THE MEIER HOUSE | JANUARY 2019
Welcome to This American House, also known as the Delbert and Grace Meier House, an American System-Built Home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We’ve been the stewards of the Meier House since November 2013. On this page, in reverse chronological order, you’ll see our progress as we maintain and restore this 100+ year old home.
Want to see some real progress? Look at these photos of the house before it was This American House. The photos below are from March 2014, four months into our adventure with the Meier House. (Scroll down the page to see photos of the house from November 2013 – the month we closed on the house.)
The photos below show the house as it looked when we took possession in November 2013 – along with some notes that we took at the time. We’ve come a long way since then! Both in maintaining the house and everything we’ve learned about it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.