Archive for the 'heritage homes' Category

heritage homes 2012

where i rocked my gut all around the north end nine months pregnant.  i’ve also done the tour seven months pregnant and nearly fell down a whole flight of stairs in my little blue booties.  but i don’t let it stop me.  favorite holiday ever.


this year the houses were smaller but they still had lovely, hand-crafted insides.  this one had lots of wood paneling and a cool fireplace…that or it was the other house that looked just like this one.  hard to say.  but we’ll give it to reuben, since that’s some cursed dull, mannish curb appeal right there.


the classic car folks also showcased a collection of cars down the block.


this house happened to be right next door to our church, so it was fun to go inside the house i park in front of every week.  it kept a lot of it’ original features except it had a pop-out kitchen addition off the back.  big two story-windows with a deck and tv room.  making it a classic family home.  bright colors with lots of light.  i’d say it belongs in the hands of aunt becca.  since she’s the one who knows how to have fun.


another swank-o car.

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and a very clean cottage.  all white inside, white woodwork, white walls, a clean slate and a freshly remodeled kitchen.  perfect for my mother to paint yellow and fill up with knick nacks and ceramic chickens.


this red house was one of my favorites, so i’ll give it to sarah.  (i kind of like her.)  very warm and cozy having the vital architectural feature of a sun room.  it took up the whole left side of the house and was full of desks, old pictures, and books.  (and that dude in the hat right there, totally ate it when he came out 15 minutes later.  his feet slipped out from under him and he went flying over the steps and landed on his back.  moe and curly style.  awesome.)


and this house is for natalie.  cuz natalie has some class.  the whole right side was a yellow paneled sitting room with a raised area for the piano along the end wall.  coved ceilings, chandeliers, and chinese wall paper.  in the entry there was a lovely grand stair with a huge balcony window at the top.  to the left of the entry was the dining room, and two steps down from that was the smoking room.  dark and masculine with it’s own fireplace and leather furnishings.  every house should have a smoking room, not to mention a gun room and a breakfast room.  instead we have master bathrooms that take up half the house.  frankly, i don’t think the room you poop in merits that kind of attention.

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this house i’m giving to grammy.  it was meticulous, as you can see from the yard.  with a huge dining room, tons of carved woodwork  and carved furniture.  i was dying to paint all kinds of stuff.  made me feel downright immoral, but it couldn’t be helped.


and this, this is my house.  it had servant’s quarters.  really, what more could you ask for?  you k now, besides an acre lot and a geothermal swimming pool.


indeed.  with a giant patio and built in stone buffet for poolside entertaining even.  hyacinth would be pleased.


but i do believe the lady that lived there was quite insane.  not that i have the right to complain about anyone else’s decorating, but still….


it was ugly.  this was a little sun room/library that opened up on the courtyard.  the other half of the room was floor to ceiling book cases.


the butterfly collection.  which i kind of wanted to take home with me.  one crazy lady to another.


and get this, a pink kitchen.  i don’t know who takes a mediterranean revival mansion and goes all crazy betty on it, but it was pretty sweet.  my friend and i were ooing and ahhing over the kitchen when we were like, “hey, where’s the stove?”  and, “this isn’t a very big kitchen for such a big house.”  well that’s because we were standing in the butler’s pantry.  the kitchen was yonder.


and it was as pink and obscene as you could possibly wish for, with trash shoots, servants’ bells and a pink breakfast nook.


here is the view from the dining room to the living room.  whoever drops two million dollars on this house better be ready to get out their can of stripper, because i am experiencing conflicting emotions while looking at these pictures.


it’s just not right.  all the painted woodwork and the stuccoed over beams in the ceiling.  i’m surprised there aren’t fluorescent tube lights.  then you have to consider the green shag on the carpet and the chintz curtains that match the fabric on the sofa.  it’s like a bad dream.


but i just love how the stair runners ties it all together.  😉



anyways, i could fill this house up with kids so fast, it would be great.  i guess this house had five kids in at one time.  which must have been fun.  if it was mine, i think i would go kind of sparse and rustic with the decorating, with random splotches of color to keep it from becoming too serious.  but mostly, i think it should be an easy breezy kind of house that you could run through at breakneck speeds and slide down the stairs in your mummy bag.


here is the master with the walk through closet and master bath.  back when wallpaper was cool.


