This colonial revival house begs to be decorated for Christmas. Not the type of people to go over the top crazy when it comes to decorating combined with a lack of time available to commit to that endeavor, we have kept it simple this year. However, with a goal of being warm and welcoming, I think we have achieved our purpose.
A wonderful feature of this old house is the grand living room. It is huge! Several comments have been made about pushing the furniture against the wall and holding a full-fledged dance party. It could happen.
This room has a grand old fireplace with intricate wood detail and two sets of French doors (one to the front porch and one to the back yard). We have not used the fireplace as we do not know the condition of the chimney and there are very few wood burn days in the Central Valley. The wood trim and the crown molding continue in this room and add to its character.
The wood floor in this room is also spectacular – old growth timber, quarter cut, gorgeous patterns. When Tim, our floor restorer, saw the floor in this room, he said not to let anyone else touch it – he wanted to be the one to bring it back to life. We all agree that he did a great job!
We elected not to penetrate the ceiling to install built in light for this room. This meant less holes (and less expense). However, now we need to add more floor and table lamps as the lighting is just a little too subdued.
There was no wallpaper in this room (thank goodness!), but it was painted a washed out shade of yellow and the crown molding had a wide blue stripe. As result, the fine wood trim and molding were not well showcased. In addition, the bold stripe in the crown molding made the ceiling feel lower.
Painting the trim in the room would have been a huge job, so we cleaned it up a bit and decided to paint the walls a shade of latte. This color is enough to provide some contrast and really highlights the trim.
We have enjoyed hanging pictures in this room (and in the dining room and entry as well) using the original picture rail molding. We purchased picture rail hooks and wire, which allow us to hang pictures without making holes in the plaster walls. If we want to change the location of a picture, we can just slide the picture rail hook along the molding. Cool.
Like the sun room, the library did not require a lot of paint. In fact, no holes in the walls meant that we could preserve the vintage wallpaper. We left the bookshelves blue and refreshed the room by refinishing the floors and repainting the ceiling white (covered over that dusty rose shade). This really brightens up the room and highlights the old-fashioned light fixture, which we really love!
This house not only has a lot of walls, it also has many, many doors: solid wood doors, doors with windows, interior double French doors, exterior double French doors, an interior single French door, a swinging door, thick folding doors… By the numbers, there are seven exterior doors (three regular doors and four double French doors). That includes the standard front door and basic back door (both red, by the way).
Interior doors total 20! That makes 27 exterior and interior doors!! Talk about a lot of hinges! Four of the interior doors are double French doors and there is one single French door.
Living room- frontyard
Living room – backyard
Entry to living room
Sun Room to front entry
The swinging door from the kitchen is a fun one – think restaurant-style.
The windowed door from the back porch to the kitchen and the basement door are full of character as well. Each of the three panels of the heavy folding doors separating the living room from the dining room are approximately 2.5 inches thick. When folded together, they are almost nine inches thick. This reflects the thickness of the door moulding on that interior wall.
Of course, with all of these doors, a variety of door knobs can be found. I love the old fashioned glass ones!
Folding door pull
Now if we can just keep these doors and knobs functional in order to preserve all that character!
There are a lot of walls in this old house. And, a lot of these walls are covered in wallpaper. The collection is quite eclectic really. Some of the designs are more vintage while others are well, just plain loud.
These are on the bold end of the design spectrum:
Master Bedroom sunroom
Front entry and stairwell
Moving towards vintage:
Upstairs hall bath
Utility room closet
And, what I believe is the most vintage of all:
At first, I thought this pattern was “way over the top” crazy; however, it has grown on me a bit. I would love to know how old it is. We had to peel some off the wall, and it has a wood product backing which makes it extremely stiff and it’s almost 1/4 inch thick.
Many of the other designs will be replaced with paint due to the fact that some of them just don’t suit the character of the house. Mostly, they will be going because we need to redo the entire electrical system, and there will be a lot of wall penetrations throughout the house. So, I have a handy wallpaper stripping crew that will be hard at work this summer. Stay tuned.