60 West Main is sold

With mixed feelings, we are letting go of our dear Victorian Home.  We have spent almost ten years here, and it will be just over ten by the time we move in July.  It has been a blessing to be in this house and care for it, to bring life back into it, and release the house of the dust and creaks.  It has truly been home, and I will miss it terribly.

On the front porch with our realtor, thinking about the purchase.

Within about 2 days on the market at the end of March, the house sold.  We are so grateful to have buyers who seem to love it as much as we do, and we feel it will be in good hands for the next chapter of its life.  But, we are letting go of it with a little heaviness.

This is the home we came into after our honeymoon.  We signed our contract to purchase it 2 days before our wedding and moved in when we returned.  We learned about working together in this home, taking on projects that both of us endeavored together.  We experienced our first crazy 300+ trick-or-treators Halloween in Bainbridge in this home. (Realizing quickly we didn’t buy enough candy and that we might as well stay on the front porch).  We brought our baby home to this house, long before his room was even ready, and it is the only home he has known so far.  We lived with our puppies here, built furniture here, planted gardens here and rested here.  This has been our sanctuary and safety from the world and has made our family better.  Letting it go is anguish; but not letting it go means that we cannot move forward into the next chapter.

It is time for us to move and find a new sanctuary, or create one together.

We are searching and I will post here where we land.  Perhaps it will even launch a new blog.

Selling 60 West Main

You read the title correctly.  We have loved and lived in this wonderful home now for almost 10 years.  We moved in during July 2009, shortly after we got married, and formalized our purchase in September that year.

I think most of our renovation work is covered in this blog, and there is plenty of before and after pictures.  In this post, though, I’m just sharing some of our favorite work.

Will’s Room

Bill has been offered a lovely partnership with Emergent in Syracuse, New York.  As he has already been commuting quite a bit, it makes sense to move in that direction.  There will be more work opportunities for me and great schools for Will.  Plus we will be near an airport for all the travel I like to do!

Guest Bedroom
Powder Downstairs

So, in a few weeks our home will go on the market officially.  If you are interested in seeing our home in person (to purchase, not just a tour), please reach out to me on Facebook, email or text.  We would be happy to sell to friends or family we already know.

My favorite completely project in the house has to be the hallway, although I’m thrilled to have a new shower and I love Bill’s office.  Every project has had its own challenges, learning curve and rewards.  We have really made this house a home we can be proud of and we have enjoyed not only the work on it, but living in it day to day.  It’s both large and cozy.  I hope someone enjoys it as much as we have.

Master Bedroom upstairs
Kitchen & Butler’s Pantry

Front Hallway Demolition

The downstairs hallway project was started back in 2015, when I slowly began removing wallpaper.  It was only slow because it was adhered with straight adhesive on unprimed walls.  (Not because I like to work slowly.)  I spent about 25 hours two  weeks ago taking down wallpaper in the unfinished spots.  Plus at least 30 previous hours over the last several weeks and years.

I took down bits and pieces in two layers to get the full hall completely bare.  This is almost the last bit of wallpaper in the house.  (I love the eclectic paper in the kitchen cubby and I’m keeping it.)  Now that the paper is down, I can see raw horse hair plaster in some parts and what appears to be original paint in others.  Not to mention the original stencil border, which I love.

The next step is putting sheetrock on the ceiling.  We did this in a day, but plastering the seams and edges will take Bill a few weeks.  He can’t work on it everyday (you know, life), but it also takes several layers and dry time.

In the meantime, I have bond-primed the walls and Bill has applied the first layer of plaster on those. They will need a second coat of plaster, a second coat of sealing primer, and then at least two coats of paint.  The same with the ceilings.  It’s a long process.  I’ll purchase lights soon, probably to match the upstairs hallway.

And this work is only in the downstairs foyer hallway.  Upstairs hallway is a whole other process and a whole other post.

New Bath & Shower!!

THIS is what I’ve wanted now for 8 years, a new bathtub.  Sigh, I’m so happy it’s in and over with.  But first, the gory details.  Below is the original bath as it was when we moved in, sans the ladder. 😉

The process to renovation was about what we expected, but it never happens as quickly for me as I’d like.  I started this, as mentioned, by scraping down the old paint.  Then, I primed with an exceptional bonding primer, filled in with joint compound, re-primed with bonding primer on the walls and a sealing primer on the ceiling.  Next, I painted my first base coat, on walls and ceiling.  But, the paint work was easy compared to bathtub installation, primarily done by Billy.

You can see from the photo below how cracked the ceiling was and how yellowed the vinyl surround had become.  We believe it was originally white to match the bathtub.

