nd bedroom someday. The hubs likes to think we will rent out our basement and recoup a good chunk of our house payment. Just what a pair of newlyweds needs, right? Roommates. Regardless, this has awesome potential for a home theater, bar, pool table, or playroom for the future lil ducklings. Again, lots of potential.

This is the opposite view from the last picture. The wood paneling is quite charming, eh? We’re going to paint it white and see how that works before we totally go nuts and take it down. Through that doorway on the right side of the picture is a FULL bathroom, which is awesome. There’s a cute vanity with a mirror flanked by rows of vertical lightbulbs. It brings me back to my days of dance recitals and primping backstage. Straight through the opposite bathroom door is our “laundry suite,” as I fondly refer to it. There’s plenty of storage shelves, a clothes rack for hanging, a sink and full countertop, AND a …. stove? Why we need a gas range in the laundry room is anyone’s guess. Maybe the prior owner made tie-dye or candles? Maybe they had a tenant in the basement? I can’t really complain… it may come in handy for hosting Thanksgiving someday. Or something. The other highlight of this room is that it has LIME green vinyl tile floors and MINT green walls. Our 2-year-old niece LOVES the laundry room for this reason – “Play in green room!!” All she wanted to see the first few times she came over was the green room. Precious.

Our cute little covered porch… I want to make it a sweet outdoor lounge with outdoor couches, bright patterned pillows, patio lights, and weatherproof curtains.  Can you see it?

There’s a whole lotta backyard here! We are blessed with gorgeous, mature trees that provide a TON of shade. They also produce sweet gumballs (i.e. “sickyballs”) and acorns. At least we will get seasonal arm workouts raking everything up. It’s the price to pay for absolutely beautiful trees on a beautiful lot. We have tons of potential for expansion, a pool, an awesome vegetable garden, or a fantastic backyard oasis.

And so we end our house tour and possibly longest blog post of all time.  What do you think? Could you see the potential, or would you never have even thought about living in this granny-style brick box?

To see what our first week in our new home was like, check back soon. Prepare to be entertained. Until then, program the Delorian back to 2011 and enjoy some How I Met Your Mother reruns and some FroYo. I’ll meet you there.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mamma K permalink
    June 5, 2011 10:17 pm

    Absolutely precious, loved reading your thoughts and muses. Keep it up,,,,Wonderful and fun, wish I had done something like this to remember the good times! Love ya,,, Blessings to you, Matt and your lovely home……

  2. Nickie Kissick permalink
    June 22, 2011 8:36 pm

    Yay for finding wood floors!!!

  3. June 23, 2011 10:37 am

    Congrats on becoming a new homeowner! It’ll be neat to see what you guys end up doing with it!

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