and the kids’ bedroom which shared a bath with the bedroom kitty corner to it.  then further down the hall, in exile, were the servants’ quarters.  and that’s where you could keep the boys.


there were wonderful little balconies everywhere.  when i was little balconies only meant one thing.  and that was dragging the mattresses out of the house so you could jump off on them.  so much potential.


but the lavender powder room has to go.  i think that’s the thing with this house.  i love the feel of it and the space.  but i suffer no loyalty to the architectural style.  i could do whatever i wanted.  apparently that’s what everybody else did.




and last but not least is megan’s little gnome house.  a little turret entrance and a long wood beamed living room with long windows and built in spanish shutters.  very quaint.  here’s to 2013, can’t wait.

heritage homes 2011

my favorite national holiday strikes again.  interesting thing to note, the houses were smaller this year, but so much more loved!  the big houses on harrison were cold, empty, and actually dirty in comparison.  these were a joy.  the were also mostly family homes.  what was unique about this home were the dormers up top.  it had four of them.  most even had windows along the sides, as well as the front.  and they all had sky lights.  being upstairs was like being in an aviary.

plus neat little gardens tucked along the sides.  with all the original woodwork and character, plus library and gourmet kitchen, i have to give this house to my mother-in-law.  it is the perfect grandma house.  especially with the built in captain’s beds upstairs and tiny triangular windows lurking everywhere.  just fun.

this house was also fun, but mammoth fun.  the lady i toured with snapped it right up.  so i’m afraid becca, you’re going to have to fight her for it.  transom windows all down the halls, a bathroom sink the size of a bathtub, and a full basement speakeasy with murals from the 1920’s.  but i couldn’t get over the sink.  seriously.  this style, but a double.  same faucet, only two of them.  i want one.  or more.

lydia, the lady i was with, couldn’t get over the island.  (she wants one.)  “miranda, take a picture.”  “i can’t take a picture, you’re not allowed to take pictures.”  “cry me a river.  hand me the camera.”  and there you have it.

what i didn’t like about the house was it’s bizarre eclecticism.   lydia loved it.  but i like houses to have a heavy duty continuity.  kind of like prisons.  that and i did’t like the screened in porches on the front.  it has the same effect as giving a perfectly good house a lean-to.  although the one on the side was much nicer.  it had a solid, “built-in” feel with pocket doors opening onto the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  just a nice space all round.

and this cozy little cottage i’m giving to my mother.  it was rather horrifically decorated with asian themes, lots of mirrors, spaceship interpretive chairs, and a dining room entirely filled with a black, pearl inlaid behemoth table, matching chairs, hutch, and buffet.

but they knew how to garden.  you had no idea this yard was here from the street.

a perfect oasis.  where the man of the house had retreated for the long haul, book in hand.

the french doors open into a sunken parlor.  and that’s lydia perusing.

the caribbean cottage.  definitely the most innovative.  this was the only house inhabited by a lone couple and they were weekend warriors.  they did some crazy shiz in there.  which, unfortunately, i can’t show you.  i think the living room was painted knock out coral, the dining room yellow with teal accents, the bathroom was turned into a plant jungle, the upstairs was all whites and mosquito netting on perpetual honeymoon.

what was really clever was how they cut all their six-panel doors in half upstairs to make mini, double doors.  which don’t get in the way in tight spaces.  and then they took over the whole back yard for entertaining since the place was on the small side.  and yes, megan, it’s for you.

and for me, the no-nonsense four square.  also a family home and completely savaged by ultra modern decorating.  i couldn’t choose between this house and the last one.  this one is my kind of efficiency.  but seriously, ugly.  i did like their floor to ceiling glass doors in the dining room.  they rolled away to create seamless indoor/outdoor eating.  with lots of children outdoor eating (and a hose) is a must.

the back yard studio and ikea swing set.  how grim is that?  whatever you do, don’t have fun on it.

and my favorite house.  big, open, and impeccably decorated.  which means i’m giving it to sarah.  she wouldn’t have to lift a finger.  my favorite was the small parlor off the living room.  those are the windows you see in the picture, they wrap around both sides too.  and get this, the walls were upholstered.  yes, dreamy.

all in all it was jolly fun.  some of the decorating on the tour was a bit exuberant.  but it really only told you that the people who lived there loved it – and they were spotless!  i would take a well-cared for home with injudicious decorating over an indifferent one any day.  some of the nicer houses i’ve been in left me with the impression that the people didn’t actually live there.  they lived where they worked so they could afford to visit there at night and pay someone else to hang their pictures.  anyways, maybe i will see you next year.  warm spring suburbs are what’s up.

heritage homes tour 2010

it’s how i know my husband loves me.  he even bought me a bubble tea.

and i was so excited they included one of my favorite neighborhoods along the crescent.  it got chopped off from the world by federal way and it is it’s own little island.  you can’t even tell it’s there.  i was giddy.  i have always liked this first house.  it’s so strange to finally go in them after stalking them all these years.  and then only to find that it’s absolute nursing home ready.  it was just begging for me to move in and *not* wallpaper the bathroom in department of the interior posters and evict the blue, beribboned geese from the kitchen.  how could anyone be so cruel?  (and just so you know, my next favorite thing to do on the homes tour besides covet or wonder why god ever gave people free will, is to parcel houses out to my family.  natalie, i hope you have fun remodeling this dump.  i swear it has potential.)

this next house was very cottagy.  it’s violet’s.  and it was very cozy and original throughout, except for the fancy, upgraded kitchen.  i just don’t know about people and their freakin’ pets.  the master bed was absolutely flanked by dog beds.  people are insane.  it did have a tiny blue bedroom tucked up in one of the eves.  just big enough for a white metal bed frame, white lace curtains and white built-ins the full length of the room and accessed by it’s own stair.  the other cool thing was what could easily be mistaken for martha’s potting shed in the back yard and a lovely paneled man office upstairs with it’s own balcony.

and then joy of all joys, we got to look in *my* house.  where i would live if i could pick anywhere in boise.  it’s the tip of the pizza island.  one side is flanked by a cliff and the other by federal way.  it’s in the middle of town and you have no idea it’s there from the road.  unless, of course, you sneak up there with your stroller and pretend your lost and try to look in the windows…  but this time i was legit.  ha.  the owner was saying how he didn’t really want to be on the tour since everyone would know where he was and want his house.  i told him i had been onto him for years.  (mine, all mine.)

i don’t know what is more disturbing, granny and grampy kicking it in a fine piece of real estate with their mismatched furniture, threadbare rugs and yellow tinted plastic ware, or people who have more money than they know what to do with.  this house was done entirely by designers.  it was kind of creepy and soul sucking.  which is why i gave it to sarah.  i’m sure between her and her spawn she could make the place feel right at home in a matter of days.

this was the nicest house on the tour as far as mavis compatibility.  you walked into a round foyer with a wood spiral stair, vintage yellow wallpaper, period brass fixtures including a thistle motif chandelier.  *love*  then the spiral stair continued to the 70’s wood paneled basement.  ?  well, you can’t have everything.  although these owners did rock a wonderful addition off the back.  “goiters,” as my husband calls them, are hard to do well.  they kept the same floor plan of the house and just extended the living and dining rooms and added a breakfast room off the kitchen.  which made the longest dining room i have ever seen.  you could whip out all eleven leaves and still have room to get around.

the back of the house was almost solid windows.  so the dining and living rooms had lovely views of the back yard.  (i gave this house to my mother even though i wanted to keep it for me.  i guess i must trust you.)

and this house was definitely the swankest.  i’ve been trying to eye it for years since it is gated.  but now i know for sure.  it’s sweet.  you approach it from the back because they turned it to face the views.

and that’s a view.  the crescent is basically a cliff and in this case it drops down into anne morrison park.

these owners also did very legit additions.  both the right and left sides were added later.  the left is the man library and the right is a new, craftsman style kitchen with slate counters, vaulted/beamed ceiling and a family room complete with fireplace.  we gave this house to gayla since both my mother and i would want to paint all the wood.  nature is supposed to stay outside.

this house had some lovely outdoor space.  outdoor eating area, patio, some amazing views, fountains, rock landscaping (no concrete curbing here) and mature trees.

baby chicks.

and more fun.  off of the basement was a little south facing greenhouse.  the stairwell also had a little window that opened to a shelf for milk delivery.  in the original house plans the basement showed a rec room, fireplace, laundry room, coal room, wood room and fruit room.  basements used to be so industrious.

view of the bay window in kitchen.  which was an addition.  crazy.  they did a wonderful job.  and the little jog off the left is a little off-kitchen office.  so the wife can facebook and cook at the same time.  and what is really fun is that from the kitchen you can hear the fountains in the pool.  which also happens to be the oldest pool in boise.

here is the little gatehouse where they stow the lawn mowers and an impressive shovel collection.  the guest suite and garage were added later as well.  they needed room for their ferraris.  and i don’t know when they painted everything white, i’m not quite sure what i think about that.  marc thinks it’s sacrilege but i kind of like white brick.  maybe not so much on this style of architecture.  so i guess it has to go.  i should have left a note.

view from the back and the raised veggie garden.

this was the neighboring house.  which is for sale.  so you can see pictures of the interior here.  and let me tell you, it is sick and wrong.  it could be a really nice house but it needs some good cleaning up.  like the whole back end tore off.  i loved the original, narrow living room.  and then they added a gigantic family room off the back and painted it vintage hospital blue with a hint of asbestos.  next i would remove the attached garage.  and then it would be just right for aunt meggie.

i think she could put the adirondack chairs to good use.

and last.  this house is kind of misleading from the front.  the place is huge.  and belongs to a big family.  the addition that landed on the roof is actually a huge master suite with a sitting room and granite bathroom.  along the back is a full length second story deck.  inside, you step down from the formal living room to a huge L-shaped family room with southern exposure and views of the pool.  then you step back up to the breakfast nook or go down the stairs to a full basement.  which wasn’t included in the tour because that is where they hide the children.  becca, this house is for you.  fill it up.

and there you go, my favorite holiday of the year.  i remember waiting in line with marc to get our tickets.  i took a deep breath and said, “oh, doesn’t it feel nice to be surrounded by my kind?”  this is the epitome of tours for middle-aged women in their red plaid dresses with matching red plaid shoes and well disciplined purses.  it was like being surrounded by hyacinths.  see, i told you he loves me.

(oh yes, and reuben, if you were feeling left out we gave you the depot.  i just forgot to take pictures.  i knew you needed room for your full year food supply, child army, arsenal and a good place to mount your anti-aircraft.  see, i’m always thinking.  *m)

my favorite holiday

house stalking is my absolute favorite thing to do.  i can’t drive anywhere without pointing out my favorite houses.  to quote violet, after a hard day of yard saling, “what?  do you have a bloody ‘favorite house’ on every street?”  mostly.  this house is my all time favorite though.  it’s the old assay office in downtown boise.  it was on the heritage homes tour last weekend, so i got to snoop to my heart’s content.


unfortunately, the forest service “remodeled” the inside.  someone had the sense to make them stop before they took on the outside.  they wanted to add white, mobile home wings off the side that wrapped around the front with a little hole for the door.  …to think.


i also got to do a walk through of the klein house.  (which is on sale right now for a tempting $400,000.)  it is amazing.

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i gave it to megan.  (except you have to share with violet, sorry.)  and this house is my mum’s.  since she likes painting.  and how they got real men to put up all that ridiculous trim work in the first place, i will never understand.


on the bottom left is boy exiting the modest front of the klein house and the house on the right is a four square.  it had a large welcoming hall in the front.  too small to be a parlor, but big enough to take coats and shake hands with room for a few chairs on the side.  it even showcased a lovely bay window.  you don’t see those kind of spaces very often, but i kind of liked it.  i gave it to sister sarah because it was kinda boss.  the upstairs had a huge center hall the length of the floor flanked by six bedrooms.  all  very down to business.


the house below was one of the nicest and also the most depressing.  each room was paneled in a different type of wood.  the living was done in oak, the parlor in bird’s eye maple, the library in sycamore, the dining in red cherry, the kitchen in fir – all with nasty, pet-infested berber carpet throughout.  some people have no morals.  and what the lazy boy sectional was doing there, i have no idea.  that is why i gave it to natalie.  she is the man for the job.  i trust the first thing she would do is take the navajo basket collection out of the window.  ???


the house on the bottom right was the perfect family home with a play attic and large walk-in closets between rooms.  so i divied it out to becca and her spawn.


and the heritage inn goes to gayla.  it had a huge white, paneled living room and a gourmet kitchen.  it was still badly outfitted and highly suspect though.  in fact, i find fewer things creepier than bed and breakfasts.


