House Tour: Part One

Here is the house in all of its original glory.

Dated walls, floors, counters, cupboards, bathtubs, and paint.

But there is potential there, I swear it.

You just have to look under all the other layers… lots and lots of layers.


I own a house. A very very small house. And all 590 square feet of it is in dire need of updating. I’m not talking omg-that-wallpaper-is-so-1990. I mean omg-that-3/4-sized-tub-is-so-1930. True story, the date was written on the bottom of it when we hauled it out. Although the house does have some of the charm you’d expect from something built before our ‘builder basic’ era that bathtub was NOT one of them.

Such a sad looking house. Unfortunately at the moment it looks about the same on the outside, with the addition of a sprinkling of snow.  When the weather warms up we’ll be moving our efforts outside: fence for the backyard, redoing the front porch, painting the stucco (argh I HATE stucco), and a little touch of landscaping.

But lets turn around the corner and step in the side door, which I never got a picture of. But that’s probably for the best, it makes the front door look like it belongs on fifth avenue.

Here is an inside shot of the door. I’ll warn you now; this renovation is not for the faint of heart. I love looking at pictures of houses that people are in the middle of tearing down walls and ripping up floors, yet there isn’t a stray piece of drywall or wayward pile of scrap flooring to be found. It makes me believe in a world where puppy dogs play with unicorns at the end of every rainbow.

Looking in as soon as you open the door you are greeted with the first of many lovely paint choices made by our previous tenants, artfully distressed to match the worn vinyl stairs that leads to the kitchen on the left.

Looking straight from the door you have a full view on the less than full height basement. The stairs are steep and awkward, with very little headroom. But the beautiful ivy wallpaper and checkerboard tile can’t help but draw a body to take a closer look.

We will have to resist for the moment and head up to the kitchen.

At the point I got around to taking pictures we had already started tearing apart this ‘kitchen’. The two rectangular peachy spots are where two upper cupboard hung previously. The only two upper cupboards. Not much storage in this kitchen. On the wall opposite of this one was a small 1 foot cupboard beside the stove, which you can see in front of the window in this picture.  That’s it, not exactly the kind of place gourmet meals are created.

You can see that along with tearing out the cupboards we also started tearing up the floor. We were hoping that maybe, just maybe, there might be some hardwood under the multiple layers of vinyl. No such luck, but we still hauled out the tile and got rid of it. You know that funky smell old houses always have? We discovered it seems to be attached to the layers of dirt and grim held within the substrates of kitchen tiles.

This picture, and the previous one were both taken from a very small, dark hallway that separates the house.  All the original trim in the house is dark wood and the hallway has 5 doorways in it: bathroom, two bedrooms, living room and kitchen, it also has a big dark cupboard at the one end. The house was built back when every room was closed off from each other and this hallway was  so small that if one person was coming out of the bedroom and another was trying to go into the bathroom you hit a traffic jam.

Also that giant grate on the floor has been the bane of many midnight feet trying to make their way round the house. I did a small victory dance when we removed it.

Next up on Part Two of our tour: floral wallpaper border,  and gold retro (not in the good way) fireplace accessories.

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