Thursday, October 14, 2010

House Tour

After last weekend's open house, I thought it might be fun to do a house tour here on the blog as well.  These are candid shots, taken just after church on Sunday.  My apologies in advance for the glare in some of these.  The sunny weather was perfect for the open house, but not so perfect for taking indoor pictures.

First up - the kitchen.

Pictured below is the north end of the kitchen, where we had to lower the cathedral ceiling.  That warbrobe pictured in the last post is going to go in the corner of this room to corral the toys currently overwhelming those MDF shelves that I abhor. 

And the 'kitchen-y' end of the kitchen: 

Most people disagree with my plans to paint these cupboards.  But so far that hasn't convinced me to give up my plans - namely, adding crown molding, painting all cupboards (except the island) off white, and replacing the door hardware, counters (again except the island) and sink.

Moving on to the dining room:
That cupboard in the corner of the room was a jelly cupboard from my grandparents' basement.  In 1997 I stripped the old paint off as a 4-H project.  Last month I sanded down glossy poly finish and put it back under paint.  I love the punch of color it adds to the room.

Next up - the office:

The white chest of drawers between the bookcases was left by the previous owners.  Eventually I want to clean it up, repaint it and change the hardware. 

Yes, we have two computer monitors.  (Charles only consents to living in an old house so long as I consent to allowing his modern toys in said old house.) 

The stacked cabinet on the right side of the above picture is easily the most commented on piece of furniture in our house.  It's also the first piece of furniture I ever bought.  I was 15 years old when I stumbled across it at an antique store in Marietta, Ohio. My parents and I were killing time before I could sign in for the week long archeology camp I was registered for at Marietta College. A "lawyer’s cabinet" was what the shop owner called it, but the price tag hanging from one of the drawers ($750) was too steep for my parents.  We left to check out other shops, but I was too smitten by the lawyer's cabinet to let it go that easily.  Just as we headed back to the van so I could check in at the archealogy camp the solution occurred to me.  I could buy the cabinet.  MyselfWith my own money.  (At 15 this was a novel idea.)

But by the time this solution occurred to me there was not enough time left for me to return to the antique store.  So once I was settled in at Marietta College for the week my parents returned to the shop.  My dad had promised to do his best for me bargaining with the shop owner.  If he could get the price down to six hundred dollars they would buy the cabinet for me.  Cell phones were still a novelty in 1995, so it was a few days before I was able to call home.  Of course, the first thing I asked about was the lawyer's cabinet.  My mom was apologetic, but she told me the shop's owner would not budge at all on his price.  When they picked me up at the end of the week, she promised, I could go back to the shop and try bargaining with him myself.

So I spent the week playing in the dirt and traipsing around Indian mounds.  And at the end of the week my mom made the drive back down to Marietta to pick me up.  When I got in the van I noticed the signature cardboard envelope of a 24 hour photo development place sitting - perhaps too conspicuously - on the console between the front seats.  As mom had to know I would, I immediately opened the envelope and began flipping through the pictures inside.  Somehow she coaxed me out of the van as I looked through the stack of pictures.  She had her camera ready at her side.  And as soon as I got to the picture of the lawyer's cabinet that they told me they hadn't bought sitting in our living room, right between the computer and rocking chair, mom took this picture:

The receipt for the lawyer's cabinet is still tucked in the back of one of the index card drawers. 
Dad had talked the shop owner down to $575.
But, jumping back to the present, we're up to the Einsel living room:

(Sorry about the glare in those.) 
And yes, I realize that a clock needs to go on that shelf instead of a picture - an ogee clock to be precise - but I'll talk about that more in another post.

Heading on upstairs:

This circa 1860's child's bed was a perfect fit for the little nook at the top of the stairs.  It originally belonged to my great great grandmother's sister, who left it one of my grandmother's cousins, who left it to me.  The quilt on it is an heirloom from Charles' side of the family.  His paternal grandmother began the quilt in 1953, when she was expecting her fourth child.  Sadly, the pregnancy ended in toxemia (eclampsia).  Baby Joseph Allen lived only one day.  His mother held on for 13 days.  Later, Charles' great grandmother finished the quilt that her daughter-in-law had begun. 

Here's the view of the stairway from inside the back bedroom:

And Cecilia's view from her bed:

Neil's view is through the windows pictured here:

And Charles and my room last:

The place has come a long way in just one year.  Still, it feels a bit sparse.  I'm constantly plotting what to hang on the walls and what other pieces of furniture would be a good fit.  Based on my experience with our last house, I expect the finishing details will take me years.  I'd rather live with a blank wall indefinately, waiting for something that feels perfect, than to put up a picture that feels mehhhh just because I have it on hand. 
That's the tour - although it's much better in person.  : )


  1. It looks beautiful even if it seems a little sparse. I have loved seeing your progress through Houseblogs. Keep up the good work.

  2. I really enjoyed the tour. You remind me of my daughter, she started refinishing furniture when she was 12. When I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday that year she said, "go to Webb's Antique Mall." Her first big purchase was a pie safe, I think she was 18 when she bought it. Kids like that are rare today. Keep posting, I enjoy following your progress. ;D

  3. Wonderful pics, so glad to see it moved in. I love the way the kitchen is turning out and I can't wait to see the new cabinet in there! Only other comment is that it's Charlie's paternal grandmother, not maternal. :)

  4. Milah - Thanks for the warm words. Your comment made me smile. :)

    Katie - Thanks for catching that! I've edited the post. Guess I need to do a better job minding my p's and m's. :)

  5. I am really interested in your dinning room table. I have a similar table - not nearly as nice looking - and it intimidates me to redo it. Do you have any suggestions?