In the meantime, we took apart the old surround, took out the old tub, and looked into the plumbing.  It took us hours to figure out how to turn off the water, but that is the true treasure and beauty of an older home.  We went through every single pipe in the basement together and took a look at how it all fit together, twisting every handle and finally discovering that none of them really worked unless the water from the street/village was turned all the way off.  It was just the back pressure that kept pushing water up to the tub.  Bill was able to attach new plumbing relatively easily and we were able to install the new (porcelain steel) tub.  It’s longer than the last tub, which is a boon for me!

We debated on tiling or acrylic surround for the shower.  Besides raising the shower head, which I’m also thrilled about, we landed on surround.  It is easier to put in and repair down the road.  Having only one working shower in the house means that we need to have it working quickly and efficiently.

And the best part of the room is the new mini chandelier.  We needed more light since the two sconces are rather high on the wall and the room is oddly shaped.  It was a fun bobble to add and gave us the chance to put in two more outlets near the sink.

New towels, new rugs and sigh.

Before too long, we will replace the toilet, but really it’s done.  SO HAPPY doesn’t even begin to cover how this new room makes me feel.  Nothing like a pretty bath to make you feel really clean.

Finished Dining Room

It has taken a while to get here, 9 and a half years to be exact, whew.

The dining room was the very first room we took on when we bought the house.  There wasn’t much to repair and we thought it would be an easy start.  But, as anything in these old houses, once you start unwrapping a project, you discover all the hidden delicate issues underneath.  In this case, it was the old wallpaper adhesive that has kept showing up.  In Victorian America, people wallpapered everything, including ceilings.  The wallpaper covered old plaster and cracks easily and fit with the trend of over the top loud embellished decor.

However, when in removing old wallpaper in our home, whether it was our removal or the previous owners, the vintage adhesives stayed in place, like a nice little tacky sealant on the plaster.  Covering those with primers and expecting them to adhere to newer plasters and acrylic paints is tricky business. But, we repaired the dining room ceiling first back in 2009 before we did the walls, windows, and lighting.

And then, we redid the ceiling again, two years later.  Finally, we realized we’d have to give in and start putting sheet rock on all our ceilings to keep from redoing them every two years.  This was a smart decision our end, and we put up sheetrock in 2 bedrooms upstairs and the family room downstairs.  In a few weeks, we will also put it up in the hallway downstairs.

Finished DiningIn the meantime, to cover the ceiling in the dining room, Bill decided to take the sheetrock a step further, and he coffered the ceiling, which I revealed in this post.  In truth, the edges need to be finished on the coffering, but it is minimal work at this point.

So. . . we have completed the room and finally found some chairs we like.   That is a whole other story.  Antique chairs were too small, and modern chairs are built with less integrity, so it took us a while.  Finally, the clearance rack at Pier One gave us the right option.  It is odd that I chose light chairs, light carpet and drapes with a small boy in the house, I know.  I’ll let you know how that turns out.


Upstairs Bath Repair

Several years back, we repaired and prepped the upstairs full bath.  Within the first year, the painted walls and ceiling started to crack and peel – due to the high humidity this room gets during showers having no fan or ventilation.

Since then, we added an automatic fan to vent out through the attic roof, but the peeling paint has lingered, along with a hideous tub and surround, of two different colors.  Not to mention, I was never truly happy with the color I chose for the new paint and the stencil around the bead-board wainscoting.  The photo is the current bath colors, new photos to come.

We’ve decided to overhaul the whole room, except for the original sink.  It’s not my favorite sink, but I can’t bare to part with it because it is c. 1894.  Plus, it is a beautiful grey marble.  (And I found a lovely marbled top vanity to match.)

We’ll put in a new tub and I’d truly like to tile around it instead of acrylic surround.  Possibly a new toilet, additional and new lights and definitely new paint and ceiling.

The first part and biggest pain, however is chipping away at the patchy paint on the ceiling.  Once I get as much down as possible, I’ll use a strong bonding primer and then patch with joint compound.  Our issue might been that we used a shellac primer when we first did the work.  While shellac is great between layers of paint, or covering wallpaper with super adhesion, it isn’t the best for humidity.  We just didn’t know at the time how humid that room could get.

So this week has been full on scraping, bath and downstairs hallway, which I’ll share in another post.

Maybe next week will bring at least a little paint my way and more time to keep you updated with posts!

Laundry Room Sink

We finally have put the laundry space all together.  I’m anxious to get a cabinet (home made) put in above the washer and dryer, but otherwise, it feels much better.  Cleaner, organized and a space I can really utilize.  I love the mini shelves Bill put in (which you can see to the right of the sink cabinet), and the sink itself is both rustic and completely original.

This is the grain cabinet we found at a local antique store, along with a faucet I ordered from VanDyke’s Restorers.  We use VanDyke’s a lot for reproductions of Victorian hardware.  The hammered copper sink was one that I purchased through Etsy.  I’m so thrilled to have a useable and beautiful space, just a little sad it is so hidden from the rest of the house.

The new washer is a dream to use and doing laundry is a whole new joy.  I’m one of those odd people that has always enjoyed it, but now, even better.