Tuesday, December 30, 2008

After Christmas... before New Year...

This is a view into the dining room from the living room. The far wall has an alcove with a leaded glass window and was covered with 70's paneling when we bought the place. This space has provided much inspiration through the beginning of our work on the house. It was (and will be again!) a built-in buffet on the side of the dining room. In the attic found the original 7 'beveled mirror that hung horizontally above the buffet top...

The first thing I saw when I walked in this house that made me want it was the box beam ceilings. As you can see they are in the living room and dining room. This week we have been working on cleaning them up and prepping for paint. As in the bed rooms there was thick layer of 'decorative texture' that had to be scraped off the ceiling between the beams.

The opening on the far wall is where the french doors (the originals were in the basement!) will be hung again. Thanks to Liz Deck's under-the-floor trim detective work we discovered there was once an opening wide enough for two doors side by side. A few swipes with a Sawzall opened up to find the double header in place and an incredible flow from the box beam ceiling, to the doors, to the back room.

Our great friend Britt Kummer has helped us come up with a fantastic use of space in the kitchen! The back of the kitchen leads upstairs and is slated to be home to the fridge (right), pantry (left behind small wall), and more counter space (left foreground). Where the window is on the left used to be a half bath, then it became a laundry room... and now we are happy to have the natural light in the back of the kitchen.
This is a view of the kitchen looking toward the dining room. At this point the electrical is almost all the way roughed in and you can see we are ready to put some insulation up in those exterior walls (though it would have been nice if that happened before Arctic Blast 2008!). As always Alistair is assuming his role as 'The Supervisor'...

Monday, December 29, 2008

How we got here

With a fantastic Realtor, a few strokes of luck, and a dash of boldness we were able to buy this house in the wonderful Laurelhurst neighborhood. A 'three' bedroom, one bath with an unfinished basement and all kinds of potential.

As we have learned it was the first house built on the block on Couch Street. A unique bungalow built in 1913 with only two (yes... unbelievable) previous owners.

We knew right away that we owed the house a lot of our time and that we had to do it justice with the renovation.

Part of the deal in buying the house was that it came with the 'personal property in it... aka LOTS of junk. Closing happened quickly and we had to make plans to get it cleaned out so we could get down to the business of fixing it up. The house had good bones but needed a fairly substantial make over. The kitchen was a full tear out, but the rest of the house really just needed fresh surfaces.

We didn't waste any time and the day after closing we got straight to work. LD and I had vacation plans to go to Mexico the week before Thanksgiving but somehow decided pulling out stinky carpet would be more fun than white sandy beaches (sigh).

Three 30yd dumpsters, an army of wonderful friends (fueled on pizza and beer), and 3 days later we cleaned out the whole house. My buddy Eric and I gutted the kitchen down to the studs, and then a little further. We had folks sweeping out dust from the 50's in the basement, priming bedroom walls, and doing laps to Goodwill in their cars.

And we thought we would be in 'put it back together mode' in short order...


The first entry into the journey of fixing up or 1913 bungalow in Laurelhurst Portland Oregon...

I have start this a story a little while after it really began: In the madness of house shopping, selling and buying we (uh... I) lost our camera.

So many of the first days of work were not captured by us. Fortunately friends and family came over to help work and took some shots that I am hopin we get. After a month of denial I coughed up for a new camera, and we have are now in business!