Jul 16, 2012

House Crashing! Charming 1920s Bungalow

I'm taking a break from the guest room vanity to let the next coat of paint dry and to do my first ever house crashing post!  Yay!!

My in-laws just bought a new house!  Well, an old house.  As in 91 years old.  It's in the cute historic area of Everett (which Steve and I love).  They got an amazing deal on the place, too.  They let us come over and take a sneak peek.

It's cute, and small- just over 1,000 square feet.  After my darling sister-in-law gets married in December, it'll be the perfect size for the two of them.  If you count the partially-finished basement (which includes a work bench and an office), the square footage goes up to a little over 1,600 square feet.  I think my favorite thing about the house is the property.  The yard is just gorgeous.  And huge.  It's a large lot for Everett, and the previous owner obviously loved to tinker in the yard.  There's a white picket fence, a potting shed, a storage shed, a fireplace, raspberries and boysenberries and grapes, rhodies and day-lilies and a wide variety of perfectly pruned trees.

The driveway.  The small building in the center used to be a garage.

The yard, as seen from the house.

The potting shed.
View of the house from the west side of the yard.

We've already decided that there are backyard barbecues and lawn games in our future. 

The house itself is a little less spectacular.  OK, a lot less.  But it has miles of potential.  The main issue with the house is that the previous owner was a smoker.  In fact, she left a pack of Winstons in the kitchen when she moved out.  The whole house smells like a musty, smoky old person.  But there are things you can do about that.

Here's the front entrance.  There are purple clematis climbing up the trellis above the front door.  At this time of the year, they are huge and blooming like crazy.  I love the little cove detail in the overhang.  You can also see a little deck between the main house and the garage/lavender room (you'll see what I mean in a minute).


The exterior will need to be painted within 45 days, as per their insurance.  Luckily, we know some people who just painted the exterior of their house in a very agreeable shade of taupey-gray and ended up with seven (!!) gallons of leftover paint that they'd be happy to share.

Once inside, I immediately noticed four things.  The smell.  The carpet was in rough shape.  The wall colors.  The wood paneling on half of the ceiling.  Again, though, tons of potential.  Here's the view from the front door.

To the left.
To the right.

So here's the thing.  In the pictures, the yellow reads as soft and buttery.  In real life it looks like butter that's been left out uncovered for too long.  It's quite jarring.  It won't be a problem, though, because of the old smoking person smell.  The best way to get rid of the smell from a previous owner is to put a coat of Killz on the walls and ceiling and then repaint, and to replace the carpet, both of which were already on the agenda.  Just out of curiosity, my FIL ripped up part of the carpet in the room to see what was underneath.  Wood floors!  We took a palm sander to the overspray to see if they were hardwood floors and what do you know.  They are real hardwood floors!  In fact, we discovered that the area where the paneled ceiling is used to be a separate room, and the hardwood runs from just this side of the paneled ceiling area all the way to the kitchen (at least).  What a find!!

Screw the yellow walls, we've got hardwood, people!!

So the major plans for this area are repainting and refinishing the hardwood floors.  The area to the left of the front door will be a dining room and the area to the right will be a small sitting room/breakfast area (there was talk of a cafe table and perhaps a bench).

The paneled ceiling area will likely become the master bedroom.  There is talk of creating a wall (not sure if it will be walled in or just screened somehow).  It's right next to a tiny bedroom (I have no pics of it, sorry) that is bright blue.  We dubbed it The Aquarium Room.  The plan is to make a door between the two rooms and turn The Aquarium Room into a master closet.  Again, both areas need some serious paint help and new carpet.  I suggested painting the ceiling paneling white to create a clean, cozy, cottage-y feel.  This is the picture I used to support my argument.

Via My Scandinavian Home

I know that my MIL and Steve have both been itching to install a barn door somewhere- I think between the master bedroom and master closet would be a perfect area.  Here's the inspiration pic that both of them pinned.

via Design Sponge

The previous owner apparently had a thing for Coca-Cola.  Just look at their kitchen.  Bright red paint.  Coke window treatments.  Coke bottle wallpaper trim.  Coke-themed plaques.  The light fixture is even Tiffany-styled Coke logos.

I'll take a Diet Pepsi.

But, look at those cabinets!  Floor to ceiling, baby.

Winstons and peanuts in the cupboard.

The opposite side of the room is lacking flow.  The dishwasher is a portable one, but the kitchen faucet doesn't fit with the coupling, so it just gets rolled into the bathroom (through the closed door right next to it) for use.

Red overload.

I'm not sure how much the appliances can be re-arranged without some major changes (water/electrical), but as far as aesthetics go, there's already plans in the works.  Obviously repainting.  I think my MIL would like to enlist my help in painting the cabinets.  I think her plan is to add some half-round to the doors to create some architectural detail and then paint them white.  She'd really love black counter tops, as well.  I desperately want to know if that hardwood runs all the way through the kitchen.  I think a dark stained hardwood would make the perfect backdrop for the cabinets once they're done.  Here's the inspiration pic my MIL had in mind for the cabinets.

Very pretty.

 Then there's the bathroom off the kitchen.  It's a one bathroom house, so it doubles as a utility room.  It's very long and skinny, and the way the fixtures are arranged is just... weird.  The toilet is tucked right up next to the vanity, which is placed at exactly the narrowest point in the bathroom- directly in front of the door.  In fact, the shower door has to stay open if you want to get off the toilet without running the risk of head-butting the shower door.

Safety hazard.

Plans for that side of the bathroom include replacing the cracked blue floor tile, replacing the aging tub and insert with a step-in shower, and (hopefully) moving the toilet to the wall with the random swatch of blue paint.

Here's the opposite side of the bathroom.  The in-laws are planning on getting rid of the washer and dryer and getting a full-size stackable set that will live where the dryer is now.  They'd like to put up a half-wall about where the caddy is now and put a built-in vanity on the other side, which will free up the walking space in that room.

Can't believe there's not crazy paint in here too.

Here's the inspiration pic my MIL pinned for the vanity.  Imagine it where the washer is right now.  Nice, huh?

LOVE the tile backsplash.

Beyond the kitchen there's a narrow walkway.  The left leads to the basement.  The door in the middle hallway leads to the alley access, and the right leads to what used to be the garage and is now a (hold on to your hats, folks) eye-popping lavender master bedroom.

The exact shade of purple Peeps chicks.

The in-laws are thinking this would be an awesome family room/den.  They'd like to knock out part of the wall and put in French doors to open to the lawn.  Obviously it would need paint, but it's not that far from the kitchen, and it's the biggest room in the house, which makes it the best room for the family to congregate (since the Williams family is now comprised of six not-so-tiny people).

I think transforming this place will be a long row to hoe for them and quite a few years in the making, but they're handy and creative and I can't wait to see the in-laws have a good time with this place!

Thanks for letting us house-crash, Dennis and Dawn!

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