1920s Cottage Needs Updating
mgaglioti
July 26, 2014
Hello all, I just purchased an older home with a lot of charm. It needs some TLC. I was hoping for some ideas on colors and ways to improve the home while maintaining its originality.

Look forward to hearing back from everyone!
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Curt D'Onofrio
At the onset the one thing i would change is the porch area. I like vertical supports with curves and a railing as in this photo http://www.mvpweatherwise.com/images/products/Columns/large/Victorian%20Column%202_l.jpg
2 Likes    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:39PM
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mgaglioti
Thanks for the comment!

Also need some tips on bathroom updates and ideas to spruce up the old fireplaces. I have so much stained wood trim. I feel like I shouldn't paint over them

Right now I'm thinking of adding some bead board wainscoting and painting the underbelly of the claw foot tub
    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:50PM
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Curt D'Onofrio
I luv those floors + baseboard + wood stain around fireplace. I would paint those little shelves in last pic flat white. Who ever thought of putting them there. Kudos to them (a great idea to putting collectibles up there)
    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:05PM
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hambirg
I actually like the porch posts . . .kind of a Minimalist Traditional feel. My house is that style and was built in 1920. There are many homes in my neighborhood that have the same straight posts. You could put up a railing, but I don't think it's a big priority. (see pic below)

I think I would keep the walls light because of all the dark wood finishes. And if your house is like mine, the rooms are charming (read small!) Keep that in mind when buying furniture. What style do you like and what does your current furniture look like?

Obviously your kitchen was updated at some point. It doesn't look so bad and certainly looks functional. I would change out that light though. Maybe something like a line of schoolhouse pendants might work. Also consider running undercabinet lighting if that ceiling light is the only light source.

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4 Likes    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:05PM
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mcbriec
Very cute house. I would do minor updates like painting and would wait to do any significant remodeling. You need time to absorb the space and really figure out exactly how you use the home before making major decisions.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:12PM
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MarleneM
Very cute house and I think the woodwork and house looks to be in great shape and needs decoration more than TLC. Those shelves I believe are plate rails and are typical of the era and style of house.
2 Likes    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:06PM
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dizzytizzy
I agree with hambirg re: the porch posts. Please don't change the original appearance of this lovely little house.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:05AM
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bschr
Your new home is beautiful. I agree that you should live in it for awhile before you do anything.
    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:28AM
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Sophie Wheeler
First, do no harm. Stop yourself from making any changes at all until you have a better feel for what is appropriate historically.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:56AM
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Al Fortunato Furnituremaker
You woodwork is really nice. If it is in good shape, leave it alone. If it is somewhat beat up, refinish it, NO painting it. The biggest thing I see that needs improvement is the kitchen. If mine, I would redo it in a craftsman style to match the rest of the house. But as Sophie says do what is appropriate, not what is trendy. You've got a great comfy home.


2 Likes    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:49AM
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andygwen
Ironically I am in the same position. I purchased a building that dates back to the 1700's with amazing history. it was at one point the county jail then a residence and converted to 3 apartments and a retail space. I am currently renovating a vacant apt. The previous owner of the building neglected it terribly.
    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:14AM
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mgaglioti
I've been doing some research and apparently the home may have been owned by ancestors of Thomas Paine (author of Common Sense)

I'm doing a renovation loan so I have to come to the table with my plan. Right now I'm just going to clean up the existing space and build a small master suite and a garage addition on the back of the house

I have a fireplace that is seen from the dining and living rooms in the front of the house.

I'm debating if I should open that wall up and leave only the exposed brick and mantles so your able to see through and open the floor plan up
    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:25AM
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mgaglioti
Here is a view of the dining room (with built in pantry) and the living room. I'm considering opening up that wall (pantry would have to be repurposed into the kitchen)

What are your thoughts of opening that wall and leaving the exposed brick fireplace with mantles?
    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:28AM
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mgaglioti
All original trim and woodwork will be saved and used elsewhere throughout the house. Especially the doors and stained trim! It's all in immaculate condition
    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:30AM
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Al Fortunato Furnituremaker
If it was my home and since it has a connection to such a famous person. I wouldn't touch the original floor plan. If it has been altered since they lived in it, I would try to put it back to what it was like at the time, but that's not an absolute, just my opinion. But, to open up old walls to make it trendy is not appropriate for a historical house.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:37AM
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Sophie Wheeler
It would be a huge mistake to try to force a modern layout on that home by opening up walls. You'd be destroying theoriginal detail and character that makes it appealing. You'd also be financially destroying the value of the home to alter it in such a radical way from it's originality. What's fashionable comes and goes. And you can never replace what you destroy.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:52AM
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mgaglioti
Thanks for all the comments.

I have to do some opening up. Both the living and dining room are so tiny they are almost unusable space.

I want to make this into a home that will actually use all the square footage.

Appreciate the comments and will te look plans
    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:56AM
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mcbriec
This is a home that you need to live in as a member of modern society. Your home is not a museum which must be left in a historic condition that is inimical to your lifestyle.

If it were mine, I would modify it to reflect my current living needs, while maintaining, to the extent practicable, the overall historic feel. Having said that, I'm not quite sure how to open up that room with the fireplace and think the services of a good architect would be invaluable.
    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:52PM
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