Monday, December 17, 2007

Comparing Notes

A few weeks ago I wrote about the chance meeting with a former coworker of mine......who in a bizarre twist of fate knew the previous owner of my house. Well, on Saturday I met my former coworker and her husband for lunch to share notes and once again laugh & shake our heads over the coincidence of it all. In order to offer "proof" that she actually had been in StuccoHouse and knew the previous owner, she brought photos :-)

This PO purchased the house in 1990 and sold it under some financial duress in 2000. It was then owned by a flipper followed by a semi-flipper....and then me in 2002.

After a very fun lunch, we took the grand tour of StuccoHouse. First of all, I have to say it is very strange to see photos of someone else standing in the house you now call home. Unfortunately, the PO passed away at what appears to be a fairly young age (hopefully not from lead poisoning, asbestos or radon)....prior to my purchasing the house.

The first thing I noticed about the photo was the missing crown moulding. I knew it. I knew it. The crown moulding had been removed. When I moved in, it was stained but not finished. It also was a color just a tad darker then the rest of the woodwork. One of my first projects was to even the stain and finish both the crown moulding and the baseboard with shellac. My theory has always been that it was painted and then removed to be stripped. The second photo shows the PO with a friend out in the back yard cutting what I suspect is the crown moulding.

For the record, I've included a photo of the living room now. Note that the same old, ancient mini-blinds remain - for now.

Other tidbits that I learned:

-The textured ceilings were added in the early 1990's (so, asbestos probably is not a concern - yeah!).

-As late as 2000, there was a vintage stove in the kitchen that was lit by a match (my soul died just a little when I learned this had been yanked out by the flipper).

-The bathroom did have a vintage medicine cabinet (also, a victim of the flipper, I believe). They also laughed about the clearance between the tub & the toilet. The bathroom did not have a shower (which explains the semi-flipper's redo of the shower area tile when she probably added a shower).

-The living room & dining room were carpeted and the PO had cats - which may explain my early wood floor discoveries. It also explains the damage to the back door (I'll cover this in a future post).

-The upstairs was originally three small partially finished rooms. The owner before me, finished off the expansion attic and removed the old walls. When I first moved into the house, I had the upstairs floors refinished, but I remember the shadows of the old walls on the floor. My friend remembers a charming, small little window from one of the smaller rooms into the larger area. I wonder if it could have been one of the mystery glass windows I discovered in my attic area. I love little quirky things like that.

-I had to laugh because the PO was humored by the hallway with all of the doors too.

-At one time there was talk of knocking down the wall between the living room & the kitchen. Thankfully, it is a load bearing wall and that plan was dropped.

-Bless his heart, this was the PO that planted the three lilac trees just outside of my living room windows. I enjoy the smell from those trees each Spring and get comments from the neighbors at how nice they look.

I had a very entertaining time learning all of this about StuccoHouse, and I was a little relived to hear that my work on the house seemed to fit in with the plans the PO also had for StuccoHouse. I still can't shake the feeling that somehow the PO, from the great beyond, had a hand in this whole little Ghost Whisperer scenario.


Beth said...

I love the color you painted the living room! Can you tell me what it is?

StuccoHouse said...

It's Devine Paint and the color is Organza. It's a very cool paint because the pigment content is so high....the color chances from a gold to a pumkin color depending on the light. If you scroll down a few posts, you will find the links.

Josh @ Bungalow '23 said...

This was a fun history post-- thanks. It makes me want to dust off the house history research folder that I've been neglecting for months. As you described, it's a wonderful feeling to unlock some of your house's mysteries.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I know you already have a stove project, but I feel the need to bring this up (so that I can suck someone else into this craziness and leave it behind to work on my own projects). If you're willing to chance a stove that's been sitting in someone's basement for the past 40 years and know a decent repair person, there are some incredible 1920s and 1930s stoves out there at bargain prices. I've seen massive 60" wide Magic Chefs listed at $200, and smaller stoves and prices even less than that.

You know you want to...

StuccoHouse said...

Yup, I've been watching those vintage stoves for a couple of years now. First to find one to buy for myself and then out of habit.

I've actually been trying to convince one of my friends to take up restoring old stoves. He's all about detail and would be good at it, I think....and has a nice, big, heated garage. There's no one (locally or regionally for that matter) that does it. He remains unconvinced. Maybe I need to line him up a few customers and then thrust him into it ;-)

Karen Anne said...

You probably know there are places that sell restored old stoves. But for a bundle.

If I were a lot younger, I'd rip out the 1980s kitchen in my current house and redo it so there'd be room for one of those stoves. Actually, I'd like to rip out the whole first floor, the floor plan is so bad...

Karen Anne said...

Say, does anyone know of a source for window shades made out of the stuff they used to make shades out of, the parchment colored semi-stiff stuff? Instead of vinyl or polyester etc.

Karen Anne said...

Answering my own question, I found the shades at I haven't received mine yet, but the shade sample is the right material.

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