My daughter has joined the small house club! Picture tour here.

marti8aAugust 3, 2010

Her house is so cute. I wanted to show it to you because we've been talking about 1950's houses and knotty pine lately. Her house was built in 1950 and has had very little done to it, except the basement which is totally hideous. lol

I love the bathroom and that arched shower and glass block window. I felt a little weird showering in it at night until I realized that only my head was above the tile level.

The bathroom still has all the original towel holders and TP holder - with wooden roller. The sink/vanity, toilet, medicine cabinet, and light have been replaced, but the light is now in the basement I think.

This is a closeup of the tile border. Too cute!

This is the kitchen with original cabinets. The stove and oven have been replaced and the oven isn't the same size. I wonder what color the original was? The tile is white with maroon border and the counter top is a pink boomarang pattern with aluminum edges. It isn't touching the wall in places and I could tell that there is tile behind it. If the counter didn't look like 1950, I'd think it was a replacement.

The cabinets still have the original bread box drawer too.

Not sure what this corner of the kitchen was for. Breakfast area? The door is a deep pantry - in the space over the basement stairs. She wouldn't like me showing pictures of the kitchen before she had everything unpacked though. Dh spent the whole weekend doing plumbing in the kitchen and basement so the floor isn't as clean as it was when we got there. The vinyl was replaced or covered too.

This is the neat arch from the living room into the dining room. The house is built of cinderblock on the outside and is plastered on the inside. The ceiling in the living room is curved down to the walls. It's really pretty. The walls are pale yellow now but there is evidence the whole house was once hospital green. Ick.

This is where the phone was in the 1950's. It used to have a door. I told dd it would look cute with a light inside and a stained glass door. But I think she's going to just leave it. She doesn't want to put a lot of money into it and wants to sell it in about 5 years so will work on restoring rather than updating.

The loveseat is in front of the fireplace so we could work on wiring on the opposite wall. The fireplace looks like it needs something. But if she is going to restore, I don't know what she can do.

This is a room they called the breezeway, but dd calls her mudroom. It is between the house and the garage and isn't connected to the central hvac. She wanted to turn it into a carport but after reading the city restrictions, she probably can't. The ceiling has acoustic tile, which is probably covering more beadboard. This room also has a funky, moldy smell.

There are two bedrooms and one has the wood floor showing. It's in good shape except one spot next to the bathroom. It has some dark spots that need to be bleached and restained.

And then there's the basement. Green and red tile, dark paneling, one light, red vinyl bar, smoked mirror tiles on wall, and fake fur on walls. Definitely not 1950, except maybe the tile.

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

That IS a cute house! It reminds me of the first house that my husband and I lived in after we were married. Love the kitchen and the bathroom tile and that basement--ooooooh lala (yeah just kidding ;) Hope she enjoys it!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 8:58PM
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OH WOW What fun!!! Darling house. the shower area is wonderful. I can see so many possibilities.WE had an early 60's house and the original stove was brown. LOL We sold the house in 2002 and the original stove was still there.

Thanks for the tour. Chris

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 1:31AM
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lovely little house! love the bathroom arch and tile trim! LR arch also. I love arches!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 2:27PM
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That house is sooooo cute. And one reason I think it is cute is it looks so much like mine. I have those exact same Peachy tiles and exact border in my bathroom. I love them. My toilet and sink are installed across from the arched tub area.

"If the counter didn't look like 1950, I'd think it was a replacement."

It could have been a replacement. These moderately priced middle class homes built during that era often had linoleum countertops installed as "builder grade" and the homeowners upgraded them early on. My house had that white with gold lame Formica and you can see where it was installed in front of the ceramic Buttercup Yellow tiles.

I am guessing that at some point the PO to your DD's house removed the wooden scallop valance over the sink hiding the light fixture. Most home of this era had them. I've wrassled with the idea of removing mine because I hate the way it looks, but I don't want to ruin the historic integrity of the home.

