Brrrr! It has been soooo cold here the past few days… It seemed only fitting that, while going through a file, I would come across a forgotten picture of my old house in the snow.
It’s the picture on the left. I’ll tell you one day how it is I happen to have it – and who the Witts were. But today, before I open the door and invite you in where it’s warm, I want to tell you one more thing about the exterior. I forgot to mention it last week when I wrote the rest of the front porch story.
Look closely at the front porch in the two pictures. (Enlarge it if you like.) What’s missing in the first one? Yes, I know you with “eagle eyes” saw it immediately. Just be patient a second and let everyone else catch up with you…
How about a clue… Last time I told you that when I first saw the old house, her front porch was sagging and the porch roof was wAvY, so the front porch had to be rebuilt.
Need another clue? Count the columns across the front.
When we looked under the porch that first time, we saw six support columns across the front but only four columns. We made the assumption that the two center columns had been removed at some point–probably for a better view–and that was why the porch was sagging in those two places. When we rebuilt the porch, we replaced the center columns… or so we thought.
After moving into the house–and receiving the old photograph–we realized there never had been any center columns. Ever–until we added them. She’s certainly not saggy anymore, and she should be good to go for another hundred snowy Winters!
But today, I promised you a peek inside, so brush off that blowing snow and come on in!
Although this old house has some Victorian details on the exterior, the year 1907 here in East Tennessee was a time of architectural transition–moving toward the simpler lines and built-ins of the Craftsman style on the interiors. But don’t think “bungalow” ’cause the ol’ gal is no Craftsman bungalow! That style came later.
As much as I wish it weren’t so, my “before” pictures are ridiculously inferior–but they’re the only ones I have–so I’ll do my best to talk you through them quickly.
You’re now standing in the living room just inside the front door, and the soaring 10-foot high ceilings are already elevating your mood. The stairs are directly in front, and the dark dungeon of a 70’s paneled room to the left will become the master bedroom. Oh, be grateful for the large sheet of plywood you’re standing on; it’s keeping you from falling through the 3-foot wide hole into the basement below. Carpenter ants did a nasty number on the gorgeous heart pine floor…
I wish you’d been here to lend a hand when the old (not original) wallpaper was removed, and the concrete (not plaster) walls were primed. But thank goodness for the pro who installed 1/4″ sheetrock on the ceiling! We opted to go that route to visually “clean up” the few hairline cracks, and it was one of the best choices we made throughout the house!
The walls were painted Pittsburgh Paint’s “Golden Ecru” and the ceiling “Parchment Paper”. There’s not a single “ceiling white” ceiling in the entire house.
Because we wanted the *first impression* to be timeless, all woodwork in the front rooms got a good cleaning but otherwise remained untouched. The heart pine floors were professionally refinished and given a high-gloss polyurethane finish.
The chandelier was added under the stairs to give much-needed light – and to replace the one hot-wired and hanging from a screw-hook in the trim. Yikes!
If you’re wondering… The doorway straight ahead steps down onto what was once the back porch.
No more hole in the wood floor! A fantastic floor man (and a tip I’ll share with you next week) made that bad memory virtually a thing of the past.
To the right of the front door are these original (heavy!) pocket doors that close off Renaissance Man’s study. I’ve given you peeks behind those doors in the past, but next time I’ll give you the scoop on that room. It held the solution to the hole-in-the-floor problem.
Curious about the other door on the right? It goes into the dining room. You’ll have to wait for that one…
Is this the kind of space you expected to see before you walked through the front door? Any questions for me?
If you missed Part One of this old house renovation story, check out In The Beginning.
I’ll be joining:
Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings–The Heart of Your Home
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch