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Combining old and new

Posted by tilenut (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 13, 13 at 14:59

We're selling a 1938 Tudor with a 1980's addition. Challenge is to make it attractive to modern families while preserving its charm. Opinions, suggestions welcome.

Here is a link that might be useful: 1938 Tudor


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Combining old and new

I'm sorry, but the painted woodwork and erasure of any Tudor influence to the interior means the "preserving it's charm" ship has sailed. It's mostly as bland as the 1980's tumor attached to it. If you really want to make it attractive, contact an architect to do something to the addition's facade to tie it in better with the original. Work on bringing back character to the interior as well. Strip the woodwork and bring in more traditional Tudor elements like leaded glass and dark woods.

Or, just price it right and let the next owner deal with it's style defects. It's already too Pottery Barn and not enough Harry Potter.


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RE: Combining old and new

I'm sorry, but the painted woodwork and erasure of any Tudor influence to the interior means the "preserving it's charm" ship has sailed. It's mostly as bland as the 1980's tumor attached to it. If you really want to make it attractive, contact an architect to do something to the addition's facade to tie it in better with the original. Work on bringing back character to the interior as well. Strip the woodwork and bring in more traditional Tudor elements like leaded glass and dark woods.

Or, just price it right and let the next owner deal with it's style defects. It's already too Pottery Barn and not enough Harry Potter.


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RE: Combining old and new

I think it's charming, and Pottery Barn is a good look to try to achieve to appeal to young families :)
The bathrooms and kitchen look very nice as does the LR. Change the shower curtain in the yellow bathroom. Try to brighten the whole place by replacing the swags, valances, and sheers with simple linen floor length curtains. Update some of the light fixtures with more transitional looking fixtures (look at Pottery barn but buy lookalikes at Overstock.com or IKEA), get new bedding, stage with some simple furniture, and update some of the wall paint colors (see Pottery Barn BM colors).
I'd suggest to post in the Home Decorating Forum for staging and refreshing tips. People are very helpful!
Another good site is YoungHouse Love (link below).
For the outside, just get lots of annuals and flower pots.

Here is a link that might be useful: young house love site


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RE: Combining old and new

My first suggestion would be to go to Pinterest, look under Home Decor, and do a search for neutral home colors. People are always posting contemporary neutral home color palates that in currently in vogue. Grays, khakis, wheat colors etc.

Swags, jabot, and elaborate window treatments really date a home. A much more contemporary look is to hang panels on either side of a window with little overlap to make the whole window appear larger. On a small kitchen window, for example, I wouldn't even bother with any treatment at all. Most people right now much prefer clean and simple.

I would definitely find a high heat black (?) paint and spray that brass on your fireplace. Actually, now that I think about it, some of that trim is magnetic and can just be removed. Otherwise, painting it is an easy update.

Changing out the light fixtures to something more contemporary would also help. I would change the mirror in the bathroom to something more current looking, with cleaner lines--something that compliments the square sink.

Some pieces of furniture go in an out of fashion and china cabinets and hutches really aren't fashionable right now. They're usually a massive presence in a room and become a topic of conversation or distraction--most comments I hear at Open Houses are how the room looks small (when it often isn't, the cabinet is just taking up a lot of room) or that it reminds me of "My Grandmother's house). <--- But not in a good way ;-)


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RE: Combining old and new

I also agree that "the Pottery Barn" look holds a lot of appeal for a large number of buyers and you want to appeal to the largest pool possible. Clean white trim is much easier to decorate around, makes neutral colors pop, and brightens a room in general. I don't see painted wood trim as a downside at all.


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RE: Combining old and new

The people that this home will appeal to are ones who want the neighborhood first of all (if it's an attractive one for schools, etc.) and like the idea of the extra square footage that the addition offers, despite it's obvious inattention to architectural detail. You don't need to do anything for that customer except be in the right location and have the price right. The attempts to neutralize the home's strong character have mostly succeeded in erasing it's unique details and appeal.

Or, you will appeal to an old home enthusiast who will want to restore the home's beiged down character and will hate how that addition looks. For that category of person, which LWO and I are obviously in, the neutralization of the home's bones actually detracts from the price I'd want to pay for it rather than enhancing it as "modern". It would bring the price down dramatically to have so few of the original details intact. For that person, you would need to actually highlight the original details that are left, and if any of the things that have been ripped out have been stored in a basement or attic, you'd want to highlight that, as that is what adds value. If homes in the neighborhood are undergoing heritage sensitive restorations, then bringing back as much of the home's original character as you possibly can would be the smart marketing approach here.


