Yep, it’s been 4 years! Or it will be this month. And since it’s an awful lot to wade through all the Phase 1 work, I’ve decided to do it room by room. And that means the only place to start is my closet-sized vestibule. But first, a bit of background. I believe that my house was built in the 1890’s but the downstairs interiors appear to date to the 1930’s when the parlor walls were taken out and paint grade Craftsman trim was installed. And yes, this was period appropriate in Colonial Revival houses.
I have only 2 interior doors downstairs. One dates to this remodel; the other came out of a house across the street and appears to be about the same age. Everyone had the funds to de-Victorianize their houses during the Depression apparently.
Although I (sadly) found very little of the original woodwork to be salvageable, I put it back in as close as I could to the way it was. And a really great find, the Irishman (or the master carpenter next door) got a co-worker to make me reproduction header crown out of my scrap wood for just $50!
Now back to the vestibule. First, I have a newer sorta Victorian-ish looking front door. I plan to keep it and clean it up, but if I find something great and genuinely old, I might abandon common sense and replace it. I put in a Baldwin brass handle set and the Irishman built nice jamb extensions, so if I do that I’m officially throwing good money away. And look, he had to rig something up just to get something to nail the jamb extensions into.
I exposed the brick wall in the living room and continued it in here. While the plaster was coming off I found that the walls were new drywall installed over plastic tile that was on the original walls. The whole house was layered like a matryoshka doll.
On the other side I wanted to add a little something extra and the Irishman made me this great paneling.
And then there’s a stained glass transom. My mom had this made for a previous house and took it with her to 2 more before I had just the right place to put it. She said that the man who made it was very artistic and very gay. He couldn’t make what he wanted within her budget, so he made what he wanted and undercharged her.
I took a light that was original to my parents’ 1951 house that my mom never liked – and that to be honest hung too low for the ceilings there. And, I painted the room navy blue! The wall could use at least one picture and the doors and trim still need work, but I’m really happy with the way it’s turned out.
Some people are perplexed that I kept the vestibule. At least in little houses like this one, they’re slowly disappearing. But I like having the air lock, even though it’s so tiny you have to open both doors at once if more than 2 people are coming in.