HOUSE TOUR

These photos of the Dream House were shot in March 2014, after four months of ownership. Scroll down the page to see photos of the house from November 2013.

Four months into ownership and we’ve made some real progress on the Dream House. Gone are the bright colors and empty spaces. Now we have gray walls and a lot more vintage furniture.

The photos below show the house as it looked when we took possession in November 2013.

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We took possession of our big old Dream house in November 2013. Before we started making it OUR house, I pulled out the camera and snap some shots of the way the house looked when we moved in. So here is the house that will become the Dream house, as-is, along with a few notes on our plans.

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This living room. Oh my God. Other than the day I met Mr. Blandings, I have never known love at first sight quite like this. Those doors that lead out the sun porch! That fireplace! The two other walls of beautiful old windows that aren’t pictured here! There’s so much to love about this big old living room that I would go numb naming them all here! Of course, as much as I love it, there are a few things we’re planning to change. While I love painted trim in most homes, we’re going to try to strip the woodwork in the dream house. We also want to tame the color a bit. Our city home started out quite colorful but I eventually went back to white walls. We plan to do the same thing here – although we’re going to concentrate on stripping the trim before we start painting.

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My best guess is that the kitchen was updated in the early 1980’s. I don’t hate the kitchen but I definitely don’t love it either. The house would have originally had a gas range but the gas line has been capped off and there’s now an electric range. Eventually we’ll want to reopen the gas line to allow for a gas range but the existing stove is definitely livable. In fact, all of the kitchen appliances are in great shape, even better than the newer appliances in our city apartment. I have some short terms plans for updating the kitchen, as well as long term plans for giving it a complete overhaul. I’ll share more of that in a later post.

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This will be the master bedroom. It’s the biggest of the three bedrooms and, like the others, features corner windows that make the room feel big, bright and full of the outdoors. The floors had been covered with carpet for a number of years but the sellers ripped it up to expose the hardwood floors. We love, love, love these floors so I’m very happy that they’re already uncovered and in great condition. As with the living room, we’ll paint this bedroom – and all the other rooms, for that matter – white.

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This will be the guest bedroom. It’s in the front of the house and, like the other two bedrooms, features expansive closets that are covered with louvered doors. I don’t love the louvered doors but I don’t hate them either. We’re going to try to make them work in the short term but we’ll eventually replace them at some point. My latest idea is to re-purpose old doors to create new closet doors. Ultimately, we’d like to recreate the built-in wardrobes that would have been in the house but that’s a little pie-in-the-sky at this juncture.

There’s a small bedroom in the back of the house that I didn’t get a shot of during the walk through. Instead, Mr. Blandings snapped this photo while I was writing at the big old desk over the weekend.

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When we watched Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House recently, we laughed at Muriel Blandings’ plans for her sewing room. When she said that she wanted a little room where she could sew or sulk on a rainy afternoon, we knew that was exactly what we wanted for this room – our writing room. It’s the small bedroom that overlooks the back yard and the ivy covered garage. Come on, it’s practically begging to be a room where we retire to sew, sulk or blog!

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This is definitely the biggest bathroom we’ve ever owned. It’s bigger than any bathroom we’ve rented! We’re planning to rip out the existing vanity and replace it with a new sink and toilet. I was originally thinking about painting the existing floor but we might bite the bullet and replace the flooring completely.

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I should probably hate the tile in the shower, but I actually really like it. Not only is it in great shape, the prairie grass inspired pattern is very fitting for the house. The tub is in great shape (although I see a fixture replacement in the near future).

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While the chimney to the fireplace in the living room has been blocked with insulation, the wood burning stove in the basement is in working condition. Or, well, it’s supposed to work anyway. We weren’t very successful in building a fire in it but I suspect that had more to do with user error than anything else. The seller told us that originally there was a drop ceiling in here. They removed it to expose the beams. Again, we’re happy they did something that we would have done anyway. I’d like to find a way to disguise wires but otherwise we like the bareness of the basement.

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On our first night in the house, fueled by the exhilaration of the moment and a belts of celebratory scotch, Mr Blandings captured this wonderful photo of the dream house lit at night. Ain’t she a beaut? 

And so there it is – the dream house as we know it. We’ve planned a lot of changes, both short term and pie-in-the-sky, that we’ll be sharing soon. 

— J. Blandings

Images: Mr and Mr Blandings

9 thoughts on “HOUSE TOUR

  1. Jim and Sandy Schellorn

    Thanks so much for the open house invite! We had a really good time and hopefully can get together in the future as well.
    Sandy and Jim

    Reply
  2. Deb (Stella) Evanson

    Welcomed our new neighbors (minus one) Sunday afternoon. I am terribly sorry I interrupted Jason’s painting frenzy!!! So good to know that I have met someone who will be helping me with updates to my home as well. You do remember saying that, don’t you Jason??????

    Reply
    1. Deb (Stella) Evanson

      Darn computer!!!! I meant to say, I am looking forward to many nights around the firepit with the two of you!!!

      Reply
  3. Edward V Insull

    HI M and J This blog is GREAT I love it show more pictures of what you and J have done.

    Reply
  4. Megan McJunkin

    Brilliant! Congratulations on your beautiful home. I’m grateful you see the charm in those bathroom tiles; at least the color is subtle enough to have potential, which I’m sure you will maximize. Can’t wait to see you progress with this inspirational canvas.

    Reply
  5. John Clouse

    I’m so glad you are in your dream house. I had the good fortune to visit it several years back and can attest to it being in need of work. But the bones are strong. Good Luck in your endeavors.
    Good, too, that you’ve discovered the Wright Chat. Much help can be obtained there. There is a fellow in Iowa who has likewise restored his Wright house who might have a lot of advice for you, if you want it. He goes by the Chat name of peterm. He own the Lamberson House in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Wright!

    Reply
  6. Ted Lawrence

    Thanks for the photos. While we’re not in a FLW house, we’re in a 1909 Prairie influenced house in Oak Park (that means we get to drive by a lot of FLW houses with great regularity!) . We’ve been in our house for 24 years and are just getting to the end of our “we should change that” list of things to do. We’ll be watching for future postings

    Reply
  7. kc

    Hi, still looking for a Mr. Blandings congrats to you both. I hope you don’t take this wrong, you should do what you want with the house…..I grew up at a time when everyone lived in a ranch house and the only way colors deviated from white was to off-white, that people would give many different off-names….rose is still a rose. I’ve gone from a diff color in each room to ok some varying levels of continuity…..and while I really like the colors in your house everyone should repaint when moving just to make it yours……but why do you feel you want everything white? There are many possibilities. I also like wood…..to a degree…..to much to me seems…..old….not vintage but old. The white trim looks airy and has continuity. So what are your thoughts on these choices? Is it a Wright thing. I’m new to decorating and when I hear something that sounds blah it usually turns out to be great and I get all turned around on a new trend. Your blog is really interesting. Lemme know, and don’t mean to be torch your ideas, just really curious!

    Reply

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