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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Restoring the Parlor

The afternoon of February 18, 2007 we met our realtor to take the first interior tour of the house.

We entered the summer kitchen and were awestruck by the 1915 South Bend Malleable wood cook stove. We knew if we bought the house, certainly we'd be requesting the stove.
1915 South Bend Malleable Wood Cookstove
Past the summer kitchen we opened the kitchen door and found the robin's egg blue 1950s kitchen. There were four doors in the kitchen, one door in the center of each wall. From what I could see, the house looked like someone just got up and left. Beautiful tall 10.5 ft. ceilings, but crumbling walls.
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Photo above is the west wall. We removed the door and odd placed window from the kitchen. Below is the new kitchen sink, same west wall, with a larger window to bring light into the dark kitchen.
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Getting back to the story:
We continued through a tall swinging door, entering the dining room, and immediately to the right an open pocket door revealed the 16' x 20' parlor and an enormous arched spandrel. My jaw dropped. We'd been in love with the exterior of this house and pined for it for six long years. It was a thrill to take a tour of the interior--and close to our dream of purchasing and restoring/refreshing the house.
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This is the photo of the parlor I took that day.

1893 Victorian
Mom, me, and friend Christine steamed and scraped wallpaper June/July 2007 in the parlor, dining room, and adjacent two bedrooms closed off by more spandrels and pocket doors. We had a huge fan to keep us cooler. Although standing on a scaffold steaming wallpaper could hardly be called keeping your cool. Climbing up and down the scafford kept our legs as strong as monkeys.

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Here's an example of the faus bois woodwork. (painted woodwork--a fashion craze). Our original home owner was in the lumber business and could have had any woodwork he wanted, but chose to have artisan faux finish the pine woodwork to look like quarter sawn oak, and mahoghany. Below is a photo of me sitting on the floor, repairing chips from the faux bois woodwork. I used oil paint to retouch the baseboards (burnt umber, burnt sienna, and yellow orche).
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Here's a photo of the repaired living walls (about six weeks to repair/resurface), ready for priming and wall color. At first I painted the room a light olive--a hideous color that offered no contrast to the faux bois woodwork. I chose to paint the parlor all over again, two more coats--this time a beautiful brown. Of course the brown walls photograph differently in color depending upon the time of day.
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5 comments:

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Linda-

It's amazing the transformation you performed on your house. Absolutely breathtaking! Your artistic eye saw the beauty and potential in a house that others might have overlooked.

I love all your spandrels and pocket doors. It looks like there were a lot of original features still there! But you guys really beautified it and probably even exceeded the original splendor. No wonder you pined for this for 6 years!

I love reading your posts about your house and projects. You really inspire me!

-Pam

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I just came across your blog while searching on google for victorian farmhouse. I am so drawn to these houses and just wanted to see what was out there.

I am so glad you are doing this blog because I love decorating, diy and victorian farmshouses even though I don't have one!!

This probably doesn't matter to you but there are so many blog parties for table settings and everything you do that you could participate in for more people to see your beautiful home!! However, I understand the time it takes to do that and you are obviously quite busy!!

Anyway, you have a new follower and I will continue to go through your blog to see the transformation!! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Love your house. What kind of cabinets did you use in the kitchen? I am remodeling my 1890's queen anne and need some ideas for the kitchen

nancyinc@gmail.com

Waitress at the Mint said...

Just stunning! Love the detail woodwork, fabulous job on all of it.

Paula Beattie said...

I am drooling over the spandrels and pocket doors! Wonderful job.