If that telephone cubby is not formed with plaster it was probably installed early on but after the home was built, when the PO got their first phone. I've never seen one with wood trim in an older home. It may have been originally a milk chute or a laundry chute. (Weirdly, my laundry chute is located on a kitchen wall.) I also have in my LR a hinged door that opens to get the mail without having to go outside. The mail carrier opens the little tiny hinged door on the outside of the house and drops in the mail and it is retireved from the inside. This was probably better than having the mail drop onto the floor. The phone cubby could have been for mail orginally if it is on an outside wall.

"The walls are pale yellow now but there is evidence the whole house was once hospital green."

So was mine! I found the original Green from examining peeling cracks and matched the color the best I could when I fixed the place up. (I am a purist.)

I've never seen anything like that weird door in the kitchen and it is obviously original judging from the tile border. It's not space converted from where a wall oven use to be is it? You already have a wall oven but sometimes in a large kitchen a second oven was installed. (Remember there were no microwave ovens in homes back then and two ovens were sometimes needed. There was less dependance on buying ready-made products too. Home baked desserts were included at every dinner in a proper home.) I still don't think that was for a wall oven though. No clue.

That Red/Green tile is what all the homes in my area have in the basement in homes that were built with rec rooms instead of unfinished basements. You do know that that is asbestos tile? I can't tell from the dark photo but since the flooring is original, the wood panelling is probably orginal and good quality - not the flimsy '70s rehab stuff. Your DD's place looks like it has both installed during two different times. I kind of like that vinyl bar, in a funky, kitchy kind of way. Depending on your area, you could fetch some big $$$$ if you put it on CL.

The house is really cute and will look gorgeous with the TLC she plans on giving it. There is most likly real oak floors under that LR W2W carpeting. I tore up the original gold sculptured carpeting (It was nasty!) that came with my house and refinished the floors. It really opened the place up making it seem brighter and fresher.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 3:19PM
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How cool dilly dally! Does your bathroom have the original toilet & sink? Was the sink a wall hung one? And are the shower doors original or were they added later? There is a curtain rod above the shower doors and we can't figure out why there are both.

The telephone alcove is probably original to the house. Growing up, one of my friends had one that was similar, only it had doors on both sides so the phone could be accessed from either the hall or the living room. I think most people had phones in 1950 didn't they? The laundry chute is next to the bathroom, and there is a mail chute like you described also. On the outside, the mail chute door is brass and also has the doorbell button in it. Dh had to get a new button for that to work. Inside, the doorbell is in another arched alcove. The original must have been one with long pipes, but has been replaced and looks a bit odd. We're on the lookout for one with long pipes to replace it.

That door in the kitchen is a deep pantry over the basement stairs. That's why the door doesn't go all the way to the floor. They just used the available space over the stairs.

We figured the tiles were asbestos. The realtor and appraiser both told dd that as long as they are sealed and secure, they are fine. I grew up with asbestos siding on our house and it has never been a problem. Mom still lives in the same house. It's when you cut or break it that it releases fibers and causes problems.

It doesn't look like there was ever a wooden piece over the sink. There is nothing on the edges of the cabinets on either side that look like anything was ever attached, and it seems to be the original finish on the cabinets. But I've seen those boards and know what you mean. My in-laws house had one. I think it was built in the early 50's.

The house I grew up was built in 1955, and it had linoleum on the kitchen floor and counter. No tile in that house at all. I always hated that linoleum. Except for a couple of cuts, dd's countertop seems to be in good condition.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:33PM
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it's such a cute house marti. what size is it? I love the way old houses have these funky little details that aren't done anymore, it's like a discovery figuring out what things were for. I'm sure there's going to be some great updates and changes coming too.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 7:49AM
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It's just a little over 1000 sq ft, about 1026 I think. I don't know how much she will change, but she does want to add a dishwasher in the kitchen. I think she's going to put it where the refrigerator is, and then put the fridge on the wall by that little pantry.

She doesn't want to spend a lot of money on it, keep it about 5 years, and then sell and move up. But all that depends on whether she is still single, has the same job, etc. She is my allergy kid and I kind of worry about her spending much time in the basement where it is so musty.

Her neighbors all seem to be really nice. We met several of them while we were working outside one day. That may be a reason for staying longer too. Who knows.

