Once the little pink house was ours, it was time to take a look. Wow, homes go downhill fast when you don’t take good care of them people. Well, in honesty, this was an old house that had been lived in by the same family for many, many years. The original owner lived in it most of her adult life as I understand it. She planted tiny saplings that had grown into huge trees that nearly covered up the place. She had probably painted and papered and mopped and swept and cleaned for years. However, at this point, I took one look and basically walked right out. There was nothing to see and we were going to rebuild.
Then curiosity got the best of me. More of a preservationist and old house aficionado by nature, I wanted to inspect a little more and see what could be used or salvaged or donated. One clever friend of mine told me before their tear-down they spread the word and people just showed up and took what they needed. Little by little we learned more about the salvage process and soon I had offers for the hardwood floors, the original “Houston” bricks that were just set in dirt and in pristine condition, an old iron basin, etc.
I thought about it a little more and decided I wanted to keep a little of the history. So, I went through the house a little more carefully. There were some charming details. True to her time, the owner had patterned and colorful pinch-pleated draperies either floor or sill length in every room! I found that adorable. Nearly every room was papered as well, including a gold and white flocked paper in the foyer. There were blue and white tiles decorated with fruit in the kitchen, the list went on and on.
So, what made the cut? Having just selected three and five-panel new doors for several remodeling projects, I loved the original five-panel doors in the house. Three have glass and two are solid. Those will go in my new studio. They even had the original brass hinges and cute little knobs. Fun! My flooring friend Amanda Briner sent a crew over to pull up the floors. Everyone had told me the floors were quite good and I had several offers so I thought vintage, reclaimed wood was perfect for, you guessed it, my new studio!
My fine wood carpentry friend Bob Card had shown me a desk he had made using an old radiator on one end. I thought that was so cool. We found two or three radiators in the shed in back and one was even painted a shabby-chic friendly rusted turquoise. Although heavy, I had those loaded up as well.
My contractor friend Anthony Mulle sent his guys over to do the demo and they also cut out one piece of wallpaper per wall. I had previously created a beautiful collage for a Heights couple when we remodeled an old house and the wallpapers had been so fanciful. I wanted to have the opportunity to do the same.
Lastly, my adorable husband, Jon, put on surgical gloves and pulled the old draperies down. They were kind of disgusting but we found that most of the insects gather between the fabric and the lining so he tore the lining out, shook out the dead roaches and told me I had to keep them in a garbage bag in the garage until I sent them out for cleaning. Agreed!
I then sold all the bricks to a guy in the country who was thrilled to have found them for a project. When demo day came, the crew was interested in many final items like old screen doors, appliances, etc. In the end we felt really good that very little was left to tear down.
Check out some of our treasures below…
Our Little Pink and Green Abode
Pattern on Pattern Paper and Drapes
Blue and White Kitchen
Kitchen Tile Detail
Vintage Five Panel Doors with Glass
Lots of Nice Vintage Wood Flooring
I love the window unit A/C a foot off the floor! That was probably an upgrade when they installed it.
You are probably right Patrick! I’ll bet they didn’t have HVAC for the first 20-30 years. That little window unit was most likely very appreciated when it got installed.