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Old Beauty-needs love
Sara ShertzerDecember 11, 2012
We are seriously considering purchasing this home. It is a foreclosure that has many of the original features that I love. the house was built in 1920, all of the original woodwork. I would not want to go with traditional victorian decor. I would want a more traditional-eclectic decor. I was hoping to get some ideas on updating this home but keep the original elements. Thank you.
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Obviously all of that knotty pine paneling is not original to the house. I would be concerned about what structural defects it might be concealing.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:01AM
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Sara Shertzer
We know the porch needs replaced, floor and roof. The rest of the house is fine already looked into that.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:03AM
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All the flooring needs to be replaced? I hope you choose wood floors. This is an impressive house. Restoring it will be a labor of love.

The easiest update is with paint. Window treatments that are not heavy velvet curtains would also be a good update. Roman shades are trendy and would show off the woodwork. Because there is not a lot of fabric used in a Roman shade, they are cheaper than gathered curtain panels to make yourself if you sew. To find a unified paint color scheme, you can choose an inspiration piece such as a printed fabric, a china bowl or a piece of art. Or look at the various paint company lines to see if any of their themes appeal to you.

To make it easier on your shopping, pick up some 2" x 3" Formica or Wilsonart laminate sample chips that match the woodwork and carry those with you. They are cheap. Keep a set in your car or handbag. Or pick up a stain color brochure such as the one from Minwax, circle the matching colors, and carry that with you instead. Circle the colors because it is awfully hard to remember which of those very similar colors is closest to your house. As you accumulate more choices, put samples and scraps in a ziploc bag or a small box.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:24AM
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Sara Shertzer
Yes the floors will have to be replaced and yes wood would be the way to go. I would have to see what is under the carpet if possible refinish what is there. Thank you for the ideas.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:36AM
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I'd love to see more photos, especially the kitchen, the turret rooms and the grand staircase. Your ideabook is full of great colors and fresh takes on historical furnishings.

It would be a real hoot to put a pair of chandeliers in the kitchen if you also got enough light from other sources. It looks like the cabinets are stick-built and sturdy. I would repaint the cabinets in ivory or one of your ideabook's sophisticated light colors, then redrill the holes so that the door pulls are vertical, or just change to knobs.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:50AM
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There isn't much countertop space in the kitchen. Do you plan on completely redoing the kitchen? If you had the house inspected and you're okay with what he/she said then I'd say go for it. Is the cost of the house plus the cost of repairing it and fixing it up the way you want it comparable to a house like it that's already in good shape? Do you like the neighborhood too?
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:54AM
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I have had two houses that had some knotty pine paneling that was painted. It looked really good and is a really inexpensive solution. I know you will be pleased with it. I would just go over it with an off-white.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:55AM
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Andrew Crocker Architecture / Design
Investigate the original floors before you rip them up. Often times these old houses have beautiful original wood flooring that has been covered up for many years and can be brought back to life with a good sanding.
4 Likes    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:55AM
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I would - paint the paneling, change the lighting, and remove the wallpaper border. Easy, inexpensive quick fixes. Oh, and remove the arch near the stairwell. Good luck!
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:56AM
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Sara Shertzer
Here is a picture of turret it is in the entry area. The other is in a bedroom and made the same way.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:56AM
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Margaret Blassingame
In the kitchen you should do a few cabniet door that have glass in them. When I was little my parents rented a victorian house that has a samll but beautiful kitchen. Most of the cabniet doors had frosted glass inserts with beautiful designs in them. The front door also has one too but it had a cameo design on it.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:14AM
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Hi---I suggest this color palette for you to use throughout your home. Taupe, sage, khaki, soft caramel, and muted aqua. Paint your trim white or stain it very dark. Paint all the paneling-treat it as though it were just blank walls. Light/medium light flooring. Pics for inspiration-color, floors, eclectic accessories. Good Luck and Congrats! [houzz=Rejuvenating Master Bedroom][houzz=Dining Room][[houzz=Fiorella Design]houzz=Kirkland Tanditional][houzz=new project][houzz=Who Says the Suburbs Aren't Glamorous?!]
1 Like    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:32AM
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You have a lot of work to do, but it will be a labor of love. To save money, as you don't know what might happen down the road, I would paint all that knotty pine. You can always have it replaced later when you have the rest of the house up to snuff. I hope there are wonderful wood floors. This would be a huge expense otherwise. I would paint out a lot of the trim, but not that beautiful staircase. You can put any combination of furniture you wish. Redoing all the lighting will be a necessity. If the wood floors are not in good shape, consider painting them until you can replace them. I like painted floors!! They can look really wonderful in an older home. Get lots of ideas from books and magazines. Research everything to the max before you spend a dime that isn't on paint.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:26AM
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Paint will be your best friend for this space-as it's quite inexpensive and will do wonders. Next is that awful lighting, closely followed by the floors. :) CheerS!
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Baltimore Architectural Detail LLC
This house really is like Phylis Diller right? Everyhting has been changed at least once, this doesn't make it unattractive necessarily just radically altered from what it was originally. I would start by double-checking its age, it looks older to me, like maybe 1895 or 1900. The tower does not jive with a house this size in the twenties. A Victorian style home would date to roughly post civil war until 1880's, after that is mostly Queen Anne in the US until around 1905. The shape of this house is Queen Anne, not Victorian, the funky windows in the tower and funky breaks in the gable also point to Queen Anne.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Baltimore Architectural Detail LLC
THE NEWEL AND HANDRAIL ARE ORIGINAL! And quite, quite clearly Queen Anne, simple balusters and complex newel. I can almost guaranty you this home was built before 1900.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:37AM
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I recommed looking under the carpets for the original floor. I bet you find some beautiful oak or parquet there. also do some archeology in the fireplace and under the paneling, you might find original paneling and well. COuld try to cut the knoty pine panelling to 1/3 o the height and trim it, and paint it.
if you find vinyl flooring try lifting it.

