Our appreciation for old house charm runs deep. Today I’m sharing a home tour with all the little details that made us fall madly in love with this old house.
When my husband and I were newlyweds on the search for our first home, there was really only one type of home we were looking for. It had to be old, with plenty of character and vintage charm.
“Fixer-Upper” or “Needs Some Love” was basically our price range and things like taking down wallpaper, adding paint, and ripping up old carpet didn’t intimidate us. I mean, we could totally see past those things… unlike the average House Hunters couple.
Lucky for us our apartment landlords at the time wanted to downsize and offered to show us their house. There was no question that THIS WAS THE HOUSE FOR US! This house was full of charm and we were instantly smitten.
And while that was more than 15 years ago, we still LOVE this house like newlyweds on their honeymoon!
We have poured hours and hours of sweat equity into it, weaving our personalities and love for vintage into every room. But today, I’m joining a few of my blogging friends to share those special little details that sold us on our very first walk through.
(Head to the bottom of this post for all the links)
This is an American Foursquare style home located in small rural town in Indiana, built in 1914. It doesn’t look very “prairie-esque” but it still has the primary characteristics of a foursquare, which include a pyramidal roof, simple columns supporting the porch roof and square rooms inside (four main rooms on top and four main rooms on bottom).
When you choose to live in an old house, there are a few things you can count on
- Beautiful and substantial trim work
- Unique character and details
- A well-built home with quality craftsmanship
There are also a few things you might have to cross off your list:
- Big closets
- Separate laundry room and/or office space
- Master bathroom/suite
This just means you have to be extra creative and innovative with your old home space. But I’m here to show you that the character you gain is soooooo worth it!
One of the first things we fell in love with was this two-sided staircase. I love the simple mission-style railing and the curved bottom step. The staircase happens to be the first thing you see when you walk in our front door. It’s also a pretty spot to decorate for the holidays.
Once you turn the corner you can either head upstairs or right into the kitchen! This was totally a bonus for us… and many, many moons ago I painted that chevron pattern on the risers. It is still one of my absolute favorite projects to date.
When we looked at this house, it had wall-to-wall carpet that was very dated. The previous homeowners thought they might need to replace it before they sold the house – but we purchased it as is when we realized the original hardwood floors were hiding underneath.
Sure, they aren’t in perfect condition, but the marks from all the history in this house just gives it more character – right?!?
None of the woodwork outside of the kitchen and bedrooms upstairs had been painted – not once!
So, it’s not my favorite shade and sometimes takes on an orange-y hue, but we’re keeping it. Now, I admit there have been times when everyone was painting their woodwork that I wanted to leave the stained wood behind forever in favor of a crisp white. But we didn’t.
Trends come and go, and we decided this is just one of those details that simply belongs to this house. As long as we’re here, the wood isn’t changing.
This large open living room space in the front of the house was also very convincing. We have 5 – YES 5 – huge windows in this room. They are also extra wide, giving it a cottage feel while letting in large amounts of morning light.
The windows also cost us a little extra $$ because every window covering has to be CUSTOM FIT. I guess they just don’t make windows this wide anymore… I call that a win for us! 🙂
And speaking of wood trim, these solid oak pocket doors are a beautiful and virtually “untouched” detail of our home. To think that no one painted these doors in the first 85 years of this home’s life – then how could we?!?
We don’t close them very often but it’s a beautiful way to separate the dining room and living room.
(Real life note: We have a lab and this is where we keep our dog cage, not the prettiest accessory but it works for our family – Remember when I mentioned that you have to be creative with spaces in your older home?)
Speaking of creative spaces, this dining room also serves as my home office. Carving out space that allowed me to work from home and be creative was critical. There were no extra rooms in the house we could simply turn into an office or craft space. But I’ve embraced this little nook as my own. And more often than not, this dining room table is filled with the latest maker project.
That’s also why I wanted my creative space to look like our decor – rather than out-of-place office furniture.
I recently just discovered this vintage watchmaker’s desk. I had been on the hunt for a pretty and vintage-looking standing desk. This happens to be the perfect height for me to stand for much of the day.
It fits nicely in this little corner and I’ve creatively repurposed the window seat (cold air return) for my printer and paper organization.
And while this last reason might seem a bit superficial, we can’t apologize because it was an absolute must-have on our list. This house had two bathrooms!! YAAASSS!
Because we both grew up in old houses with just one bath… And, we were currently living in a one bedroom apartment with a postage-stamp-sized bathroom that wasn’t meant for sharing. Basically, our marriage depended on it. 🙂
Many years ago a homeowner converted the back porch into mudroom and bathroom. Our laundry is just inside this little cove by the bathroom. And we gained a little backdoor mudroom before you head into the kitchen.
And finally, this old house also had amazing outdoor spaces.
The front porch was solid with its brick pillars and all the original wood beadboard in place. We always wanted an aqua porch ceiling like you see on old farmhouses, so that’s what we did with ours. Our front porch is the perfect place to watch a summer rainstorm (and stay dry).
Plus, when my second child wouldn’t stop crying (he was super colicky), we would head outside to this swing right here, where he would instantly calm down. This porch was a lifesaver for our sanity in those early years of his life.
The yard was not-too-large and not-too-small. We love container gardens but we don’t love mowing, you know?! There was an existing deck that we eventually replaced, and a quaint old shed for storing our yard stuff… as well as a few of our flea market finds! Read more about that here.
Remember when I won a contest that helped furnish my dreamy outdoor space?! We love sitting in our backyard. The space above with the glider/rockers on our deck is one of our favorite places to unwind in the evenings.
There are so many more things I love about our house, but these are the details that immediately caught our eye. I could go on and on but I tried to narrow it down for you.
Sure, there are little things I wish I could change but in the end, there isn’t another house that fits our family better right now. We are so very lucky!
Now, I’d love for you to check out the rest of the homes in this unique tour – it’s so fun taking a peek inside and finding out which details mean the most to homeowners.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour… and you can also catch a glimpse of my house in the August/September issue of Flea Market Decor magazine! I’m still pinching myself that they featured our home and we get to share a little of our home’s soul with everyone else.