My husband and I bought our first house on October 18, 2013.
It's a 1920 Dutch colonial, a bit over 1400 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, kitchen, living room, formal dining room, mud room and 1 car detached garage. We love the fact that it's in a cute village area within walking distance of lots of shops, bars and restaurants, as well as the commuter train, and that it's in a great school district. We also love that it has the 1920s character, including original red pine floors, plaster walls, glass door knobs, a archway separating the living and dining rooms, and original window and door trim.
The previous owner bought the house in 1942 (!!!) and is turning 97 years old on Christmas day. Needless to say, it needs a lot of updating. We always pictured our house as being something liveable, but that we could fix up to our tastes, rather than paying for someone else's renovations. Here are the photos of the house in original condition when we bought it...
We're not super handy, and for the first part we're on sort of a deadline as we'd like to move in EVENTUALLY (currently scheduled for 12/14), so we're hiring out a lot and doing what we can when we can. Definitely picking design elements ourselves.
Updates so far/continuing:
- replaced ALL original wiring (knob and tube! getting insurance was fun!). Electrician put each room on a different circuit (multiple in the kitchen), added outlets upstairs (there were NONE in the room that is going to be my full time home office), added overhead lighting in the basement and living room, and changed out all of the light fixtures throughout the house. The walls looked horrifying after this step, but the light fixtures looked better!
- had walls fixed, including all cracks from settling.
- painted all walls, ceiling and trim (yes, the living room is a light rose color in the above pictures - and the master bedroom was pink).
Colors chosen (all Behr): - living room and dining room: classic taupe - master bedroom: gentle rain - guest room/future nursery: pale cucumber - office: geyser - bathroom/kitchen/ceilings/trim: powdered snow
- replaced yellow/gold laminate floor in kitchen with grayish-white ceramic tile, with gray grout
- removed all carpet throughout house and have all original red pine floors refinished with oil-based poly.
That's phase 1!
Phase 2 includes: fencing the yard and doing basement stuff (replacing washer/dryer, replacing oil furnace and changing it to natural gas, possibly installing a sump pump/dealing with a slight water issue in one corner, possibly updating ductwork).
Phase 3: reconfiguring back entrance and dividing mudroom into separate entry and powder room, gutting kitchen and re-configuring it entirely, including moving a window up.
Phase 4: gutting and re-configuring main bathroom.
All that carpet came up yesterday (the green stuff went all the way to the upstairs hallway, and one bedroom had orange carpet), and the stairs match the floors, and are in pretty good shape! Our floor guy was impressed with their condition. We were going to paint the risers white, but I think we're going to leave the stairs all natural wood. They are buffing them today and possibly applying the first (of three) coat of poly. I was so excited to see them yesterday! They were dirty and a little stained when the 40+ year old carpet came up, but they look like old floors! They're great! And my guy promised they will still have that rich red color when he's done, which looks almost like a Brazilian cherry, not a cheaper pine.
Hopefully I'll have more pics this weekend with the floors done, and then some pics of the "done" rooms (bedrooms, and most of the living and dining rooms) before Christmas.
Adding in some floor plans of my proposed changes. The kitchen/entry/powder room will be changing to something similar to this (since the powder room is non-existent and the whole thing is an enclosed mudroom) and the layout of the bathroom will be changing to something similar to this (currently the toilet and sink are across from each other near the window and the bathtub is along the wall where the toilet and linen storage will be). Also, the back bedroom will be my office, and the second bedroom will be the guest room until we have kids - then my desk gets moved to the dining room, but hopefully I won't work at home full time then.
Please ignore the colors and horrible drawing skills!
To recap, we had a fire on 12/4/13. It started on the front porch and affected the walls and ceilings of the dining room, master bedroom and guest room (both of which are on the front of the house). Nothing majorly structural, although we found we needed a solid beam across the front of the house to hold up the roof.
We moved in (finally) May 18. We're not totally unpacked and organized yet, but I will do before and after photos of the master bedroom.
Before (when we had a showing at the house in August, right before submitting an offer):
After (New wiring, 2 additional outlets, new ceiling fan/light, all new drywall, new doors, door handles and hardware, new trim milled specifically to look like the old trim, and new windows, which are not the original wood windows, but the match the "new" windows downstairs that were installed by the previous owner. Also, the floor had to be patched and stained to match over on the side with the mirror/chair because of the firefighters sawing a hole in it. Most of it is the original floor.)
Walls: Behr Natural Gray Ceiling and trim: Behr Luster White Closet: "custom" Ikea system (Algot) installed by me over the course of about 9 hours. Dressers: Ikea Hemnes Slipper chair: Target Bed: Ikea Leirvik Fan: Home Depot (Hampton Bay)
I put the fall decorations out yesterday, so I though I'd share. Please compare with the listing photos in the OP!
Like all other rooms, we updated all of the electricity. We painted all walls, trim and ceilings. We ripped out the carpet and refinished the floors. We put up new switch places, curtains, and light fixtures. The living room did not have an overhead light fixture, so we added this ORB and wood ceiling fan, which I think has a bit of a 20s vibe to it.
Most of the furnishings were things I already had. Bookcases, TV stand and shoe cabinet are from Ikea. The brown living room curtains are from Home Goods, and I got them for about $60 total (6 panels).
I don't love the curtain rods, but they were super cheap (Ikea) and I was wary of choosing a metal because I already have several kinds of metal going on in the room, so white it is. We also dropped them a bit so you can see the trim above. We also have 9 foot ceilings, so it works. I think.
I'm just kicking around and looking at house pictures and I love your Dutch Colonial. I hope things are back to normal after the fire damage.
Do you mind if I ask how wide it is across the front? And does the front roof projection actually hang over the porch? It is hard to tell from the picture.
Hi! We're basically back to normal - having the porch steps poured (concrete instead of brick) and railings put on the porch this week, but we moved in on May 18 of last year and at that time, all of the interior work was done. It took a few more weeks for the siding and porch roof to be done. We're also re-doing some landscaping after the steps are done.
I *think* it's about 24 feet across. Probably a little wider, but the two rooms downstairs in the front are the living room and dining room and I think they are both 12 feet wide (and 17 feet and 20 feet long, respectively). So add in the exterior walls, and probably 25-26 feet total.
The top doesn't hang over the porch in this one. While the fire pretty much destroyed the porch roof, it also melted the siding off on the right side where the dining room is and continued up the exterior wall that way.
What's kind of interesting is that we have that gambrel-style bump out on all sides. Well, there's an addition on the back, so it's not there anymore, but as you can see in the first exterior picture it's almost like they crossed 2 dutch colonial style roofs in the middle. It gives us lots of extra space upstairs, IMO, as opposed to the single Dutch colonial style or a cape cod.
This year we did french drains and a sump pump in the basement and we're working on exterior stuff. We added some area rugs to several rooms, and put a new pull on the attic pull down ladder. So sadly, any fun major stuff is still to come! The second part of phase two (fence and replacing furnace and washer/dryer) might happen next year.