Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Before Pics

This is the condition of the house before we moved in. I'll try to post the photos as if you were taking a tour of the house. This is the 'Solarium' looking toward the front door:

These are the windows on the outer wall of the solarium:

Looking toward the dining room from the solarium:

The living room from the solarium:

The living room looking toward the stairs:

The living room from the stairs:

The fireplace, exactly as pictured in the Sears catalog:

The kitchen. The green walls are 20 year old wallpaper. I liked the color and even the pattern of the paper, but it was in bad shape.

The door to the right of the counter is the world's very smallest powder room. I don't have any photos right now, but I'm sure we'll get some eventually. It's so small, that when I threw a baby shower last year, the pregnant woman couldn't use it.

This is the problem wall in the kitchen. The refrigerator door won't open all the way unless it is slightly turned in toward the kitchen and there is no range hood. Also, in order to walk from the stove to the sink, you have to circumnavigate the island which seems OK until you're carrying a big pot of pasta with wet hot pads and your fingers are burning...

The dining room:

The bathroom is in surprisingly good shape. The fixtures could be refinished at some point and that weird tile that was installed to put in a shower could be replaced with more subway tiles, but neither of those things really bother me. Even the window in the shower (not pictured) is in good shape. It's really amazing how well the previous occupants of the house took care of it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

House History

Our realtor called me one day during our grueling house hunt and asked if I had any interest in seeing a Sears house. I said YES! Since this isn't our first old house, I had read the articles in OHJ about Sears homes and how charming and beautiful they can be.

The house is an Alhambra and it is a mirror image of the drawing in the Sears catalog from 1919. The house came complete with the bill of lading for the delivery of the house on three train cars as well as a letter from a woman who grew up in the house. Her father built the house as well as the two on either side (both are Sears homes), and it remained in their family until 2002.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Hole

So this is what I meant by things are getting exciting. We had a big and terrible snowstorm on Valentine's day and water dripped from the ceiling for three days afterward. This is what the wall looks like now:You can see that we still have some moisture issues where the wall meets the ceiling, so we are going to have to take care of that before the new plaster goes up. The insurance adjuster diagnosed the problem as ice damming, and he didn't think there was any damage to the roof, but I'm not sure he was 100% right.

We had been planning a renovation of the kitchen for some nebulous time in the future when we will have tons of extra money, but this hole is kind of forcing the issue. The water damage is conveniently located where we would like to add a range hood, so at least that's helpful.

We have a sort of related issue with the ceiling in the rest of the kitchen. There's no water damage there, but it looks like this:

Notice the funky faux medallion treatment around the ugliest fixture ever? And the weird texture covering the rest of the ceiling? I want to move the fixture so it is centered over the island, so the ceiling is going to have to be smoothed out. I am still trying to figure the best way to accomplish this with my own minimal DIY talents.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Paint

Since we realized that we had no hope of affording to have the exterior re-stuccoed, we decided to have the shingles painted instead and pretend that it was stucco. We (I) chose a color from the Sherwin Williams Arts & Crafts historic color pallette called Roycroft Brass. I am so happy with the results, but we haven't heard any comments from the neighbors. Not one comment and it's been painted for more than 6 months. I am guessing they're not so happy with the one pea-soup colored house in a sea of white houses. Oh well...

The Alamo

So this is it, my home, when I first saw it, I said, "what the hell is it? the Alamo?". Then I saw the interior and fell in love. My husband Chris asked me how I felt about it. I could see the fear in his eyes. House shopping hadn't been easy, I was really, annoyingly, picky. It was a huge relief to both of us when this one was 'perfect'.

We've been here a year and a half and things are just getting exciting, so I thought I'd start this blog to document my mistakes, frustration and despair.