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Mama and I had a great two days together working on her house. We spent our time scraping wallpaper from the plaster. If you’ve ever had the joy of scraping wallpaper that is glued to plaster covered by multiple layers of paint, then you can imagine what we did all day. It is slow work.
My great-great uncle built the house in 1912. Mama has pictures of it during different stages of construction. She found them in an old scrapbook in one of my grandmother’s trunks. Most people that restore old houses can only guess at the history. The family moved out of the house at some point and it was rented. My grandmother inherited it in the early 80’s and my great aunt Frances has lived in it until this past June. Mama has owned the house for a few years now and Frances has rented it from her. Frances recently moved into an apartment and now the house is free for Mama to restore.
I think I already told you some of the story in my last post. Please excuse me if I’ve repeated myself.
Please join me for a tour of the house. I have a few pictures from April when Frances was still living in the house and the rest are what it looks like now.
We’ll go in the front door and turn left to visit the dining room.
Frances had some beautiful pieces of furniture. The house looks so empty and dirty without it!
Mama will put her corner cabinet where Frances had hers.
Did you notice that there are little wooden blocks above all of the windows? We can’t figure out why they are there and we don’t think that my aunt put them there. They will all need to come down.
Now let’s enter the kitchen. You can enter through the dining room or you can go down the main hall and turn left. Mama is going to put the cabinets in her basement for storage and everything else will go. She’s still deciding on her kitchen design. I am willing to bet that she’ll have white cabinets. She loves the look of white cabinets with soapstone countertops. I don’t think soapstone will be in her budget right now.
Here is Mama with Frances in April when we were visiting. Doesn’t Frances look good to be 93?
The wood under the sink was rotten. Mama tore out as much as the rotten wood as she could. Neither the sink nor this cabinet is old, so out it will go.
It’s nice to have a refrigerator for drinks and lunch supplies.
We are not sure how to paint the radiators. There’s nothing like the heat from a radiator. If you’ve not experienced it, you’ve missed out.
I stripped this wall. Just this section took over two hours. Blah!
Mama did this section. The plaster is in great condition! You can see that this room used to have picture molding.
We started our stripping in the small hall that is between the basement door and the powder room. This hall connects the kitchen to the family room. It took over six hours to complete this section. If the wallpaper didn’t have multiple layers of paint over it, it wouldn’t be so bad!
This house is a four over four meaning that there are four main rooms on each floor. The family room is on the back right side. It has a door that leads to the back porch.
Here’s the room in April:
The people who moved Frances left two terrible couches behind. Now Mama has the joy of trying to get rid of them. Moving out the furniture really shows off the flaws in a room. I can see why realtors like to show houses with furniture.
It is too bad that most of the woodwork in the house has been painted over. Wouldn’t these doors be beautiful without paint? I hope that Mama can get the sofa that is in the hall out of her way soon. It is not in bad shape, it just needs to be cleaned.
We scraped any loose paint that we could find to try to see what the wallpaper once looked like. Most all that we’ve uncovered is floral is is quite pretty.
The woodwork on the stairs was never painted over. Amen!
This bedroom will be converted into my mother’s closet and dressing area. The closet space in this house is laughable. There’s enough room to hang a few hangers sideways and that’s it. My shoes wouldn’t even fit into a closet!
Here is one of the guest bedrooms.
It would be nice if the upstairs hallway were a little wider. The staircase to the attic was enclosed when the house was converted to apartments. Mama is hoping to open it back up which will make this area feel more spacious.
This will be the master bedroom.
The wallpaper leading to the attic is in amazing condition. Look at how the house was constructed. They don’t build them like this anymore!
The last stop is the basement. This part of the house was an apartment at one time so it has a full bath. I showed you a picture of it in my last post. I won’t horrify you with another until some work is done on it.
Only one wall had wallpaper down here. Doing the happy dance! We stripped that wall and as soon as a baseboard is replaced and a little wiring is completed, this room will be ready to be painted and converted into a tv area. Mama will also put her computer in this room.
This pretty gate was once outside. Mama found it in the furnace room. She’ll put it outside again when she installs the rest of her iron fencing.
Isn’t this room light to be a basement? The door that you see in the picture below leads to a storage room which leads to the room that stored coal.
This room will be the laundry room and craft room. Frances left the chair and sewing table. I don’t know what Mama will do with them. I hope she throws the chair away.
I am planning to go back to help at least one more time before school starts. I am hoping to document her progress with my blog. I admire her for taking on such a big project.