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RE: Combining old and new

Thanks for the responses. Actually I'm surprised to hear that too many period details are gone, when actually not much has changed in the older section, but course not all is shown in the pictures. All the wooden floors are intact and in great condition. Most of the wood trim is its original stain. The bedrooms and dining room have original light fixtures. An architect did design the new addition to blend in,, matching rooflines, brick, etc, although the interior finishes unfortunately were not done in period style.
i agree with changing the window treatments, and painting the brass on the fireplace is a great idea. There are now lots of flowers, as the perennial gardens are starting to bloom and we put annuals in the planters.

I'm unsure of whether to change out the remaining original light fixtures. I think they are ugly, but I hear the objections to taking away the original.


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RE: Combining old and new

I know it might feel less cozy to you, but one thing my realtor impressed upon me in a similarly aged house was the importance of removing almost all area rugs in order to showcase the wooden floors. You might consider this? It also makes rooms bigger and lower ceilings less apparent.

I love the 20's 30's Tudor styling and if you highlight more of the stained wood/built-ins/period fixtures and details (get a few close-ups), this may help your listing.


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RE: Combining old and new

The interior reminds me of my MIL's home (altho outside hers was a different architectural style). We had a stager do the house, and it was interesting what they did:

- Removed ALL window treatments: curtains, blinds, shutters. The house was dark and this made a huge difference.
- Removed wallpaper, painted all the walls and ceilings (which needed to be done in painted rooms anyway; it had been a while) a nice warm white.
- Woodwork that had been painted, such as the beautiful stenciled ceiling beams my FIL had painted over decades ago, remained painted. But NO unpainted woodwork was painted.
- Wood floors were refinished. But the 1930's now-retro tile colors of pink and green in the bathroom were retained.
- All her furnishings were removed. Rooms were all staged with simple, upholstered pieces (matched the traditional style of the home).
- The only rugs were a 5x7 under the LR coffeetable and an 8x10 under the DR table. No runners in the hallway. Sheet linoleum in the finished basement rec room (which had been my DH's bedroom/bath while growing up) was covered with neutral Berber-style W2W carpet.
- All rooms had one art piece on the wall, no more than that, and most had a flowering orchid.

We gave my family a "peek" at the finished staged product. They knew what it had looked like before, and their comments were unanimous: "Wow! There's so much more room and light!"

In a declining market the house sold for 98% of asking, within less than one month of listing. Three homes in similar styles, but not staged, for sale at the same time in the surrounding neighborhood, remained on the market for several months afterwards.

We felt the RE agent and stagers had done a very good job for us, and were worth the $$ we spent. I was frankly surprised how good the home did look, even knowing the "bones" of it were still fine.

I have to say that having seen her home in all stages: her stuff, emptied completely, staged - I would never try to sell a home with empty rooms. Once staged it really looked like a million dollars...and since that was the asking price, it needed to, LOL.


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RE: Combining old and new

I like your house and have no problem with the addition. The big drawback to your era house is how dark it can be inside. I like a sunny house. So I would remove all the curtains and let the nice casement windows show and brighten the rooms with sunshine. I would also find a new framed mirror for the bathroom. That rococo one doesn't seem to match the room's era.


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RE: Combining old and new

Were most of the pictures taking at night? Everything looks very dark, so I'd start taking off all the window coverings and add some lamps.


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RE: Combining old and new

Yes, my pics were taken at night, but the listing pics are better. There is actually quite a lot of natural light. I've taken down several of the window treatments, but think I will take down some more.
Here are my next questions: how about if I paint that bathroom rococco mirror black, like the cabinet? And:
The dining nook in the kitchen was converted to a large walk in pantry years ago. There is still room in the kitchen for a small table and 4 chairs, but it is tight. Should we dismantle the pantry and put table/ chairs there? Realtor said leave as is, but our gut says return it to open space. Opening it also brings in more light, as there are two windows in the pantry.


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RE: Combining old and new

I'm not sure about the mirror. It may look very dark when it's painted black. On the other hand, your fixtures seem to be silver. Could you paint it silver? Is the vanity black paint or dark wood?
With respect to the pantry, it's hard to say as it depends on what other food storage areas you have, how accessible the dining room is from your kitchen, how big a house it is (i.e. how many people, who's your target buyer?), and how much it would cost.
I'd say to leave it unless it would be a MAJOR improvement for the kitchen.
I still suggest that you post individual pictures on the decorating forum and ask for input.


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