Happy Monday! We’re kicking off the week with a special tour of bloggers sharing reasons why they chose the home they currently live in. We all have our reasons – maybe it’s an open floor plan or the character of an older home. I think you’ll enjoy everyone’s stories (links are at the end of this post). Here’s my story of why I chose my historic home!
I’ve lived in this 140-year old house for over 20 years. I bought it when I was a single mom with three kids. After my divorce, I lived with the kids in an apartment for 6 years. It wasn’t too bad because there were lots of kids there – and a pool! My goal was always to buy a house by myself though – and I did it!
You might think I was a little loopy to buy such an old house without a man to help fix things. I didn’t even think about that though. I just knew that I wanted my own place with historic charm and took a big leap of faith.
One of the first things I loved about my historic home was the decent-sized front porch. When I was married we owned two different houses, and neither had a front porch. I also loved that this house had clapboard siding instead of vinyl or aluminum. Believe it or not, the house was pink when I bought it.
Another huge selling point for me was the fact that the empty lot to the east of my house was included in the sales price! It’s a separate buildable lot and I thought I could always sell it down the road to help pay for my kids’ college expenses.
Fortunately I didn’t need to sell the lot and we’re in the process of figuring out different garden zones for this space. We recently added the shade garden under the trees.
Do you see that little red house at the end of the road on the left? That’s where our street empties into a gravel path that winds its way to the forest preserve – yet another reason why I love my historic home. It’s located on the corner of the block of a quiet street. All I have to do to enjoy a scenic walk is head down that road and follow the gravel path to the forest preserve.
One thing I have to have in any house I live in – is ample windows! I love the double windows in the entryway. And I love the real wood trim that frames them. I can look out this window onto the lot that houses our shade garden and vegetable/flower garden.
Another added bonus of my circa 1875 home is the wide baseboard trim that you’ll find in every room. And the wood trim is real even though it’s painted. I’m not a fan of faux wood.
Even the front door has a large window. I don’t like front doors that are solid with no window. I also loved the decorative trim on the inside of the front door, along with the door lock and door knob. It’s all those little details of an historic home that make it so endearing.
When you step inside the front door, you can see all the way from the entry/dining room through the sitting room into the kitchen. All of the doorways have wood trim around them, which I also love. You can see the trim work around the kitchen windows, along with the ceiling beams that were intact when I bought the house.
When this house was for sale, it was a featured home in our local newspaper. There was a photo of the trio of windows above the kitchen sink. Those windows piqued my interest but unfortunately, the house was priced out of my budget so I put it out of my mind.
About a month later, I noticed the price dropped on the house and I picked up the phone to call my realtor to see it. And as you can see, the back door also has a large window just like the front door.
Let me just say, I was not a fan of the green tile floor when I saw it. I wondered how I’d be able to afford to replace it since I was a single mom with three school-aged children. As time went on, the floor started to grow on me. I hope to replace the cabinets, counter top, and faucet sometime in the next 12 months. They’re looking a little worn.
When I first saw my historic home, I was thrilled to see there was a wide enough window sill to place plants on!
Another selling point, is the built-in cabinet on the other end of the room. My kitchen isn’t modern, and I’m okay with that. It reminds me of an era gone by and I find that comforting. The little wooden chair came from a house a block away that belonged to an elderly Swedish women. Sadly, they tore her house down to create a garden. I loved her old home!
With three kids, I was happy to see that the built-in cupboard was pretty spacious and would provide lots of storage. And look at the detail of the inside of the cupboard doors, along with the bead board lining the back of the cabinet.
The door in the kitchen leads to my scary basement. I was going to include photos in this post, but I’ve decided to do a separate fun post about that. The basement has a story all its own! All of the doors in my historic home have paneled doors like this one – yet another reason why I chose this home to live in.
My family room used to be a bedroom on the first floor. I knew someday when the kids flew the coop that I’d turn this room into a T.V. room. The room has three rather large windows in it – something I have to have. I love natural light.
One thing I’ve always wanted was a two-toned staircase. This stairway was clad in 80’s style rose-colored carpeting when we first moved in. But when I first toured the home, I had pulled up a loose corner of the carpet to see what was underneath. So I knew there were painted floors beneath all the carpet.
Believe it or not, I pulled up all that carpeting by myself and hauled it out to the curb for garbage pick-up. I then painted every floor in the house except the kitchen and downstairs bathroom.
The bedrooms in my house are small, which is typical for the era in which it was built. I’m okay with that because I only use my room for sleeping and getting dressed. I’ve never liked having a T.V. or exercise equipment in a bedroom. It seems too distracting – but that’s just me. I do like the angled ceiling; it creates a cozy feeling.
The smallest bedroom is decorated in blue and white. I loved this little room when I first saw it and knew it’d be perfect for my son. I think the ceiling is cool and wish the entire second floor had the same ceiling treatment. It looks to me like someone removed the plaster to reveal the lathe underneath.
The upstairs bathroom was the last room I saw during my first walk-through. It has a claw foot tub with shower (my first floor bathroom also has a claw foot tub), which was another reason why I chose to buy this house. I also fell in love with the little sink and the quirky appeal of this room. I’m pretty sure it was a closet at one time that was turned into a full bath.
When I remarried, hubby and I talked about buying a new home together. We even looked at several model homes in the area. But we ended up staying put. I guess we both love old and quirky. And since we decided to stay, we added our beautiful garden pond in the backyard.
The house is a good size for two people and we love the location. We’re on a quiet street in a small, but growing town. Chicago is just an hour away – our town is the last stop on rail service to the Second City.
Below are the links to the other bloggers who are sharing the reasons for why their chose their beautiful homes. Come back on Tuesday and Wednesday for links to the rest of the bloggers!