It's one of those houses where you either gut it and modernize, or embrace the 50's.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 1:48PM
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"How cool dilly dally! Does your bathroom have the original toilet & sink? Was the sink a wall hung one? And are the shower doors original or were they added later? There is a curtain rod above the shower doors and we can't figure out why there are both."

No, I checked the date on the toilet when I was looking at the real estate and it was replaced in 1982. (You can look under the tank lid to see the date stamp.) I'm not sure about the sink. It is one that hangs off the wall though. The tub I know is original. It is the same as the one you show with the wider ledge in the middle. My shower rod was installed so that the curtain hung inside the tub. I moved it so the curtain hangs outside. No shower doors. (Thank gawd. I hate them.) I don't think shower doors would be original with a tub like that.

My tub is grody. No shine left on it and it always looks dirty. I've looked into replacing it but there is no way to get it out without damaging tiles I was told and the size is so odd that a replacement to fit exactly is impossible. I may have to buy one of those acrylic tub recovers to get a decent tub that looks clean.

The original "shower head" was called a 'Victorian' I found out. It was like a stick on a hinge from the wall, low, about waist high. You moved it up and tiled the hinged head to shower. Or you moved it straight down to fill the tub. I liked it. I had to replace it when it broke and could not find anything like it. They don't make them any more. I had to redo the whole works adding separate faucet and showerhead and controls.

You probably have a built in ironing board in the kitchen. Most of them end up getting converted into spice cabinets. Mine still had the original wood ironing board in it and although I do iron a lot I did not want to iron on an old stinky wood thing. The built in wall ironing boards that they seel nowdays to do not retro fit into these old ones. I made mine into a spice cabinet by adding little shelves. I'm glad I did it this way. It's one thing to be a purist and try to preserve the ingerity of a vintage home but if it means wasted space with a non functioning widget - it goes.

There is also a thing built into the wall in the basement that I had thought was an old mangle in the laundry room at first. (They were popular in that era.) There was a slit in the wall by it. There was a built-in long table in the rec room by the slit on the other side of the wall. I figured out that it was made to hold a roll of kraft paper to pull through the slit to use as a disposable table cover. I know they still sell rolls of table kraft paper like this for restaurants, so I could use it but I never throw dinner parties in my basement and don't have kids who do crafts.

"The original must have been one with long pipes."

I still have the original. It did not work when I bought the house. I found out when I took it apart to repair, that the pipes do not create the sound. There was a sort of xylophone thingy inside that made the actual sound. The pipes were for decoration only. If I had not been able to repair it, I was going to get a wireless chime to install elsewhere in the house and use the alcove for holding a decorative vase or something.

"It's when you cut or break it that it releases fibers and causes problems."

True. Some people do not know about asbestos tile and try to chisel it up without proper proceedure. I've had to warn neighbors about this. They had no idea.

Make sure you let you DD know about
if she does not already.

And also

Here is a link that might be useful: Pink

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 6:39PM
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I showed her the savethepinkbathrooms. She isn't into blogs and didn't have much interest. I found retrorenovation but didn't spend any time looking, just came across it when I was searching for pictures of 1950 kitchen.

Hers doesn't have the built in ironing board but she would love to be able to have one just to convert it to a spice cabinet. I think she's going to add one to the inside of that pantry.

That was my thought exactly about the doorbell alcove. An art piece would look really cool in there.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 9:41PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Hi, marti8a, I recently saw a thread in the kitchens forum, about vintage tile liner. Your DD may find it interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Where can I find Period Tile Liner like this?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 9:00AM
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Love it!
But I think the brown coppertone oven is the original one.
My little house had the same oven but it was up higher. I think what happened is somebody LOWERED it down a little. Probably someone who was really short...vertically challenged? And my stove top was the coil burners and it was the coppertone too.

One thing I did was take out the oven and remove that block of cabinets to open up the kitchen better. You could still move the cooktop down a little, and have a peninsula/bar for a couple of stools and also more counter space. What I did was get a convection/microwave oven which was counter height, and put it next to the fridge across the room. It was still up high enough to use easily, and I stored the baking pans in the cabinet below.

The bathroom arch and glass block is fantastic. So is the decorative tile.

