House Tour: The Befores

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As promised, here are some photos of the new casa! Our plan for the next few years is to restore what we can, replace what we can’t restore, update a few things, and generally have fun with it. So without further ado, let’s dive in, shall we?!

The house was designed and built in 1965-66 and has mid-century modern elements, as well as Mediterranean, and even a few Hansel & Gretel/Storybook details, which I'll snap some pics of and add to this gallery as I get to it. Although the house is tired, many of the finishes and fixtures are original to the house and are in great shape, considering they're over 50 years old.

Most of the images below are from the real estate listing, as I wanted to show some truly "before" photos:

EXTERIOR

Those aqua doors, though

Those aqua doors, though

It's hard to tell from the photos, but the outside of the house is in pretty rough shape. It needs to be completely scraped, caulked, and repainted. There were also a few (thankfully non-structural) cracks in the foundation that had been letting water into the basement for who knows how long. A woodpecker had pecked a 5" diameter hole into one of the exterior walls, and a family of squirrels had taken residence in the attic. In addition, the doors and windows are all original and need some restoration and/or replacement to make them fully operational. The roof is about 20 years old, so we know that will need to be replaced in the next 5-10 years. The yard and landscaping is also pretty overgrown, so we'll need to address that. We did put gutters on the house before winter hit, and I think that was a pretty wise investment, as the basement has stayed dry (knock on wood, as we're supposed to be getting yet another storm today).  Now let's move inside...

INTERIORS

The foyer, looking in from the front doors

The foyer, looking in from the front doors

The house's layout is not quite an L-shape, but more like a boomerang with two "wings" radiating out from the front doors and foyer. To the center and left are all the "public" spaces (living/dining room, family room, kitchen, garage) and to the right are the "private" spaces (bedrooms and baths). 

View into the foyer from the living room.

View into the foyer from the living room.

Underneath that green carpet is a pristine hardwood floor!

Another view of the living room...

Another view of the living room...

The dining space, looking down into the living room.

The dining space, looking down into the living room.

Today, most homeowners want an open kitchen-dining combo, but this house has an open dining-living room instead. I think that's pretty smart--keep the dirty dishes and cooking smells out of sight when you're entertaining! As Frank can attest, I'm the messiest cook on the planet. Speaking of cooking...

The simple, understated kitchen.

The simple, understated kitchen.

The kitchen is pretty far-out, man. It's got the original formica countertops, some crazy floral fabric and matching drapes, and custom maple cabinets with Spanish-style brass medallions on each front panel. The backsplash is a baby blue arabesque tile, which is gorgeous and in great condition. In short, I love it, although I admit we need to take it down a notch (or three). When we moved in, it even had the original General Electric stove and "radar range" with its own custom setting for hot dogs! The sink is also original to the house, and aqua as well (noticing a theme?). 

Matching wallcovering/drapes! 

Matching wallcovering/drapes! 

The original GE range and oven still worked! But took about 35 minutes for the burners to get hot...

The original GE range and oven still worked! But took about 35 minutes for the burners to get hot...

A close-up of the range. All the food groups represented...

A close-up of the range. All the food groups represented...

Off the kitchen is Mike Brady's office, I mean, the family room:

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Did I mention every room has a NuTone intercom? If you need pork chops, no need to yell all the way down to the kitchen! Super civilized, yo.

Did I mention every room has a NuTone intercom? If you need pork chops, no need to yell all the way down to the kitchen! Super civilized, yo.

Heading back past the foyer, is a hallway to this amazing bathroom. Hope you like blue! Also notice the cabinets and hardware match the ones in the kitchen, they are just painted cream. Original formica in here too.

Blue tile, blue sink, blue toilet...

Blue tile, blue sink, blue toilet...

Cutting-edge 1966 American Standard baby blue toilet. Not a low-flow plumbing fixture, as evidenced by our water bill.

Cutting-edge 1966 American Standard baby blue toilet. Not a low-flow plumbing fixture, as evidenced by our water bill.

The light fixtures are dreamy though! The wallpaper, not so much.

The light fixtures are dreamy though! The wallpaper, not so much.

Past the blue bathroom are three comfortable bedrooms, including the master bed and bath. The master bathroom is PINK and I'll add some photos soon, it's in really rough shape and we don't really use it right now. 

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Another bedroom...RED SHAG CARPET, BABY!

We closed on the house at 8:30 a.m. and by 10:30 a.m. this carpet was in a dumpster...

We closed on the house at 8:30 a.m. and by 10:30 a.m. this carpet was in a dumpster...

Heading downstairs, is a whole new world of wood paneling, another fire place, and a wet bar! The basement has a lot of water damage (we think the water heater gave out, in addition to the leaks from rain and snow), and is in need of some major TLC. Right now it's just storage for all of our junk as we work on the rest of the house.

Wish the sellers had left those cool and kinda creepy crests over the fireplace.

Wish the sellers had left those cool and kinda creepy crests over the fireplace.

So there you have it! She's a little rough around the edges right now but we know she was well-designed and solidly built--and loved. We've done a few projects already (replaced the appliances, pulled up carpet, and scraped some painted-over wallpaper, for example) and we've got a lot more to come. But, we see this place as our home for good, and so we can take our time and enjoy the process. Next, I plan to back-track a bit and talk about the process of finding her, and putting in a solid, realistic offer on fixer-upper (if you're not totally terrified after looking at these photos--ha!).