|UPDATE, OCT. 2012~Our lovingly restored 18thc. cape is FOR SALE by owner. Please visit our 'house for sale blog' for more photos and all information~|
Please also visit our website TOUR page to take a tour of our home to period musick!
(*You can read the story of how I came to be here, and more about the backstory here...)
(and here too.)---And there are a few more---you'll just have to grab a cup of tea someday when you have some time, and read all my old posts~
For lo these many years I have worked ceaselessly and with utmost affection and dedication on restoring this small, venerable old house and bringing it back to life. I say, not without a certain amount of pride, that the lion's share of this was done over years when I was broke and alone---no husband or partner to help me, and no pot of gold or hidden treasure to help facilitate the restoration. My efforts have been rewarded with recognition and kudos from literally tens of thousands, my little brown house having been featured in several books and national magazines. But by far, the best part of it all was the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment I felt in my own heart when I looked around, feet up, sitting at 'my own snug fireside', my ancient little warm, shining, and pretty house, smiling and thinking of how all those long years of endless work and trouble were so worth it...
So, the purpose of this series of posts is not to re-hash for you how I came to be here, but to show you what I faced when I drove those 1000 miles years ago, embarking alone on "the big adventure of my life"~
Over the next few days and weeks, it is my intention to share with you one DIY-er's remarkable journey, through BEFORE and AFTER photos of my home...I hope you will be shocked and amazed, and a little proud of me too!
So without further ado, PART ONE~ (This is the very first time I have ever published BEFORE pictures of my house)."I have made a connection with the flow of time..."
The house was painted a lackluster cocoa with hideous RED trim. NO wall or garden in front, and later, nasty 'sidelight' windows flanked the doors. The door was a cheap, thrown-together batten door. Ugly '60's outdoor lighting, and none of the pretty gardens I later put in...(And the back was even worse!)
I have scraped and painted, repaired old windows, brought in a dumptruck of dirt to fill in at the front of the house along the original huge granite block foundation, and planted historically correct perennials there over many years. I built the stone wall right out in front of the house with rocks I hauled alone from my own property. (Thankfully the other stone walls I have are old and have been here for ages). I can't even begin to chronicle the work I did on the exterior alone from replacing rotten clapboards to repairing windows, trim...everything...
(The yard BEFORE and AFTER will be a future post in this series.)
When you enter from the porch entrance, as every one does, this was the first room you walked into. Yikes! The blue nearly knocked my socks off the first day I saw this house. (All furnishings were those of the previous owner; these picture were taken the first day I went to see the house.) They asked me if I would like to buy some of their furniture...uh, no thank you...
I don't know what this old room was being used for---some sort of sunroom or breezeway??? There was and is no central heat in this room. The walls are old shiplapped boards, but needed some work, as well as new paint. The wood floors had a hole all the way clean through the floorboard to the dirt crawl, from someone stepping on a rotted spot. The crummy woodstove was vented with the OIL furnace, (uh oh, boom!---better not used that...) The bookshelves someone added later were pure 1950's ugh with the scalloped trim. And then there was the horrible, musty sheetrock closet in this room with it's bare bulb hanging down...I had my work cut out for me and this was just ONE ROOM.
Holy freaking cow...and it only got much worse from here~
This "what the heck...???" room is now our period taproom, complete with a 1700's cage bar, and sometimes called an 'ordinary' in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is now well-heated with a most cozy woodstove. Enjoy the difference!
Please visit our website TOUR PAGE to see ALL the new photos of the house.
Our home is now FOR SALE.)
NOW, THERE WAS A NASTY UNDER-THE-ATTIC-STAIRS CLOSET IN THAT 'BLUE ROOM'. THAT HAS NOW BECOME MY BUTTERY.
I took the door off the closet and created a primitive buttery years ago, without spending any money whatsoever, using all 18thc. materials I salvaged! I even put in the diamond paned window that I found in Ipswich Mass.
HARD TO BELIEVE IT WAS ONCE A DAMP, SHEET-ROCK CLOSET WITH A DANGLING BARE BULB.
These are pictures of my kitchen the way it looked when I bought the house. Some of these photos were taken the day I went to first look at the house. What can I say? They will surely curl your hair! It has old board walls that were about all I left; the rest was a 'gut job' I did myself. The countertops and floor were badly slanted, and the cabinets so out of whack the doors would not stay closed unless latched. There was no dishwasher until I put one in. It was truly hideous from top to bottom!
I tore out the cabinets and 3 different eras of floors and 2 subfloors. I spent one whole day on my knees just shimming up the floor before putting down a new subfloor. Later, a wood floor went down over that. There were no baseboards or window trim in the kitchen when I came. I tore out everything except the old wood board walls, and started from scratch...
Amazingly, the tiny kitchen looks much bigger now than it did then when it was white...I am a gourmet cook and it is very efficient despite it's size, and I can easily turn out wonderful meals for us or guests.
...AND MORE OF THE AMAZING TRANSFORMATION~
In future posts I'll be showing you the BEFORE and AFTER of the rest of the house, and just when you probably thought the BEFORE couldn't get any worse, get ready, they do!
SEE PART 2 HERE~