Friday, April 30, 2010

Walkabout Weekend Winner 3


Here's a beautiful Victorian style B and B, soon to be going up for sale. I discovered this amazing house several months ago and can't help but stare at it each time I walk by. I was able to go in it a few weeks ago for an estate sale. The architecture is true to the period and must always stay that way because it has been registered as a historic house. I took some photos on the inside, but it happened to be with my mother-in-law's camera. I'll get those photos from her this weekend hopefully and then update this post with them.

(How cool is that turret?)
It was built in 1892 and renovated in 1959, has 5 bedrooms (all of which have their own theme), 3.25 bath. The master bath is located on the second floor, dead center in front of the house. The door you see on the second floor above the main entry is a door to the master bathroom. Weird feature don't ya think? I'm guessing it wasn't originally a bathroom there.

It has a total of 4,041 sq.ft, that includes livable spaces on the 3rd floor and the basement! Has 2 fireplaces. As you walk in they are located in the room to the left and the right. It took a while to see the whole house, there were nooks and crannies every where. It has a great garage with work shop and a basketball/tennis court in the back.

It last sold in 1986 for $160,000. At present, it's estimated to be just under $600,000.

(right side of house)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tiny change, big difference.

Knobs and handles can really give life to something that once was just there. The tiniest change can make a big difference like when I decided to add some cool handles to our guest room closet door. It's a hollow door so there was prepping to be done.

I took off the little "knubbins", (I don't know what else to call them).
Maybe boring finger holes?

Then I:
Filled the hole with wood putty (left image above)
let dry over night
sanded it smooth
put a coat of paint over it
drill holes for handles, insert a plastic anchor (right image above)
insert screws

Voila! The closet door handles now help make a cohesive theme to the room. The handles were less than $2 each by the way at Loews!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Walkabout Weekend Winner 2


I love several styles of architecture but one calls out to me more than the rest.....the

American Crafstman! A style that encourages originality, simplicity of form, local natural materials, and the visibility of handicraft. I always pass this one (slowly I might add) every time I go walkabout. I've been wanting to wait until the restoration work was done on it to feature it but I love it so much I couldn't wait.

It's a 1915 Craftsman. Renovated in 1970. It's undergoing an exterior renovation at the moment on the right side of the house. It's a 4 Bedroom 1.5 bath, 2,877 Sq. Ft. and according to, it's valued around 424k.

From here, you can obviously see all the scaffolding for the restoration.
I love the swoop on all the fascias and the their fence is beautiful. It was an overcast day so these pics do not do this house justice. And as far as I can tell, I only ever see
one man
working on it.

I love what they did with the porch ceiling; a nice glossy stain and simple craftsman Mission style lighting the length of the porch. I'd like to do this to our porch someday.
It was last sold in 1980 for $80,000!

This is a view of the left side of the house. Looks like a small drive way but the fence actually opens up for access to the garage in the back. They have a nice mudroom and it looks like they have several solar panels on the roof (my kind of people).

And here is a shot of the house from the back. As you can see, those beautiful
dormers extend to the back too! I bet there is plenty of space on that second floor. I love how they connected the fascias on those dormers too. Just beautiful craftsmanship!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Putting the "old" into the new

This amazing feat of architecture and craftsmanship belongs to our good friends Schuan and Holly Carpenter. They both have a strong passion for playing music, so it was a natural progression and easy decision to build a standalone music studio in the backyard. Having similar appreciation and love for old world charm they decided to not make the structure look new, but rather as if it had been there for ages. Schuan drew up his plans and created a cohesive mix match of tudor/gothic style with cottage charm. I think you'll agree when I say, "WOW!"

* * * * * * * * * * * *

With work parties and helping hands from their friends, they
completed the structure in about a year.

To get that authentic old world feel, they installed salvaged leaded glass windows from Earthwise, stuccoed the exterior, stained all exposed wood a dark espresso, installed worn looking hardwood floors and kept to antique style lighting fixtures.

He also designed and built a Gothic style bookshelf from old barn wood.

Holly gives private violin lessons out of the studio, teaching the Suzuki method. The Carpenters enjoy having friends and family over often for potlucks and musical entertainment.
The studio can easily seat 30 people!

* *
* * ** * *

Neither Schuan nor Holly have architectural or construction backgrounds. Through the help of friends and books, they learned what they needed to know along the way.
What's next on their project list? Installing hardwoods in their home, and putting finishing touches in their studio. I'll post interior shots in part two of this feature, so check back here often.

* * ** * ** * *

Click here to see the before pics!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let's lighten things up a bit!


I found these

recycled lanterns at
They are on sale now for $21
for a set of three.
It'll be nice
for those
outdoor dinners this
Get 'em while they're



Friday, April 16, 2010

A someday kitchen

We have a fairly small kitchen with very limited storage, but it does have great potential to be much better and more open than it is now.
No exaggeration
, every time I walk into our kitchen I wish I could change it right then. Here are some of my inspirations for what the kitchen will look like someday...

...I envision a farmhouse sink...
(photo: Kitchen of Jennifer Grey. Check out her blog, The Old Painted Cottage)

...paneled ceilings from the kitchen to the dining room, an island with seating...
(photo: From one of my favorite Interior Designers, Brooke Giannetti at Velvet & Linen)

open shelves
(photo: From Gast Architects)

...customized refrigerator door...
(such a cool D.I Y. project)
( photo: The Old Painted Cottage )

...and transom windows
between the kitchen and dining room.

(probably not as fancy as this one is though)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Walkabout Weekend Winner 1

My wife and I are huge fans of walking. It's the best way to discover new neighborhoods and gawk at the amazing houses we see along the way. We live in Tacoma WA which is an old and beautiful city, and we fall more and more in love with her the more we discover. We live within walking distance of the Historic District of Tacoma, so you can only imagine the stunning craftsmanship and architecture we get to see along our walks. I am starting "Walkabout Weekend Winner" to share these great homes and show you a bit of what Tacoma has to offer as far as residential architecture and overall curb appeal! We hope you enjoy and get inspiration from them as much as we do.

Our first Walkabout Weekend Winner is this stunning cottage! Click on pics to enlarge.

She sits on Yakima St., which is a main street but luckily the house sits far back and the road isn't too busy. The fence and extra wide arbor really give it an inviting look. It looks as though a professional landscape artist gave every inch of this property their loving attention. Everything from the knee high shrubs, to the wisteria overhead, to the lightly red stained walkway, comes together to make a cohesive enchanted cottage feel. I want to knock on their door and say job well done, it's beautiful...when can I move in?!

I was tempted to jump into their yard and move that garbage can out of the way. I do however like this idea of a side access leading out to the street making it more convenient to haul out the cans. Did I mention they have a view of the water from out back?!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Homemade Jar Chandelier

This idea of a jar chandelier evolved over time. It started with a beautiful chandelier I saw at a friends house that was made out of clear glass. The chandelier would shine these great patterns onto the wall because of the design built into the glass casing. Then one day I stumbled upon an article talking about how easy it is to make your own lamp. I put the two and two together and this is what I came up with. It's not quite finished, I still envision several little jars floating around it, but I'm wondering how it'll affect the light. I'll give it a try and keep you posted! I will set up a tutorial for this soon if anyone is interested.