You’ve seen the outside, we’ve teased you with the inside and now its time to make the full reveal of the remainder of the inside of the house. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, I quickly fell off the “before photo wagon” early on in this process of buying this house. So this post will lack the drama of the last one, but hopefully my written word will suffice in painting a picture of what the rooms looked like.
As is the case with most traditional Cape Cods, there is often a bedroom or two located on the first floor. This is exactly the case with The Duckling. The other really cool thing is that these bedrooms have their own hallway that has a door that closes them off from the rest of the living space.
This house was built in 1951, so a la Mad Men, it’s not hard to imagine that there were probably many a dinner party thrown that involved plentiful martinis, Frank Sinatra on the stereo and a wicked game of cards. (Evidently, I’ve written a whole screenplay in my head just based on the features of the house!). The doorway closing off the hallway to the bedrooms is both interesting and ingenious, because it meant the kids could be put to bed and the door could be closed to keep the adult conversations that followed under wraps.
Ok, so back to the tour….the renter who lived here before us used both bedrooms downstairs – one as his room and the other as a room for his children when they visited. Nothing really fancy about any of these spaces, but they are much improved by our furniture and decor.
Here’s the master – we took down the blinds that weren’t sized right for the windows and put up lined curtains. They are perfect because we can close them for privacy, but can also easily throw them open in the morning to let the light in. This room is pretty well done, but there will be some painting for sure. And just for fun, I’m throwing in some “during” photos when Patrick took down the blinds. The fact that they had been screwed in using drywall screws made them almost impossible to get down, but we persevered and it’s one of many “what the h&#l!” moments we’ve had in this house.
And here’s Gavin’s room – still blinds to be removed, curtains to be hung and painting to be done, but it’s a good start. Patrick also hung some of his artwork, but we’ll likely move that around a bit.
The bathroom downstairs was updated (although not to my taste, it will do). I’ve already told you about how I’ve improved its functionality. There will be some paint in its future, but just the few things that we’ve done have vastly improved things.
When you enter the house at the front door, you enter a small entry hallway that will take you straight back to the kitchen, back and to the right to the bedrooms or to the left to the living room. The coolest part of this entry hallway is the staircase. It’s got this really cool Greek key carving up the side of it and a really cool matching post at the bottom of the railing. It’s one of the things that we thought was so cool about the house.
The stairs lead you upstairs to a traditional cape layout – a bedroom to the right, a bedroom to the left and a bathroom straight ahead that was added in the shed dormer off the back roofline. There’s a door (another one!) at the top of the stairs that can close the 2nd floor off from the first floor. I think this was less about wild martini-drinking dinner parties and more about energy efficiency. When the house was first built, the second floor may not have even been finished off. So keeping that space closed off in extreme heat or cold would have been important for the efficiency of the heating and cooling of the house.
It’s one of the doors that will be removed (joining it’s two kitchen cousins – I mean, two doors to completely close off the kitchen, really?!), unlike the first floor bedroom hallway door, which we honestly use every night after putting our 3 year old to bed. (Believe me, the slightest hint that we’re still awake and he might be missing something is reason for him to get out of bed and “have to tell you something”).
So these rooms upstairs were both empty of furniture, although the bachelor renter was using one room as his closet. They are now our guest room and our home office/den.
There are lots of plans for the office – painting, etc. – and maybe a little to be done in the guest room. But for now, we’re just loving the TONS of built ins and storage. (I have to say, the storage space in this house is AWESOME – so many closets and all are great sizes).
The bathroom was the bachelor’s main bathroom. This is the one that I referred to as a toxic environment that required a hazmat suit in order to clean. It’s vintage 1951 and is now the “boys” bathroom for Patrick and Gavin.
This bathroom will be totally gutted at some point, but in the meantime, it’s CLEAN, functional and gets the job done.
Now, the last room of the house…the basement! We were stunned when we discovered the house had a finished basement – it’s a treat we didn’t have at either of our last two houses. And although there are some concerns with musty smells and whether we might ever have a water issue, we were pretty happy with what we saw when we looked at the house. It was totally empty, it’s finished on one side of the basement and unfinished on the other. The finished space has a bar, recessed lighting, plenty of storage closets and a room that we’re using for storage that probably was a home office when first created.
At first, we weren’t exactly sure what we were going to do with the basement, other than create a family room and some play space for Gavin. We ended up also moving our dining room set down there since it fit and someday we plan to have a “real” dining room again and figured if we could use it, then let’s use it. It actually ended up working really well in the space and we figure it will be a good thing for when we have large family gatherings or as a work space for Gavin.
So that’s the lay of the land at The Duckling these days….we’re moved in, but we’ve definitely got some items on our to do list. In a future post we’ll talk about what the plans are.