Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Simple Home-My 1918 Bungalow

First things first.

As I mentioned in a previous post, because insurance companies have different conditions for the properties they will insure, I had to find one that would insure a house with asbestos siding.  Erie Insurance stepped up to the task.  They gave a 30 day deadline to get the house secure-which meant glass in the windows and a door on the back.  I didn't think keeping out intruders was an unreasonable request on their part.  They insure our current house and my car as well and if Donnie's truck wasn't helping a friend in the insurance business keep food on his family's table, his truck would be too.  I'm very pleased with Erie.

Windows, a back door, and some drywall work in the damaged rooms upstairs came first.  I went to Architectural Elements in Nashville to look for a door and found the perfect one.  What I thought was interesting was that when I got it home, it fit in the hole and the hinges lined up.  Makes one wonder if it was the door that came off the house in the first place!  I wouldn't doubt it.  The windows and drywall work I hired out so it could all be done before the 30 days expired.  Besides, I wasn't ready to learn to drywall at the time. and I had bigger fish to fry, like.....

figuring out what colors to paint the outside.  The high contrast of the white with the asphalt "brick" siding just didn't do it for me and since it was still fall, I had a little time before turned cold.

See the row of glass block between the foundation brick and the siding?  They were pretty cool from the basement too.

On the inside, once every thing had been bleached and scrubbed with ammonia (prior to actually moving in) I started working on the parlor.  The old living room became my dining room which was weird since the front door opened into the dining room, but we'll get to that a little later. 

This was the room when I started.  While the house was empty, I had the electrician put in between 20 and 30 outlets on the first floor after they installed the 200 amp circuit panel to replace the fuse box.  As you can see, they were able to install them in the baseboards, but the baseboards had to be removed for access which damaged the plaster, so that's where I started my prepwork.

Then it was on to patching cracks in the walls, hanging a rail to make a frieze for the wallpaper, and painting the trim as the first step of the faux finished trim project.

I was kicking around options for the trim but really wasn't loving the choices so far, so I asked my friends on the decorating board what they thought and a friend suggested the faux finish.  I cringed because I don't faux, but gave it a shot.

Here were a couple of options I considered.  One was the standard white as was all the trim in the house, but it was a little too crisp.  One of the others was a pale green with a translucent gold metallic overlay.  It was very cool, but a little washed out overall.

Recognize these papers?  If these papers hadn't discontinued and I had been able to get this colorway for this house, it would be hanging in the peacock parlor today. 

I think the faux finished trim was the perfect answer.

The fireplace:

This is why I love wallpaper so much.  Here's the room before I started:

The finished room in daylight:.

I did contemplate drapery for this room, but moved to our current house mid-thought.  Sometimes, that's just how it is.'s not just for grandmas anymore.

Next post:  The kitchen


  1. Christie,
    I loved reading the article. Motivates me.
    Fun to see all you've accomplished. Love your wallpaper and color story. Looking forward to the next installment.

  2. I'm really glad to see how great the wallpaper looked in this house. It certainly had lower ceilings like mine, and you did such a great job! Gives me hope!


  3. If I finally get a few hours, I've gotten the picture story of the kitchen in order and just need to work on the text. It turned out great too given what there was to work with. It was a nice little house and fairly ordinary, so it's fun to see the difference that can be made in the same ordinary spaces. Wallpaper makes a huge difference in setting the mood and adding interest without having to add too many things that the cats will knock over. If you notice I don't have an astronomical amount of valuable stuff sitting around. The wallpaper helps keep it from looking bare. I'm definitely a wallpaper girl!

  4. I am in love. What great work you have done to your home. You are an inspiration.
    Thank you for following my blog
    Lady Estelle