The first floor of this house is rather a paradox for Sara and I. There are the rigid rules of decorum the Victorian Builders left for us and the more relaxed 20th century that we live in. This paradox is never more apparent then how you enter the house. In the Victorian times, you would have used the front door off of the porch. In todays world, you drive your car to the back of the house between the kitchen wing and the carriage house and enter in the kitchen like most people do.
I however aspire to be like the Victorians and enter through the front door. It breaks my heart every time a guest comes and they miss out on seeing the inviting porch and the original staircase in the entry. Since buying the house only 10 people may have ever entered the house for the first time through the front door. It is a problem not easily remedied. Problem 1. We have no sidewalks on our street so everyone literally drives to our house even if its a block away and Problem 2. There is no street parking for blocks so everyone parks there car in the back and enters through the back door. My dreams of welcoming guest at the front door are never realized. I blame my father’s somewhat southern roots for my need to show my guests proper hospitality.
The Pictures you are seeing are from when we toured the house for the first time. My goal is each room will get a post with the changes we are making.
So I will digress and start the tour on the front porch.
The front porch would originally have been open to the elements with some detailed lattice and trim work. But at some point before 1969 the porch became enclosed and all traces of what was here was lost. On the bright side this left the original front door and front window trim intact as well as the clapboard siding. I want to refinish the floors. Paint all the walls white and do the ceiling in a haint blue paint.
Upon entering the front door we have the Stair Hall or the Entry Way as Sara calls it. The stained glass window may not be original and was added much latter I believe but that is for a different time. It unfortunately has a rather large crack in the glass that will either need to be repaired or replaced. Maybe will put a new window in to be more energy efficient and then put the stained glass back in over the new window.
Also we are missing a light for the entry but we have a switch. The previous owners also wallpapered the ceilings in the entry, living room, dinning room, and upstairs hallway. Its supposed to look like a tin ceiling or something. It’s kinda charming so it is staying for now….
Turning into the living Room you have a gorgeous original stained glass window and original trim. The crown molding was added by the previous owner and painted (beige? taupe?). Unfortunately we don’t have the doors that went between the dinning room and the living room. It makes me sad but in a way it keeps the spaces open. There is evidence of portiers here. For those who don’t know what portiers are they were curtains that hung in doors for privacy and to keep out drafts. I had hoped that we would find the doors in the attic or in the carriage house but no such luck.
The dinning room is the largest room in the house and the room with the most doors. It has it’s picture rail which I suspect maybe original and also there is a weird patch in floors where there was a trap door to the cellar. We will need to paint this room.
Off the dinning room is the sole bathroom with a shower. I have no clue what the space even remotely looked like originally. It is lovely but was definitely done in the 2010 era when Tuscan everything was in. It stays for now…
The second room off the dinning room is The Library. Here we have the amazing double doors that probably matched the doors in the living room/ dinning room. Let me say this, The Library will be fantastic. It will be glorious. It will be our pride. Our joy. Can you tell Sara and I love books. Sara has assured me that once our libraries have combined we can never get divorced. I could not agree more.
This finally leaves us with the Kitchen Wing Addition. At some point the original kitchen was torn down or really reconfigured and this was existing kitchen was built somewhere between 1950-1969 then remodeled again in 1999 and in 2010ish. It’s actually fairly large and has a walk in pantry that probably held a fridge at some point. Also off the eating area is the back door (which is what we use to get in), the stairs to the basement, and the half bath. I am told by Leo’s daughter that the eating area used to be a laundry room up until 1999.
Finally we have the backyard and Carriage house.
Thus our tour of the first floor is up. Stay tuned for the second floor.