The stairs are original but they have been painted (many times!) and the walls covered with layers of wallpaper, paint and cheap paneling.
The first step was to yank off all the paneling and apply new sheetrock.
Our designer thought that adding some wainscoting would be a good accent for the stairs. It is also traditional for that time period…
We love it! Worked out better than we expected!
Our house project is moving along slowly. Right now, it is drywall and plaster for the downstairs. Not much to report and no pretty pictures!
We are working hard on the house, but we are also making sure we have time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.
We did a long walk along the Columbia River path/bikeway last week while the sun was setting in the west.
Please enjoy these photos! A Columbia River sunset in three stages.
Just like the paint on the outside of the house – the selection of door knobs was a long family “discussion.”
All the original door and door knobs were gone – replaced by modern equivalents.
We started our search for new door knobs at the local Vintage Hardware store – Astoria Vintage Hardware on Marine Drive. Fabulous place. Fun to visit! We have found many Victorian gems there, but we needed about 8 matching door knob sets.
(photo from Facebook)
We continued our search online. So MANY options and so MANY opinions…
(photo from Yahoo/Google search)
We ended up ordering knobs from a great place – Copper Mountian Hardware in Michigan. Quality products at a great price.
We all agreed on Crystal knobs with an Antique Brass finish. They look amazing on our new solid wood (native fir) doors.
What to do with a couple layers of tile and chipboard in the dining area and kitchen on the first floor?
Upstairs, the floor was carpeted and painted so sanding and refinishing was fairly straightforward. Downstairs is different.
This is the dining area! We wanted to get back to the original fir floor in this room. There was chipboard nailed to the original planks and then a layer of tile. This was done fairly recently, but we still had it tested for asbestos. Fortunately, there was no big problem here. All it took was a good a hammer, a crowbar, a few muscles, and a good back to rip it up.
All done in the dining area. See the contrast with the living room floor!
The living room floor was sanded and finished by the previous owner (light color). The dining area has a couple of coats of paint that will be needed to be sanded and cleaned up. We applied Osmo Oil on the upstairs floors and it worked really well. We will do the same for these downstairs floors.
The kitchen is a different story, unfortunately. Beneath the newer tile and chipboard was a layer of very old linoleum. This type typically contains asbestos. We decided not to disturb it. We were planning on putting a ceramic tile in the kitchen area anyway. It will be a good base for that installation.
Now we all have to agree on a tile shape and color! Yikes!
Our designer/craftsman (aka son) has been super busy with a big job. Designing, tearing down and rebuilding a kitchen in Portland (swyftdesignworks.com).
He has moved windows, put doors in new places, installed arches, and made all the cabinets, shelves etc. etc…. Not your basic kitchen remodel.
Looking good! Almost done.
Meanwhile, back in Astoria, our little Victorian is waiting patiently for his return. It too will get a new kitchen!
Presently … our old kitchen is half torn up. Part of it had to be moved to the dining room area :). Still functional but awkward.
We have six interior and two exterior transoms. All of them have been boarded-up or painted over. We are re-building all of them and tracking down interesting windows to insert into the spaces.
We are trying to decide what type to install on the six interior transoms. Plain glass? Stained glass?
We took a trip to the Vintage Hardware Store in Astoria (great place btw) (https://www.facebook.com/astoriavintagehardware/). There we found a set of cabinet doors with leaded glass that we thought would work for our transoms. Unfortunately, they were too large.
We may have to go with some custom made stained/leaded glass inserts. Fortunately, there are a few stained glass places in Astoria!
As far as outside doors go… I found some photos online of beautiful Victorian style doors with transoms. Would these work? Build these ourselves? Stay tuned.
Well, house painting came earlier than I thought it would. We contacted a few painters and found one that has painted most of the houses in our neighborhood. He said he would put on his schedule for late Fall.
Surprise! We got a text that said he could start next week!
After scrambling to do some exterior work that was necessary before the painting, we were ready for him and his team to start.
The crew washed the house was first, scraped the sides after the house was dry, and then paint.
Wow! What a good coat of paint can do! Our neighbors are thrilled. We had many people stop by and say how great they thought the house looked. I think they were a little tired of looking out their windows and seeing the peeling white and gray exterior.
We discussed colors with the local Benjamin Moore paint dealer and our painter. The house is small so colors that would look good a larger house might not work on ours.
We explained that the look we were going for was “Adorable.” I think we succeeded!
Now, we need to get that awesome front door in place. What color should we paint it!?