overall, i was amazed by people’s bad taste and general crumminess.  every house i went in was dirty.  we suffered the same sensation last year.  everything felt icky around the edges.  maybe because most people don’t spend much time in their houses so they are never forced to become too intimate with the state of their baseboards and cabinet fronts.  i don’t know.  i do know i’m messy, but i assure you – it’s clean underneath.  😉  and if i was going to invite the entire town of boise to swing by and pop-in, you could count on the whole place being windexed.  my mother and i couldn’t figure it out last year either.  just weird.


and this beast is reuben’s.  i thought he could turn it into a fort.  actually, i was just hoping he would settle down and propagate.  i’ve already named his firstborn (bismark) and picked out his wife (best left undisclosed).  it’s just a shame he doesn’t listen.

a house and a car

how do you rate?

gayla, boy and i (accompanied by scroms) went on the heritage homes tour saturday. gayla and i had fun deliberating over who got what house. boy proved entirely useless when consulted on the matter. “how should i know, why should i care?” this is the reassuring response one should expect from one’s husband when pressed about general feminine madness. we did manage to survive without his advice and saddled grandma sandy with the shaw house.


i am afraid something drastic needs done to the front porch and all the knick knacks need to be drug out and burned. the place made marc queezy.


this is the dining room with the ugliest wall paper on the planet. it’s amazing how they were able to find the same ugly upholstery, and cover all their chairs with it. very industrious. and sorry natalie and reuben, you’re still living with mom and dad. although you could bunk with sarah, her house is a monster and entirely free of chintz.


it’s actually the catholic parish house. sad to say, there weren’t any decent pictures of the inside. the place was inhabited by 12 strange celibates with indifferent taste (at best). it might be a good idea if there were some circulating, fashion, nuns in the business. but no one asked me.


this is the house gayla picked out. it’s actually much larger than it looks so there is plenty of room for grandkids.


with a secret cupboard under the stairs, too.


but gayla mostly wanted it for the bathroom (which there were four of, by the way).


and this is my, all my (sorry, first come, first serve). i have been watching this house for a couple years now. some people had bought it and moved it from the methodist’s parking lot (where it had been abandoned, in very sad shape, for quite some time). it was neat to see it finally restored.



the dining room was painted the neatest shade of gray. it really didn’t feel too dark at all. the only thing that didn’t work was the tablecloth (it kind of fudged with the curtains and the chairs). but it still succeeded in being a nice, warm, cozy room. of course, it will be even warmer when mavis paints it coral.


this is the lovely landing with all the original woodwork. i especially liked what they did with the kitchen. such nice colors and hardly a knick knack in sight. some people could learn from this, i believe.


this is the girl’s bathroom upstairs (just overlook the fact that the vases aren’t evenly spaced on the back of the toilet, and if you can’t, know that you are not alone).


and here is the cool chandelier in one of the kiddo’s rooms.


this is megan’s house.


and her cool le corbusier chair.


with the dead cow on it. everybody needs one of those. and this is the dining room ceiling.


with little gold stars all over it. i guess it was some kind of vintage, reproduction wall paper. if you want some you have to go to san fransisco. and i do.

this is becca’s house. it’s for sale too. $669,000, a real steal. i just don’t know what to do with those beastly dormers. maybe you could turn them into juliet balconies? and it needs painted. very ugly color.


it was amazing how original this house has remained (you should see the bathrooms). usually these cool old homes get mutilated into apartment complexes. i thought becca would like it. and doug would never suffer a dull moment. imagine the state of the plumbing.


you can tell they tried to modify the kitchen in order to sell it for the aforementioned, outlandish amount of money. but they forgot upper cabinets. i don’t know where you will stash food. they tried to create more space by busting out onto the screened porch. which was neat because it brought one of the cool, sandstone walls inside. but still, a rather questionable tactic.


and someone has to paint over the cherubs on the landing. i think they are awful. heinous, is another word.


and last but not least, auntie piolet gets the libary. i’m sure she could turn it into some kind of charitable facility. what are your plans, dear?


this was boy’s choice, but i vetoed him. it would be too hard to live in a style that was on par with the building. although i am sure this thought never pricked marc’s conscience. he would use up the extra space with an indoor skate park. concrete floors and exposed ventilation systems, anyone? it’s hard being married to an architect. in any case, we’ll trade you if your not up to it, hon.


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