Do you see any ghosts? I’m always looking!
Back in March, my family picked up and moved across the water to an amazing place, Vashon Island. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that I am really sitting in my little office and looking out at the water. The home we found is a perfect little gem (for us). We had been searching for a while and desired a home that needed some love. It seemed we were finding two ends of a spectrum- there were homes with sagging floors and water damage and there were homes that had been completely remodeled. When our broker, Claire Zaner (amazing, by the way) suggested that we consider Vashon Island, we knew very little about the island and had never visited. Our first trip to the island was to look at what would eventually become our new home. I hopped on the ferry with Claire and my two little boys with no idea what to expect. The town was adorable, but I was concerned that it wouldn’t have everything I need. The house was a little farther from the ferry than we hoped, considering that my husband would have to ride his bike to the dock every day as a part of his commute. We pulled up in a narrow driveway and I wasn’t entirely sure how I would get back down with no turnaround at the top.
The house has a small deck on the back and we entered from the back into a mudroom. A bathroom was immediately off to one side, and we later discovered that when this house was built, it did not have a bathroom but utilized an outhouse instead. That bathroom is the only bathroom in the house, and it was added on to what used to be the outside deck. The bathroom is a wonderful size, and functions for now, but has so many design flaws that it drives me completely bonkers. When we open the door the toilet is the first thing in view and the view from the toilet is the neighbor’s home. Being a mom of two little boys, I am sure you can imaging my fear of the door being flung open for one of their supposed “emergencies” right when the neighbors are enjoying the view out their kitchen window. I would like to swap the location of the toilet with the vanity. Moving the vanity also gives us room to make the vanity a double sink vanity with storage rather than the single we currently have with room only for a garbage below. My favorite thing about this area is that the exterior siding is still on the interior of the mudroom. My grand idea is that the spider basement be connected to the home with an interior stairwell where our current deck is. Right now, our laundry room is in the basement, and this would let us use that space as the mud room and convert the mudroom into a pantry. My more realistic idea is that we move the washer and dryer upstairs into the current mudroom, right under the window so that I can watch my boys play in the yard while folding laundry.
Retro 50’s built-ins and carpet, carpet, carpet.
The kitchen, dining room, mudroom, and bathroom all had a dingy stained vinyl floor and oh, the spiderwebs… this house was way overdue for a good cleaning. The 9′ ceilings and windows in every room gave the house a nice open and airy feeling. The carpet that looked like it was from the 1950’s did not. There are so many odd features in our new home. Wood paneling angles out like the fins on a classic car. I get the distinct impression that the Jetsons moved into the home in the 50’s and attempted to modernize it by forcing the then contemporary styling. The walls were a dingy yellowed color and the trim was a heavy dark brown (no, those dark brown beams are not a natural wood finish, it’s a sloppy paint job). One room has wallpaper that has been painted over, and little speckles of the design are popping through, making the walls look like they have grease spots all over. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us. Below see some additional photos of the house as it was before we moved in. I will post updates as they happen!
So, so, so much potential.
Ooh, peeling paint and overgrown landscape!
One of my favorite things about old houses is all the storage space and interesting nooks.
The two kid’s rooms are near identical.
A beautiful idea, and I love the old details, but it is horribly outdated, and we are currently keeping the portable dishwasher in the mudroom!
What can I say? Lots of wood. Lots of carpet. A red leather sofa bonus.
The master bedroom will probably be our last project to tackle.
This is now my office and yes, those curtains have moved.
Notice the odd soffit- this is not structural and holds no ductwork of any kind. Just a weird spider collecting light.
There is the weird soffit again. That light fixture is amazing. It lowers and raises for flexible lighting needs!