Archive for August, 2008

Love at first sight

Here are some of the original “before” pictures of the house and how it looked when we first saw it.  Needless to say the previous owner had some interesting color choices, but paint is easy enough to change. 


The outside

Front door–I love it.

Screened in porch/breakfast nook off of the kitchen.

Back of house…looks a little rough but it’s not that bad.  That fence under the deck is gone.


Deck.  Don’t you love the two-toned siding?

Random deck off the side of the breakfast nook.

Screened in breakfast nook.

Scary crawl space.  One of our first big projects is going to be to finish this off into an official laundry room and storage.

The “man cave” downstairs.  We both love this room.

Bathroom in the man cave.  The shower has been finished but we will still have to put in a wall and door.

Stairs (AKA: The Stairs of Death).  Our other big project is going to be getting these replaced.


Introducing: the Fiesta-ware kitchen!  How many colors do you count?

I love that she saved the original telephone stand.  I plan to someday refinish it and put it back it the hallway.

Because everyone needs a door to the crawlspace in the middle of their kitchen.

The Office:

We’ve opened up that closed doorway.

Stephen admires the teal ceiling.  That door goes to the man cave via the stairs of death.

The office leading into the kitchen.

Dining room.  I’m SO excited to have a formal dining room!!

These built-in nooks are a big reason I fell in love with the house.


Stephen approves of the dining room.

Living room.  This may be my favorite room in the house.

I LOVE that window.  Just not the pastel painted panes.

Sunroom off of living room.  This room looked like a Easter egg exploded in it.

Looking from sunroom into living room.

Hall bathroom.  This could have been a big project but luckily was redone before we closed.


I really liked the original floor, however it wasn’t able to be saved.

Hallway.  That hole is where the telephone stand was.

Master ‘suite.’  The two bedrooms on the back of the house are connected so we plan on using one room as a sitting room/den and the other for our bedroom.

We chose not to keep the custom painted artwork on the windows. 🙂


Closet in the sitting room.  That thing in the left corner is a laundry shoot! 

The master bathroom in the back bedroom.  It’s small but we’re thrilled considering we don’t have a master bath now.

Back bedroom.  It has an exterior door which is kind of weird.  We’re told this room was an efficiency apartment at one time as well as a doctor’s office!

Walk-in closet.  Stephen said this could be all mine!

Well that’s how the house looked the first time we saw it.  Its a little rough in places but its amazing how much a difference a coat of paint makes.  I’ll post pictures of some of the updated rooms soon.


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Here’s the story about how we stalked found the house. 

We first noticed the house a couple months after we moved into our current house by walking around the neighborhood.  We probably noticed it at first due to the dinosaur that was in the front yard.  After we looked past the interesting yard decoration, I immediately loved the style of the house.  Officially I think it’s called a “Storybook Cottage” (I plan on doing more research on that later).  They are categorised by swooping gables, rounded doors and asymmetrical features, all of which this house has, and were popular in the 1920’s and 30’s.  There really aren’t many in this style around the Square so its kind of unique. 

Last fall for some reason I really started taking notice of the house.  I just really liked it and would always want to walk by ‘the dinosaur house.’  After a while we noticed that there were never any cars there.  One day a few weeks later I worked up the courage to go peak in the windows (after Stephen told me not to) and found out it was pretty vacant.  After I knew it was vacant I kind of began stalking the house.  I would always drive by it, just to see if anything had changed.  It was this big mystery to me, and I think I was so interested in it partially because I didn’t know anything about it.  I remember one day at work I suddently had the random thought: “we should buy the dinosaur house.”  I often have random thoughts, but I remember this one because the way it popped into my head was so ‘matter of fact.’  I told Stephen I thought we should buy it and of course he thought I was being stupid because we knew absolutely nothing about it and he really didn’t get my weird obsession, especially since we hadn’t been in our current house (that we both loved) even two years. 

