As we continue on inside for this home tour, I hope you don't mind a few handfuls of before shots along the way. I think it adds perspective and shows how it is important maintain your own vision when looking for or creating a new home. Sure, there was that one time I put an offer on a house because I really liked the owner's CD collection, the food in their pantry, and the single stalk of an early spring tree blossom in a clay vase on her toddler's bedside table... but for the most part, when looking at a home I try to just see the bones. Good bones are all you need to make a home lovely, the 80's curtains, wallpaper and wall to wall carpeting can be tossed. But underneath it all, what do you have to work with? This home had some of the most questionable decor, but the very best bones of any house we looked at. It was a such a good decision. Oh, that other house that we made an offer on? We wound up not getting that one, but our kindred paths do cross on a regular basis now with that family. There little toddler has grown-up quite a bit and is now in Emily's class.
Inside that lovely front door is quite a spacious entry. It even has a coat closet just to the right (outside the shot). Something that is not common in this Victorian filled neighborhood. I love the practicality of Craftsman architecture.
The former owner insisted she leave the curtains and all of the mini-blinds so we would not be without curtains during those early days. Um... the mauve drapes and the navy blue with mauve flowers came down on day one. As did about 40 mini-blinds. You can't tell from these photos, but these walls were covered with about 4 different shades and sheens of white, it was a common theme throughout the house.
Are you thinking I should have kept the navy blue and mauve floral balloon drapes? ;) If you look closely you can see a glimpse of the faux brass (plastic) chandelier hanging in the dining room.
In the far side of the room, evidence that the drapes were removed immediately. Can you tell I had personal issues with those drapes. The front door is to the right of the drape pile, just to give you a sense of place. The stairway goes up and then bends to the left and heads to the second floor behind that wall (it also splits and goes into the kitchen on the other side). I always wanted to open up that wall and carry the banister up and around.
Emily and her best friend (they still are!) re-painting drawers to one of the built-ins. I think for the upstairs bath. I see a roll of carpet in the back, the pulling up of a lot of wall to wall and wood floor refinishing was taking place in those early days. We still didn't live here, I think it was 6-8 weeks after purchase until we finally moved in.
And now. I'm standing by the front door. Not a great shot of the space (it really is a big entry), but I wanted to show you the stairs from this angle so you could see a peek at the kitchen on the other side. We do not have an eat-in kitchen, but those few steps spilling down on the kitchen side are the spot for my family to hang out and chat with me while I'm cooking.
I would say the living room feels like it begins where the fireplace is. The reddish oriental rug in the upper right corner is our rug by the front door and it is 5x7 feet. I'm a fan of the biggest possible rug size in entry-ways. Plenty of transitional space for changing out of wet boots, snow clothes, etc.
In the very left hand side you can see a glimpse of the coat closet. The front door is to the left of that.
Just for fun... that little desk in the foreground was mine as a girl... the coffee table is an old trunk that was Adam's toy box when he was young... the mission chair was a father's day gift to Adam several years ago, found at the flea market and the cushion is the chair-futon cover from LL.Bean... the dresser in the far corner is from my midwife... and that sweet little rocker was picked up over the summer at the flea market.
Turning just a little to the right. I hope you are getting a sense of the flow.
I could never tire of this mantle. Perhaps I could reproduce it someday...?
One of this home's loveliest features (to me) is the triple opening from dining room to living room. Each room feels like their own defined space (which I like), but the openness makes entertaining, especially large sit down dinners (with the table expanded) very easy on the hostess.
Here's a little peek into the dining room... we'll head in there next time.
I hope my family enjoys looking back on this home tour over the years. I think perhaps a little Blurb book might be in order once all is said and done.