The Small Treasures in Old Houses

Every time we watch “This Old House” and see the story of how one family discovered a historic treasure in the attic, basement, beneath the floorboards, etc…we get excited that the next one might be us 🙂  In our first home renovation, we discovered a treasure trove of photos and writing notebooks from the original owners and their 12 yr old daughter.  In fact, we discovered all of her 6th grade English notebooks from the 1940s. But ever since then, nada….until now!
Actually, I’m not sure this a treasure find…but it sure is interesting. When we demo’d out the master bathroom, we found a secret room behind a hinged bookshelf…which was a VERY promising start.  But then, we we examined the room, I sat perplexed at the sight of aluminum foil covering all of the walls.  According to Jeff and his contractors, we had  definitely stumbled on a “grow room” for marijuana.  In the 1970s, the house was owned by an artists’ cooperative, so we’re just going to assume that’s when the room was created.  Sorry artists- don’t get mad at our stereotyping!
Other than our grow room, we discovered a very un-PC newspaper clipping from World War II re: the UN and Chinese-Japanese relations and a beautiful fabric wallcovering upstairs that will be my inspiration for the master bedroom colors.  If anyone knows what buildings are depicted in the wallcovering, I’d love to find out!


Construction Underway!


Beginning the Framing for Master


New Opening Between Dining and Kitchen


The new bathroom and walk-in closet for the guest suite


Clean slate for the kitchen

The construction has kicked off!  In the past 10 days, we have completed some minor interior demolition (particularly on the 2nd floor), framed in all 3.5 baths (somehow this 3000 sf house only had 1 bath), completed minor framing throughout, and started the electrical and plumbing rough-ins.   Red River Restorations, our favorite window restoration company, has also taken away the original windows and are in the process of meticulously restoring them to their original functionality.  All of the fixtures and tile have been ordered, and that kind of shopping makes us more excited than shopping for clothes!

That’s not to say it’s looking pretty yet, but the flow of the home is definitely starting to come together.

The Beginning…

"Before" Living Room

Do you see it?  The incredible crown moldings?  The high ceilings? The antique flooring?  That amazing piano? Yeah, yeah…so  the walls are missing.  That’s the simple stuff 🙂  We like to look past those kinds of things to really peer into the bones of a house.  And the bones of this one are mighty strong.  Do you remember that scene in “Titanic” when the decrepid oceanliner that’s been at the bottom of the sea for a hundred years slowly comes back to life, all shiny and glorious?  The fireplace, the piano, the china, the hair comb,  etc…? That’s what we picture when we see this image.