I can’t sit still. I am so beyond excited about getting through this weekend and getting into our house on Tuesday! In case you were wondering, since I haven’t given an official house update since I expressed my concerns with the appraisal, we’re legitimate homeowners now! The appraisal went through without a hitch and we actually closed a week ahead of schedule! We went back to Ohio last week and closed on the house but since we closed early, the previous owners were not prepared to leave until March 31. Of course this was fine with us because we’re reasonable people.
If you remember, we had planned to have Josh go back before us so he could refinish the hardwood floors, but I can’t wait. I want to move! We’re all going back together, getting the boys enrolled in school and then playing by ear while Josh finishes the floors. We’ve decided that we want the original natural wood floors so since he won’t be staining them, it should only take 3 days. We’ll try to live upstairs (all of our downstairs furniture will be stored in the garage in the meantime) until it’s no longer possible and then the kids and I will just go to a hotel. We should be good to go by next Friday/Saturday.
I have ten million thoughts going through my mind and keep thinking of all of the ways I’ll be able to start working while Josh does the floors. We’re not doing the upstairs yet (it’s carpeted but we plan to do hardwoods eventually) so I can work on the kids’ bedrooms, and the kitchen floors are brand new bamboo so we won’t be touching those either meaning I can probably get a little done in that room as well. Speaking of the kitchen, remember how I told you about the painted tile that goes halfway up the wall? Well we found out the story behind those. It’s actually molded plaster, a common feature during the 1920’s which is when our house was built. We laughed when we learned that’s what it is because we had watched an episode of Rehab Addict (obsessed) where she explained molded plaster and Josh had said, “Oh, maybe that’s what the tile is.” It is.
So what do we plan to do with the molded plaster? Personally, I love original detail so I don’t want to cover it up. We considered putting up board and batten or beadboard but I can’t hide something that’s so unique! I’m going to continue on with my plan to paint it white but I’m going with a high gloss paint to try and make it look a little like tile.
Apparently we bought the house from the world’s nicest people because the day after we closed, they offered to walk us through the house and give us the low down. Isn’t that super sweet? That’s how we learned about the kitchen walls and also how we learned that the quirky door that leads to the roof of our garage (the issue we were concerned with for the appraisal) was also a 1920’s feature. I guess it was common back then to create a sort of “deck” over your garage and while there isn’t railing on the roof anymore, there used to be. It was so cool to hear the previous owner tell her childhood stories of performing shows on the deck for the neighborhood kids below.
Oh yeah, that’s something else I forgot to mention. The previous owner was the only owner ever. Her dad built the house with his bare hands. She grew up in the house and then had it passed on to her when her father died. Something about that just makes me feel like we have an extra responsibility taking on this home. I have so much respect for history, family heirlooms and the passing of the torch, so to speak.
Here’s our little house 🙂
First thing’s first. I’m ripping down the awning immediately and replacing that tiny little light with a big, beautiful, black lantern. Won’t that little step modernize the house so much? I’m debating on taking down the railing too but Josh seems to think it’s a necessity for code purposes as well as insurance reasons. “What if the mailman slips and sues us for not having a railing?!” If I don’t take it off for good I’m at least going to spray it black.
The bane of my existence, at least when it comes to this house, is the outdoor space. Josh thinks we can make it something but I can’t see it. Perhaps it’s because I am not a landscaper/gardener whatsoever, but either way I’m hoping to come up with something for in front of those three windows. I also hate that the house sits on a hill but I’ve been told it would cost thousands to remedy that and it’s just not something I want to spend that kind of money on right now.
You can’t see from this picture but the front door is absolutely beautiful. It is a rounded solid wood door that I won’t do anything more to other than clean and treat. I googled similar doors and found that it’s probably worth upwards of a thousand dollars +. I’ve always wanted one of those bright red or teal or yellow front doors but this beauty does the trick too.
From the front view of the house you can see where the roof pitches. That is the front facing wall in both the boys’ room and Ruby’s room, which creates a really dramatic shape to the bedrooms. Of course it creates challenges for furniture arrangement but like I’ve said, I love character and this definitely adds to it. Also, if you notice the sort of triangle on the left side of the chimney – that’s the attic and while it’s unfinished, it is insulated. There is a small door that leads to it from the boys’ room so we’re excited for the potential of finishing that big space. We’re hoping to (phase two 🙂 ) blow out the majority but keep a small portion of the wall to create a sense of division for either each boy to have their own space or a bedroom/hangout space.
Kind of like one of these,
I have been in love with the Ballard Designs pendant lanterns since I got the chance to take a tour of the Ballard Designs Bosch house* in Serenbe, right outside of Atlanta (Josh’s aunt lived in Serenbe and it is truly one of my favorite places in the United States). The Bosch house featured the Eldridge Rectangular Chandelier and sparked my dreams of one day having that light hang over my dining table. It doesn’t get any more beautiful but with a price tag of $500!!!!! I couldn’t convince Josh that it was okay for a light fixture to equal one month’s mortgage payment (seriously). I thought it was a lost cause as I had never seen anything remotely as lovely at any other shop but today my lucky stars aligned and YHL did a feature on upgrading their hallway lights with Ballard knockoffs from World Market. My fingers sprinted to World Market’s website and after texting Josh to get the go ahead (he knows that I’m going full speed ahead with this house so he’s asked that I consult him before I make any purchases 😉 ), I bought this lantern. It felt really exciting, not only to make a purchase for the house, but also to have it shipped to our new address. Truly exciting.
*I Googled the Bosch house and randomly came across this blog. I may, or may not be the person in the 5th photograph down. Ha!
I could keep going. And going. And going. But I’ll stop for now since I think 1300 words is plenty for one blog post. Obviously I’ll have much more about the house to come but the next time I pop in I’ll probably be doing a recap of our trip to Cape May. That’s right. Last stop before we move back to our hometown is the only other home we’ve ever had. 🙂 Have a great weekend!