God luck it seems like a good house.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:06AM
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I wonder how scaffolding goes up around the turret for re-roofing. I hope the estimates for a new roof come in at an affordable price.

On the pine panelling: it might be worth keeping for its resistance to air infiltration and for insulation value. A house that old is probably not as insulated as we'd like today. The panelling can be kept as is, stained darker, white washed, painted over or papered over with a wallpaper liner. No rush.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:35AM
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By Design EK
I am also an historic house fan, and the Victorian era is my first love. I agree with above comment that this is most likely Queen Anne, late Victorian era, which gives you more freedom to simplify. I love a nod to the traditional wood work, window trims and baseboards which look great, by keeping it dark, and using rich creams and taupes for painting walls and furniture to make it feel more modern. I think this house was "reclad" on the interior in the 50's or 60's and so I think the pine paneling is not original, my preference would be to remove. If you like it, keep it, but i would strip it and refinish it to give it the more modern feel. The shape of the house is lovely, there are probably some nice ceilings above the drop ceiling in the wallpapered room and maybe even above the popcorm ceiling in the kitchen. The kitchen is definetly 50's and I would re-do it. It would add the most value to the house as a remodel project also. I love the fireplaces and i think if you replaced, or painted, shingles on at least the upper half of the exterior you would have a good looking Queen Anne. Replace the brick porch with the original wood posts and nice trim.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:01PM
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All of that knotty pine could be pretty if it was bleached or white washed, to update it. Combine that with a pretty taupe on other walls and you could go for a more of a cottage feel, which would look very airy and inviting. It really depends on whether you are trying to restore the home to it's original look or going for a more modern feel.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:16PM
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Dar Eckert
Yes, it looks like many a good tree was sacrificed for your paneling. Wonder if the paneling can be recycled? Someone in the 50's was trying to make the house look like Lucy & Desi's home. The shutters on the outside should go too!

My suggestion is not to paint the original wood window trim until you have a final plan on whether you want to return to original look of the home because it's not easy to remove the paint if you change your mind. Go and look at period homes and then make up your mind.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 2:40PM
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I think you should keep the dark trim on the windows, fireplace and moldings. The house will not feel the same if it painted light. Do whatever you wish with the knotty pine. I would prefer it gone. The old homes with the dark wood trim are very warm and cozy.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 4:07PM
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