The Befores

side-view-gaines-st

I’ve been sitting here for almost twenty minutes trying to think of how to avoid using the phrase “our journey” in this post, and it’s just not working, so I’ll just get it out of the way now:  Before our journey begins…we want to document our journey…our journey will be a long one full of…no one said our journey would be easy…if you want to see how our journey began…

OK, I think that covers it, and I’m feeling better…cleansed.  Now on to the house info.– here’s what we do actually know about the history of the home:  We know for sure that the land was purchased in 1890, and that the home was built on the front of the lot shortly after.  The style of the house is technically “Folk Victorian.”  For an excellent description of the style, click here. Essentially, it’s a less fancy version of the classic, super elaborate style of Victorian architecture…still lots of nice molding and high ceilings and a large staircase, but nothing too over-the-top or luxurious.  The house is like that friend you have that has a respectable job and goes to church every Sunday, but is also not afraid of a few day beers at a tailgate.

Beyond the construction date of the home, most of what else we know is pretty cloudy.  Our realtor told us that it was possibly used as a boarding house during the time that the town’s railroad was being built; the previous owner says she has “more stories than she can write down” about the house, and a coworker of my husband’s says he knows the house from the week-long parties that were hosted there in the 90’s.  I’m highly curious to find out more, but for now, here are some pictures and descriptions of how she looked when we first saw her.

The view from the front door:

staircase

Pinterest tells me this must have been a super common layout for Victorian homes.  I’m hoping to create a more inviting entryway like the one below eventually.

pin

Here’s the bathroom we’re planning to completely gut and refinish.  Save your gasps for later…the tile is not cute in person; it’s not even tile, actually.  And the shower is the size of my toddler, so it all needs to go, besides the sink.  We can re-glaze her and she’ll be back in business.

hallway-bathroom

There are just SO many rooms in this house.  Not in a “this house is so huge” way.  In an “open floor plans did not exist back in olden times” kind of way.  When you walk in, there’s a room…and then another room….and then a room…and then this room, which I would consider the living room.  This is where our old pal the huge haunted piano lives.  He plays tunes for free at night–mostly ones that sound like they’re the soundtrack of a Vaudevillian circus.

living-room

Oh what a cute little nook in the kitchen!  Jk jk–this is just in some random other room.

\blue-room-skink

THIS is the kitchen (release those gasps you’ve been saving).  I have so many questions about this room:  1.  Where in the…?  2.  How in the…?  3.  What in the…?  Needless to say, we’ll need to work on this area a bit.

kitchen

This full bathroom is directly off the kitchen.  Although the tub would make dinner and bath time with the kids pretty streamlined, we are planning to change this into a half-bath / laundry area (would you STOP about the tile!  It’s fake and ugly in real life.  I can’t help that I take amazing pictures).

back-bathroom

Cool view from the top of the stairs.  The second set of stairs lead to the attic.  My husband says no dead animals are up there that we know of, but he did find an old school beaver trap, plus tons of old empty handgun boxes.  I’ll be staying on the main, non-secretive, non-animal floors, thanks.

attic-stairs

Here’s a room upstairs that has tons of shelves and a sink, and we have no idea what it is or what to do with it yet.  Anyone need a couple of rickety tables?

upstairs-shelf-room

This is the view from outside of the shelf/sink room above.  Really hoping one day to have an herb garden here again, since that seems like what it used to be.  Mr. Rosemary bush is still holding strong.

upstairs-garden-view

And there’s the back yard.  Super excited to have this space for our girls and sheepdog, Olaf.  He’s hoping to finally live out his herding dreams here, and we’re hoping that the other 5-ish acres that you can’t see past the tree line don’t have some kind of Native American burial ground on them or something…We really have no idea what’s back there, but probably it’s fine.

back-yard

There are many more run-down rooms and other weird quirks about the house not pictured (more to come on those spaces in future posts), but we’re hoping with a little TLC, we can make her as nice as she once was.  For now, I’d like to end as I began, with talk of a different sort of Journey.  Don’t Stop Believin‘ that we can make this home beautiful again.  If you Faithfully follow along, you’ll see that anyone can make an old home Any Way you Want it, and we welcome any comments or advice with Open Arms.

OK, I’m done.  Next up–painting time!

 

 

 

 

 

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