Fast forward a couple months (during which I was still discreetly house stalking), where one time when I drove by there was a van in the driveway.  I got so excited since this was the first sign of life I had seen at the house in the months that I had been watching it.  I was on my way to school so I frantically called Stephen and told him “there’s someone at our house!”  He was like “Um, yeah, I’m home…”  “No, the dinosaur house.”  (He groans.)   “Please go see who it is or if you can find out anything.”  He agrees to walk by, but by the time he got there whoever was there was gone.  I was sad because the mystery continued. 

A couple of days later, the van is back along with another car.  Once I noticed them on my way home, I rushed home and announced to Stephen as soon as I walked in the door that we were leaving right then to go walk by the dinosaur house.  He reluctantly agrees (again, he didn’t understand my obsession and honestly neither did I).  Once we were there the cars were still there, and it looked like they were moving furniture.  I just didn’t know if they were moving in or out. 

After forcing my husband to awkwardly stand on the sidewalk for a good length of time until the people starting walking outside (he wanted to go home, but I think he stayed in hopes that I would actually find out what was up with this house so I’d shut up about it).  We crossed the street and approached the woman and asked “are y’all moving out?”  She said “yes, its just taking me a while to get everything out and get the house ready.”  Then I asked the all important question: “are you looking to sell the house?”  She said yes, and we mentioned that we were always intrigued by the house and thought it looked interesting.  (No, I did not tell her I’d been stalking it for a couple months and that we really weren’t ‘just walking by’ and noticed them there, but I didn’t want to freak her out.)  She was gracious enough to take us inside and show it to us and tell us about it. 

And the rest, they say, is history.  My sister claims I’m one of the luckiest people on earth because it seems random things like this happen to me often.  Random things like finding great houses that aren’t technically for sale and are cheaper than everything else in the area just by walking by.  Yeah, that’s now happened to me now twice since that’s essentially how we found our first house. 

I do find it odd, but I’m not complaining.  🙂

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Well to put it simply, we’re kind of crazy. 

I mean, we LOVE the house we’ve been in for the past two years.  We absolutely love the location.  We can walk to the Square for restaurants, shops and festivals, which is rare OTP (outside the perimeter for any non-ATL people).  We’re also in a historic district with lots of different styles of houses, and we’re not that far from the interstate.    Our current house is cute.  It’s pretty.  It’s decorated.  It’s in immaculate shape.  (All things which our new house isn’t.)  But, it’s also small.  That’s not really a problem now considering it’s just me, Stephen and the cat (who arguably takes up the space of 2 or 3 cats). 

However, we know that someday it will be an issue and we will need a bigger house.  We also know, that we want to stay around the Square in the historic district, in an old house.  We want something with character and more space.  The problem is, pretty much everything bigger than our house now around the Square is way out of our price range.  If you can tack on ‘historic’ and ‘walk to the Square’ to your house listing, it’s like you can instantly charge more.  We were very fortunate to get our current house at such a great deal (and it is coming back to help us now that we’re selling), but for the most part, a bigger house around the Square is a couple hundred thousand more than our price range.

And that’s where our new house comes in.  It’s bigger.  It’s older.  It has more character.  The lot is almost twice as big.  We can afford it.  But it’s a little rough.  And it’s going to take some work.  A lot of work.  And we love it.  The way we see it, if we’re ever going to tackle a big whole house renovation/restoration project, now is the time (when its only me, Stephen and the large cat.) 

This house was too good a deal to pass up and it let us get our bigger house around the Square.  Ironically, it also has almost everything I wanted on my ‘wish list,’ (high ceilings, unique features/character, two living rooms, master suite with bathroom, room to grow into, etc.).  The things it doesn’t have can be added someday (clawfoot tub, awesome kitchen, porch, garage. etc).  We love the house the way it is and at the same time excited about the potential it has for the future.  Hopefully, this will be our last move and we’ll be here for many, many years to come.

At least thats the plan.  Six months from now when I’m tired of painting baseboards every weekend, out of money, and sick of living in a disorganized mess, maybe I’ll think differently.  🙂

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