The breezeway probably was like a screened porch and the roofline from the garage and the house funnel water into the roofed area. I bet that is where the odor is coming from. It will need a lot of roofing work I bet. But it will also be the most rewarding room in the house when it is done. Little spaces turn into jewels.

Congratulation to your DD. Tell her to come on over, we'd love to have two generations of small homers hanging out with us.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 5:46PM
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ML, I told dd I was going to post her pictures so the people who love small houses could see, and told her to come read here and get some ideas. She just rolled her eyes at me. I can barely get her to use an email to talk to me. It's all facebook or nothing with her these days. Maybe when she runs into a problem, she'll call and ask me for the url. Maybe.

When you're in the house, you can tell the oven has been replaced. There is a filler piece of wood above and below it, and that wood doesn't quite match the rest. That stove top would bug me but dd doesn't cook much so it probably won't bother her at all. The only thing bugging her now is the lack of dishwasher.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 7:31PM
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First of all, I love the breadbox drawer. I copied your picture to show DH what I want when we redo our kitchen. Only I want it up higher. Where this one is now, you could pull it out and drop down the front, and keep your dog food bowls there. Especially good if you have larger dogs.

Also, the phone alcove. We had one which was arched like the doorway to the dining room, and the little outdoor stoop entry at the front door. I had it taken out and plastered over. The phone alcove, that is. It was sticking out in the way of locating a tall bookcase or shallow storage unit there in the wider portion of the hallway. I am not a fan of midcentury modern, and this little stucco house of ours had the midcentury feature out of place, since it is basically an arts and crafts structure. It has the rafter tails sticking out all around the house. It has the double hung windows with 3 over 1 panes, it has an external chimney also covered in stucco.

Our new contractor took one look at the way our house was built, and he said, "I have the right mason for this job, because your house is old style stucco." Even the roofing is laid on 3" wide tongue and groove pine boards, and it is hard as a rock like heart pine. And the suspension of the roof is super strong too. I did not know all this, but DH told me it was not done as new homes are. It is supported with great understanding of bearing the I guess trees falling on it would not take it down.

But I also am in love with the arch in the bathroom over the tub. Keep that neat and clean and let the design feature knock your socks off. It is breathtaking and would sell the house right away. The repetition of the arches throughout the house can give your daughter some ideas for any future remodel connections. Just add with an arch!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 11:57AM
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What a nice house! I LOVE the phone box in the wall - one of our old houses had one and it was the neatest little addition. And I love that curved tile above the shower! Good choice on your daughter's part. Congrats. I know when I bought my first house last year Mom was very, very proud and excited.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 11:51PM
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Not everyone is into mid-century modern. If your DD intends really to sell this place within five years, she wants to optimize the remodeling of any part of it to interest the most people. I would not go out of my way to save dubious parts of the house that have no use in a modernized home. I think the bath is in good shape and it has style. The arches have style.

But the kitchen is a disaster. I know what I would do, and it would be very easy to do, while keeping the cabinets. Maybe replacing the cab doors, with some glass up top, and inserting the DW on the side away from the stovetop.
That stovetop location is abominable. I bet it puts moisture galore beneath the cabs above it, and it gets hotter than h@ll there too. That oven location blocks all air circulation. So I'd yank out the oven, and move a new smaller cooktop into its place. With the peninsula to the left of the stovetop, there would be nice work space plus a spot for a couple of stools. If you DD does not like to cook, then that current stovetop is totally in the way of using her kitchen, and sticks out like a sore thumb. It will be a lot easier for them to redo the cooking options before they redo the countertops. It would also decrease the cost of new counters.

Ripping out that totally dated BAR in the basement from the 1970s will be a blessing. I bet a good painter with a spray gun can work wonders down there. Once you can SEE the place, it will be easy to decide where to go from there. Having the space is a plus, but no one who will be a prospective buyer wants to tackle a basement redo...they want to have a turnkey condition place. I think clearing it out and freshening it up will give any buyer a clean slate without a lot of expense to your DD.

If nothing else, you can always PRINT OUT THE THREAD. And then give it to her as she reaches a critical spot in her updating.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 12:02PM
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